Wishful thinking won’t solve the problem

Human beings have a remarkable capacity for wishful thinking. An example I’ve often mentioned is the remarkable capacity for people to believe they can change our atmosphere without any bad things happening. Human civilization is about 10,000 years old, but most of the Internet is populated by people who seem to think you can produce the sort of atmosphere once inhabited by dinosaurs, from an era when the plants we depend on for food hadn’t even evolved yet and society will simply adapt to that new reality. If I would stop bringing up this inconvenient problem, I would have a lot more readers.

We underestimate how fragile we are. There’s a similar pattern when it comes to our vulnerability to the consequences of genetic engineering. As a young man I would regularly read about the risks we barely dodged from genetic experimentation. There is the example of the bacteria that were edited to produce alcohol from dead plant matter, but then it turned out the bacteria were able to kill plants with the alcohol they produced. Nobody knows what would have happened, had these bacteria escaped.

There’s also the notorious example of genetically engineered crops interbreeding with wild crops, passing on the traits that we introduced for our own purposes. This has now apparently happened spontaneously to maize in Mexico, along with other crops. For sunflowers, we have observed that the wild crops that inherit these transgenes have a survival advantage: We engineer them to produce an insecticide, the trait ends up in wild sunflowers, those plants now have a survival advantage because they now kill the insects that try to eat them.

The potential consequences are numerous. As an example, our domesticated crops have little genetic diversity, when we need to change those crops because of an outbreak of a new disease for example, we look towards their wild relatives to do so. If some of the wild relatives inherited our transgenes that give them a survival advantage, a small number of those wild relatives will start outcompeting the other wild relatives, basically eradicating the genetic reservoir we depend on to adjust our crops.

It can be worse of course. If the survival advantage is sufficiently large, the plants could start competitively displacing other species. You could end up with genetically enhanced “superweeds”, able to spread themselves because they inherited genes that would never spontaneously evolve in nature in such plants. It could destroy entire ecosystems.

I knew about this sort of stuff and the risks involved years before the pandemic, I learned about it simply because I was annoyed and frustrated by pencil-necked STEM-nerds on Reddit who insisted that you must be some scientifically illiterate buffoon if you don’t want to eat genetically engineered food. I didn’t really anticipate that humans would be stupid enough to do this sort of stuff with viruses on a constant basis. You imagine that small fuckups will happen before any big ones do, some weird E. Coli bacteria with some transgenes that hospitalize a couple of people, or some superweed that has to be eradicated by men in black helicopters armed with flamethrowers, followed by congressional hearings.

And so my intuitive assumption once the pandemic began was to think: “Surely it can’t be a big fuck-up.” And yet that’s exactly what it was: A big fuck-up that was subsequently covered up in a hasty and mediocre manner. They endowed a synthetic virus with traits that enhance its fitness, in a manner that seems almost impossible to evolve spontaneously. SARS-COV-2 is the only Sarbecovirus with a furin cleavage site that we know of, there’s no good evidence that these viruses can spontaneously evolve such a trait.

And yet as human beings, we’re prone to have a bias towards optimism. The right wing fringe COVID posters on Twitter can be roughly divided between those who are REALLY ANGRY about the lockdowns and those who are REALLY ANGRY about the coverup of the lab leak. The ones who are really angry about the lockdowns eventually tend to end up developing the conviction that there hasn’t really been an unprecedented fuck-up: They may argue that the virus was silently circulating long before 2019, that it never leaked from a lab in Wuhan.

More than anything, I’m really angry about being treated like a child, having to slowly piece together the puzzle pieces on my own that were already available to insiders by February 2020, who set out to cast a massive smokescreen before our eyes. In a sense, you’re once more being deceived in the opposite direction.

In a sense, they seem to treat you like a child so that you revolt in the proper direction. If Fauci gets up there on TV and tells you that you need to wear two masks at once to stay safe from the flu, a few months after saying you shouldn’t wear a mask at all, your angry white male gut response will be to say: “This is all nonsense.” And if Fauci is the man who funded a dangerous gain of function experiment that ended up killing a couple of million people, that would be exactly the sort of conclusion he would want his natural enemies to arrive at.

The theater wasn’t just ridiculous, it was suspiciously ridiculous. It seems almost designed to herd you in the right direction, like sheep who think they’re beating the border collie by running away into the pen. When you stand no chance of winning someone to your side, your best option is often to lure him into attacking you from the worst possible position.

“Well they just openly announced on TV that they’re counting gunshot victims and motor accident casualties as part of the COVID death toll if they test positive, so it’s all a hoax.” -An average American MAGA redneck whose mother in the nursing home died from a virus engineered and accidentally released by power-hungry academics engaged in a zero-sum competition for petty social status.

When they force you through petty, humiliating, undignified and ridiculous rituals, like having to follow arrows in the supermarket, or wearing some ill-fitting piece of cloth over your mouth, you’re eager to move on. You’ll grab onto any opportunity to leave the dystopia behind and so you become biased to believe that nothing is happening.

And yet if you’re really honest to yourself, you’ll realize that’s just not true. Excess mortality hit a new record this year. The hospitals are struggling to treat all patients. Life expectancy continues to decline. We have strange outbreaks of severe respiratory disease in children.

