I must admit to being amused by my subject.
Let us imagine ‘a ship of the line’ in the navy of 200 years ago. The ships were constructed from timber, most likely oak timber, which abounded in England. The oak planks would have been bent to shape by being steamed and forced into shape. But there would be unavoidable gaps between the timbers. The solution was to ‘cork’ the gaps. I do not know what ‘the cork’ was, but it does not matter. Essentially, the ‘corking’ means that the gaps were sealed. Oh dear! Corking was not entirely successful. Sea water got in.
And so the word ‘bilges’ was coined. It described both the place where sea water accumulated and the sea water itself. ‘The Bilges’. Maybe, in the very old days, seamen emptied ‘the bilges’ by hand using buckets, but, eventually, pumps were devised.
All ships leak to some extent, even the most advanced liners of today. All need pumps to empty ‘the bilges’.
Our esteemed friends in Tobacco Control specialise in creating ‘bilge’. Like Doll and Hill, none of them have expertise in the subject upon which they pontificate. But they still create ‘bilge’. It is very easy to create bilge, but very difficult to remove it. It is like graffiti -easy for a person to spray paint over a surface but very hard to remove. Removing bilge takes a lot of time and effort.
But what is the best way to stop bilge accumulating? It must be in better ‘corking’. If the corking was perfect, there would be no bilge.
So, as regards tobacco control, initially, the Zealots pointed out that there was bilge in the form of lung cancer deaths. That bilge needed to be removed and the best way to do it was by having workers carrying buckets of bilge up to the deck and throwing the bilge overboard. There was no better way.
But someone came along with a great idea. Suppose that the bilges could be PUMPED out? That idea is represented by ecigs. WOW!! Erm… No. There are unknown consequences. Much better to continue to have lots and lots of operatives clearing out the bilges, and, even better, find more and more bilges to clear out.
But are the bilges REAL in the first place? They may be real, but they might be tiny problems, much exaggerated by those who benefit.
The creation of bilges has been very profitable for many people as a huge drain on taxpayers and a huge drain on enterprise. But that creation of bilges, which do not exist in reality, cannot be other than harmful. It does not make sense for someone to build something useful and to have others tear it down because they proclaim that it is ‘the bilges’.
If Theresa May continues the persecution of smokers, then she is an idiot. She would permit the constant escalation of the destruction of liberty among our people. That libertity involves choice and competition. The Monopoly of Standardisation has been a big problem with the EU.
I haven’t written anything for a couple of days. I have been rather busy since the leaves on my plants are maturing at a rate of knots and need to be cured. That is my hobby and I enjoy it. But there are other things as well which are not much fun.
Anyway, let us not sink into the depths of despond. There is a lot to be cheerful about.
Is there not something weird about politicians? They always seem to go too far. I think that it is a consequence of the political monopoly. Nothing is right and nothing is wrong; nothing is true and nothing is false. Everything is is in a state of flux.
I was reading something elsewhere (I forget where) which emphasised the importance of ‘perception’ as compared with ‘reality’. But there is a problem. Of several possible perceptions, which actually portrays reality? EG, if ASH does a survey which show that 70% of smokers want to quit, does that survey conform to reality? Perhaps it does at a superficial level. But it has been shown that many people, in response to such a survey, indicate their SECOND preference. Their first preference is to continue to enjoy tobacco. Many such people might indicate ‘health’ as a primary reason to quit, when their real motivation is cost.
We all have our own tales to tell. My first attempt to stop smoking was entirely financial. I wanted to buy a car and I could not afford it while I was spending money on ‘luxuries’. I decided to stop smoking rather than stop drinking beer. Drinking beer was more important than smoking because of the social aspect of drinking beer. I stopped smoking for twelve months. After six months, I bought my first car. After a further six months, I started smoking again, and – believe me – that first drag on a cig, even though it made me dizzy, was WONDERFUL!
During the twelve months that I stopped smoking, I had no ‘perception’ that I was harming myself by denying myself the pleasure of smoking. Only when I started smoking again did I realise how much pleasure I had deprived myself of. By the way, I am not saying that the deprivation of smoking pleasure was not worth it. Buying my first car was a HUGE event, and an event which brought me and my family much pleasure. Perhaps my point is that, after twelve months of depriving myself of smoking pleasure, I had the income to provide both the car pleasure and the smoking pleasure (and the beer pleasure).
Politicians do not see these nuances. They see big groups of people who are all the same. One big group supports the Tories and another supports Labour. A smaller group supports the Libdems and even fewer support the Greens. But enormous ‘elephants in the room’ appear. The Scot Nats got about 50 seats in Parliament with a lower total of votes than UKIP, which got one MP.
