Québec – Covid-19 – Mask/Masque Obligatoire/Mandatory – Exemption

-edit- 18:00 7/29/2020 – The Ontario Civil Liberties Association on civil disobedience against mandatory masks: http://ocla.ca/ocla-recommends-civil-disobedience-against-mandatory-masking/

Québec – Covid-19 – Mask/Masque Obligatoire/Mandatory – Exemption

A news bit about mandatory masks for everybody in Québec: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/mandatory-masks-questions-answers-1.5653407

Note where it says:

“Are there any exemptions?

People with medical conditions such as serious cardio-respiratory problems will be exempted, as will children under the age of 12. Those who are unable to remove their mask without the help of another person are also exempt.

No certificate proving a medical condition will be necessary — in a statement to CBC, the Health Ministry said it “trusts in people’s good judgment.””

Note the particular statement at the end: “…the Health Ministry said “trusts in people’s good judgement.””.

This implies that somehow it’s allowed to ask, request or otherwise force one to reveal or present a document proving the exemption, including if the basis for it is medical thereby standing as mandatory disclosure of private medical information for the purpose of conforming to the Law.

The fact is, it’s prohibited to ask or request or otherwise force one to disclose any information that would warrant an exemption here, thereby exposing the fallacy uttered by the Health Ministry in this matter. In effect, this gives a blank defense against a mandatory mask:

Say plainly “I am exempt”.

When asked to elaborate in any way, don’t bother, just go shop elsewhere. Otherwise, you’d start an argument that cannot be resolved on the spot, and instead is more likely to cause trouble and escalate up to calling the cops and so forth. You’d be in your right to contest on the basis that the shop owner cannot ask/request/force you to disclose the information, but that’s for a court, not a shop owner, to rule on.

One incident alleged to have occurred as a consequence of a person refusing to wear a mask: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/fatal-haliburton-shooting-siu-1.5650761

It is yet to be determined whether, or to what extent, this incident is related to mandatory mask or not. I reserve my opinion on the incident until I have more information on it, or forever.

Any trouble resulting from on-the-spot objection is unlikely to go that far, but avoiding any trouble by not arguing with the shop owner and shopping elsewhere is the best course of action, in my humble opinion.

Just today, I went to the shop, the clerk asked about wearing a mask. I replied “I am exempt”. I bought my stuff, got out and that was that. I had the idea that somehow I could argue on the spot, but I’ve promptly changed my mind on that. It’s not the only shop that sells what I want, I can shop elsewhere. And most importantly, once I said “I am exempt”, that was that, no further discussion. The least bit of trouble for any reason, the better. We could argue the least trouble is to just wear a mask, but I believe at this point that, on several aspects, mandatory mask is unconstitutional and cannot be justified, and on some level it stands as a first step in a dangerous slippery slope that, in the worst case sceneario, logically leads to mandatory vaccine.

In anticipation of an objection on the basis of this good judgement, it could be argued that my judgement, or the judgement of anybody who would do something similar as I write here, consider the following. I argue reasonable aspects of Law, where for example one cannot be compelled to disclose private medical information, and where I advise to avoid trouble by shopping elsewhere. Based on that argument, can it be posited that I demonstrate, or that anybody would demonstrate, bad judgement for the situation? The good judgement here is presumed, which means the burden of proof otherwise is on the legal prosecutor in the event of a legal dispute on the matter. This means that even though I now argue that my good judgement, or the good judgement of others who would do similar to what I write here, is unlikely to be compromised, it’s not my burden to prove my good judgement. My, and others’, good judgement is presumed.


Une nouvelle au sujet du masque obligatoire au Quebec: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/mandatory-masks-questions-answers-1.5653407

Notez la phrase au bas de l’article: “……the Health Ministry said “trusts in people’s good judgement.”” Se traduit: “…le Ministère de la Santé fait confiance au bon jugement du peuple.”

Cette phrase donne l’impression qu’il est autorise de demander preuve d’exemption, mais en fait ceci est interdit, par exemple en raison que l’information à la base de l’exemption est médicale et que nul ne peut être contraint a dévoiler cette information privée. Ceci fait donc un sophisme des mots du Ministère de la Santé à se sujet. En occurrence, cela donne droit de se défendre du masque obligatoire comme ceci:

Dites “Je suis exempté”.

Si on vous demande d’élaborer, allez magasiner ailleurs. Ça vaut pas la peine de commencer une discussion de droits qui ne peut se résoudre sur place, ou même s’empirer jusqu’à impliquer les policiers.

Je me suis prépare mentalement pour allez au magasin aujourd’hui, en anticipant une opposition à dire “Je suis exempté”. Mais ça c’est passe normalement, sans problème.

Si une objection est présentée dans le contexte de mon bon jugement, ou du bon jugement de n’importe qui, au sujet de mes arguments ici, notez que mon bon jugement et le bon jugement de n’importe qui est présumé, et par un principe de Loi (innocent jusqu’à preuve du contraire), et par la déclaration publique au sujet du masque obligatoire (“au bon jugement du peuple”). Ça veut dire que le fardeau est avec le procureur, en occurrence d’une poursuite en justice et de tout autres procédures judiciaires.

