Why is there a lockdown? Whose job is it to protect you from Covid? Your own or the government’s?

It is a fact that for people under the age of 50 in good health coronavirus is not much more dangerous than ordinary flu. The risk increases for those over 50, for those with existing health conditions, and for those over 50 with existing health conditions.

This means, (speaking about the UK), that millions of people are enduring severe lockdown restrictions (and quarantine measures at the border) who are not personally at great risk of dying. Of course, it is true that by reducing the rate of infection in this group the more at-risk groups are protected, since it means they are less likely to become infected. Nonetheless millions of people are having their lives severely restricted. They are being denied the right to take the rational individual choice to take the risk and live with the consequences.

Interestingly this “one size fits” all approach – discriminatory lockdown regardless of risk – is at odds with the professed values of Western civilization – of individual responsibility and freedom. Continue reading “Why is there a lockdown? Whose job is it to protect you from Covid? Your own or the government’s?”

Computer says No

Heidegger wrote about the dangers of a technological view of the world taking over. [1] The idea that we are in danger of becoming controlled by robots may seem crazy – the stuff of Science Fiction. But, no, it is really already happening. Here are two recent examples:

In recent days there has been a political scandal about how A-level grades will be awarded in the UK. Given that students did not take the exams because of Coronavirus some system needs to be found to come up with grades. The system the government and the exams regulator came up with used grades predicted by teachers and an algorithm based on the past performance of schools. Some students lost out and there was an outcry. (As a tangential comment we can note that the A level system is designed to grade people. Part of the outcry is misplaced; the system is bound to create losers however the numbers are diced. That is the main purpose of the system). Nonetheless – there is a chilling element to this. The grades were to have been created by an algorithm and not connected to individuals at all. This is a totally depersonalising algorithm. The maw of the machine. In the end the system was rejected. The algorithm was designed in a very crude way and apparently produced untenable results. But it was tried. Continue reading “Computer says No”

Liberal narratives on racism in the media

I don’t want to post too much on this theme lest people think I’m somehow racist. I’m not. But I am interested in how the liberals who are now driving the resurgent (and media-driven) ‘Black Lives Matter’ discourse are so willing to tell lies. It is as if they want to create a narrative about racism not based on the facts but in spite of the facts.

This is a tiny example in the Guardian. The journalist who is lying on this occasion is someone called Mattha Busby. He is reporting on a case when a black man (there is no actual evidence in the story that the colour of his skin is relevant to the case) was stopped by the police for a search. He refused to get out of his car and tried to negotiate the terms of his exit. This isn’t how the law works. The police then interpreted this as him refusing to cooperate with the search and broke his window. At this point the man says he will get out of the vehicle. This is what the video on the page shows. But the writer says:

As he queried why he was being stopped, Colaço, 30, was forced into handcuffs, video footage shows. He agreed to leave his car and stood with officers who searched him, while others combed through his BMW and found nothing.

Based on the video provided this is a complete lie. He didn’t simply “query why he was being stopped”; he tried to negotiate the terms of his exit from the car. And in point of fact he refused to leave his car and only offered to do so after officers started to break in. Continue reading “Liberal narratives on racism in the media”

The lowest common denominator on race

The Guardian is running a series of articles about “race” of which the main theme appears to be that white people just by being white people have a lot to answer for.

For example;

White people say they want to be an ally to black people. But are they ready for sacrifice?

If the white people in my life could hit a button and instantly remove the privileges afforded to them along racial lines, would they hit that button? [1]

This is the idea of “white privilege”. This is a new front in the war. It is no longer enough to condemn racism (which undoubtedly exists and is horrible) but now “white people” are faulted – just for being white. Continue reading “The lowest common denominator on race”