The Futility of Public Health

I’m wondering when the satanic forces of Public Health will launch a ferocious attack on Christmas.

It is, after all, a time of year when people indolently eat and drink (and smoke) for the duration of something like an entire week. What could possibly be unhealthier than that? Think how much longer people would live if Christmas was simply abolished, and replaced with, say, public gymnastic exercises.

After all, length of life is the only thing that matters in Public Health. Tobacco packages now loudly inform their buyers that Smokers Die Younger. Just yesterday I quoted one source:

On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.

Longevity is everything. It is the duty of everyone to live as long as they possibly can. Nothing else matters.

And it’s because nothing else matters that Public Health is a satanic agency in the world, crushing out everything else – including freedom, happiness, conviviality, compassion, friendship. Those things don’t matter: longevity is everything.

And longevity is measured in years. And the more years the better. It’s better to live for 70 years than 50 years or 20 years. And it’s even better to live 90 or 100 years than 70 years.  And so on. The quality of the life lived is unimportant. A long and miserable life is always better than a short and happy life, because happiness doesn’t count.

In some ways, and perhaps in its entirety, Public Health = and that wing of it that is known as Tobacco Control – is a modern mathematical-physical ideology. And the Christian festival of Christmas belongs to a traditional, non-mathematical, non-scientific ideology.

And when modern scientific rationality meets up with traditional teachings, it defeats it just as easily as the cannons of Portuguese caravels and Spanish galleons defeated the sticks and spears of the native populations they encountered as they circumnavigated the world. The natives simply had no answer. They didn’t have any weapons of equal power and range.

Public Health wins because it uses science and mathematics. For underlying the claim that Smoking Causes Lung Cancer are highly sophisticated statistical arguments which uneducated natives simply cannot understand. It’s no good holding up a Bible or a Koran or a Torah in response to Public Health: you’ll just get mowed down by its statistical machine guns.

If Public Health is going to be defeated (and it absolutely must be defeated) it is only going to be defeated by another set of mathematical-physical arguments, much in the way that the Spanish galleons were only defeated by the superior ships of the line commanded by Nelson at Trafalgar in 1805, or the tank armies of the Wehrmacht were defeated by the tank armies of the Soviet Union at the battle of Kursk in 1943. It takes like to defeat like.

Public Health might best be seen as an early warship mounting a single cannon. It’s only invincible because nobody else has got anything like it.

Yet it shouldn’t be to difficult to build another warship that can defeat Public Health. But it’ll have to be a mathematical-physical, scientifically-rational warship. It’ll have to be more rational than Public Health. It will have to have a more comprehensive and inclusive rationality. Only something that’s better than Public Health is going to be able to blow Public Health out of the water.

And Idle Theory might fit the bill. Idle Theory is a mathematical-physical idea. And it’s also an ethical theory. In place of longevity (measured by clocks) as its One Good, it has idleness (also measured by clocks).

And while Christmas can never have a place in the ideology of Public Health, it’s very easy for Christmas to find a place in Idle Theory. Because the week of Christmas is a holiday, a period of idleness. The holy days of Christianity are the idle holidays of Idle Theory. As also is the weekly sabbath day of Christianity (or Judaism or Islam) another treasured idle day.

And Idle Theory contains a very clear idea of freedom: idle time is free time (in exactly the same way that sabbath days are days of free time).

And Idle Theory contains an idea of both the divine – a state of perfect idleness – and the demonic – a state of unremitting busyness -, and thus also contains an idea of Heaven and Hell.

The same is not true of Public Health, in which the only measure is that of longevity of life. There’s no Heaven or Hell in Public Health. There is no notion of freedom and constraint, leisure and toil, happiness and misery, or even good and evil, in Public Health. It’s long life – or nothing. In Public Health, the only value of anything lies in whether it serves to prolong life by a few more days or hours. Hence its obsessive interest in food and drink, every variety of which is seen as being a sort of poison which is slowly killing people. So not only is tobacco slowly killing you, but also alcohol, meat, fat, sugar, salt. The public health fanatic lives in a world in which everything is killing him, and the only real purpose in life is to delay death as long as possible.

If a life might be seen as an escalator ride from the top, where one first steps onto the escalator, to the bottom where one finally steps off, the health zealot is like someone who walks up the down escalator (or up the down escalator) in order to stay on it for as long as possible. It’s a futile exercise. Of course a Christian would say that once you step off the escalator, you will enter another post-escalator world. And a Hindu might say that before you stepped onto the escalator, you had inhabited a pre-escalator world, in which you had ridden on countless numbers of escalators.

