It's over - Ivor Cummins discusses the data (Let's stick with COVID) - this title got UNfiddled

conversationstarters

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #102

Not just the naysayers, because the making of an assertion is not proof that it’s true. Both yeasayers and naysayers are required to provide evidence. If the evidence itself is criticised, then more evidence needs to be provided. If you wish to counteract criticism of Ivor, why not provide evidence in support?

Just because Ancel Keys made the assertion that dietary fat causes coronary heart disease didn’t make it true Anyone who maintains that Keys was right has to provide evidence to that effect.

Keys appeared to provide evidence to support his assertion, but subsequent re-analysis of his “evidence” failed to support his notion, and even his Minnesota Coronary Study, designed to support his hypothesis, actually produced evidence to contradict it.

I hope that this line of logic makes my point clearer. I reiterate: It is not sufficient to say, “I like and trust Ivor, therefore his statements are true,” any more than it is sufficient to say, “I distrust Ivor, so I refuse to believe him.” Evidence and reasoned analysis, please!


(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #103

The deaths of family members also have an impact. My family lost people in the epidemic of 1918, and the losses were still reverberating in the family when I was a young person, sixty years later. In reality, arguing about this type of damage is pointless; there will be emotional damage, no matter how we handle the situation. We can try to minimise it, but . . . :sob:


#104

Absolutely. I think 1918 flu was so devastating in part because so many young people died.

And, yes, I agree that there will be long-term emotional damage no matter what :frowning:


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #105

This is another of the facile arguments trotted out by climate deniers. Human agriculture has only existed during the relatively warm last few thousand years. Before that, there was no civilization.

@PaulL For me this is the equivalent of saying, “OK, let’s say the twin towers were subject to a controlled demolition…” It’s buying into climate denial.

We are currently in a period of uncontrolled warming shown to have been caused by human activity. End of story, if they’re not a PhD in climate science then I’m not interested in hearing otherwise and I think it would be mighty foolish of me to debate the subject given that I am not an expert and the climate deniers certainly aren’t!


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #106

Most jurisdictions have mismanaged the pandemic. Ones that by and large haven’t: Taiwan never had a lockdown and they’ve controlled the virus. China had a sharp lockdown, and they’re open domestically. NZ had a sharp lockdown, eliminated the virus, and a tiny outbreak recently resulted in a very short lockdown and now AFAIK they’re at it again.

Australia arsed up its first lockdown, and two states had outbreaks. VIC had to lock down again. NSW was able to maintain covid-normal restrictions, test and contact trace down to effective elimination. But an entire state has been in lockdown for about 2 months now, and most of the citizens of that state aren’t happy about it because it was preventable (a quarantine stuff-up caused the outbreak) but they understand that within a few weeks, our country will be basically covid-free. And if we play our cards right, we can ride it out till the vaccine.

Some people may not think that the restrictions have been worth it. But by and large I can tell you that Australians do think so.

I am being asked by some people in this thread to join the fray. Apparently they think that I am qualified, as allegedly are they, to debate climate science and pandemic epidemiology.

This is not a debate I think is worth having. If you’re a covid skeptic, you now must believe that every medical authority on the planet outside of Sweden, and every local, state and federal government, have conspired to hurt their own economies for no reason and on no evidence. If you are a covid skeptic, you are saying that you know better than every health authority on the planet. They’re all wrong, and you’re right.

Let me remind you that Sweden’s actions (which are more restrictive than many people think) make perfect sense. If a vaccine never comes, Sweden may be best-placed to live in a covid-filled world. Suppressing the virus, which Sweden is doing just less intensively than other countries, was always about keeping the hospitals from reaching capacity, and perhaps saving lives in advance of a vaccine.

We cannot know the future. The question has always been about what is the best course of action now. How do we save the most lives? How do we prevent the greatest number of people from long-term maiming from the virus? Those actions exist on a spectrum, from effective elimination (China, Taiwan, NZ, Australia) to “herd immunity” (Sweden, US, Brazil, the latter two by default). We won’t know which was “right” until perhaps 2022. We are doing, as a global society, the best we can with the information we have.

