First the People

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Ampf
Ampf
3 months ago

But futures are up, Rusty. So why so serious?

Joseph Russell
Joseph Russell
3 months ago

Rusty, this might be the most important post for me since “The Three Body Problem”. As usual, part of me is angry for taking the red pill, but it’s throughly outweighed by the stark joy of truth I feel this morning. You and Ben are doing an incredible job and I’m extraordinarily thankful to have found Epsilon Theory, and more importantly, my pack..

mmalon05
mmalon05
3 months ago
Reply to  Joseph Russell

I thought the same thing.

Victor K
Victor K
3 months ago

Amazing! A brilliant proof of Pournelle’s law and that it’s sociopaths all the way down.
There is a libertarian paradox here which maybe you can solve. Welcome to the fourth turning.
Congrats on a great read!

Simons Chase
3 months ago

Rarely do readers benefit by committing an hour of time and, in exchange, absorb 100 hours of a writers time. Thank you. What happens when what’s moral is what’s legal and what’s legal is for sale in Washington? https://www.lbs.co/blog/why-us-political-risk-should-be-a-factor-in-portfolio-risk-budgets

Simons Chase
3 months ago
Reply to  Rusty Guinn

Specifically: “Capitalism appears to have morphed into a “technology”, like social media, that is designed to find the clearing price for our values and beliefs.” https://www.lbs.co/blog/facebooks-conduct-shows-not-all-network-effect-are-positive

Tanya Weiman
Tanya Weiman
3 months ago

An absolutely brilliant post, and there were several priceless phrases, such as “I keep waiting on Paul Krugman to jump out and shout ‘The Aristocrats’ or something.” I was also fascinated that you brought up the Uighurs in China, because I had only heard that was an issue from ONE podcast, and from no news sources. Thank you, Rusty.

Tim
Tim
3 months ago

Rusty, I have joined the pack due to the impact of this piece and Ben’s Inception. State governments have failed miserably as well in their response to this crisis. Under-investment in their healthcare systems, failure to respond to advance warnings such as the “Crimson Contagion” exercise, leads to the creation of healthcare heroes as efficiently as the creation of British heroes in the Battle of the Somme. We need to do better in the New Normal than we did in the old. Keep up the great work!

Tim
Tim
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim

This to what I was referring to, and was obvious from early on: Blame governors for the coronavirus deaths in nursing homes
https://nypost.com/2020/05/16/blame-governors-for-coronavirus-deaths-in-nursing-homes-goodwin/

This decision was bound to end in disaster. yet the band kept playing on. Not my state, but NY/NJ and the human cost was like the Hindenburg. We will be calculating the costs of this experiment for some time to come.

Rob H.
Rob H.
3 months ago

Really great job Rusty. Kudos.

Justin Ennis
Justin Ennis
3 months ago

I’ve been reading for awhile but this one got me. I joined up because of this article. It was absolutely beautiful (brutally beautiful).

Scott Schram
Scott Schram
3 months ago

Also, social media companies did not represent our interests. By promoting favored narratives, they suppressed free speech. YouTube demonetized Peak Prosperity for casting doubt on the “it’s the flu” narrative among others. Every CV-19 related video on YouTube contains links to the CDC (which had earlier: masks don’t work, it’s the flu). Reddit CV forums were tightly censored by a small group of narrative loyalists with moderation and banning.

Scott Schram
Scott Schram
3 months ago
Reply to  Rusty Guinn

The Event 201 Pandemic Exercise was an exercise of a sort, but clearly scripted, so also a bit of theater. At one point a “participant” in the exercise announced that misinformation was being spread on social media, and the benevolent and accurate governments needed to take measures to control or counter this misinformation. But in real life, much of the “misinformation” was right and some government proclamations were BS (didn’t see Event 201 simulate that, nor the WHO we really got, nor the CDC leadership… there must be some rank and file scientists in those organizations that are heartbroken).

I got interested in these forums after reading the ET “Body Count” article and its reference to the analysis of the phony Wuhan data published by Antimonic on Reddit.

Moderation was bad enough on Reddit that people began to accuse Reddit of being a CCP puppet (based on Tencent being an investor). Maybe not, there are plenty of people who seemed to get enjoyment from being self-appointed badge-heavy moderators. In fact, some of those people rushed to create the forums so they could appoint themselves to the position.

