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Ascent of the Angry and Stupid

Scientifically speaking,  stupid people harm themselves while also harming others. In addition, stupid people are irrational and erratic, and are very dangerous to others. After discussing the destructive role of the stupid in any society whatsoever, I will focus on the delicate interplay of actions of intelligent and helpless people, who in balance make or break a functioning democracy.  Unless things change fast in the US, we can kiss our democracy goodbye for decades. If you want to see how a virulent ascent of the stupid looks up close, and what implications it has for our fight against social injustice and climate change, please watch the brilliant "Don't Look Up" movie.

Unvaccinated people demonstrating in Los Angeles. There are tens of millions of the raving mad and/or angry, stupid people in the US and other developed countries. Source: New York Times, 12/25/2021.

I overlapped at UC Berkeley with Professor Carlo M. Cipolla for a decade, until his death in the year 2000. I wish I got to know him better. In 1988, Carlo published in Italian a magnificent essay on human stupidity he framed axiomatically as five Basic Laws:
  1. Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid people in circulation.
  2. The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
  3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
  4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals.  In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that at all times and places and under any circumstances to deal and/or associate with stupid people infallibly turns out to be a costly mistake.
  5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person. 
His essay was translated into English in 2011. The current book edition was published in 2019.  Figure 1 is my interpretation of Carlo's graphs.

Since stupid people are unpredictable, a rational person always underestimates their destructive power.  This underestimation may have deadly consequences for millions of people trapped in the currently imploding global economy that was created and run by rational bandits, who harm others for personal gain. This economy is now subject to climate change, exhaustion of most resources and a runaway climate change. The criminal global inaction in face of these existential crises is aided and abetted by the stupid and bandit politicians elected with miniscule marginal votes of stupid people. 

Figure 1. My poetic interpretation of the graphs in the splendid short book by Professor Carlo M. Cipolla, "The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity."  There are four quadrants of any human society regardless of epoch and geography. Clockwise, from the upper left, there are helpless people, intelligent people, bandits and the stupid. The fraction of irrational, stupid people in any society whatsoever is constant and is independent of partitions of the other three populations of rational people, who fall into each of the remaining three quadrants of society. 

Here are but a few examples of stupid people. Marcus Lamb, a Christian broadcaster and vaccine skeptic, died of COVID. Phil Valentine, a radio host who scoffed at COVID, then urged his followers to get vaccinated and died.  

A mechanical engineer, let's call him B., an inspired designer of complex lab equipment for possibly the best manufacturer of such equipment in the world, suffocated slowly of COVID at home. B. didn't vaccinate and refused to go to hospital, claiming that vaccines are poison and don't work, and in the hospital they might harm him.  

A contractor to my neighbor was late for an appointment, and stated matter-of-factly that he was at the funeral of a relative who died of COVID. He added that eleven other people in his family and circle of friends also died of COVID.  He then observed that those people were killed by the hospitals, because their bodies could not withstand intubation.

An accomplished senior professor at UT Austin, let's call him L., refuses to vaccinate himself, does not mask, and encourages students not to vaccinate.

You are beginning to grasp that being stupid has no correlation with the level of professional education, race, ethnicity, sex, religiosity or any other characteristic of a stupid person.

For every two COVID-related deaths in a blue state, we have registered in the US three COVID deaths in a red state.  In other words, if you are a Republican, you have a 50% higher chance of dying of COVID.  I do not imply here that there is not an unexpectedly large share of the really stupid, unvaccinated Democrats. That's why the death differential is only 50%, not 1300%, as it should be - all things being equal -  if no Republicans ever vaccinated against COVID, unlike Trump and his family, all the Faux News propagandists, and plenty of other lying, cynical bandits, who send you - the stupid or helpless people - to death at the current rate of 440,000 souls per year.   

With historical, genetic and statistical justification, Carlo noted that the fraction of stupid people in any society is a constant σ independent, for example, of the level of education or social position.  Thus, there exists the same σ fraction of stupid professors, academic administrators, and scientists, including Nobel Prize laureates (many more in economics). Given the constant σ in any society, how do we distinguish between successful and failing societies?  The differences are subtle and fragile, as shown in Figures 2 and 3.
Figure 2.  In a successful society there is a outflux of helpless people who temporarily act like intelligent people.  The reasons for this behavior are many and subtle.  One obvious reason is that some of the helpless people get energized and organized, and start acting as intelligent people.  The Solidarity movement in Poland in 1980/81 and in 1989/95 was a good example of such phase transition in a society that almost always has been ruled by stupid bandits. The Obama phenomenon in 2008 was a similar example in the US. Another reason is that within a political and legal framework of a country, the stupid bandits, who - for example - might kill you for ten dollars, modify their behavior to be smarter and less harmful, more like thieves whose gain is exactly a victim's loss and the society suffers no net loss.  This figure is based on my interpretation of Cipolla's book.

When one compares Figures 2 and 3, one sees that what differentiates a successful society from a failing one is whimsical. An ailing successful society can reverse course quickly and with deadly consequences that are difficult or impossible to undo.  I remind you that the σ of stupid people is the same in both types of societies and continues to do its oft-invisible harm like termites, cancer or the COVID virus. Thus my recurring appeal to most Americans:  stay politically active and vote

Figure 3. In a failing society, the otherwise intelligent people become discouraged, lose energy and drive, and become apathetic and helpless. Also, the reasons to be the smart bandits disappear, and with them the limits on inflicting harm on others.  For different reasons, these negative changes affect many countries around the world, but in particular the United States of America. Today, Poland is a locked-in failure of a  democratic society. My prediction is that by 2024, USA will too be a democracy in name only, and there will be the massive economic-, environment-, and climate-related damage inflicted on the US citizens and the world at large. Unless of course we mobilize against the stupid and act. In Poland this mobilization failed, I am warning you.

So what is the key reason of changing a society's success to failure?  In my mind, it is a fine-tuned polarization and irreversible bifurcation of this society, and a slew of parallel economic failures and social injustices. Polarization by Facebook, Faux News, political parties, and churches et al. starts from preying on the genetically wired feature of all humans: wanting to belong to something, anything for that matter.