My opinion on several aspects of the whole situation here, follow the links: https://wannagitmyball.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/the-public-health-act-repeal-common-denominator/

Martin Levac copyright 18:06 7/25/2020


The Public Health Act – Repeal – Common Denominator

The Public Health Act – Repeal – Common Denominator

The dilemma is as follows.

Doom is on the horizon, the minister must make a decision, turns to advisers for models and predictions. The advisers have a choice. Either:

> Predict doom if nothing is done. The minister now has a choice. Either:

>> Do nothing. From there, either:

>>> Doom comes. Minister is blamed for doing nothing.

>>> Doom does not come, the prediction was wrong. Still blamed for not even trying.


> Predict business as usual if nothing is done. The minister how has a choice. Either:

>> Do nothing. From there, either:

>>> Doom comes, the prediction was wrong. Minister is blamed for doing nothing.

>>> Doom does not come. Still blamed for not even trying.

The common denominator here is that doing nothing always results in blame. And, doing something results in at least some congratulations for at least doing something even if doom does not come: At least, you tried. Furthermore, if the prediction was that doom would occur if nothing was done, and doom does not come, this can be played where doing something can be deemed to have been effective: See, we prevented doom by doing something.

The dilemma continues, in light of the only safe option being doing something. Either:

> Doom comes, something was done. This something is bad, it infringes on rights and freedoms, causes damage in the form of an instantenous economic recession, hundreds of thousands lose their job, not to mention the various other consequences psychologically, physiologically, depression, anxiety, suicides, loss of property from bankruptcy, social upheaval and repression of same, isolation of individuals who otherwise have minimal if any autonomy, you name it, nothing good comes out of any of that.

> Doom does not come, something was done. As above, nothing good comes out of that.

The common denominator here is that doing something is always bad.

Accordingly, the only actual safe option is doing nothing. At least, there’s half a chance that doom does not come, and this means nothing bad will happen, especially not intentionally by a decision from the minister. The Public Health Act, while being reasonable on the face of it (i.e. for the greater good*), fails when the effect of its application is bad, whether doom comes or not.

Don’t do the evil in the first place. Primum non nocere.

The Public Health Act must be repealed ASAP.

It occurs to me that I should also address the assumption that doing something will in fact be effective in preventing doom. That’s an assumption, and accordingly must be tested experimentally before any conclusion can be drawn about it. We’re doing that experiment right now. From that experiment, even from a cursory analysis, what is conclusively no longer an assumption is that doing something is bad and always bad in its own right, regardless of whether it’s effective in preventing doom.

*For the greater good is a very dangerous justification, as I illustrate here: https://wannagitmyball.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/master-of-my-own-thoughts-2/


-edit- For discussion on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/JordanPeterson/comments/hti0x0/the_public_health_act_repeal_common_denominator/

Martin Levac copyright 10:31 7/18/2020


The Problem of Observation

The Problem of Observation

In reply to a question about reality on the subreddit r/JordanPeterson, I wrote the following about the problem of observation, also known as the frame problem in AI. I haven’t read much about AI, but I’m confident that the frame problem is, euh, framed incorrectly, there’s something missing. I think the following provides a more complete framing of that problem, and a more general concept that can be applied to any particular thing observed. I post it here because I think now it’s a fairly solid version of the general concept.

I could offer a different point of view, but bear in mind it may create further conflict rather than solve the current conflict.

Anyways, here goes.

The problem of observation. For a thing observed, there’s an infinite number of different points of view, except one, a thing cannot observe itself directly*.

The solution. Accumulate a sufficient number of different points of view.

The purpose. To navigate the world in a good enough fashion**.

*This point of view is impossible as a function of what I call the principle of observation: Observation = Thermodynamics.

**A good enough fashion is defined as the ability to observe a new thing. If that can’t be done, then it’s not good enough.

If you’re familiar with the frame problem in AI, then you already have a good foundation. Here I phrased the problem in a more generic manner that allows it to be applied to everything, not merely AI. For our purpose, it allowed me to develop a workable model for the brain, how it works, etc.

First principle is that there’s just not enough capacity to hold the entire state of a thing into the brain. So, the next best thing is a causal model of the thing, how it interacts with other things, how we interact with it, etc. The brain is built around this model of causality. Our senses is the accumulation of a sufficient number of different points of view: The eyes, the ears, nose, tongue, touch. Each different point of view enables to observe the causality of a thing, and a particular causality. A model of causality is built from those different points of view.

Reality then is defined as what we observe, not the model of it. But there’s a problem: Who is doing the observing? The self. Now that’s a problem when a thing cannot observe itself directly. So the brain builds a model of self. The self and the model of self are distinct, not the same. On the other hand, the model of self is contained within an, let’s say, extended self. The self extends to our hands, our feet, and so forth. It extends to the brain as well, with the brain standing as the container for all the models (of world, of things, of self, etc) in it.

