The NSW IQ test results are in

The New South Wales technocrats are suffering from attention deficit syndrome, so we’re back to press conferences with meaningless statistics.

The Brad and Kerry Show yesterday resulted in a statement from the state’s most senior doctor with this as its final paragraph (bold mine):

Finally, I am urging everyone to continue to do the little things that will make a big difference, including staying home if unwell, testing if you have symptoms, and practicing good hygiene by washing your hands or sanitising regularly.

This statement was spoken by a medical doctor whose entire working day for over two and half years has been to be across all things Covid.

My job is nothing to do with Covid but I know that there have been multiple studies confirming the virus is exclusively airborne with minimal evidence of surface transmission.

Kerry Chant must surely be aware of this too.

Bill’s Opinion

What are our possible explanations?

1. Kerry is utterly rubbish at her prime responsibility.

2. Kerry doesn’t write this stuff and feels compelled to speak it, whilst knowing it’s incorrect.

3. Kerry knows it’s incorrect but doesn’t think it’s good for us if she updates the message based on new knowledge.

4. A bizarre alternative reason I’m not imaginative enough to think of.

None of these reasons are going to help Kerry convince anyone who has been paying attention to listen to a damn word she or her colleagues say ever again.

Line up peeps for your 4th jab of a 95% effective vaccine that prevents the spread so well that everyone you know has had the disease already.

Panem et circenses

The shortest national government term in the democratic world has expired again. Despite it being only about ten minutes ago when Australians were forced (yes, forced; there’s a fine for not voting) to choose between the Candidate for Corporate Welfare or the Candidate for Union Welfare to be this month’s Prime Minister.

If news of the date of the annual election has passed you by, this is likely to do with the fact the office of PM in Australia is increasingly a ceremonial position, analogous to the Lord Mayor of London or the wife of CNN’s Brian Stelter.

It was already a relatively pointless job prior to the Covid over-reaction but Scott Morrison’s lethargic approach to the State Premiers’ unconstitutional power grab in 2020 resulted in the continued slide into impotence.

The Unaparty have offered us two choices this year; the incumbent, Scott Morrison, and the Labor (sic) leader, Anthony Albanese.

If you can find a difference between what they are likely to do if elected, I’ll be impressed. They’re both planning to be profligate with our taxes, they’re both going to do nothing to wind back the authoritarianism of the State premiers, they’re both going to speak in a mealy mouthed way about China while desperately hoping it doesn’t impact trade.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la ça même chose, in other words.

Usually, I refuse to play the game at Australian elections. I register for a postal vote, to save me having to change my daily routine on the various polling days, and then return my voting slip with a rude picture and the words “none of the above”.

This year, however, I shall be voting. The third candidate most likely to win the most votes in my constituency will be receiving my vote (no not you Greenies, sit down), regardless of how batshit crazy they might be.

Bill’s Opinion

Previously, my vote had a net neutral impact on the Unaparty. From now on and forever, it will be cast against the Unaparty.

Regular readers here will understand why but if you can’t work it out, pick a combination of the following;

Mindless aping of the Chinese policy of highly damaging lockdowns.

Lying about the ridiculous claim of scientific backing for the majority of Covid laws, for example, mandating face masks.

Mandates or standing by when employers imposed them on people to bully them into taking medical procedures against their will.

Profligacy to bribe people to accept the above catastrophic errors.

A protest vote is a pathetic response to what we’ve had to suffer, but it’s a start. I’m still considering what else can be done.

Coerced consent

No plan survives contact with the enemy.

My employer unilaterally made vaccination a condition of employment.

I thought I’d anticipated this well by obtaining a vaccine exemption certificate from a sympathetic doctor, which was duly accepted by my employer.

However, the doctor would not load this on the official immunisation register, presumably so they (deliberate neutral pronoun to obfuscate) could remain under the radar.

I now have to travel internationally for business and the immigration department requires the record on the register.

So, I ran out of road and excuses.

Bill’s Opinion

This government coercion for what should be a very personal medical decision is morally wrong.

It’s also medically wrong – the injection won’t prevent me catching the virus or passing it on. In fact, some studies are now suggesting a higher infection rate amongst the vaccinated.

It’s also an abuse of human rights, as documented by the /checks notes/ Australian government’s Human Rights department in 2019.