If not Idle Theory, then something else. The ideology of Public Health will only be defeated when it is comprehensively dismantled, and shown to be nonsensical and self-defeating, and replaced by a better idea. But until it is defeated, it will continue to lay waste not just to pubs and cafes and clubs, and to community and friendship, but to absolutely everything else as well.

 

About Frank Davis

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22 Responses to The Futility of Public Health

  1. Tony says:

    ‘Public Health’ don’t use statistics and ‘mathematics’ for objective investigation and study. Instead they use (abuse) both to attempt to justify their pre-determined conclusions.

    A striking example is demonstrated in this letter written by Mark Twain in 1870 about the ten years claim that you mentioned:

    “… when they used to tell me I would shorten my life ten years by smoking, they little knew the devotee they were wasting their puerile word upon — they little knew how trivial and valueless I would regard a decade that had no smoking in it!”
    – letter to Joseph Twichell, 19 Dec 1870, Mark Twain.
    http://www.twainquotes.com/Smoking.html

    So the ten year claim pre-dates Doll’s doctors study by at least 80 years.

    • Joe L. says:

      I understand Frank’s point was more about Public Health winning because they present bombard the public with what appears to be sophisticated science and mathematics that most laymen don’t understand, causing the general public to accept it as truth purely because it was created by “experts.”

      However, I agree that claiming Public Health wins because it “uses” science and mathematics glosses over the other very important ingredient in their recipe of deception: they purposefully abuse and manipulate statistics in order to support their pre-determined conclusions.

      To most of us regulars here at Frank’s blog, this is common knowledge, however I think a minor rewording similar to the following might have more impact on a first-time reader:

      Public Health wins because it (mis)uses science and mathematics. For underlying the claim that Smoking Causes Lung Cancer are highly sophisticated arguments carefully built upon statistical fallacies which uneducated natives simply cannot understand, let alone scrutinize and argue against.

      • Frank Davis says:

        Perfectly good rewrite.

        But how do we know that they’re misusing science and mathematics? Exactly where (and when) did they go off the rails? At what point did they write that 2 + 2 = 5?

        I think they did. And I think they did it way back with the 1950 London Hospitals Study.

        • Rose says:

          I agree.

          Mortality in the London Boroughs, 1950—52, with Special Reference to Respiratory Disease

          “It is interesting to note the parallel between these figures and those of a recent study of cancer among British immigrants in New Zealand ( Eastcott, 1956)

          Compared with the native born population, British immigrants had an excessive risk of death from cancer of the lung (but no other site),and this excess was sufficiently greater for persons who had lived in Britain until they were 30 years old than for those who migrated at an earlier age.

          Thus emerges from both studies a consistent relationship between duration of exposure to the putatively noxious environment and risk of later death from respiratory disease.”
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1058618/?page=4

        • Philip Neal says:

          One of the tricks involved is the concept of “risk factors”, a term designed to conflate correlation and causation. The risk factors for coronary heart disease (those found more often in sufferers than non-sufferers) explain it several times over. Something I expect to happen is that the gradual introduction of genomic medicine will show that most of them are just things that happen to be correlated and that they are not the actual causes of disease at all.

        • Joe L. says:

          But how do we know that they’re misusing science and mathematics?

          We know because “theories” such as “Smoking Causes Lung Cancer” were never supported via the scientific method; there are zero reproducible experiments that can support that claim. Instead, they cherry-pick statistics which indicate some kind of correlation and coin scientific-sounding terms like “risk factors,” as Philip Neal mentioned. This is fundamentally anti-scientific.

          Exactly where (and when) did they go off the rails?

          This is much harder to answer. I, too, believe it goes back at least as far as the London Hospitals Study. It would be extremely difficult to pinpoint when contemporary pseudoscience first gained a foothold within the fields of mainstream science and academia, but I have my suspicions there was a great deal of influence, both indirect and direct, from the Nazis, who proved the effectiveness of well-crafted lies and propaganda.

        • Frank Davis says:

          Certainly there are no reproducible experiments.

          Instead they cherry-pick statistics which indicate some kind of correlation

          Are you saying that statistics has no place in science? Or are you saying that their version of statistics is defective or unscientific. If the latter, where does the defect lie?

          I, too, believe it goes back at least as far as the London Hospitals Study.

          I generally take that as the start point because that’s when UK doctors started declaring that smoking causes lung cancer. This was something with which Sir Ronald Fisher, the pre-eminent statistician of his era, disagreed. Personally I agree with Fisher, but for different reasons than his. But Fisher (and anyone else who disagreed) were more or less shouted down, in much the same way that global warming sceptics were shouted down 50 years later. They declared that “The science is settled,” and anyone who disagreed was a flat-earther.

