This blog’s new business ideaSeptember 13, 2020 Tim WorstallBusiness31 CommentsStolen from Mr. Lud QC. Voodoo dolls. Wax figurines of the politician of your choice. Sent with a pack of pins. previousJeez, how does a woman mature into being such an idiot?nextQuite astonishing economics 31 thoughts on “This blog’s new business idea” The Meissen Bison September 13, 2020 at 9:35 am I’d be more interested in a life size inflatable Matt Hancock. Just as useless and full of hot air as the real thing. Edward Lud September 13, 2020 at 9:39 am How about a crowd funder for a huge dirigible panto horse with Handjob’s face at one end, and Blowjob’s at the other? Like the famous Hindenburg, it sadly catches fire. Finis. John B September 13, 2020 at 9:39 am Rather than dolls, how about the real thing? People could buy time slots with their favourite(s), so everyone could get a go and there would be a revenue stream. dearieme September 13, 2020 at 9:39 am Harsh! “Don’t kill your gran” was a fine bit of health propaganda, with the added virtue of having a lot of truth in it. Mr Womby September 13, 2020 at 9:47 am My late mother-in-law used to knit dolls of politicians she disliked to stick pins into. Her favourites (if that’s the word) were Blair and Livingstone. John September 13, 2020 at 9:54 am Just a guess but ordering one of Abbott might swiftly result in a visit from our overworked law enforcers. philip September 13, 2020 at 10:06 am dearime says Don’t kill your gran” was a fine bit of health propaganda, with the added virtue of having a lot of truth in it At what cost in children’s mental health? Hancock makes them guilty of infection, and forces them to run away when granny wants to give them a hug. Bloke in Wales September 13, 2020 at 10:12 am “Don’t kill your gran” was a fine bit of health propaganda, with the added virtue of having a lot of truth in it. They could repurpose it as “Don’t kill your daughter” in certain more vibrant areas. dearieme September 13, 2020 at 10:33 am “At what cost in children’s mental health?” It wasn’t aimed at children wanting a cuddle but at teenagers and young adults. Jussi September 13, 2020 at 10:34 am What a co-incidence, just read a joke, wife shouts at the husband from upstairs hey do you ever feel a needling sudden pain in you chest like someone stabbed a voodoo doll with a pin or something? No, I don’t… How about now? MyBurningEars September 13, 2020 at 10:36 am @Jussi 10/10 for that one from me! View from the Solent September 13, 2020 at 10:55 am ” Mr Womby September 13, 2020 at 9:47 am My late mother-in-law used to knit dolls of politicians she disliked to stick pins into.” In witchcraft these are called ‘poppets’, and are made for casting spells anti- or pro- the person involved. Somewhat cliched, but it seems your late mother-in-law was a witch. Jussi September 13, 2020 at 11:23 am And I thought all mother-in-laws were witches… bloke in spain September 13, 2020 at 11:29 am ” “Don’t kill your gran” was a fine bit of health propaganda, with the added virtue of having a lot of truth in it.” Unfortunately, it’s also a bit of propaganda has resulted in crashing the economy & gran died in July of an untreated non-Covid related condition because medical attention was denied. Do what I say or I kill the kitten & it’ll be your fault. It was bloody obvious early on the vulnerable were the elderly & those with pre-existing condition. Priority should have been given to helping provide protection those groups. The death toll in the care homes was a national disgrace. Meanwhile most of the NHS has been standing idle for months. The whole thing’s a fiasco the result of some small advances in medical tech & a sensation seeking media. Thirty years ago they probably wouldn’t have been able to identify the virus. 2020 would have been a year with a small spike in excess deaths. A bad flu year. As it is, identifying the virus is about all they’ve achieved. They still haven’t managed to come up with a reliable test or yet an inoculation protects against it or a drug counters the symptoms.. A lockdown strategy would have to be predicated on one or both of those being realised on a short timescale. Or you’re in a permanent lockdown until the economy disappears altogether, along with the capability to enforce it. And the whole thing’s been driven by a media intent on selling media on doom & gloom. OT. Just been out & this entire town seems to be shut. Post office, banks & most of the shops. Why I haven’t the vaguest. God bothering? Our leisure & tourism based economy is bleeding out of all orifices. We’ll probably soon be looking at 50% under 25’s unemployment. Half the businesses are going bankrupt. But the Spanish are taking yet another holiday. To