Has social distancing made COVID-19 worse?

Professor Knut Wittkowski makes a strong argument that Drs Fauci and Brix have been wrong all along.

Professor Knut Wittkowski, for twenty years head of The Rockefeller University’s Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design, says that social distancing and lockdown is the absolutely worst way to deal with an airborne respiratory virus.

This interview with Wittkowski was posed April 3, 2020. This actually makes it more interesting because we can see how his predictions have played out over the last ten days. Decide for yourself, but it sounds to me that he has been and is right.

EDIT: The video I originally posted was removed from YouTube. It can be found here:

https://www.altcensored.com/watch?v=m43HfvHcjpc

What will USA do now that COVID-19 appears to have been a deliberate Chinese attack?

New facts may come to light and alter the picture we have today. But as of now, it does seem that China (CCP) at the very least deliberately concealed the seriousness of their COVID-19 outbreak, thus causing global pandemic.

What’s worse is it also looks, as of today, that they may very well have engineered the virus and released it deliberately or negligently. Either way, it’s bad. Of course, deliberately made and deliberately released is the worst.

Consider matters from the point of view of the CCP. On the one hand, if they honor the trade deal they signed with Trump, they are doomed to a slow death as the CCP cannot survive for long under the regimen they signed onto. On the other hand, if they renege on the trade deal, they will also be doomed and probably to an even quicker death.

This double-bind they are caught in—either way, we lose—is their probable motivation for unleashing COVID-19 on the world if that is what they did. And almost all signs point to some version of them having done that.

The least version of this scenario in their minds would be: “We are more used to adversity than the West/USA and we are better at controlling our population due to our authoritarian system. Therefore, we will survive this COVID-19 better than the West, so it is to our advantage to cover it up.”

The worst version of this scenario in their minds would be: “We have developed lethal viruses and we have vaccines for them. Now is the time to unleash them on the world. We will prevail and within a short time control the entire world. We will start with COVID-19 and follow up with a second or third virus as conditions dictate.”

I would be astonished if Trump and the Pentagon have not considered all of the above and much more. Thus, I must conclude that we are already responding to the threat.

Seizing CCP money in the West is one response already being discussed in public. What will we do about potential follow-up viruses? I don’t know. I do not see how a second or third bio-attack, if launched, can be prevented or contained since one could easily be initiated in thousands of places simultaneously.

Thoughts hidden by subjective phrases

After years of clearing up my mind, I noticed that my inner voice sometimes uses short phrases to bring negative trains of thought to an end. It was a habit I was aware of but had never given any thought to.

The phrases are not pretty; e.g. “I hate them all,” “fuck them,” “who cares about assholes like that,” etc.

My guess is this kind of inner speech is not uncommon. I was using it to end various lines of thought that had wandered into painful territory.

Having a clearer mind today or at least believing I did, I decided that when phrases or words like that came up again, I would not let them shut off my thoughts as I had been doing. Rather I would let the thoughts continue, explore what was there.

What I found is a bunch of old memories and emotions that were fairly easy to clean up. They were not so much repressed as not having been visited for many years. The nasty phrases were like labels in an old, unused filing cabinet.

About half the material was out of date and easy to toss. Another one-quarter was pertinent but was stuff I had dealt with in other ways and was thus redundant.

Only about a quarter of the material lying behind those nasty phrases deserved more thought.

In some of the most interesting cases, I realized that I was letting someone off too easy by hiding their behavior inside a neutral memory. They actually had been horrible but I had been too young to understand (narcissists, for example). Analyzing that stuff over again in a more mature mind was a bit of a chore, but the results have been good, even refreshing.

The process is ongoing. It does resemble cleaning an attic or an old filing cabinet. The stuff I found behind those nasty phrases was not all the stuff from my past. It was just stuff where I was blaming someone or feeling angry about something or had been harmed by someone. The bad stuff I’ve done is elsewhere in my mind.

