Today just something silly, because I’ve altered my neurochemistry. To me this is an interesting intellectual exercise though. If you assumed the government faked statistics, would you notice a bunch of people dying off? The excess mortality statistics right now tend to suggest about 20% more people are dying than usual in most Western nations. If mortality had actually doubled, we would expect governments to hide it. People who produce the statistics wouldn’t feel guilty, they’d think they help to avoid mass panic.
Right now the death rate in my country is said to be about 9.24 per 1000 people per year. But imagine for example, if it had actually doubled. Could you hide such a thing from people? I’ll start with something simple. I don’t think you would notice it by looking for empty houses. After two years an additional 2% of the population would be dead.
The general human pattern of migration to the cities would just continue, so you’d notice the pattern you already notice: Empty houses in the countryside, houses with people living in them in the cities. Houses tend to have multiple people living in them, if one person died, the house wouldn’t look abandoned. You need a pretty massive die-off, to start seeing abandoned houses in cities.
Worse, if there was an actual increase in vacant houses, societies would just adjust. You can now rent out a house through airBnB for example. When my parents opposite neighbors died years ago, my dad would turn on the lights and open and close the curtains for the daughter who inherited the house, so that it wouldn’t look abandoned as they feared someone would break in. If you didn’t pay careful attention, the house would thus still seem occupied. Human beings have a habit of voluntarily making it seem as if business as usual is continuing, even when it isn’t. They don’t need instructions from a boss to do this.
I don’t think house prices would go down much either if people died, except outside the cities a little perhaps. The impact on the economy would force government to increase spending to stimulate the economy. The increase in spending would then cause inflation, of the sort we see today. The government would try to compensate the inflation, like we see today, causing further inflation. This would help prop up house prices too. In addition, construction of new houses would just go down.
So we wouldn’t necessarily notice through real estate prices or even just empty houses. You only really notice that when places are basically depopulated. What would be harder to disguise, is how certain sectors of the economy would just collapse under the weight. You would expect growing labor shortages, with corporations hurrying to replace jobs by AI. The labor shortages would cause prices to go up.
If the chaos from labor shortages were to get really bad, you might even imagine government faking a war, with the fallout from sanctions as an explanation for what’s happening. The sanctions story would seem shoddy and irrational. Politicians would be talking about how the era of prosperity is over.
Obituaries in the newspaper? Well, if the increase to 200% the normal deathrate happened at least somewhat gradually, you wouldn’t directly notice, simply by comparing obituaries with last year. With the economic crisis, a bunch of people might not even bother paying for an obituary.
Would you hear more stories from friends and acquaintances, of people dying? If you’re young like me, you don’t really hear much of people dying anyway, if you’re old it seems like everyone is dying. I have a friend who is involved with funerals, he says that he’s pretty busy, but how do you judge that? People generally complain that they’re busy.
There would after a while probably emerge bigger problems: The threat of blackouts, as the electricity grid no longer works. Purely hypothetically, if vaccines had failed, lockdowns had failed and secretly vastly more people were dying than normal, you might expect governments to take dramatic measures to reduce air pollution, like shutting down a bunch of farms in the Netherlands, where COVID mortality was highest in places with high nitrogen emissions.
Gradually, AI would start filling the gaps in our society, along with telecomworkers from abroad. When I went to the gym, the door was locked, so after pressing the contact button I heard an English speaking African man, who couldn’t speak Dutch. Others spoke to him and they struggle to speak English, so they found it annoying. In the past when I pressed that button, just two years ago I would get a local Dutch speaking woman. I didn’t attend at strange hours either, it was just 7PM, I’ve used that button at around 11PM years ago and I just got someone Dutch.
AI filling the gaps is also easy to see. AI can now produce art and voices. Voice acting, drawing? People who used to do those jobs can now move into other parts of the labor force. Algorithms can just quite easily change faces in films. It will soon just be a waste of money to film actual films, you can just grab old films and apply AI to change faces and dialogue. Why have a multimillion budget?
You could probably expect an increase in ambulances and waiting periods for hospitals. Well, that one is easy to prove that it’s happening, you can check out the statistics from the UK, they have skyrocketing wait times. And so it wouldn’t reveal that people are dying in droves: We see these reports in the newspaper and they lead none of us to think “maybe two times as many people are dying as the government says”. I tend to hear and see more ambulances than I used to, other people notice it too, but everyone just shrugs and accepts it.