Given this, it is honestly stunning hubris for any one random self-proclaimed “expert” to imagine that they have better information than every government and every health authority on the face of planet Earth. I mean, really.

I do not have to talk about a random engineer’s videos or articles or graphs. I’ve seen these arguments, and I see nothing that challenges the consensus views. Literally nothing that makes me think Australia/NZ/Taiwan/China have made a mistake.

Same with climate deniers, by the way. The IPCC, NASA, literally every serious scientific authority on the planet is united in warning us all about the fact of anthropogenic warming. I see literally no compelling evidence to question this, and I’ve seen all the arguments under the sun. And I’ve ill-advisedly argued with them on occasion.

If you are a denier, you have to be serious for a minute. You need to admit that you just don’t like the policy outcomes that the scientific consensus has led us towards. Don’t sit there and argue spurious points as if you’re a PhD in epidemiology. You aren’t, and you don’t come off as serious. The arguments sound amateurish. When I make the analogy to 9/11 denial and evolution denial, I really mean to say that you sound indistinguishable from them.

Argue the policy. Say that you are prepared to accept millions of deaths and millions of crippled people for a better GDP outcome this year.

I’ll be right there to point out that the virus would inherently annihilate the economy even if governments didn’t introduce any restrictions. But these are the only debates worth having, in my view.


(Doug) #107

If we get a vaccine in the next year or so, then Sweden’s approach will be seen as more faulty. They really never did have an overburdened health care system that I know of, but it was close in Stockholm and a few other places. In the end, they came out okay there. Swedes did and are still doing a lot to curb virus spread, voluntarily, more than in some places where it’s been mandated by law.

The one early thing they really failed at was segregating and protecting the elderly and those with multiple comorbidities, and the Swedish authorities realize it and admit to it. I think that was partly that so much less was known then, and partly hubris on the part of Anders Tegnell, the head Epidemiologist. Again - there was much that wasn’t known then, and for other than the elderly I think he got lucky.

If ‘Covid skeptics’ saw a video by somebody who portrayed the danger as higher than what they believe, or by somebody who advocated more restrictions than they favor, and the person in the video did the same kind of cherry-picking, intentional deception and use of outright falsehoods as Ivor did in the video in question, then the Covid skeptics would be pointing their fingers at it and noting what extremely poor form it is, to say the very least :smile:. And they should be doing that. Nobody should get a pass when they do such, not Ivor, not anybody.

Well guys, climate change is another can of worms. :smirk: So where’s the “shrug” emoji/icon?

Gabe, I do agree - and it really is not complicated. The earth itself produces more carbon dioxide, for example, than does human activity. But the earth’s absorption of it is very much in balance with the production, except in the case of something like super-large volcanic eruptions. ‘We’ only make 20-25% of the total carbon dioxide production each year, but that’s responsible for the increase in atmospheric CO2 since the Industrial Revolution got going, and especially over the past 60 years.

(Just what this thread needs - a little more arguing. :partying_face:)


#108

I must have my ears on upside down?

Am I suffering from cognitive dissonance?

I don’t hear intent to deceive in Ivor’s presentation, I hear the synthesis of expert opinion and available data into a clear interpretation at the September time marker. If Ivor is cherry picking in his science communication, then he has picked a bucket load. And he does explain somewhere (I think in the Irish media interview Q&A) that part of the process of complex problem solving is to gather the data and to make some comment on near future trends for the disease pandemic based on what is known.

I have to go back and read the Alex Selby article again. As I think we agree that is where the claims of intentional deception and falsehoods are illuminated. Is that the correct approach?

Just give me a minute. The first read through of Selby’s critique did not match for me the claims being made by the negative commentators in the thread. Please (Franko)bear with me as I try to catch up with the rest of you.

My gut feeling is that some of you are drawing from experiences and forming opinions from wider afield than this one video presented?