add to the 14 national ones. Despite August being virtually a month long holiday with half the public sector either not functioning or on reduced hours & most of the professional class sunning themselves on the beaches. Why anyone would want to be in an economic union with these people & paying taxes go to digging them out of their shit I can’t imagine. Commander Jameson September 13, 2020 at 11:32 am Are the pins the ones with the spherical heads? So we can make Boris look like a coronavirus? Tractor Gent September 13, 2020 at 12:43 pm I was thinking more of Toby-jug-style caricatures as candles. Then they can be slowly immolated. That might get around the Abbotapotamus issue too. dearieme September 13, 2020 at 1:19 pm What are you arguing, BiS? That it’s vile to kill Granny in a care home but fine to kill her in her own home? Intellectual incoherence of a high order, that. bloke in spain September 13, 2020 at 1:42 pm No dearieme. That measures and assistance should have been targeted at & offered to the vulnerable. Not suffer the economic damage of shutting down the entire economy. And I’d say make the entire thing optional & voluntary. Age wise I’m high up in the vulnerable. But I’ve no intention of altering my lifestyle for a few more years in incontinence pants. I regarded lockdown as a sick joke & breached it every way I could. I haven’t croaked of Covid. Nobody I know of has. And I know a lot of people. But understanding risk takes knowing the difference between what could happen & what’s likely to happen. Or you’d huddle in your safe spaces & never do anything. Bloke in Germany September 13, 2020 at 6:36 pm Anyone promoting the “don’t kill granny” line needs to never ever drive a car. Because you might kill someone’s granny, or their child, every single time you get into a car. As UK corona deaths are now around and about road traffic fatality rates, the comparison is entirely valid. Pcar September 13, 2020 at 8:16 pm @dearieme -10 bollocks and more bollocks @bis Spot on both times Under 70s have more chance of being killed in an RTA, but still driving – risk/reward Except “not found a drug counters the symptoms” – it’s been available and was endorsed by Fauci, until Trump supported it: The jury is in on Hydroxychloroquine – ‘it saves lives’ @BiG are you still with Fauci after he changed his mind? Hancock, stop killing grannies – Left don’t care that peeps died and are dying because they withhold HCQ @BiG are you a masker too? @Commander Jameson Snigger Bloke in Germany September 13, 2020 at 9:02 pm Pcar, if I understood either question, I’d still say they both sound like asking me if I have stopped beating my wife. Doubtless there are many things that Fauci and I would agree upon, and many that we would disagree upon. Perhaps if you would specify the issue rather than the person, I could satisfy your curiosity. Masks have a negative benefit-risk ratio, for sure. HCQ, probably (but less certainly) also does. In both cases, we’d change our mind in the evidence of benefits outweighing risks (or costs). MyBurningEars September 13, 2020 at 9:17 pm @bis “Thirty years ago they probably wouldn’t have been able to identify the virus.” Doubt that’s true for “thirty years ago”, albeit there wouldn’t have been the fast turn-around for the genetic analysis. I’m no expert on history of microbiology but reckon the chances of at least identifying that a new infection was doing the rounds globally and that it was caused by a novel coronavirus (even without being able to trace its genetic lineage) would have been pretty good as early as the mid-1960s/early-1970s onwards, based on the way other coronaviruses were being identified back then. SARS was also identified as a new disease caused by another novel coronavirus pretty quickly, and that was almost 20 years ago now. “2020 would have been a year with a small spike in excess deaths. A bad flu year.” Even with the medical knowledge of the 19th century, it would have been clear there was a pandemic of some kind, albeit without being able to figure out the pathogen. It wouldn’t have been mistaken for “just a bad flu year”, partly because the symptoms are sufficiently distinct from seasonal flu, but also because of the pattern of deaths spiking out of season, the global spread, and hospitals in several places completely overflowing (again, suspiciously out of season). And as far as spikes in death go, this one hasn’t been all that small. Perhaps size is relative and people tend to think of any epidemic that isn’t Black Death level of bad as “small” in comparison, but relative to other disease-related spikes in mortality within our lifetimes, this isn’t down there as one of the smaller ones. All this doesn’t mean the policy