What Does a Bubble Etch Tank Doctor Do

The flat feet of Professor Drosten (1): The virologist censorship

“And through stylistic studies we find out that Caesar had flat feet.” This is how Erich Kästner mocks scientific progress in his famous poem “The Development of Mankind”. It starts with the fact that the "guys" once crouched in the trees and today, despite central heating and atomic fission, "viewed in the light" are still the old apes.

I want that, too. I don't want to sit in the tree, I want to do a style study. Not with Caesar, with Drosten. It's not about flat feet, but about what his words reveal about the thoughts behind them. A style study can reveal that. Words gossip, they reveal how someone is thinking.

Pictures, Susan Sonntag said, show you hell, but not the way out of hell. Pictures show no connections, they give no reasons, no goals. Naked numbers don't either. But today we can no longer talk about Corona without having terrible images from Bergamo in front of our minds. We are given numbers whose order of magnitude makes us dizzy and whose meaning we cannot understand.

We live in hell

A flood of images and numbers that worldwide -in true living colors - was spread, has long caused a general anxiety disorder. Women and children first. As always, you are particularly affected; they are immediately exposed to the feelings that are triggered by the horror images. They only understand so much of the magic numbers they have learned that they are monster numbers. It now affects everyone. Men too. Images and numbers do not have to overcome language barriers; they reach illiterate people and professors alike, as well as those who have become speechless and now have a hard time finding their way back to language.

Greta had announced it:"I want you to panic!". That was unmistakable. Here, too, the expression on her face made it clear what she wanted to tell us: Everyone should feel the same fears as she did. Nobody disagreed. On the contrary. Obama had demonstratively - it was still common at the time - shook hands. This picture also went around the world and had a generally understandable statement: Panic is in trustworthy hands. Obama was not the right person to help a hypersensitive child, but he was definitely the right person to use his authority to ensure that a child's fear becomes the binding standard for everyone. Now the time has come. We are in a state of panic. We are ill. We were there before Corona. This is the new normal.

Tools from the first aid kit

We need words to ask questions, to get out of speechlessness, to create order, to find ways out of hell, to leave untruths behind us. A picture lies more than 1,000 words, says the mocker, and it is more often true than we would like: There are pictures that still lie even when everything that is depicted on them occurs in reality. Numbers that are not correctly set in relation to each other still lie, even if they provide the correct results of an arithmetic problem in and of themselves.

Of course, you can also lie with words, but there is a chance that it will be noticed. With the right words one can convict wrong ones. Words from the first aid kit can be used as a tool to identify the connections that are missing from the pictures and the bare numbers. One can ask oneself whether the arithmetic problems were actually correct and whether the image details are meaningful.

The more pictures and numbers are presented to us incoherently, the louder the warnings against conspiracy theories. No wonder. We need some theory with which we can explain the world and ward off fears. If the many images and numbers with which one is constantly bothered are not embedded, then everyone has to try for himself somehow to figure it out. The lack of context - unfortunately I don't know who the quote comes from - is already “a form of violence”.

The following text is particularly useful to understand how leading experts think about Corona. Even if we haven't studied medicine, German studies or sociology, we can easily understand how those we trust judge the spread and danger of a pandemic and how they want to remedy the situation. So it's about exactly what we want to know right now.

Let's be smart: let's pretend to be stupid

In the “Feuerzangenbowle” there is the legendary scene in which the teacher Bömmel - played by Paul Henckels - tries to explain a steam engine and says: “Let’s make us stupid”. I don't want to play stupid, but I want to try myself:

I want to pretend I've never heard of Prof. Christian Drosten. I try to refrain from the fact that I find him likeable and that he has excellent achievements in his field, which I admire. That shouldn't matter. I just look at his text, I don't care about the person behind the formulations.

That's how a doctor does it. With him it shouldn't matter whether he likes the patient or whether he knows his private life. A doctor examines the clinical findings with a scrutinizing look and uses them to get an idea of ​​the clinical picture. I try to do that accordingly: I look at the text and deduce from it the world of thought that reveals itself in the words. I ask myself: how does someone think who puts it like this? I am concerned - I repeat it - only with the way of thinking that becomes recognizable, not with the thinker.