You can develop convoluted theories about people who became alcoholics in response to being locked up at home for 2 months, but I would recommend just having another look at the painful elephant in the room: The entire population is being infected twice a year on average, by a new virus that killed millions of people and is known to damage your blood vessels, your white blood cells and your neurons.

There’s this general right wing consensus that the problem stopped once Omicron arrived on the scene, because you follow your government’s position that “the problem” consists entirely of too many people having to go to the hospital with acute respiratory distress syndrome simultaneously for our healthcare system to cope with, rather than the problem being that the virological community unleashed a genetically engineered plague on our species and sought to cover up its crime.

But if you don’t like turning into a drooling moron with an IQ below room temperature, you have to conclude that the problem didn’t stop with Omicron. If anything, the real problem began with Omicron. The estimates I’ve seen say that we went from about 5% of kids getting COVID before Omicron, to 80+% having been infected by now.

The BA.2 variant of Omicron is better at replicating in your brain than any of the variants that preceded it, Wuhan, Alpha, Delta and BA.1. BA.5, which infected droves of people in the middle of summer, is slightly better at it than BA.5. Even after the virus is gone, the inflammation in your brain remains, the immune system remains activated. Your neurons fail to connect to each other and neurogenesis goes down when the brain’s immune system is constantly activated.

Remember, this is not a normal respiratory virus, it’s some gene-spliced abomination endowed with a furin cleavage site that widely expands its tissue tropism. A virus that can only infect your upper respiratory tract has an incentive to attenuate: If it angers your immune system less, it can more easily reinfect you. If it triggers too strong of an immune response, by causing too much harm, it dies out.

On the other hand, a virus that can just switch from one organ to another, that moves to infecting your central nervous system after your immune system focused on defending your lungs, or that suddenly becomes a gastrointestinal bug, has less incentive to attenuate. We have no strong reason to believe SARS-COV-2 has to attenuate and turn into just another human coronavirus. With the evidence we have available, it looks instead like it just takes turns attacking different parts of the body.

The simple reality you’re dealing with, is that wishful thinking isn’t going to put this genie back in the bottle. The evidence is pretty abundant by now. We see brain damage in primates, in mild COVID patients and we see a decline in IQ. None of this is getting any better by the way. We also see that 21% of BA.5 infections led to health effects lasting more than four weeks. Have a look at RNA in sewage in a typical major Dutch city:

The lows keep getting higher. Our bottoms now exceed the pre-Omicron peaks. We could be dealing with a virus that keeps getting fitter as it expands its genetic diversity, or we could be dealing with a growing number of chronic infections, as I warned about in the past. But you have to be pretty delusional, to look at this and think the pandemic is now coming to an end. Or do you think the viral particles just somehow stop damaging your body after a while?

Rather than looking for any big conspiracy, I’m inclined to think the same sort of wishful thinking that leads people to think the problem stopped with the birth of Omicron, led elites to believe the problem would stop once a vaccine was deployed.

We can ask ourselves why this happens. I’m inclined to believe that coincidence doesn’t exist, I think there’s meaning and order in the universe. Our species showed no mercy towards nature and so nature stopped showing mercy towards us.

And so I will say again that my recommendation has to be for people to reconnect with nature. More than anything, I recommend people to take Psilocybe mushrooms, which create a kind of rhythmic blood vessel massage in your brain and other organs. I also recommend taking DMT, perhaps in the form of changa or in the form of ayahuasca. The purges from Ayahuasca seem to be an important element of the experience, it may help address gut dysbiosis.

DMT is the brain’s Swiss army knife. DMT and 5-meo-DMT regulate the immune system through the Sigma 1 receptor. This seems to be involved in immune homeostasis and importantly, seems to reduce recruitment of naive T cells. Finally, I also recommend people to take cannabis, with a range of terpenes knows to reduce inflammation and neutralize various viruses.

5 Comments

  1. Quote: “There’s this general right wing consensus that the problem stopped once Omicron arrived on the scene …”

    Sorry, but nowhere in the Anti-Vaxxer-Scene (which has overlaps with the right-wingers-scene but is not identical) people believe this. It’s a false projection of you.

    Quote: “I think there’s meaning and order in the universe. Our species showed no mercy towards nature and so nature stopped showing mercy towards us.”

    We are not outside of this order in the universe, we are part of it, and anything we do is part of this order. If you think mankind could act outside of this order like gods, then you put us on the same podest like the transhumanists, who play gods.

    Quote: “More than anything, I recommend people to take Psilocybe mushrooms …”

    Careful, man! Psilos can make really bad horror trips. You never had a horror trip, otherwise you would not do such a irresponsible recommendation. Psychoactive drugs like LSD and Mushrooms are not for everyone, in fact only for a few people.

    • From a philosophical-technical view the Universe is either a battlefield or a school.

      For whatever reason most people believe the Universe is a battlefield, where everyone has to choose a side, have to fight against the others, will be judged and rewarded according to his decisions … the endless fight between “good” and “bad”.

      But if the Universe is a school, then everything in it is only teaching materials.

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