Blogs, that is. I started this blog lo these many years ago (11? 12?) to have a place to put criticisms of modern science, how it is conducted and reported. I’ve had the horror of watching all the worst trends in science and science reporting converge and amplify to produce mass hysteria, panic, and gross political manipulation. We’re all gonna die! Eventually! Of something!
Plus random social and religious commentary. That would be Blog #1. Then there’s education history and the social commentary associated with that. That’s become a larger part over time, although opportunity and interest come and go. Need to get on this.
Finally, are my feeble attempts at humor and writing, music projects, home improvement projects, and on and on.
I do plan to split off a strictly writing blog as soon as I get stuff ready to publish (no, really! This time, for sure!). Under a nom de plume, via a VPN, on a Linux box, from a secure location. This would be stuff I hope to make money on, and so need to play nice.
For the education and science stuff, I guess I’ll keep it here until I can’t. So, two blogs is the goal, if you can call it that. For now.
On the weather front, we did get 5 inches of rain over about 48 hours, over 6” in 5 days. Some places got a little less, higher elevations a lot more. I made the briefest check into what the media was saying – I’ll shower with soap and pumice later – and, as usual, they were playing this as some sort of epic disaster.
Sorry to disappoint – nothing much unusual happened. 5 inches of rain, high winds, some trees go down, some people lose power, a few mudslides – same old same old. The only thing really unusual – storms like this, which happen every few years, don’t often happen in October. Much more a December through March thing. I’m sure that this week’s storm of the century will be forgotten by next week.
On the plus side, last year’s season total rainfall was 40% of average. This one storm put us over 35% for the season, with the rainy months still ahead of us. Yes, out here in sunny California, 6” of rain is over 1/3 of season average.
There are no more storms forecast for the next couple weeks, but we’ve already got more than we average through December. All this really means is the panic mongers will switch to something else. I am not willing to taint myself any further to check what nonsense is being reported, but I can guess: climate change! I’ve already read how this storm doesn’t really end the threat of wildfires, which only an idiot would say: landscape soaked with 6” of rain in less than a week don’t burn too good, especially with temperatures not getting much out of the 60s. Idiots gotta idiot, I guess.
Let’s round up a couple interesting points. This is all highly speculative on my part, I have little idea what to do. First off, from Clarissa’s blog a couple days ago:
I engage in exactly zero discussions with liberals / leftists / Biden voters / ‘democratic socialists’ / pandemicians / anti-racists or whatever they call themselves. I don’t try to reason with them, I don’t offer evidence, I don’t explain my position. I’m open to discuss shopping, recipes, weather, gossip, etc. But the moment they start on with vaccines, Trump, horse dewormers, insurrections, etc, I change the topic or use the bathroom. There can be no debate with people who hold the power to wipe you out of productive life on a whim. The very act of engaging in a discussion perpetuates the massive lie that there is free and open debate.
Recall that Clarissa grew up under the Soviet Union. Her point: we’re way, way past the point of talking this out. It’s like Mao’s Hundred Flowers campaign: people were encouraged to criticize the regime, on the principle that even the regime could use some constructive criticism. All Mao really wanted was to identify those who needed culling – and culled they were.
It’s not that, by now – heck, by April of 2020 – I had written enough badthink on this blog alone to mark me for culling. I’d assume the majority of the people reading this are in the same boat, have said too much. That train has left the station. It’s that those in the grip of the insanity are not in the least interested in, or even capable of, being convinced. Clarissa continues:
I’m talking right now about normal everyday people who have been duped by propaganda. The actual stormtroopers at NYTimes – these are horrid people working for a horrid organization. Only days ago they knowingly perpetuated the lie about 900,000 pediatric COVID deaths. This is a despicable thing to do but it’s one in 25 even worse thing the paper did on that day.
OK then. Confronting Normie is a non-starter. Got it. What I and mine have been doing: as much as possible, simply don’t comply. It’s that ‘as much as possible’ part that killing me at the moment. It’s not my goal to get other little people in trouble, especially churches. One thing near the top of Our Evil Overlord’s agenda: crush churches out of existence, or, at least, drive them underground. People freely attend churches, hang out and talk with each other, spreading badthink. Can’t have that. So, while I don’t usually wear a mask in church (in direct defiance of the state health authorities) I have one on my person, in case the stoolies are on duty. Oops! Musta slipped off there!
But shopping for food? Well, the sad reality is that all I’m likely to do would be putting some low paid worker bee on the spot to tell me to mask up – how is that different from confronting Normie? Not saying I *like* this, but that I want to get out of this alive, not make grandstanding statements.
That said, I’ve now gone to In-n-Out twice since they stood up to the San Francisco Cat Fanciers. Both times, once near dinner time, but once in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, drive-through lines around the block and walk-in lines out the doors and into the parking lot. Two different outlets. In-n-Out was very popular before all this, but not that popular by half. Is this a positive development? How is this going to help, other than getting people to show up at Tiananmen Square, as it were, the better to mow them down?
Or is it the scariest thing to our betters? To see people not complying? Sadly, I kind of doubt it. First of all, there is no uniform group of people doing ‘this’ – however ‘this’ is defined. We may imagine a conspiracy involving thousands, but that’s unlikely. A conspiracy involving dozens or maybe even hundreds -sure. But the major victory here is sidestepping any need for rational (however evil) cooperation: the Faucis and Fergusons of the world don’t believe their own B.S., but they do believe what’s happening is beneficial to them, and, since they can’t imagine otherwise, beneficial to the world.* And it’s what their betters want.
Years of training in bureaucracy and deceit (but I repeat myself) have created legions of such creatures. These Front Row Kids have learned to get ahead by delivering what the people above them want, and have driven any interest in whether what they want is true or good – that never entered into the equation. They have learned to hold those poor, benighted back row kids in utter contempt, for, to even acknowledge the possibility that those not playing the game might have a point about anything has been rendered unimaginable, far too emotionally risky, an attack on their own fundamental sense of self. We *must* be wrong! They *must* be right!
So the cake chart looks like this:
On the bottom are those who will not comply. A thin layer.
The next layer up are those who comply under duress. A much thicker layer. (I straddle the these first two groups – I do put on a mask to shop, but won’t get the jab.)
Then comes those who comply out of reflexive obedience, who don’t really believe this stuff but find making a fuss about it too inconvenient.
Then the great mass of those who have been convinced, because they have been trained to view only authority as convincing.