The words give it away

The text that I am going to dissect is signed by over 100 experts. Drosten speaks with the reinforcement of over 100 voices. So much the better: This makes it clear that this is not a personal matter, but a widespread way of thinking.

It is an important text, not spoken, written. It is not about a work of contemporary literature by a poet named Drosten, it is about an important document of contemporary affairs that deserves to be taken seriously. It is in a prominent position: it fills a page in the 'New York Times'. It's not just said that way. It is practically set in stone. For the world and for posterity.

Print out the text. Read it out loud. Multiple times. With each sentence, think about whether you really understand what it is about. Try to recount what you have read in your own words. Look for three suitable examples for each group mentioned in the text (that is, for each plural). Picture the scenes that are described in the text. Do an imaginary headstand: Check that the exact opposite statement is not much more convincing.

If you have the time, handwrite the text. This may seem like detention, but it is the best way to really understand the worlds of thought. You then have it in writing. You can document the mistakes in reasoning. You have it in writing that the experts to whom we listen operate with numbers that they cannot know, that they paint dead people on the wall that do not exist, that they deliberately panic and that with their specialization in the Dissemination factor Follow an unsuitable concept.

The written evidence

It's good that in this case we have generally understandable words to stick to. There are no pictures. No technical jargon. We don't have to petrify in awe because we think we don't understand the background anyway. Here the experts are talking about a topic with which they cannot impress us. You know as little about it as we do. But they reveal how they think, how they abstract, what mistakes they make when they form groups. They voluntarily revealed it. I put my interpretation up for discussion. I think they are conclusive.

We do not have to introduce our concerns with the sentence: “I am not a virologist or a statistician, but…” - we are at eye level from the start. We don't have to look up the dictionary, we don't have to create an Excel spreadsheet or watch someone conjure up something for us on the screen.

I cannot judge any inconsistencies in the scientific approach. About inconsistencies in the language. We can all do that. I will do it in two parts: The first is mainly about the connections, the logical structure - that is, what is missing in the images and numbers. In the second part I take a closer look at some of the details that the devil is in.

It is not strictly separated. The second part is also about connections, in the first I also take a look at the details and the examples - or better said: the instructive lack of valid examples.

Words are treacherous. Sometimes they reveal more about the speaker than he would like. The use of language indicates who we are dealing with: someone who is more likely to contribute to obfuscation or to enlightenment. Words reveal whether someone is intellectually honest or intends to deceive. Then we want to:

No second wave. Another pandemic

In a full-page ad in the New York Times Professor Drosten addressed the world public with an urgent warning of a new pandemic. Apparently it was serious concern to him. It was about an important matter that was put on the big bell - the death knell (don't let the gender stumbling blocks put you off at the beginning):

“As doctors, nurses and health experts from all over the world, we now have to sound the alarm. It is our job to keep people safe. At this moment, however, we are not only dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, but also with a worldwide “infodemic” in which human lives are endangered all over the world due to misinformation that spreads virally on social media. "

So we have it - Oh dear! - To do with another pandemic, with an "infodemic" that we did not know before and that is also unknown to the automatic correction program. Infodemy in quotation marks? What might that be? The "Tagesspiegel" paraphrases it as a "pandemic of lies":

"Fake news about the coronavirus: Drosten and over 100 doctors warn of a pandemic of lies",is the heading. Further:"Drink disinfectants, gloss over symptoms - Corona fake news is spreading rapidly. In an open letter, doctors demand corrections from Facebook and Co. "

Sounds good - doesn't it? No. We'll see. There are several accident sites in a small space here. I will look at it relentlessly and it will ... - to quote one of the experts - "get really bad".

What connections can you see?

First, let's take a look at the skeleton. How can we describe the relationships that are assumed here in our own words? Who are the people involved? They are groups. In sober words you can say it like this: Group A warns of Group B and demands something from Group C. At the end of the article, one of the 100 doctors sums it up as follows:

"My colleagues and I(Group A) cannot lie at the same time(Group B) fight and save lives. We urgently need help (from group C)“.