We get into another problem once we logically conclude that the self, being the observer, also observes the model of self (because the self cannot observe itself directly, the model of self is the next best thing). But the model is not reality, it’s a model of it. For this problem, I suspect the brain also builds a failsafe that makes a clear distinction between the real and the models. If I were to speculate, I suspect that’s partly what’s broken in certain brain disorders.

Broadly speaking, one potential solution is to just try, then compare the outcome to the prediction. The prediction was determined from the models, the outcome is observed with the senses. Bear in mind the purpose and how a good enough fashion is defined. I’m reminded of pinching oneself to make sure one isn’t dreaming. This is the act of using one’s senses, rather than relying on the models and prediction.

One aspect I haven’t yet fleshed out is that the observer is the decider. The self observes, the self also decides.

Martin Levac copyright 17:33 7/16/2020


Echo Chambers – A Potential Solution – 2

Echo Chambers – A Potential Solution – 2

From a question on the subreddit /JordanPeterson, it gave me another idea to fix the problem of echo chambers in this manner:

The first two comments must be the best and worst of all comments.

Normally, comments are displayed according to metrics that tend to order from best to worst across the entire range of comments. This means if there’s thousands of comments for example, at a glance we only see similar comments at the top, and for a while as we scroll down. This may give the impression of consensus, when in fact there is no consensus, but all the opposing comments are at the bottom of those thousands of comments. I never scroll down all the way in those giant threads. Do you?

Doing this doesn’t exactly fix echo chambers, but it serves as proxy for what is otherwise a genuinely diverse range of opinions, where some metrics are derived directly from the user himself, such as upvotes and downvotes, likes and dislikes, and view count, and where these user metrics convert to display ranking of comments. From there, this creates incentive to engage with those opposing comments, we end up with a less polarized conversation and more representative of this diversity of opinions.

One consequence of echo chambers is that centrists no longer have a place. They are surrounded by opposing views from all sides. By putting the best and worst of all comments as the first two comments, centrists now have a place again, where they can choose to engage either side, thereby adding some measured arguments either way. It’s not that centrists are not welcome, they are, but they can’t find a place for themselves when the only place to be is one-sided for a while as we scroll down the comments in giant threads. So even though they are centrists, the place they typically choose is always an opposite, rather than some center between two opposites. Being centrists, they often adopt the reasonable position, and in this case the only reasonable position is to stay out of it. By giving the two opposite views at a glance, it invites centrists back to the conversation.

As a natural consequence of putting two opposite views as the first two comments, each comment becomes a natural target for the opposite view. This then threads down to a more rich conversation in either opposite thread. Instead, when most all top comments are similar, the diversity of replies is also made homogenous as well. This is a function of the roots of the thread, where if there’s two opposite roots, the respective conversations that develop from these roots will tend to become different, than if there’s only one root for one conversation. It’s similar to the butterfly effect, but where the tiny differences between any two butterflies grow to much larger differences in the two hurricanes.

I propose that this be an option to display in the user’s control. This way, a user has a choice to display classic, where even though there are thousands of comments, the first few will still be similar to each other, or to display the top two comments as the best and worst of all comments.

In line with my previous post about strawmannning and steelmanning, I expect that one of the two opposite comments will tend to be a strawman and the other a steelman, maybe more often than not both will tend to be strawmen. This is due first as a function of existing echo chambers that tend to produce strawmen, regardless of whether the starting opinion is reasonable or not. However, I also expect strawmanning to gradually diminish as a function of putting up two opposite views next to each other, like putting two angry kids in the same room with the instruction to “settle your differences, then you can get out of here, and go out and play”. Centrists are likely to accept the invitation and contribute to the tendency to steelman, or at least the diminution of strawmanning.

I also propose that the third top comment be representative of some middle ground. So, best, worst, in-between, and then the rest of comments displayed however. This way, at a glance there’s an indication, albeit simplified, of the degree of overall contention and polarization of any particular topic. In line with the roots/thread idea, it puts three roots to develop the conversation from.

I expect moderators to have an easier time here. The posts and comments most likely to be reported are those read by most and most often read. If the top comments are best/worst/middle, these are the posts that will be most often reported and moderated. However, also in line with my previous post on the aspect of moderation with strawmanning and steelmanning, deleting or acting against the author of either of the top posts would be prohibited because it would create an echo chamber, and I had proposed that moderation be done on that basis by way of steelman/strawman. But here, the sole purpose of moderation, specifically for the top two best/worst comments, is to prohibit the creation of echo chambers, so the steelman/strawman basis for moderation takes a back seat for those. Nevertheless, I still expect the strawman/steelman problem to sort of fix itself gradually over time.

