Yglesias on intellectual conformity

Here’s Matt Yglesias:

But in economics, which I do know well, I think it’s a big issue. If someone tweets something you agree with, it is easy to bless it with an RT or a little heart. To take issue with it is to start a fight. And conversely, it’s much more pleasant to do a tweet that is greeted with lots of RTs and little hearts rather than one that starts fights. So I know from talking to econ PhD-havers that almost everyone is disproportionately avoiding statements they believe to be locally unpopular in their community. There is just more disagreement and dissension than you would know unless you took the time to reach out to people and speak to them in a more relaxed way.

I am an exception. I don’t mind taking unpopular stands on economic issues. As you know, for instance, I believe the fiscal stimulus was a waste of money (except the portion that was valid relief for economic distress.) Most economists disagree with me on this point.

I wonder if the problem is twitter. If I did twitter then maybe I’d feel more pressure to conform. The nice thing about blogging is that I’m sort of on an island, not interacting with others on a daily basis.

I’m certainly not saying that everyone on twitter is shying away from unpopular opinions—I don’t believe that. And I’m not saying that I would be particularly happy to offer highly unpopular opinions on religion, race, sex, gender, etc. etc. On the other hand, I don’t have much of interest to say on those topics, and hence I would rarely blog on those subjects even if I were not shy of controversy. But economics? I just say what I think. Nobody ever got canceled for opposing minimum wage laws. On politics, I trash both the nationalist right and the woke left. Even on race and religion and gender I’m willing to offer unpopular opinions if the issue is one of economics. Thus very little of the large income differences between races and religions and genders is due to discrimination—it’s mostly productivity.

PS. I wrote this yesterday, but I often wait a while before posting my thoughts. Today, Tyler Cowen commented on the same Yglesias post. This caught my eye:

The broader question of course is what we can do to limit these problems.  More pseudonymous tweeters and writers?  More grumpy old people who don’t care so much about their reputations?  More who write for Substack?  Other?

I think it’s fair to say I fall into the grumpy old man category. I couldn’t care less if I get “cancelled.” In fact, my original plan was to retire in 2017.

PPS. By waiting to post you can get scooped, but you also can often have second thoughts and thus avoid posting something stupid. Yes, there’s even worse stuff in my discard bin. 🙂



45 Responses to “Yglesias on intellectual conformity”

  1. Gravatar of Philo Philo
    27. May 2021 at 11:41

    “I am an exception. I don’t mind taking unpopular stands on economic issues.” And since your stands (on *economic* issues) are usually right, that’s all the better for your readers!

  2. Gravatar of David R Henderson David R Henderson
    27. May 2021 at 12:30

    Scott, Thank you so much for saying “I couldn’t care less” rather than the more-popular, but incorrect, “I could care less.” 🙂

  3. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    27. May 2021 at 13:37

    There’s a small bit of people who actually like being in the out group. Might be a few more in the Econ world as part of the rule of real economists is to push back against populism.

    Though often right you did get the lab leak wrong.

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    27. May 2021 at 13:41

    Sean, What did I say about the lab leak that was wrong?

  5. Gravatar of Spencer Bradley Hall Spencer Bradley Hall
    27. May 2021 at 14:42

    The single biggest error in the history of mankind is that banks are intermediaries.

    Commercial banks from a System Standpoint do not loan out the public’s Savings. If the banks do not loan out the public’s savings what do they loan out? And the answer is” when the commercial banks make loans to or buy securities from the nonbank public they acquire these earning assets by creating new money. This new money almost invariably takes the form of demand deposits.

    From a system standpoint the commercial banks do not loan any existing deposits, demand or time; nor do they loan out the equity of their owners, nor the proceeds from the sale of capital notes or debentures or any other type of security. It is absolutely false to speak of the commercial banks as financial intermediaries not only because they are capable of “creating credit” but also because all savings held in the commercial banks originate within the banking system.