There will be a consequence to this, at a minimum a protest vote at every future election, perhaps there’s more tangible actions I can take. Suggestions below, please (and no, I’m not planning to go “postal” on anyone).

Hi ho Silver! Away!

The Lone Ranger famously used a cunning disguise in the form of a mask over his eyes, causing such confusion that bad guys had no chance of ever discovering his real identity of Texas Ranger, John Reid.

As you can see in the photo above, this was completely effective and not at all a rubbish cinematic device which required the complete suspension of belief by the audience to enjoy the show.

Similarly, in those jurisdictions where we’ve “been given our freedoms back” (and what a godawful phrase that is to utter in a country governed by Common Law and a history which includes the various iterations of Magna Carta) there are still plenty of not so Lone Rangers walking amongst us with the flimsy light blue paper over their mouth and nose.

Unusually for these times, I’m of the view people are allowed to make their own health choices, and my opinion of the efficacy of these decisions is and should be entirely irrelevant to them.

If only others would afford me the same courtesy, heh?

My opinion may be irrelevant to these mask wearers and I’d never be so gauche as to confront anyone over these facial nappies (“diapers” if you’re from the former colonies).

But it does leave me with some unanswered questions though. I genuinely would like to learn the answers, so if you are still performing the Covid holy communion of applying a face mask when you are out and about, I’d appreciate it if you could comment below.

Specifically:

Do you have an underlying health condition requiring the mask, and if so, wouldn’t it be safer for you to stay home?

Do you use the medical standard N95 version? If not, why not?

What’s your best estimate of the marginal additional percentage protection your mask confers? 90%? 5%?

What data point would make you consider reverting to the mask free life?

Do you think that data point will ever be achieved or is this a permanent part of your routine now until the end of your life?

Bill’s Opinion

I don’t understand the reasons for continuing to wear the masks. Perhaps I would be persuaded by the arguments for it but these are presumably unique to the individual.

In my mind, it almost falls in to the category of neck or facial tattoos; I’m sure you have reasons, I just can’t think of what they might have been.

The critical question must surely be, what is the data point required to stop wearing them? I honestly hope they’ve thought about the answer to that question otherwise we would have to assume a terrible failure of cognition and agency by somebody whom we might have previously thought to be sentient.

Anyway, for the current time, we are back to a situation where personal choice is a thing again. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Security theatre

The term “security theatre” is credited to cyber and physical security expert, Bruce Schneier. His books and blog are highly recommended, by the way, even for people outside his industry, as he touches on the human aspect of subjects like airport security and online protection.

What is security theatre?

Remember a couple of decades ago when people other than politicians, elite sportspeople, multi-millionaires and Caitlyn Jenner were able to travel freely between counties? If your recall is accurate, you might remember being “randomly” selected to have your shoes checked through the X-ray machine.

Of course, it wasn’t random at all; each lane had a quota and that usually resulted in every, say, fifth person being selected. At one point in my career, I flew out of Heathrow so frequently, I could quite easily work out which line to join to avoid the footwear genuflecting ceremony.

Did you ever pause to wonder why this check happens? Supplemental question for you; how many shoe bomb attempts have there been in the history of aviation?

The answer to these generally unasked questions can be found on the wiki page of this Sarf Lahdan scrote.

Richard Reid was an utter loser at life who converted to Islam and became a wannabe terrorist (but I repeat myself.) Being from South London, he wasn’t the brightest candle on the menorah (hopefully that metaphor offends him), therefore he failed spectacularly in his attempt to bring down the Paris to Miami flight he’d hoped would be his last.

How many attempted shoe bombings have been thwarted since? Zero. We’ll come back to that statistic later.

The consequences of the failure of the Brains of Bromley include the ridiculous ritual of removing shoes at the airport. How effective do we think that is in reducing the threat of terrorism? Well, also from Reid’s wiki (highlighting mine):

As a result of these events, some airlines encouraged passengers departing from an airport in the United States to pass through airport security in socks or bare feet while their shoes are scanned for bombs. In 2006, the TSA started requiring all passengers to remove their shoes for screening. Scanners do not find PETN in shoes or strapped to a person. A chemical test is needed. However, even if the X-ray scanners cannot detect all explosives, it is an effective way to see if the shoe has been altered to hold a bomb.

