Sunday, September 5, 2021

Panic merchants and witchdoctors

 The proper protective alliance between sound science and practice is increasingly under threat from ignorant and arrogant wannabe panic merchants (desperate media and polys )  who insist on being the  first to announce their new potions to fix our diseases ( or the  mere symptoms )  

For the record , I do not support this narrow and false ambition of great long lists and going for broke in everything. Zero targets deny ecological reality, take all the will out of doing anything and it’s simply not how the wonderful world we live in works. 

Sure, life is harsh and cruel in places, but it's more resilient than the panic merchants and their tribes of witchdoctors now insist. 

Remote worry warriors, who meet together on tops of hills, like they do in East Melbourne, to name the evil agents and again set our agendas for the week, is what is really wrong with this country.
Science, to actually  work for our good , must have its feet firmly on the ground. Otherwise we end up chasing snowballs in a blizzard, hot air scares and windmill poking.   

I say again, that we here in  Colac Otway Region need to take the lead as we have done before, and support only our very best scientists and practical people to achieve changes that can be modelled elsewhere. You can find a list of just how clever our part of the country can be by looking up my short list on the internet . 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

No mention of the fear doesn't mean the risk is gone away

The risk and the reason for it is badly stated  

If the fear has been around awhile,  you can be sure the people will put pressure on to stop EVERYBODY talking about it . When PC is the ruling philosophy,  nobody is safe. The truth will set us free,  but the price for those who sit too comfortably away from it , is . in their opinion.  too high 

No leader can stop this imperfect process of making ,gaining and then losing fear and trust . The leaders who play up to it should leave . ( take Vic and NSW  playing up to overlast seasons bushfires)   
It will be hastened in Andrews case by the child and then the public  realisation that his chasing of substance through his own stats collection  is misplaced concreteness.
Not even a good epidemiologist should trust the leader to know what it is doing ( when it presumes to on risk questions) A wise lieutenant  would insist in help to avoid a corrupting and cloned consensus that the dilittants in charge can often seek from the real experts and ones who know stuff .  .   

So what will precipitate the loss of panic .who knows?  It may not be all good 
 One good reason for reducing the panic will be  the realization .that much advice was not taken in the first place about the risk and how to deal  with it ( that includes PM Morrison) 
The inevitability of push back ( when the risk is badly stated - shortstated ) must come when those in charge don't know what they are doing and have explained nothing to date ( except driven home the same old fear tactics -- see the list of stats listed elsewhere )

People smell a rat when  leaders in crisis are NOT  prepared to admit they don't know what they are doing . 
Attention seeking is not just what children do ( the person in the story ) its what some leaders are actually good at .Such a leadership style may gain momentum , but has no sustainability . 

As the Spanish flu epidemic showed , once people stop  talking about a fear, Fear doesn't go awa, y it just becomes PC not to mention it  , 

 So,  just as the fear words were used to effect to START the panic , the absence of fear words will be used to end the fear.  Its all to do with using a meredescription.
PC name   , 

August 30th 2020   Quote 

Why does every one think case numbers mean something? 

Presumably when COVID is no longer news ,, it won't be the subject of worry,   

Does this preoccupation with simple stats stuff  mean it's gone away when numbers go down  ?  

Do polys think we are stupid--- that they explain nothing and keep using their own versions 

or the fear of death facts as their primary message ? 

Andrews doesn't tell us "deaths with" and "death by COVID: , test/case ratios ( until last week ) or ' immune response triggered " facts such as localities under heavy testing. It could be expected that the current agglutination testing is inadequate to show "exposure" because a lot of resistance is needed to build up antigens ?'
Unless more info on the above and the perceived herd immunity level is known, Morrison is mad to accept the attention seeking Premiers equally non compos mentis unproven significance of shallow catchprases like "hotspots " and " waves" .
Does anyone know what the new catch phrase "active " means ? (infectious , adapting , overcoming or what?) Forget chasing a vaccine dillitantants - At what point do they hope to identify the evil bug,,,,,, not its aftermarth , Spring street are trying to lock the door after the horse has bolted.
Why is the CMO not speculating on the level of herd immunity,,,, now present?
Maybe all the testing, tracing and "no talk" about the above means our leaders are no wiser from all their brilliant investigation techniques ?

