This article was published in an abridged version in La Verità on May 5, 2021.
It never ceases to amaze the way in which the natural sciences, since it has embraced them to impose the most radical measures ever dared in peacetime, are providing not only the fuel of the stake on which entire pages of our constitution burn, but even their own statutes, the cognitive bases that make them practicable. It is, between science and politics, the mutually mortal embrace of two castaways who cling to each other, get in the way and drag each other into the abyss, as evidenced by the last year spent in the sign of the "pandemic crisis".
Let's consider closures, curfews and restrictions. It was worth it? Are they protecting us from the damage of the new disease? Not being able to make a counter-observation in the laboratory it would be impossible to give an apodictic answer, but it is honest to recognize that the analogical evidence accumulated since the onset of the emergency are very far from promoting them in a statistically solid way. In the media there was talk of the Swedish paradox, of practicing a light lockdown without therefore suffering worse consequences than other countries that have closed more rigorously. But without speculating in particular cases, the general absence of significant correlations between the intensity of the restrictions and the clinical impact of the disease is no secret: confirmed from the beginning by numerous studies ( here the latest in chronological order), it has also arrived in television. A few days ago the journalist Federico Rampini revealed in prime time that "those countries that have practically emerged unscathed, with microscopic mortality numbers, have not used blanket lockdowns". The same data is accessible to anyone who pastes on a spreadsheet the numbers on the pandemic in the world released daily by the University of Oxford. I did it too in my own small way and I discovered that the correlation between the average severity of lockdowns and the total deaths attributed to SARS-Cov-2 per million inhabitants is even positive (that is, as one increases, the seconds increase. ), even if in a scarcely significant way (R 2 = 3%).
X axis: stringency index (average); y axis = deaths attributed to SARS-CoV-2 per million population. Data available for 169 countries since the start of registration (23/02/2020) . Source: Our World in Data (accessed 06/05/2021 ). Ilpedante.org elaboration.
Even with every exception and caution, how can we continue to subordinate income, subsistence and well-being with certainty to connections of this quality? What consolatio scientiae can be addressed to restaurateurs without customers, to hoteliers without work and to imprisoned adolescents, to what harsh natural laws our snow workers forced into unemployment should resign themselves while, a few kilometers further north, their Swiss colleagues were making the ski lifts while counting this year less than half of our deaths attributed to SARS-Cov-2 (377 vs 804 per million inhabitants)? What then are these sacrifices if not conjurations or Easter florets, propitiatory fasts made with the belly of others? Is this the society that listens only to the naked word of science?
But now someone raises his voice and says: enough with the closures, go ahead with the vaccinations, because there is no other way to "get out of it". But the music doesn't change. Like the closurists, the vaccinists too compress the complexity and the unknowns of the new scenario into a handful of slogans that everyone must repeat. It is therefore necessary to speak slowly when remembering that new drugs are subject to conditional marketing authorization which allows their use even though the regulator lacks all the data necessary for their full evaluation. And that pending these studies it has so far been established that they can avert the serious outcomes of the disease, but "the studies to establish whether vaccinated people, infected asymptomatically, can infect other people are in progress", so that "people vaccinated and those who are in contact with them must continue to take protective measures against COVID-19 "(from the Aifa FAQ ). In the meantime, we are also investigating the duration of immunization, the protective efficacy against mutations of the pathogen, the possible role of prophylaxis in the development of new variants for selective pressure , why " the cases of vaccinated health workers who recontag themselves are increasing " , even symptomatically , on the frequency and characteristics of side effects not detected by the first studies, on the advisability of repeat administrations and more.
Overall, the data on the effects of the ongoing immunization campaign cannot be said to be conclusive. If it is true that in England and Israel, where more than half of the population has already received at least one dose of the vaccine, daily deaths have plummeted from the end of January to today, similar dynamics can also be observed in Albania with 0.2% of vaccinated, or in South Africa with 0.6%. Other countries such as Japan (2.2%), Thailand (1.6%) and Taiwan (0.14%) have recorded death rates from SARS-Cov-2 equal to or lower than those achieved since the beginning of the year by the British and Israelis, albeit with vaccination coverage close to zero. On the other hand, some of the most vaccinated nations have seen deaths rise in a worrying way, such as Chile (43%), Uruguay (35%) and Hungary (43%), which is also the country. today most affected by deaths associated with the disease. Extending the analysis, there is no significant correlation between vaccination rates and globally attributed deaths to date.