Next, the useful idiots: BLM, Antifa. BLM imagined they were much higher up on the cake, flexed their anti-jab muscles, and promptly got memory-holed. If they prove too unmanageable, people know people who do things. Stuff will happen. But as long as they remained useful, they were darlings.
Then the Borderline Personality cases and sociopaths of varying degrees, who live to lord it over people. The voluntary enforcement police. Lots of medical professionals, nursing home staff, and ‘educators’ fall into this class – they fell into their professions because it gives them the power to abuse people. This ‘pandemic’ merely poured gasoline on their open flame.
Then the bureaucrats, climbers, suck ups. Truth? What is that? Fauci is legion.
Then those who imagine they are in charge. Gates, Zuckerberg. They’d get the pillow in a minute if they proved difficult. But the idea that they run the world is simply too intoxicating, and because they think themselves geniuses, they eagerly embrace it. Arrogance make you stupid, and they are very, very arrogant.
Then the tiny group who might, on some level, actually be in charge. They, I imagine, are nameless by design. They names we know are no more in charge than Brandon.
Now, there is not and cannot be any sort of consensus among such a mishmash. Even the top layers are at odds, fearing those above and despising those below, all wanting most of all to keep their positions or, better, to move up. If they do move up, they hate those at their previous level more than any others, if possible. Looking for clear goals and agreement in such an environment is a fools game. But I imagine there’s enough agreement among enough of the small group at the very top of this thing to keep the general direction clear.
Example: the top wants the ‘pandemic’ to continue. The level of bureaucrats, climbers, and suck-ups, including most especially the media, will execute this without question. There’s no memos needed -everybody in this layer knows this is the game, or they have already lost their jobs. Thus any good news is simply hunted down and buried, and any lies that promote the panic become banner headlines. (And, to drive sane people crazy, the ‘corrections’ are put at the bottom of page 23 in small print. They don’t care they’ve lied, they issue corrections as a way of rubbing their lies in our faces.)
And, finally, the Father of Lies is at the top. He will burn everything down, especially all the layers immediately beneath him, once he sees he is losing. And the layers immediately beneath him will enthusiastically comply! To their own destruction. And – here’s the problem – do everything in their power to take as many of us down with them as they can.
Strategy? Get the hell out of here. Away from the insanity, as much as possible. ‘Here’ being far too close to the bluest of blue cities in an insane state. Lay low, and ride it out. Homestead-lite. Dispose of the tech toys. (Except that Linux machine to write on, VPN, and? I guess I’m weak – should just go samizdat?) Provide a fall back for the kids, who aren’t as free to pick up and move – or don’t yet think they are.
Tactics? Working on it. Don’t engage Normie seems worth considering. I’ve long held far, far too optimistic a view on the reasonableness of the average American. This fauxdemic has been cold water to the face. And lay low.
*One of the more maddening bits in all this: Fauci’s claim that he lied about masks for everybody for our own good, saying at first that they weren’t needed and then saying they were mandatory. He establishes a principle: Fauci and his ilk will lie their asses off to us – for our own good. What they imagine to be our own good remains unknown and, on this principle, unknowable, because they would lie about that, too! For our own good! And yet – people defend him and comply. Sad.
Everyone is gone except for my mother-in-law, the cat, and me, the spouse and Caboose are out performing various duties and acts of mercy. Mother-in-law is ensconced in her recliner, the cat asleep on her lap. I’m running a old John Wayne movie marathon for her – True Grit just came up – over YouTube. Thus, I am free to ponder this period between storms.
Right now, it’s puffy clouds and a light breeze. Over the last couple days, it rained an inch here – don’t laugh, that’s a pretty good storm by NoCal standards. Approaching from the north east, due in this part of California starting around 7 this evening as it works its way down the coast from Oregon and Washington, is an ‘atmospheric river‘ storm, or a ‘pineapple express‘. We are told to expect 3 to 5 inches of rain overnight, across Sunday, and into Monday.
By Bay Area standards, that’s a LOT of rain. We usually have a season total rainfall through October of about an inch – this one storm is supposed to be several times that. Our ‘drought’ – a couple of below average rainfall years, such as we have had EVERY FEW YEARS THROUGHOUT THE RECORDED HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA was due to global warming climate change, our betters assure us. I’m sure this unusually large, but by no means unprecedented, storm ‘ending’ the ‘drought’ will also be caused by global warming climate change. There’s nothing that thing can’t do!
More seriously, because of decades of mismanagement, we have had a lot of wildfires over the last couple years. A whole bunch of rain all at once is going to cause mudslides. This could get ugly.
California gets about 75% of its rainfall over December, January, and February. If this storm comes through as advertised, we’ll have 1/3 of our seasonal average before the rainy season really gets going. Could be interesting.
And there’s always the possibility of an ARkstorm. We’re high enough up that flooding would not be an immediate problem. It’s just the utter destruction of California’s entire drinking water infrastructure and a good chunk of the power grid, while major parts of the highway system are under water, that could be – inconvenient.
Many other distracting thing are happening at the moment. Further details as events warrant.
UPDATE: Bwahaha!! 50+ cars in line; I went inside where the line was shorter. I told the nice lady that I was here specifically because of what went on in San Francisco. Waiting for my food, another lady came up to me and told me she said the same thing! Other people nodded. I said “let’s make these people rich.“ Bwahaha!
I type invigorated by our weekend trip, partly taken in order to begin the preparation of our house for sale – needed to get out of Dodge so that the termite tenters could rain their chemical Death upon any little creatures that might be eating the place. But mostly, we attended Thomas Aquinas College’s 50th Anniversary gala.
Black tie. Every time I saw or heard that, I heard it in the voice from ZZ Topps’s “Sharp Dressed Man.” Suffice it to say, the Moores are not the kind of people who attend a lot of black tie galas. But we were able to put together a credible showing: I own an ancient tux from my days singing in large choir Christmas concerts (it still fit, 25 years later – I was a shapeless blob even back then!), we found a used tux for cheap for the Caboose, grandma had a very nice dress she’s gotten as a gift from one of her sons, and Mrs. Yard Sale of the Mind made an elegant thrift store find.
The Caboose, a fit 17 year old, looks fine in a tux, like it was designed for him. . Me? I can report that, as is befitting a garment designed to be worn to daily dinner, my tux was comfortable. The ladies looked very nice. We didn’t stand out – mission accomplished.