In 2011, the rules were relaxed to allow children 12 and younger and adults 75 and older to keep their shoes on during security screenings.

So, we can’t actually scan for Reid’s preferred explosive type and we’re going to assume nobody is faithful enough to the tenets of radical Islam to use a child or a pensioner to bomb a plane. Sure, that makes perfect sense then.

Similarly, if you ever found yourself annoyed at the litter on the London Underground in the early 1990s, it was as a consequence of these two attacks by the IRA. As a Ben Elton stand-up routine at the time pointed out, “every piece of litter is a Pyrrhic victory for the cause of the Irish Republican movement”. A year or two later, a genius at the Met Police (words not normally found together) realised the problem could be solved with transparent bin bags.

The Good Friday agreement was signed later that decade. One likes to think it was the demoralising results of the litter countermeasure that forced the IRA to disarm…

On an unrelated subject, isn’t it fascinating how different jurisdictions are dealing with reality?

The UK has lifted the mandatory mask requirement and backtracked on no jab no job employment rules for healthcare workers.

Denmark and Sweden have dropped all covid measures.

Israel has binned its “green pass” vaccine passport.

Meanwhile, various locations are still trying to fight a war they lost long ago (as we parodied earlier.)

Victoria has mandated a booster shot for hundreds of thousands of workers.

New Zealand has decided 23 days isolation is what der science requires of people who waved in the street at someone who ever said the word “covid”.

Austria has police roaming the streets with throwback powers their predecessors would have recognised to stop people and demand, “papier bitte”.

Even New South Wales, a jurisdiction with a marginally better track record than most, still requires masks to be worn indoors for reasons yet to be explained.

Bill’s Opinion

We’ll be enduring the covid security theatre for years, long after anyone can remember the reason why or when it started.

Nobody seems curious as to the justification or the actual effectiveness of the measures. Yes, another study emerged this week claiming lockdowns caused more harm than good, but anyone with a brain worked that out years (yes, years) ago.

Look at this data from the NSW health website:

Remember when we needed to get vaccinated and wear masks to “stop the spread”? Well, 95% got the jabs, nearly everyone complied with the masks and still one in every 7 people in New South Wales have caught the virus. Can you imagine how widely spread it would’ve been without all those highly-effective measures? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Coming back to those shoe bombing statistics:

My aunt and uncle drink a lot of gin and tonic, “because the quinine protects against malaria”.
“Has there ever been a case of malaria in Kent, Uncle Dave?”
No. See how effective it is!”

Lisa says….

….. that it’s allright
When she meets me alone at night
Lisa says that she has her fun
And she’ll do it with just about anyone
.

Once a week, there’s a sub-headline on a story in the Australian media which solely consists of reporting on the opinion of someone else working in the Australian media. It’s Australia’s version of an “inside the beltway” story, in other words.

The person who gets the dull column inches is Lisa Wilkinson. The headlines usually start with “Lisa slams…” or, in today’s example, “Lisa fires up…”. Presumably, subeditors know the lyrics to the Velvet Underground song above, hence avoiding the more slanderous, “Lisa says”.

My claim of this being a weekly occurrence is no hyperbole either; put the words “Lisa slams” in a search engine and you’ll be presented with pages of results referencing Wilkinson. It’s a similar tale for “Lisa fires up“. Obviously the headline writers’ lack of originality and access to a thesaurus is not Lisa’s fault, but it helpfully presents us with an easy opportunity to check her consistency and prescience…..

The latest “Lisa slams” is regarding the decision by several Australian health authorities to halt elective surgeries because, well, for the same reason everything from having a cup of coffee, educating your children, buying a decent cut of meat, burying your deceased parent, getting married to visiting Machu Pichu, is currently an utter pain in the arse or a shit experience; der ‘rona.

We can agree with Lisa, it would be great if the healthcare system was a little more focused on those with decades of life in front of them as well as protecting those most at risk from Kung Flu who, as we should all know by now, are mainly in their late 80s or have shown an ability to constantly avoid the salad option in Maccas for decades.

With our common ground confirmed, let’s take a look at some of Lisa’s recent topics of “slamming” or “firing up”;

Exhibit 1 – December 2021, Lisa slams not being in lockdown yet again.