Axis x: percentage of the population that has received at least one dose of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine as of 05/05/2021; y-axis: new deaths attributed to SARS-CoV-2 per million population, 05/05/2021 (seven-day moving average). Data available for 181 countries, values equal to zero are excluded. Source: Our World in Data (accessed 05/06/2021). Ilpedante.org elaboration.
The result does not change if the variations in deaths attributed to vaccination start with vaccination coverage are crossed.
Axis x: percentage of the population that has received at least one dose of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine as of 05/05/2021; y-axis: variation of new deaths attributed to SARS-CoV-2 per million inhabitants from the start of vaccinations to 05/05/2021 (seven-day moving average). Data for 131 countries , zero values are excluded. Source: Our World in Data (accessed 05/06/2021). Ilpedante.org elaboration.
Even in the most extreme case, considering only the 10 least vaccinated countries (coverage 0.01% ÷ 0.025%) and the 10 most vaccinated (coverage 37% ÷ 63%) in the world, the trend line that crosses the variations in deaths remains substantially flat.
Axis x: percentage of the population that has received at least one dose of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine as of 05/05/2021; y-axis: variation of new deaths attributed to SARS-CoV-2 per million inhabitants from the start of vaccinations to 05/05/2021 (seven-day moving average). Data for 20 countries (the 10 least vaccinated: Libya, Niger, Syria, Armenia, Papua New Guinea, Mauritania, Mozambique, East Timor, Albania, Mali; and the 10 most vaccinated: Malta, Qatar, Hungary, Chile, USA, Bahrain, UK, United Arab Emirates, Malta, Maldives, Israel). Zero values are excluded. Source: Our World in Data (accessed 05/06/2021). Ilpedante.org elaboration.
The novelty and complexity of the phenomenon mean that the knowledge acquired so far is inevitably incomplete in transformation, as the dozens of studies published every day show. Many of the questions that arise today are not yet physically possible to answer with certainty due to the limits imposed by the chronological horizon and by the unpredictability of large-scale systems. It's normal. What is instead completely abnormal is that not only in talkshows , but now also in institutions, it has been chosen to throw one's heart beyond the obstacle of uncertainty to extract a password from scientists and transform their hypotheses into dogmas.
If, net of any other reservation, "it is not yet known whether vaccination is also effective in preventing the acquisition of the infection and / or its transmission" ( so our Istituto Superiore di Sanità), how is it possible that a law in force obligations health workers "to undergo free vaccination for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection " (as per art. 4 of Legislative Decree 44/2021 )? And that it does so under pain of denying them the right to pay and work, with a sanction that has no equal in the world and in history? And how does the denunciation of an unprecedented health crisis reconcile with the idea of giving up health personnel? And putting our freedoms at the mercy of what doctors say with a willingness to punish doctors … for what they say? We are at the self-confutation in purity. Today it is estimated that the hesitant people would exceed forty thousand units only in three regions ( Tuscany, Lazio , Puglia ) which, projected on the national territory, would become about one hundred and eighty thousand. Are they all wrong? Those who have a heart for health should be reminded that the well-being and lives of millions of patients depend on the work of these people, and not on the hypotheses on which they are still working, that the State has invested years and billions of euros to train them and that we will no longer be able to replace them due to the serious shortage of personnel that our health care has been suffering for years. But perhaps it would be useless to do so, because there are no reasons in the funeral of reason.
And since then, once the dam is opened, anything can pass, the new rules on "health passports" have implanted a further attack on our model of civilization on the unresolved aporias of confinement and pharmacological immunization, re-proposing eugenics in an immune sauce with logical, constitutional and scientific acrobatics that I leave to the readers' analysis.
Here we are not interested in guessing the planning underlying these forcing, although it remains clear that the most desperate and confused situations are also those most propitious to the incursions of those who want to reform in derogation of the consensus. The upstream propaedeutics are more worrying, the unhinging of the capacity to think down to its minimal functions of coherence, consequence and measure. In the absence of these foundations, it goes without saying that the epistemic complexity matured in millennia of observation of reality is reduced to a pile of ashes. The offense to the method of science is a by-product of the offense to reason, which in turn offends our nature ("id quod est contra ordinationis, proprio est contra naturam hominis", wrote St. Thomas). Traditionally applied only to sexual conduct, unnatural sin is among those who "cry out for vengeance in the sight of God" ( Major Catechism , 966).