    The source of time deposits is demand deposits, either directly or indirectly via the currency route and undivided profits accounts of the banks. It is of course possible for currency hoards (a form of monetary savings) to be returned to the banks in exchange for time deposits. But this can never be a net source of time deposit growth since all currency held by the nonbank public was at some prior time withdrawn from the commercial banks and involved the cashing of demand and/or time deposits.

  6. Gravatar of Jeff Jeff
    27. May 2021 at 17:34

    It’s actually pretty easy to fix this on the individual level. Just delete your Twitter account and get a life.

  7. Gravatar of anon anon
    27. May 2021 at 23:32

    Matt is being cute and comes across as an apologist for the dissers/diverters/MSM/ever-so-slightly-correct-online-articles digital media & his erstwhile MSM colleagues in fact. May be slowboring is boring now after the initial euphoria and he would like to go back to be in a major newsroom/media outlet.

    The policy impact is on the non twitter dwelling & non partisan hacks that downplayed a potential scenario (cue Kevin Drum on accidental vs biowarfare) – various gov’s and policy making bodies have to take a position/decision on banning gain-of-function research altogether and make it a no-go-land; yes, throwing the baby out with the bathwater (benefits of g-o-f are to be weighed against another catastrophe of similar or worse magnitude).

  8. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    28. May 2021 at 00:11

    “I believe the fiscal stimulus was a waste of money . . . ”
    ‘Believe? I believe that you have evidence for your statement?

    Here:http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/339271/1/Werner_IRFA_QTC_2012.pdf is someone who offers evidence that the ‘wrong type’ of fiscal stimulus is ineffective?
    “ . . . whereby the coefficient for ∆g is expected to be close to –1. In other words, given the amount of credit creation produced by the banking system and the central bank, an autonomous increase in government expenditure g must result in an equal reduction in private demand. If the government issues bonds to fund fiscal expenditure, private sector investors (such as life insurance companies) that purchase the bonds must withdraw purchasing power elsewhere from the economy. The same applies (more visibly) to tax-financed government spending. With unchanged credit creation, every yen in additional government spending reduces private sector activity by one yen. “

  9. Gravatar of henry henry
    28. May 2021 at 02:27

    Conformity is predomintely a tool used by the left.

    Scientists they disagree with are “anti-science”.
    Whites who disagree with any of their policy proposals are “racist”.
    Conservative blacks are “uncle tom” and, according to one racist BLM loser, those conservative blacks should be “stripped of their blackness”.

    But it doesn’t stop there. Intellectual conformity means canceling intellectuals, creative artists, musicians, and commenters for opposing views.

    The left is the party of hate. It is the party of placing people into groups based upon skin color, age, and income-level. It is the party of Jim Crow; the party that believes you are guilty before being proven innocent; the party of drugs, gangs, laziness and thuggery; the party that favors foreign interventionism – including propping up regimes that engage in genocide; and most of it all, it’s the party of dogma and doctrine with the totalitarian slogan – “my way or the highway”.

    JFK’s moderates have been replaced with Marxist thugs. Will America survive the low IQ “revolution”?


  10. Gravatar of Tacticus Tacticus
    28. May 2021 at 02:59

    More pseudonymous tweeters and writers gets my vote.

  11. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    28. May 2021 at 04:08

    Maybe I’m too critical here but you dismissed the lab leak hypothesis if I remember correctly. I can’t remember if you threw it in the crazy conspiracy bin or the low probability bin.

    Now it seems as the leading hypothesis.

  12. Gravatar of Marcus Marcus
    28. May 2021 at 04:13

    Scott, could you elaborate on what you mean by, “very little of the large income differences between races and religions and genders is due to discrimination—it’s mostly productivity,”?