          But I think it’s important to go back to the London Hospitals Study and put forward clear reasons for doubting whether it showed what Doll and Hill believed it showed.

          Some day I’d like to take another shot at explaining why I think it was inconclusive.

        • Joe L. says:

          Are you saying that statistics has no place in science? Or are you saying that their version of statistics is defective or unscientific.

          The latter. I believe statistics do have a place in science: statistics can help determine trends and probabilities, and thus can lead to formulating better-educated hypotheses with which to test using the scientific method.

          If the latter, where does the defect lie?

          The defect lies in the minds of the so-called “experts” who exploit the subjectivity of statistics and pass it off as “science” in order to deceive the uneducated and gullible with their biased interpretations.

          Just a few glaring abuses of statistics by Antismoking “experts”:

          a.) Science is built upon the scientific method, which is purely experimental in nature. Statistics, conversely, are purely observational. Experimental studies can generate theories to explain causation; observational studies, by their nature, simply cannot. To claim otherwise is a bald-faced lie.

          b.) The statistics they generate from observational surveys like the famed British Doctors Study do not (and cannot possibly) account for all potential confounding variables encountered by unique individuals over the course of 30-40+ years. To merely make a case for correlation with a survey of this nature is tenuous at best.

          c.) They “cherry-pick” the statistics that support their predetermined conclusions while those that are contradictory are either written off as “statistical anomalies” or completely ignored altogether.

          The malleability of statistics, as well as the power statistics have to shape public opinion and the propensity for people to misuse statistics have been common knowledge for quite some time.

          For instance, this phrase made famous by Mark Twain has been around for over 100 years:

          There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

          And this book was first published in 1954:

          And many more books have been published on the subject since. What concerns be the most is the fact that Tobacco Control has been so successful using this approach at this point in history, in spite of information like this being freely available as long as it has. I can only assume this is because they prey on people’s emotions (“your loved one died because they smoked”) and emotions are far more powerful than science, mathematics and books.

        • Frank Davis says:

          In what sense is statistics subjective? Isn’t it just another branch of mathematics? Or is mathematics always subjective?

        • Joe L. says:

          Statistics, in and of itself, is not subjective. It’s basically just sets of numbers that you can plot on pretty charts. Unless you consider histograms “fine art,” statistics alone are practically useless.

          However, Statistics is considered a branch of Applied Mathematics, thus requiring the numbers gathered and charts produced be interpreted by humans during the “application” process. This is where subjectivity and exploitation occur.

          Unlike natural, experimental science, where results are interpreted in a binary fashion (did the experiment produce the expected result? Yes/no), the interpretation of statistics allows for a wide spectrum of interpretations.

  2. Smoking Lamp says:

    That’s because they select the sound bite and then fabricate the research to support it. It’s not real data or analysis but rather propaganda masquerading as science. Of corse the public health attacks real science just as Lysenko did to preserve its power base. I agree, Chrismas and all traditional beliefs are at risk as these totalitarians seek to restructure the world ito their preference. Tobacco control and its public health mantle must be destroyed.

  3. Joe L. says:

    It appears Public Health has been hard at work finding new ways to classify pleasurable activities as non-communicable threats to society this holiday season:

    Excessive Video Gaming to be Named Mental Disorder by WHO

    The World Health Organization is adding an unexpected disorder to its list of mental health conditions in 2018. Next year, people who play an excessive amount of video games could find themselves diagnosed with “gaming disorder.”

    WHO’s beta draft of its upcoming 11th update of International Classification of Diseases characterizes gaming disorder as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context); 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

    • smokingscot says:

      I have great sympathy with some kids, most especially the only child ones. Sometimes they find companionship of sorts on the web and – for a while at least – can shut out parents, sometimes grandparents who very frequently give lots of criticism and little encouragement.

      The problem is widespread in China where millions of children and teens are solo’s – and many find their parents have aspirations for them that don’t quite match the interests, or abilities of the children themselves.

      This article’s one of many about these internet rehab camps.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/14/chinese-teenager-dies-48-hours-entering-internet-rehab-camp/

      Depressing as this is, the real problem isn’t addressed, namely the spoken (sometimes unspoken) intent on the part of the parents that the child not only become a success with a fine, lucrative income but is also expected to marry, have children (2 is now permitted) and take care of its parents in old age.

      In short, they’re a pension plan.

      That’s a great weight to lay on anyone, especially a youngster who isn’t especially talented, nor ambitious.

