Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

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Blogroll update (Brownstone Institute)

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I have been a strong critic of the approach taken against COVID from virtually day one*—and an ardent critic of the inexcusable way that debate and dissent has been crushed with “Fake news! Fake news!” instead of factual arguments.

*Indeed, my first text is dated 15th of March, 2020.

Adding the Great Barrington Declaration to my blogroll has been tempting, but I both found the overall site, basically a single declaration, too uninformative and have been skeptical about the long-term value based on the natural lack of updates. (The authors have clearly and early on stated that the declaration reflects a plausible opinion based on what was known at the time, likely in October 2020. While the ideas behind it have remained sound, the details might be different, had it been written today, more than a year later.)

Recently, I have encountered a strong alternative, a “spiritual child of the Great Barrington Declaration” (per about page) in the Brownstone Institute. Indeed, two of the main authors of the declaration, Jay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff, are driving forces behind the Brownstone Institute.

Here you can find a steady stream of up-to-date articles in the same spirit, many very well worth reading. for instance, today, Jay Bhattacharya’s testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives on the enormous information problems, distortions, and acts of censorship that have followed COVID—often from exactly the same people who cry “Fake news! Fake news!” when someone tries to start a fair debate. (On my own behalf, I would like to stress that the problems are by no means limited to COVID, but increasingly include any opinions that are not sufficiently far Left, regardless of topic.)

The articles page of the Brownstone Institute is added to my English blogroll. (At the time of writing, the nominal start page is less interesting.)

Written by michaeleriksson

November 18, 2021 at 7:43 pm

Corrections to blogroll update / Nobel Prizes / COVID

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In my latest blogroll update, I mention a non-blogroll link with:

I have recently encountered one of the most interesting texts on COVID that I have read so far: It Was Always a Con: The COVID Debacle.

[…]

While this and the following claims are not necessarily incorrect, I suspect that had my mind on a different text and/or conflated these two overlapping texts into one in the time between reading and the update: https://www.juliusruechel.com/2021/09/the-snake-oil-salesmen-and-covid-zero.html.

As both texts are fairly long, I will not attempt to straighten the details out, but I recommend both and caution that what I say about the one might (or might not) be more applicable to the other.

Elsewhere in the update, I claim that the Nobel Prize in “Physiology or Medicine” had been awarded “to two Armenians”. In fact, only one of the two was Armenian.

(The texts that I have written during construction noise appear to contain more errors than usual. Reader beware …)

Written by michaeleriksson

October 16, 2021 at 8:30 am

Blogroll update / Nobel Prizes / COVID

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A few days ago, I read that the 2021 Nobel laureates for “Physiology or Medicine” were soon to be announced. For a moment, my blood ran cold—it would be Fauci and the science prizes would go down the drain, just like the non-science prizes.

This fear turned out to be unfounded (for now!), but I ended up with an in-my-head text that I probably would have written down, had he won, and a strong urge to update my blogroll.

As is, it will be a blogroll update and some minor comments on other issues.

Updates:

  1. Ron Paul is added.* Ron Paul is one of the U.S. politicians whose opinions are the closest to my own, and he has been a prominent critic of much of the COVID nonsense.

    *In the UNZ incarnation. Note that his blog is widely published, and that a separate Ron Paul website is available. I base my choice on my own typical access.

    Similar statements to apply to Rand Paul, and the addition has a secondary aspect of indirectly pushing him too.

  2. UNZ’s Aggregated Newslinks is added. Here third parties can suggest news articles (and similar items) that are particular interesting, and a moderator-approved listing is provided. There tends to be at least two or three entries per day that find my own interest and/or approval (among others who do not), and this makes it a good source of news and awareness of other sites. (Indeed, I probably first found the next entry over this listing.)
  3. The Daily Sceptic is added. This is a highly informative site with alternate news on, mostly, COVID, as well as links to interesting articles in regular media. (The site originated as Lockdown Sceptics, but has been renamed in light of broadened content, with e.g. occasional articles anti-CRT.)
  4. educationrealist is removed. The blog has been on my temporary blogroll for a good long while; I intend to put the temporary blogroll on ice, for the time being; and the value provided feels insufficient to warrant a move to the permanent blogroll (this especially as his activity has dropped drastically in the last year).
  5. Philadelphia Statement is removed. Similar reasons apply.

