Origins and Trajectories of the COVID Phenomenon
The philosophical foundation of the PANDA group, one of the leading international teams
A group of multi-disciplinary professionals established a leading international consortium named PANDA during April of 2020. This group was formed in response to the global political and public health reaction to COVID—and lockdowns in particular—which they saw as overwrought and damaging to the point of causing a great tear in the fabric of society. As a politically and economically independent organization, PANDA continues to seek to develop science-based explanations relating to the COVID crisis, and to test these hypotheses against international data. The goal of the organization is to use these analyses to guide and inform policy recommendations for governments and other institutions. Since formation, PANDA has stood for open science and rational debate, for replacing flawed science with good science and for retrieving liberty and prosperity from the clutches of a dystopian “new normal”. The group is structured into three different operational teams.
This author of this substack article is PANDA founder Nick Hudson, who is being interviewed in the video clip appended above. This brief clip is one segment of a longer interview which can be viewed here. Nick is both a personal friend and an actuary with broad international experience in finance, who has settled into a career as a private equity investor. The article has been edited by Robert Malone.
Mr. Hudson is a man of wide-ranging interests—an avid reader of canonical literature, a classical music aficionado, and an enthusiastic amateur ornithologist. He has been invited to speak on various topics including epistemology, corporate governance, investment management, and more recently, the pandemic. The following is a brief summary of the founding of PANDA and the philosophical basis which guides PANDA and its activities.
Origins and Trajectories of the COVID Phenomenon
Two years ago (during April 2020), we started PANDA in response to the emergent social, political and economic threat of lockdowns in South Africa. By October 2020, it was obvious that, at least here in South Africa, we were dealing with a situation where local decision-making had become irrelevant. Local authorities were just rolling out things at the behest of unknown and undefined external stakeholders. Because we were early in realizing what was going on, at a time when very few independent groups had formed to analyze and interpret the data stream concerning the COVID phenomenon, a really rapid process of internationalization occurred within PANDA. We quickly developed a well-staffed scientific advisory board, and were in full operation by the end of 2020. By that time the organization included representatives from more than 30 countries, and we were well stocked with scientists of various flavors.
From the beginning, we emphasized the importance of grounding the entire project in a rigorous application of epistemology, the theory of knowledge. That's a principle that has served me well over the years, whether I'm talking about something scientific, philosophical, or commercial. Sound epistemology is always a good place to start. For obvious reasons, it is important to define and understand how do you know what you know, what constitutes knowledge, and what constitutes something else?
To this end, I will start this chapter by laying out some fundamental language and terminology so that we all have a common set of words and ideas that we can build from. After that, I’ll refer back to those words and concepts to situate all other aspects of our analysis of the epidemic. After going through this initial grounding, I will turn to looking at the “other side” in this struggle; to examining the thinking and behavior of those responsible for developing, approving and promoting the approved narrative. In particular, I will focus on the structure of what they're saying, both in terms of their propaganda and its elements, the three major cognitive errors that feature in their thinking, and how those logic errors filter through into the narrative that we've received about COVID. I will then turn to examining how their errors relate back to cognitive failures in epistemic grounding concerning the theory of knowledge- the errors in thought and comprehension which underly the subsequent cascading failures of public health policies. Then I'll briefly discuss where that leads us to, and what it suggests about what we should do in response to the failures in thought, decision making, and public policy. Finally, I will address the “why” question that everybody keeps cycling back to.
The importance of a sound theory of knowledge
Let’s begin by examining the epistemological grounding (or lack of grounding) which has caused the widespread logic failures responsible for global COVID policies. To provide context, before the advent of the modern approach to understanding science and explanatory knowledge, there was a shared belief that there are two general ways to develop knowledge; by application of a combination of deductive or inductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning begins with a premise that is proven through observations, while inductive reasoning extracts a likely (but not certain) premise from specific and limited observations. You saw something that was true—observed one fact or another —and you applied both prior knowledge and internalized philosophical framework(s) to work out what that observation implied about the world. In this view, all knowledge is deductive, flowing from some axiomatic, reproducible facts. This perspective leads to the conclusion that there would is a finite size to knowledge. You would just have to work out all the deductions and then you'd know everything there was to know. Closely related to that is the idea of induction. The sun came up every day in the past, sun came up today, the sun always comes up—and then you know something.