I am struck by several things concerning those phrases and what lay behind them. One is a lot of that material dates back to childhood and early adulthood. It was not so much unconscious as not having been visited for a long time. Though most of it does not have strong emotional valence, some of it is very revealing because it brings together memories that had been disconnected, leading me to understand dramas or aspects of experience I had not understood before even though I had lived them. I also notice that it was just a few words that closed off those “files.” The power of words to command silence in the mind.

I had been dismissing all that material with just a few words whenever I didn’t feel like going there, which was every time. After not going there for many years, it was refreshing to poke around and rearrange those parts of my mind. I am quite sure I freed up some memory space and removed some snags in my thinking by dealing with that stuff. I also see new patterns within my general sense of my past, patterns with better explanatory power, both truer and more concise.

I see our minds as having a structure sort of similar to language or a forest. Trees of ideas, memories, and feelings grow and change. It’s good to remove some of them sometimes, put the space to better use. Buddhist practice is very helpful in endeavors like this. Rather than get all worked up with Freudian passions and delusions, we can simply observe, dismiss, refile, erase, upgrade, or reimagine as needed based on our capacities and understanding of what’s best.

Our bhavanga or “storehouse consciousness” contains memories, pictures, ideas, words., explanations They flow along with us, in many ways are us. When the mind is clear, a lot of that material can be rearranged for the better. There aren’t many rules for that. Just do your best.

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first posted

Intrinsic motivation is important for sustained creative activity

A recent study shows that An insight-related neural reward signal exists and is more active in some people than in others.

This study also confirms the idea that “intrinsic motivation is important for sustained creative activity.”

Some other findings that may be of interest:

…our findings suggest that individuals who are high in reward sensitivity experience the sudden emergence of a solution into awareness as strongly rewarding whereas individuals who are low in reward sensitivity may still experience insight as sudden and attentionally salient but lacking in hedonic content.

As lifelong autodidact, I wonder if others with this marvelous “addiction” can relate to feeling almost not alive unless there is something to wonder about or figure out. I recently read a biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein. One standout was his strong tendency to seek out simple or humble environments that stimulated his mind.

…Individuals high in reward sensitivity are more likely to take drugs, develop substance-abuse disorders or eating disorders, and engage in risky behaviors such as gambling. The fact that some people find insight experiences to be highly pleasurable reinforces the notion that insight can be an intrinsic reward for problem solving and comprehension that makes use of the same reward circuitry in the brain that processes rewards from addictive drugs, sugary foods, or love.

Getting lost in the woods or on a motorcycle ride, for me, is a highly enjoyable feeling. There have to be slight tremors of fear and agitation followed by finding my way again. I suppose others may experience similar feelings in social settings or as live performers.

…These findings shed light on people‚Äôs motivations for engaging in challenging, often time-consuming, activities that potentially yield insights, such as solving puzzles or mysteries, creating inventions, or doing research. It also reinforces the notion that intrinsic motivation is important for sustained creative activity. The expectation of intrinsic rewards from comprehending and creating, rather than from an extrinsic source such as payment, is thought to be the most effective type of workplace motivation…

A society with universal basic income in which no one has to work unless they want to might bring about the greatest flourishing of human talent ever. Then again, maybe not. Inspiration does need a stick on the back sometimes and “joy has no children,” meaning happiness produces few inventions.

Here’s an article about the study: Aha! + Aaaah: Creative Insight Triggers a Neural Reward Signal.

Religious freedom, the federal govt, China and Chinese propaganda

The interviews below are better than most, providing in-depth insight into how and why the US government is acting as it is.

This interview with AG Bill Barr covers many fundamental legal and practical matters at home and also vis-a-vis China. Well-worth viewing.

EDIT: Part 2 added. In this section Barr makes it clear that U.S. Attorney John Durham is pursuing criminal charges against DOJ and FBI officials who abused the FISA process and whose actions “at least had the effect of sabotaging the presidency.” Barr calls those abuses “the greatest travesty in American history.”

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro discusses China, COVID-19, and the US response to both.