In "Is Life Better When We're Together?" the New York Times describes the psychological experiments conducted many years ago by a Polish Jew, Dr. Tejfel and his followers, who split subjects into two groups based on the flimsiest of criteria. One group might be called "Leopards" and another "Tigers".   Or a Group A and B with no other associations whatsoever.
"In fact, Dr. Tajfel’s meaningless, minimal groups were even more meaningless than they appeared. He and his collaborators had actually ignored the kids’ responses to the dots and paintings. Instead, as the social psychologists Dominic J. Packer and Jay J. Van Bavel note, describing these experiments in their new book, “The Power of Us,” “in each case, the researchers had essentially flipped a coin and assigned people to groups based on chance.” Still, biases locked in right away. Overwhelmingly, people in Dr. Tajfel’s experiment gave more of the money he put at their disposal to members of their own group than the other. Moreover, they were bent on creating as large a disparity as possible, even when offered the option of maximizing the amount of money for everyone, at no cost. Their behavior seemed vindictive, “a clear case of gratuitous discrimination,” Dr. Tajfel wrote. 

Since then, other researchers have run their own minimal group experiments, pushing those findings further. Dr. Packer and Dr. Van Bavel have split people into leopards and tigers, for example. Others have gone maximally minimal and divided people into group A and group B. Still, the pride — the readiness to connect — is always there. When you tell people they’re in group A, Dr. Packer says, those people are reliably psyched to be in group A. Stick leopard people in a brain imaging machine and show them a picture of a stranger, and their brain activity changes if they know that the stranger is a leopard person, too. Their positivity toward other leopard people increases and even supersedes racial biases that cut the other way."

And this, my friends, is what the Democrats have been missing all along, and the Republicans are preying on.  People desperately want to belong to a community of anything, antivaxxers and antimaskers are but the last incarnations of this need: 

“The line is being drawn, folks,” said a man in jeans and a red T-shirt. He said the people in the audience “had been shouted down for the last 20 years, and they’re finally here to draw a line, and I think they’re saying, ‘We’ve had enough.’”

"Social scientists who study conflict say the only way to understand it — and to begin to get out of it — is to look at the powerful currents of human emotions that are the real drivers. They include the fear of not belonging, the sting of humiliation, a sense of threat — real or perceived — and the strong pull of group behavior."

The older foci of belonging were political parties, KKK, Free Masons, Black Panthers, local churches, schools, rotary clubs, sororities, and professional societies for the likes of me.  The Republicans have recognized these venues clearly and took charge of most of them, including local school boards, judgeships, sheriff offices, county governments, state governments, and governorships. Now they are reaching to take over Washington DC.   The rather clueless Democrats only now are attempting meekly to reverse this incredible on-the-ground advantage of the Republicans.  

Changing demographics in the US seems to favor Democrats, but the Republicans are valiantly changing election laws and gerrymandering election districts to prevent people of color from voting.  Republicans have been playing the long game, while Democrats are stumbling into some still undefined game.  They better hurry, or the stupid and happily belonging - now under total control of the Trumpistas - will eat their lunch.

Here is another observation: success or failure of a country depends on the mixture of stupid, intelligent, helpless and bandit persons running different branches of government. Long term adjustments in proportions among these four groups may save or doom a country.  Given what I just said, chances are that quality of most levels of government in the US has decreased.

In my mind, the US is on a pathway to doom, with the Republicans marching in goose lockstep, and the Democrats squabbling.  But as a scientist, how do I quantify what I think? This PNAS paper gives some answers:

"Our study was motivated by a highly disturbing puzzle. Confronted with a deadly global pandemic that threatened not only massive loss of life but also the collapse of our medical system and economy, why were we unable to put partisan divisions aside and unite in a common cause, similar to the national mobilization in the Great Depression and the Second World War? We used a computational model to search for an answer in the phase transitions of political polarization. The model reveals asymmetric hysteresis trajectories with tipping points that are hard to predict and that make polarization extremely difficult to reverse once the level exceeds a critical value."

Simply put, there are thresholds of polarization beyond which a society can no longer come together an bifurcates irreversibly.  This is exactly what is happening in the US.  We have bifurcated and US democracy is in mortal danger, see Figure 4.  This figure demonstrates, I hope, the dire need of house-to-house political campaigning by volunteers to sway the helpless and mobilize the intelligent (and occasionally a smart bandit).  The stupid are like rock fragments.  Nothing will ever sway them, so don't try.

Figure 4. Tipping points in the level of party identity. Polarization is measured as partisan difference (A and C) and extremism (B and D). A and B show a higher critical value in the polarizing trajectory than in the recovery trajectory. This means that there would be little effect on partisan divisions (A) or extremism (B) should the strength of party identity drop below CP, the critical value at which rising polarization suddenly explodes. CP drops sharply when the level of intolerance increases from  α= 0.1 to α = 0.3 (C and D); i.e., party identity does not need to be strong in order to trigger a phase transition to high polarization. Moreover, the hysteresis trajectory becomes asymmetric, indicating bifurcation and the irreversibility of polarization, even if the strength of party identity were to drop to zero. Source: PNAS.

Now on to the outsized roles of helpless, indecisive people in a polarized democracy, like the US, UK, France, Holland, Poland, Brazil, etc. In a fascinating Physical Review E paper by German physicists, "Repulsion in controversial debate drives public opinion into fifty-fifty stalemate" the authors show that
" controversial debates with large consequences, the public opinion is often trapped in a fifty-fifty stalemate, jeopardizing broadly accepted political decisions. Emergent effects from millions of private discussions make it hard to understand or influence this kind of opinion dynamics. Here we demonstrate that repulsion from opinions favors fifty-fifty stalemates. We study a voter model where agents [people, TWP] can have two opinions [stupid and intelligent people, and a few bandits; TWP] or an undecided state in between, and where we allow for repulsion of opinions and for doubt: in pairwise discussions, undecided agents can be not only convinced, but also repelled from the opinion expressed by another agent, and decided agents [only some intelligent people and some bandits, TWP]  may return to the undecided state. As a result, we observe that, if an agent is repelled instead of being convinced in at least one out of four interactions, as in controversial debates, the frequencies of both opinions equalize. This voter model attractor reproduces the phenomenology of repeated Brexit poll data well and provides a mechanism solely based on local interactions between agents that may explain stalemate polarization in controversial opinion formation."