  13. Gravatar of Rajat Rajat
    28. May 2021 at 04:56

    Yes, you are a grumpy old man. And because of that, you are not ‘an exception’, for an old man, anyway. Young people like Yglesias have much more at stake in remaining popular and not getting cancelled. It’s not just in journalism, or in economics; it’s everywhere – in business, in government, in non-profits. And the problem is not Twitter. The only people with some sort of freedom to speak their minds are those with little at stake. Those at the fag end of their careers or who are happy where they are in non-prominent roles. Those operating in the mainstream or public eye or who are looking to progress cannot afford to put a foot wrong. They express their inner views in person, one-on-one or within very small trusted groups. The world these days demands incredible discipline from its managers.

    But I do think that the types of people who study economics these days is different to several decades ago. I think back then, those studying economics saw themselves as iconoclasts. Being popular was not something they were used to or even thought possible. Now, young economists see themselves as the modern-day caring technocrats; the sort of people who used to study psychology or environmental science, who expect to be the life of the party.

  14. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    28. May 2021 at 08:28

    Henry, You said:

    “Conformity is predominately a tool used by the left.”

    Trump: How dare those athletes kneel during our national anthem!

    Sean, You said:

    “Now it seems as the leading hypothesis.”

    Not according to US intelligence services:


    But maybe they are being paid by the CCP.

    I’ve read the articles on the lab leak hypothesis, and it’s certainly possible (something I’ve never denied). Maybe it’s even 50-50 (which is indeed higher than I had thought.) But don’t you think saying I was “wrong” is a bit strong, for being off a bit on the probability?

    I also said the whole debate was beyond stupid, as it would be far worse for China if the virus came from an animal market. The US also does dangerous biolab research, but we don’t have those animal markets. The Chinese should have said “How dare you claim it came from one of our animal markets, it probably just escaped from a research lab in Wuhan, funded by the US government. The sort of research all advanced countries do.”

    Rajat, I was also a grumpy young man, as I had no ambition to be successful in economics. I’ve always been dismayed at seeing people do research because they thought it was the sort of thing that got published.

  15. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    28. May 2021 at 09:06

    Marcus, I believe that average income differences between groups like men and women, Jews and Christians, whites and blacks and Hispanics and Asians mostly reflect productivity differences. The people in the groups that earn more tend to be more productive, on average.

    BTW, that does not mean they are in any sense innately “superior”, something I do not believe.

  16. Gravatar of JHE JHE
    28. May 2021 at 09:12

    “I also said the whole debate was beyond stupid, as it would be far worse for China if the virus came from an animal market. The US also does dangerous biolab research, but we don’t have those animal markets. The Chinese should have said “How dare you claim it came from one of our animal markets, it probably just escaped from a research lab in Wuhan, funded by the US government. The sort of research all advanced countries do.”

    Far worse for “China” as in the Chinese people (and those of Chinese descent abroad), sure, but the CPC would much rather have the virus attributed to unhygienic food markets than a government research lab. The CPC often justifies its actions on the basis of China being poor/underdeveloped, which this situation fits right into.

  17. Gravatar of Brian Donohue Brian Donohue
    28. May 2021 at 09:30

    Seconded. Lots of people seem to enjoy nodding in unison with the like-minded, but to me this is no way to move the ball forward.

  18. Gravatar of Spencer Bradley Hall Spencer Bradley Hall
    28. May 2021 at 10:39

    Societe Generale:
    “Historical evidence shows that recessions commonly cause lasting damage to output in subsequent years. Blanchard et al. (2015), for example, find that about two-thirds of the 122 recessions they have studied over the past 50 years in 23 countries were followed by lower output relative to the pre-recession
    trend even after the economy recovered. What is more, in about one-half of those cases, the recession was followed not just by lower output, but by lower output growth relative to the pre-recession trend”

    That proves my point

  19. Gravatar of Doug M Doug M
    28. May 2021 at 10:48

    Hmmm. I always thought that there was a lack of unanimitiy amongst economists. Economists have a reputation of not holding a consistent opinion from week to week or even hour to hour.

    “Give me a one-armed economist.”