Gala was at the Beverly Wilshire. Nice.
The people of Thomas Aquinas College have reason to be grateful, and are. Two beautiful campuses, solid Board, thousands of alums, full enrollment. But of course, the whole point of this exercise is to send young people out into the world prepared to do good, to do God’s will. And in this they also succeed wildly. All the graduates and students I know think first of the Kingdom of God as they make their life choices. Not only is TAC a pipeline to religious life – Mother Teresa’s order, embracing poverty in the service of the poor, might top the list – but the many, many students who choose truly Christian marriage in defiance of the world, and even those who choose a virtuous single life focus it on God.
Of course, a side benefit of this: well-educated, moral people make great employees and workers. Many have done quite well, financially – which is largely how the College comes to have all those nice buildings and great board, and gets to throw galas at the Beverly Wilshire.
Supreme Court Justice Alito gave the keynote, and it was wonderful. He is a witty, self-deprecating man. His opening bit was to point out that, while the college had progressed wonderfully in almost every way, it had regressed in its choice of keynote speakers. This is funny, because the speaker at the very first kickoff gala 50 years ago was Fulton Sheen! (And speakers at college events include Mother Teresa and other future saints – so, yeah.) So, he, a Supreme Court Justice is a good as they can do.
Totally fun. Visiting SoCal – Santa Monica, even, and in October! -reminded me why I both miss it and don’t miss the Southland. Temps in the 80s, endless blue skies, the awesome Pacific in, well, pacific mode. Yep, this is why 20 million people have moved to SoCal: only about 300 to 350 days like this a year. But then, had drive around some, and – 20 million people live there. We only had to drive much on Sunday, the lightest traffic day of the week, and still had to deal with several slow-downs and stops on the freeways. And then there’s the hedonism, which we weren’t there long enough to encounter much.
Although we did go, with and on the recommendation of acquaintances, to an establishment called the Elephante Bar, on the third floor with a view of the beach.
As we were getting ready to leave, a clutch of young women entered and sat at a nearby table. Dressed to kill, plenty of skin, done up like opening night. On a Saturday afternoon. Yep, SoCal.
One the house front, I should even now be arranging for painters, plumbers, electricians and so on to do much needed fix-up. I also have to grade papers and tests for the History class I’m giving. And make a fair copy of the Gloria, and then get back to writing. Also also, I need to start applying for teaching positions at some of the many Chesterton Academies that are springing up like mushrooms these days. Seems like the thing to do.
I’ve seen a couple of those viral videos of parents standing up to their local school boards and making a stink over the latest outrage – critical race theory, gender theory, the order not to watch what the school is teaching their kids, masks, vaccines, the whole load.
One wants to cheer them on, but, unfortunately, those brave, well-meaning parents just don’t get it. From Day 1, however you want to count Day 1, parents and families are the problem compulsory public schooling was invented to solve. By standing up and opposing the ‘educators’ on the school board, all these parents are doing is acting out the role those educators have already assigned them: the backward, ignorant, bigoted hicks from whom it is the school’s calling to ‘rescue’ their kids. Those educators are not trembling in fear, or trying to see how they can work with those parents. They are merely seeing confirmation of everything they already believe about those parents.
So, those educators might try to silence the parents, but, more probably, they’ll let them say whatever they want, then simply lie by omission and commission so that they can keep doing what they do. Go ahead and rant – behind the scenes, those ‘educators’ are working with their allies to simply criminalize your behaviors. Private schools? Home schooling? Those are merely trivial speed bumps, to be disposed of as the one room schools and classic liberal arts schools were disposed of, by the patient application of endless pressure until they conform or can be eliminated.
Three moments: one, in which ‘the system’ formally collapses but the behaviors persist; one where the primacy of compliance over sanity is illustrated; and finally one where schooling stops but never ends.
From Clarissa’s blog: the USSR has collapsed, but decades of training persist in both the bureaocrats and the students:
In 1996 I was a college student in Ukraine. One day, we were sitting in class, the professor was speaking, the students were taking notes. Suddenly, an irate secretary from the Dean’s Office burst in. Interrupting the professor in mid-sentence she screeched,
“Everybody, get up and go out. You will be sweeping the alley outside. Now! You, too!” pointing at the professor.
The professor, a youngish guy we thought was very cool because he had traveled the world and spoke an almost fluent English blushed and started stuffing papers into his bag. Everybody got up. Except me.
“What’s going to happen if we don’t?” I asked. “This isn’t the USSR any longer. You can’t make us.”
“Get up and go sweep now!” the secretary bellowed. “Do what you are told!”
“No,” I said. “I’m a student, not a street cleaner. I’m not going to sweep. What can you do to me?”
The secretary looked apoplectic. The other students started shooshing me down.
“It’s OK, we’ll go, we are going right now!” they piped up in mousy little voices.
“You will go because you want to volunteer,” the secretary said. “It’s the right thing to do. The alley needs sweeping. You will go now.”
College students! The professor! All trying to silence Clarissa and get her to comply with the demands of a toothless tiger. Their training is complete.
2. A 16 year old girl who refused to wear a mask was handcuffed and taken out of school by police. Note: the police aren’t masked up; the students take off their masks to eat lunch. The issues is not some farcical sense of safety, but rather that a *student* dared to defy *school officials*. This young woman and her family and lawyer had decided not to put up with the bullying, and the school officials did the only thing they could do: call the cops and have a child handcuffed and hauled away. The option would have been to ignore her – and that would show weakness in front of the kids and their parents.
3. Finally, a personal story: two retired public school teachers ran an annual trip to Mexico so that high school age students could help build houses for the poor. There were usually as nearly as many adults as kids. Many of the adults made the trip year after year, even when they no longer had any kids involved. For 5 or 6 years, when our kids were the right ages, I went along.
The two teachers simply expected to lay down rules and for people to obey them – kids, parents, didn’t matter. Teacher says it, it’s rule, you do it. As you might imagine, almost everyone, kids and adults alike, went along with this without a peep. Except one year, the teachers decided that stopping in Tijuana on our way out for lunch and a little sightseeing was too dangerous, and so was not to be done. Well, one older gentleman, a guy who had run businesses and been mayor of his little town out in the sticks, who had gone on and helped organize the trip for many years, who, not surprisingly, was one of the most capable builders, he wasn’t buying it. Since my kids were catching a ride back with him, and he wanted to stop in Tijuana, he asked ME if I minded, AND asked my kids if they minded, and I of course said I don’t mind, do what you want. I can’t imagine a more competent guy for my kids to hang out with, I trust my kids, and the ‘risks’ of Tijuana were overblown, to say the least.