Monday, May 25, 2020

No news is good news

One thing that works for the mental health of our household in this COVID crisis is to switch off TV completely over news time.

It will take the wannabe herds  and the polys some time to realize that many of us are doing this for our own mental health.

The wannabes are clamouring, as usual,  for our attention . What these fanatics  fail to realise is that they know little more than we do ( and therefore should just billboard the CMO)

BUT worse
- they push their speculation(/leading to more lies half truths , fake news ,laws and less guidelines ) all over us day after day. its what fanatics do

The nonsense in the news media goes to prove several things
1. Trump was right about at least one thing - The waste from Fake news in OUR lives
2. The people are predictably more compliant when  fear is the driver  and fear is not addressed with fact ( the extent of the infection agents in each country)
3.  Economy of information.and instruction is critical   I know  as a risk managemnet planner -- "you don't say too much and only what is necessary"   _

4, Comfort the people with things they should know- and act upon ( Switch the TV off )
a That the wannabes and media are desperate to prove their diminishing power over us  ( esp with the  net available )
b So many stupid and wayward things have been said in this period that its unbelievable .( Switch the TV off )
c As always in history ITS  those who claim to be doing things in the name of best intention that  are the most dangerous ,
d  Watch Wannabes closely -Especially those leaders who rush into solutions their minds have invented and whose real actionsthe integrated patient professional practice of checking what actions in a crisis are really neccesary  ( by the CMO) .
e Teaching people who don't normally listen well ( all of us ??)  to listen well can mean the t great leader ( just a man who know s something -- the child in the story?) occasionally  YELLING  and also calling for silence too -   

No one normally on the end of a microphone seems to get that,  at the moment.

I wonder if God has intervened in history?
  ( Romans 13 - my lecture topic )

Sunday, March 22, 2020

On the correct use of the precautionary principle

There is something new under the sun

The meddling management culture .

The proper use of the precautionary principle ( which the aforementioned grab from the workers tool bag as if they know how to use it) means

WE the public  have to 

STOP management culture operatives from trying to apply the tool they can be expected to be incompetent in using 
The ONLY people who should be allowed to pronounce actions ( moment by moment as risk wanes and changes) are those professionals who study and take advice on the risks. let me call that person the CMO  Chief Message Officer .

Everyone below him will have an opinion,  but those below job is not to spread the virus of half baked , but make sure the top of the line knows about all probabilities so he/she can weigh them up  . .
By way of introduction We risk assessors have seen it all before in risks of all kinds - no need to panic .

1. TIME related talks 

Because risk is a time related function we the public must save time; use it well and differently -and expect some relief from the stress with time .  if "stages" are mentioned that can help us manage the time .
  1. Save the CMO  time means that the CMO person can be clear and confident to an audience who in their impatience have to WAIT respectfully and quietly for word from the top .
  2. 2. Of short duration Confusion in audience is avoided bu being clear and concise - even if advice is not complete or perfect advice 
  3. The people ho wait can expect to be told how long? .  People can,  if they are patient,  then can expect to have the CMO lower the time of stress .the CMO if he is wise will set a high outside  limit for waits so he has room to reduce them.
  4. The audience can expect that if the CMO states a time of crisis it can be expected that the time of waiting will be reduced with time . While such advice does not solve all the audiences challenges,  it is GOOD and sound advice ; it shares the risk and uncertainty with people to decide on their  own circumstances. its consistent advice . 
 For example the passage of a disease or a rainfall event while originally set  over a long period  "can be expected" ( this is how we talk probability ) can be set for a shorter period over the real risk period . While the waiting annoys a generation  now used to instant gratification,  they should be counseled in five  matters
  1. There will be a waiting period which will end . Be patient , the real risk will decrease with time . 
  2. It is to be expected that the longer the real threat lasts,  the less the waiting time till a resolution. However bad the results are ( we are not god is the CMO's job - quite a contrast to some wannabes ideas .  
  3. Appropriate Risk words and ideas need to be learnt and used well by all exposed - a lot of these ideas  are  new  to some . eg  disease contracted does not mean death . most people will eventually be exposed internally ( via lungs most likely)
    Appropriate risk ideas with a virus
    CLEAR CONSISTENT"some must self isolate and all must social distance "CMO words    " 

