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The Rise of Fiat Medicine
If you are like most, you may believe that the healthcare mayhem of 2020 was a one-time thing. Unfortunately, it is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Fiat Piece of the Puzzle
As many of you know, recent events has made it impossible to ignore the shortcomings, inefficiencies, and blatant corruption of our academic institutions and healthcare industry.
Trying to understand what happened in 2020 led me through many rabbit holes including the entangled relationship between medicine & corporate sponsors, British imperialism, history of eugenics, and much more.
In my opinion, many of the proposed narratives are incomplete. Most accounts lack the fundamental motivating principle that underlies much of the world’s capital effort.
The final piece of the puzzle was an understanding of seigniorage and our fiat economy. Seigniorage is taken from Old French, originally describing a Lord’s ability to mint money, and refers to the difference in the value of money and the cost to produce it.
The fundamental problem is the ability of a small group to produce money and declare its value by fiat - or decree. The closer you are to this small group, the more lucrative your position.
Disruption of markets and populations is caused by manipulation of monetary policy.
For a thorough investigation into the problem and its ramifications, I would highly recommend the book The Fiat Standard by Saifedean Ammous.
What Happened in 1971?
You may be wondering why it is important that a central power can control the production of money, and in effect, determine its value by fiat.
The website WTF Happened in 1971? illustrates with endless examples, the knock-on effects of fiat monetary policy throughout our society.
There are many ways to look at this problem. Some view it from an economic lens and point to the flattening of wages, whilst costs and productivity demands skyrocket.
Others look at it from an industrial lens, and make a case that persistent and high inflation are masked by a combination of innovations in mass-production and lower quality of goods and services rendered.
Others still point to the rising rates of chronic disease in adults and children downstream to the economic and industry impacts.
One chart not on that website, which is worth looking at, is this:
What you see above is a graphical representation of the term “peer-review” between the years 1900-2000, as counted from published books.
Notice that the use of the term rises dramatically in the 1970s.
Did science not exist before 1970? Of course, it did.
It would appear then, that ‘peer-review’ is a modern phenomenon despite the enduring presence of scientific inquiry throughout history.
What is Peer-review?
Peer-review is a modern invention of the publishing sector. The proposed purpose of peer-review is to promote the publication of ‘high quality’ work and provide credibility to the article that is published.
What really happens is this:
You conduct research and write a paper
You submit this paper to a publication
The publication chooses 3-4 ‘reviewers’ who provide critique on substance, methods, analysis, etc
Once complete, the publisher will approve or deny the publication of your paper
Without getting bogged down in the details of the process, we should explore this concept philosophically.
Do we need peer-review?
The short answer is no. Peer-review is the invention of publishers.
Feedback from peers is built into the scientific process. By publishing your findings, you allow the broader scientific community to read, question and attempt to replicate your findings. This is real peer review.
Fiat peer-review is a standardized process of censorship. The handful of reviewers selected by the publisher determine whether your analysis or findings can even be seen by the broader scientific community.
A real scientist knows the value of a piece of research they have conducted or an analysis they have written.
The real scientist is under no obligation to receive the approval of a handful of “peers” in advance of sharing their findings with the broader community.
Most importantly, people of the peer-reviewer class are unlikely to appreciate the value of a novel or unorthodox perspective. Least of all, if the reviewers are merely careerists chasing titles and adulation.
One could argue that ‘peer-review’ is the reason it takes so long for religious institutions to adjust their Canon. New ideas must first make their way to the institutional gatekeepers. Then, the clergy must comprehend and value this novel perspective.
Then, they must review all the existing canon to resolve any conflicts.
Afterward, they can publish the new material for all others to see.
Real peer review begins after publication.
Then, who needs peer-review?
Peer-review is for people who are playing the role of a scientist.
Within academic medicine, “peer-reviewed publications” is an important marker that is conveyed on the curriculum vitae, or resume. The standard academic CV has a section specifically for peer-reviewed literature.
“Peer-review” is the currency of academia. Similar to fiat currency, it is the denomination by which students are chosen for education, graduates are chosen for training, trainees chosen for faculty positions, and all of the above chosen for grant funding.
In the digital publishing world, there are several metrics calculated based on your productivity, and special attention is given to peer-reviewed publications.
These metrics are all signals.
What is the message?
“I am a productive scientist. I can attract grant money and prestige.”
Why does this matter?
The industry of medicine favors solutions insofar as it favors capital - usually, taxpayer capital.
These solutions are “regulated” by an industry heavily funded by the manufacturers. The research is conducted in academic institutions funded and staffed by the manufacturers. The findings are published in journals funded by the manufacturers. The professional societies which analyze their data and generate management ‘guidelines’ and ‘standards’ are funded by the manufacturers.
I think you get the picture.
To conclude, I will simply paraphrase remarks made by Professor Peter Duesberg in his controversial book Inventing the AIDS Virus (1996). His words drive at the heart of the problem present decades later.
Biology constitutes a third of total basic science and half of all academic research. Biology’s dominance of research as resulted from a massive infusion of federal funds, mostly through the NIH.
…the NIH has since the 1950s developed a voracious appetite for money…1955 budget hovered somewhere around $100 million…[in 1996] it spends closer to $10 billion.
While academic institutions formerly provided their own limited monies for research, NIH grants have now become a major source of income for the larger and increasingly dependent universities.
Impact on research…
Competition among large numbers of scientists for one or a few central sources of funding restricts freedom of thought and action…
The scientist who is very productive, most able to sell research, and well liked for not offending his peers with new hypotheses is selected for funding.
The eccentric professor has been replaced by a new breed of scientist…
Peers cannot afford a nonconformist thinker because every new, alternative hypothesis is a potential threat to their own line of research.
The only benefit of the numerous cascades of competitive tests and reviews set up by peer review is the elimination of unsophisticated charlatans and real incompetence.
…the review of too many, by too many achieves but one result with certainty: regression to the mean.
It guarantees first-rate mediocrity. As these armies of new scientists flood the peer review system…they act to suppress any remaining dissension by the few remaining thoughtful researchers.
Peer review, after all, can never check the accuracy of experimental data; it can only censor unacceptable interpretations.
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