Doctors are overwhelmed when they are supposed to save lives - which they normally do - and fight lies at the same time. That makes sense. Or? No.

When we lay the connections naked on the dissection table, questions arise: Who actually expects doctors to fight lies? Can you even do that? Of course not. Not only can they not do it at the moment because they are overwhelmed by Corona, they cannot do it anyway - fundamentally not. They are neither trained nor equipped for this. That is not their job.

At what point do you have to act against the lie?

In the relationship between doctor and patient, honesty naturally plays a role: Is the patient lying? Is he hiding something? Should the doctor tell him the whole truth? Can there even be healing without truth? Whatever the case, a doctor has nothing to do with lies found in the press or in the alternative media.

It is not important what kind of magazines are on display in the waiting room and whether a patient ever throws a look into it (by the way, there were books by Wilhelm Busch in Dr. Sigmund Freud's waiting room). A doctor has never asked me what I read and whether I am also on Facebook. This is not part of the anamnesis. A patient's reading behavior and internet usage are irrelevant when they visit the doctor.

A surprise bag with nothing in it 

What lies are you talking about? This raises the question of the elements that should be included in group B (in the plural "lies"). Two examples have already been given by Daily mirror called: "Drink disinfectants, gloss over symptoms". Both are not convincing. More is not coming.

First: "drink disinfectant" - that isFake news of a special kind. That Trump should have issued something like that as a recommendation, are themselvesFake news. He has it Daily mirror added. Such false reports are among the curiosities that are spread as Trump bashing during the election campaign. From the mainstream media! Mind you: not from Facebook and Co. (If you want to know more, you can read it here.)

Second: "glossing over the symptoms". They are not at allFake news. This is just a dissenting assessment, a disagreement. To gloss over symptoms does not take place on Facebook either. It is also later claimed that the threateningFake news stir up fears on Facebook. Own goal. Those who gloss over something do not stir up fears, they rather try to calm down.

Third: There are no other examples - as I said. The warning call from the 100 doctors is about measles, autism, cancer, cocaine, ginger and ADHD - nothing that has anything to do with Corona or Facebook. Group B is a surprise bag with nothing in it, a collection point for residual waste. See for yourself. It is not a valid plural. It can mean anything: criticism, dissenting opinion, satire, targeted disinformation or pure nonsense, which is easy to recognize as such. This group B does not exist. Who or what are the doctors fighting against?

Nobody should believe dangerous lies

What about group C, which consists of “Facebook and Co” and is also known as “tech giants”. They should rush to the doctors' aid and fight against the sham, which is pompously referred to as the "pandemic of lies"? Can you do this? No. Neither. What should they do? You should ensure

"... that users do not consider dangerous(!) Believe lies ... that dangerous(!) Lies, as well as the sites and groups that distribute them, will be demoted, not promoted, in the user feeds. Harmful(!) Misinformation as well as sites and channels that "repeat offenders" (!) that disseminate this information should also be removed from the content-recommending algorithms. "

But how should Facebook judge what is “dangerous”, what “wrong” and what is “harmful” if even the experts do not give any examples that could be used as a guide? The Daily mirror writes that "corrections" are required. This means deletions. But what should Facebook delete? DangerousFake news. And then? Are thenFake news from the world? Is this how the corona pandemic should be combated?

Wrong fight

It is a made-up game with a stupid experimental set-up - a dilettante barn: someone (a hundred doctors) claims to be doing something (fighting lies) for which he is not at all qualified and turns to the wrong people with a dramatic cry for help (on Facebook). Specialists are fighting something they can't fight and expect shooting help from someone who doesn't know where to shoot. Over 100 white knights fight ghosts and demand that windmills be torn down.

A proud hundred of experts, who are equipped with academic titles, compete against an undefined group of nameless amateurs who, for their part, have not even come together to form a group and who also have no common interest that unites them. We can be curious: Who will be better off with such a comparison?

We have an exhibition match for undemanding right-wing rulers. Penalty shootout without a goalkeeper. A self-presentation by people who like to be celebrated as a lifesaver. But it's not just against things, it's also against people. They cannot go against the cause (the lie), but they can harm the individual.