response pursued was correct. I’m just saying this isn’t one of those scares (and you’re definitely right there are such) where we only notice it at all because we have recently acquired the technology sensitive enough to detect it – people would have seen what was happening, even if, as was common in the 19th century, the cause was mysterious or disputed or completely incorrectly ascribed. What doctors, media and politicians would have done with it – or would even have had the power/capacity to do – would surely turn out rather different then versus now. MyBurningEars September 13, 2020 at 9:25 pm @big can probably slap far more realistic date ranges as to “when we’d know what” on that. I’m not disagreeing with a lot of @bis’s point, but the argument that “X years ago we wouldn’t even have realised Y so we wouldn’t have done Z about it” is genuinely interesting. And there’s lots of stuff we do go off-the-scale disproportionate about that, yes, we wouldn’t even have noticed was going on not so long ago. I just don’t think the “X = 30 years”, “Y = identified the virus”, “Z = gone into lockdown” is quite right, but it’d still be a nice counterpoint, in fact be rather more powerful by dint of additional accuracy, if the X, Y and Z were fine-tuned a bit. The Meissen Bison September 13, 2020 at 9:59 pm Großer – long time no see – hoffentlich geht’s dir gut. Bloke in Germany September 14, 2020 at 7:07 am You need someone collecting death statistics nationally and with sufficient temporal resolution to attribute this to a new cause. And the standards of communication that allow doctors to talk to each other and agree they have something that is new and not just local. I’m fairly confident that before the mid 19th century this would have been written off as some miasma or mal aria, and would have largely burned itself out by the time the first case reports made it into the proceedings of the learned societies. For contemporary example, see the whole of Africa where there is no death crisis. Is that because of the younger population, or the inability to collect reliable data, or both, plus or minus other things? Bear in mind it wasn’t until Florence Nightingale (arguably the first medical statistician) came along that the British Army realised that infectious disease was killing far more soldiers than fighting. Around about the time that the entire concept of infectious disease began to get proper traction (sure, we have known for thousands of years that some diseases are transmissible, but most infectious diseases were attributed to bad air, witches, etc). MyBurningEars September 14, 2020 at 10:43 am @big To be fair the public health/epidemiology types were actually faster to get on the ball about deaths in the general population than medical types were about hospital deaths – Semmelweis got sadly ignored and William Farr’s work on epidemics was done pre-Nightingale. By the mid to late 19th century, I suspect they’d have established the most vulnerable age groups and also professions (another of Farr’s things), even if the cause was ascribed to some mysterious miasma. The early 1890s pandemic (probably flu but I think some Danish researchers suspect a then-novel coronavirus based on evolutionary genomic evidence that we would have had one about that time) was pretty well-recorded even if not well-understood. Any bets on at what point in history the actual pathogen would have been identified, either as viral in general or coronavirus in particular? For the latter I’m guessing more like fifty than thirty years, for the former would it have been based on whether they could culture the thing? But that’s where I don’t know an awful lot. Pcar September 15, 2020 at 12:17 am @MBE “Novel” is another example of Gov’t & msm scare mongering nomenclature “Infection” replaced with “Case” “With” replaced with “From” “Another” [coronavirus] replaced with “Novel” Chance of dying With C-19 = 1 in 2,000 Chance of dying From C-19 = 1 in 50,000 Epidemic/Pandemic – definitely not. Insignificant and reaction insane MyBurningEars September 15, 2020 at 9:41 am @Pcar “Novel” is also what the science textbooks and the research papers say… If you don’t use the word “novel”, you’d only end up using a synonym for it. It’s just like how flu pandemics get caused by novel strains of the influenza virus. Not all novel strains mind you, since many are fortunately pretty useless at human to human transmission. But to say an influenza pandemic is caused by a novel strain of virus is in no way scaremongering, does not rule out a degree of preexisting immunity (for flu this is particularly true among the elderly because novel strains often resemble previous ones that have left human circulation – previous