Well, when this got back to the teachers, I had to deal with a weeping woman asking my how I could have been complicit in such an outrage. She had told people what the rules were! The very idea that one adult simply does not have to do what another adult tells them to do was simply inconceivable to her – she was in charge! She was the teacher.
Note that nobody had any issues with any of the rules about safety while we were encamped in Mexico. We get it. We’re a bunch of kids and adults in a foreign country, so we want to behave well and be safe. But for years, a fun part of the trip was a stop in Tijuana on our way out to grab a bite and maybe buy some trinkets for folks back home. But this year, without any discussion, it was simply decided that it was now ‘unsafe’ to do what we’d done every year before. So it wasn’t a matter of the situation being any different – it was a matter of unsupported feelings that things weren’t as safe as they used to be. So, being a teacher, she just changed the rules. The very idea that other adults might want to have a say and would not instantly go along with whatever she decided brought her to tears.
Teachers are the first victims of schooling. They must be brought to heel, or filtered out.
Getting way long here. Wanted to start a discussion on the beginnings of all this, the mindsets of the people involved. Will limit it to two very early examples, and add more later as time permits. I think both these examples were in the minds of the later champions of state control of education – Fichte, Barnard, Mann, von Humboldt, Harris, certainly Dewey.
Sparta: At least the Spartans made no bones about their intentions: the family had to go so that the ‘free’ men could best defend and serve the state. Spartan children, if they passed inspection, were allowed to be raised by their mothers until age 7, at which point the state took over. Mothers and fathers did not live together, but were more or less temporary breeding couples to produce more Spartans.
Spartan boys were assigned a cohort at age 7, trained to be soldiers until age 18, typically spent a year or two spying on and terrorizing the Helots. They then became full soldiers at 20. At 60, they got to retire. Women were basically breeders, who trained the girls to grow up into the next batch of breeders.
A boy’s whole loyalty and sense of belonging was to his military band. Training was in loyalty and conformity. A boy had essentially no opportunity to develop any independent personality – and that’s the way Sparta liked it.
Despite that whole 300 mythology, the first duty of a Spartan was not war – it was to keep to Helots down. Sparta had conquered and enslaved the surrounding territories. Since you need a minimum of 8 or 9 people producing food for each Spartan soldier and mother not producing food, your slaves are going to outnumber your Spartan citizens something like 10 to 1. The fully-trained young men were sent among the Helots to make sure they knew who was in charge. This reign of terror over their slaves is what enabled the Spartans to sustain the standing army, famous for its bravery and discipline.
I find it difficult to accept how admired Sparta was by many in ancient world, and many people throughout the subsequent ages – but there it is. Sparta remained intact for centuries, but at what cost? Outside their reputation for military prowess and unbending discipline, they left nothing of much worth. Is that enough?
We live in a Sparta-haunted world. The image of Lycurgus reforming Sparta by top-down fiat seems to be a dream of our betters (if a nightmare for us little people!) By, effectively, removing the family from its natural position as the building block of society, modern would-be Lycurguses believe they, in their wisdom, could bring about a utopia of some sort – for our own good, of course.
Martin Luther’s Germany: Not passing judgement on Luther’s theology here aside from his stand on schooling and his relationship with the state in general. I discussed here Luther’s very un-Pauline habit of addressing his epistles largely to secular powers, who he never fails to attempt to recruit for his purposes, explaining what their new freedom requires of them.
Viewed from a strictly practical perspective, to make the Reformation stick, Luther had to overcome opposition from two main camps: first, from those German Catholics not buying his teachings, and second and more serious, from those who accepted his teachings too literally. The first group simply rejected the very idea of the five Solas; the second accepted them too much, so that they thought they, themselves, were as fit as Luther to interpret Scripture as they, themselves, were moved by the Spirit.
That sort of individual freedom of conscience, which later came to be associated with Luther somehow, was not at all what he meant: everyone was free to interpret Scripture the same exact way Luther did. To Luther, his was the only reading that was possible in accord with the primitive Church and under the guidance of the Spirit. If you thought Scripture meant something else, you were wrong. Contradict Luther much, and you were dead – at least, if Luther got his way.
Catholics were, for the most part, merely benighted. They could be and often were converted to believe as Luther did, and a good bit of Luther’s writing and preaching was directed toward that end. Other Protestants who accepted the principles that Scripture could be read and understood by any man under the guidance of the Spirit and acted upon those principles, yet failed to agree with Luther, were a more existential threat. From the very first, Catholics had been pointing out that, without Tradition and the authority of the Church, Scripture can be read in an almost infinite variety of contradictory ways. The existence of Sola-professing Protestants who did not agree with Luther on every point was a problem – for Luther.
From the beginning, Luther saw the hand of God in the support he received from German princes. For their part, German princes had chaffed under the meddling and arrogance of the distant, non-German Pope since at least the 10th century. Throwing off the spiritual yoke of Rome also meant getting out from under the political yoke.
Practically, any church independent of the state and making any spiritual claims at all upon the princes of that state is going to run afoul of those princes sooner rather than later, realpolitik being a thing. The solution since the beginning of history: states control religion. While they have been a spectacular failure through most of history, the Catholic Church’s attempts to stay free of state control is still one of the biggest outliers in history. The Great Schism – speaking simply historically here – lead to the creation of state-controlled Orthodox churches: Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, etc., all of which were firmly under the control of the local king or emperor, at least to the extent that the local patriarch was not likely to attempt to use his spiritual authority to dispose them- something Popes were known to try.
Luther ignored all this, and sided with the German princes, who happily supported him back.* Luther saw the support of the state as the hand of God, and so wrote to the princes and civic leaders under them to exhort them to continue to do God’s work.
Luther soon concluded that God’s work included compulsory state run schooling. He wanted every child to learn to read so that they could study Scripture; he wanted every child to learn to read in a state-controlled school so that they would reach the same conclusions from Scripture that Luther reached. The ‘risks’ of letting everyone read Scripture themselves and reach their own (Spirit-guided) conclusions were almost instantly apparent, once the Reformation got going.