(Kevin) #109

I can see Ivor ‘fighting against “The Man,”’ the status quo, the big pharmaceutical industries (all in the realm of diet and health) and then looking for another windmill to tilt against, so to speak. It does seem strange to me - as an engineer, and coming from “good science” and “better science” versus the old cholesterol and ‘fat is bad’ stuff, why then would Ivor lose his desire for and grip on good scientific evidence as it pertains to something else? He does have a streak of kooky conspiracist in him, and some of his descriptions lean toward nearly apocalyptic visions, but surely there must be more to it than that.

More than a half year into the pandemic now - it would be interesting for everybody to write down what they think is going to happen, and then compare notes another 7 months or so in the future.

This year has been an unusual one - I’d say if anything we all had more to learn than normal, even the ‘best experts in the world.’ Observationally, it surprises me how much polarization-before-the-fact and confirmation bias there is.


#110

Selby as the master critic of the video to which we are referred opens with:

This is a response to a widely-circulated YouTube video by Ivor Cummins in which he claims that Covid-19 is essentially all over, and that we’ve been lied to.

Straight off the first jab is not accurate. Ivor claims that the data shows the epidemic spike and then the fall from the spike to non-epidemic numbers. That is not claiming Covid-19 is over. The way I hear it in the video is that the initial spike in death rates at the height of the initial epidemic is over in the places that faced that infection in their population. The death rate data shows that despite the infection still being present the epidemic stage is over. A further opinion of mine at this point in the interpretation is that those places have moved from dealing with the epidemic to having to deal with the endemic stage of the virus and infection. Have I mis-heard? Or is it my subjective interpretation that is wrong?

We are always “lied to”. Statements that are found with time to be false or inaccurate are retrospectively classified as lies. It’s a function of not knowing, or not knowing enough. That is not a statement of enough consequence to pursue.

Selby moves on to:

For a good critique that goes into some medical details, you can read this by Dr Dominic Pimenta

Selby has aligned with Dr. Pimenta’s sub-standard, in my opinion, critique from a medical point of view of Ivor’s video. This is a point, this choice of ally, that alerts a scepticism of Selby’s critique.

But I must press on into the content of Selby’s critique to find what I am looking for and leave these initial bias forming or confirming subjective reactions aside. Lest I fall on my own sharp words…

These are some of the main claims Ivor Cummins makes in his video.

  1. In temperate countries/regions you get a universal infection curve - a rapid increase followed by a slower decrease - which he calls a Gompertz curve.
  2. In such countries, he says you quickly get 20% of the country infected, with the remaining 80% having prior immunity, so the infection is therefore over after this Gompertz curve has been navigated.
  3. He says the number of Covid-19 deaths is nothing special compared to previous years and the extra deaths are just people who were waiting to die anyway (the “dry tinder”), due to fewer than normal deaths occurring in the previous year, thereby leaving the frail behind.
  4. He says lockdown and restrictions have little to no effect.
  5. He also later says lockdown and restrictions have prevented a useful spread of the virus in summer months, which would have enabled us to build immunity. (Yes, this contradicts 2. and 4.)

Selby demonstrates to me that he is not listening nor reading what is being presented by Ivor.

  1. Yes, Ivor explains the closest recognised curve to the death rate data curve is the Gompertz shape. It’s the shape it looks like.
  2. Yes, it is plausible to have a high prior immunity in a population to coronavirus infections and Ivor has his resource immunology expert: https://youtu.be/GBRcK-od50Q
  3. Dry tinder effect is proposed but is not settled. But is it deception or falsehood?
  4. Lock down has little or no effect is an incomplete claim of an Ivor claim. You can see in the video that what Ivor states (it’s written down) is: lock downs are damaging after a virus has entered the population significantly. He bolds and colours red this context. He has references to papers that demonstrate that claim. Presenting the incomplete, contracted claim gives it a different meaning.
  5. The contradiction claimed disappears if the correct claim was reported. e.g. 2. the infection occurs before the lockdown measures are in place and 4. the time of application of the lock down procedures is the significant factor missed.