The people who would say “hey the statistics are fake” would be mainly the sort of people who already believe in various “alternative theories” and so you would just take it with a grain of salt. This guy from market-ticker.org had a post where he insisted a few million people are missing from some labor statistic that’s hard to fake and can only be explained by a couple of million deaths (not disability), but I can’t find that post anymore.
Take a look at this:
A Great Famine occurred in 1959 and 1961. For two decades the Chinese government maintained that between 10 and 20 million died as a result of drought and bad weather during that time. Now it believed that between 30 and 45 million may have died, making it world’s greatest disaster since the Great Plague of the Middle Ages. What is even worse is that catastrophe now seems to have been a direct result of — or at least exacerbated by — Mao’s inept attempts at industrialization during the Great Leap Forward.
China had 660 million people at the time. If you say 22 million more died than the government admitted, then 3.33% of the population died over a period of three years, whose deaths were effectively simply covered up. Every level of the bureaucracy was involved in covering up what was happening, all the way down to doctors who had to register different causes of death.
Imagine for a moment this was really going on: Vastly more people dying than the government statistics suggest. It could be from COVID, or you could imagine it happening from the vaccines. I want you to consider: We know some people died from the COVID vaccines, we know governments aren’t as enthusiastic about these vaccines as they used to be.
Imagine that instead of the ~20% excess deaths we see in the official statistics, it’s like the Chinese Great Famine, where just a small extent of the problem is being admitted and the real scale is much bigger than we’re told. There is one embalmer who claims he’s now seeing 80% of corpses with strange fibrous clots in their vessels.
Who are the people who would:
- Notice something weird going on.
- Report on something weird going on.
- Show up on your radar.
I think it would be mainly these embalmers. Doctors can’t be trusted to report on it during such an event, we have numerous examples throughout history where doctors were complicit in covering up mass death, by filling in wrong causes of death when people died of hunger. This happened on a massive scale during the Great Chinese Famine, in fact, all levels of government were involved in covering up that famine. The schizos who would notice this stuff and report on it wouldn’t show up on your radar, you would just think they’re crazy.
Obviously, this idea is so schizo that I’m a little embarrassed to admit how I can’t shake it off. It keeps bugging me, it bugged me long before I saw this 4chan post. I go outside of my hometown and I see empty houses that have me wondering “why is this house empty, it’s a great location and we supposedly have a housing shortage”.
Going to small towns further away in the country, insofar as the trains still allow me to get there, also has me wonder “Where the hell is everyone!?!?!”. It feels too quiet. There’s just too little traffic, not enough crowds on the street, definitely too few old people. I can’t prove it, but it’s hard not to notice that something feels “off”.
Would you notice empty nursing homes? I don’t think so. Nursing homes in my country always have nasty waiting lists. If whatever kills people would also be accelerating cognitive decline, demand could even just stay the same.
None of this is to say that I genuinely believe twice as many people are dying right now as normal. Rather, my point is: If something went wrong, a bunch of people started dying and it would be widely diffused throughout the population, governments could probably get away with it by admitting 10-20% of the actual problem and covering up the other 80-90% without us noticing. They got away with death rates doubling in China for a couple of years.
Take a look at the trains in the Netherlands. This just feels very weird to me.
So in weekends and during the evening, the number of trains goes down 50%. During weekdays, the number of intercities goes down 33%. Why? They have a shortage of personnel, OK, I get it, but 33% cuts, or 50% cuts? How can you just cut trains by 50% in weekends? Did people stop going out? How much staff are they missing? And keep in mind, for 2023 they’re again cutting trains by 10%. Apparently the number of passengers is down 20%. Isn’t that crazy, 20% fewer passengers?
Where did all those people go? Sure, some people work from home now, but how do 20% of passengers disappear? And you notice it in other sectors of the economy too. Cinemas, museums, theaters, they’re all still pretty empty, struggling to make ends meet. And of course you notice the massive labor shortages. Is that really all down to 1% of people stuck at home with long COVID?
The other thing I notice, something I didn’t notice before 2020, are the rats. They’re EVERYWHERE now. Normally you would expect people to complain about them and for them to get killed. It doesn’t seem to be happening. They just happily wander around during the evening, all over the city, from the deserted city center, to more green parts of the city.
If the system had done something terrible, something that accidentally killed a bunch of people, like Mao in China, it would try to cover it up, sure, but it would also just continually enrage the sort of people who would notice it, with all sorts of petty irrelevant bullshit the rest of the public doesn’t care about. Oh no, look at this black mermaid Disney movie! Hunter Biden is smoking crack again! Look how stupid Joe Biden looks! Rather than trying to avoid provoking your rage, I would try to diffuse it among as many things as possible. Most of the public doesn’t care about a black mermaid, the minority who do will merely discredit themselves in the eyes of the majority with their rage.
