The known scientific reasons to refuse inoculations include enhancement (quite applicable considering the enhancement observed in SARS and MERS) recombination, and contamination. As you stated statistical conclusions can be murky when relating to an individual, vaccines may save lives, they also damage and end life, for others. For someone so sharp on individual privacy and the implications to losing it, you seem to miss the grand implications of injecting viral genetic material and agents designed to affect such material. Hard to understand why anyone would accept a software patch, from anyone other than the OE Manufacturer. Best of Luck

Expand full comment

From my limited knowledge of history it seems that we are threading a dangerous path with COVID legislation all over the world. I'm starting to see the precursors of 2001 and WWII everywhere. I don't disagree that COVID is harmful, I just can't help but see it as a 9/11 v2 where everyone is so deadly afraid of a danger to the point where they surrender everything for an illusion of safety. One study I became aware of around the start of 2020 is "Pathogens and Politics: Further Evidence That Parasite Prevalence Predicts Authoritarianism" https://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~schaller/MurraySchallerSuedfeld2013.pdf Having watched the events unfold with that in the back of my mind, as well as some basic knowledge of history and psychology, has been one of the scariest events of my life. It truly does seem to me like a carbon copy of 2001. We were facing an (at the time) unknown threat and the fear and uncertainty that created was abused to the fullest by politicians all over the world to introduce horrific and totalitarian legislation under the guise of safety. All around the globe it suddenly became "the new normal" to carry around cell phones with closed-source government apps for contact tracing. I doubt I have to explain to you how that can potentially be abused.

Already during the initial panic people completely lost their composure and in many countries allowed their governments to pass "temporary emergency legislation" to give them emergency powers and in many cases blatantly violate the constitution of the country. For instance in Denmark 18m mink were culled due to suspicion that they were infected with COVID. The farmers who had their lives ruined were of course promised full compensation. Unfortunately someone forgot that and when it came to actually handing out that compensation suddenly the money printers ran dry and money was nowhere to be found. This was later declared unconstitutional, and the government started backtracking and saying it was "just a recommendation" in spite of armed police forcefully entering mink farms. Ultimately this of course ended up with no one major being held accountable and everything proceeding as usual.

After the initial panic had died down I started researching COVID a bit more in depth due to my inherent mistrust of the CCP owing to their less-than-ideal human rights track record. I pretty quickly came to the conclusion that it was very likely related to the Wuhan Institute. The moment I tried to talk to anyone online about this I was of course immediately banned from social media for "spreading misinformation" and even pointing out how the WHO had uncritically shared CCP propaganda around "No human to human transmission" would immediately get me labelled a nutjob in my social life. Regardless of repeated attempts at civil discourse most people seems to have swallowed the whole "authoritative sources" of social media hook, line and sinker. Even purely scientific criticism routinely got dismissed. Science very quickly got replaced by the religion of scientism where any criticism of the official narrative is crazy and people just need to "follow the science" which I find rather ironic since that would usually be accompanied by some random news article. I try my very best to remain objective and open around my own biases. I'm fully aware that I am far from what one would consider "normal" but sometimes I just can't help but think it is the world that is going mad. I've unironically had people call me a science denier for pointing out that it was ridiculous to compare the raw number of cases in Denmark and the US with eachother despite Denmark having a population of 5.6 million. (In case anyone is interested, yes, Denmark did have less cases than the US. Go figure) As Glenn Greenwald pointed out in a recent piece there is also the bizarre refusal to ever apply cost-benefit analysis to COVID measures. https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-bizarre-refusal-to-apply-cost.

Since then government propaganda has gotten even worse. Once again I've seen examples from all over the world of leaders assuring people that they have no plans to introduce vaccine passports or anything similar while at the same time in other interviews openly advocating for vaccine passports. And when called out on it the near-universal response has been "That is just a conspiracy theory".