Figures 5 and 6, reproduced from this paper, show a successful society in which intelligent people and some of the helpless provide a safe margin for governance (Angela Merkel's Germany), and a failing society in which the results of a major vote are subject to a stalemate and low participation of both intelligent and helpless people (Brexit in UK).  Notice that an obnoxious loud and foul mouth, like Donald Trump in the US or Nigel Farage in the UK, can sway many of the helpless and discourage some of the intelligent people. Also notice that in my terminology, Trump is a border-line smart bandit and Farage is a vicious stupid person. 

Figure 5. Results of a repeated polls performed by “Infratest Dimap”  about the satisfaction of Germans with chancellor Angela Merkel's management of the EU financial crisis. Here the government can govern.

Figure 6. Results of a repeated poll performed by “YouGov” and accessed through “” on how British people would vote on a referendum to leave the EU.  TWP's comment: In a failing polarized society the results of a vote are random, and depend on when exactly this vote occurs relative to the whimsical emotions of the electorate.  Note that the helpless and discouraged [the green curve] likely did not vote or voted randomly, saying probably "my vote means nothing," or "I am too busy to vote," or "I liked XY more today, so I voted yes/no."  Two years later, it became clear to the helpless and intelligent what a monstrous mistake they made.  The stupid have remained steadfast in their  convictions or are lashing out at the government for delusional reasons.

In summary, democracies fizzle out for subtle and whimsical reasons. The key two reasons are  discouragement of the intelligent and apathy of the helpless. In a successful society people self-organize and strengthen the intelligent parts of population. In a failing society, the opposite is true. The intelligent people check out and helpless people become even more helpless, whine and do not vote. In the bifurcated US, it is probably time to create new political parties, let's call them the "Republicans with Brains and Hearts" and the "Democrats with Fewer Grandiose Policy Delusions".  But this is a long term project. In the meantime, the strong intelligent people and smart bandits must unify their forces, and go after the helpless and the stupid bandits, convincing many of them to vote. For the last time, do not waste your energy and resources on the stupid. Recognize them and run, see Figure 7.

Figure 7. Fifty seven percent of these 2,313 Americans are stupid. Fourteen percent are clueless. Source: Brian, a friend of mine.

P.S. (12/28/2021) Brian has pointed out to us this review of reviews of the "Don't Look Up" movie. The title of this Forbes review is "Why Sneering Critics Dislike Netflix’s ‘Don’t Look Up,’ But Climate Scientists Love It."  Since I have been on the receiving end of communicating unpleasant messages to the public and government officials for some 20 years, I can relate. 

I remember clearly the embarrassed EU ministers of environment in 2007. How they tried to explain to me why they could not do anything about the monstrous fires in Indonesia and equatorial Africa that were devouring the virgin forests and peat swamps in the name of progress and oil palm plantations.  The WTO rules, fair trade rules and other rules they said, while I was showing them the satellite images of the infernos on the ground and telling them how they could enforce an oil/oil products buying ban.  Or the corn  ethanol apologists, claiming in 2004-2012 what a superior technology this was.  Or the switchgrass ethanol shills with professorial titles explaining in 2008 how next year for sure that promising technology would use the genetically modified switchgrass programmed to start rotting before harvest for easier digestion and to improve process economics.  It's like I was speaking to patients in an asylum for the insane.

Or today, how people react to me saying that climate is warming in the Middle East at twice the global rate, and Mecca is a place where already the year-around average temperature is 29 degrees C.  Or what to do about the grotesquely overpopulated Arabian Peninsula, where one needed yesterday a strong one-child economic policy. Or that plain old dust will deteriorate performance of solar cells in the sunny deserts by up to two thirds.  And then there was another COP26, etc.  

Thus I am driven nuts when a Luke Goodsell of ABC News Australia believes the [movie] director, Adam McKay, “just doesn't know how to let people enjoy things—even if it is their own destruction.”

Well, fuck all those apologists for the unmaintainable status-quo as we slip-slide into an Armageddon in which we are the new Chicxulub comet (in my environmental class I teach about mass extinctions). Climate change is back-loaded.  The more GHGs we emitted in the past between 1798 and the moment I am writing these words,  the more difficult it will be to recover for millenia to come. Given the status quo, in the very near future it will be impossible to recover, and we shall cook (and occasionally freeze) our children and grandchildren. I hope that by now you fully appreciate how lethal the viciously stupid people are, many of my fellow faculty included.

P.S.P.S. (Jan 2,  2022) From my friend, a prominent ag-journalist, Alan Guebert: 
"Despite an honest-to-goodness flood of evidence to the contrary, more than 100 million American adults continue to deny the existence of climate change. That’s roughly one third of the country. 
Congress is little better. Currently, 109 House members and 30 senators, or about 26 percent of all members, have cast “doubt on the clear, established scientific consensus that the world is warming,” according to the Center of American Progress, a policy research institution headquartered in Washington, DC.
The good news is that this astonishing total is down from 150 just three years ago; the bad news is that it’s still 139.

The really bad news, however, is that the majority of congressional climate deniers represent rural America, arguably the economic sector with the most to lose in today’s climate upheaval. Not even 22 “extreme weather events” in 2020, where damage “exceeded $1 billion each,” turned their heads."


  1. If by stupidity, one means intelligence or IQ or the like, certainly it IS correlated to other variables (postulate 2). Even if one means something else (postulate 3), why should it almost axiomatically be uncorrelated with other traits? Surely much descriptive science has shown us that quite often trait X will be correlated to other traits.

    And why is the definition of "stupidity" given in the third postulate instead of the first? We're reading two postulates before we even know that the writer is not referring to intelligence but is referring to destructive behavior.

    Furthermore, any such postulates ought to have some studies, examples, explication supporting them. And they are WAY too uncaveated for any serious discussion of social behavior.