It’s an idea, but I think it’s a very good idea. I don’t see how anybody could have missed this for all this time. More likely as not, I’m not the first to come up with it. But it’s so simple, it’s also more likely as not that anybody who came up with it went “nah, that’s too simple, it can’t possibly work”. Well, think it through this time around and see what gives.

Also, ironically, echo chambers is a topic of conversation, and this conversation occurs in an echo chamber. Also also, also ironically, free speech is a topic of conversation, and it occurs in an echo chamber, but this one tends to end up with the best/top (derived from user metrics) opinion as standing against free speech. The reason for this is that those who stand for free speech typically do not put much effort in user metrics and instead put effort in solid arguments, but those that do oppose free speech do so mostly by manipulating user metrics (not necessarilly intentionally, but as the easier alternative between the two) rather than by putting forth reasonable arguments.

Here again, the purpose here is solely intended to solve the problem of echo chambers in general, not to somehow argue for free speech. However again, free speech may be an effect down the line, we’ll see.


Martin Levac copyright 18:31 7/3/2020


Public Health Act – Section 3 – Repeal – 2

Public Health Act – Section 3 – Repeal – 2

A few additional arguments.

Burden Of Proof

The burden of proof, or cause for application of a Law. The Law applies as a direct consequence of evidence. Absence of evidence removes justification for application of the Law. This is derived primarily from the principle of innocent until proven guilty in criminal Law, but it also extends to all Laws which compel or prohibit one to act. Even in contract Law for example, the first evidence that must be presented is the contract itself, the signatures, and then the evidence that derives from this contract, whether one has fulfilled one’s promise stipulated therein.


For the evidence itself, since the Law applies to the population-at-large, and since the order(s) derived from this Law are founded on cause, and since the application of the Law affects the population-at-large in a significant detrimental manner in various ways (economic, psychological, physically and legally restrictive in terms of rights and freedoms, etc), therefore the cause, the evidence, the burden, must be at least equally significant – proportionality. In other words, the Law cannot be applied on a whim.

Cause – Medical Ethics vs Public Health Justification

The Public Health Act, from the first paragraph, is intended to:

“1. The object of this Act is the protection of the health of the population and the establishment of conditions favourable to the maintenance and enhancement of the health and well-being of the general population.”

Certain provisions clearly oppose medical ethics in that they allow to compel one, or a population, to be subjected to a medical treatment, in spite of the person’s refusal of same and the medical ethics in that regard. This creates a conflict where a medical doctor, of his own authority, cannot compel a patient to undergo a medical treatment which the patient refuses. This can only be resolved through the court, where a judge, after being presented evidence, rules, and this is done case-by-case, not population-at-large. It’s done this way because for a medical doctor to treat a patient against his will, the medical doctor must also be compelled by the court to liberate him from any recourse against him in the event he compels a patient to undergo treatment against his will. Of course, this does not liberate him from malpractice claims and suchlike, the medical doctor remains bound in this regard.

Public Health justification at the level of population-at-large bypassess all of this, and instead acts outside the court, outside the case-by-case, and establishes a default compulsion to any medical doctor who would be compelled to treat. However, the target of this treatment is the individual person, which otherwise requires the court and doing it case-by-case. Medical ethics, specifically with regard to compelled treatment unto a patient who refuses, is rendered null, and can no longer be invoked on a case-by-case basis (both for and by the doctor and the patient), thereby allowing a medical doctor to compel a patient to undergo treatment against his will, and this without the patient’s particulars which otherwise would stand as justification for compelled treatment. In effect, whatever justification was invoked to apply the Law unto the population-at-large, now stands as valid justification to compel an individual patient to undergo treatment against his will.

Domain of Application of the Law

The Public Health Act is applied in the domain of health, not of economics. However, it includes provisions with regard to costs of application, as all Laws contain, but this is irrelevant with regard to the domain of application. What it does not include is an explicit provision that allows it to apply to domains not directly related to public health, such as losing one’s job. In a paradoxical manner, it contains a provision that, although not in so many words, establishes an overall purpose of the Act which is not of the domain Public Health:

“3. Other measures in this Act pertain to the prevention of disease, trauma and social problems having an impact on the health of the population and the means of exerting a positive influence on major health determinants, in particular through trans-sectoral coordination.

These measures are intended to maintain and promote physical health and the mental and social capacities of persons to remain active within their environment.”

The first effect of the application of the Act, by way of Declaration of Public Health Emergency, is directly opposite this established purpose, where persons do not remain active within their environment: They lost their job. In fact, one of the stated (or implied if not explicitly stated) means by which the declaration is deemed to act is by way of preventing or prohibiting otherwise normal activities, such as going to work and staying there for several hours in the performance of this work – “to remain active within their environment”. These means were deemed necessary based on the principle of vectors of transmission of the virus, where “to remain active within their environment” was one such vector of transmission. In effect, Section 3 of the Public Health Act directly contradicts the established purpose and domain of application of the Act, by way of applying to a domain not of Public Health, but of “to remain active within their envivonment” – economics.