Comments:

  1. Steve Sailer also speculates on Will the Hard Science Nobels Finally Go Woke?, but from a very different angle, based on the actual award (to two Armenians). As usual, the more interesting contents can be found in the comment section. (Sailer will never make my blogroll, with his weak reasoning and approach of quantity-over-quality, but he does attract many interesting commenters.)

    These comments include speculation that the 2020 Chemistry award (to two women; I have remarked on the rarity before) “for gene editing is conscious neglect of two males, especially Mojica and Lithuanian scientist Siksnys [spelling ‘Anglified’ for technical reasons]” and “in biology almost all Nobels now are awarded to managers, not actual discoverers or people most responsible for the biggest insights”. (The word “biology” presumably intending “Physiology or Medicine”.) I do not vouch for either being true, but these are interesting perspectives and the type of ideas that allow us to learn something new, if and when we do additional reading in the area.

  2. I have recently encountered one of the most interesting texts on COVID that I have read so far: It Was Always a Con: The COVID Debacle.

    This text goes through a large number of well-known (to the independent reader/thinker) problems with the COVID situation and pushes some interesting ideas, especially from an evolutionary perspective, where I have no more than toyed with ideas like “what if natural immunity countries like Sweden fall victim to vaccine immunity countries like Germany”. This toying of mine went more along the lines of vaccine countries allowing an extended survival of the virus variants, which could at some point invade Sweden with a particularly dangerous strain. The linked-to text goes much further, with speculation that e.g. mixtures of “leaky vaccines” (and the vaccines are indisputably leaky) and lockdowns can give more dangerous strains an enormous leg up relative a natural-immunity-no-lockdowns world.

    Indeed, I had so far assumed that COVID would go down the road of successful diseases and adapt to keep its victims more inconvenienced than threatened. The linked-to article speculates on the exact opposite—again, as a consequence of the ill advised countermeasures.

    And who needs one of those pesky immune systems, when a handful of overpriced injections per year can provide almost as good safety? (Until, that is, something sufficiently dangerous and fast working appears that the medical industry cannot provide an updated product in time.)

  3. As a partial explanation for the prior item: It is fundamental to understand that a successful disease is almost always one that does as little harm as possible to its “hosts”, while allowing the infection of new hosts. (And exceptions often include some unusual characteristic. AIDS, e.g., has an extremely long incubation time, which gives the host the opportunity to infect others over years, before the, absent medicines, deadly damage does follow.)

    The common misconception that e.g. big killer diseases would be the super-diseases has puzzled me since I was a teen: The Ebola strategy is not made for success—the common-cold strategy is.

  4. I strongly contemplated adding a few links on the absurdities around the alleged Capitol riots, where an obvious and absurd overreach against the “perpetrators” is taking place (while e.g. true terrorists of Antifa and true rioters and looters with and around the BLM movement are untouched by the law), and where a Black police officer, Mike Byrd, is getting away Scot free for killing a White woman, where he would have rotted in jail, had the standards been used that applied to Chauvin (White police officer, with a Black victim or, quite possibly, “victim”).

    For now, I will not. While there are many worthy individual articles, I know of only one sufficiently dedicated source for a blogroll entry (American Gulag)—and my visits to this specific site have been far too superficial to allow me a recommendation in good conscience.

    Nevertheless, I cannot stress enough how grotesque the situation is, how the law is increasingly becoming just a political tool for the oppression of those who do not bow to the Left (and increasingly far or very far Left, at that).

Written by michaeleriksson

October 5, 2021 at 6:33 pm

A hard to close blog / Follow-up: Closing down this blog (extraordinary post)

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While this blog remains closed in principle, I have to add another type of exception: unusually relevant follow-ups.

Of these, I have two in the pipeline that I intend to publish today or tomorrow, depending on what time allows.

Unlike with an earlier exception and the current text, I will not mark further exceptions with “(extraordinary post)”, as this is clear from context and as the phrase could be misunderstood to imply some other type of “extraordinary”.

Written by michaeleriksson

October 25, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Closing down this blog

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I have decided to (almost entirely) close down this blog, effective immediately. The decision has two motivations:

Firstly, blogging is currently a hard-to-shake distraction at a time when I cannot really afford a distraction, between my professional writing and a number of other tasks that I have to perform. This especially as there are limits not only on my time and energy, but also on my fingers. which are currently in need of some recuperation. (Note that an official “closing the blog” declaration will be harder to violate than an informal promise to my self.)

Secondly, WordPress is a shitty platform on a number of counts, including usability and traffic (cf. a number of prior posts), while the mere ability to publish here reduces my incentives to fix my real website. I hope that the incentives will shift sufficiently that I do get around to it, after which I will be much better off.