Except for the few destined to be scholars, Luther and Melanchthon, who drafted up the original compulsory public school plan used by Luther, had little use for any schooling beyond the basics. Kids should learn to read, learn a little Latin, and then get on with making a living – all under the management and compulsion of the state. Clearly – and Luther talks about this – if you left such instruction to the discretion of parents, they would do it wrong!
When Fichte modernized Melanchthon’s and Luther’s plan 300 years later, he did away with anything recognizably Lutheran, and simply put the realization of the destiny of the state as the sole goal. To him, the distinction between the spiritual goals of individuals and the spiritual destiny of the (German) state was a misunderstanding, a lack of enlightenment. The value of the individual was the value that individual had to the state; the fulfillment of the state’s destiny was the personal fulfillment of the individual, insofar as personal fulfillment had any meaning.
And, of course, something this important could not be left up to parents. In fact, Fichte agrees with Luther that, left to parents, all the higher goals of education would get frustrated. Parents are the problem schooling is designed to solve. Fichte wanted to simply remove children from all family contact until their state schooling was complete. But more on that later.
* Today, the Lutheran and Catholic churches in Germany are tax-supported – the German Catholic hierarchy is the most likely to act independently from Rome on matters of morals and dogma. The German state has neutered religion – Catholic and Lutheran – in the public sphere, and has a choke collar on it financially.
Ed Feser, a very smart man and excellent writer, wrote a piece a couple days ago titled Covid-19 vaccination is not the hill to die on. As usual, it’s all very well thought out and clearly presented, what I’ve come to expect from Dr. Feser. My objections to it have little to do with the points he’s making, but rather from the big picture he assumes, a big picture I utterly reject.
Here’s the Big Picture based in reality: We have repeatedly forgotten. We have used the Memory Hole, and then rewritten what just happened. We suppress the cognitive dissonance with one Just So story after another. Our situation under the endless lockups and mandates, the maskings and travel restrictions, the wanton destruction of a million small businesses, the enforcement of compliance by a million Karens backed by medical, media, and government hacks and sociopaths, is not an environment within which doing as we are told and making seeming rational concessions is going to result in anything positive.
Our situation most closely parallels an abusive boyfriend/enabling girlfriend relationship. We, the abused public, are supposed to believe that it’s our fault, if only we would do exactly what he says, then he’d stop hitting us. And when we bring up his lies, we only get hit some more, so we’d rather believe that his lies are out fault, too, than confront him and get hurt some more. And only people who don’t understand us keep saying it’s his fault, that we have to stop listening to him! No! He’s a good boyfriend! Things will be fine once we learn to do as we’re told!
Dr. Feser chooses to largely ignore this history of lies and manipulation, or pretend they didn’t happen, or were somehow not the official positions, so that he can coolly argue from philosophical principles. Those principles, and his logic, are impeccable. But they are an irrelevant diversion. Implicit is the assumption that, if we just go along with the experimental drug jab, that, somehow, our violent boyfriend will finally calm down and things will be OK. If you keep in mind what has actually happened rather than swallowing the latest Just So story, the questions become: why not this hill? What would the right hill look like? In reality, we KNOW it’s not going to stop on its own, because it hasn’t yet for reasons that change after the fact, over and over. If not now, when?
Spelling it out, since many seem to have forgotten:
A. From the very first, from February and March of 2020 on, everything presented through the press about the SARS-2 outbreak was distorted, if not out and out lies. Every factor that could be used to terrify people was amplified; every factor that mitigated against panic was ignored or lied about. Examples:
The experience of Wuhan, where about 1,000 had died as of March, was always presented as if the population of dead people was effectively random, as if anyone could catch SARS-2, suffer severe sudden respiratory distress, and drop dead on the street. In reality, all but a very few of the dead were elderly sickly people. Healthy people were at very slight risk, just as they are now.
We all heard about Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who, according to the story, tried to warn everybody about SARS-2 in December 2019, then, contracted the disease and died in February – but not before posting a selfie with him on a respirator.* That he was one of very few people, as in single digits, who, in a city of millions, had not been sickly, elderly, or, usually, both before catching the bug was not emphasized.
We heard all about the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and the 14 people who, over the months following, died. We didn’t hear about the several thousand people on the ship – most people! – who didn’t even catch the virus, despite near-ideal conditions for spreading it: packed together, nowhere else to go, sharing facilities, breathing the same air. It was not emphasized that all 14 people who died were elderly passengers, that no member of the crew died. What the Diamond Princess demonstrated: that elderly sickly people are at some risk, but that the risk to younger, healthier people is effectively zero.
We did not hear about the USS Theodore Roosevelt 24×7, where out of 5,000 crew, only 3 got seriously ill and only one died – and he had underlying heart conditions. Why the one and not the other? We heard only horror stories where everyone was assumed to be at mortal risk; we did not hear about stories where no one reasonably healthy was at much risk at all.
B. Once the Coof spread to Italy, people totally freaked out, again assuming the Coof was something that could kill anybody. The average age of the Italian victims was 81 years old. Almost all the deaths took place in nursing homes – where old, sickly people go to die – or in hospitals – where the seriously sick people are. Nowhere was the overall poor state of Italian healthcare discussed, nor the standard practice under Italian nationalized medicine of rationing by age: old people go to the end of the line in virtually all cases. Once again, the data screams that younger people were at minimal risk.
By the time Covid had spread throughout Europe, the numbers from Wuhan, the Diamond Princess, Iran, USS Theodore Roosevelt, and Italy were readily available to healthcare people and governments. Any cool heads looking at those numbers (and there were thousands of us!) saw the obvious screaming from the numbers: This disease it not a meaningful threat to reasonably healthy people. Old, sick people are at risk. All the numbers that have come out since have confirmed this. Yet, rather than taking rational steps to protect the vulnerable, an entire mythology was created, under which millions of Americans would die if extreme steps to isolate the healthy from each other were not taken.
C. The whole idea of lockdowns was sold as ‘flattening the curve’. This is a slightly technical concept: the theory is that, by slowing the spread of a highly contagious disease, we can keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. In other words, millions would die who would have lived if only they had received proper medical care. Note and do not forget this: All the huge projected death numbers used to justify the lockups are based on two assumptions: that Covid was going to inevitably spread like wildfire, and that – IMPORTANT! DON’T FORGET – that Covid is imminently treatable, so that proper treatment circa 2020 would prevent millions of deaths. Thus, lockups would save lives by making sure proper medical treatment was available to those who did contract the virus.