pandemics will often have displaced earlier types of flu) and does not say just how severe infection will be (2009 swine flu was very mild, but Spanish flu – even though you could quote things the other way round to say 97% of people survived – was, if you’re being fair about this, severe). The issue about infections vs cases, and IFR vs CFR, is not some masterplan to make the disease sound worse than it is, it’s something that happens every time there’s a pandemic/epidemic – at the start, cases are way easier to count. Data on infections can only come later, generally when enough serology data is in, and is often disputed (which has unsurprisingly turned out to be the case with Covid). I don’t think a level of consensus on the IFR for the 2009 pandemic emerged until a year or so after the event. It’s a fog-of-war thing. Seasonal flu is, every year, epidemic. Epidemic does not mean cataclysmic, apocalyptic disaster, it’s just a technical term in epidemiology. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic was very mild (extremely low IFR/CFR). That does not mean it wasn’t pandemic. “Pandemic” does not mean horrifying severe disease. Media exaggerate things to grab audience share and sell copy. Politicians lie as a matter of course. Senior medical and public health types may feel they get listened to more and treated as more important, the bigger they make a threat out to be. A lot of the policy response to Covid hasn’t been soundly evidence-based. I think you’re right that all these things are true. There is a strong case to be made that many actions were disproportionate and involved deliberate scaremongering. And so what’s the point denying it involved a “novel” coronavirus? Or looking at the spread of the virus around this country, indeed around the world, and denying it’s even an epidemic? It makes you sound like one of the nutters who think there isn’t a virus but it’s really all the 5G. What’s wrong with saying yes, it’s a new virus, it’s achieved rapid global spread, about a million people have died – but not at all pandemics due to novel pathogens demand a severe policy response, this one certainly doesn’t, many of those million people would have died soon anyway, let’s protect the care homes and elderly and otherwise get on with our lives? That still seems to encapsulate your position but it doesn’t sound like it’s coming from an anti-science nutjob. And since the average person has twigged there is indeed a new virus spreading its way across the world – which even you don’t think is actually incorrect, though you disagree on what should have been done about it – I think you’re rather more likely to get your message across without denying there’s even been an epidemic or that the new virus is novel. I just don’t see what you’re getting out of framing your position in this way, other than sounding more controversial or edgy than the substance of your argument actually is. Pcar September 18, 2020 at 7:11 pm @MBE Gov’t & MSM are deliberately using scary, dangerous inaccurate words to stoke fear, panic & submission. Accepting their misuse of words gives them a win An Epidemic is an infection which causes significant deaths in a country – 0.002% dying From C-19 is not significant, thus not an epidemic “Novel” C-19 is not, it’s a variant of previous Corona viri CFR vs IFR – Ferguson got it wrong and used the CFR number as the input for his model’s IFR variable They should use accurate words and reassure people rather than lying – “Novel” use Another/different/new Strain – “Epidemic” use Local Outbreak – “Cases” it’s Infections – “From” it’s With Worldwide <1 million dead "With" out of 7.8 Billion is nothing Testing: Hancock was on Julia Hartley-Brewer and did not understand False Positives – J H-B '220,000 tested, only 1% were positive – they could all be false as PHE say 98% accurate' – Hancock 'No only 2% of the positive results might be false' As I said, accepting any of their misuse gives them credence Spectator https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-isn-t-matt-hancock-taking-false-positive-tests-seriously- C-19 Dangerous? https://hectordrummond.com/2020/09/17/positive-tests-vs-admissions-vs-deaths-graph-from-christopher-bowyer-start-september/ Pcar September 20, 2020 at 12:25 am @MBE “Novel” – see https://www.timworstall.com/2020/09/quite-right-too-13/#comment-1026970 MyBurningEars September 20, 2020 at 1:21 am @Pcar I don’t get why you’re arguing the unarguable. It doesn’t make your core argument any stronger. “C-19 was ‘novel’ only in it being a new Coranavirus (common cold) strain” First of all that’s inaccurate in the sense that coronavirus and common cold are not synonyms. More colds are caused by a rhinovirus than a coronavirus, for