At some point between today and eternity, I will likely publish on my website again. When the time comes, I will post an update. Following that, I might or might not post occasional updates on texts published there (especially, when it comes to my backlog and future texts that I have already mentioned that I wanted or intended to write.)

I will leave the comment function on for the time being, but beware that I might only moderate comments irregularly or with great delay. (Not that there have been many comments in recent times.)

Written by michaeleriksson

August 28, 2020 at 4:35 pm

Blogroll update

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Earlier today, I encountered the Philadelphia Statement. The website is atrociously poorly designed and the contents are thin (possibly, because it is a new site; possibly, because it is strongly focused on the “statement”, cf. below).

In today’s world of censorship and intolerance of opinions, it and its many signatories make a valuable contribution by taking a firm stances for free speech. The document is well worth reading in full and is so compactly written that it is hard to cherry-pick instead of just quoting the entire document. However, in an attempt at such cherry-picking:

Freedom of expression is in crisis. Truly open discourse—the debates, exchange of ideas, and arguments on which the health and flourishing of a democratic republic crucially depend—is increasingly rare. Ideologues demonize opponents to block debates on important issues and to silence people with whom they disagree.

Our liberty and our happiness depend upon the maintenance of a public culture in which freedom and civility coexist—where people can disagree robustly, even fiercely, yet treat each other as human beings—and, indeed, as fellow citizens—not mortal enemies.

A society that lacks comity and allows people to be shamed or intimidated into self-censorship of their ideas and considered judgments will not survive for long.

The American tradition of freedom of expression […] trains us to think critically, to defend our ideas, and, at the same time, to be considerate of others whose creeds and convictions differ from our own.

Common decency and free speech are being dismantled through the stigmatizing practice of blacklisting ideological opponents, which has taken on the conspicuous form of “hate” labeling. […] Even mainstream ideas are marginalized as “hate speech.”

These policies [against hate-speech, e.g. in U.S. colleges] and regulations assume that we as citizens are unable to think for ourselves and to make independent judgments. Instead of teaching us to engage, they foster conformism (“groupthink”) and train us to respond to intellectual challenges with one or another form of censorship.

If we seek to change our country’s* trajectory; [etc.] then we must renounce ideological blacklisting and recommit ourselves to steadfastly defending freedom of speech and passionately promoting robust civil discourse.

*I.e. the U.S.’s. A flaw with this statement, albeit an understandable one, is the focus on the U.S. while the problem is present in a good many other countries, including my native Sweden and adopted Germany.

It is added to my temporary blogroll for now.

Written by michaeleriksson

August 16, 2020 at 8:58 pm

Disappointing August/ Follow-up: Blogging, records, and new-beats-good

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As predicted, July turned out to be the second best month in a good long while. (The prediction was not astonishing, as it took place on the 31st of the same month.)

However, I just checked my statistics since then, and developments have been very disappointing and well in line with my “new beats good” claim:

The 1st of August had a somewhat average number of hits, the 2nd was well below average, and the following three days* have each scored 1 (!) hit. While that poor days are not unheard of for me (when I have not posted something new), three in a row is disastrous. I doubt that even the dreaded December of 2019 saw that happen.

*Including today, with roughly four hours still to go and a fair chance that this text will cause some hits.

Three days in a row without a new post, following a strong-by-my-standards month, gave me 1 (!) hit on the 3rd and another two days without a new post gave me 1 (!) each on the 4th and 5th.

There might, obviously, be other reasons involved, e.g. some type of search-engine block in the wake of my linking to American Renaissance and UNZ last week or some type of error with the statistics, but the most likely explanation is simply that “new beats good”.

As an aside, my not-updated-in-years website still had more hits than my WordPress presence the last time* that I checked. While the problem of “new beats good” appears to hold fairly generally, it might well be worse on WordPress than elsewhere—yet another reason to get off this shitty platform.

*Probably at some point last year.

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August 5, 2020 at 8:26 pm

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Record posts / Follow-up: Blogging, records, and new-beats-good

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As a brief follow-up to today’s text on blogging and records:

I just, out of curiosity, had a look at my WordPress post-statistics, and was a little puzzled/disappointed* by what I found. The current record post, On language change, prescriptive and descriptive grammar, and related issues, is one of the more well-written and valuable (to the right reader), but has never been spectacular in success. It has just racked up a view here and there over almost ten years, while flying under my own radar. While language topics have been recurring, they are normally of secondary importance. (The post is a positive, however, in as far as it shows that new does not always beat good.)

