Covid, Lab Leak and Schismogenesis

I decry Trump for denying the gravity of Covid, Trump also used to bash China on trade, and once Covid started, on a lab leak originating the pandemic.

Trump position on the Pandemic is dead wrong, so let’s create a distance from him, let’s distinguish our position, let’s oppose him on social isolation, masking, quack medicine, vaccination etc. Why should I ever consider the lab leak which is a pure hypothetical issue now that we should concentrate on saving lives against Trump’s lies?

Schismogenesis, anthropologist Gregory Bateson described this behavioural mechanism that deters you from even considering the lab leak hypothesis, lest you blur your distinction with Trump. And this is what makes this book an odd and uncomfortable read, an otherwise seemingly good science book, very attentive to details, well substanciated and referenced, mostly not drawing conclusions, but making me feel like blurring that disctinction from Trump’s quackery.

It does not help that the book co-author is that Matt Ridley has some ideas on climate change that would put him more in Trump’s field, The book is really the investigation conducted by Alina Chan and a group of internet “sleuths” which ened up collecting strong evidences of risk associated to virus sampling in bat caves, lab studies with human cell coltures, and “gain of function” research and gene editing, so that I feel it deserved much wider circulation. Put on hold your schmismogenic instinct and read it with a clean mind.

Viral by Alina Chan

But of course do not trust me, I am a lazy writer and I haven’t explained much to you, go straight to Scott AAronson who wrote a long and detailed review of the book, equally startled by how this book is rightfully throwing him off balance in his convictions on Covid https://scottaaronson.blog/?p=6183

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