Exhibit 2 – August 2021, Lisa slams not having a “hard” lockdown earlier in the year.

Exhibit 3 – August 2021, Lisa slams apologises to the entire State of Victoria on behalf of New South Wales’ residents because we didn’t lock down “properly” (not that we were consulted about our opinion in advance.)

Bill’s Opinion

What a fucking great job it is being Lisa Wilkinson; you get to give a monologue to camera once a week, complaining in your side-of-mouth idiom about whatever it is your PR people think will resonate with the viewers, safe in the knowledge you’ll never put yourself in the situation where anyone can take you to task about your previous opinions and predictions.

In the real world, life is a little less precise, a smidgen more complicated, and not as black and white. This may come as a shock to those zero covid, lock us down hard cheeleaders, but life is a series of difficult to balance trade offs. You close down one important section of the economy and society, you discover unintended consequences appear somewhere else. Which, in Lisa slams thinking, looks a little like, “Lock us down NOW! Wait, hospitals have stopped treating patients?

Anyone who still believes, like Lisa slams did until at least last month, that there’s little or no consequence to lockdowns, has proven to us all they are not capable of thinking and acting as a grown up.

Brave soldiers holding out in the Pacific theatre of war

What is it about the Pacific Ocean and soldiers hanging on in denial of the catastrophic loss their side suffered in the war?

Take for example, Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi:

Still hoping the 17th booster will be the charm

Sergeant Yokoi lost contact with his unit (and reality) a few weeks before the ceasefire and, in the absence of any news from the real world, bunkered down in his Melbourne foxhole. He stayed there, popping up only to take the occasional shots at his former platoon (and voters).

Eventually, news from the real world filtered through and he was unable to live in his fantasy one man war movie any longer. His final act before surrendering was to lob a grenade at some visiting Serbian UN Blue Berets.

Private 1st Class Kinshichi Kozuka.

“Hands up! Don’t shoot! Blackface Lives Matter!”

Private Kozuka found himself stranded on the other side of the Pacific from his platoon after riding a really gnarly point break left hander from the Marshall Islands all the way to the north of the 49th Parallel.

After removing his facial camouflage make up to better assimilate with the natives, he quickly installed himself as Emperor, demanding hot and cold running maple syrup, never ending Tim Horton’s donuts and the world’s biggest collection of Wayne Gretzky souvenir hockey pucks, all of which were duly delivered to Ottawa in 50,000 trucks.

Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda

De-Nile is the river running through Perth (previously known as The Swan)

Lieutenant Onoda commenced his campaign in the Pacific, in New South Wales, but quickly realised his minor talents would be hidden in such a buzzing theatre of war as Newcastle, so volunteered for duty in the Indian Ocean campaign, basing his activities in the sleepy villages in that remote and strategically irrelevant coastal area.

Despite the frequent messages dropped from passing planes, Onoda managed to avoid reality for several years. Multiple possible breakthroughs after exhortations from his commanding officer ultimately failed and he is currently in discussions via field telephone for a potential surrender in mid-winter, just as the seasonal respiratory illnesses usually arrive. As his commanding officer has explained, “Onoda was never the sharpest knife in the kitchen drawer and this isolation has dulled whatever cognitive edge he may once have possessed. Why on earth did I get him instead of John Rambo?”

Private Teruo Nakamura

The ability to eat fallen fruit through a chain fence proved invaluable whilst evading capture

The last of the holdouts, Nakamura is still bunkered down on two poxy islands in the Pacific. Repeated calls to rejoin the world have been rebutted and the international community have now agreed, using the North Sentilenese People as a precedent, to leave Nakamura alone to pursue his dream of creating a caring, loving and kind society by demonising and imprisoning anyone who has an alternative opinion on any subject whatsoever.

Bill’s Opinion

Yeah, unusually ad hominem for me but, hey, it’s just a bit of fun.

I mean, it’s not like anyone has got hurt by any of this multi-year nonsense is it?

Oh.

Sic monui

dixit.

…..twenty months ago.

I turned from being concerned about the virus to realising it was “only” as serious as relatively bad ‘flu back in April 2020.

Shortly afterwards, I realised we were stuck in a destructive cycle of policy driven by unfalsifiable computer models.

Good news! The UK government might finally be exiting that phase of insanity.

