In my last newsletter I described the temple of technology and progress with a countless knobs that could be turned. Some of the knobs obviously inspire caution, but some seem like an unalloyed good. Like the knob for safety. Accordingly that's what we've done we've turned the knob of safety all the way to 11, but as with all progress the effects have not always been what we expect. For example when you maximize safety you can't actually maximize safety, you can only maximize it's perceived importance, which is how we ended up in a situation where, in the midst of a deadly pandemic, we have paused, or refused to approve, or otherwise restricted vaccines, dooming thousands because the vaccines are not entirely risk free. But is anything?
Lately there have been a lot of attempts to relitigate history. It is felt that taking history which has been ignored and giving it new emphasis will both increase the accuracy of that history and also help mitigate the negative effects of historical events. I show that this is generally not the case and that what we choose to emphasis is more based on the narrative we're pushing than the actual impact of the history or event in question.
There were various approaches to fighting COVID, and in retrospect we ended up with the worst of all. It's understandable that we didn't follow China in taking the authoritarian approach. And it's also understandable that we weren't going to be as lackadaisical as we were in 1918. But what kept us from taking the technolibertarian approach of human challenge trials, first doses first, and approving the Astrazeneca vaccine as soon as Europe did. And more importantly why are we now taking the exact opposite approach, "pausing" Johnson and Johnson, while Europe restricts Astrazeneca? Why are we so bold when it comes to government spending and so timid when it comes to vaccine safety?