Friday, 24 December 2021

Trust your instinct

I find it almost impossible to listen to audio or watch video in the age of clicks, but I watched a very stimulating discussion with John Cleese, which I recommend to you, about creativity. John Cleese quoted Bernard Berenson the American art historian saying he could recommend a forgery because it made him feel ill.

Some people give you a bad feeling in your stomach. It is more important to trust your instinct than your reason.

I have a historian's instinct about things which often serves me. I know some stories are thin and shallow - the arguments for lockdowns are an example.

I gave up the news and social media almost completely (I allow myself the press over my breakfast like a Victorian paterfamilias) so I was a week late catching this article in the Daily Mail by Professor Jay Bhattacharya, headlined

Sunday, 19 December 2021

‎One starts to get young

Youth has no age. 
Pablo Picasso

One starts to get young at sixty and then it's too late.
Pablo Picasso

She was good, quiet, dull, and amiable, and young only because she was twenty-three.
E.M Forster

Between thirty and forty, one is distracted by the Five Lusts;
Between seventy and eighty, one is prey to a hundred diseases.
But from fifty to sixty one is free from all ills;
Calm and still–the heart enjoys rest.
I have put behind me Love and Greed; I have done with Profit and Fame;
I am still short of illness and decay and far from decrepit age.
Strength of limb I still possess to seek the rivers and hills;
Still my heart has spirit enough to listen to flutes and strings.
At leisure I open new wine and taste several cups;
Drunken I recall old poems and sing a whole volume.
Meng-te has asked for a poem and herewith I exhort him
Not to complain of three-score, "the time of obedient ears."
Po Chu-i or Bai Juyi, translated by Arthur Waley
(The Buddha said men have five lusts: food, sleep, sex, money, fame. I presume this is what the poet means, though elsewhere I have seen a Chinese poet include love of flowers in the list, which seems odd.)

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Life will never return to normal?

'A survey by Bank of America found almost half of Britons now believe life will never return to normal.' The figure was around 20% at the start of the year. I suddenly realise we the public have to rebel against this coup d'état by experts. If we have learnt anything from the last few decades we have learnt that experts should never be allowed power. (The word Britons always conjures a picture of bearded druids.)

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Why do we presume Omicron is dangerous when the signs are that it is not?

Not all epidemiologists are pessimists or alarmists. Not even all the ones who get covered by the media. Professor Tim Spector, for example, is given BBC airtime, so is respectable, doesn't think vaccine passports will achieve much but goes along with them in the UK for the time being, thinks masks probably don't work, but nevertheless thinks the English ought to wear the and advises them to be cautious over Christmas. He strongly recommends vaccines for older people, but thinks people under 50 are more likely to contract Covid in the lengthy queues for the vaccine than to gain any benefit.

Professor Spector said on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme yesterday, talking about the Omicron variant of Covid (why don't we call it the Botswanan variant?):

'The majority of symptoms are just like a common cold, so we're talking about headaches, sore throat , runny nose, fatigue, and things like sneezing. Things like fever, and cough, and loss of smell, are actually now in the minority of symptoms that we're seeing.'

Omicron might well be a blessing, lightly disguised.

Why not give people advice and let them decide for themselves?

Sunday, 12 December 2021

Knut Witkowski seems to have been proven right. Slowing the infection means giving variants time to develop and more not fewer deaths.

Knut Witkowski seems to have been right all along.


All attempts to delay the transmission of the Covid virus have simply enabled variants to have time to develop and spread. They develop in three months whereas new vaccines take nine months. This means more people die than had we done nothing except shelter elderly and frail people.


His views are censored on Twitter and Facebook. He makes comments on other people's posts on LinkedIn for fear of censorship there.


In the most recent interview with him I can find, he says Covid is in effect a flu and had it not been identified as a new ILI (Influenza Like Illness) it would have passed through the population quickly and been forgotten by the general public.


Freddy Gray in Unherd on Thursday talking about the new restrictions in England said something I with which completely agree and which horrifies me.

Friday, 10 December 2021

Generalisations are always valuable

'People don't have ideas. Ideas have people.' 
Carl Jung (quoted by Jordan Peterson)

'The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.' 
William Morris

Saturday, 4 December 2021

A year before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger saw Europe was in terminal decline

The essay “If Europe Hates Itself” is here. He said that ethnically Europe appeared to be on the way out. The present Pope wants to hurry along this process by encouraging immigration from the Maghreb and Asia.