Most of the posts that I found interesting at the time and were disallowed on the main forums linked to original source articles or science papers.

This is an interesting subject for further thought.

Christopher Plourde
Christopher Plourde
3 months ago

What a read, Rusty! I kept thinking two things: 1) The first and most important job of any bureaucratic/corporate member is keeping their job. From CEO / Cabinet Secretary to the janitor, it’s why the game gets rigged so that even failing at the job is’t cause to remove anyone from it, so long as there’s a plausible explanation for failure that allowed everyone above and around to keep theirs. Brett Crozier is unique, he put doing his job above keeping his job. He also lost his job for doing it when his superiors would not do theirs, and that reinforces the problem. 2) “Nobody knows anything.” Years ago I learned that the vast majority of what we think we know is only provisional knowledge, that we “know about” what we don’t actually know, and that serves us well enough that we tend to forget that we don’t actually know it. I also learned that much of what we think we “know about” we know only by proxy, so we don’t really even “know about” what we used a proxy to assess. William Goldman wrote that line about Hollywood filmmaking. In Hollywood above-the-line interest is a proxy for quality of screenplay, and quality of screenplay is provisionally related to quality of film, and quality of film is only somewhat correlated with box office success. Hollywood is littered with big name failures as a result, and not a few unexpected hits. “The Island” was expected to be a big hit, “Jaws”… Read more »

cartoox
cartoox
3 months ago

Hey Rusty….wow, that is a long long piece and a lot of work…..and totally needed …..Thank you ! I sent my questions below to Ben by email because there was no relevant post to put it in the comments for. But this one is perfect so here goes : In Hong Kong, we were one of the first cities to be affected. The Government, communist stooges all, refused to initially close the borders to china. A strike by the medical community [“Hong Kong people have to stand together and take action because we cannot trust our government” – I’m paraphrasing a bit here] forced them to close 15 of the 18 official border crossings. This is a government that banned face masks last year because of the HK protests….. This is a city with a population density that makes lower Manhattan look more like central park. There are no lockdowns. Though large public gatherings have been banned. The total number of cases from the start in January to early March – the first phase – was a little over 100 cases. In an official population of 7.5 million The number of deaths was 3. Hearing about how safe and stable the situation was, expat residents from Europe and the US and locals taking refuge abroad came back, bringing back a huge surge in cases, to a little over a 1000 cases now. With a total of 4 dead since January 1. There is mandatory quarantine – 14 days – for… Read more »

Christopher Plourde
Christopher Plourde
3 months ago
Reply to  cartoox

Hi cartoox, Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities on earth. It’s also got an exceptional governmental culture, the result of a mixing of Chinese and British bureaucratic systems. In Hong Kong the freedoms of targeted individuals was sharply restricted in order to allow for the freedom of the larger population. Those who were infected, or had been in contact with the infected, were quarantined not merely locked down. As are people coming from outside Hong Kong today. The competence of the government in testing, tracking, enforcing the quarantines, and in treating, and following through and following up, allowed for the maximum freedom for the most people. In other parts of the world the freedom of those who were spreading the virus was unchallenged until it was too late to start doing what Hong Kong did from the beginning. And even then Hong Kong slipped when it failed to restrict the freedom of people returning to Hong Kong, which triggered a broader outbreak as you noted. Hong Kong actually underscores something: There is no meritocracy. What passes for meritocracy is really a culture of mediocracy, in which modestly competent people protect each other and those of high competence are constant threats to their wellbeing who need to be brought to heel (e.g. Fauci) or removed (e.g. Crozier) for the good of the mediocre people whose positions are thereby protected. The selling of draconian restrictions of freedom because the mediocrats were mediocre is done with narratives like the “black swan”… Read more »

cartoox
cartoox
3 months ago

Hey Christopher
Thanks
Yes, in HK it seems to have worked out because those infected were isolated early.
Bali we are doing what you seem to be doing in Mexico.
Getting together, making sure everyone is ok. And remembering to remain human….
As an aside, everyone here takes responsibility for their own health.
Diet, exercise, avoidance of smoking , meditation – to keep our heads screwed on the right way .
Should this sense of responsibility towards our health and those of our friends around us become a broader phenomenon where we take responsibility for the rest of society around us (without imposing a “we know better” attitude) we may just begin to accomplish the change Rusty & Ben are talking about !
Take care !
PS – Crozier I support what he did , the guy took responsibility for the people under him
Fauci – not so sure, seems like the overly intellectual type who forgot what its like to be human in the 5th grade or something….but that is just my opinion !