So, Selby’s list of claims to rebutt can be trimmed to:

  1. He says the number of Covid-19 deaths is nothing special compared to previous years and the extra deaths are just people who were waiting to die anyway (the “dry tinder”), due to fewer than normal deaths occurring in the previous year, thereby leaving the frail behind.

In March and April Levitt simply fitted Gompertz curves to the existing epidemic curves around the world and extrapolated them into the future to get a prediction.

Selby talks about Levitt here and about extrapolations and predictions. What I saw Ivor present in his video is in retrospect and with data analysis. He describes the curve as the Gompertz shape from data that we know. It’s a different situation than what Selby is describing for Levitt who was using it as predictive. Selby uses a false association. Ivor is reporting results. Maybe he should have said, “The curve shape we see repeated in these examples are a small lift off, a large spike, a peak and a gradual decline back to normal. It looks like a mountain with a steep side and a less steep side. Let’s call it an Everest Curve. There we go now.”

I’m starting to question who is being deceptive.


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #111

In my previous comment, I made basically this point. We cannot know the future. We are doing the best we can with the given facts. The science is not in doubt; the question is what is the right policy. For all of the “tilting at windmills” as you cleverly put it, there’s really no serious debate about where we are with the pandemic; the question is what the best policy is given what we know thus far about the virus. It would be rather remarkable if the entire planet’s leaders got it wrong, and some dude on Twitter had it right.

I really don’t have much more to say on this. I suppose, best of luck if you think you know better than every government and every health department and almost every pandemic epidemiologist on earth, and good luck too if you are smarter and more informed than the IPCC and NASA. If you know better, go get your PhD in the relevant area, write a bunch of journal articles, and get rich being the genius who overturned the status quo science. Otherwise, go home.

Also @OldDoug I’m back home and may be in your neck of the woods if the virus remains contained. Maybe we can have a keto al fresco meal!


(Doug) #112

I thought you were in a rather large, northeastern U.S. city, Gabe…? If you mean Atlanta, Georgia, I’m in Ohio right now - just retired; literally cleaned out my office just yesterday and am spending some time with family and friends. Later this year will be back down south, though. :+1:

I went 12 days before commenting on this thread; gotta be a friggin’ personal record. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I think it’s all the same video, FrankoBear. It’s come up before in another thread, with some of the ‘usual suspects’ from this thread discussing it. Back on the 9th of September - Opening Up Results

As far as I know, that was before the Alex Selby article was ever mentioned on this forum. In both that thread and this one, specifics have been mentioned, no Selby involvement necessary.

That may be a valid point. I did watch the whole video weeks ago, and read through the Selby article fast. I’m bone-tired tonight and not going to do it all again right now. But you may be correct there - and perhaps it’s the title of this thread at work too, no?

I would ask you, do you really defend everything Ivor said in the video?

We could go through every sentence, even every phrase of Ivor, Selby, and Pimenta. Quite time-consuming and tedious, in the end. However, sometimes you really do need to narrow things down.

Here I really do disagree. We’re not always lied to. It’s proper when opinion is identified as such, rather than some damnable pretense of it being objective, external fact being in place. Saying “I suspect” or “I think,” etc., is fine - much indeed is yet unknown here. But it’s not fine to lie or be intentionally deceptive, and in watching the video, and reading both the threads on this forum and Selby’s article, I think it’s rational to see that Ivor did those things. He really did cherry-pick and misrepresent things, both by statement and implication. Just like with a school paper with plagiarism, at that point I say, “Throw it out.”

Well said, and all along I’ve appreciated your way with words and your spirit and humor. :slightly_smiling_face:

If you don’t mind and have time - what was the first thing in Pimenta’s video that you thought was wrong? I haven’t seen it yet but will watch it.