    Not that I really have a problem with that.

    “When facts change my opinion can change.”

    Regarding anonymous tweets, bad idea. If you want to have a dialogue, putting your reputation at stake give you skin in the game and keeps you honest.

  20. Gravatar of Stefan Stefan
    28. May 2021 at 19:54

    I don’t always 100% agree with you (who does?), but I appreciate your contributions as a grumpy old man far more than whatever (in my opinion, more likely negative) value conformity might possibly have.

    Please don’t change. The importance of anything you’ve changed my mind on far outweighs anything else.

  21. Gravatar of Xudop Xudop
    29. May 2021 at 02:25

    If anyone wants a great lesson on “intellectual conformity” – and how laughable Sumner egomaniac claims about himself are – just google “Wuhan” on this blog.

    You have to go through Sumner’s unhinged support for a brutal dictatorship that has killed millions of people, but it’s fascinating to read posts about the theory that the virus escaped from the Wuhan lab, like “Pure, 100%, unadulterated, CHinese biogtry”, “Don’t confuse science fiction with reality” or “DId the coronavirus originated in Thailand?” (apparently, wild, baseless, entirely speculative conspiracy theories about the virus originating elsewhere than China aren’t bigotry; the only bigotry comes from consistent theories backed by overwhelming evidence the virus did originate in the Wuhan lab).

  22. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    29. May 2021 at 02:59

    “I believe the fiscal stimulus was a waste of money . . . ”
    Conformation that this is, essentially, a religious site?

  23. Gravatar of Spencer Bradley Hall Spencer Bradley Hall
    29. May 2021 at 07:43

    Readers should note that calculating inflation on a year-to-year basis minimizes, over time, the rate of inflation — since the rate is being calculated from higher and higher price levels. A $ today, using 1967 (a former base year), is equivalent to $8.12 of consumer purchasing power today.

    In absolute terms, each year confronts all of us with a higher and higher level of prices with no end in sight.

    That as compared to the minimum wage of $1.40 in 1967 is now $7.50 which represents a 4.4% gain in purchasing power which has increased income inequality (a case for UBI).

  24. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    29. May 2021 at 07:53

    Xudop, You said:

    “You have to go through Sumner’s unhinged support for a brutal dictatorship that has killed millions of people,”

    LOL, are you off your meds?


  25. Gravatar of Gene Frenkle Gene Frenkle
    29. May 2021 at 11:55

    We should have spent a trillion dollars on paying reparations to descendants of American slaves…but too many economists associate reparations with kooks. Paying reparations would have simply been a very focused helicopter drop designed to get dollars to a group of Americans that live paycheck to paycheck with little savings and risked their health in low wage jobs to keep others healthy during the pandemic.

  26. Gravatar of Lizard Man Lizard Man
    29. May 2021 at 14:29

    “ Even on race and religion and gender I’m willing to offer unpopular opinions if the issue is one of economics. Thus very little of the large income differences between races and religions and genders is due to discrimination—it’s mostly productivity.”

    Glad to know that NGDPLT is the preferred monetary policy of white supremacists. Why would a woke person be wrong to call Sumner a white supremacist?

  27. Gravatar of rinat rinat
    29. May 2021 at 16:54

    “I think it’s fair to say I fall into the grumpy old man category. I couldn’t care less if I get “cancelled.” In fact, my original plan was to retire in 2017.”

    1. There is nothing to cancel! You receive no air time. No media organizations write articles about you. You are not a politician, celebrity, paid commenter, activist, or have any fame whatsoever. You are a blogger, with a fan base of less than 1000.

    2. Your beliefs are mostly to the far left. You support BLM radical Marxists that call for defunding of police. You support drugs that kill. You support a centralized state, and a stronger FED, with unlimited tyrannical powers. You support debasing the currency. You support mega globalist corporations that swindle, plunder, and monopolize. You support the CCP, while they exterminate Uyghurs. You support left politicians who reward, instead of prosecute, theft, violence and thuggery. You support a centralized medical actor that can force and coerce people to take vaccines.