Dr. Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, a researcher and professor emerita at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, observes that the scientific method uses deduction to test hypotheses and theories, which predict certain outcomes if they are correct. She summarizes the process in this way:
“In inductive inference, we go from the specific to the general. We make many observations, discern a pattern, make a generalization, and infer an explanation or a theory. In science, there is a constant interplay between inductive inference (based on observations) and deductive inference (based on theory), until we get closer and closer to the 'truth,' which we can only approach but not ascertain with complete certainty."
This type of reasoning—the notion that good explanations would be verifiable by way of deduction or induction—is formally known as “logical empricism”. More recent philosophers have come to understand that knowledge grows not by deduction, but by the creative act of generating new explanations—conjectures that provide an account for some aspect of reality—which are then put to the test not by an attempt to verify them by way of deduction, but by an attempt to falsify them. Thus “explanatory knowledge” evolves in a constant cycle of conjecture and criticism, or conjecture and refutation. If someone produces a fact that contradicts an explanation, we dismiss the explanation, and then we are off in search of a better one that is not at odds with reality. Explanation is supposed to enhance our understanding of the phenomenon explained, and explanatory understanding must be an essential component of explanatory knowledge. Thus, a theory of explanation must say something informative about what understanding is – what it consists in and what separates genuine understanding from understanding that is merely illusory.
Under this theory of knowledge—this epistemology—every explanation is destined ultimately to be replaced by a better one. An exquisite example illustrating this concept is found in the history of Newtonian mechanics. Before Einstein’s theories concerning relativity, everybody was absolutely convinced we'd solved the problem of how physical bodies related to each other on a macro scale and a micro scale, until Einstein came along with his amazing conjectures about relativity and blew the thing to smithereens. And it required just one very intelligent falsifying experiment to work out whether Einstein was onto something. Therefore, a pivotal experiment—one which nobody would have thought to perform had it not been for Einstein’s creative conjecture—was designed that would definitively falsify one of the two frameworks. That definitive experiment was performed after many years of preparation, and ended up demonstrating a falsehood present within Newtonian mechanics which was not present within Einstein’s explanations. Of course, Newtonian mechanics is still used, because the answers provided by that system are locally accurate. So as an explanation it's still useful, but it has been proven wrong in some situations, and therefore has been replaced by a better one- the explanations offered by Einstein. And in turn, Einstein's explanations are destined to be replaced by better ones at some future date, as many scientists are trying to do with the theory of everything.
The theory of explanatory knowledge goes like this; all knowledge growth, all knowledge generation is fundamentally evolutionary in nature, and therefore deduction and induction are irrelevant. When operating within the paradigm of explanatory knowledge, what we do is employ a process of creativity or innovation. We invent a new explanation, and that explanation is then tested. There is an obvious analogy to this in biology. In the case of biology, the analog of an innovative explanation is the innovative mutation, or (more commonly) an innovative sexual recombination of genes. That new genome is then tested in the real world by the process of what is often simplified as survival of the fittest. The new gene is a conjecture, and the real-world test is its criticism or refutation. In this way, knowledge is incorporated into downstream genomes in a process of evolution, just as knowledge is incorporated into our explanations in a process involving incremental evolution of explanatory knowledge. This is indeed generalizable to all knowledge.
Most vexing problems exist within domains of some complexity, and that complexity challenges us. It defies any kind of deductive analytical solution. We test explanations on the margins of that complexity. An explanation either succeeds or fails in the real world through the process of conjecture and criticism. In this way, the corpus of knowledge—the canon—consisting of these explanations requires conjecture and criticism to grow in this evolutionary way. And we, over time, replace bad explanations with better ones in an infinitely unbounded process.
So that's the epistemological grounding for how PANDA has approached the COVIDcrisis. I have spent some time on developing this background and explanation because it embeds a couple of key ideas. First of all, you see straight away that any attempt to kill the process of error correction whatsoever will terminate the knowledge growth. You need the process of criticism of explanations in order for knowledge to continue growing.
