Article 9

The Daily Ministerial Briefings On UK Response To Covid-19.

In each and every broadcast of these Daily Briefings, ministers attempted to assure the public that they  acted on the advice of their science advisory group (Stag), while until the week beginning Monday 25/5/20, their flanking advisors did nothing to cast doubt on this assurance.  However, in that week such doubt was cast when in responding to a question from a media representative, one of these advisors refused to answer on the grounds that what would have been his response had not yet been approved either by the advisory group or by ministers, thus suggesting that neither the Stag nor the cabinet were dealing with definitive incontrovertible science but were engaged in the usual political debate of opinion/counter-opinion i.e. of belief/counter-belief. Again, in this same week, another of the flanking advisors responded to a question by saying that while she could not say what the policy might turn out to be, she could say what the advice would be, thus again revealing that whatever is alleged to be ‘the science’, the policy is decided by debating belief/counter-belief to one or other belief-consensus in the general and ubiquitous failure to recognise the absence of conclusive knowledge.

However, to enable such knowledge to replace belief-consensus, I recall that my third book (published in 2010) definitively differentiated the knowledge/belief dichotomy and with it those of truth/falsehood, wisdom/folly, right/wrong and good/bad for the first time ever; that belief (hypothesis) can be converted to positive or negative knowledge only by observing its compatibility or incompatibility with reality; that this reality-evaluation of belief to positive or negative knowledge has been the basis of our craftsmanship from time immemorial and of our science and engineering from the seventeenth century onwards; that the injunction ‘to do unto others and you would have them do to you’ is the knowledge which harmonises our innate selfishness with our innate need for cooperative social cohesion as the group-species we are; and that our rejection of the foregoing differentiations causes our politics to be no more than the endless debate of belief/counter-belief supported by partially selected facts/counter-facts, evidence/counter-evidence and news/false-news, no set of which ever amounts to conclusive knowledge. Thus, on the basis of my third book, let us now consider the specific benefits of replacing belief with knowledge in respect of our current Covid-19 problem and of much else besides.       

As to this consideration, the voting public must recognise and correct its on-going failure to differentiate knowledge from belief by reference to the presence/absence of my co-defined reality-evaluation of belief (hypothesis), and its corresponding failure to recognise the need for reality-validated cause-effect science to replace all of the belief-selected ‘cause-effect’ parameters of pseudoscience. Again, correspondingly, it must recognise that reality-validated cause-effect science is not debateable because it terminates debate with its conclusive knowledge; that non-cause-effect pseudoscience arbitrarily selects its correlated ‘cause-effect’ parameters on the basis of belief-only and is thus endlessly and futilely debatable to one or other transient belief-consensus; and that ministers and the members of Stag are currently engaged in pseudoscience rather than in science while other pseudo scientists who are not members of Stag may well favour other beliefs which are also without reality-validation or reality-refutation by the experimentation which differentiates science from pseudoscience. 

As to the question and answer sessions which follow each daily briefing, I invite my readers to recognise that neither the questioners nor the responders recognise that they are simply continuing the futility of belief/counter-belief debate in which facts and counter-facts contend for attention. Indeed, in some cases the selected facts have no identifiable counter-facts.  Thus, when a questioner asks why the government did not supply the required levels of PPE or why it permitted the NHS to discharge hospital patients back to their care-homes without testing them for the presence of Covid-19, there are no citeable facts counter to such failures because these are already factually documented.  Again, while there was much initial talk in the media about achieving herd immunity by letting the infection spread freely to achieve it, there was clearly no recognition of the likely numbers to be hospitalised and to die in securing it, and no provision made for these numbers, the Nightingale hospitals having been provided only after such a need had passed with hospitalisations and deaths already diminishing. Indeed, I invite my readers to share my amazement at the failure of politicians and their ‘scientific’ advisers to share with the public ‘the science’ on which their policies are supposedly based, and at their failure  to answer specific questions with specific references to this ‘science’. Each evening, I waited  in vain to hear a questioner respond to the invitation to ask a further question, by saying that he or she had no further questions, the one already asked having as yet received no answer.


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