So what drives MPs? I have no idea at all. And this is the point of this post. What drives them? Why do they vote for cig packets to be covered with medical porn when they do not direct that cars should be painted with pics of death and destruction due to crashes? What was the ‘truth’ which convinced politicians to vote for PP on the vague basis that it would ‘save lives’ when they would not vote for a proposition that speed limits of 30 mph should apply to motorways? Surely, saving the life of one child should be paramount?
And that is where politicians ‘Go Too Far’. They fail to see the repercussions of what they do.
The ascendence of TC, with its power, is a prime example. It is so powerful that it can destroy the careers of anyone who dissents.
And it works like this. There is a sort of ‘bible’ which is revealed truth. It cannot be questioned. That ‘bible’ might be Doll’s Doctors Study or the 1964 American Surgeon General’s report. That ‘truth’ is supported by 70% of The People, who believe it. Therefore, that truth is true. 50% of smokers will die prematurely because they smoke. No one in authority asks what is meant by ‘prematurely’. We do, and we find that ‘prematurely’ means ‘before non-smokers’. Thus, we find that people who enjoy the pleasures of this world tend, for whatever reason, not to live as long as puritans.
OK!!! Let puritans live longer. Who cares?
Politicians are supposed to care, that’s what. And that is the problem. They vote for any legislation which ASH ET AL propose on a puritanical basis. It has little to do with the NHS. If everyone leads a frugal and safe life, then almost everyone will consume less. Thus will the UN Millennium Goals be achieved. Everyone in the world will become ascetic, denying the pleasures of the flesh and living a life introspection. Lovely. But the ‘Revealed Truth’ is that the rich will go on enjoying the pleasures of the flesh ad inf. That is human nature.
But everyone will die. Better to drop dead by smoking than drag on death forever by being puritcanical.
Has any politician ever spread JOY? What do politicians have to do to spread JOY?
They do not seem to know what JOY is.
“Rule by Exception” has always existed. It translates into identifying a group of people who are ‘exceptional’ – ‘different’. Mostly, such people are left alone. But, for some reason or other in the human psyche, those ‘different’ people come to be regarded as a threat. I read something today which referenced the Salem witch hunts in the USA. We in the UK had the same experience around the same time.
There is a sort of inversion of ‘nothing is more important than preserving the life of a child’ in ‘Rule by Exception’. You could translate it into ‘nothing is less important than the lives of adults’. That idea is a sign of the times in the sense that children rely entirely upon their parents and not upon The State. Imagine a situation, especially in Scotland, with its ‘named person’ control over children, where EVERY family was disfuntional. How many Social Services personnel would be required to look after ONE child?
What we are seeing, especially in Scotland, is NOT the expectation of the need for Social Services to look after ALL the children. What we are seeing is spying and witch-hunting. Thus, it is not about actually feeding, clothing, washing, comforting, teaching, small children at all. It is about finding those parents who are witches and throwing them into the magistrate stocks, to be pelted with bad eggs via the MSM.
It is hard to know how this “Rule by Exception” can be combatted. It always seems to happen between wars. When war occurs, everyone becomes equal, somehow, no matter how rich and influential, or poor and insignificant, individuals might be. “We will never surrender” is far more important to rich people than it is to poor people. The Elite come and go, but the peasants survive.
Demonisation, aka denormalisation, is as widespread today as it was in Pol Pot’s day, or Stalin’s day. Only what is ‘abnormal’ changes.
But what is really, really odd is that the people who are orchestrating and conducting the ‘denormalisation’ and ‘demonisation’ are the supposedly cleverest people in our society. I am talking about academics.
Why does Government sanctify academics? Is Glantz as wealthy as Gates? If Glantz is so clever, why is he not wealthier than Gates? SANCTIFY is the right word since the ‘proofs’ supplied by academics, especially epidemiological proofs, are almost always worthless. Viz – Global Warming.
The ‘proofs’ do not exist, as the McTear Case showed. There is no ‘proof’ at all, whatsoever, that smoking causes lung cancer or anything else. It is far more likely that, in the 1940s/1950s/1960s that Sulphuric Acid in the atmosphere from atmospheric pollution was the cause of the rise of LC, and not 30 years of smoking tobacco. In other words, short term exposure to Sulphuric Acid in the atmosphere, which you inhale with every breath that you take, vastly outweighs the occasional puff on a cig.
Despite the anti-smoking laws, and the reduction in smoking over the last several decades, LC is still a major cause of death. It has gone down as regards males, but has increeased as regards females.