Specifically for phases concerning restoration of detrimental economic effects of the application of Section 3 of the Public Health Act, this now falls into the domain of economic measures, not Public Health measures. The Act can no longer be invoked for this purpose, where it no longer provides any legal justification or legal framework, it does not extend to the domain economics. In fact, the only justification is by invoking the risk of restoring normal economic activity too quickly, where doing so would allow the Public Health Emergency to return. This confirms the initial justification for the Declaration of Public Health Emergency, where acting opposite “to remain active within their environment” was the stated or implied means and primary effect of this declaration.

Liability – Government, Minister and Other Persons

The Public Health Act, Section 3, Article 123, contains a provision about liability in regard to detrimental effect toward any person affected by the Declaration of Public Health Emergency, where no liability can be attributed to the government, the minister or another person:

“The Government, the Minister or another person may not be prosecuted by reason of an act performed in good faith in or in relation to the exercise of those powers.”

The key principe here is “in good faith”. However, the character of this good faith is defined by another provision of the Act, which gives a tremendous amount of leeway in that regard:

“118. The Government may declare a public health emergency in all or part of the territory of Québec where a serious threat to the health of the population, whether real or imminent, requires the immediate application of certain measures provided for in section 123 to protect the health of the population”

The leeway given here is by the word “imminent”, which implies an a priori prediction rather than an a posteriori matter-of-fact. We could argue that the validity and veracity of the imminence of the justification could be reevaluated at some point while the declaration is in effect, but this argument falls flat when considering the no liability provision, where such liability would otherwise serve as compulsory mechanism to provide justification for the declaration, initially, during and post-declaration. In effect, Section 3 of the Act stands as a sort of Legislative, Judiciary and Enforcement carte blanche for the “government, the minister and another person”.

In other words, if a person lost their job (or were issued a ticket or any other legal measures were taken against them) as a consequence of the Declaration of Public Health Emergency, they have no legal recourse of any kind. Maybe I’m going overboard here, but all the government (or minister or another person) need do is demonstrate good faith, and this good faith only need be demonstrated by an a priori prediction, and the bar for veracity and validity of this prediction is not set specifically by the Act but loosely derived from how a Public Health Emergency is defined by the Act, and when a bar is set in this manner it is set by precedent but the precedent being set here is done so by application of the Law according to loosely defined good faith and imminence of prediction for the purpose of attribution of liability as consequence of the application of this Law. In further words, it is incumbent to the “government, the minister and another person” to ensure no liability, by way of as loose as possible the definition of “imminence” and by as low as possible the bar for veracity and validity of this imminence.

In most, if not all other Laws, and any other agreement or contract, a no liability provision cannot stand scrutiny because it liberates one from his obligations and responsibility toward one’s own actions and consequences thereof, and this is why a no liability provision is null and void and unenforcable in court. In short, if the government, the minister or another person does something wrong, it cannot also unilaterally liberate itself from the liability therefrom, but this no liability provision does exactly that – it liberates the government, the minister and another person from any liability.



Martin Levac copyright 16:35 7/1/2020


Echo Chambers – A Potential Solution

Echo Chambers – A Potential Solution

I wrote this in response to a question on the subreddit /JordanPeterson, related to the recent ban of many subs on reddit. I’m not concerned with the ban itself. I’m only interested in the particular solution I’m proposing here, and only as it concerns the problem of echo chambers in general. Anyways, here goes.

I’ve been thinking about this a bit. The way I see it, it’s not a problem of censorship, it’s a problem of echo chambers.

Imagine a public square was made to invite all parties to a debate, two debaters, a moderator, an audience. That’s what we have with social media, but instead of two debaters, we got millions of them, thousands of moderators, maybe more than a billion for an audience.

Now imagine that this public square with just the two debaters was made into an echo chamber. It goes something like this. It starts with two debaters, ends with a single one. Also, the part of the audience who agreed with the debator who left, also leaves. Now we got one debater, one moderator, and only the audience who agrees with the debator who’s still present. The moderator, rather than moderate a debate, now acts as gatekeeper and prevents the other debater and his supporters from returning to the debate. It’s no longer a debate, it’s an echo chamber.

In a debate, each side acts as inhibiting mechanism for the other side. This means no debater goes on with his arguments unimpeded, unregulated and unchallenged. Once one side leaves, the remaining debater now has unfettered freedom to go as far as is possible with his arguments. The arguments tend to become extreme versions of what once was reasonable.

Now imagine a disparate debate in terms of quality of speech for each side, where one side talks reasonably while the other side talks in extreme manner. I’m talking about offensive speech. This is a problem for the moderator, whose function is to allow lively debate rather than censor either side. He’s the promoter of speech, not the censor, although censorship is part of this but it’s not his primary function. Anyways, on the offensive side, the speech is so offensive that even the most offensive speech on the reasonable side doesn’t even approach the level of the least offensive speech from the offensive side. The moderator goes to work, censors basically all speech from the offensive side, we’re left with only the reasonable side. Again an echo chamber.