    Also, there are actually times when a seemingly self destructive behavior can be strategically useful (see game theory literature). For example, if you can credibly convince someone that you are "stupid" enough to activate a device that kills both you and the other person, you can extract a ransom from him in a similar manner as if you just threatened his life, without hurting yourself. (Some occasional acts as well as signalling behavior are useful in presenting a convincing case.) [But this level of actual discussion is more sophisticated than a simplistic "Republicans are stupid" article.]

    P.s. Check out that Haynesville production curve.

    All the peaker anti-shale proclaimers getting their butts kicked by cold hard reality. What's funny to me is the tribalistic, almost religious, behavior of the nominally anti-religion, pro-Science (capitalized, of course, as it is not an objective, curious analytical approach, but a religion of association with like minded people) left-wingers.

    1. Hi Besselfunctionlvr,

      I am glad that you are commenting again. There are multiple studies of human attitudes and stupidity, but they exceed this brief essay.

      As to your P.S., I hope that you have read our Haynesville paper in JNGSE. We predict that Haynesville will indeed continue to perform nicely:
      and produce over 90 Tscf of gas. Haynesville wells are also the best candidates for refracturing.

      You may also be interested in the first of the two companion papers on the Permian Basin. We predict that gas production in the Permian will overtake soon that from the Marcellus:

  2. I can only speak for Stupidity in the U.S., which I think has a much higher number of idiots than any other nation on earth. What a way to go for the richest nation that has ever, or will ever exist thanks to bounteous fossil fuels! What a waste of human potential. Like you wrote, people want to belong to SOMETHING because we are an incredibly lonely nation, giving up free-range exploring children for indoor kids for unreasonable fears and their inward computer games & social media. With TV and air conditioning, people don't sit on their stairs in front or porches anymore, greeting others walking by -- everyone is inside glued to the TV. In school the highest attention is paid to athletes, who get letters for their jackets - the smart kids are generally ridiculed and seen as losers. For adults, in most of the U.S. outside of cities the only institution to meet others is the church, and many religions in the U.S. are more like cults -- evangelists, Mormons, fundamentalists and so on. The average american reads just ONE book a year, and that one book is often The Bible. The college educated read 7 books a year. Mainly fiction. The newspapers and magazines rarely cover ecology, energy decline, biodiversity loss and more, just endless entertainment and discussion of political gossip with almost no coverage of the actual policies being voted on. Just nuts. Could it be a sign of collapse that it just keeps getting worse? Is it the junk food and pollution causing more autism, lower sperm counts, Alzheimer's, Chohns' and other relatively new diseases? Who knows, I just hope it means that those of us Paying Attention and living in more sustainable ecoregions pass on our genes!

    1. Dear Energyskeptic,

      I disagree with you that the fraction of the US population that is stupid is any different from any other country. Genetic stupidity seems to be a universal constant enforced by Mother Nature on all species, humans as well.

      Too many Americans indeed miss indeed good or even decent education, and the priorities of the neoliberal capitalism cult most here belong to, are totally screwed up. Americans also miss a good infrastructure, quality free time and above all access to decent medical care. Poor diets, lack of physical education, and poor health of so many people in the US conspire to make our COVID mortality rate one of the highest in the world.

      What surprises me as a part-time expat is that Europe that delt very well with COVID last year, fell into the realm of the stupid and angry, just as much as the US or worse. The UK is a total basket case, and will become a failed Small Britain before long. Sad...

  3. A disappointing post. You do realise that the basis for the pandemic is completely unproven, right?

    No SARS-COV2 Virus has ever been isolated and purified. Also please differentiate that SARS-COV2 is the supposed virus and COVID-19 is the supposed symptomatic illness. An illness that seems to obey border controls.
    The first illness in history to acquire symptoms from all of the existing common ailments, like blisters on feet from diabetes. Loss of smell in the elderly. It even says it's more common in the elderly.
    Attribution of anything and everything based on an unproven RT-PCR test.
    "Long Covid" can also be attributed to vaccine injury and what used to be called post viral fatigue syndrome (probably also due to inappropriate use of antibiotics and steroids during treatment).)

    Anecdotes do not prove a point. Do you have the case notes for Marcus Lamb? Seems nobody does or mentions circumstance.

    As someone from the UK I know how few hospitalisations are because of supposed COVID-19 Symptoms. Most "cases" are tested on admission to hospital for other issues but if they then die, well we know what the death cert will say.

    See this from 17 mins -

    But, and this is a big one -

    Months later and still no answer - Is it because those most likely to be in intensive care who were vaccinated were already dead? Correlation is not causation and there are far to many question marks.

    My experience of those who choose not be vaccinated are also among the highly educated wealthy.

    See what needs to be done -

    But this is a problem -

    As for Omicron, see the symptoms -

    Gauteng is supposedly ground zero for omicron.


  4. Dear Duncan,

    First, the fraction of the highly educated and wealthy who are stupid is the same sigma exactly. This seems to be a law of nature. Second, just look at excess death certificates in cities, counties and countries. There are still 5-15% excess deaths relative to the rolling averages from the times before the pandemic.

    Whatever the virus is against which ALL of my family and their spouses took two vaccine shots and boosters, it has worked thus far. No one has become sick, despite two of my daughters being in the healthcare system in the middle of the pandemic, and many of my children's close, vaccinated friends becoming slightly sick, exposing them to the virus.

    I forgot to add that an undergraduate advisor at my former department at UT Austin has just died of COVID, so did her son. Both were unvaccinated. So please remain unvaccinated if this is your decision, but realize that the incremental risk is very high.

    Because of the vaccinations, the excess COVID related deaths are "only" 440,000 people per year. They would be easily 1.5-2 times that without the vaccines against this unidentified virus. By the way, identification of the origin of this virus is next to impossible now. I know because I talk to the geneticists who have been involved. The current vaccines still do not work against the viral attack in your nose and sinuses, but they DO work once the infection gets into the your lungs. This is when all the people I described died. Good luck. - Tad

    1. As someone who suffered a serous case of pneumonia long before the advent of COVID I have some incite into the causes of such illnesses, as it turns out mine was due to the onset of a dairy allergy, probably initiated during the use of broad spectrum antibiotics. All problems disappeared once my diet was corrected including repeated inner ear infections & vomiting after my first cup of tea with milk in the mornings etc.