Goliath versus David 

Don't let the expression “tech giants” confuse you. It doesn't hit the giants - it's against the little ones, not the big ones. The blanket and unfounded accusations that lead to deletions harm the little Facebook users who actually believed they had a right to freedom of expression and the internet would offer them new ways to enforce that right.

Now your videos will be deleted - videos that you willingly produced with modest means. Posts that were connected with the hope of attracting attention and possibly making new friends are deleted. It was important to them. You took part in a game in which the rules were subsequently changed. They have invested time and money - and are now suffering losses that they could not have expected. You feel the arbitrariness of power, which has struck according to the motto: Always on the little ones, always on! Lock them up! They cannot defend themselves, they cannot afford a lawyer.

The little Facebook users have no chance to defend themselves and prove their innocence. How then ?! The allegations that are brought against them are not specified. Your videos and posts will be deleted by anonymous firefighters who themselves do not know what they are doing and also cannot know.

Anyone who warns of “dangers” and speaks of “damage” is also obliged to state what the danger is and where possible damage will occur. Otherwise he is like someone who calls the fire brigade and when they come, just shrugs his shoulder and cannot tell where the fire is. That is why there is a note on fire alarms that misuse is a criminal offense. Doctors also can't help a patient if they can't tell where it hurts and why it came in the first place. So: where is it burning? Who will be harmed? Who is in danger? Doctors who negligently talk about “dangers” and “harm” have not earned our trust.

Little exercise: try a headstand

For fun, let's do a mental headstand and imagine someone would say the exact opposite - possibly in the following words: No need to be upset, folks. Everything is easy. Everything that happens on Facebook is completely insignificant when dealing with Corona. Whether it is lies, failed jokes, satire or bad taste, it does not matter, because the contributions that are posted there do not claim that they are important. The internet is a way of playing. A flea market. Enter at your own risk. Parents are responsible for their children. Everyone can choose what they like on the Internet. If not, then not. The contributions do not harm anyone. They do not pose any danger.

Who do you believe more?

In the meantime, various extinguishing thresholds have rushed through the network. One in April, another in May. This was to fight conspiracy theories or hate speech. Here are some examples of posts that have been deleted. Hand on heart: what do you find more harmful? The posts or the deletion of posts? No one can say for sure how harmful the contributions are. The deletion is detrimental to the climate of opinion, to social peace. It is certain. No wonder that today many no longer dare to speak out publicly on the topics of feminism, gender, LBGTI *, climate, migration, racism or Corona. It is only whispered behind closed hands - and of course with a face mask.

Damage from extinguishing water

The censorship has struck again. As if the tech giants had taken the doctors' warning call to heart, another monster wave of deletions spilled through the network (presumably the upcoming election campaign will also play a role). Without warning, over 25,000 channels were removed from YouTube overnight. The "Spiegel" reports that YouTube has deleted "six known right-wing extremist channels", including that of Stefan Molyneux.

The mirror either does not know what he is writing or he deliberately spreads hoax. I bet that no one in the editorial team can show me a single Molyneux video that justifies the term “right-wing extremist”. And I know a lot of his videos, a lot if not all of them. Somebody should explain to me why his channel, which was mainly devoted to philosophical topics, did not contradict any community standards for 14 years, but is now said to have violated them "blatantly". What happened there?

Molyneux is not one of the little Internet users, it is a giant, it had an incredible 250 million views, and there were billions of comments. His work on the net is on the order of a small or medium-sized library. It now has severe water damage from extinguishing water. He himself says that YouTube has just "ended the greatest philosophical conversation of all time". His new book is called 'The Art Of The Argument. Western Civilization’s Last Stand ‘. Erasing something is no art. It's not a good argument either.

Amazon tells us: Customers who bought books by Stefan Molyneux also bought some by Jordan Peterson. I suspect: People who can be convinced that deleting posts on Facebook helps the fight against Corona also walk alone with a protective mask through a nature reserve. What's happening? The protective measures have now been brought forward to the periphery and generalized so much that a possible benefit can no longer be proven, but the collateral damage is immense.