    Do not ask for tests .Testing won't always be cost effective for control because ts expensive and not direct ;symptoms may not show progress of disease
    CASES  can be misleading - the virus can be expected to be in most people with time via the lungs.
    POSTPONE  you can expect the risk with time . listen for estimates and revised estimates of that time 
  4. Wannabes will write their own scripts - do not listen to them;  they maybe conscious or unconscious fear mongers . Wannabes love to fill the gap of the unknown with information . 
  5. Real protection comes if you only listen to the CMO - you personally are not familiar with the risk because they are new  ( like a risk manage is ) let that experience work for you by listening only for him,. 

See also the god assumption on modern western culture and the fear and denial of death .What this means in practice is that as the West has rejected its trust in God , our leaders expect to play God resulting in unreal expectations of  not only heaven on earth  but eternal life here ( denial of the place of death in life and nature), 

This post is based on my experience in risk assessment and should not be used as a reason to ignore the current risks from coronavirus. We are IMO all obliged to take the Chief Medical Officers advice  and only that . This has been , and always will be,  the best advice for the public .

Let the expert be the ONLY person who uses the precautionary principle
Wannabes .managers and polys must refrain from speculation at times of real risk,  less they heighten the panic (and reduce the collection of sound cost benefit advice ) . .

I feel obliged to write this short note because the  truths of abuse are well known

and important for any future risk discussion so that , we the people, understand and  limit unnecessary and ineffective panic actions by public authority figures . Time to button one's lip and listen .

The uncomfortable truth is that politicians and wannabes are prone to misusing the precautionary principle
simply because its not their money they are spending and because they now see their job as preventing risk  to individuals , when no one can really do that properly 

Properly doing risk assessment means properly doing costing of options and the tough scientific connections .

There is then. in the post modern world , a bit of the god assumption hidden in the predictable action to just keep spending by the modern management class  ,

This is seen in the focus on pretending deaths( which we can do )but not very easily and not without the cost benefit that an advised CMO will take.It also seen in the public confusion about what having the virus in your body means ( it does not mean death and it can be expected that most people will be exposed to it at some point in the near future and develop some immunity to it .

Real world risk assessors know that all risk management is a cost benefit exercise .Many postmodern managers do not know this - this is  partly because the only people who understand risk are professional observers and they have a fixed processes that they will follow .
All I wanted to do today ( 22nd March 2020) is note what has to be a lot of overreaction at many levels .
Let me just state it simply
Real world Risk assessors do use the precautionary principle but they don't use it in isolation from a closer look at the range of real risks - which is what mono cultural managers of issues do.

Why mention the adverse effect of management culture ?
imply because it can be and often is a costly adverse
and ineffective action.  They should not for example be allowed to exaggerate the risk of death ( the avoidance  factor )or maintain ignorant confusion but get the CMO to make that matter clear .

Summary   LISTEN and know who to listen to. 

Most management class people side on the side of caution when they don't really know enough to say anything . In the internet age, everyone has an opinion so as a combined group they can ensure the majority rule. this is NOT GOOD because  the majority do not KNOW enough to really KNOW .

Its the CMO's job too to listen and advise alone on that basis . 

Monday, March 16, 2020

On recurring bouts of panic

Its 17th March 2020 here in Victoria Australia .  Supermarket shelves everywhere in every town are being stripped bare. Last week it was just toilet paper oats and rice you couldn't get but this week you will struggle to get meat and frozen goods . The shelves are bare with people every where . The accepted practice of self isolation by choice has become  mandatory with large events being cancelled like the place is going into lock down . groups of over 500 were banned. today groups of over 100 are banned . The threat is a new version of  a coronavirus