Now let’s say the moderator only censors up to a point, past which point he would create an echo chamber, but this is prohibited as a function of the nature of a debate. So he ranks order speech according to how offensive it is, and censors the worst of it. This leaves only a fraction of the offensive speech from the offensive side as representative of that side. That side is no longer representative of its whole, it’s now merely a shadow of itself.

Now imagine that what is offensive is not either side, it’s the topic itself. No matter what either side says, it’s always offensive. There’s no way to talk about the topic without being offensive. How to moderate this? It’s impossible. The only way to moderate here is to enforce staying on topic, or to censor the topic altogether. This is a problem because all problems are inherently offensive, that’s why they’re problems. It’s also a problem because the only way to solve problems is to talk about them.

I’ve thought about this and came to the conclusion that this kind of moderation, the creation of echo chambers, is almost exactly what’s called strawmanning. It’s the creation of a weaker version of whatever opposing view exists. We can see how this works with the offensive/reasonable example, but that’s how it works for all censorship. When it’s a true echo chamber, it’s not merely a weaker version of the opposing view, it’s the absolute absence of it, and this is the weakest possible version of any opposing view.

So, the obvious solution is to steelman. Literally. And to moderate on that basis and pretty much on only that basis. So, strawmanning would be the, let’s say, most severe infraction in a debate, because the most severe form of strawmanning is the absolute silencing of the opposing view.

It’s an idea.


At this point I’ll add something I didn’t write in my original response. The intended purpose of this proposed solution is to mitigate the creation of echo chambers, not somehow enforce free speech. While free speech appears to be an implied purpose, and it may even be an effect down the line, it’s not the explicit intended purpose.

Martin Levac copyright 23:58 6/29/2020


The Public Health Act – Section 3 – Public Health Emergency – Must Be Repealed ASAP

The Public Health Act – Section 3 – Public Health Emergency – Must Be Repealed ASAP


Public Health Act, Quebec, see section III, article 118: http://legisquebec.gouv.qc.ca/fr/ShowDoc/cs/S-2.2

This March, various Canadian governments declared a public health emergency, such declaration allowed by the respective Acts and provisions such as the Quebec Public Health Act, section 3. This declaration was maintained from that point up to now as I’m writing this, and continues to be maintained up to a point in the near future as plans are being implemented for gradual reopening of various activities directly affected by this declaration of public health emergency.

By all measures, in retrospect, and all sources agree even the governments themselves, the most significant effect of the above was a prompt economic recession. Accordingly, I rename, aptly, this specific section 3 of the Public Health Act, from “Public Health Emergency”, to:

Instantaneous Economic Recession

Barring any and all other considerations, an economic recession has always been, and continues to be, deemed a Bad Thing. Excepting this latest one, all other past economic recessions were the product of a number of factors, not one of which was a declaration of a public health emergency or anything of the sort. One notable exception, declarations of war across the globe for the event we now call World War 2.

The Public Health Act section 3 gives power to the government to create an economic recession, unilaterally and without any help from inherent flaws or factors that otherwise have caused all past economic recessions, and where all economic recessions have always been, and continue to be, deemed a Bad Thing.

Section 3 of the Public Health Act has never been enacted before, this is the very first time that it’s ever been enacted in our history. No prediction of its effect could ever be reasonably established. In hindsight, the primary, most significant, most wideranging and widereaching effect is a Bad Thing: An economic recession. This is now an established fact, which now stands in lieu of any future prediction. In parlance, there’s a big red button with the words “Instantaneous Economic Recession”, and when you push that big red button, that’s exactly what happens.

Those who pushed that big red button cannot be relied on to have made an accurate prediction of the actual effect produced. But now we know what that big red button does. Or, if we somehow imagine that those who pushed the big red button did so knowing that they’d cause this Bad Thing to occur, we certainly cannot allow them to push it again willy-nilly on a whim. The inherent flaws and factors that have caused all other past economic recessions are hard enough to deal with, we don’t need yet another such flaw or factor that can just be summoned by pushing a big red button that says right there “Instantaneous Economic Recession”. In fact, those who pushed that big red button, are the very same whom we’ve relied on in the past to deal with all other past economic recessions. They’re there to mitigate it, not directly cause it.

Accordingly, section 3 of the Public Health Act must be repealed, and all other provisions that derive from section 3 of the Public Health Act must also be repealed. This to ensure that no economic recession can ever be created by an Act of government, ever again, for any reason, whether real or otherwise. Furthermore, the Law as a whole must be combed to determine if any other Act gives the government similar powers of creation of an instantaneous economic recession, and if found the offending sections/provisions must also be repealed.