      The WHO is not doing them, nor the parents any favours. However it will backfire because these kids are very web savvy – and it’ll be great when they eventually manage a critical mass with two aims in mind.

      1) Hack the hell out of their computer systems.

      2) Make sure those in their world know who the real enemy is.

      Of course this behaviour is not limited to China (or Japan, Korea and India). It’s found pretty well anywhere. The difference may lie in the way they “treat” these kids. Certainly a brutal boot camp type regime won’t pan out here, so I suppose it’ll be a case of another pill designed to make them compliant zombies who’ll “need” treatment for life.

    • waltc says:

      I wonder when they’ll consider obsessive jogging, weight training, and gym-going a disease. Or the compulsive fetish to eat only organic, gluten-free, fat-free.

      • smokingscot says:

        Rotten swine Walt. You got me curious, so a quick search shows they’ve been there on the jogging bit.

        Danish study finds jogging to excess means you’ll almost certainly die pretty much about the same age as people who never jogged.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2936615/Too-jogging-just-bad-doing-none-short-run-three-time-week-key-longer-life.html

        Seems pretty well anything done to excess isn’t good for you – and yes I agree with your implication, that’s the sort of warning the WHO should be putting out about gaming, videos, social media and even television. It ain’t a mental health issue; invariably there’s a simple cause and effect that’s very close to home.

        And as has been pointed out by Frank and endorsed by many of us, the smoking ban has led to something way many times worse, social isolation and loneliness. Just don’t expect a serious, peer reviewed study on that issue any time soon.

    • Joe L. says:

      Yesterday I was thinking about how Santa Claus is a Healthist’s nightmare. He’s an obese man who smokes a pipe and feasts on cookies, which are loaded with sugar and fat (and a bit of salt). The horror!

      I also stumbled upon this article from 2012 about an Antismoking Canadian publisher, Pamela McColl, who took it upon herself to rewrite “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” in order to remove all references to Santa’s smoking:

      Santa’s pipe put out in new edition of children’s classic

      In her own words:

      I have edited out a few words and lines that reference Santa smoking and removed the cover illustration of his pipe. The omission of these few words do not change the material intent of the author nor do they infringe on the reader’s understanding or enjoyment of this historically-rich story, but by removing these words we may save lives and avoid influencing new smokers,” she says. “I think these edits outweigh other considerations. If this text is to survive another 200 years it needs to modernise and reflect today’s realities. I want children to celebrate the spirit of giving and to reflect proudly on the holiday traditions that shape their childhood, and the best way to honour Santa and this story is to make him smoke-free.

      • waltc says:

        Speaking of politically correct seasonal rewrites, this marks the end of the world as we knew it. Attention Harbey Weinstein:

  4. Lepercolonist says:

    The public health fanatic lives in a world in which everything is killing him, and the only real purpose in life is to delay death as long as possible.

    The WHO says that red meat is probably carcinogenic. Paradoxically, many elite athletes are thriving on the Carnivore Diet. Only meat, eggs and water. Some have been on this diet for over 20 years. This is the diet of Inuits and Massai people. More BS from the experts at the WHO.

  5. waltc says:

    Ross:
    just saw your comment from yesterday about Sherman’s. Checked the new website you linked to which is indeed discouraging, reads like it was written by Public Health, and yes, the buyout by Altria is potentially alarming if they change the product or process, but I don’t think they have.

    . Meanwhile, the paper gets to be officially firesafe w/o added chemicals or speed bumps–they just use untreated rice paper which apparently still meets the standards. I smoke Sherman’s MSD Gold (gold being the govt-approved euphemism for light, though the taste is still strong); used to smoke their brown Natural Lights. Forget why I switched and of course they couldn’t be called Lights any more. So far I only notice that since Altria took over, the insert no longer says Natural or Additive -free but instead says “only fine tobacco” which may also reflect a government language mandate or be part of Altria’s born again PC, but, if you read through a squint, it still means no additives.

  6. beobrigitte says:

    I’m wondering when the satanic forces of Public Health will launch a ferocious attack on Christmas.
    Who is Public Health? Why is Public Health interested in destroying Christmas for older people who want their relatives to remember how much of a good time they had?
    Let’s face it, the government(s) give a sh*t about pensioners. My pension wasn’t paid BEFORE Christmas so I could make it last for 5 weeks or more as I was used to when I was in employment. The government figures that old people don’t do Christmas. So they’ll have to wait. WHO cares, anyway?

    Anti-smokers you think you live 10 years longer? I wish you 100 years – on TAXED pension, of course.
    I’m glad I invested wisely.

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