Once you understand the framework of explanatory knowledge, it is not hard to understand that knowledge-killing activities—destruction of the mechanisms of error correction when criticism is prevented—is directly related to the tendency of centralized power, or any kind of authoritarian perspective, to seek to control information, thought and free speech. Authoritarians stop certain types of speech that are critical of certain views. That then leads to a situation of stasis, where there's one view (or model) of the world, and very few mechanisms to allow that world view to improve. There's no criticism allowed, because criticism is seen as a threatening challenge to authority, and therefore none is allowed. And that is what we were faced very materially throughout the whole COVID saga. “Trust the experts”, “follow the science”, “conform with community standards”. Preceding and particularly during the COVIDcrisis, mis- dis- and most specifically mal-information have become labels applied to perspectives that contradict authorities, but do not necessarily contradict objective truth (reality).
The structure of propaganda
Having defined the theory of knowledge which has guided PANDA in its work to better understand the COVIDcrisis, let's now turn to examining the structure of what the other side has been saying. Throughout the last two years we have seen many examples of propaganda, the intentional distribution of a false narrative to influence thought and drive public policy. I will later talk briefly about how that narrative is false in all of its elements. It’s not the case that the approved narrative is 95% true, with a 5% lie tacked on the end that's causing all the trouble. The entire narrative is false, it's a globally deployed fraudulent information ecosystem that's been radically propagandized.
Propaganda never sits in a vacuum. It doesn't just materialize out of nowhere. It stems from a political agenda, and in most cases the political agenda is initially implicit rather than being clearly and transparently stated. The role of the propaganda is to surreptitiously normalize the agenda. The propaganda distills an ideology down to specific approved interpretations of observable facts or events. The ideology operates to make the political agenda become normalized and acceptable, and the implicit can then move to becoming explicit.
During the COVIDcrisis, we have seen many examples of this process. In March of 2020, if you said "The goal here is ultimately to get injections into every arm," you would immediately have been derided as a conspiracy theorist. But after a year of constant propaganda about the vaccinations, almost all of it devoid of any connection to reality, it is not even acceptable to say that that is not or should not be the goal. The Overton window has closed down around this explanation, and further public discussion or dissent is not allowed. The agenda remains implicit until the ideology has been distilled, propagated, accepted, and then the agenda can become explicit and the proponents can say, "Yes, that's our agenda, an injection in every arm." And so it goes. You've got this implicit political agenda driving propaganda, leading to the distillation of an ideology which supports the agenda becoming increasingly explicit, at which point the propaganda formation doesn't need to continue. That's the structure of information warfare in any setting.
Even during the period before the agenda becomes explicit, there are ways to detect the features of a hidden agenda. Here at PANDA, we like to compress one of our favorite methods into the analogy of an electric fence. Around the hidden agenda is an electric fence. And if you touch it, if you try to peer over, you get a shock. And what does the shock look like? Well, it comes in the form of cancel culture, it comes in the form of smearing, defamation, gas-lighting, and it comes in the form of labeling. We’ve all heard these labels—”COVID-denier”, “anti-vaxxer” or in other domains, “climate-denier”, “AIDS-denial”, “Putin-apologist”, bigot, alt-right, far-right or Nazi. By monitoring facts, ideas or discussion which provokes use of such terms by those acting to defend a narrative, propaganda is very often identifiable, not so much by its content as by the responses to anybody who criticizes it.
Another key feature of these sorts of “electric fences” which can be used to detect a hidden agenda and the propaganda deployed to defend it is that they act to prevent debate from happening. Where there is no electric fence—where an issue or conjecture is available for debate in a normal process of genuine knowledge acquisition—there is no need for labels. It is only when a false narrative—a narrative of propaganda—is in play, that such an electric fence is necessary and can be easily observed. The important lesson from this is that when you see an electric fence, you can be absolutely sure that the narrative which it surrounds is entirely false. If there's no debate happening and the public square does not exist with respect to the issue, then that's a sign that you're dealing with a system of propaganda, and that you can assume it to be false with high reliability.
The shaky foundations of the globalist agenda
So, now we've covered both the epistemology as well as the structure of the propaganda and some of the features of propagandized environments which the PANDA team uses to develop our system of explanatory knowledge concerning the COVIDcrisis. Let's switch now to the actual errors in thinking that are embedded in the political agenda which we now confront. As we progress through our observations and conclusions, I hope it will become clear why I'm doing it this way rather than just first stating what we believe is going on. Let's start by focusing on what parts of the narrative are false, starting at a high level and working our way down into the details of the approved false COVID narrative which has been so actively promoted.
