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melodrama for fun and profit
the playwright panders to the princes to procure payment
in the grand halls of wild covidian claims, there reside a few of such startling absurdity as to elicit such fundamental questions as “what color is the sky on your world?” from any sort of dispassionate observer. here is a fine example:
this is an allegedly august scientist from scripps claiming that waves are going to sneeze covid on you and that beaches are terribly dangerous places to be during an outbreak.
this near perfectly evidence free claim is absurd to the point of belief beggary. this is not science, it’s performance.
but what manner of performance is it?
one might be quick to dismiss this as derangement or media hunger or simple performative panic, but what if it is something altogether more predictable and calculated?
what if this is performative pay seeking?
consider this snippet from the amusing article on the fall of saint fauci:
the NIH is a VAST allocator of capital. fauci has been not so much a saint as a medieval chieftain with gold galore to shower upon the vassals and flattering bards who flock to his court and he who pays the piper calls the tune.
so what is the rational response to this chieftain pointing to big bags of loot and expressing his new interest in covid? every would be performer must make up a song or story to suit and rush to court to compete for favor.
grant money attracts scientists like french fries attract seagulls and many a bard has cared less about the truth of the tales they tell of kings than whether the king’s gold spends and whether there is any more where that came from.
so perhaps kim’s story is not a story for anyone to believe, but rather a proof of bona fides for entrance into the faucian court and its largess.
this has long been the hallmark of climate science, another big and generous patron of “the science” (so long as it’s the “correct” science.)
there is no grant money to study squirrels, but one need only append a small chapter at the end of the study proclaiming that “climate change poses grave risks to the future of the fluffy tailed tree rat” and new doors to funding open and oh how the money rolls in.
the net effect is the generation of vast “literatures” of homogeneous takes on a topic by people who mostly have no grounding in the topic whatsoever.
this is the great danger posed by government funded science. it always sounds great, “hey, let’s have more science! science is useful!” but you do not get science, you get politics. you get the selection of science not just in terms of topics but in terms of required conclusions.
lords do not pay minstrels to tell unflattering tales of their foibles. you will not get funded to prove covid is low risk or that adaptation to miniscule rises in sea level is a better strategy than trying to mitigate it with dodgy claims.
this captures “science” and renders it the false songs of bards flattering the gentry.
and that’s how epidemiology becomes a morality play and then descends into farce.
people respond to incentives in predictable ways. this is the fundamental axiom of economics. and the all too predictable outcome of the incentives created by government funded science is politicized science that elevates doctrine and party line above facts and inquiry.
you get science for waving around to push an agenda, not for the extension of human knowledge or seeking of truth.
if you want to stop people like kim from peddling absurdities like “the ocean is going to sneeze covid on you!” then we need to stop providing funding for people to study such things and that means slashing NIH and NOAA and lots of other federal funding to the bone.
such money does not serve science, it captures and twists it.
you just got a good look at how that works in real time. take that image and slow it down and lay it over climate and you’ll see all the same issues just unfolding more slowly (though perhaps more implacably and with twice the mendacity and dogmatism)
it’s time to take our science back from the politicians.
get them and their money out. it does not buy enlightenment, only justification because government mostly serves itself, not you.