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #113

Haha yes a rather large one indeed. Good memory Doug. Sorry, for some reason I thought you were in the motherland. I guess I’ll have to alert you when I’m back in the 3rd greatest country on earth! (After Australia and Taiwan, naturally :joy:)

I was actually in Austin earlier this year; down south keto is easy. Just order brisket!


#114

Thanks for the link back. I knew it. I was new to it. I am late to this party and many are already partied out. It explains a lot to me in the perceived tone (from my eye ears) of the dialogue.


I noted it a bit upstream. Since then I have become tainted and entertained by Ivor’s riposte video. Entertainted? Maybe that is what I am suffering from when I watch Ivor’s videos?

From re-reading Selby’s critique a second time I can see a common problem. I don’t think either Selby, nor Pimenta listened closely enough to what Ivor was actually reporting.

The more I dig about in this and revisit the video and the criticisms, despite my cognitive dissonance, I really do think that people are primarily arguing from perceptions (some inaccurate) and assumptions, rather than going back and interrogating the information at the source. It becomes not about the video itself but what people think the video is, or is saying. Layer on top of that that we all have experienced how mentally exhausting it can be to sift through the detail, especially when we think we know what was said, and then try to convince others who have set their beach umbrella :parasol_on_ground: in the sand and do not feel like shifting it, even a little bit, to get a clearer view.


#115

Even by saying this I can see you are off the mark Gabe.

Australia is a lucky country. And despite having politicians like the rest of the world, was somehow able by using measures that recognised humans as the vector to prevent serious infection of the general population, mostly*.

It is more that the pandemic has yet to move through most of Australia. I can’t speak to Taiwan and China examples.

The majority of Ivor’s presentation and discussion is based in the time period post initial pandemic mortality spike. After the epidemic death spike, looking back from an early (northern) autumn across a quiescent summer. We haven’t entered those seasons yet in the southern hemisphere with the virus on our minds if not yet on our breath.

The mistakes of continuing a lock down during summer months or implementing harsher lock down and social restrictive measures after a local epidemic peak has occurred are yet to be made. *And despite the evidence as presented (by Ivor) they could soon be made in Victoria.

I can see that like Selby and Pimenta you have not listened nor processed what Ivor was reporting in the video. You appear not to have given the subject matter in that video report full consideration despite indications that you have thought on the issues quite a bit, and quite a bit more than I.


#116

The Virta research is also a bit puzzling.

Their two groups aren’t blindly chosen, it isn’t hazard that puts a subject into the group with the keto intervention or in the control group. So, they can pick who’ll go keto and who won’t. That skews results. And even with heavy intervention and picking the subjects, “only” 17% had partial or total remission of T2 after 2 years. “Only” 2% in the control group.

The 17% should be celebrated, of course! And I hope the 3 and 4 years results will have many more in total remission. I think it works. Many people in the forums share great results. But people in forums are a small sample of the general T2 population and just like Ivor, they can say anything they want.

Why didn’t the Virta research group go blind for the keto/control subject samples? I wonder. Why the research group that could put forward the word chose to pick subjects for their samples, instead of a double blind. Disappointing.

If someone knows why, could you share your info? It puzzles me.

It isn’t that I need convincing that eating less carbs helps one keep BG lower! I measure it on myself.


(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #117

It is entirely plausible that the pandemic will never move through Australia, China, Taiwan, NZ and other countries that have properly controlled the virus. I think what you are not understanding is that these countries have been mostly open for business for the past few months. Victoria had a scandalous outbreak that could’ve been avoided, so they locked down a 2nd time. The rest of Australia has been roaming free for the past several months, so these covid denial arguments are kind of lost on me.

Taiwan never locked down. Go watch videos of their teeming cities. China locked down hard and then opened up wide. A fifth of the world’s population living fairly normally right there.

We always had the question of whether we should have done herd immunity or done some level of suppression that made sense. The G8 report that emerged early this year and guided government policy didn’t even bother considering the herd immunity “strategy,” because it would have meant far more deaths than Australia was willing to accept. We were just looking at some level of suppression, which we labeled “suppression” (lighter suppression) and “elimination” (harsher suppression).