There are three major errors in thinking that all relate back to a failure to regard proper epistemology. As a memory aide, I like to present these as the “three M’s”. The first M is Marxism. The key relevant feature of Marxism is that it is based on a view of the world that is fundamentally utilitarian—that we can somehow measure and manage all variables of human existence to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number. That there is a sort of spreadsheet for society out there, a computerized artificial intelligence algorithm. That if we only have sufficient data, we can create, populate and optimize an algorithm which will enable an elite central leadership to make decisions that may be hard for some specific individuals, but which will benefit the overall majority of individuals. Given sufficient data, such an algorithm will contribute to enabling a greater good. Once this can be achieved, off we go into the sunset with our new system, our new spreadsheet, and we improve the world by adding life years or reducing some disease, or whatever. People entranced by Marxism tend to focus myopically on single goals, without any recognition of the existence of trade-offs for other goals, benefits and risks, and they often do so without stipulating (or even allowing discussion of) why that goal is essential to achieve or even whether it is a good idea in the first place.
This is utilitarianism, where the ends justify the means, and it's a universal feature of Marxist thinking. The opposite of Marxist-utilitarianism is a virtue or value-based system where you negotiate the world by way of an evolved system of values; something that comes to us from the dawns of time, the early days of civilization and culture; a set of cultural rules, norms, taboos and explicit values that give us a way to negotiate all social interaction and cultural discourse. And because it's evolved, that system is capable of embedding knowledge. Again, the complexity inherent in human culture and societies means that the system defies parsimonious deductive analysis; comprehension requires evolutionary explanatory knowledge.
At the level of global society, we are in a situation where we are dealing with a spectacularly complex story, and any changes will have unexpected and unintended consequences. This is the law of unintended consequences (often referred to as “blowback” within the intelligence community), because you cannot foresee all the effects of your change. And that's why wise people understand that it is important to let systems, our societies, evolve over time in response to small innovations on the margin that are tested, criticized, refuted, and then further modified in an evolutionary process interacting with the real world.
If we change a rule, reject a value, or something like that, it might improve things but it could equally have catastrophic consequences. And those outcomes may not be immediately evident. What we’re really talking about here is the epistemological grounding for “small c” conservatism—the idea that you need to be gradualist whenever you are trying to meddle with a complex system—an ecology, the human body, the immune system, society, culture, all of these things. Wherever our problems lie which we would like to solve, we must approach development of solutions by a gradualist method.
So, that's the first M. We've got this kind of Marxist construct of the greater good, utilitarianism and a whole lot of philosophical structure baked into that story. The second M is the idea of Malthusianism. Thomas Malthus was a continental philosopher-economist who argued that we would eventually run out of everything. If we kept on growing the number of people on the planet, we would face a population crash, a disaster, misery for all souls on the planet.
Malthus’ idea gained immediate currency after it was first proposed, and reappears in various guises over the last two hundred years. We encounter it in these notions such as “green planet”, “spaceship earth”, and the now ubiquitous “sustainability”. Behind all of them is this Malthusian idea that there's something finite that we mustn't use up.
Now, how does that contradict the epistemology we covered? Well, in our theory of knowledge, which embeds the idea that there's infinite scope for knowledge growth, we can always solve problems. We can always improve and add to the knowledge base. There's no fundamental reason why we cannot continue doing so indefinitely, creating better and better explanations about the world and how it works, and thereby solving our problems and escaping Malthusians traps all the time.
And that is what in fact has happened over the past two years, when Malthusian fearmongering about the finitude of resources has reared its head. We've continually escaped the bounds. There was this idea that the earth’s maximum population should be 100 million people. Then it was 500 million people. Then it was a billion—that was going to be the disaster number. And now we sit on eight billion. And the idea, again, is that that's too much, that we're going to run out of stuff. And again, what the Malthusians are doing, is failing to acknowledge our capacity to solve problems and promote growth. So, that's the second M of Malthusianism that's baked into the worldview of the approved CORONA narrative.
There is a dangerous interplay between our first two Ms—between Marxism and Malthusianism. Because Marxism, with its centralized, authoritarian world view destroys the capacity for error correction, it also destroys the capacity for problem-solving and growth. This makes Mathusianism a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Then the third M is an idea that's known as post-Modernism or post-Modern relativism. This idea that there isn't actually anything call reality or truth. In this view, all perspectives are subjective and there is no basis for adjudicating among them. What becomes accepted dogma is simply the dogma of the most powerful person in the room. There's no need to argue for a correspondence with reality. Reality is fabricated by a dominant narrative.