The ‘Authorities’ can continue the witch hunt against smokers if they wish to, always remembering that it is the academics who have created the witch hunt.
So what is the main thing that has gone wrong? In my opinion, it is the takeover of the Health Dept in Governement by Zealots. That is the only thing that makes sense.
How else can you explain the chaos in the NHS?
That phrase, ‘OUR children’, keeps cropping up in the sayings of Health Zealots. Courtecy of VGIF, here is a prime example:
That was a BBC interview about obesity. It is short, about four minutes, but reveals a lot.
I remember some time ago, a Health Zealot becoming hysterical when someone, in reply to her claim that children were ‘our’ children, asked the question, “Whose children?” She, the Zealot, could not cope with the idea behind the question. “Whose children?” She became, litterally, hysterical.
The person in the BBC interview is a person called Simon Capewell. I suppose that he is a ‘Professor’ or a ‘Doctor’ of something or other. Decades ago, I passed the Banking Exams and am still entitled to add certain capital letters after my name, as far as I know. I have forgotten what they are. They might be ‘Associate of the Banker’s Institute’ – ABI – for all I know. “Junican ABI” sounds just a little impressive, but less so than “Junican MP”, if there was such a person.
So this guy, Capewell, pronounced, using his ‘highness’.
And he trotted out the usual stuff.
There are some clear indications of – dare I say it – fraud. One of them is the phrase ‘overweight or obese’. The two conditions are utterly and totally different. When the two are conflated, there is an obvious intention to misinform. The word ‘misinform’ is a soft word, but the consequences of such mis-information can be drastic.
Capewell claimed that masses of children are ‘overweight or obese’. I take herself to the hairdresser every other Thursday, just when the local primary school is loosing. I have never yet seen a very fat child among the children being loosed. Not one. But, for all I know, every one of those children might be ‘overweight’, if the ‘standard’ is skinny. Under-nourished children are the ones who tend to be skinny, apart from those children who are genetically skinny. I had three daughters. Daughter 2 was skinnier, by far, than daughter 1, and daughter 3 was shorter than daughters 1 and 2. But the difference is tiny. They have all turned out, in their middle age, to be somewhat plump. But when they were children, they were perfectly normal children – statistically, they might have been either overweight or underweight. There is no way that they could have been conflated into a catagory of ‘OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE’.
It is beyond my comprehension how Politicians can allow these Zealots to build up a head of steam. Why do they not ‘deadhead’ the academic blatherers at source? It is quite simple. Just ask the likes of Capewell who is paying him. If he says that he is not paid at all, then ask him why he is so intent upon persecuting the poor.
In the radio broadcast above, he specifically state two ways to control ‘the overweight or obese’, and he specifically stated that the ‘tobacco control template’ should be followed. He said that ‘price and regulation’ are the way to go. He said that. In other words, THE USE OF FORCE.
But what really, really gets up my nose is the idea of OUR children. No, you totalitarian, fascist, control freak, the children are not OUR children. Nor are they ‘The Nation’s’ children. EVERY CHILD MATTERS, which means that every child is an individual, belonging to its parents, who feed it, clothe it, wash it, dress it, teach it manners, etc.
GET YOUR HANDS OF MY CHILDREN, YOU DISGUSTING PEODOPHILE! Who are you to call my child ‘overweight or obese’? Who gave you permission? Bugger off!
These people, like Capewell, can only get away with their interference in the lives of millions of people because Politicians are terrified of confronting them. And yet, it is so simple. It is simple because asking the question, “Whose children?” buggers up their whole argument. Their argument depends upon the existence of an amorphus mass of identical children. Politicians should be saying that parent are wonderful. They do the absolute best that they can for their children (but not always!). Zealots like Capewell should be put in the stocks and have rotten eggs thrown at them. I mean it. That is the appropriate punishment for claiming to own the children of the People of our Nation, and for claiming that being heavier than the average is the same as being very, very fat.
Whenever a Professor, or the like, says “Our children” or/and “overweight or obese”, you can be sure that he/she is a charlatan. He/she is a snake-oil salesman, proposing ‘remedies’.
One has to giggle. Cameron, that previous arsehole PM, pushed through Plain Packaging. What on earth possessed him? Of what importance, in view of the impending Brexit vote, possessed him to even allow the PP stuff to go to a decision in Parliament? Personally, I do not think that it had anything to do with his former publicist. The fact is that he did not give a shit, nor did any members of the Cabinet. They just did not give a shit, and so gave the go-ahead by omission. On that basis, Cameron could have agreed to bomb the White House in America. Why not? The Health Zealots might describe the USA Administration as ‘A Tobacco Company’. Who can contest that description?