Flattening the curve was said to be important because the *models* show that *most* of the *projected* deaths result, not from simply contracting the disease, but from patients not being treated due to the healthcare system getting overwhelmed. This is important not to forget: the models projected that so many people would get sick and require hospitalization that there would not be enough healthcare capacity to take care of them, that the death toll would rise out of control – the ‘people dying in the streets’ scenario – unless we ‘flattened the curve’. At no point in this argument is there a reduction in people who would die regardless of hospitalization – in a rare nod to reality, the models all assumed there’s a baseline number of people who are going to die no matter what ‘we’ do, it’s only excess deaths caused by lack of hospital capacity that lockdowns to ‘flatten the curve’ address.
DO NOT FORGET THIS! Lockups were justified to flatten the curve. The theory under which this was done does not support or even suggest the idea that lockups would somehow reduce overall deaths except insofar as those deaths resulted from hospitals being overwhelmed.
So, follow the logic: the curve – technically, the area under the curve – represents the number of people who will die no matter what ‘we’ do. “Flattening the curve” means taking steps to prolong the outbreak, so that the number of people who get sick and die at any one time never gets too high for the healthcare system to handle. 15 days is what the models suggest as the ‘right’ amount of time to lockup everybody. After that, lockups merely prolong the outbreak without saving any lives. That’s what the argument, as bodied forth in the models, says.
What happened instead:
Lockups were announced across the nation starting in March of 2020.
They quickly became indefinite, in direct contradiction to the theory under which they were imposed.
At no point anywhere in the nation were any healthcare systems under any real threat of being overwhelmed. The closest was New York, where a navy hospital ship and a National Guard field hospital were deployed, only to never admit a single patient, and, after a few weeks, to be quietly taken down & withdrawn. Side note: and you never heard about this, right?
By the end of April, 2020, Covid deaths had fallen to very low levels – but the lockups were not lifted. Never was an objective threshold announced that would trigger the end of the lockups, because no such threshold existed.
Locally (Bay Area, CA) the rules for lockdowns were as follows: churches were specifically closed; homeless encampments (of which we have many) were specifically exempted. Because?
In April, just as the death numbers were collapsing (just as Spring broke out across the country, and as was widely predicted by those of us who correctly viewed the Coof as another seasonal virus), states around the nation announced a switch to mail-in ballots. On what basis was the now-fading virus assumed to be a threat 7 months out, the kind of threat lockups would prevent?
In sum: lockups – specifically, the lockup of healthy people showing no symptoms of Covid – were imposed under one theory, a theory under which lockups of longer than 15 days were not helpful. Then, somehow, the reasoning changed, or rather, fear led people to accept the extension of the lockups without any logical explanation. Despite the collapse of Covid deaths at the end of April 2020, state governments committed themselves to keeping the Coof lockups in place through elections, by switching to mail in ballots, for which there was no other excuse. REMEMBER THIS.
D. Lies, damn lies, and statistics. From Day 1, the reported numbers around this panic have been nonsense. The media went with whatever sounded scariest, without any regard to what the numbers mean. A partial list:
What is a COVID death? Is is counted the same in Wuhan in January as in New York in March or California in 2021? By even talking of death totals across states and across time, let alone talking about cumulative worldwide totals, we are assuming that always and everywhere a COVID death means the same thing. Is this true? In Wuhan and China in general, it seems a Covid death is one where sudden acute respiratory distress resulted in death. That’s certainly what Dr. Wenliang meant by it – that was what he was raising the alarm about back in December of 2019. In the US, since about April of 2020, what the CDC lists is deaths ‘involving’ Covid, which, according to their methodology, is any death where the death certificate lists Covid in either part A – the sequence of events that lead to death – or part B – any contributing factors. Until October of 2020, a diagnosis of Covid was encouraged if the victim showed any 2 symptoms even without a positive test (after October, a positive test was required.) The only two symptoms where Covid differs from the flu are: loss of taste & smell, and sudden acute respiratory distress. Thus, someone in a nursing home, who has a 6-7 month median life expectancy once they are rolled in past the front door, who had a fever and a cough, or had aches and trouble breathing, was to have Covid listed at least in part B regardless of all underlying conditions and without a positive test result. Over half, and perhaps as high as 2/3, of all deaths ‘involving’ Covid have been among nursing home patients; 2/3 have been among elderly people. DON’T FORGET: about 60% of the time (the other 40% are dementia patients, who take longer to die) gramma or dad are in the home because they are dying of something. Having Covid show up as ‘involved’ in their deaths is not what a sane person means by ‘Covid killed them’. Yet these deaths ‘involving’ Covid are routinely reported as Covid deaths, AND rolled in with the deaths in China and the rest of the world as if the numbers represent the same thing.
The CFR, or Case Fatality Rate, is still reported as ‘your chances of dying if you get Covid. No. That’s would be the IFR – the Infection Fatality Rate. For an infection that causes NO or MINOR symptoms 98%+ of the time, the difference between the two numbers is likely to be extreme. Here’s why: if I have no symptoms, I’m a lot less likely to seek medical care, get tested, and become a ‘case’. Early on, before the terror set in, somebody with no symptoms was not getting tested; it was very likely somebody with minor symptoms was not getting tested. It’s a guess, but I’d guess that cases are outnumbered by infections by a wide margin: many millions of Americans and people worldwide have been infected, had no or minor symptoms (and acquired a high level of immunity!) but never became cases, because what sort of rabbit goes to the doctor for a cough and a low fever? One that goes away in a day or two and is treatable with Tylenol? Very sick people are thus overrepresented in case numbers, meaning the case fatality rate significantly overstates lethality.
Put the two together: deaths ‘involving’ Covid divided by ‘cases’ = CFR. Deaths ‘involving’ seriously overstate what a normal sane person means by ‘died from’; cases understate infections. Getting all basic math here: the CFR thus overstates risk. That’s how people have come to think they have a 1.7% (the current number off the CDC website) of dying if they get the Coof.
As of last week, about 435 Americans under 18 have had their deaths attributed to Covid – had deaths ‘involving’ Covid. There are between 70 and 75 million such kids in America. Vastly more have died of pneumonia than have had their deaths attributed to Covid. Is this information, available right off the CDC website, widely known? Why not? Why are we even talking about giving an experimental drug to kids who are at microscopic risk?