And we see lots of signs of this relativism. For example, we have identitarianism, the idea of “identifying” as something that you aren’t. It's a claim to knowledge that's no sensible person would make. I, as a male, do not know what it is like to be a female. That's an obvious statement. I have no idea. I can't possibly know what it's like. But when relativism abounds I can make the statement that I identify as a woman. That's acceptable in the world of postmodern relativism. It's an acceptable move to make. Why? Because correspondence with reality is not required. My subjective interpretation is as good as anybody else’s. In this relativist world, people have become very comfortable with the idea that they just assert something, shout out the critics, and then whatever nonsense they are talking becomes the truth. And if you contradict their personal truth thus asserted, you are guilty of misinformation, or bigotry or whatever. There's no need for them to debate and indulge in a rational exercise of ensuring a correspondence between their views and reality.
So, those are the “three M’s”, Marxism, Malthusianism and post-Modernism, a little cheat there for the third M. And each of them runs into trouble in light of the epistemological grounding I started with.
Detailed errors of the received narrative
Now let’s look at the detail of the narrative. The narrative that's received is, "There's a new deadly virus that we’re all susceptible to, and there's no cure for it. And because there's no cure, what we have to do is lock down and wear our masks until a vaccine arrives, otherwise we're all going to die." That's essentially the narrative. There are of course other elements to it, but that’s the headline version.
And every element of that narrative is false. We are not dealing with a new virus in any reasonable sense. It's an evolved structure with possibly some lab-introduced innovations or novelties to it, but overall, it is something that's highly recognizable to the human immune system. Why? Well, for reasons that bear a close relation to the epistemology we discussed at the start, it's almost impossible to create a virus from scratch, because you don't know how it's going to behave in a complex world. Introducing a truly novel virus would be trying to assert a completely wild conjecture that would immediately run into the problem that you can't foresee the full complexity of the emergent behavior of your little chemical, based simply on its sequence. Because the interaction between that thing and the human body, or all the other bodies or the climate or the temperature, is a terrain of wild complexity that we cannot begin to engage with.
This shows up quite practically. Why? Because wherever we measure on the planet, we find that around about 80% of people have preexisting immunity to SARS-CoV-2, an immune response that comes up and knocks the virus quite comfortably, and some of those people are your so-called “asymptomatic cases”, and some suffer only mild illness.
But the “new virus” notion is a myth that propelled the assumption of universal susceptibility or immune naivety. It was important because it enabled the modelers to say, "Listen, from the cases we see in the hospital, 1% of those sick people die. Everybody's going to get sick because their immune systems have never seen this. And so, you multiply some big proportion by the whole population, and everybody's going to die. We need to lock down to save the hospitals. We need to build field hospitals, et cetera, et cetera."
And again, what you see is because this is dogma, propagated in an environment where error correction is killed, even in the face of the obvious error of the construction of billions and billions of dollars of field hospitals that remained empty wherever they are built, whether it was in New York or London or South Africa, was not enough to constitute a refutation of the idea of the universal susceptibility to a deadly virus. It's never enough. So they kept on building them, and even the USS Mercy sailed out of New York Harbor having not been utilized.
So that's how this kind of almost Stalinist Marxism plays out. "Here are the rules. The dogma is this. Now we do all the things consistent with the dogma." And nobody ever points out that something has gone terribly wrong, because they cannot be heard pointing it out. If they try, they're silenced.
As for lockdowns and mask wearing, there's just so much compelling, large-scale, macroscopic evidence to support the failure of those policy initiatives. And there are strong biological reasons to suspect that they were never going to succeed. If we concede that virus has evolved, then any action we take will be offset by a movement in the evolution of the virus to reflect its new conditions, compared to the general situation of social interaction and habits of wearing or not wearing things on the front of your face.
So there was a reason not to expect them to work, and very early evidence that they didn’t work at all. We saw as early as May 2020, that there was absolutely no information content in whether a country had locked down or not, in terms of what its COVID death rate actually turned out to be. Such zero correlation means that there cannot be a causal relationship between lockdowns and deaths or between mask mandates and deaths. Since we pointed this out at PANDA, it's a result that's been replicated hundreds of times worldwide.