      I have subsequently learned this -

      Fo Covid, take for example Scotland (one of the few places I can get complete data) had below average deaths in hospital for 2020 & significantly more deaths in the home. Deaths in the home are attributed lockdown NOT Covid. Excess mortality is a judgment call with no specific meaning. Total end points is the true measure - how many died in total in 2020 compared to 2019 & the increase correlates to the deaths at home & that's it.

      At the same time where did all the influenza cases go?

      "They would be easily 1.5-2 times" - This is highly speculative. I understand that the origin of any virus is fraught with uncertainty but my point is that symptoms can be correlated with what seems to be its origin (Correlation is not causation). Therefore the listed symptoms of omicron tally with the effects of pollution in Gauteng, just as the symptoms of Delta corollate to symptoms and effects of air pollution in the relevant part of India, just as the original symptoms correlate to the high levels of chemical air pollution in Wuhan. The effect of the lock down somewhat proved the point -

      See also the relationship of nitric oxide to AIDS & Poppers to the homosexual communities where the illness supposedly originated.

      The same game is being played again.



  5. This is Going back a while but you were right about china -

    And this is where we are at -

    1. Hi Duncan,

      Thank you for the thorough replies. Extra deaths at home are also due to Covid. They are caused directly by the people sick with Covid blocking ICU and hospital beds, and straining/infecting medical and EMS personnel. I am of the opinion that if one did not vaccinate and got infected with Covid, hospitals should give them medications and place them directly in empty nursing homes to be tended by their families. These people would get exactly what they worked for. Why should my daughters, for example, risk their lives to save the fools? Why should other sick people pay with their lives, because our medical system is so overwhelmed tending to the fools?

  6. End points.


  8. Obviously I cannot speak for the US but in the UK we never even got close to filling the capacity of the hospital's, unlike previous years that I had experienced for myself with people on beds in the corridors. Fear kept people at home who should have been in hospital for other complaints. It's all documented and not controversial.

  9. What is very disturbing is the effect on mental health.

    Then I see this:-

    They would not have got away with this in the UK at the moment but who knows in the future.

    Some of these drugs can have very bad outcomes, even if only taken for a week or two. Why would they even have been considered it as a treatment?

    In the early part of the pandemic known and proven drugs for treating flu were trialled but a lethal doses and then dismissed in favour of an experimental vaccine - that is still in trial stage until 2023.

    Trailing a drug is not just to see if it seems to work but also to track longer term outcomes.


  11. Well the vaccination rates in the UK and US are different: One dose, 77% in UK vs 74% in US; two doses, 70% in the UK vs 62% in US; and boosters, 48% in the UK vs 21% in US.

    Thus in UK people are much less likely to go to a hospital once sick with Covid. In the hopelessly polarized US, most of the stupid and stupid bandits, and many helpless decided not to vaccinate. In the UK, your PM has been calling daily for people to vaccinate, damn it! In the US, the government has largely given up, because there are no ways of changing those 40 million chunks of stone without breaking them.

  12. The spare capacity of our hospitals was from the start. Well before the vaccine was even available. I still think you should look carefully at the study I posted above for the UK. It would seem that the bulk of unvaccinated deaths come after vaccination but within the 14 day period that does not count as vaccinated. A dead zone - literally.

  13. Also worth examining the true figures for Israel. Both in terms of vaccination rate and who are getting sick and dying.


    IMHO we are already into some of those "discontinuous solutions" (quoting your good self). Yesterday (31st of December 2021) I went for a walk without my coat or hat as the temperature was 16 degrees. Today it is forecast as 14. Now all we need is a blue ocean event this coming summer & then all this madness will be over by the following year. People in power are looking to control and that whole idea is illusions as we control nothing.


    Can't you see how absurd this is? As I said before - anything and everything is being written into the unproven RT-PCR. There was even a court case in Portugal that found it to be unreliable.

    The majority of colds are still colds.

  16. Prof Fenton :-

  17. These interesting laws of stupidity seem to be almost perfectly proven in high academic institutions in the US, where democracy does not exist and leaders at all levels are chosen based on their loyalty, not on their ability to lead. Likewise, academic institutions seem to be very happy keeping faculty busy with idiotic administrative tasks just to fill up time and discourage intellectual freedom and extraordinary thinking.

    1. Therefore, if even within universities, institutions of higher educations, so-called think tanks, and other prestigious academic abodes, democracy does not exist, is not taught by example, and leaders are chosen because of loyalty, do you find it surprising that the laws of stupidity are expressing themselves so crystal clear even among highly educated folks? Where would you land "conformism" in your diagrams?

    2. Too many faculty are selfish intelligent people, but many more are smart and stupid bandits who cause more harm to the society than good to themselves. The power- (research funding) and fame-hungry bandidos in academia abound. They have learned how to play the system and how to play the opportunistic politicians and clueless but hopeful journalists hungry for "good news" to be fed to the ultimately self-delusional, distracted and uneducated public as "likes" or "dislikes". Whether it is Mark Jacobson of Stanford (dams and hydropower will provide an easy solution to all humanity's power supply problems), or Jim Green of NASA (we can terra-form Mars and Venus to make these hostile planets feel just like Earth we have just fucked up so thoroughly), or Carlos Duarte of KAUST (we can 3D ink-print coral facsimiles at an astronomical cost, and pretend that the root causes of coral demise disappear), or so many others, the conclusion is the same. Too many faculty have become a big part of the BAU problem, not a solution. These faculty are rewarded richly by their administrators and funding agencies. And if their "solutions" go south, they can always ride their fame to another university, preferably in another country.

  18. Well, this trend away from democracy in academia is global. Academic institutions are at the mercy of confused (predatory? plain stupid?) funders, who choose the increasingly irrelevant areas of research and ask everyone to march in lockstep. Academia in particular is not doing research on avoiding the climate breakdown holocaust, but instead is asked to follow the trendy delusions of AI and machine learning, as if though computer magic could save us from the asteroid impact. This asteroid is us: overpopulation, overconsumption, overshoot, pollution, mass extinctions etc. We larger than Mount Everest and are hitting the Earth at 70 km/s as I am writing these words. Stupid rule everywhere, and most faculty do not dare to look up and shout basta!