What I would like to see is a Government system which has a control of statistics. In the UK, we have the ONS – Office of National Statistics. Apart from a few hiccups, it is definitely, truly independent, even though it might have to ask some politically motivated questions. The important thing is that it is genuinely ‘academic’. That is, it just does statistics without judgement.
Also, Nat Stats are very helpful. When I was investigating Lung Cancer stats, I had occasion to ask Nat Stats for clarifications, and they were most accomodating. Very helpful.
The whole Capewell interview was pure propaganda.”OUR children”, “Overweight or Obese”. “Calories are the equivalent of tobacco”.
But I must say again that it is Politicians who are to blame for the persecution of smokers, and no one else. It is also Politicians who are to blame for the Global Warming fiasco, and no one else. It is they who bowed down to academics.
When the problem with Hotmail was not sorted out by Microsoft within a day or so after they said that that Hotmail/Outlook was going to be ‘down’ for a little while while they updated their ‘legal agreements’, I looked around on the net for some explanation. I vaguely expected Microsoft to have issued some sort of public announcement. There was no such, but I found a site which showed that people all over the world had the same problem. Many even quoted exactly the same wording which appeared when I tried to log in to Hotmail. And yet not everyone was affected. JB from Ireland was not. On the other hand, people from far flung places in the world were reporting the same problem.
Whatever the problem was, it has been sorted, but it would be nice if Microsoft told us what happened. Not in detail or in jargon, but in a few words which we understand. EG, “We apologise to those Hotmail customers who were inconvenienced by the delay. We thank everyone who told us about the problem. The issue involved spell-checkers in a complex way”. That is all that was required. A simple explanation of a complex problem. It doesn’t even have to be true!
Thankfully, comments on this site were not affected. Usually, I see the comments via Hotmail in the first instance, and then go to the BSC site to respond. I like WordPress because, when I log in, the first page that comes up is ‘Comments’. That was a clever idea by WordPress.
So we are back to normal. But are we? Is there any such thing as ‘normal’ these days? In 2007, the Zealots managed to persuade the Highest Court in the land to force smokers out of places where they had enjoyed themselves, without complaint from others, for centuries on the pretext of ‘danger’ to pub staff. The Highest Court is Parliament, and not the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court can only decide upon legal technicalities. It cannot overturn the decisions of Parliament – unless Parliament has contradicted itself. As a silly example, Parliament might pass some law about the conduct of traffic where vehicles drive on the right. A case brought before the Supreme Court would point out that the traffic law in the UK, as defined by Parliament centuries ago, is that we drive on the left. Thus, it is impossible for Parliament to pass laws about the nicities of traffic driving on the right – there is no such thing as driving on the right.
But you get my thinking. The Highest Court in the land hanged millions of smokers because they murdered millions of bar staff. Is that an exaggeration? Of course it is! But so was the danger to bar staff from SHS. For heavens sake! Think of the exposure to fumes from burnt meat of people who spend eight hours per day working in restaurant kitchens!
What bothers me is the irationality. How could our Government be so irational? It can only be that what we think of as ‘Our Government’ is not our government. The reality is that our government is elsewhere.
A few days ago, Microsoft told me that it was adjusting its ‘service agreements’ in various ways from 15th Sep 2016. Microsoft told me that Hotmail/Outlook would be ‘out of order’ while the changes were implemented.
I do not know what Microsoft have done, but they seem to have crashed Hotmail/Outlook BIG TIME, all over the world.
Sometimes, these people do not comprehend the wholesome idea: “If it is not broken, do not fix it”. They had an email system called “Hotmail”. I do not know what was considered to be ‘hot’ about any email system. They might just as well have called it “Coolmail”. Ever so ‘cool’, doncha think? But at least the word “Hotmail” had some sort of character. What character does the word “Outlook”have? The word is banal. It reminds one of the weather forecast, and, at least in the UK, the ‘Outlook’ was almost always wet and windy.
So it seems that Microsoft created for themselves a huge problem. Millions of people had ‘Hotmail’ email addresses. As for myself, find that I have an address ‘@outlook.com’. Really? Or is there no @? Just a mo. Oh, I don’t know……
It seems that the ‘fix it even though it is not broken’ rats in the sewer have escaped en masse. The ‘virtual’ rats are chewing away at the ‘virtual’ cables which carry the signals.
The ‘Outlook’/’Hotmail’ system has collapsed into a heap of stinking, electronic dung.