Note: these are the official numbers readily available from the CDC or John Hopkins. If you look at the numbers reported through the press (and then referenced by political hacks), it gets much worse. One recent example: Apoorva Mandavelli is an award-winning science reporter. She recently reported:
Over 900,000 kids had been hospitalized since Covid broke out. Correction: actual number was over 63,000. Ms. Mandavelli was off by a factor of 15.
Sweden and Denmark had started offering single doses of the Moderna ‘vaccine’ to children. Correction: Sweden and Denmark had halted the use of the Moderna ‘vaccine’ for children.
The FDA is meeting next week to authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech ‘vaccine’ for children. Correction: this issue will be discussed next month.
Note what’s going on here, and in similar ways in a limitless number of other examples: Basic information that 5 minutes of googling around could get good, properly sourced confirmation for is instead reported without sources on Page 1 and then ‘corrected’ on some back page. The errors only go in one direction:
900,000 versus 63,000. Where did the 900,000 number come from? People should get fired over this level of incompetence, instead of receiving ‘science’ ‘journalism’ awards. (Also note no context is provided – that 63,000 number over 19 months is completely mundane, the sad but simple reality that a certain number of kids end up in the hospital every year.)
The Swedish and Danish governments published some announcement about their policies regarding use of the Moderna ‘vaccine’ for children – right? Otherwise, where did this ‘information’ come from? How could an award winning ‘journalist’ get something so basic so wrong?
Again, the FDA scheduling a discussion of using the Pfizer/BioNTech ‘vaccine’ on children has to have come from some official notice somewhere, almost certainly available online. How could an award winning ‘journalist’ get something so basic so wrong?
In all three cases, the ‘errors’ favor panic: huge numbers of children are being hospitalized! Sweden and Denmark are jabbing children! The FDA is rushing a meeting to approve jabbing children! OH NO!!!! I have yet to see an error made in the other direction.
E. Following ‘the Science’. Let’s say I was telling you about a baseball game I saw where the home team was down 19 runs in the bottom of the 9th, when 20 consecutive batters hit home runs on 20 consecutive pitches to pull out the victory. Or that I’m a lawyer who came across a case in the morning, had it heard at noon, appealed, and had the appeals court rule in the afternoon, appealed again and was heard by the Supreme Court that evening. Do those scenarios sound plausible? The more you know about baseball and our legal system, the less plausible they seem, if utterly ridiculous implausibility can be called less plausible.
So, to pick one example: within days of the beginning of masking mandates, we were being told that 70 studies had confirmed that masking slows the spread of Covid. Now, those of us familiar with how real science works saw immediately that the very idea that 70 studies could be conceived of, spelled out in sufficient detail to perform, funded, and executed, then undergo the criticism and review essential to science, all within a few months or weeks, AND that all 70 of those studies reached the same conclusion, is every bit as unlikely as 20 consecutive home runs in the bottom of the 9th or getting the Supreme Court to hear your case on the same day you first filed it. In other words, completely laughable.
Yet, in this and in all other cases involving Covid, raising any question about any study or report presented as ‘the science’ immediately got one labelled a crack pot, a denier, and, ultimately, a *terrorist*!
We few who are scientifically literate, who know that only con men and frauds tell you to ‘follow the science’ without having reviewed and understood the evidence first, have been protesting in vain since Day 1 of this preposterous panic. No, the ‘science’ has not shown:
That Covid is particularly deadly to the vast bulk of people. Rather, it is a threat to shorten the lives of those already dying of something else – people in nursing homes, for the leading example. Otherwise, to everyone else, it is not even as deadly as the common flu.
That lockups, masking, social distancing, and travel restrictions of healthy people, and the destruction of millions of small businesses, are somehow necessary to prevent millions of deaths.
That asymptomatic people are a significant disease vector. This is a *theory* for which there is precious little *evidence*, yet all lockups, masks, social distancing, travel restrictions of healthy people are based on it.
That ‘vaccinating’ children protects anybody. Kids are at effectively zero risk (as close to zero as bitter reality allows) so the jab doesn’t protect them, and since asymptomatic transfer has not been shown to be a serious problem, all we are doing by giving kids the jab is allowing old people to imagine they are safer while putting kids at risk of side effects.
That the lingering effects of Covid are any worse than the lingering effects of pneumonia.
And so on. The absolute horrific face of satanic anti-science: attempting to use government force to silence critics. No, no, a thousand times no! Criticism is not optional in science! Any claim must, as in MUST, have the evidence supporting it presented to the scrutiny of adversarial critics, and answer their objections. Then, and only then, is any claim considered to have been supported by science – and even then, such claims are conditional and tentative. That’s how science works. The very idea of authority apart from evidence, of ‘scientific consensus’, is a certain sign con men and frauds are at work. ‘Expertise’ counts for exactly nothing – evidence is everything.
F. Just So stories. At every point, in the unlikely event anyone even notices that the story has changed and that our leaders have contradicted themselves, out roll the Just So stories to explain away the contradiction so that we can continue to panic. It has become an art form – raise the obvious contradiction inescapably embedded in the various panic claims, and no intelligence is spared in coming up with an story that explains the contradiction away. A few examples:
When Fauci at first said masks for the general public were not a good idea, and then changed to saying that masks were absolutely necessary, he told the following Just So story – he had to lie to us the first time for our own good, so that medical professionals could get all the masks they needed, and only when supplies for the medical profession were secured, did he dare tell everybody to mask up. DO NOT FORGET THIS. Fauci has stated as a principle that he will lie to us for our own good. AND because we little people are not allowed to question the claims of our self-appointed betters, our own good is exactly and only what Fauci says it is. If he feels it is for our own good that we stay panicked, then he will – by his own admission – lie his ass off to keep us panicked. These are the people we are trusting for information, indeed, we are officially ‘terrorists’ if we fail to trust them!
That asymptomatic people are a serious threat to spread Covid. On the off chance that we notice that there’s no good evidence this is true, we are told the Just So story that it might be true, there are anecdotes, and thus we need to act as if it is true, otherwise we are putting everybody at risk. Thus, the need for those restricting our rights to provide the evidence is reversed: they can restrict our rights unless we provide evidence that they shouldn’t – and they are the sole judges of all evidence. We’re simply ‘terrorists’ if we don’t go along.