one thing, and conversely neither SARS nor MERS are “common colds”. SARS-CoV-2 is, as the name suggests, more on the nastier-than-your-typical-cold end of the scale. Why obfuscate in this way? Your grip on the science, and the strength of your argument, is better than that. Secondly, even if it was a new strain of common cold (which it isn’t) … it would still be novel, so what’s your point? The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic was caused by a novel strain of influenza. Obviously there has been influenza before, there have even been influenza pandemics and seasonal epidemics of the H1N1 type before, but 2009 was a pandemic because it was a novel strain. That’s just what “novel” means in this context, it doesn’t mean an entirely new family of viruses completely unlike anything humankind has come across before. The way the word “novel” has been used in this context is compatible with how it’s been used for novel flu strains as well as how it was used for the original SARS and then for MERS. If you ever read the old PHE annual flu surveillance reports, they also report on “novel” respiratory viruses including MERS and any new flu strains that seem to have crossed into humans. (By your argument they shouldn’t have been calling MERS “novel” since that was also a coronavirus… but that’s a technical report not intended for mass popular consumption. They’re just technical people using technical language. They didn’t incorrectly conjure up the word “novel” for SARS-CoV-2 just so they could scare people, it’s just an established part of their scientific vocabulary.) On a related note, if you think COVID-19 isn’t killing enough people to be an epidemic so should be classed as an “outbreak” instead, that’s missing a couple of points. Firstly, a disease doesn’t need to kill anybody to be epidemic. Not all diseases are fatal, after all, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be spread in a way epidemiologists would class as epidemic. Secondly, for comparison, absolutely nobody is denying that 2009 H1N1 was pandemic, and that was incredibly mild in comparison – a fatality rate far below COVID-19 and only 20,000 deaths confirmed globally for the whole pandemic. (Though later estimates that take unconfirmed deaths into account reckon it was in the low hundreds of thousands – see https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/pandemic-global-estimates.htm ) As you’re very fond of saying, the death toll of COVID-19 so far resembles a bad flu year. But I don’t think even you would deny it’s been worse that a more typical or “good” flu year. And you know what we have every winter in the UK? A seasonal flu epidemic. Even we have a good flu year, we don’t say we only had an “outbreak”. In fact that word has a technical meaning in epidemiology, to refer to a much more localised kind of spread of disease. Seasonal flu is an epidemic because it isn’t confined to a local area, a prison, a hospital or whatever. It spreads all round the country. Like wot COVID-19 has done. And since COVID-19 has spread around many different corners of the world, it’s a full-scale pandemic. “Cases” and “infections” aren’t synonyms. Every time there’s a pandemic, people measure the “cases” because that’s the thing that’s measurable (though subject, every time this happens, to there being a mish-mash of contradictionary case definitions) from the get-go. Use of the word “cases” is not some kind of conspiracy to scare everyone, “cases” and “infections” are two different words for two different but related concepts. When people measure cases they should and generally do say “cases” and when people are measuring infections they should and generally do say “infections”. The ONS use their household survey data to estimate infection numbers, for example, so you’ll be pleased to see (if you read their website I linked in another thread) that they use the word “infections” for that. But when people are measuring “cases” they tend to say “cases”, because that’s what they’re measuring… If your complaint is that words like “novel”, “epidemic”, “pandemic”, “cases” are scary words being used to cow the populace into submission, you’d be way better off calmly explaining that all those words applied in 2009-2010 but our policy response then wasn’t to shut the economy down. A one-man internet forum crusade to get all these things renamed, or trying to persuade the government to use terminology that (a) doesn’t match what other governments use and (b) doesn’t match what their own scientists and advisers use, is never going to succeed and doesn’t advance your fundamental argument about the failures of the policy response. Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.