Of course, one cannot have events unfolding on a global scale without politicians lying about it somewhere, but I cannot shake the unease that comes from observing these clear inconsistencies and the complete refusal by the mainstream press to address any of them. I'd personally feel significantly better about taking a vaccine if politicians would just be open about it. It was developed in less than a year, of course there are going to be mistakes, and yet there has been pretty much no transparency around the process. For instance I think the contracts the medical industry have scored are completely unacceptable. I would prefer to get vaccinated but I cannot with good conscience allow the complete erosion of our rights to get it. I find the lack of understanding for the anti-government perspective absolutely baffling. If there is one thing that can make me start questioning something it is censorship. After all "If you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar. You are simply proving that you fear what he has to say". Yet for some reason the government seems to think that the best way to go about things is the use of force. I've talked with an Australian friend of mine about this a couple of times and he is likewise terrified and the psychotic behavior of police and how they seem to have completely lost touch with reality. See this video for an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YtsdzkDZ5o This is yet another massive red flag to me. I am reminded of the Nuremberg trials and the insistence from the nazis that they were "just following orders".

This raises the question: even if you make the assumption that someone is 100% on board with everything that has happened so far, what makes you think that the police/military/anyone else will step up and protect you if it ever does go too far. I fear that we are heading down the path of WWII were we end up so terrified of a certain group of people (In this case those of us that are not yet vaccinated) that people are willing to commit the same atrocities, this time in the name of medical fascism and with no regard for people who cannot take the vaccine for medical reasons.

Perhaps I just don't stray far from the beaten path of the internet but it is very rare for me to bump into anyone who is genuinely completely lost in a conspiracy theory and think COVID is actually sent to earth by aliens as a form of population control or that vaccines cause autism, etc. It seems to be an overwhelming majority of people who has seen through the obvious propaganda (Not saying that the propaganda is necessarily untrue, but it is still propaganda nonetheless) surrounding it and how many of our rights have been infringed in the name of "safety".

In my eyes the issue seems to be that we DONT all agree on the facts. And that anytime anyone asks an honest question they are met with a wall of obvious propaganda and often massive hypocrisy from politicians that will say that we should all be extremely careful and wear masks, only to then the next day go to a private party with no mask. I for one do not blame people for getting cynical and nihilistic, I frankly struggle to understand how you can remain so optimistic and hopeful that things will change when most of the (legislative) damage that happened as a response to 9/11 is still around.

A complete sidenote to all of this: Is it just me or did your post end rather abruptly?

Expand full comment

Knowing the history of some of these drugs companies, and seeing how heavily the governments are trying to push the vaccines onto people, and create COVID passports, amongst all the other ways they are monitoring us and controlling our media (As you said, they Google for you) - how can people not be suspicious of the vaccines? It's not like these people have always had our best interests at heart.

Expand full comment

Is this a fact: "the vaccine (which saves lives)"? I'd suggest we're in the midst of 'the long-term study'. The vaxxed have volunteered to participate, the unvaxxed are the control group (which the PTB would like to eliminate, ensuring no actual data is procured). Perhaps in 10 years, we'll have the results.

Expand full comment

The Western world is suffering from a huge lack of ability to find consensus. Centuries of corruption in institutions (media, governments, legal system, science) which should engage in a consensus finding process might be one of the reasons. Loss of trust and difficulty to orientate and navigate in the massive overflow of information leads to a dangerous state for the mind and for a society. The civil-war like events we saw with Trump and now with Covid in the US seem to reveal a disease of the society which has grown since long. Those events are only the salt which hurts enough to make us aware of those previously less visible wounds.

But there might be also some intended function which is not talked much about. Dividing the population in vaxxers/anti-vaxxers, stupid labeling of people by birth date like boomers/generation x (converting a continuum of people into tribes), supporters of political parties which are 99% the same crap but risking their life to fight each others,.... all that helps that people do not unite against the real oppression but waste their energy in tribal fights. Why are some countries doing so stupid provoking actions like only allow vaccinated people drive on the highway (Pakistan)? Or the draconic measurements in France? Or police brutality amplifying extreme sentiments? Are governments really that incompetent on the social side? Might be. But might be also that this serves a common goal of all the corrupt institutions to divide people so they do not gain power to show governments that the power comes from the people. Divide and conquer is such an old tactic, hard to believe the observed patterns happens completely by coincident.

Expand full comment
Sep 2, 2021Liked by Edward Snowden

Sorry to see that the trolls are here too. I just wanted to mention that Albrecht Durer's Melencolia I was very appropriate for your essay. Science can only be a search for the truth that never ends and sometimes reaches dead ends despite our best efforts. Keep writing - you are doing well.