    Why would the left cancel one of there own?

  28. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    29. May 2021 at 19:25

    @Lizard Man
    Are you saying that believing that productivity affects income means someone is a white supremacist? How would you explain why Indian, Filipino, Taiwanese, Sri Lankan, Japanese, Malaysian, Chinese and Pakistani Americans are all wealthier than white Americans.

  29. Gravatar of David S David S
    29. May 2021 at 21:12

    I just saw two side by side stories on Business Insider–the first one about how Tom Brady is doubling down on crypto-currency and the second one about how more people are buying stuff online using installment plans. This will not have a happy ending, and I’ll bet a Subway foot long cheese sandwich that Scott agrees because he’s not an intellectual conformist.

  30. Gravatar of ankh ankh
    30. May 2021 at 01:42

    American radicals and their chosen “experts” are strangling the enlightenment; they are assassins of progress.

    It is quite amazing that Dr. Fauci’s biggest critic, the inventor of the PCR test and nobel prize winner Dr. Kary Mullis mysteriously dies three months before the first mention of Covid-19.

    There is a big difference between having expertise in a particular discipline, and having a business card or government position that labels you an expert.

    Thirty years ago Dr Fauci was promoting the toxic AZT for aids patients. 100,000 people died from that promotion, but it was great for Fauci. He made a few million from their deaths.

  31. Gravatar of William Peden William Peden
    30. May 2021 at 06:19


    Or Thomas Sowell, who argues that history, culture, and bad policies, rather than current racism or genetics, are the key to ethnic income differences in the US today.

  32. Gravatar of Spencer Bradley Hall Spencer Bradley Hall
    30. May 2021 at 07:13

    “The natural rate of interest was first defined by the Swedish economist Knut Wicksell who, in his book Interest and Prices (1898), defined it as the real rate of interest which balances the supply of funds (savings) with the demand for funds (investment) at maximum output, i.e., full employment of resources. In other words, it is the rate that prevails when actual output equals potential output. This rate is the only one compatible with price stability.”

    So it’s not AS/AD. An increase in bank CDs adds nothing to GDP.

    It’s stock vs. flow. Bank-held savings have a velocity of zero.
    Percentage of time (savings-investment type deposits) to transaction type deposits:
    1939 ,,,,, 0.42
    1949 ,,,,, 0.43
    1959 ,,,,, 1.30
    1969 ,,,,, 2.31
    1979 ,,,,, 3.83
    1989 ,,,,, 3.84
    1999 ,,,,, 5.21
    2009 ,,,,, 8.92
    2018 ,,,,, 4.87 (declining mid-2016 with the increase in Vt)
    Historical FDIC’s insurance coverage deposit account limits (commercial banks):
    • 1934 – $2,500
    • 1935 – $5,000
    • 1950 – $10,000
    • 1966 – $15,000
    • 1969 – $20,000
    • 1974 – $40,000
    • 1980 – $100,000 velocity begins to fall
    • 2008 – $unlimited
    • 2013 – $250,000 (caused taper tantrum)
    Frozen savings ,,,,, Reg Q ceiling %
    11/01/1933 ,,,,, 0.0300
    02/01/1935 ,,,,, 0.0250
    01/01/1957 ,,,,, 0.0300
    01/01/1962 ,,,,, 0.0350
    07/17/1963 ,,,,, 0.0400
    11/24/1964 ,,,,, 0.0450
    12/06/1965 ,,,,, 0.0550 caused the first credit crunch
    07/20/1966 ,,,,, 0.0500
    04/19/1968 ,,,,, 0.0625
    07/21/1970 ,,,,, 0.0750

  33. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    30. May 2021 at 07:43

    FWIW, It is clear to me that Twitter is a net negative to our culture. But it is here to stay. It attracts comments, even from otherwise intelligent people, that is more about insulting than anything. It changes no one’s mind—-it is just mutually exaggerated attack speech. Not all of it of course—-but the majority of it.