I am not a panic merchant and hopefully weigh up risk well in my areas of ecosystem stress. With the current threat from a new virus I expect the time for self isolation will soon pass - as most people become exposed to it personally .This does not mean there is not irrational level of panic about ( see below)
 My advice is that but we all must take the best medical advice even if we have our doubts ( as they do ) about whether we can prevent deaths from it easily. and by intervention and change of normal habits .
As with all risk ,we should not invent , as the potential non objective   threatened  participants,  our own concerns ( eg need to test ourselves with expensive agents ) . We do not need to , as usual avoid taking up the time  management need to keep discussing and consulting for possible practical and achievable  choice constraints. Those delegated to provide authority on these matters.( observers)need time and respect.
  Risk as the former posts speak,  requires rapid but timely site and time specific consideration and audience panic will not help governments do that in the limited time available .What size hammer isn't always the issue if we think  hammers ? we can do more damage than good . Its not only technique and changing daily technique but the likely Cost benefit of EACH vaguely relevant action.

BACKGROUND     "No time for panic"  A paper

I have been preparing since before Christmas Nov 2019 a paper for a science conference ( ) on the subject of why people are in such a panic about environmental risk  issues .
The subject of the paper is on unreasonable food ,fire and water worries.

The positive thing is if the right people use the right tools we can avoid the sustainability that has so plagued our past .
The late entry of the coronavirus in autumn 2020 came as a  complete surprise because my issues are water soil food and fire worries . see the brief here .
While I did a top microbiology  course at Uni and have studied soil ever since i don't feel qualified to predict the outcome of complex disease questions best left to others.
However as an competent environmental risk assessor as well,  its clear that the some reactions are more in panic than in substance. The right hammer in the right place should be left to those who listen closely to show themselves approved .
We know progress and seriousness of the disease can be expected to be clearer in a few months time when it has spread more widely around the world, The Prime Minster has,  it seems, as we all should ,  taken the Chief Medical Officers advice ( as as he take advice) and set the cautionary period of six months .( at the outside ?) While there is clearly lots more panic than is justified , sound risk management means we wait on the best medical advice . It will not surprise me if the widespread presence of the disease amongst humans in a few months time means that like will go back to normal .Will that knowledge at least , we can postpone some events.

I hope that we do not go back to the unconvincing idea of sterilizing all substrates (like our hands )
There is still a lot of misinformation about , especially amongst those who assume authority ( the managements classes and wannabes )  see note below

I did micro at uni over 50 yrs ago and studied/speculated it in soils and substrates weekly ever since.
IMO The basic vulnerabilities and functions of viruses are known but its the ecological associations ( just as in my work) that are probably not . We were taught very clearly over 50 years ago with the "Eastern" focus on results”( technology eg Japan ) that basic scientific research would suffer . Its certainly true of research in my area of ecological risk assessment and prosecution. Perhaps you can tell me -Who is doing primary research on microbiological ecology ?

Take  the out of hand panic about hand washing -hand sanitizes

Hand sanitizes 
60% alcohol,  if you use it on your hands all the time will take away much of the oil and colonies that normally live on your skin. You  are best to keep your hands clean but don't keep offering new tenants a place at your house by killing off the old ones .
Your hands are what is known in biochemistry as a substrate
If you want to be ahead of the game take the ecologists point of view

Friday, December 20, 2019

More fake news from ABCTV

I have been listening all day to the ABCTV reporting of fires, mainly in NSW TODAY December 21st with Andrew Gaugin at the helm.

The ABC should be prosecuted for crying wolf with their constant talk of "catastrophe " , Until the wind gets up , the danger is , at worst ,severe , not catastrophic .

Take the bushfires driven by northerlies in our area . Lorne went in minutes as did many areas burnt in 1939 fires

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Catastrophes occur because people believe half baked crap

Some examples 

. There are always things we don't know in the precipitation of a man made disaster,  but the evidence is that ,what was obvious to a few, or very few ,wasn't effectively communicated to those who could have done something to prevent it. 

The occasions when no one saw the risk are  rare and not the focus here.
The terrible truth is that  there are often many ways on the road to catastrophe to prevent it,  which makes the noise from constant general talk of catastrophe just another example of careless crap .