Eric
Eric
3 months ago

An aside: I appreciated the brief explainers for non-finance pros – I wonder how much of this is a uniquely modern phenomenon (that is, I know bureaucracies/institutions have always varied in their effectiveness and maybe always as self-perpetuating devices for the maintenance of power) – but the way that modern communications, and sophistication in the strategy of modern communications, has allowed the distance to grow greater between the actual functions and the messaging from institutions so as to make their sociopathy and mendacity more insidious. If the elite Aztec priests promised their people a good harvest because of their faithfulness to the God-Emperor and diligence in sacrifices and then crops failed, well, that can be an instantaneous revelation of their lying – but if our high priests of finance and government tell us that their policies are making us richer, and they can obscure the outcomes with confusing statistics and imperfect information – they can maintain the fiction of their special powers almost indefinitely. While it may be obvious to some now that our institutions have failed us in the ways you describe, there are still powerful ways of obscuring those failures which were not available in the past. So all of this was a long-winded precursor to say: we can and should do more “on the ground” for one another and “fight for our autonomy of mind” a la “Inception,” but bureaucracies (in some form or another) are probably necessary for big, functioning nation-states. They’re not getting smaller and… Read more »

Eric
Eric
3 months ago
Reply to  Rusty Guinn

Thanks for the response, don’t mind me, some of these thoughts are rambling ideas, – having a conversation with myself. Good points on me begging the question: I don’t mean to demand “all the answers” from you – it’s just that the path ahead is dimly lit (if visible at all) and I think that one of the very difficult points that this piece demands is: “what do we do about our bureaucracies?”

And how much of any change turns on seemingly insignificant social factors? How “popular” will the idea of reform be? How many will abandon a hard road? How many are too cynical and disengaged? Reminds me of the other line: “But when you go around carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow.”

Anyway, thank you for responding.

Eric
Eric
3 months ago
Reply to  Rusty Guinn

Yes, apologies, hard to wrap my head around all of this. Great essay!

Adam
Adam
3 months ago

The Strauss-Howe Fourth Turning is on. Community institutions will gain. Official institutions will fail and be remade in our image. What that image ends up being remains to be seen.

Lawrence Pusateri
Lawrence Pusateri
3 months ago

Just like after WW 1 , we need to be very careful of what missionaries seek to offer us in the wake of our dissatisfaction with these points of failure.

I love Bens follow up with that in mind.

Olivier Brousse
Olivier Brousse
3 months ago

What a masterpiece of analysis and clairvoyance. You and Ben and Epsilon Theory are hitting that nail deep and dead on, with the force of an oil rig pounder and the precision of a jeweler’s hammer! While sparing none of the culprits, right, left, or center.

Keep up the great work, this planet sure needs it. Now doing my (tiny) part, spreading your words …

Carl Palminteri
Carl Palminteri
3 months ago

This is my first post here—strange to lose your virginity at 73! I’ll keep it short but my initial reaction is that I’ve got to learn to be more cynical! I’m very much in sync with the overwhelming % of this entry but I keep falling back on two things: Most (not all!) of the villains are being blamed at least somewhat for not knowing what they could not have known. (I’m not talking about willful ignorance) and secondly, (with the exception of the Germans) are we really to be so shocked that all the bureaucracies being pilloried are acting…..bureaucratically!?

Carl Palminteri
Carl Palminteri
3 months ago
Reply to  Rusty Guinn

Thanks…I am flattered at your thoughtful reply. I was thinking of Rumfeldian analysis of known knowns, etc…I read both entries,by the way and they make up a powerful statement separately or together.
There HAS been plenty of failure (and therefor blame) to go around. Sorting who and what get’s a larger share is a brutal exercise, especially since one is forced to determine whether the weight is being unduly driven by political and/or religious and/or other experiential factors.
(PS..I was being a bit—but just a bit— facetious with my ‘cynicism’ crack)