    I assume many countries, USA included of course, are always experimenting with viruses to make them more dangerous, in part to test how to counter act their effects. But it’s also to create weaponry. The issue in China is whether there was a leak—-not that it would be worse for them if it was from food markets (another problem in its own right) or that they did it on purpose.

    If there was a leak, they should admit it——and we can all learn how not to have them. They are also not helping—-and we will never know. Maybe US as had leaks too—-but know one says so. And why have a Lab in Wuhan? At least we did our nuke experiments in the desert.

    Of course, productivity is the driver of success—-regardless of race etc. But in today’s politics, the issue is why productivity is different among groups. To ignore that is to miss the main “debate” that is happening in our country—like White Privilege.

  34. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    30. May 2021 at 08:44

    Lizard, You said:

    “Why would a woke person be wrong to call Sumner a white supremacist?”

    By their definition I probably am. (I.e. that’s what they call people who quote Martin Luther King on race.)

    rinat, Actually I oppose all of those things, but I’m sure you don’t care.

    Carl, It’s amusing that positions that used to be viewed as far right (say in Europe before WWII) are now viewed as far left.

    Michael, The real issue is whether gain of function research is worth doing at all.

  35. Gravatar of Todd Kreider Todd Kreider
    30. May 2021 at 09:36

    Sumner, on this thread: “Sean, What did I say about the lab leak that was wrong?”

    Sumner, April 27:”It’s possible that the virus escaped from a lab, but it’s about a million times more likely that it infected a random person in Southeast Asia:”

  36. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    30. May 2021 at 11:02

    I’m seeing some football-spiking by lab leak theory advocates. Yet, when I read people who actually run virology labs, they still peg it as a low probability event. Here’s one prominent virologist, Florian Krammer, who knows far more than I ever will about virology lab work, still putting the probability at “ Not impossible but less than 1% for a lab leak of a natural isolate. Logs below that for an engineered virus… Occam’s razor. So many people are exposed to bats every day in South East Asia. So many chances for this to happen. Day in day out. Versus a lab accident where all stars would have to align.” (Thread starts at https://twitter.com/florian_krammer/status/1397880781675053057?s=21)

    @William Peden
    Agreed. Sowell is a great source of information on the subject of culture and productivity.

    The flipping of Right and Left on the topic of productivity is an interesting phenomenon. I went in search of articles that try to explain it but didn’t find anything satisfying. My best guess is that it has something to do with a belief in the competence of government. When government was thought to be more competent on bread and butter issues affecting productivity, those who advocated for a bigger role in the economy for the government( I.e. the Left ) would have seen productivity as something they could affect. Nowadays, as people come to see government’s role less to improve productivity, at which it appears increasingly less competent, and more to correct social injustices, those who favor a larger role for the government will tend to focus on racial inequities when approaching the subject. At least, that’s my starting hypothesis.

  37. Gravatar of Student Student
    30. May 2021 at 20:50

    I don’t get the sudden surge in the probability sarscov2 was leaked from a lab.

    1.) there is growing evidence the virus was circulating well before nov/dec 2019. There is evidence it was circulating in Europe in September. There is evidence it was circulating in the USA even, before the 3 lab employees got sick in November.

    2.) As far as I am aware, there has never been a novel virus leaked from a lab that spread around the world. There have been many known leaks but these were all known viruses and they didn’t get much farther than a couple of employees.

    3.) 3 lab employees out of hundreds (thousands?)having severe flu-like symptoms in the middle of flu season isn’t all that convincing to me. I bet almost every decent sized organization had 2-3 employees hospitalized with flu symptoms in 2019. It was one of the worst flu season on record (note point one again).

    4.) SARS-type viruses have jumped from animals to humans twice in the 8 years between 2004 and 2012. This seems to be happening about every 8 years or so on average.