Martin Levac copyright 08:12 5/10/2020


Neuroticism – The Big Five – Minnesota Semi-Starvation Experiment

Neuroticism – The Big Five – Minnesota Semi-Starvation Experiment

On the subreddit /JordanPeterson, somebody posted his personal story, basically asking for help. His story was just a picture of his Big Five score, with neuroticism at 90. About ten seconds in, something clicked. I’d read about neurosis before in the Minnesota Semi-Starvation experiment about ten years ago. Neurosis can be caused by diet. Well then, it can be fixed by diet too.

Minnesota Semi-Starvation experiment: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/135/6/1347/4663828

So basically, that experiment’s diet causes neurosis. The mechanism is likely the deep constant hunger, but I think there’s something else going on besides hunger. I think it’s related to fat and fat-soluble essential vitamins A,D,E,K, and maybe also meat and essential vitamin B12, and most likely meat and the protein it contains as well.

So the idea here is if we’re scoring high on neuroticism, we’re probably eating a diet similar to that experiment. Let’s fix the diet. If it doesn’t do anything, at least we’re not making things worse, maybe.

So, what diet should we eat instead? Let’s use other experiments to figure that out. We got:

The Bellevue All-Meat trial: http://www.jbc.org/content/87/3/651.full.pdf

Christopher Gardner’s A-TO-Z experiment: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/205916

And Weston Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/price/pricetoc.html

This is what I wrote in response to his personal story:

OK, so now we devise a diet based on those. So, plenty of meat, no problem. Plenty of veggies, no problem. Cut the carbs, especially sugar and wheat, that’s the bad stuff. You can go down to zero sugar and zero wheat, no problem. Eat plenty of fat, no problem. For the fat though, prefer animal fat over veggy fat, because of fat-soluble essential vitamins A,D,E,K, which are found only in animal fat. Basically, you can eat whatever you want, except the sugar and wheat.

But there’s a problem when you start off by being neurotic. You’ll have the tendency to focus on a single food and ignore all other foods. It’s a problem only if you ignore meat. You gotta eat some meat for stuff like vitamin B12 and the fat and the fat-soluble essentials that usually comes with the meat. Just keep that in mind when you figure out what you’re going to eat and what you’re going to not eat. You could supplement with those, and that’s what I advise you do if you don’t want to eat meat, but between supplements and meat, meat is king.

So now you’re trying to fix neuroticism, you gotta measure stuff. You gotta see what happens when you change your diet. Figure out what you can measure with some degree of accuracy. Keep a journal of your diet, at least for a while as you measure stuff. Measure stuff and put that in your journal as well. My bet here is that the most significant effect will come when you cut out sugar and wheat. Then, when you add a bit more fat. I’m not 100% confident that’s how it’s gonna work, but that’s my bet.

If you want some support here, I suggest you go on over to my favorite low-carb forum ( http://www.lowcarb.ca ), or to some veggy forum if you prefer (you’ll have to find that one on your own, I don’t know any address for those). Whatever you decide, I suggest you find some support cuz it’s hard to do that kind of thing on your own. It’s like the whole world is against you when you do something like that. Anyways, support is important because it helps in various ways, it’s like a bunch of friends that know what you’re going through.

Also, don’t fall into the moral trap, just do your thing, you’re not there to get all militant here, you just want to fix your own stuff. Remember your goal. Remember why you’re doing any of that.

At this point I’m going to add something here that I didn’t put in my original reply.

Changing your diet is hard, and I mean very hard. It seems the whole world is against you, just pointing out every little thing that you do differently, pushing any sort of warning about such and such, especially meat and fat. And this happens even when you do everything right, people are so annoying with the crap we put in our mouths. There’s an easy fix for that. When somebody offers you something to eat that isn’t on your list of things you want to eat, if it’s not like some polite thing you gotta do when you’re at somebody’s house and they invited you for dinner, just say you don’t want to eat that. “Thanks but no thanks, I don’t want any.” And that’s that. Don’t get into a discussion about your problem, about your diet, about your whole damn life. Ain’t none of their business what you eat. Ain’t none of your business what they eat either.

If you want to discuss your story, find that support, find those people who know what you’re going through. That’s what the support is for, to help you, not to nag you about that bit of fat or that bit of meat or that bit of veggies.

Now maybe you’d think that you gotta change your diet forever. Maybe not. You can do it for a while, then change it up again. Then change it back, do it for a while. It’s not written in stone that you gotta keep doing it forever, you can decide, it’s your choice and it remains your choice no matter what you choose. You might wanna do something like 5/2, where you eat well during the week, then go off-diet for the weekend. You could do three weeks on, one week off. You could do three months on, three months off. You could try it for a while, see what happens, then quit if nothing happens, or even if you just don’t want to do it anymore, or for any reason you can think of. It’s up to you how you want to do it, if you want to do it. You’re in control, you’re the boss, it’s your neuroticism after all. Ain’t mine.

If it works, good for you. If it don’t, you can tell me to fuck off and I suck at giving advice. Fine by me either way.