*Possibly, I should not be, as I have dealt with this topic before.

However, it is about to be overtaken, leading with just a few views over Stay away from Clevvermail—my complaint as a disgruntled Clevvermail customer. It is a fairly poor and valueless post, and I am almost annoyed at its success in just two-and-half years. (But this success has not flown under the radar.)

Only in place three, we find a post that really matches the main contents of this blog, that I have myself extensively linked to, and which is politically important: The “77 cents on the dollar” fraud.

Place four, a known oddity, is Doubt: A parable—a movie review, of all things. (It was fairly popular in my early days, but rarely sees hits today. Possibly, because the movie has grown old and unwatched?)

Place five goes to a text on Price segmentation. This too has flown under my radar. The contents are not necessarily bad, but they are a little “Economics 101” and something that, arguably, should be taught on the high-school level. If someone has to learn this from me, it is a little depressing.

Finally, in place six we find “The Male Privilege Checklist” debunked. This is a topic close to my heart and of societal and political importance, but the text is two sentences pointing to my website, where the actual text is published. This sixth-ranked page, in it self, is next to useless and likely to have disappointed all these visitors if they found it through a search—they would have been much better off landing directly at the full text.

Of these six texts, three are from 2010, two from 2011, and one from 2018. While older texts have, obviously, had longer to gather views and while my visitor numbers were higher back then, this is still a little depressing. (In particular, as the 2018 text is the Clevvermail one.)

Written by michaeleriksson

July 31, 2020 at 6:45 pm

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Blogging, records, and new-beats-good

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As I should focus on my books,* I try not to spend too much time blogging. This July has still seen a record 26 posts (this one included), to narrowly beat last July’s 25.** Moreover, the two month sum over June and July is another record with 41 to the 40 of last years June and July. How did this come about?

*In addition to (still) polishing the first, I have written minor parts of the second and try to plan out a reasonable overall structure in advance (unlike with the more improvised first book).

**After that, there is a fairly sharp drop to 21 for November 2017 as the only other month with more than 20 posts.

Firstly, as I wrote at the beginning of the month (regarding my book writing):

The last few weeks, I have been a little troubled to get work done again. This in part, because I needed a breather; in part, due to the current “interesting times” (note my increased blogging); in part, because the construction work is here again.

This has caused a bit of a vicious circle, as my blogging has taken time from my book writing, significant chunks of time have disappeared on various necessary correspondence and other tasks (e.g. taxes), and the reduced time spent on my books have made it harder to get back to them. Conversely, some of the blog posts have caused further posts to make clarifications, cover related topics, or similar.

Here, there might be a valuable lesson: That writing feeds writing and that it is important to deliberately feed the writing that has priority.

Secondly, for some reason, I find it easier to blog during construction noise than to do other types of writing. I am as yet uncertain why.

Thirdly, at some point, I saw that both my post count and my visitor numbers where heading towards a record level for “all time” resp. a good few years, which motivated me to deliberately post more. (Partially, see below, with an eye on testing the new-trumps-good principle in blogging. Cf. at least [1], [2], [3].) To be more specific, my thoughts on post count went through a chain of “just a few more posts and I will hit 20 for the third time”, “just two more posts and I will have my second highest post count ever”, and “just four more posts to get the record—and I have days left to do it”.

The post record I do reach with this post—and this post is motivated exactly by getting that one extra entry to break the tie. The visitor record will probably remain with last year’s July, but this month’s numbers will almost certainly be the second highest since 2013.*

*There is some small residual uncertainty depending on today’s numbers. I had considerably larger visitor numbers in 2010 and 2011, and some months of 2012 and 2013, for reasons discussed in [1]. This is OK, there is much that I could do to drive traffic here that I deliberately forego.

This brings me to new-trumps-good: The two months with the highest number of visitors since 2013 are the ones with the highest post count—yet another indication. Unfortunately, comparing months more in detail is tricky, because there is a lot of individual fluctuation. For instance, if a single user simply runs through most of the “archive” this will give an artificial boost to that month, and my overall numbers are sufficiently low that this will be very noticeable. For instance, there appear to be some seasonal trends, like that darn December—and, yes, these two top months are both Julys, which might have played in. (But there is no obvious “July high” in the way that there is an obvious “December low”.)

Speaking of December, last year’s December remains the low-point of the last few years, despite this year having several months with a low post count, so December appears to beat new-beats-good. There was a close call in February, but February had two days less to build traffic. Of course, February also saw all of 8 posts to 14 for December.