    5.) there are cases of workers in a mine in China being infected with a sarscov2 like virus in 2012. I believe they were scooping up bat poop prior to being infected.

    6.) it seems quite possible that the virus was noticed in wuhan because they were working on those viruses and hence were more apt to identify it as a possible cause. So is it a big coincidence the virus was noticed close to the WIV… no. Perhaps that’s why they noticed it there first.

    7.) if it was leaked, where are the whistle blowers? Someone would know and I would bet that our intel services would have found them by now.

    I think I commented on Scott’s post Todd described above. I recall commenting that it’s possible it was leaked but less likely than the regular old way novel viruses get introduced to humans. My probability has shifted a bit in favor of a leak. From say less than 1% to maybe 5-10% now.

  38. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    31. May 2021 at 04:21

    I agree with Scott on questioning “gain of function” research. Perhaps it is worth doing—but I really doubt it.—-Unfortunately, we (humans) will always do it. We will always believe others will do it——the evidence is the history of weapons. Still, at least we say we shouldn’t partake in biological warfare as it is outlawed by international law. Cannot help but think it obvious that “gain of function” research is simply an egregious loophole.

  39. Gravatar of Spencer Bradley Hall Spencer Bradley Hall
    31. May 2021 at 07:51

    It’s the bourgeoisie vs. the proletariat, the haves vs. the have nots, the upper income quintiles vs. the lower quintiles.

    Unless the upper income quintiles savings are expeditiously activated and put back to work, a dampening economic impact results.

    That makes Dr. Leland James Pritchard, Ph.D. Economics, Chicago 1933, M.S. Statistics, Syracuse, the smartest man that ever lived.

  40. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    31. May 2021 at 09:44

    Todd, Yeah, I should not have used “million times”, that’s almost always hyperbole. On most occasions I was far more careful. But you are right, that’s essentially dismissing the theory.

    Student, You said:

    “There have been many known leaks but these were all known viruses and they didn’t get much farther than a couple of employees.”

    Wasn’t H1Ni1 leaked from a Russian lab in 1977, causing a global pandemic?

    You said:

    “it seems quite possible that the virus was noticed in wuhan because they were working on those viruses and hence were more apt to identify it as a possible cause.”

    It was noticed there first because at the time more than 90% of the global cases were actually in Wuhan. You can’t hide a big Covid outbreak.

  41. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    31. May 2021 at 09:48

    Todd, Here’s what I said in a post in May 2020:

    “Of course it’s certainly possible the virus did escape from a lab during research on bat coronaviruses.”

    I don’t know what I was thinking when I made that million times remark.

  42. Gravatar of Student Student
    31. May 2021 at 10:44


    I am no expert in this, but the 1977 strain was almost identical to the 1950s strain. It wasn’t a new virus. There is also evidence it was circulating for a year before it was detected. It’s possible it was lab leak, but I don’t think the odds are even close to 50% yet. This new piece of evidence is that 3 people out of several hundred had flu like symptoms and were hospitalized during flu season. I don’t find that very convincing. Now if the intel report that is due in 75 days or suggests it was, ok then…

  43. Gravatar of Student Student
    2. June 2021 at 06:58

    Ok, the furin cleavage site evidence I wasn’t aware of. I am up to 35-40% now lol. That was a big oversight on my part.

  44. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    2. June 2021 at 08:26

    Student, You said:

    “furin cleavage site evidence”

    I thought that argument has been refuted?

    As for H1N1, how does a virus show zero mutation in 20 years if it hasn’t been in a lab? Based on what I’ve read, this theory isn’t even controversial any longer.

  45. Gravatar of Student Student
    2. June 2021 at 11:06

    Yeah this is to far beyond what I know. I should just shut up. I have no idea. The leak theory just sounds “bat shit” crazy that my prior is natural. But, I don’t really know. 🤷‍♂️.

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