I have found it increasingly difficult to have in depth conversations with people as it seems as if their mind is made up on many topics, which brings to mind the Arctic Monkey’s song A Certain Romance:
“They’ll never listen
Because their minds are made up”
(Artic Monkeys – A Certain Romance)
What is the difference between faith and belief? There is the expression “in good faith”, which indicates that someone is taken on their word because of trust. Meanwhile, humans have taken up arms over their beliefs from the Crusades with Christianity fighting the new religion of Islam to the Second World War, ignited by ideology, which started festering in Germany after losing the First World War.
Whether the belief is in ownership, land or perceptions of religion, these are all man made. I believe, though do not know for sure and I can say I am not objective about this, that these concepts are much less or not women made.
As my last sentence suggests, belief is not confined to religion. It is when the mind is made up. All discussion stops there and there is no possibility of multiple voices being heard. This Harvard Business Review article cites objectivity as a key skill for leadership of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the USA.
our best leaders work diligently to ensure that multiple voices are aired during policy meetings.
(Dempsey, Michael 2018).
The thought about diverse perspectives feeding in on any given topic has interested me for some time. In my view, communication unites people by allowing everyone in the discussion to start with the same information. If multiple voices are heard before discussion begins, it is possible to reach a bigger, better conclusion, which caters for a broaden section of society.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many fractures in society. People have been prevented from meeting up to talk, even outside, spread out in the park, while the science caught up with how COVID-19 spread between people.
Meanwhile, on 16th March 2020, Neil Ferguson had already published a paper on Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions for Imperial College London, which dismissed the plans to eliminate the virus taken in South Korean and other Asian countries – with much more experience with virus outbreaks than the United Kingdom – as too expensive and proposed controlling the virus for 12 to 18 months until a vaccine was ready.
We show that in the UK and US context, suppression will minimally require a combination of social
distancing of the entire population, home isolation of cases and household quarantine of their family
members. This may need to be supplemented by school and university closures, though it should be
recognised that such closures may have negative impacts on health systems due to increased absenteeism.
The major challenge of suppression is that this type of intensive intervention package –
or something equivalently effective at reducing transmission – will need to be maintained until a
vaccine becomes available (potentially 18 months or more) – given that we predict that transmission
will quickly rebound if interventions are relaxed.
With hindsight, this is exactly what has happened, but it has gone far worse than planned in my view. But has it gone worse for governments, the World Health Organisation and Big Pharma? It has defintely gone far worse for the NHS, hospitals and all their staff. I will look at how objectivity might have been missing and how community leaders can create a more complete picture of what is going on in August 2021, to help protect ourselves, friends, families and communities ongoingly.
Adjectives, Labels and Names
It is easy to spot a mind, which is already made up through the use of language. Can we trace where this language came from to see what the agenda is? Overall, we must recognise the fact that multi-national corporations are legally bound to keep expanding and profits going up for their shareholders. We need to look at all the information we can find on health, food, retail and marketing to see if our knowledge has been contaminated by conflict of interest or if group think has crept in to create an accepted norm or conformist belief.
Have you ever smoked? Do you remember being worried about who you would become if you stopped? Personally, I didn’t want to emulate friends who had stopped and become evangelical about not smoking. The dread of becoming an “anti-smoker” may have delayed me reading Allen Carr’s brilliant The Only Way To Stop Smoking Permanently, which described ways used by Big Tobacco to pretend to help people quit, while ensuring they didn’t lose any profits. If you look at Smoking Cessation and Engagaging with Unhealthy Commodity Stakeholders on government and Public Health England’s websites today, you will see a very interesting picture.
I read Allen Carr’s book 6 months after purchasing it, following the success of a friend in quitting, (according to Allen Carr, there is nothing to give up and everything to gain) while waiting for a client in my car, burning my car seat in the process. Carr took me by the hand and led me through the process of quitting, whille exposing all the misconceptions in my mind about tobacco, addiction, NHS stop Smoking Adverts and the false illusions of barriers to quitting without substitutes.