Martin Levac copyright 04:33 12/9/2019


Racism Explained

I had written this in reply in this thread here: https://www.reddit.com/r/JordanPeterson/comments/dtw8x1/actually_race_and_identity_does_matter_in/

I had a small initial idea, then just went with it as I wrote. Below is the result. There’s still some contextual stuff (i.e. in reply to the OP), I’ll leave it in, too lazy to adapt the text.

We discriminate. No point in arguing otherwise. In fact, there’s no other way to navigate the world in a good enough fashion. Once you think it through, you realize it’s true. For example, all our anti-discrimination Laws are there precisely to prohibit certain kinds of discrimination, because that’s what we do all the time for everything, not just people. We see the world as hierarchies of things. This rock is bigger than that rock, and so forth. The most popular is, what’s your favorite color? I like blue, I like pink, I like fuchsia, whatever.

But here’s where your argument goes wrong. We don’t discriminate on the basis of superficial traits (i.e. I like blue, pink, fuchsia, etc), we discriminate on the basis of causality, logic and common sense, and to a high degree on the basis of utility. This rock is bigger than that rock, therefore this rock has a certain utility that the other rock does not, and so forth.

So, your point about identity isn’t actually identity, it’s some other trait. On the other hand we organize these countless traits into a much more managable set, we tag things with short names. That’s identity. See that big rock and that small rock again. Their names are tags for the purpose of organization, we don’t discriminate on that basis, we discriminate on their inherent causality, logic, common sense and utility. But we organize these things by using tags, because it’s so much more efficient to do that this way, rather than to organize them based on their much more complex causality, logic, common sense and utility.

For people, we do that too. We call it one’s name. Hey, what’s your name? My name is what’shisface, yada yada. We start with the tag first, then we pile on the causality, logic and common sense, and most importantly utility. Whaddyadoforalivin, what’shisface? Oh, I’m a widgit maker, I make widgits, widgits all kinds bro. We organize people on their tags, and we discriminate on their much more complex causality, logic and common sense, and on their utility.

So what about race, what does this tag stand in for? I propose it stands in as some form of extended family. So, we got immediate family, we discriminate absolutely on this one. No sense trying to oppose it, any opposition is bound to fail. Every single human on this planet understands the fundamental value of discrimination in this case. Family first, family is most important, etc, etc. Then we got the actual extended family, with cousins, uncles and aunts, grandas and granmas, etc, etc. We discriminate there too, maybe to a lesser degree, but still, no point in opposing that, any opposition is also likely to fail there. Then we get to the distant family, not completely family, nowhere near the immediate or even the extended family, but still, there’s some value to be found in discriminating here too. And finally we’re at the not-family level of discrimination. Neighbors, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, business partners, passersbys, strangers, and so forth. We discriminate there too, first with the clear distinction of not-family, but also with a certain obvious group belonging. He’s not family, but he’s still one of us.

So, at this point, we gotta ask. How do we discriminate at that level? Same way we discriminate with anything else. Based on known common distinctive traits. For immediate family, those traits are very distinct. We recognize family based on common traits. That’s how we recognize other people too, that’s how we recognize races, that’s how we recognize our own at-large group belonging. But those traits aren’t fundamental, they’re superficial distinctions that allow us to organize individuals, exactly like one’s name, one’s family traits, etc. This recognition is the top of a pyramid, with everything else about the individual underneath. It’s this everything underneath that forms the basis for discrimination, not the superficial traits. We use superficial traits to organize.

So now when we meet somebody from another race, everything underneath is somewhat unknown yet. The tags don’t tell us anything about what’s underneath. It’s like dealing with big rocks for 20 years, then we find a small rock at some point. This small rock looks a bit like a big rock, but its causality, logic, common sense and utility is still foreign to us, alien, chaos. Until we understand the chaos we’re facing, we discriminate on that basis. Facing chaos, with order at our back. The tags, the superficial traits, stand in for this chaos, rather than standing in for the known, for order at our back, for the known causality, logic, common sense, and utility underneath the tag.

So, now we just gotta ask. How do we change this chaos/order dichotomy? Easy: Hands on. That’s it. Learning comes from the doing. We’ve been learning like that for eons. We immerse ourselves straight into the chaos. Then come out with order instead. What used to be chaos, is now order, the known. Those tags with chaos underneath, are now tags with substance underneath, causality, logic and common sense, and utility, all of it now underneath those previously empty tags.

OK, but at this point, we still haven’t figured out why we’re racist, why we still discriminate like that. Again, it’s not based on the tags, it’s based on everything underneath. Right, but it can’t be so fundamentally different, they’re just people after all, just like us, with immediate family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, collegues, business partners, passersbys, strangers, etc, etc. No, it’s not. It’s points of contention. Specific known points of contention. If we hadn’t immersed ourselves, we wouldn’t even know about them. It’s not chaos anymore, it’s order that’s somehow different than the order at our back. So now the tags stand in for those points of contention. And that’s it for racism.

I should make a blog post out of this one.


Martin Levac Copyright 10:57 11/9/2019