As to the August that begins tomorrow, there will likely be far fewer posts: I feel satiated, blogging-wise, I really need to get back to my books, and the construction works, knock-on-wood, appear to be over.

Written by michaeleriksson

July 31, 2020 at 7:45 am

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Blogroll update

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A recurring theme in my writings has been the benefit of exposing oneself to different opinions and arguments, especially in this time of deliberate attempts by e.g. journalists and some politicians to narrow the information flow to what they consider the acceptable, where anything not agreeing with the Official Truth is condemned as “fake news”, censored, or otherwise disadvantaged. (Cf. e.g. [1]. [2]).

Indeed, more than ten years ago, concerning one of my first blogroll entries, I wrote:

Here Fria Nyheter* plays an interesting role as a news medium which is not bound by political correctness and official truths, but instead often focuses on the spots that the normal newspapers gloss over. I do not always agree with or identify with what it says, but I feel that it could become a very valuable counter-weight to the newspapers—and would like to give a small help in doing so.

*A now defunct (?) Swedish blog/news medium.

I regularly encounter sources of information that I would like to recommend on this basis, i.e. sources where I might only agree with some of what is written, but where the overall is still valuable through exposing the reader to a diversity of opinion*, information that might have been glossed over**, censored, or distorted in regular media, unconventional perspectives, and/or writing that simply digs deeper*** into issues than media tends to do. So far, I have usually been kept back from doing so by the fear that my (semi-)endorsement will be misunderstood.

*Something far more valuable than diversity of ethnicity.

**Not necessarily with malicious intent: there is only so much space in e.g. a newspaper. (But see the next footnote.)

***The simple truth is that much of the problems in today’s world go back to too shallow knowledge, e.g. that historical perspectives are lacking, that motivations and extenuating circumstances are not known, that raw data and claims cannot be interpreted through lack of context, that too little is known to make reasonable comparisons, …

Consider UNZ as a specific example: At the time of writing, I have two individual blogs from the overall UNZ site (Michelle Malkin and James Thompson) present on my blogroll, but I have (so far) chosen not to add UNZ as a whole, despite some other individual blogs being very worthwhile and despite UNZ as a whole being worthwhile—my endorsement is limited by much of the contents being poorly written or poorly argued, and by the many opinions that I do not agree with in the slightest, as with the many anti-Semitic posts and comments.*

*To this note that UNZ is a free speech site, which does not have an overriding theme or “editorial slant”. Opinions are by individual posters and commenters, and the overall spectrum is very wide and not restricted to e.g. “Right only” or “Left only”. Among these posters and commenters there happen to be a few anti-Semites or, on the outside, anti-Zionists.

A particular complication is that the way that a blogroll (as implemented by WordPress, my platform at the time of writing) works, where a visitor merely sees a list of links that are then typically taken to be endorsed on an opinion level.

To work around this, I am adding a separate page, tentatively called “Forbidden readings”,* linked to from the blogroll. Here I will run an additional blogroll, where such valuable-but-problematic sources can find a space and still carry a disclaimer. For this first “release”, there will only be two entries, the aforementioned UNZ and American Renaissance.

*The name is partially chosen too reflect a problem with the debate, namely that certain types of readings are widely considered forbidden, that certain topics are considered untouchable, that even contemplating certain ideas can cause calls of “Racist!” or “Sexist!”, etc. (Which will overlap strongly with the original and, likely, future contents.) However, another partial reason is the (populist) hope of increasing the number of visitors who actually open the page: the rest of the blogroll is present on every page, while this portion is only visible on this particular page, and if the page is not opened, the links will not be seen at all.

The latter is a broadly a “race realist” site, which incorporates contents from many sources on related developments and thoughts. It can play a particular valuable roll at the moment, where the U.S., and large parts of the “West” in general, is taking severe damage under the dual problems of the long disproved “tabula rasa”/“nurture only” claims and the “Whites are evil oppressors and racists” narrative.

In a minor related update, Michelle Malkin, is moved from the temporary to the permanent English blogroll. Since the original addition, I have had the time to look into at least some of her (very extensive) earlier works. While I do not agree with everything that she writes, especially looking at her earlier years, I find a lot of value in her writings—and not just because of their relevance to the disastrous times that we live in.

As an aside, I have since also come to realize that she was considerably better known than I originally assumed.

Written by michaeleriksson

July 29, 2020 at 11:49 am