Today, tobacco has gripped smoking cessation by the throat, with Matt Hancock actually saying the vaping is the healthy alternative to smoking and that unassisted cessation was unrealistic. Subsequently, vaping shops are popping up in the highstreet and even have their own unprotected sections in supermarkets. The false premise that people who stop smoking will become boring zealots is used to keep people puffing. Even the NHS suggest e-cigarettes as a stop smoking aid, butthey are sold by tobacco companies.
(this should be a caption to p9hoto but WordPress isn’t having it today.
Have you ever been to a dinner party and felt unable to refuse the potato dauphinoise, which you know the host bought from Marks and Spencer but claims to have lovingly sourced the ingredients for and been preparing since they dropped their little darlings off to school in the morning because you have a food intolerance?
Food manufacturers and fast food chains will not have it that most human beings react to their foods. They refuse to accept that empty calories and cheap, processed food, industrialised farming methods, animals pumped full of drugs, nutrient-stripped, flavoured, enriched and fortified foods can make us unwell, tired and depressed.
No one wants to be the difficult guest who doesn’t eat half the food put in front of them. Just think of the Ethiopians! However, what is the most difficult is actually talking about food intolerances as the food manufacturing industry has made sure that most people are completely intolerant to discussions about food in relation to health.
It is high time we assumed the objectivity principle, as “An objective viewpoint is thus more realistic, fairer and far more likely to be result in an agreeable resolution to human differences”. says ChangingMinds.org, who say being objective means:
- Be unemotional, not getting agitated or distressed in any way.
- See things as they really are, not from a personally biased viewpoint.
- Be neutral, understanding both points of view.
In 1863, funeral director to the royal family, William Banting published his Letter on Corpulence, which resulted from a dietary system recommended to him by his doctor on Soho Square in London, who Banting consulted to cure his hearing loss. Banting says with joy that the new eating plan, which excluded sweet and starchy foods, long before fast food chains and heavily processed products existed. By excluding beer, bread, potato, rice, root vegetables, milk, sugar, sweets and any other foods containing disaccharide or polysaccharide carbohydrates, which required the body to break down into simple carbs to absorb as sugar into the bloodstream, Banting regained his hearing and gradually lost weight until he felt good, healthy and able to maintain his new dietary system.
To prove that William Banting was sharing his own personal experiences to help his fellow creatures, not to profit from sales of a diet pamphlet, he made his first short run of leaflets free to those who wanted them, the longer follow-up was sold to cover printing costs and by the fourth Letter on Corplence, in which he was forced to name the doctor who recommended his diet to ease hearing loss to prevent another doctor from exploiting hsi shared name, he accounted for every penny earned, which he donated to worthy causes.
If only health practitioners and commentators had that much integrity today. Perhapst here would be the level of disagreement there is today over matters and provisions, which are made in the name of public health.
As a result of suspected iodine deficiency, which could caused by more than one thing including intolerance to dairy or lack of essential nutrients in London in December 1970, I was born with hearing loss and hypothyroidism. After reading medical papers written by my grandfather, Rupert Samuel Bruce Pearson, I found my way to a book by Dr John Mansfield called The Secret to Successful Weight Loss (1976), which introduces the Elimination Diet to root out foods which were causing reactions.
Food Intolerances are hard to find and produce a variety of symptoms up to 2 or 3 days after eating a problem food. By eating any quantity of 42 ‘safe foods’ which northern Europeans were least likely to react to, people could exclude foods, which caused weight gain from their meals or cooking.
William Banting says that he gained 3lbs if he ate peas, but as he enjoyed them so much when they were in season and his weight bounced back down 3lbs when pea season was over, he chosen to eat a little of what he fancied. Today, a little of what you fancy is very unlikely to be a vegetable in season. Do we even know what is in season anymore?