Moving on quickly to the vaccine, without making too big a thing about it, everyone can see the electric fence around the vaccine narrative of “safe and effective”. "It's safe and effective. It's safe and effective." You can't touch that issue with getting a shock. Sure enough, when you do get brave enough to grab that fence and look over, what do you see? The Pfizer Phase 3 trial is the very apparent item, and all over it are the features of a propaganda exercise. It has the wrong clinical endpoints, and it's demonstrating something quite weak that's got nothing to do with what's being claimed in the narrative.
And we are in an environment where great efforts are being made to keep the underlying data hidden. It took a Freedom of Information request and two court rulings to get the FDA to do something other than what they were anticipating doing, which was releasing the information over 75 or 55 years, depending on the day of the week in the trial. And that was quite phenomenal, because the FDA had granted the vaccines emergency use authorization in just 108 days, based on the same data. Why was it going to take 75 years for it to be released? This was a clear sign that there was a fraud at the heart of the whole thing.
And then too, there was this immediate switching of the frame of reference from the gold standard of a randomized control trial to what's known as observational data. Pfizer unblinded the placebo group in the trial, thus destroying it, so real world observational data became all we had. But in a complex world, it's very easy to manipulate observational data. There are so many confounding variables floating around. So, depending on how you structure your measurement, you can always show the result you want to see. Same was true with the mask studies, there were loads of these little biased studies put together. You could always find a journalist saying, "Look, here's this study that says masks work." But it was a terrible little observational study, and such studies are a dime dozen if you want them to be there, and if the money is flowing in that direction, they will manifest. So too, with the vaccines. Our assessment is that there is no high-quality evidence for the safety and efficacy of the vaccines—nothing at all.
Why is this happening?
So, the entire narrative from beginning to end, every element of it, is false and propagandized. Now, in the context of all of this, let's talk about the “why” question briefly, and then I'll finish by exploring what we should do.
We can ask ourselves the question, "Where does this come from?" But, as with any sort of complex system, we've got to go back to that epistemology and say, "What is it?" Well, it's an evolved thing itself. There's this agenda with massive and very salient propaganda causing an ideology to be distilled, and that whole structure can itself be looked at as something that's evolved.
Are there signs that it's old? Yes. Go back to the “three M’s”. How old is Marxism? 150 years old. Okay. How old is relativism? The better part of 70 years old. It's been propelled into our universities and schooling systems all the way around the world. It looks like there's an element of planning there, but also an element of natural emergence from complexity. What about the Malthusianism? Yeah. As I said before, it's two hundred years old.
These ideas have been current for a long time, though they have waxed and waned. They suit certain vested interests from time to time, because they promote a worldview that justifies these notions such as the greater good that's inherent in Marxism, and that justify the seeking of more control, the surveillance state, the drift towards these programmable central bank digital currencies and digital IDs and so on. All of this has the flavor of driving towards more control.
So we can observe that, but it doesn't mean that we have to say, "Well, who is doing it?" and identify one person or one body at the heart of the whole thing. You can also see it as having the properties of an emergent event—complexity; lots of organizations, not just the World Economic Foundation, Bilderberg Group, and the World Health Organization, but the Atlantic Council, Council for Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, the Geneva organizations around the United Nations, the Bretton Woods organizations in the world of central banking, the Bank of International Settlements, the IMF, the World Bank; all of them are on board here. It's quite stunning. There's a massive, apparently but not necessarily coordinated, agreement that this propaganda is virtuous. In other words, that they're supporting the political agenda that's behind it.
Is the political agenda clear to all of them? Well, elements will be. But there might be elements of difference. As long as there is a diversity of political agendas, each group may all sign off on the propaganda as supporting their agenda. That's entirely possible. And they may also be quite comfortable with the ideology that's distilled because of that political agenda, because various actors are benefiting. Some will be making money. Some may be fulfilling a dream of winning a Nobel Peace Prize. Some are just busy bodies—annoying people who like intervening in other people's lives. Or some could simply be dull intellects—people who are stupid enough to believe that they know how to manage the world, and they ought to because it'll be good for everybody. There are all sorts of objectives, of incentives, of worldviews that would be compatible with any element of this chain; political agenda, propaganda, ideology.
What’s to be done?