Due to some unrelated political difficulties, Boris Johnson ignored the “experts” last month so we could finally get to compare their predictions with reality.

Whoops.

Bill’s Opinion

The very next time somebody claims a need for action/inaction based on a computer model, defenestrate them from the third floor immediately.

At the very least, apply no credibility, none, zero, to their predictions unless and until they share the coding and assumptions applied.

Also, bear in mind experts with models can’t predict within a factor of ten the hospitalisation rate of a virus one month ahead but we know for certain the climate will be 4 degrees warmer by 2030.

It’s almost as if, I dunno, multi-variable systems are almost impossible to forecast.

It’s long past the time we have learned to never drive government policy by opaque and unfalsifiable computer models.

Expressed and revealed preferences

This is a lesson to teach your children early and often; watch what people do, pay less attention to what they say.

Listening to people’s expressed values and preferences is far less effective as a predictive tool than observing their revealed preferences.

Examples are everywhere:

Diane Abbott – The state school system is excellent and perfectly acceptable for your children, and we shouldn’t allow schools to become more independent. My son? Oh he went to an independent private school.

Leo DiCaprio – We’ve only got nine years to halt climate change. Can someone carry my bags from this helicopter to this private jet?

Jeremy Corbyn – We need a kinder politics with no personal abuse. Anti-semitism? I see no anti-semitism.

Peter Fitzsimons – A 13 year old girl should be publicly reprimanded for a racist comment. I also made a racist comment but give me the benefit of the doubt.

(side note: Fitzsimons’ hypocrisy could fill pages here. A project for a rain day, perhaps).

Anna Palaszuczuk – Domestic and international borders shall close and open at my command. I’m off to Japan on the public purse to “win” an Olympic bid with only one bidder.

G7 leaders (and an unelected Belgian man and an unelected German woman) – We must socially distance, because this virus is terrifyingly dangerous.

A few glasses of Chateauneuf du Pape with a couple of nonagenarians is perfectly acceptable behaviour.

Bill’s Opinion

We could write a list like this all day.

To be fair, we all struggle daily with internal consistency. I imagine it’s a constant worry as a public figure that some random person with a camera phone is going to snap you doing the opposite of your public statements.

A suggestion if this describes you and your life – simply stop offering the plebians moralistic advice you have no chance of following.

On a related note, Boris is having minor difficulties as details of multiple Downing Street parties catered work events have emerged.

I mention this, not because of the hypocrisy; an expectation of 100% hypocrisy is always baked into my view of all politicians and I like a drink and a chinwag as much as the next person. No, what is more interesting is the expressed/revealed aspect to this.

Ponder for a moment the fact these parties took place in the heart of the UK government focused almost exclusively with dealing with “the worst pandemic since 1919“, handing out increasingly authoritarian, petty, illogical laws and fining people for going about previousy legal activities, preventing people from providing comfort at the bedside of dying relatives, halting education, cancelling cancer treatments, preventing travel outside a small radius from home, etc.

All of which was fully justified by the data, right?

The data.

These people had access to the most accurate and immediate data available domestically and internationally, describing humanity’s best knowledge of the danger posed by this virus. Hence the British population’s lives and livelihoods being, at best, put on hold for two years, but in many more cases hugely negatively impacted. People died as a consequence of the governmental response.

That statement isn’t meant as a “blood on their hands” accusation – government decisions or non-decisions always have consequences, but those decisions still have to be taken, so they must be taken seriously and soberly.

Those Downing Street party animals had that data at their fingertips and yet ignored their own advice, rules and emergency legislation.

Revealed preferences.

For heaven’s sake, turn the bloody News off

If you’re a regular visitor here, chances are you’ve long realised the response to Kung Flu was far worse than the effect of the virus. If so, you’ve probably also discovered the ratio of the population who have made this journey of discovery is depressingly low.

That realisation is sobering but, in most cases, we can ignore these Platonic cave dwellers and quietly carry on with our lives. Unfortunately, some of these incurious souls are our nearest and dearest.

This presents us with a dilemma; continue to nod quietly as they repeat, parrot fashion, the narrative du jour, or confront their ignorance with uncomfortable alternative information.

Personally, I’ve tried two years of the Neville Chamberlain approach with some loved ones in the UK. My frustration hit its peak this week and I pointed out the internal dichotomy of several of their beliefs. For example; “vaccines stop the spread” whilst case numbers are in the hundreds of thousands.