By the way, if JB from Ireland happens to read this, JB might consider creating an email address with some other provider so as to have an alternative from ‘Hotmail’. Having said that, I must admit that I do not know what I am talking about. I use my computers, my phone and my mobile. I do not give a shit about how these things work. I am interested how my own car works, but I am not interested in how someone else’s Airbus works. I just buy a seat on the damned aircraft.
What is weird is that Microsoft has issued no statement to provide assurance to Hotmail email addressees. Perhaps the phrase ‘Hotmail email adressees’ is incomprehensible to them. Perhaps the situation is similar to Climate Scientists waiting for an end to ‘the pause’ in global warming. They desperately need an end to ‘the pause’.
Does anyone else think that Governments have paid far too much attention to ephemeral, academic, overestimated, politicised know-alls?
What really annoys me is that the UN will not come straight out and say that the human population of the Earth is getting out of hand. I am not saying that the population is too big at this time. I am saying that discussions of the possible problem should be open and known to everyone. The same goes for Energy. There is no need for propaganda. Just state the facts.
Let’s hope that Microsoft sort out the problems with Hotmail/Outlook, but let us also hope that they learn humility.
INCREDIBLE! Hotmail has sorted itself out! It is now up and running!
In a comment to the last post, castello2 provided this link:
Moffitt Cancer Center (USA I presume) received $3.6 million to conduct a survey about gender differences among vapers. What important matters hung on those gender differences, I do not know, but you would think that there would be some important matter if the survey was worth expending so much money on.
Moffitt surveyed on-line 1815 adult vapers who were or had been daily smokers for at least one year. The cost of the survey per vaper was $1983.47… Seems an awful lot of money to conduct an on-line survey. Maybe it took a full-time operative on full pay a long time to find 1815 respondents.
Anyway, the point is that the authors reported what they found about gender differences in ecig use. What they said nothing about, but buried deep in the research detail, was that 79% of the respondents had totally given up smoking. 79%!!
Castello2 provided links to the study which I have not read. I suppose that I should have read them, but there are a lot of links and my interest in ecigs is only incidental to my main interest, which is the persecution of smokers.
To some extent in this case (apart from the rediculous cost), I have some sympathy for the authors. I can imagine the survey asking questions about how often a person vapes, and all that sort of stuff, but the participants would not have know that the survey was concerned with gender differences. There may have been problems in getting reasonably equal numbers of male and female participants, and it is not at all unlikely that the respondents were people who had indeed given up smoking altogether for the most part.
The interesting thing, I suppose, is how the researchers got there respondents. There again, if they used visitors to vape shops, why did the survey cost so much? Oh, hang on, the survey was an on-line survey. How did they invite participants? Was it via some organisation like YouGov? I should imagine that it was. I should imagine that the form of words would be something like this:
“You are invited to take part in a survey concerning e-cigarettes. The results of the survey will inform our principles, the DHHS, about the value of ecigs to participants. The survey is estimated to take around ten minutes to complete”
All very reasonable, but such an invitations is more likely to attract vapers who have stopped smoking than those who vape but have not. It most certainly would not attract people who have tried a ecig and have decided that they do not want to know.
So I see how the authors would not regard the results as indicative of the success of ecigs in respect of stopping smoking. Almost certainly, participants would be convinced vapers. That is, invitees were not smokers – they were vapers.
Having said that, you would have thought that successful quiting by gender would have been moot, even though only in comparison. EG, say, 80% male quitting compared with, say, 70% female quiting, or vice versa.
Thus, what castello2 has shown to us is that statistics can be used selectively. What is left out is just as important as what is included. That is how false impressions are created.
Years ago, Tobacco Companies decided not to contest the health effects of smoking. They gave up the struggle and surrendered the health effects territory to the Tobacco Control Industry. That is a pity. I wonder what would have happened if, instead of contesting plain packaging on the grounds of intellectual property, they had contested it on the grounds that the medical porn pics were unrealistic and unproven. That is, in matters of health, TRUTH is an absolute requirement.
There is a good reason for precise TRUTH as regards Health. It is that the National Health Service is FREE to any individual. Why is it FREE? It is because the NHS is based upon common humanity. It is based upon the idea that human beings do not step over the body of someone who has collapsed in the street. Animals would step over such bodies (with the possible exception of elephants), but not because they are cruel. It is because they have no equivalent to human empathy. Even elephants have no idea what to do when one of their ‘elders’ collapses and dies. Of course they have no idea what to do, since they cannot think.
There is only one RATIONAL species on this planet and that is mankind.