  19. Final analysis of UK "case" data -

  20. Dr. Patzek, as a former student of yours at UT, I occasionally check in on your blog, as I enjoy your insights. I noticed on a different post that you are fighting some form of cancer - I'm sorry to see that and wish you well in your fight against it.

    I feel compelled to say that I'm disappointed in your accusation of covid-skeptics as being stupid. You're obviously intelligent, and you're a data-driven and science-driven individual, but you never seem to question that the data you're given might be misleading or exaggerated. Which is surprising given that you show considerable cynicism on other topics - but have no cynicism towards governments and/or media.

    Please have a look at this thread . You will likely dismiss this as anecdotal, but these are real-life people who have very serious adverse reactions, including death, from the covid vaccines. Would you be willing to tell these people to their faces that they're stupid? Or even worse, that their maladies weren't actually caused by the vaccines? Do you not see the absolute cruelty involved in forcing people on pain of losing their livelihood to get injected? The selfishness of covid-fanatics to force others to get dangerous injections and wear pointless masks? What happened to old-school liberals? You just like tyrannical governments when they happen to be on your side.

    1. Well, I hope that you took my E^4 Class at UT Austin. If you did, you'd understand that there are public policy imperatives in this overpopulated and over-damaged ecosphere. Simply put, polio, plague, smallpox, whooping cough, COVID-19, and other highly infectious dangerous deceases must be subject to vaccination mandates. The precocious young Americans, who grew up with plenty, must recognize that what they took for granted is now mostly gone and shall never come back.

      Thus, if your chances of dying of COVID in the US are statistically 12x higher than mine, simply because you have not vaccinated, then on the average you are 1) blocking my hospital bed, 2) blocking my wife's ICU bed, 3) infecting me and others unnecessarily, 4) making me and others wear masks to protect ourselves from you, and 5) imposing on our society huge economic losses, from your own sickness/death too.

      Therefore, as a vaccinated sane person, I suggest that 1) all unvaccinated people be denied hospital beds and especially ICU beds, and 2) be denied any medical coverage reimbursements, should they have medical insurance in this predatory, backwards society of ours.

      Close to home, Arletta and her son, both of whom subscribed to your worldview, are dead. And within one week, too.

      In Texas, one in four people knows someone who died of COVID in their family or among their friends. That's a recent public opinion poll. Is this a good thing?

      So are you still going to be disappointed in me, or will you reassess your worldview based on scientific evidence and social imperatives? If you do, please vaccinate ASAP.

    2. I find it interesting that the "follow the science mantra" is being used world wide. With regard to other "infections" that you mention, take polio as an example. It was already in decline prior to vaccinations. Can I suggest that you investigate its prevalence by region as it correlates with exposure to DDT at that time and it's reduction as usage declined and also more damningly it's re-emergence recently in places where agricultural land use has changed.

  21. Thanks for the reply. I'm saddened to hear about Arletta. She did a great job helping myself and doubtless many other students navigate undergrad.

    "Simply put, polio, plague, smallpox, whooping cough, COVID-19, and other highly infectious dangerous deceases must be subject to vaccination mandates"

    This is not an argument. I could counter with: simply put, no man-made lab cocktail injections (also ones with a massive financial incentive and no liability!) should ever be a requirement for basic functioning in the world. This is the logical equivalent of your statement, just with the opposite view.

    "chances of dying of COVID in the US are statistically 12x higher than mine, simply because you have not vaccinated,"
    "In Texas, one in four people knows someone who died of COVID in their family or among their friends. That's a recent public opinion poll"

    Those statements are just not true. Dr. Patzek, my chances of dying of covid are non-zero, but they're much lower than yours, due to age alone. You seem to have missed my point about relying on government data. How is it that you're so jaded about many things but not the gov? I've had heard of many people, friends and family and acquaintances, of testing positive for covid, but not one hospitalization or death. I'm going to trust that over "a recent public opinion poll".
    There's also a difference between dying with covid and dying of covid. If a person has 5 co-morbidities, they were going to be on the way out soon anyway, but the hospital puts it down as a covid death. Do you see that your precious statistics might be misleading?

    1) blocking my hospital bed,
    You can keep your hospital bed, I don't want it.

    2) blocking my wife's ICU bed,
    Same as above.

    3) infecting me and others unnecessarily,
    Yes, asymptomatic people are actually the sick ones! 2 + 2 = 5! You're just too stupid to understand!

    4) making me and others wear masks to protect ourselves from you
    This is lunacy - YOU are the one making myself and others wear masks, on pain of losing careers! I do not care at all whether you wear a mask, other than I think it makes you look like a ridiculous feckless coward.

    By the way, would you be in support of hazmat suit mandates? If not, why not? How do you logically justify drawing a line between little paper masks and hazmat suits? You don't want to be a grandma killer do you? If you are in support of hazmat suit mandates, do you realize how totally insane that is?

    5) imposing on our society huge economic losses, from your own sickness/death too.
    Government policy, not nobodies like me, has imposed those huge economic losses, no doubt advised by individuals such as yourself.

    So yes, I'm still disappointed in you. Life itself is a risk - and is short. Reality is, we're all going to die and this desire to turn the world into some ultimate safe space where nothing bad ever happens to anyone will just turn it into an insufferable hell. If you wish to isolate, get injected with useless poisons, and suffocate yourself, go right ahead, but that's not enough for you, now I am forced to as well, because of your selfishness. This lunacy is no way to live life.

    "please vaccinate ASAP."
    Needless to say, I won't be doing that. Keep calling me stupid though, I'm sure that'll change my mind!

    1. Well, as you can see, we now live in two different worlds that begin to have zero intersection. And there is no more discussion.

      Soon there will over one million dead Americans, who died from COVID. Most of them were unvaccinated. How do you estimate the social cost of these deaths and millions of hospitalizations? Government fault, or the careless, misguided people? Both of my daughters are medical workers and are completely tired and sick of the unvaccinated begging for help every day. Government fault, or the stupid people?

      I understand that there will be no agreement between us, so let's finish this conversation.

    2. " over one million dead Americans, who died from COVID"


      "How do you estimate the social cost of these deaths and millions of hospitalizations"

      I accept that death is an inherent part of life, and is coming for us all, myself included, whether we like it or not. What ends would you be willing to go to live for say, 500 years, 5000 years, forever? Would the means justify those ends?