Imagine just for a moment all of this was actually going on. It would also explain another strange fact: The continual insistence on lockdowns, which don’t seem to work and seem to cause more problems than they solve. Is it more sensible to think that governments just continually annihilate the economy even though nothing is happening, or is it more sensible to think they’re doing such stuff without admitting why they’re doing it?
Remember, the Netherlands had a complete lockdown during last winter, while our excess mortality supposedly looked like this:
So the whole country is shut down, we’re not allowed to do anything, but the excess mortality is below normal. And then they tell us that the virus has now suddenly changed and stopped killing people, even though more people are getting it than ever before. What’s the simplest explanation, which one fits Occam’s razor best?
-Government accidentally destroys the whole economy for no reason for the third time in two years.
-They’re covering up a bunch of people dying by faking the excess mortality statistics, they lied by saying it’s now a nothingburger.
I don’t know. The problem is, you can’t really trust anything. As AI improves, it merely becomes harder to trust anything. If you caught something on video, it used to mean something, it was evidence of something. Today? You’d be an idiot to believe it.
But here’s the biggest point: THEY ADJUST THE FUCKING STATISTICS WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGING IT!
The numbers remain the same, but they expanded the blue confidence intervals. They never explained why.
Statistics don’t mean anything anymore. The US government decides to change the definition of a recession and so people then hurry to change Wikipedia to pretend that two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth is not necessarily a recession. In a world where such a thing can happen, is it really far-fetched to think excess mortality statistics could be faked?
And generally speaking, your own perspective will be biased. New York City is a city with more young women than young men. Would you notice this as a young man? Probably not. Your job is probably with other men. Your sports club would have men and the rock concert you go to is probably a masculine band.
Similarly, imagine if everyone was dying from backfiring vaccines. If you’re alive, you’re more likely to be unvaccinated. You’re also more likely to know unvaccinated people, if you’re unvaccinated yourself. Your own perspective will always be biased.
I’m trying to train you here, to develop what Robert Anton Wilson called a state of generalized agnosticism about everything. I’m trying to show you how you can’t really know anything.
Ditch all the knowledge you have acquired during the past two years. Go back to 2019. If someone told you:
“Some new virus escaped from a lab in China but everyone covered it up, they tried to stop it from spreading but failed and a couple of million people died, oh but you can just look at the official government statistics and you’ll notice that it was just a big nothingburger and yeah the vaccine that failed to work killed a handful of people but other than that you can just look at the government statistics to know that everything we did was stupid and pointless and hysterical.”
Wouldn’t your first response be:
Um… are you sure this government that covered everything up isn’t faking those statistics you’re looking at? Do you really believe that they’re telling you all to sit inside your home, but then you look at the death toll and nothing is happening?
I mean, criticizing a government for being too panicky about a virus that escaped from a Chinese bioweapon lab seems like a very strange side for the fringe far-right chronically angry nutcases to be on, if you haven’t experienced the context of the past two years.
If I were the government in this situation, I would prime the far-right chronically angry nutcases to attack me from the opposite direction. As a government official I know no matter what I do you will be spewing your genius insights in regards to how everything I do is wrong on the Internet, so rather than trying to convince you I’m doing something right, I make sure you attack me from the direction I want to be attacked.
I would have people up on TV, telling you that they diagnosed some guy who fell off a ladder or had a gunshot wound to his head with this new Chinese virus. This way, you would attack me from the direction I want to be attacked from: “IT’S ALL A NOTHINGBURGER!!!”
If it’s all so obviously a nothingburger and panic and hysteria and a boring flu that kills 290 year olds with twenty different pre-existing conditions, could it be that it’s all just a little TOO obvious?
UPDATE: Alright now it’s no longer funny, I’m starting to shit bricks.
Take a look at this:
2022 Wikipedia deaths:
2021 Wikipedia deaths:
2020 Wikipedia deaths:
Ok, and here it comes. Prepare to shit bricks, it’s no longer funny.
Do you notice how consistently elevated that number is? There’s a 20-25% increase for 2020 and 2021.
This is already just more than you would expect, based on the mortality statistics. My country had 10% more deaths than normal in 2021. Flanders similarly had almost no increase in 2021 compared to 2019.
It’s hard to look at this, without the impression that we have too many people dying. And keep in mind, these are just somewhat famous people dying. Heaven knows what the real death rate is for average proles.