Twisting Statistics means extracting what is good for you and ignoring what is bad. I saw that advert for Nicorette again tonight. What I said yesterday was correct, but I still cannot remember the exact words! “If you use nicorette, you are 100% more likely” is accurate. “Than if you don’t use nicorette” – I don’t know. Readers will be aware that these adverts just flash up on the TV screen. Twisting Statistics is equivalent to Relative Risks. If, out of a group of people (a ‘population’) of 1oo, ooo, only 10 non-smokers get LC whereas 200 smokers get LC, the likelihood of correlation with LC and smoking depends upon the percentage of the population who smoke.
But even that percentage algorithm is wide, wide of the mark. We puff on a cig from time to time; we breath industrial and smog polluted air with every breath we take. The problem with Doll’s Doctors Study was that it was GENERALISED. It was as though all the doctors in the survey were perfect copies of each other.
I shall have to look at the Reports that Doll produced on the Doctors Study again. There is something extremely weird about it. That weirdness is the number of doctors, whether smokers or not, who died around the age of 60.
It sort of reminds me of my mother. She did not smoke and drank very little alcohol. And yet, around the age of 65, her body began to get bent and twisted. During her last few years, she was bent over. She could not straighten up her body. She was inclined at an angle of some 45 degrees from her waist upwards.
No one asked WHY. She died at the age of 71, small and wizened. She did not smoke or drink, for all intents, nor was she obese. Why did she die so young and deformed?
Could Tobacco Control answer that question?
The people we elect to Parliament have no idea what they are elected for. They do not understand that they are not THE GOVERNMENT. Cameron was, apparently, a ‘shining star in the firmament’, but that ‘shining star’ is falling to earth. No wonder that he is resigning his seat. He was a shining example of a charlatan.
Will Theresa May be a Principled PM? I would rather have a PM who understood that ‘The People’ want to be free to enjoy their lives as they see fit than to be cajoled, punished and persecuted.
I caught a nicorette advert this evening on the TV. I did not pay any attention to it – I never do, of course, but a phrase caught my ear. I can’t remember the words because they involved some verbal trickery. It was something like: “You are 100% more likely to quit smoking by using nicorette”. What would an awful lot of people misinterpret that statement to mean? Would they not think that success is 100% certain? But what does that statement actually say? What it says is that, if you actually succeed in stopping smoking using nicorette, you will have been 100% successful. Anyone who succeeds in stopping smoking, by whatever method, is 100% successful.
The trick is to use the word ‘more’. ‘More likely to’. The words ‘likely to’ are themselves indeterminate. They import the possibility of of a bit better that the word ‘may’ would suggest.
Nicorette ‘may’ help you to stop smoking.
Nicorette is ‘likely to’ help you.
Nicorette is ‘more likely to….’
Well, the fact is that nicorette is an abysmal failure. It is true that nicorette is 100% ‘may’ be of help. Note the weirdness of the construction. If I put: ‘nicorette is 100% likely to help’, that also is true, but is still a bit weird. When I say: ‘nicorette is 100% more likely to help’, the verbal weirdness disappears.
Only when you ask: “More likely than what?” does the verbal weirdness reappear. More likely than patches? More likely than determination? More likely than ecigs? They do not say, and without that statement, the claim is meaningless.
But they get away with it. Imagine an airline saying: “You are 100% more likely to have a pleasant flight if you fly with us”. The problem with that statement is not easy to spot. The problem is that the words ‘100%’ are superfluous. The statement merely says: ‘You will have a more pleasant flight if you fly with us’. Even the slightest improvement (in what?) is a 100% improvement. Five is 100% greater than four. That is simply because any number greater than four is greater. 100 is 100% greater than four.
The phrase: “If it saves the life of one child…..”is exactly the same thing. Who could argue against saving the life of even one child?
The problem revolves around the philosophical idea of ‘saving the life of…’. The important thing is to get away from the emotion of ‘child’, and not the idea of ‘saving the life of….’. A dialog might go:
“Children might drown in that pond, so it must be fenced”
Response: “Children might drown in the sea, and so the sea must be fenced”
“Children are always with their parents when at the seaside”
Response: “Children are always with their parents when near ponds”
My point is that GENERALISATIONS rarely reflect REALITY. But sometimes they do. We get the impressions that generalisations are the norm because most of our laws in the UK used to reflect what was generally applicable. I suppose that there was a time when traffic on roads was undisciplined – no ‘left’,’right’ rules. Horse-drawn waggons rolled along, and if they met others coming in the opposite direction, they steered around each other willy-nilly. I do not know when driving on the left in the UK was established, but it was an obvious general idea.