Not only rash decisions arise from these licenses, but also the seeds of profound violence, because violence deactivates the rational antidote. The dictatorship described by George Orwell in his latest novel imposed itself with terror and weapons, but even more thoroughly by training citizens in the unreasonableness of the oxymoron ("War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength ") and of the" double thought ":
Knowing and not knowing; having the certainty of affirming a truth while uttering the most carefully artificial lies; professing two opinions at the same time that are mutually exclusive, knowing well that they contradict but nevertheless believing both to be true; use logic against logic.
In Winston Smith's world, twenty grams of chocolate is more than thirty and two plus two «sometimes it's five, sometimes three. Sometimes it makes five, four and three at the same time ». Half a century earlier Gilbert K. Chesterton predicted that "bonfires will be lit to testify that two plus two equals four will draw swords to show that leaves are green in summer" ( Heretics , 1905). The most iconic representation of the cognitive arrogance of the strongest, however, is due to the genius of Phaedrus, whose wolf does not scruple to brazenly cripple the laws of gravity and time to justify his aggression.
Also from these ideas emerges the hidden meaning of the "governance of data" in which the vice of disguising the arbitrary with the clothes of natural necessity is reincarnated. Hence the error of seeking that meaning in the perimeter of the information that it itself traced, that is, of limiting oneself to attributing its violence to the reliability and correct representation of the "data" that has become law. Of course, here the epistemic sin of believing that the datum possesses its own truthful force of Galilean memory, as if the numbers downloaded from an institutional database or read on a paper possessed the same self-evidence as the moon spots observed with the telescope of the Pisan. Here it is clear that the long intermediation of the governing data involves an equally long chain of critical issues of which the material ones (measurement errors, non-conformities of standards, delay in registrations, etc.) and malicious (omission, manipulation, manufacturing, etc.) represent only the more superficial level, however important and almost always silent. Anyone wishing to accept these risks would later collide with the criticalities of the model, that is, with the vision and purposes conveyed by the sorting of those data and not others. Why, for example, do not communicate infections, symptoms and deaths of vaccinated people on a daily basis? Why not the indicators of a thousand other diseases, or of a thousand other phenomena? The "given" includes its end. It is not a number, but the representation of a done and finished Weltanschauung . The aporia of data models suggests that the model is based on data, where it generates it.
These critical issues alone would make the calculations and considerations I proposed in this article useless. Why then did I do it, bricklayers friends? To reiterate in a cruder and more pedantic way the lesson of the aforementioned masters, that the "governance of data" does not waver over the slippery "facts" to which it wants us to enslave, but rather wallows in it. The tyrant who bases his reasons in the natural order of "facts" condemns himself to fear their evolution and their becoming recognizable and falsifiable in the experience of all and must therefore monitor, dominate, harness them. In this, their manipulation would help him, which however would leave intact the greatest threat of their autonomy and their falsifiability, would put him in the hands of a "truth" that can always emerge, while the criteria of his knowledge remain valid. More than the merit must therefore confiscate the method, more than the measure the measurability. The continuous production of ambiguous, uncoordinated, contradictory and incoherent information produces the humus of impossible knowledge, de-democratizes reality by nullifying the ways of its shared experience (which today we call "science") with the result of delegating it to relations of social force, to whom has the means to shout it out more. If the truth cannot be known, then what the strongest says is true. And if the strongest can dictate reality right down to his method, then he no longer has to fear and repress a dissent that does not even have the basis on which to exercise itself. The experienced truth becomes revealed and priestly, it is confused in the fumes of the censer and in the buzz of muttered litanies, inaccessible to the vulgar made a child, blind and adoring. "The essential and definitive injunction" of the almighty master, explains Orwell, is "that you should not believe either your eyes or your ears."
So it's true, bleating "qui possum is not enough?" like Phaedrus's lamb, which in fact ended up torn to pieces. It is not enough to say that water flows downstream, that two plus two equals four and that the leaves are green in summer, but it would be at least a start.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Il Pedante at the URL http://ilpedante.org/post/superior-stabat-lupus on Sat, 08 May 2021 14:16:29 PDT.