The future will never be the same again.
By now you have watched the experts – not only in the United States – fail to predict the unfolding of the coronavirus pandemic over and over.
I can give you many reasons for that.
Science and expertise are heavily politicized. Experts who break rank from consensus and the corporate interests that fund it are fired, defunded and socially ostracized.
Zero understanding of risk and uncertainty is taught in school, but those terms are generously used and abused.
Authentic science has long been supplanted by the religion of scientism.
Models are just a mode of obscurantism designed to make you feel inferior and “put you in your place”, a way to sell a convenient narrative by hiding it under a veneer of pointless – and often incorrect –mathematics.
Scientistic verbiage has become so profligate that even scienticians do not understand it anymore.
Inability to think independently is trained in by years and decades of formal education and professional experience.
Blind deference to precedent and authority is even more common than you assume.
Experts are shielded from public scrutiny.
Most people cannot imagine anything that goes beyond their life experience can happen again (see Spanish flu), let alone happen for the first time (see Greater Depression).
Lying is habituated in modern society. It is part of the corporate fabric. It is essential in politics and government, if you want to have any semblance of a career. Lying is ingrained so deeply from an early age that it becomes a reflex that kicks in unconsciously as a first-response mechanism.
Most people will rather sell their child to organ traffickers than admit they just do not know.
The modern world has modelled and selected people for softness and obedience, rewarding people who do not rock the boat and marginalizing those who want to do things differently.
Political correctness runs rampant.
The assets of the oligarchy are more important than your life. You are expendable. You are a statistic.
I can go on and on, but in the end it all comes down to the same fundamental error.
Experts rarely think when they create models and solutions. Instead, they rely on existing techniques, experiences and ways of doing things. Most of statistics and modelling is just replicating and selling the same assumptions and structures over and over and over. With little understanding of the underlying assumptions. They are selected to create an illusion of safety, not to reflect reality.
The need for certainty is the greatest disease the mind faces.
We seek comfort in certainty.
We get certainty from the narratives we tell ourselves.
Science is a system of narratives, which often contradict themselves and each other. Patterns and analogies are narratives. Models are just that – narratives.
Thinking is slow, boring and costly. Established patterns are fast and economical. Most importantly, they offer an easy way to cover one’s proverbial. Experts are rewarded to be wrong with the herd, not to be right on their own. Analogies come cheap.
I refused to use analogies in anything I did.
I rarely think, but when I do, I always aim to do genuine thinking – from first principles and raw data.
I discard everybody’s conclusions and my own.
I blank-slate it.
If you buy this, it will be immediately obvious why most people could not – and still cannot – make predictions like I can.
But predictions are too high a bar that is not even necessary. You do not need predictions (mini-narratives in their own right) to make good decisions.
You just have to look at what the world is serving you up and decide on a course of action that serves you.
It is not about intellect, although intellect certainly helps. It is just too tempting to be “efficient” and rely on habits and analogies.
It is too tempting to fall back on old patterns and authorities instead of do the real labour of thinking.
This is the second most important reason I rarely think. I want to have the mental energy – the mental space – to do it right.
(The first reason is that thinking is usually more an obstacle than an aid, but more on that another time.)
The coronavirus first caught my eye in late December, when the “troubles” in Wuhan refused to subside the way most media scares do. More than that, I felt like whatever media coverage was filtering in to me was not hyping it up the way of ebola, SARS and swine flu had been in years past.
Do not get me wrong. I do not watch TV or get my news from corporate media. But their noise often filters in through Twitter or people in my life.
In those early days, I was not alerted by any special new information that I was getting, and I was not looking for any. What caught my attention was the lack of media hype and hysteria.
You could assume that the corporate media consensus is always wrong. This would be a good heuristic, but what I did goes beyond it.
Most people wait for the data and the information – including the “experts”, the just-the-flu bros and the data morons (usually, but not only, techies, scienticians and sports commentators).
I have trained myself to look for the blank space. The empty space consists of things which should be there that fit the narrative, but are conspicuously absent. They just are not.