The other terrible truth is that not many of us are good listeners - especially when it comes our objectivity about a bigger picture. about the truth others may have ( Peterson's rule 9)

Take this claim from the  climate catastrophians that "the end of the world is nigh " 
,Why aren't many of  us NOT listening to them? 
I heard someone say on the sacred ABC  that 100% of scientists agree with him  , but  that's a lie.  Noone should follow a liar or treat the ABC staff as knowing what we need to know-- most are not anywhere near practicing scientists .A deep trust in what ALL scientists think is not very deep because scientists dont always agree - esp on implications of their knowledge.
I hate it that my profession is implicated but not properly involved (say debate), but you should know we scientists get ignored too- whatever we truly know!--

We are not listening to the  
catastrophians too because we don't really know where the climate catastrophe persons want us to run to? If such people want to be listened (and not further condemned ) they must  succinctly save time and spell out the road to avoidance. No more burning of any kind ?, Sequestration of a truly substantive kind? 
With volcanoes and landslides,it helps if a local scientist is on the ground , You the reader need to know there are none-NOW - there used to be before , TODAY you NOW get a noise on your phone or on radio . ring 000 what a huge waste of money is spent by state governments  trying to act like parents to us !  "I will tell you when your life is at risk " --they say .You would be mad to trust them  

It is the very crime of the catastrophians that they misuse hearing time  by not being specific .
Is it the crime of our very own broadcaster that they are quite subtle and sly  in refusing to let a variety of voices ( close to action ) be heard on the subject /their subject choice .( thankfully One 2 One and other programs like Arndo is changing things)
 Real risk reduction always requires  specific recognition of cocontentating forces. This is of course is the annoying truth -you have to listen to the long winded way of all scientists and observers in practice-to see when the planets collide --- too bad there are no short cuts,, and crying wolf kills  )
The crime of the catastrophians is that they waste time talking about risk in ways which do not really address it . 
The important  but differing roles of the student , the participant and the observer ( very important subject noted here with S , O ' and P's below ) is not the main focus here.

The very human reasons why proper communication did not occur,  as with the fable, is the focus here.,  I have had the privilege of being both S, P and O as a geoscientist working in rural areas.

These deep historic and ongoing realities in men's failure to really listen to each other MUST be taken as critical if we are to avoid both small and large disasters. Excuse making we can't stop, but by being alert and not alarmed ,we can avoid more disasters.  

The Aberfan tragedy 1966  

The risk of a pile of excavated fill going thixotrophic when saturated would have been observed by many people in most moist towns across the country. You don't have to be an expert to notice ( S+O) important things-- to be a good observer (O)  ,

Geoscientists know the risk of landslide to be very high  and the risk of slurry slide to come with momentum energy that would be developed by its height in the landscape ( the situation at Aberfan) . Sitting high above a city,  its hard not to think slurry and landslide at some point. Why the blindness? (B)
 While one might have expected the local geotechnical engineers (S) to have at one moment noticed the probable structural  failure of fill outside,  their daily focus  was quite normally  on structural failure inside the mine ( where lives were also at risk of being lost ) ,

A key risk  for any of us is that we can be so close to something  ( a good thing and the best thing )  (P) is we can't see it (S)   We need to listen to each other to live well .
 Prosecution of sound risk management usually requires at least TWO parties( eg P+O) to talk to each other. 
We don't know who didn't talk to who,  but we do know that as usually happens with HBC-- the obvious is touted as  cause  when in reality risk will usually run deeper. The creek was a focus for some but the low factor of safety was all that mattered . We know the very high rainfall of the time was blamed by management but those of who study the substance know that all sort of  secondary is normally highly distractionary.
Yes  for eg rainfall is a cause but,,,,,,,,,

If you cut no deeper  that the risk of bush fire being increased by higher than normal temperatures (TODAY- drafted in November)  you will probably be not advancing the cause of prevention protection and real wisdom about risk.

If you talk when someone else should be talking , you risk being the problem. 

GPS on our phones should be used as a way of alerting people to risks. 

You heard it first from Emperors Academy
Don' t forget to never leave technology in the hands of wannabes , Give it over to professional scientists ( and geoscientists in particular )