A point I've been making a lot in my various public appearances is that while we should always seek to know more about the political agenda and the mechanisms by which the propaganda is so cleanly disseminated in this very controlled media environment, our knowledge will never be complete in that regard. And that doesn't necessarily matter. What's key is to remember the “three M’s”; to remember that they're wrong—that they fundamentally contradict, at a very axiomatic level, our best understanding of knowledge and how to create a better world and solve problems.
At PANDA, we take the view that it is important to improve our understanding of these dynamics. We are establishing a series of five projects, the first one of which is simply taking a look at the World Health Organization’s actions relative to the standard of its own principles, constitutional documents, the guidelines that it had written in the past, its own ideas around how to think about the burden of a disease. So we will be simply evaluating the World Health Organization in terms of its own claimed objectives. That first project will tell us a lot. We will learn about where the pressures came from, and how it became possible that at a very senior governing level, they were able to override every single one of those principles.
Why PANDA? Well, because you won't get a university doing it. They're all as captured and conflicted as any of these other institutions. And you won't get a government doing it, because they've all been in on it. Somebody's going to have to do it, and we couldn't think of anybody else. So we are starting this project. In the process we're laying out that there need to be full-time people, because otherwise you lose the institutional knowledge. When you're working with volunteers, the first time they get a smear article written about them, or some kind of speed bump arises in front of them, they very easily walk away because they're not being paid. They've got a livelihood somewhere else that they depend on, so the threat to that livelihood can move them out quickly. You need to fully fund this, in a way creating a little university, where academics can come, be paid, and do these projects properly. And there are four others, which I won't go into now, that flesh out the investigation into the detailed structure of the COVID phenomenon. And we see that as important work that will lead to a greater understanding of what's to be done.
Now, in the what's to be done category, I go back to the epistemology again. We have many problems we need to solve, much knowledge that we need to create. For example, we have to become better at explaining this environment of the “three M’s” in ways that normal people can easily grasp. We need to be convincing in highlighting the severe threat posed by the globalists obsession with centralization. We have to start finding ways to project the unpalatableness, the unattractiveness of vastly over centralized models and institutional structures. That's a problem to be solved, and we have some ideas about this problem which we are working on.
We have to show that the whole sustainability story is driving in a very unattractive direction—this whole Malthusian construct.
We have to show the positives of the alternative world to this utilitarian dystopia. What world is that? The world of values. Why is that world so dismissed? I talk about the God-shaped hole problem. We've seen a process of secularization. A caricature of God was presented to people, and they could not reconcile their modern minds to that. So they tossed out the whole of religion, with its evolved system of knowledge.
Even to the religious people, it’s deeply unattractive to many of them to conceive of religion as an evolved system of knowledge embedding truth, because things were tried and tested. They wanted to read it as received dogma that’s incontrovertible, as part of a caricature version of the faith. So they don’t fight the people who leave because they don’t believe in the caricature. They want the dogmatic version of the religion to remain alive, even though it itself is very clearly, if you study comparative religion and religious history, an evolved system that therefore embeds spectacular knowledge that’s been good for society. So by canceling the God, by wiping him out because the bearded man in the sky is too far-fetched for many, you cancel the value system, creating a hole. What I like to refer to as the God-shaped hole. And into it comes Fauci with a spreadsheet. A utilitarian system.
So there should be some process developed to reassert the primacy of values and virtues, the old-fashioned way of thinking about the world; that there are things that are simply wrong, and we know that they're not acceptable by virtue of our cultures. Things which are taboo. And there are things that are right, things that are virtuous that we ought to be trying to do in the world. Even if we can't account for them in a detailed analytical fashion, we've inherited them, and that’s how we know. We're prepared to tinker with them on the margins, but we are not prepared to indulge in games that involved their wholesale cancellation.
Reasserting this type of thinking, which would have been easily recognized by a Western person circa 1950, but which is now barely recognizable to somebody in 2020 (a mere 70 years later), seems crucial to me. Why reasserting? Why rolling back? Because we're engaging with complexity. You can't say, "Listen, I don't like that spreadsheet being used to run society. I've got a better one." That's going to fail too. In other words, we can't design, we can't socially engineer a system that simply says that it's better than the Fauci or World Economic Forum system. You have to roll back to the last thing that worked, that created generative societies and economic growth and all these things, and then restart the process of tinkering on the edges. And you will need to do a lot of that tinkering. There's no question. We always have to.
Origins and Trajectories of the COVID Phenomenon