The problem with modern political life is that GENERALISATION has been taken too far. The problem with the EU, UN, WHO, IPCC, etc is that they have generalised. Thus, as far as the UN is concerned, postponing millions of old age deaths due to smoking is more important than thousands of young people’s deaths, here and now, from Ebola. That comes to the same thing as ‘100% more likely’. It is ‘100% more likely’ that old people will die. Note how I have not said, ‘more likely than young people’. All I have said is just ‘more likely’. You have to be less receptive to the propaganda to work out the ‘more likely than what?’ question.
Is that questioning not supposed to be what education is for? It seems to me that University courses about marketing are all about teaching student how to manipulate the masses. Is it appropriate for Universities to teach young people how to manipulate other citizens? Ought they not to be studying how to stop the manipulation?
Ought they not to be cosidering the ethics and philosopy of propaganda, rather than learning how to use it?
I do not know what to make of it. Every day, it seems, Michael Siegel finds another TC Zealot in America who deliberately misinterpretes data from epidemiological research to condemn ecigs. Here is the latest one:
None of it makes any sense at all.
How did snus get banned everywhere in the EU except Sweden? There is very strong evidence from Sweden that the practice of using snus, rather than smoking cigs, is correlated with a much less incidence of lung cancer. When that correlation was discovered, why was not the use of snus encouraged? Why, on the contrary, was it banned in the EU? The whole thing is just silly. I could understand the use of snus not being encouraged, sort of, but to be banned?
Let’s try an analogy. Ships keep sinking and all on board are drowned. A movement is started to stop the sinking of ships. Regulations about the safety of ships must be made to stop them sinking. Then someone suggests that it might be a good idea for ships to have lifeboats, just in case they sink. The ‘movement’ is up in arms, demanding that no such lifeboats should be considered. The provision of lifeboats would ‘encourage’ bad ship design, because they would ‘avoid’ proper regulation of ship design. They would hand an excuse over to The Shipping Industry not to ensure that ships cannot sink at all!
That sort of thinking is what drives Tobacco Control, especially at its highest level in the WHO and its FCTC. Those Zealots are overwhelmed by task before them – the eradication of tobacco in all its forms, apart, possibly, from the growing of tobacco plants for medical research and usefulness.
What is incredibly idiotic, of course, is that politicians fall for the excuses. Which elected representatives fell for the idea that snus should be banned? Who were the politicians who agreed to it? Why is the ban still in place? Which politicians are responsible for the continuation of that ban? Why are educated politicians not militating, in great numbers, for the reversal of that ban?
There can only be one answer. It is that they do not give a shit. Ah, you might say, but they have much more important things to do. Erm… right… But they did not have much more important things to do when they banned snus. That also indicates that they do not give a shit.
Article 20 of the TPD is a disgrace. It is a prime example of ‘do not give a shit’, just like the ban on snus.
The People of the UK have voted overwhelmingly to exit the EU. Do not be fooled by those who say that the vote was ‘only’ a 4% difference. Take into account ‘Project Fear’. Remember that the great and good, including some comedians and other slebs, projected the most awful consequences should we break free. We shall never know what might have happened if the Remainers had concentrated on what the EU has done for us, such as reducing our fishing industry to a shadow of its former self – in the seas around OUR OWN coasts. And is that not the nub? Around OUR OWN coasts? OUR fishing grounds? If you do not accept OUR fishing grounds, then you cannot accept OUR agriculural land. In fact, nothing at all would be OURS.
The People of Scotland can hanker after independence. As far as I am concerned, and I feel sure that most Englishmen would feel the same, they can have it. In fact, it might have been best if the vote a couple of years ago had gone for independence. I don’t think that it would have gone so far as to produce border walls, but it might have. Most likely is that the politicians would have fudged it. England would have continued to finance Scotland because the alternative, Independent Scotland, would have created mayhem and bancruptcy.
When we use the word ‘conspiracy’, we automatically sneer. We think ‘conspiracy theory’. That idea has been a bounty for conspirators. That thinking is stupid. People have always conspired and would have been stupid not to. Our Nation’s response to Hitler was a conspiracy on a grand scale. The gathering together of people who are in agreement is normal. All of politics is conspiratorial.
So we come to vaping and ecigs. OF COURSE there is a conspiracy to defame ecigs! Just as snus was defamed. What else do vapers expect? It is laughable to think that the opinion of Public Health, England will make any difference. PHE has no influence in the WHO. The WHO is a creature of the USA and BIG PHARMA – ‘stakeholders’, aka funders.
What is obvious is that the fate of ecigs is going to be determined by unelected people who do not give a shit.
But that was obvious from the beginning of anti-smoking hysteria. Smoking bans were the product of that hysteria. Because the bans were based upon hysteria, rather than knowledge, vapers can expect the same treatment.