That the same measures that have utterly failed to end the ‘pandemic’ have somehow ended the flu. Flu deaths have all but disappeared worldwide since March, 2020. The obvious explanation: since the flu and Covid have almost exactly the same symptoms, flu deaths have been misattributed to Covid. The Just So story: the same masks, socials distancing and lockups that have failed to stop one airborne respiratory virus – Covid – have miraculously stopped another airborne respiratory virus of the same size that uses exactly the same vectors. 20 homers in the bottom of the 9th!
That the claim that Covid can be successfully treated REQUIRED by the flatten the curve argument doesn’t disprove the complete lack of any good treatments that is the sole justification for the rushed approval of the ‘vaccines’ and the subsequent mandates. If I can’t be saved from Covid by routine medical care, then ‘flattening the curve’ doesn’t work; if routine medical care can save me, then vaccines are not needed. I can just hear the Just So stories being generated to explain this away. Reality: we were being told whatever story was believed to trigger enough panic so that we would comply with restrictions of our rights. When lockups were being justified, one set of stories; now that vaccines are being mandated, another set of stories.
There is plenty more to be said, but I’m stopping here for now. Bottom line: REMEMBER. REFUSE TO MEMORY HOLE INCONVENIENT TRUTHS. We have been lied to over and over again. We have been manipulated and abused. Notice that I didn’t even discuss here whether the experimental drugs being mandated are safe and effective. I merely point out that the people who insist that we get them in order to travel, to socialize, to buy and sell, to live a life not as a cockroach ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO HAVE LIED TO US OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
Therefore, for me, this ‘vaccine’ mandate is the hill to die on, as is this latest masking command. I will not comply. Dr. Feser’s logic is impeccable; his implied premises – that we are dealing with sane people with good intentions – is, frankly, crazy. We are not dealing with people of good intent. We are the abused girlfriend. Nothing we do is going to appease our crazy, abusive boyfriend. He has no intention of reforming. He like things just they way they are, where he gets to bully and belittle and gaslight us. If you disagree, please state the objective, measurable events (that make any objective sense) that would cause our leaders to announce an end to the Covid panic. Well? I’ll wait.
* In a fashion that could not have been any more striking or convenient, the heroic young doctor with the pregnant wife stands up to the Communist government, gets censured and threatened for spreading panic, then becomes one of the very few healthy people who dies of Covid – but only after posting pictures of himself in a lovely state-of-the-art hospital room wearing a respirator. Please note: in reality, Wuhan is a third world hell-hole, slums and tenements and poverty everywhere, where the likelihood of any sickly elderly commoners getting admitted to anything like the room in the doctor’s selfie is zero. But it makes for good propaganda.
Clarissa’s comments are, as usual, worth the read.
One quibble: this situation, where wild claims that support a particular program are published on the front page in large type, while the retractions, if any, show up in small print on page 27, has not been going on merely since 2016, but has been the standard practice over my lifetime. I’ll grant that it seems to have gotten worse and more dramatic, in the sense that the false claims in need of retraction are more perniciously and dramatically wrong.
Sagan, my favorite expertologist, as in an expert in expertise, famously predicted that any US bombings in the oilfields along the Kuwait/Iraq border would cause drastic, all but irreparable ecological damage, and produced diagrams showing the noxious cloud being dispersed by winds that don’t exist (the path he described was opposite the prevailing winds in the area) toward areas away from the desert where they could do damage. Note that Sagan was a run of the mill college astronomy professor, with no more expertise in ecology or meteorology or the chemistry of oil fires than anybody else could be expected to have – but he was, by almost all accounts, and expert! Not only did the failure of any of his predictions fail to damage his reputation, he went on to make all kinds of ominous predictions completely outside his area of expertise – climate change, nuclear winter – that have proven false or at least highly questionable. Yet he is still called a ‘great scientist’ in all the best circles.
Anybody remember any retractions or corrections? Me, neither.
And so on and so forth. Over my lifetime, every politician who has failed to obsequiously fall in line with current dogmas has been ‘literally Hitler’, and proclaimed dead certain to provoke – pick one or more – nuclear war, economic collapse, a return to the Dark Ages, enslavement of women, blacks, gays, etc. When none of this comes to pass – and note, not that bad things don’t happen, just that the predicted bad things don’t happen – there is zero accountability. The Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect kicks in with a vengeance, and the experts’ general expertise as anointed expertologists remains undimmed. Our compliance is demanded.
So, above: the claim was made, somehow, that 900,000+ kids have been hospitalized since the pandemic began. Where did that number come from? No explanation – it just sprang up from nowhere, I guess. I laugh a bitter laugh to even point this out: wouldn’t an investigative journalist feel compelled to find out?
The ‘real’ number is ‘over’ 63,000. Well? Is that bad? Good? How would you even tell? Let’s do a little math and use a little common sense. 63,000 divided by 18 gives us, roughly, the monthly average hospitalization of children = 3,500. Multiply that by 12, gives us an approximate yearly number. There are about 70-75 million kids in America – let’s us 70.
42,000 / 70 million = 0.06%. So an American kid, all things being equal, stands a 6-in-10,000 chance per year of being hospitalized since the ‘pandemic’ began ‘raging’.
But things are never equal. Using common sense, a rational person might notice that there is a small number of very sick kids in America – cancer, serious birth defects, serious asthma or allergies, and so on. These kids, who make up a small fraction of all kids, make up a large fraction of kids being hospitalized. My own experience: we have 5 kids, one of whom had serious asthma and was hospitalized 3 times before his teens. The other 4, not once. So it’s not like the ‘risk’ of hospitalization is uniform – some kids are much more likely to get hospitalized than others. Inquiring minds want to know: is it the same subset of sickly kids accounting for the usual percentage of hospitalizations, or are different kids getting hospitalized?
More important: is 63,000 a lot? Who knows? Also, to hospitalize or not is a decision – have the decision criteria and tendencies changed over time? How? Again, an investigative journalist might be assumed to feel compelled to find out…. I slay me.
The other retractions are more run of the mill, things anyone with internet access could check – if they wanted to. That these sorts of trivial facts are routinely misreported simply means nobody want to get them right.
At what point do we decide a certain witness is a pathological liar? I reached that point with the media in about 1985. This is not some sort of ‘fake news’ thing – it’s simply a natural immunity to the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.
A key point about 1984 is that the memory hole *worked* – your average Winston Smith would simply forget. It’s long past time to remember.