Expand full comment

While I understand your expertise and experience are based in an entirely different field and within a completely different government agency, I am admittedly surprised at the inability to see that the very same denial tactics, media control, and suppression of any dissenting information are at play here. This is partly my fault, I've had you on a pedestal of sorts for a while now (personal hero status to be transparent).

One does not have to deny the seriousness or danger of Covid to possess the ability to see the incredible impact on our privacy, rights and freedom happening with a swiftness unlike anything I have ever seen before. An impact that does not match the danger it claims to be countering.

The CDC, The WHO and the NIH are not so different from the NSA - government agencies with budgets and interests and people filling their offices and hallways making deals with private sector companies in exchange for anything worth bartering.

Science is not guiding this path we are on.

In fact, the legitimized scientific community out there without a hand in the pharma piggy bank is absolutely appalled at what is happening.

Your points about google-based journalism are completely valid - we are seeing this even in major news outlets, with narratives aimed to discredit any sort of question or dissent by citing papers having nothing to do with their points, and in some instances those papers and studies concluding the opposite of the journalist's point. No one is fact-checking the fact checkers.

Evidence based science is no longer the guiding principle here, it is all about narrative and shareholder interests.

This is a formal plea to someone who seems to be gifted in the art of skeptical research to dig a little, even if it's not your particular brand of Deep State Dissent.

Expand full comment

This article misses the mark on a number of levels, but let's start with the nature of statistics. As the economist Frank Knight explained a hundred years ago, "risk" is not the same thing as "uncertainty." Risks can be quantified using statistical methods because a well-defined system with unchanging properties (like a pair of dice, a deck of cards, or a roulette wheel) can be used to generate independent events where the proportions of various outcomes will converge on a particular values even though we are ignorant of many of the specifics that govern which die faces or which card turns up, or which slot on the wheel the ball drops into in any given instance. By making enough observations to estimate the proportions, one can then extrapolate these proportions to anticipate future events of the same class using frequentist statistical methods. There are also Bayesian statistical methods that enable one to revise risk calculations as one gains more specific knowledge about the nature of the system, thus narrowing the class of events.

Uncertainty, on the other hand, can't be quantified in this fashion. There are unique systems that are constantly changing and qualitatively unlike other systems in important ways, rendering prior observations useless for knowing how the system will behave in a particular instance in the absence of detailed knowledge concerning its composition, arrangement of its parts, and physical/chemical laws governing the interactions among those parts. One can make decisions based on rough analogies and educated guesses, but this can open the door to potentially spectacular errors.

A classic example of such an error occurred in the credit ratings agencies (S&P and Moody's) with respect to the subprime real estate bubble that lead up to the 2008 financial crisis. The quantitative analysts in these agencies thought they knew what the probabilities of defaults were and rated various mortgage-backed securities accordingly, while the more experienced real estate securities experts thought the quants were crazy. The management sided with the quants, but it turned out that they were horribly wrong. Past stastistics concerning subprime mortgage default rates proved to be useless because the very act of giving high ratings to subprime-backed securities coupled with recent changes in bank capital regulations (known as "Basel II") was pumping enormous quantities of credit into the sector and thus greatly increasing the proportion of debtors who ultimately would default once the bubble burst.

Complex, uncontrolled, dynamic systems are always prone to these sorts of errors, which is why one must be extremely cautious about what conclusions to draw from statistical data concerning them. In the case of climate models, there is a lot that isn't known about the role of clouds, etc. that make even basic climate parameters hard to estimate accurately. If a UN agency then selects the models it likes and tries to extrapolate their predictions concerning temperature increases to analyze large-scale impacts on natural ecosystems or on human economies, then one has left the realm of quantitative calculations based on verifiable causal laws of physics and chemistry completely. Such pretense of knowledge is not science; it is the same sort of socialist central planning conceit that brought the former Soviet Union to its knees.

The slogan "follow the science" rings even more hollow when arbitrary authority is flaunted in place of rational persuasion. Science does not consist of a corrupt technocratic elite telling you what the facts are and what conclusions the rest of society must draw from them, while all contrary voices and inconvenient data get systematically censored from social media and banished from the nightly news and from leading scientific journals. Statistics do not serve the broader interests of the American people if only a few corporatist oligarchs and their lackeys get unfiltered access to them. If all we get to see is the carefully-crafted propaganda peddled by Dr. Fauci while actual statistics about adverse jab effects and highly asymmetrical disease risks are kept hidden from the public, we might as well have someone like Trofim Lysenko become the face of "science" instead.