Pharmaceutical Marketing Versus Reesarch Spend
As medication prices soar in the USA, pharmaceutical companies claim the money is required for research and development. Meanwhile, more is spent on marketing and lobbying. Consumers end up with subjective information, where people who cannot be reached are blamed for all the health problems, which could be attributed to the lack of prevention in healthcare.
This medical press article about the lack of information about the COVID-19 vaccine in trials is a case in point. The article says:
Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern: that vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralising antibodies), be they composed of protein, viral vector, DNA or RNA and irrespective of delivery method, may worsen COVID‐19 disease via antibody‐dependent enhancement (ADE).
This blog is a work in progress due to whatever WordPress are up to, which is making it a battle to write on this blog.
Quote from film Official Secrets (2019) on Censorship
Despite the above information being an important consideration for everyone before taking a COVID-19 vaccine, it is very difficult to get objective information about the vaccine. Another science article was retracted because it said that to save deaths from COVID-19 there were deaths following vaccination, without attributing the information to a proven cause. This statement was unproven, but the press and commentators came down hard on the authors of the article. The retraction statement is here.
Have a look at the language used to describe the authors of the retracted article. Did they not want to balance up the whole story so people were more fully informed of the risks of illness from challenge by covid in different circumstances after one, two or no doses of the vaccine?
Is their motivation financial, reputational or simply what they believed to be in the best interests of the public? Motivation is a good way to assess the reason for data. Online publication The New Republic says:
Corporations no longer consider the broad public interest in making decisions, nor do they worry that the state will ever revoke their license to operate. They only consider the desires of their shareholders, which has led to record corporate profits, stagnant wages, soaring inequality, and a shrinking middle class.David DayenAugust 15, 2018
“How to Cure Corporate America’s Selfishness
Elizabeth Warren has a simple idea for keeping big business accountable to the American public, not just shareholders.
Selfishness and lacking consideration for others seems to be actively enouraged today. Perhaps this makes people easier to control? However, in early human communities, domineering people were shunned and collaboration was vital to community survival. That sense must still be within us and just as necessary for the future of our planet and life on it.
By the time of the retraction the full text of the article had been viewed more than 380 000 times and had been shared widely by anti-vaccination activists on social media.Jaqui Wise, BMJ 2021; 374 doi: The Safety of COVID-19 Vaccinations-We Should Rethink the Policy (Published 07 July 2021)
The damage to vaccine confidence and trust that can occur through the distribution of pseudoscience in good quality academic journals cannot be underestimated.Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccinologist at the University of Auckland, who resigned from Vaccination board over the article.
There is money involved, which has the potential to influence views, particularly those that oppose the work of the responder. Here is an article about a 5 year grant awarded to Helen Petousis-Harris, looking – in my view – delighted by her windfall to research the use of vaccines to prevent diseases, which started in July 2018. Is she objective to comment on the concerns of the authors of the retracted article and free of conflicts of interest?
How do they know that all 380,000 shares were by “anti-vccination activists” not concerned citizens who have had all their required jabs? Is this all part of a resistance movement or is the industry response using attack-dog framing to discred their opposition? The Centre for Consumer Freedom regularly uses words such as “anti-” or “activist” to label anyone who questions them. Where is health objective debate? Where are multiple voices around the table?
Compare the view of the discretion used by the general public in their perceived ability to weigh up their own risks and health decisions in the above statements and articles with an Irish Times article about complementary and alternative health practitioners and remedies (not medicine) from 1999.
The medical profession repeatedly says that it must protect the public from these alternative medical charlatans, these rogues whose only desire is to con the public out of their hard-earned money. These doctors seem to forget that people can make up their own minds, that most people quickly sense if they are being duped.Dr Terry Lynch, Holistic Medical Doctor in Dooradoyle, Co Limerick for the Irish Times, 1999.\
If you look at Wikipedia for information about holistic, alternative, natural, herbal or older principles such as Chinese or homoepathic medicine, information will contain references to ‘psuedoscience’ – a popular term to discredit and invalidate views, which challenge the popular or commonly held belief.