The virologist censorship

Virologists operate with large numbers and abstract quantities that they do not differentiate. Their area of ​​application, which they have in view, is human life "all over the world". The threat they see affects everyone equally. All! You want her in the New York Times notify

„ ... that each (!) separate (!) Person in contact with health misinformation on their platforms (!) has come, is warned and notified. "

That is of course impossible, but ... besides that: What kind of imagination is revealed there? It looks like this: People do not read texts and think about them of their own, no, no, no, they rather come into “contact” with “lies”, with “misinformation about health” and have no opportunity to do their own thing to fight back. They must therefore be protected from any possible contact.

Virologists do their calculations without the host, they focus so strongly on the factor of dissemination that they do not take into account how what is disseminated is received by and is absorbed by the individual. A censor in a totalitarian system thinks that way too. He cannot imagine that readers deal with a text in a self-confident and differentiated way and that they themselves recognize wrong and inconsistent. The censor imagines that all persons who choose their own reading are immediately infected by the thoughts in the texts and that they then fall for them uncritically, as if they were sick. That is why they should not even come into contact with anything that is not system-compliant. The virologist censorship is such a totalitarian censorship. Stefan Molyneux says: "The real virus is totalitarianism".

How about "Goliath vs. Goliath"?

Would be the mirror still the magazine for the discerning intellectual, if he would report differently about the wave of censorship and recognize that Stefan Molyneux is one of them (as they used to be) - a discerning intellectual who is an exemplary moderator of a dialogue who takes counterarguments seriously. He knows the pros and cons. He is not satisfied with fighting straw men."Don't fight the straw man, fight the iron man"- is his motto, which Jordan Peterson also shares: Don't make your opponent small and get yourself a cheap triumph quickly, rather make him big and look for the best that his counter-arguments have to offer. Only a fair confrontation with a strong opponent, in which praecox censorship is of course prohibited, brings everyone forward.

The more than 100 doctors should therefore not engage in a superfluous - albeit harmful - fight againstFake news call on the Internet that they should rather ask themselves serious questions. They don't do that. Instead, they pretend they are the only valid votes. But if medicine is to lead us out of the crisis, then all qualified voices must be heard. Everything that can be useful for scientific progress should be promoted. Deletions, exclusions and calls for censorship are poison.

The poison works. Even the big ones in medicine, who could stand up to the more than 100 lifesavers, are now being made small, sidelined and attacked. Dr. med. Michael Tank has put together “120 expert opinions on Corona” in “Practice for Holistic Medicine”: Professor Dr. Klaus Püschel, Professor Dr. Gerd Bosbach, Professor Dr. Wolfram Meyerhöfer, Professor Dr. Dr. Martin Haditsch, Professor Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Professor Dr. Hendrick Streeck, Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, Professor Dr. John Ioannidis, Dr. Raphael Bonelli, Prof. Dr. Frank Ulrich Montgomery, Professor Dr. Stefan Homburg ...

Dealing with mistakes shows trustworthiness

Even experts make mistakes. It is forgivable. The advancement of science requires careful handling of errors. They should be recognized as quickly as possible and named precisely. However, there must be no risk for a scientist to make a mistake. The mistake has to be fought, not the one who made it. Falsification has always been the way of science. To hold others against the fact that they put "dangerous" false reports into the world and punish them for it, is the way to dictatorship.

What did the over 100 doctors want with their warning call in the New York Times to reach? You have started ...

"... to save lives and restore confidence in scientifically based health care."

So they know it, at least they suspect it. The trust is cracked, possibly lost. I wonder why? The enforcement of censorship harms the social climate, prevents the scientific dialogue, which is now more important than ever. Virologist censorship is not a confidence-building measure. On the contrary.

Incidentally, a teacher reported that students nowadays no longer understand the aforementioned poem by Erich Kästner, in which it is said that style studies have found that Caesar had flat feet, as satire. You have no doubts about the results of such style studies. You think that's useful science.

It is also true. Caesar had flat feet. Everyone knows. You can see that at Asterix.

Also read the second part: The spread dead

Photo: Tagesschau / Screenshot

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