Number of the Month

April 2016

 Back in the old routine

Oh, give me the jazz, the razzamatazz
And we'll tread on Heaven's scene
Back in the old routine
Back where the corn is green
Back in the old routine

Fans of the WHO will be pleased that they have quickly recovered from the slight setback they experienced when they were caught out by the Ebola crisis, having had their attention on other things. They have now been able to return to dealing with urgent obesity crisis by way of their work on diabetes. The very concept of type 2 diabetes was invented to cope with the obesity crisis, but even the finest minds of modern epidemiology have struggled to find convincing supporting evidence. So keeping the scare in the air requires other methods. The fact that such crises were artificially manufactured is routinely ignored, as alternative methods of creating and maintaining scares are exploited. Some of them require no evidence at all, which in the circumstances is ideal. The one exploited by the WHO is based on pure verbal conjuring and obfuscation.

We can most simply illustrate this method of creating a scare by means of a parable, thus avoiding the already contaminated vocabulary. Like all analogies, it is inexact, but it illustrates the principle.

For this recipe you need two classes of virus that share a feature, in this case a high degree of contagiousness, though one is common but relatively bland and the other rare but extremely nasty. Let us call them Coryza and Ebola.

The first step is to rename the first, using the common feature as an excuse, so we change its name to “type 2 Ebola”.

The second step is to create maximum coverage using both terms together. This is a process known among stage magicians as misdirection. It creates confusion among readers about the differences between the common and the nasty.

The third and critical step is then to drop the “type 2” and announce that you are doing “research” into Ebola, thereby forever conflating the two varieties in the public mind. Common and nasty are permanently wedlocked.

Job done!

12/04/16

 And there’s more

The obesity crisis lobby continues with its “no-evidence” campaign of super-junk science in the form of a claim from the Cancer UK charity that it is responsible for a rise in cases of womb cancer that made the front pages.

13/04/16

 A man to be honoured

Number Watch must plead guilty to a charge of failing to give appropriate recognition to a champion in the battle against deliberate and destructive number abuse. He is Martin F. Sturman, MD, FACP and was the one who exposed in detail the blatant frauds by which major health scares of our time were engineered and propagated. At a time when the malevolent BMA is walking away from the Hippocratic Oath it is now even more important to celebrate the heroes of the war against mendacious propaganda that has undermined western culture. Health is second only to climate as a battlefield in this struggle. A new breed of public health dictators finds it easier to combat imaginary threats rather than real ones, but at least they had the decency to wait during the annual cull of the vulnerable before they launched their customary annual campaign. Of course, as always, there is a modicum of truth in their critiques of current lifestyles, but always note the things they don’t mention; for example the effects of rising prescriptions of steroids. If someone you know is suddenly putting on weight the best bet is Prednisolone.

Nevertheless, the basic mechanism is the fiddling of “recommended limits” and, thanks to Sturman, we know exactly how it was done.

18/01/16

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 EU Referendum – the only fact you need to know

The EU has failed to pass audit nineteen years in a row.

20/04/16

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 Forecasting nonsense

All forecasts are rubbish. That is not a law of nature but, by a distance, it is the way to bet.

The UK Met Office can tell us what weather we will have today and tomorrow, even a bit further when prominent meteorological features are involved, but their attempts at medium and long range forecasting rapidly became a national joke. Budgetary forecasts are generally worthless, as the present UK Chancellor amply demonstrated in his doggedly frequent speeches on the matter. They would be totally reversed within in a matter of weeks: good for dramatic effect and persuasive to the credulous, but damning to those who really thought about it. Opinion polls have also been notoriously inaccurate on a global scale and, for example, had a disaster at the most recent UK election. Yet the establishment media keep on faithfully publishing their output, currently for the forthcoming EU referendum, as though they were real news. The media (and presumably most of their readers) are still falling for it.

 The reasons why most forecasts fail are many, but the main ones are sheer randomness, coincidence, prejudice inspired by belief, omission of key variables and above all (in Macmillan’s immortal expression of his greatest fear) “Events, dear boy”. Sad to say, the present diseased state of politics and journalism perpetuates a situation in which forecasts are almost never assessed in retrospect.

If any energetic young sceptic is looking for a project there are rich pickings to be had among past forecasts to see how they fared. Steer clear of climate, however, which by sheer over-indulgence has descended into the ultimate bore. Those monitoring the current excesses are doing a good, though dispiriting, job.

Number of the month – 4,300

This number is not a bad forecast or even a forecast at all. It is an insignificant number; indeed, a number entirely without meaning. It is a claim that leaving the EU would cost households an average of £4,300. It is based on a deliberate misrepresentation of the concept of Gross Domestic Product, which is the economists’ attempt to create a measure of a region’s total economic activity. This is rather loosely defined as the value of the goods and services produced by all sectors of the economy over a given period. It is commonly divided by the population to provide GDP per capita, but only as a means of comparing economies of different sizes. It has never been used to imply that it is associated with any cost or benefit to the individual. As for bringing households into it, that is just an obvious, but rather pathetic, way to make the divisor smaller and hence the quotient bigger. Even if you ignore the window dressing, the projection behind it is a change of 6% over 14 years. Such precision!

The “forecast” based on this number is simply an outrageous lie, as those who issued it well knew. There is vein of moral turpitude running through the Cameronite faction that has seized control of the Conservative Party, which is well illustrate by the decision to use taxpayers’ money to pre-empt the financial control of the referendum with the issue of that fatuous leaflet. Legal is not the same as moral.

26/04/16

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