So, somewhat futilely, I curated the following information for them. I’m sure it will not persuade or even spark curiosity because, as we’ve discussed previously, the sunk cost fallacy is a highly effective motivator against investigation. Creating the list helped my sanity, however. It’s useful to see in one place just what utter lying fecal matter we’ve been served up as grade A caviar by the political and media class.

If you’ve also hit your limit of listening to people regurgitate the BBC/ABC/CNN bullshit, perhaps send them the link to this page and ask them how many lies will they accept before dismissing the liar as forever not credible?

—————————————————————–

There’s a quote I heard years ago, supposedly by Nietzsche; “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.

So, let’s list just a few of their lies;

  1. Masks don’t work. March 4th, 2020, Chris Whitty.
  2. Herd immunity is the plan. 10th March, 2020, Boris Johnson.
  3. Three weeks to flatten the curve. 13th March 2020, Boris Johnson.
  4. Half a million in the UK will die. 27th March 2020, Neil Ferguson.
  5. Washing your hands will stop the spread. Current UK Health Advice.
  6. Vaccines stop the spread almost completely. 3rd March 2021, Head of Public Health England.
  7. Vaccinating children will protect them from covid. Current NHS advice.
  8. We won’t mandate vaccines. 15th September 2021, Sajid Javid.
  9. 90% in ICU are unvaccinated. 21st December 2021, Professor Rupert Pearse.
  10. Freedom Day will be irreversible. July 2021, Sajid Javid.

And how did all that go for you?

In the same order;

  1. You’re still wearing masks, despite the USA CDC stating cloth masks can’t stop Omicron (27th December 2021).
  2. Of course we’re not going for herd immunity. 27th October 2020, Boris Johnson.
  3. Three weeks plus about 2 years and counting.
  4. Ferguson’s modelling software code doesn’t give the same result twice. 6th May 2020, Sue Denim.
  5. No evidence whatsoever of surface transmission, but we’re still pumping billions of gallons of sanitiser into the water system. 29th January 2021, The USA’s Centre for Disease Control.
  6. NSW is 95% vaccinated but having 50,000 new cases a day (I know several people who have had it but haven’t notified the health authorities, so maybe multiply that figure by 1.5).
  7. 94 children have died in the USA of Covid as at October 2021. That may sound like a lot but a) it doesn’t tell you what else they had wrong with them and, b) bear in mind, to show the number’s relativity, about 900 kids drown each year in the USA.
  8. Boris relied on 80 Labour votes to introduce vaccine passports among other measures.
  9. More like 2 out of every three.
  10. Surprise! Plan B.

I could carry on and talk about all the dissenting voices who were kicked off social media. An example is the suggestion the virus came from a lab; 18 months ago, mentioning that would get you banned on Facebook, etc. Now, it’s the main hypothesis.

We could talk about the claims that were made for the vaccines (I’m not even go into whether or not they are safe, we probably won’t see that data this decade);

  1. They stop you catching it.
  2. They stop you passing it on.
  3. They stop you from dying.

Turns out (3) is the only one of those statements still standing.

So, my plea to you is PLEASE get your news from somewhere other than the BBC. They’ve reported these lies without question for two years. It means doing a lot more work, you can’t outsource searching for primary sources, but question all the data they present. For example, if you ever hear a statistic presented as ONLY a percentage or ONLY as an absolute number, there’s a real chance you are being deliberately misled.

What we measure, we manage; in those daily press conferences, where’s the data on cancer deaths, suicides, lost education, missed child abuse (usually picked up by the schools), loneliness, divorces, etc. Which journalist is asking about it? Not Robert Peston, “Prime Minister, should you have locked down sooner and harder?”. Where was the political Opposition? Missing in action.

The generation before you fought and died for the freedoms we gave up with barely a whimper, “for an emergency”. Maybe it was the right thing to do, but who gets to blow the whistle to signal it’s over?

The government isn’t your Mum and Dad and the news media aren’t more intelligent than you, far from it in fact.

Sorry for the rant, but you’re being misinformed.

Bill’s Opinion

I’m currently reading Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. It’s a little wordy and heavy going for a modern reader, but this quote has truly stood the test of time:

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.