Not even Sweden went the herd immunity route, by the way. Even Sweden regarded this “strategy” as too ridiculous to contemplate.

At some point, it may become clear that no vaccine will be particularly effective. This is unlikely, but plausible. Until then, I think it’s clear Australia and similar countries have embarked on a sensible strategy.

I’ve wasted enough time listening to Covid deniers and their videos. I find them and their political agendas about as tedious and irrational as listening to Peter Hitchens complain about government covid restrictions.

Again, we know the parameters of the science around the virus. I love how these deniers think they’re teaching the rest of us sheeple something. They aren’t. The question is policy. What is the right policy. And time will tell.

Meanwhile, much of the world has basically buggered this whole thing up, and I feel bad for them. But a handful of Asian and South Pacific countries are showing the way.


(bulkbiker) #118

So I have to go and repeat Phinney and Volek’s research or replicate everything that Amber O’Hearn has discovered? Re-do Dave Feldmans experiments too.
Ivor has in my view provided his evidence and I find it pretty compelling.
If others don’t then that’s fine too.
You now want me to go and dig all that stuff out myself too?


#119

Yikes, Gabe. No one is saying or implying anything like this. You’re making so many huge leaps, and I’m tempted to get into them all but I don’t think there would be any point. Best wishes to you-


#120

The plausibility that the pandemic will never move through Australia is more a demonstration of wishful thinking(1) than an acceptable truth Gabe. You do understand that thousands of Australians are returning home from overseas and bringing a highly contagious respiratory virus with them. The virus is wild in Victoria. Crucially, Australia is full of Australians (and we know what they’re like). A more pragmatic approach is that it is only a matter of time before the virus enters the population in other regions of the country.

You have confused me with the “covid denial arguments” comment. There is no denial of the pandemic. The challenge is accurately gauging the severity and benefits of the aspects of the disease spread, that being the disease itself and the externalities such as enacting policies and social restriction. Just as you say.

There is a lot of dichotomy creation in this discussion. Whether we should have done ‘this’ or ‘that’ thinking. It is plausible to do social measures without locking down. It is plausible to continue some social measures with the aim to protect the vulnerable, while the virus spreads through the population (Sweden 2.0). There is the ability to control some aspects and maybe even the timing of the epidemic in places that remain yet to be exposed, then there can be a combination of methods (not dichotomous) based on what has been learned in the pandemic experience in earlier infected areas. The end result is a herd immunity, whether vaccinated or wild spread. I don’t see Ivor recommending a free-for-all with no restrictions.

Ivor is not a Covid denier. He doesn’t deny the disease and pandemic exists. But I better understand now from where you are viewing this encapsulated discussion. I get it now. It would not have been nice to waste time on actual Covid deniers’ videos. It’s disappointing to me at least that you might lump Ivor in with them. Actually the disappointment may be more from the thought that I am speaking in defence of a Covid denier. Which I think I am not.

I do understand that Australia has had freedom of movement internally in each state and very mild social health coaching (wash hands, physical distancing, wear a mask if you are sick, better yet stay at home, get tested etc). Not exactly free roaming and open for business internationally, but locally within state borders that is correct.

I think Ivor presents quite a few ideas in terms of filling out the “time will tell” sentiment. One being the consideration to relax travel and interactions in the approaching summer. He does talk about what is known about corona viruses in that they still circulate in a mammalian population during summer, but the debilitating disease consequences are notably less, even if infection remains high. It’s a big call to make for the politicians, and I lament that they may not even be aware of the option. But Ivor has presented some data, that on independent verification, may provide the better course of action.

I agree with you on the likelihood of that. I’ve worked with corona virus vaccines and they were not particularly effective. That may be different for human vaccines. Time will tell.

Thanks for staying in the conversation this long.

(1)


#121

Ivor (@thefatemperor), please, what did you mean when you say the epidemic was over in the video?

Have I misinterpreted what you were saying? Did you mean that the global pandemic has finished?