Expand full comment

I know one thing none of us can deny: The media is worthless. The only hope the state has for hanging on to their propaganda arm in the 21st century is by applying central control over digital communications. And the blockchain (thanks to arcane mathematics) will make sure they don’t. From there, it’s a free-for-all information distribution and consumption landscape. And that’s OK with me.

Expand full comment

Does anyone else feel like this post ended rather abruptly?

Expand full comment

I realize you were using illustrative examples re the COVID and climate references—but I feel I must interject on your treatment of the concept of fact—vis-a-vis nuance.

For example, what about people who believe that there is evidence to support that the climate is changing, and that it is caused by human activity, but believe the models used to quantify risk are insufficiently supported, or that the policy proposals currently on the table are insufficiently supported as effective or acceptable means to mitigate that risk, or that alternatives with a less objectionable profile of tradeoffs have been given insufficient attention to justify precluding them.

Or with COVID, they accept that the vaccines are a good thing that address a legitimate threat to certain demographics, but feel that creating a vaccine passport system to encourage vaccine uptake has unacceptable tradeoffs with respect to granting the government increased powers over our lives. Or that the biosecurity paradigm is destructive because it reframes therapeutics as deployable weapons systems in a military theater.

These are valid concerns that live inside nuance that matters.

Expand full comment

Is it fear of the actual vaccine or is it fear of the authoritarian state that promotes it? I ha e been double vaxx, but I am very empathetic towards those that do not trust the powers that be and are sceptical of the disaster capitalism that spins from above. Trust is so sacred and people are desperate for finding sources to enlighten them, rather than manipulate. Those sources are hard to find

Expand full comment

Thank you Edward for bringing your ethical and laser-like focus to the troubling, (but necessary) subject of climate change apathy. Scientists and, as a result, fossil fuel companies and world leaders have been aware of the existential threat climate change poses since at least the 1980s. All three groups have reacted variously with a spectrum of motivations. And here we are today.

For many decades, the information deficit model was deemed the gold standard for bringing us out of the polluted dark ages and into the sunshine of renewable clean energy future. This hasn’t happened quickly enough. What, then, should we focus on?

Understand the world-view of other people and meet them where they are (if possible - if not, try to leave them on good terms).

Avoid polarising political arguments and speak honestly person-to-person about your climate concerns and what local and immediate effects are evident.

Positive solution-based conversations.

Authentic story-telling breaks down ideological barriers and enables conversations which open peoples’ minds.

Try using inoculation theory as a way to improve identification of misinformation.

Finally, thank you Ed for all you have done and continue to do. You are are a hero to me. Your moral and ethical courage has been an uplifting example to us all, proving that we are capable of brave, noble conduct.






Expand full comment

9/10 dentists agree with this post

Expand full comment

Mr Snowden:

Good people around the world need your voice to help overcome the demonic lies and censorship by BigPharma that suppresses info and access to safe effective inexpensive early treatment remedies that could have saved millions of lives if public had not been denied this info by corrupt pub health "experts," msm and social media monopoly platforms working on behalf of BIgPharma via cynically named "Trusted News Initiative. Please educate yourself to the reality, elements of which are reflected in: https://richardrosenthal.substack.com/p/fda-fraud-deception-arrogance

The scheme to impose Covid19 and experimental "vaccines" on the world is rife with "anomalous" acts that objectively spell premeditated murder, but have been hidden from the public by the most aggressive propaganda and censorship campaign the world has ever known. For history of the diabolical campaign to demonize hydroxychloroquine, necessary for the vax cos to get Emergency Use Authorizations, please see: https://richardrosenthal.substack.com/p/time-to-call-a-knave-a-knave?r=13rnq&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&utm_source=email

Only by your getting better acquainted with the facts will you be able to help avert the tyranny that threatens to destroy what is left of democratic societies. Please do your part. Your courageous voice is desperately needed and can help save millions more lives.

Many thanks and abiding respects. Richard Rosenthal

Expand full comment