Mourad
Mourad
3 months ago

Rusty, well documented indeed. Please, can you also write a piece about future probable scenarios:  1 – AI control systems implemented statically over US population w/o constituent’s consent, achievable objectives. 2 – US Currency failure. 3 – Nuclear proliferation. 4 – C&E. The first scenario is probable because of political philosophy of adversaries mired in unspeakable offensive technology which I think, given the pandemic, will be over reacted to. The second scenario has potential to cause suffering and death to millions through increased polarity and proxies. The third scenario has the potential to leave insurmountable legacy problems for future generations – by simply reducing hydrogen bomb count from 2000 to 50 units on each side the world will only cook itself 10 times over instead of 200 (in case of exchange which is futile prediction in case of realization). The fourth scenario of increasingly erratic environmental and climate conditions, before the decade is out, will make the planet unlivable with further pronounced effects from current pandemic, causing cost of life to increase dramatically leading to famine and conflict; the scenario does not include preparedness costs involved in parallel events with global consequences like earthquakes, volcano eruptions and tsunamis. Just like I failed to convince to implement probable solutions to the list of problems that you have so well documented, the above 4 are what any global leader will have to deal with in the future. In addition, I maintain the line that mechanism of fractional reserve banking and resulting term… Read more »

Mourad
Mourad
3 months ago
Reply to  Mourad

ps: I raised these points prior to reading Ben’s piece about Inception. I am afraid all four of these problems will have to be addressed at the same time and sooner we start thinking about it the better.

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett
3 months ago

This is a spectacular piece. Thank you for exposing how these institutions are laden with mendacity with clarity. Re: CDC, I also saw a firm attempt to control the narrative that “All Is Well” in the muzzling of Dr. Nancy Messonnier. Early on, she held telebriefings that were accessible to the public (at least after spelling out your name and occupation–I may have misspelled “armchair epidemiologist” myself). She mentioned in late February that there could be significant disruptions to daily life, then on a later call predicted that it wasn’t a matter of if but when there would be community spread. In controlling what to tell the public, it sure seems like the CDC Vaudeville Hook-ed Dr. Messionnier to the detriment of transparency.

Matthew Dailor
Matthew Dailor
3 months ago

Bureaucracy is the art of separating yourself from the consequences of your actions, (NNT I believe?) and CV19 has certainly proven that dictum. The ‘flamboyant emphasis on evidence based analysis’ is the assumed safe harbor of administrators, CEO’s and politicians everywhere. I work in a front line position and am proud to say that the majority of people have been incredible… gracious, humble and helpful. There is a real pride for people to do their part. I contrast that against seeing way too many that still believe the ‘expert analysis’ that is being served up constantly at every level. We have work to do in order to help our communities see through it all. Fantastic essay and why ET is worth every penny. Keep up the great work and thank you for helping all of us keep clear eyed through this. Stay healthy Pack!

Tyler Harris
Tyler Harris
3 months ago

Something fishy is going on at the hospitals. Causes of death are being reported as COVID-19 but family are speaking out that this is NOT the case. I saw one such case in the local news this week, then this morning one of my employees called to tell me that his 91 year old uncle just died from a cancer which has been killing him for 6 months. Nothing to do with COVID-19. Cause of death on his birth certificate? COVID-19.

What the fuck is happening?

Victor K
Victor K
3 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Harris

I am only speculating. If I recall correctly, there were provisions early on about protecting patients and their families from Covid19 medical expenses. A hospital administrator, which I am not, might consider a liberal interpretation of Covid19 for reimbursement purposes and gently encourage the staff to do the same. Hmmm

Leslie Kasza
Leslie Kasza
26 days ago

Mr. Guinn, this is a brilliant, brilliant piece of writing. I am a Canadian cardiologist with a chronic autoimmune disease and on an immunosuppressive drug. Back seeing patients for about 6 weeks now after calling people to check up on them for 10 weeks before that, with appropriate measures – hand washing, physical distancing and masks. I am thoroughly disgusted with all politicians and the media portrayal throught the COVID-19 pandemic. People are terrified out there, or they are being wilfully ignorant. It saddens me immensely. Dr. Hunt, yourself, and the Epsilon Theory team are doing a great job getting the truth out and helping with your PPE initiatives. Thank you. Guess you have another long term subscriber here.

Leslie Kasza
Leslie Kasza
26 days ago

PS: For the freedom lovers out there the first principle of freedom is to respect the freedoms of others, including not to get sick. In my view, masks are kind, respectful and make good common sense. You wearing a mask protects others, and their wearing a mask protects you. Thank you again.

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