You will probably die of a cold

Famous bitcoiner Mencius Moldbug recently published an article, where he warns of the imminent dangers of technology, such as virus manipulation, by scientists. Do new pandemics like Covid, unintentionally created by scientists, threaten humanity?

The government of statistics

Generally, smart people start by learning statistics. Statistics cripple your ability to reason logically.

Moreover, they equate government with mathematicswhich are infallible.

The more important people become, the less they doubt themselves, the more they want to feel infallible, and the more they are drawn to statistics like rock stars to drugs.

Does it matter that COVID is a lab leak?

Covid and laboratory leak

Here is an argument against: few people still argue that laboratory leaks are impossible.

It is certain that people were doing dangerous work with viruses and that Chinese biosafety protocols were poor.

The Wuhan institute may have had bad luck and one of the viruses escaped. Or he was lucky, by pure coincidence no virus escaped, and an unrelated pandemic broke out nearby.

A good Bayesian should start by believing that there is an average probability of a pandemic due to one laboratory leak per decade.

I did some fake Bayesian calculations with plausible numbers and found that if I started by believing that there was 20% chance per decade of having a pandemic due to a laboratory leak, so if it was proven that COVID was a lab leak, I would have to go to 27.5%, and if it was proven that COVID was not a lab leak, I would have to stay around 19-20%.

Scientists play with fire

My friends, you are going to die of a (mutant) cold because nothing can prevent scientists, whether Chinese or Western, from collect deadly viruses to enhance their CV.

Nature can produce deadly respiratory viruses. History tells us how often this happens. It’s not common.

Morbidity and contagiousness are competing factors. As we saw when Covid turned into a common cold, viruses hate being deadly.

But in a well-equipped virology lab, it’s quite easy to torture viruses into becoming deadly.

Covid is not a murder in itself. For there to be murder, there must be intention. Nobody tried to kill millions of people. These were negligent homicides. It is still a crime, I fear.

Covid: “criminally risky behavior”?

Negligence is any activity whose obvious cost-benefit ratio is so high that it can only be considered a crime, like drunk driving.

Covid was a predictable disaster due to criminally risky behavior.

First of all, it is not in dispute that Covid was the subject of a laboratory leak. It is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Anyone saying Covid could be a lab leak is not doing so because they have a reasonable doubt. He says it because his testicles are the size of raisins and because he knows, on some subconscious level, that when he says Covid was a lab leak, he is calling for a revolution.

Chernobyl and the fall of the USSR

Chernobyl contributed greatly to the fall of the USSR. Covid is like Chernobyl if Chernobyl had killed a hundred thousand times more people, had been successfully covered up, was handed over to the reactor director for cleaning, forced all Soviet citizens, even those in Kamchatka, to wear radiation masks for the next two years, gave rise to hagiographic children’s books about the nobleman director of the reactor, and led the USSR to replace all its electricity production with graphite-moderated RBMK reactors.

Besides throwing everyone involved in prison for the rest of their lives – you’d be surprised how many years one can get for simply lying on forms or to Congress, how would a responsible government deal with this threat?

Scientists: the real culprits for covid?

The cause of Covid is that scientists must pad their CVs by collecting useless stamps.

In this case, useless research was also madly dangerous. For every case like this, there are ten thousand cases of useless research that is completely harmless except that it consumes the lives and talents of some of the best people in the world.

No one will knowingly fund useless research, of course. Quite the contrary! All research supported by the State is accompanied of a narrative that justifies its importance.

She becomes a kind of legend, generally accepted, at least in the scientific field. No one inside the field is encouraged to question the legend. No one outside the field has the authority to question the legend. It is therefore eternal.

A line on LinkedIn, or protect humanity?

Today, a scientific career is all about relationships.

If you are a virologist, how helpful is it to your career to point out that there is no use – and lots of risk – in “predicting” pandemics?

Even after Covid, the courageous virologists who tried to prevent it are still on the sidelines; the virologists who caused it are still the center of attention.

China may be a dictatorship, but that doesn’t mean I like it. Although it is a dictatorship, it is also a bureaucracy.

Power flows in many wrong directions, from bottom to top or from outside to inside.

Why is Xi Jinping playing around with mutant coronaviruses? Even in China, no one has the confidence and the power to say that the cultivation of deadly viruses is government negligence on a massive scale.

A world in which this question can be asked, and the answer judged and acted upon, is a country with a system of government that does not currently exist in the world.

This is why you die of a cold.

After covid, what defense against this existential risk?

Apart from accurately perceiving cost-benefit ratios and leaving the virus bats in the bat cave, what is the best defense against this “existential risk”?

The biggest problem is that when manslaughter is possible, so is murder. There is enough intersection between people who can synthesize DNA and those who believe, for one reason or another, that “billions must die”.

Stamp-collecting virologists have a natural limit to their dangerous experiments. Since they enhance viruses to “predict” the “emergence” of natural pandemics, they are limited, at least theoretically, to stuff that could occur in nature.

A real terroriston the other hand, has no such limitations. The fundamental problem we face is that without self-imposed limits, it seems scientifically simple to create a massively, if not universally, deadly pandemic virus.

How would an effective government respond to this threat? In two ways: at the national level and at the international level.

What is the government waiting for?

On the national level, DNA synthesizers must be treated like ammunition.

Filtering out death viruses is too important a task to be left to the goodwill of DNA synthesis companies. It’s rare that our society needs a more centralized bureaucratic process, but that’s the case here.

At the national level, the government needs pandemic response tools that born will be activated that during the short period when the pandemic has been sown, but can still be eradicated.

This window of opportunity is the time to throw civil liberties out the window. Once the virus cannot be eradicated from the population, as we have seen, controls are useless.

At the international level, the government must have the power to instantly close its borders as soon as a potential pandemic is detected in another country. It’s just a travel risk, like canceling a flight. Any country on earth today that cannot prevent informal border crossing – up to one zero level – finds itself in a dangerous situation of state failure.

The Chinese failure produced 7 million deaths

Once again, even China hasn’t been able to seal its border against Covid. Once again, China is only impressive because of the decline of the West.

The sealing of borders involves in particular quarantine facilities that work. New Zealand got lucky and lived in a blissful state of zero Covid, to worldwide applause for its very scientific government and young, handsome Prime Minister.

But it turned out that some people had to travel, for whatever reason, and were therefore placed in “quarantine” in hotels. Someone coming in infected someone going out; the virus was spreading. So much for following the science! It’s sad.

Aren’t these simple, elementary, obvious measures? Faced with a threat that we have already seen as a reality?

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