      "unvaccinated begging for help"

      The only thing we're begging for is the covidistas to shut the hell up already and move on.

      "we now live in two different worlds that begin to have zero intersection"

      If only that were possible.

      "will be no agreement between us, so let's finish this conversation"

      Yeah. I do sincerely wish you good health in the coming years, though.

    3. Do you have parents, grandparents, and uncles?

      You are steeling yourself for the inevitable world that is coming our way. I understand this. But let me venture a conjecture: you and your children will not like that world. Having said that, our positivist, capitalist (if there ever was a positive meaning of this word, not just naked greed) civilization is falling apart. What will come next we do not know exactly, but I know a little about it from my childhood and youth in the communist Poland. Trust me, you ain't seen nothing yet, so think twice about an experiment you want to usher. I encourage you to think about my words 10 years from today. Good luck...

    4. Also, life expectancy in this new world will be much shorter than today. Again, your position is correct. We need to decrease the number of living humans by about 5 billion people for the Earth's ecosystems, and the remaining humans kept alive by them to survive. What it means, in particular, is that the young people today already choose to have many fewer children. Logically, I understand you. Given my age, I will not see that world, but you will. I feel deep pain for my children and you.


    So from this how do we know what was "polio" and what was not at any given point in time?


    Since 1890's


    Another perspective -

    So I need geographic data now.

  25. "Soon there will over one million dead Americans, who died from COVID. " - there is no evidence for this statement. There may be a million who died after a positive RT-PCR test, but that's not the same thing, especially when the CT is well in excess of 35 cycles & there is no chain of evidence that ties the test to a specific unique illness causing virus. Tell me what the specific unique symptoms of COVID-19 are exactly? This is the basic point, the emperor has no clothes. An illness is as an illness does. Co-morbidity needs to be evaluated for each "case". Your approach is far too simplistic.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. OK, Duncan, you got me. People have been dying in the hospitals mostly of severe respiratory shock, caused by the body's immune reaction against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, heart failure, etc. If you worked in a hospital or a nursing home, you'd know first hand that there has been a flood of excess deaths, because of the rich variety of COVID-19 symptoms. Then there are after-effects that can last for many months.

      One of daughters is a clinical assistant professor at UC San Francisco and a specialist in endocrinology. She could tell you a story or two about (auto)immune reactions. My wife is a retired PT who worked most recently in a nursing home, where the patients dropped like flies in 2020. My other daughter is a nurse at UCSF. If I shared your remarks with them, they would blow up with anger. They are on the receiving end of your non-illnesses that cause non-deaths for non-reasons.

      Your persistent denial of vaccine efficacy against infectious diseases borders on obsession, and I do not understand what drives you, a former UT student who wrote me, and 30 million other people in the US alone.

      From my vaccinated friends, who got the Omicron variant of the virus, I report that their symptoms are similar to flu. The COVID vaccines do NOT stop the virus from attacking your nose (a different immune subsystem), but they do protect you from the deadly lung failure. Stay safe!

      Good luck in your emotional crusade against vaccines and science. Anything you say will have a confirmation somewhere on the internet that will reinforce your belief system.. This is the essence of my post and the essence of our societal decay at the speed of light.

      You could also go out, see some nature, and relax. Our respective societies are falling apart at a lightening speed, regardless of blame throwing. The UK will go to hell first, though. There are solid scientific reasons for me saying so, but that's a different story...

      Peace, Man.

  26. "Cytokine storm during COVID-19 vaccination: Occasionally, the vaccination may lead to cytokine storm and other complications raised by it."

    Just one example of what the "fact checkers" only a few months ago said was impossible for mRNA vaccines. How many more denials will be proven false over time? It's true that one can find all sorts of misinformation on the internet and many things to feed confirmation bias, but we are all at the mercy of that. I have even seen studies to show how many medical studies are junk. However I think you need to add the category called "gullible" on those charts. Time will tell who falls into it.

    1. Duncan, you really refuse to recognize the same reality I sense. Statistically, it is exactly 21 days from a positive RT-PCR test or no test at all for the avid antivaxxers when the COVID-19 death curve overlays the cases/hospitalizations curves. So if you happen to get the Delta variant, and you are unvaccinated, statistically this is how long you've got to live, unless you are young, very healthy and lucky. Several unvaccinated people I knew personally were not lucky, and now they are the dead stupid.

      So do not blame excess deaths on vaccinations, because you have no right to do so, outside of the fringe extremist circles that in the US belong to what formerly was the Republican party, and now is a quasi religious cult that plays on the grievances, real and imaginary, of some white people..

      Please do go back to my canonical definition of the stupid in the post above: These are the people who not only harm themselves but also hurt others, while they're killing themselves, while also blocking hospital beds and ICU beds, infecting others and possibly causing more deaths and costs. Can we agree on this definition? Also, please remember what I wrote above. To change worldviews and core beliefs of most people is utterly impossible.

      Also, I will not publish any of your comments that rely on the links to others. Tell me what your own thoughts are.

      The particular article you are citing, talks about the concerns of people like you, who'd blow one adverse reaction in a million out of any proportion and decide hysterically not to get vaccinated, while attempting to discourage others. I can't cite the entire conclusions of this paper here, but here is one paragraph:

      "Multiple waves of infection place a huge burden on the state, doctors, and scientists in establishing a successful fight against SARS-CoV-2. Some of countries have achieved a sufficient number of vaccinations to curb the pandemic. In contrast, some countries confirm lowered vaccinations either due to unavailability of vaccines as per requirement or because of vaccine hesitancy. Because of the severe impact of the pandemic in terms of infection intensity and mortality, the vaccination drives in between this pandemic have reduced vaccine hesitancy among the population, and this has contributed to achieving herd immunity. Herd immunity generally requires a protective immune response in 60%–70% of the population attained either through infection with the virus or by vaccination. Global scientific coordination and partnership is the key to successful vaccination against COVID-19. It is particularly effective because nationalistic approaches to immunization will continue to raise issues such as vaccine development and production, pricing, allocation, and deployment, and only a global resource collaboration can fulfill these goals."