Brexit has opened up a massive can of worms. A ‘proper’ new Government should start an enquiry into the corruption intrinsic to the EU. That would include the ban on snus and the attacks on Ecigs. But the corruption is so endemic, and has been so for decades, that an enquiry would take forever. Better to simply draw a line.
The People voted to exit the EU. It may take some time to cross the t’s and dot the i’s, but the first thing is absolutely clear – our Government has no mandate whatsoever to continue to give British taxpayer’s money to the EU. None at all. Previous agreements have been rendered null.
Further, any emissions from the EU are null and void. The TPD is null and void, regardless of corruption. It is still null and void. Once the vote for Brexit was known, then no directives from the EU had any force, nor had the UK a duty to give money to the EU. I am not saying that such payments should actually stop – I am saying that the UK had no DUTY to make such payments.
Vapers have good reason to be agrieved. All the people, Professors and Doctors in Universities, who are most well-placed to supprt them have been cowed.
But that is only an extension of the Puritanical attack on smokers. Smokers stink. Kissing a smoker is like kissing an ashtray. Lips that have touched alcohol will not touch mine. History repeats and repeats and repeats. We never learn.
It is not all that long ago that the risk of death, serious injury or illness for a miner was quite substantial. But I would bet that those risks were not vastly different from working in a ship-building environment or any other physical job of a similar nature – such as the building trade. A difference might be that a disaster in a mine produced a lot of injuries and deaths, whilst injuries and death in the building trade were individual occurrences spread over time. The same applies to aircraft disasters. Aircraft maintenance is extremely intense, and failures are very rare, but the effects of aircraft failure are disastrous. A couple of weeks ago, I flew to Mallorca. When did the greatest ‘health’ risks occur? There are two major periods of time when ‘the risk’ is greatest. Take off is the obvious one, but so is landing. During the flight itself, there is almost no risk at all. Some time ago, I counted the seconds that the aircraft that I was on, took to take off. I was quite surprise that it took a full minute from the aircraft starting down the runway to the aircraft leaving the ground. A whole minute with the engines roaring and the aircraft shaking! But we passengers are not used to it. We forget that the first 15 secs or so are used up in going from stationary to ten miles per hour. We sort of forget that initial slow acceleration and remember the speed when the aircraft takes off.
The Gurus who preach to us about ‘risk’ either know about acceleration and deceleration or they are not scientists. Thus, if the atmosphere is warming, there must be accelerations.
The ‘Elevation of Risk’ is a natural consequence of acceleration in the modern world. I was walking home from the shop a few days ago, and I started to read the sports page of the newspaper that I was carrying. Because I was intrigued by the specific article that I was reading on the back page, I bashed my knee against a bollard which I KNEW was there. I have been taking that route to the shop for twenty years, and I KNEW that the bollard was there. And yet, just because I found that article interesting, I bashed my knee against the bollard.
What was the ‘risk’?
The ‘risk’ only appeared after I bashed my knee. Before that, there was no risk.
‘Risk’ can only be assessed after some disaster has occurred. I class bashing my knee as a disaster for me. It hurt and I got a bruise. Since my disaster (bashing my knee) occurred because I was reading the distracting article in the newspaper, then such articles should be banned. They create a ‘risk’.
The root of the problem is perversion of language. And I mean that.
I started with the idea that mining disasters and many deaths were only relatively associated with ‘risks’. That is, such risks were accepted – at least for some time.
But we have entered a period where any sort of ‘risk’ is abhorrent. But rather than outlaw the activity, the emphasis is on reducing the risk.
Except with Tobacco Control. In every form of human activity, there is an emphasis on reducing risk – except Tobacco Control. According to their own bible, it is the inhalation of smoke of any kind which causes damage, and yet snus is banned except in Sweden in the EU, and ecigs are to be regulated out of existence. And yet Big Pharma products, which contain addictive nicotine, are OK.
Cameron, despite being a conservative, embodied propaganda. He might have been a nice chap, but I could not envisage having a conversation with him in a pub. I would imagine that he would have a far-away gaze. I have seen that before. That ‘far-way’ gaze.
The idea of ‘risk’ appeals to politicians. It is something that they can do something about and it is easy. All you have to do is create a regulation. Thus, the violent attacks on smokers can be disguised as ‘help’ in the reduction of ‘risk’. When I say ‘violent’ attacks, I mean it. Vast increases of taxation are violence. They are the application of force.
It is not our system of ‘first past the post’ which is the problem. It is the inward-looking control freaks which are the problem.