The blank area in the picture corresponds to the question “What is missing, what angle should be filled that is actually empty?”
The blank space can give you powerful cues how to handle a situation of paralyzing uncertainty.
I use another “crazy” approach to handle complexity.
Even if you delude yourself that you “have the information”, complexity makes it impossible to know what really is going on when it matters.
Instead of staring at “the information”, I look at the noise.
Makes no sense. Which is exactly the point.
We know where the information came from. The information always comes from the same place – the need to construct a narrative creating an illusion of certainty. The need to “know”.
In those early days, I already felt that the wuhan was the real deal, not just the flu, not the public hysteria over swine, duck and unicorn flu.
But I assumed I did not know, and I went on looking for the noise.
I looked for the ZeroHedge articles; the reports of sulphur dioxide clouds emanating from Chinese crematoriums; the 4chan screenshots; the conspiracy theories percolating on and off social media; unreviewed Chinese research papers, many of which later retracted; the weird shares in the DMs; the “crazies” in the comment section.
All the noise pointed in the same direction – that something big was happening in China. Perhaps I may not have known what it was, and I did not need to. I knew it was big and was real.
Two big things happened about that time – in January.
For one, the CCP shut down Wuhan and commercial flights across the country.
I will avoid a long digression on how precarious the Chinese economy had already been. Suffice it to say, I knew that shutting down large swaths of the country was the last thing Xi would want to do to sell a psy op. (No, a massive psy op was NOT my hypothesis at the time.)
The bigger trigger was that the media narrative shifted too. From sparse coverage of a “flu” epidemic in China, the corporate media narrative shifted in unison to “it’s just the flu, bro”.
All the noise – from the conspiracy theorists to the corporate media – was now pointing in the same direction.
Understand that the noise itself did not matter. What people were saying did not matter. I was not looking for a consistent narrative. What mattered was that all the noise was pointing to the same source – the turbulence in China.
If you are paying attention, you will see that both noise and empty space are fundamentally anti-narrative.
The white noise ignores what is being said and looks for a common point of origin, a single noise-generating process. The blank space looks at what is missing from the narrative, how the narrative is incomplete or incoherent, in order to subvert it.
I could easily make up a narrative about what was about to happen in the rest of the world – pandemic contagion.
But that was not even necessary. I knew the future before I needed a narrative to explain it. I already knew what was going to happen. I already knew what needed to be done.
I knew your government would come up with a placating narrative, just like the CCP. I also knew that the disease was too harsh to be papered over. I knew lockdowns were coming. I knew the fake economy would finally have to be shut down.
I needed no model, no narrative (although I had plenty) of how and why those things would happen. I just knew that they would.
I told a few friends, who already know that I am crazy, to buy masks and get ready for lockdowns.
I made sure I had masks and as much USD as I could get my hands on.
In early February, I also tweeted out a thread telling my followers how to prepare for mass contagion and avoid infection.
But I failed.
I failed to act, and act early giving you all this information ahead of time. That is on me, not you.
My whole life has been one long Cassandra Syndrome.
It has taken me this long to be TOLD that Cassandra’s problem was not that nobody believed her, but that she failed to act on that assumption.
Cassandra’s story was the personal narrative I tripped over yet again. I failed because of my own narrative.
I have told you this many times before. It is worth saying again.
Narrative is not reality.
It is not just that reality is not linear. Reality is not narrative at all.
Every once in a while, we can touch upon the transcendent – the Real – through books. But those are the few books that use language precisely to disrupt the comforts of the mind and break the patterns established through language and narrative.
The way to See through our blind spots is to act. The best way to predict the future is to make it.
We choose to See or remain blind of the future.
When we are used to comfort and the narratives that support it, we become enmeshed and ensnared in Fakehood. Narratives are lies we tell ourselves. When we are mired in lies, we must be mired in our own lies first.
Share this missive any way you like, and have a laugh at my expense.
And keep your mask on at all times when in public,
PS: If you have any questions, email me right now. I read every message you send, as always.