      Did you get what they wrote?!

  27. Well, countries and media outlets are not helping themselves when the say how young people are susceptible to a delta variant when they show people in ICU wards saying they wish they had taken the vaccine, and then they turn out to be actors. 2 in one report in the UK and the same in Australia. The odds of that happening are astronomical.

    The analysis of Fenton only concurs with my own observations but I expect no one to listen to me.

    But the initial spike of deaths in early 2020 also tied to medical and social malpractice. The use of a drug cocktail mentioned in a case study in the Lancet. The deaths of elderly in Italy who never had any virus - the staff just walked away and left them to dye. The elderly in the UK who were just sent from hospital back to the nursing homes. The native Americans who were shipped large container loads of experimental drug cocktails.

    Then all the historically proven drugs were taken off the menu because of earlier criminal misuse and over prescription. eg. Quinine based medication that if over prescribed causes Atrial fibrillation (age dose dependant that killed mostly the elderly, our primeminister had a taste of the effect) but normally is quite reliable.

    So then we get to a place that portrays the only saviour as an experimental gene therapy. The definition of a pandemic was changed ahead of time that it is not the number of deaths that define it. The supposedly just discovered spike protine was patented back in 2000 for use in a dog vaccine.

    Have you ever heard of the saying "how to boil a frog"? Things have been manipulated for quite some time, but you can only believe what I am saying if you check the details for yourself. I would recommend that you start by reading Oneness Vs the 1% by Vandana Shiva which gives data on how India had been a prototype for the world.

    But when it comes to diagnosing a viral illness it has been test over symptoms all the way. You have a positive test and then enough of a particular symptom get a positive, then that symptom is added to the illness. This is awful medicine.

    I was only pointing out to someone a couple of weeks ago that there are alternative diagnosis to AIDS than HIV I'd you have a wider view of the data. For example the high rate in Tampa at the moment in what neighbourhoods that coincide with certain chemical plants and a fairly recent chemical spill that has got into the water table. Symptoms can have more than one cause and there are many ways to destroy an immune system over time, if we take our blinkers off.

  28. In the wake on anti-vaccine folks who seem to currently dominate this blog of yours, I would like to take you back to your initial point about the laws of stupidity, taxonomy of stupidity, and consequences thereof, as stated by former UC Berkeley Professor Carlo M. Cipolla. Using a very recent event, allow me to momentarily take you to your former stumping academic grounds, the Longhorn nation (I chuckle just to imagine what type of conspirator hypothesis your anti-vaccine Longhorn student on this posting will unveil about what I am about to write): Universities are supposed to be the hub and abode of intellectual freedom, extraordinary thinking, inordinate ideas, outlier points of view, all to enrich and preserve nature and society in profoundly constructive and ethical ways. UT Austin’s mottos read “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” and “What starts here changes the world”. I am sure that you remember both of them during your time as department chair at UT Austin. It is expected, of course, that UT Austin will act by example and do with consistency of those mottos. After all, students are breathing that culture and, what better example of instruction than doing and acting as your motto says, isn’t it? So, let me take you to the song that you may also recall from graduation ceremonies, donor events, and chest thumping bravado sport events: The Eyes of Texas. Do you recall it? Well, there is this circumspect history professor at UT Austin, Dr. Alberto Martinez, who’s written very well-research articles about the racist origins of the song (,; please read them if you have not). To any person with regular intellectual acumen, it would become obvious that the song truly has racist origins, yet UT Austin insists that it does not. Why? Because rich oil donors threatened to withdraw their deep pockets from the coffers of the institution. And guess who did UT Austin side with? The truth or the stupidity fueled with highly-paid external consultants? You guessed it! (

    That’s a great example for Dr. Cipolla’s theory. Magnificent example of stupidity being taught to all the students of a higher-tier public academic institution. But there’s more: UT Austin using donor and State moneys is about to open its new think-tank, the freshly minted Liberty Institute. For what? To defend the rights of stupidity and to affirm stupidity as an academically valid endeavor. With these actions, does UT Austin truly think that students are that stupid, cannot think by themselves, and are not able to differentiate mottos from actions? Contradictions and stupidity? Fabrication of stupidity to foster an environment of conformism and stupidity?

    1. Well, dear Anonymous, I quit my job of a Regent's Professor, and Department Chairman. I did not do it because I was happy with UT Austin and its trajectory.

      But that's ancient history, and I like to focus on the positive memories I have of my 6.5 years there.

      There are several powerful forces at play here. The first one is the power of a tribal myth. "The Eyes of Texas" is a myth, and as such it no longer lives in the realm of truths or untruths. Facts do not matter, and you need to understand this. Myths are so powerful, regardless of their objective validity, that people live and die by them. All religions are myths, and look at what they have done to eternal human brutality and blood bathing.

      Another factor has to do with the generic corruption of education systems at all levels and everywhere. The primary purpose of these systems is accreditation for money or social privilege, not education and imparting wisdom. Our product are people with the fancy pieces of paper that enhance their social status and salaries. They know it and we know it. Have you ever wondered why our students fight so desperately to increase their GPAs, regardless of how much they know? They want a glossier accreditation, not knowledge.

      How well we educate our students is incidental and dependent on their good luck of having decent teachers. Most of us strive to be good teachers with high ethical standards, but then there are too many bandits among faculty and administrators. Bandits hurt other people for personal benefit. And never gloss over the corrosive stupid in academia.

      Finally, there is the question of resources to support education and ambitions of faculty. There has been an incredible proliferation of the wannabe tier-one universities that dilute available research funding and resources. This is a classic example of more is not better. So now all faculty are evaluated for their prowess of getting money into the system, and this competition has spun off yet another level of banditry and corruption.

      Finally, there is the society at large that is eying us with anger. They don't give a damn about our science and ambitions, just want the fancy certificates for their increasingly uneducated children. Thus in-your-face stupidity is ascending too. Everywhere. This is how civilizations collapse. Unfortunately, academia is no longer a cure, but has become a part of the problem. We, the faculty, are an essential part of the government-industrial-academic-military establishment. And we shall remain so, until an unhappy end of this cycle of human history.


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