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Undocumented Computer Code Used by Prof. Neil Ferguson to Advise UK to Commit Economic Suicide

category international | economics and finance | feature author Friday May 22, 2020 00:01author by 1 of indyReport this post to the editors

Undocumented Code is notoriously error prone and buggy.

featured image
Feedback from software professionals on Twitter was scathing

Prof Neil Ferguson who was the chief advisor to the UK government in the lead up to the Covid lockdown and was instrumental in bringing it about based his advice the output of his own undocumented computer code he wrote 13 years ago. In the initial stages of the crisis his "model" predicted 500,000 deaths in the UK from Covid. Then a short time later, he revised his figures sharply downward and said his model now predicted to 20,000 deaths. This incidentally is the same number of deaths from flu in the UK in a typical year. So it appears to be the case that the UK has committed economic suicide based on software that no-one else could inspect in advance nor was there any independent verification. To make decisions based on this type of methodology is nothing short of criminal. And we haven't even got to the assumptions used which obviously are on equally shaky ground given one day the model was predicting 500,000 dead and then when obviously some level of correction was done, it was then only 20,000.

Computer models such as Ferguson's one for the spread of disease are really just software wrapped around a few mathematical equations. If the parameters of the equation are wrong then the output will be wrong. Quite often parameters are based on initial guesses and would then ideally be checked whether the values used correspond to reality in real life.

Separately computer code is quite often error prone and simple logical errors can be often very hard to find in the thousands of lines of computer code. All software in industry will typical undergo multiple rows of hundreds of tests to ensure a piece of software is doing what it is supposed to do and even though most companies relying on software they have bought will have maintenance contracts to fix problems as they are found. The Linux software which runs nearly every web-server and back-end industrial scale piece of software is free software that can and is available for the public to see and tens of thousands of software geeks are involved. The same is true for many other common programs used like the Firefox browser.

The internet runs on software and there is an awful out there and many people make it publically available. This allows others to inspect, find and fix problems and is an very effective way of doing things. This is widespread and standard practice. In the software industry and community it is good practice to document the code and in cases where there are not strict commercial considerations, to make it available for other to see.

featured image
Demonstration of sensitivity of exponential to inputs

Model Assumptions Can Make Huge Difference to the Model Output

Regarding the models themselves the public needs to make the effort to understand some basic things about these and that is to be very cautious and skeptical in general. The image here of the two curves is a plot of the output of a very simple exponential mathematical equation except the difference between the two of them is a k factor. All sorts of models used exponential equations in them and ones that track "growth" and "death" dynamics would also have their own equivalent of the k factor. They may even have several. These factors represent things like the infection rate or the mortality rate. In this plot we can see there is a huge difference in the output by just a small 20% change in the k factor. When people run models they often take an "educated" guess at the value of these factors because they don't know what the true value is. It is imperative that the true real world value corresponding to it is measured and to high accuracy.

In many ways this is the question that should be asked of all the models because if the assumptions are wrong and they are often are not precise enough then you will get unrealistic outputs and it is simply extremely foolish to make costly decisions based on them. However, assuming for a moment the covid thing is all a big mistake, what we have here is a bunch of academics like Ferguson and his peers who would be in key positions in the World Health Organisation (WHO) that suddenly find themselves on the world stage making decision affecting hundreds to billions of people. This leads to question whether these people were just pawns in a bigger game since once the lockdown was in place the whole thing had a momentum of it's own and there are still many willing enforcers. It is unlikely that this can be rolled back without a huge loss of face by many, reputations tarnished and that of the media too because it has been completely uncritical.

The Undocumented Software and Response by Computer Software pundits

When Neil Ferguson announced his software it clearly came as a shock to people who work professionally in software. His response was to give it to Microsoft to put a fancy web interface on it. This is the exact same as putting lipstick on a pig!. The proper thing to do would be release it to the public immediately. By giving it to Microsoft, they no doubt will be tasked with correcting all the programming errors and putting bells and whistles on it. What the public ought to demand and has a right to know is the actual software that ran when Neil Ferguson used it's output to make Covid death projections and to panic the UK government into shutting down the economy.

featured image

There is a lot at stake here from huge financial losses, millions out of work, tens of thousands of businesses going bust and a host of other equally large knock effects. On the social side, it is now reported that up to 600 people in London alone are dying of heart attacks each week, because they are afraid to go to hospitals when normally they would go. These figures are derived from the massive drop in attendance at emergency departments from cardiac patients in hospital. Given the London population of approximately 10 million or one sixth of the country, this means about 3,600 needless deaths per week just from cardiac problems alone in the UK.

The response to Ferguson has been illuminating and revealing. Who would have thought this is what was behind the "expert" scientific models. Unfortunately the public tends to equate software with science. It is not the same thing and the science is only as good as the real world data. Yet in some ways we have to congratulate him for his honesty and openness, although . For instance here are some of the messages on Twitter but first bear in mind the following. The code was also given to github where some people will be have access to it. But what they see on github will be the modified code -i.e. refactored. It is very important to note this is NOT the original. Due to the large gaff, there is no doubt there will be every attempt to fix it up and then for supporters to chime in at how wonderful it is.

Some of the Twitter Responses

Roko Mijic @RokoMijicUK · Mar 22
(6 months later)

"A bug on line 3471 caused the model to overestimate deaths by a factor of 100. The lockdown was unnecessary

But by being in C we got a 50% performance boost!"

Roko Mijic @RokoMijicUK · Mar 23
Our society very clearly misallocates resources. A serious bug in this code would cost £ trillions yet in the past 13 years there wasn't like a whole team of the absolute best engineers getting it up to a tip-top state. I'm not blaming the researchers. It's just a crazy world.
[Update: Indy Editors note. Even if the code is perfect, the assumptions have to be correct. See image above]

CFD Direct OpenFOAM @CFDdirect Mar 23
Replying to @neil_ferguson
1/19 It is disappointing that critical decisions relating to the #COVID?19 crisis in public health and the economy rely on scientific software containing "thousands of lines of undocumented C" source code, which has never been publicly accessible. THREAD

Julia Walsh @Julia14235 · Mar 22
Replying to @tom_collings_uk and @neil_ferguson
As a systems auditor my stomach did a flip when I read ‘thousands of lines of undocumented C’.

Arguably Wrong @arguablywrong Mar 23
Or --- get this --- he could have shared the code 14 years ago when he published the first paper using it.

See new Tweets Conversation 1 more reply
Stefan Karpinski @StefanKarpinski · Mar 23
Why haven’t you just immediately released the code and allowed tbe global community to dissect it and work on it? Now is not the time to be embarrassed about some code. You’re missing the power of open source to accomplish feats, especially when people are highly motivated
18 more replies

@drklausner · Mar 23
Replying to @neil_ferguson
We don’t need your code Neal we need to understand your assumptions and how are you change those assumptions overtime

Jim Rafferty @DrJimRafferty · Mar 23
We do need the code, because otherwise how will we know if the stated assumptions are implemented correctly?
Some of these response have been captured in the screenshots below as it is likely that when knowledge of this grows that it will disappear.



author by Zahir Ebrahim - Project Humanbeingsfirstpublication date Wed Apr 29, 2020 22:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To: Dr Neil Ferguson, Imperial College London‌, Feb 3, 2020 at 1:18 PM, neil.ferguson (no response)

Hello. I read your Report 3: Transmissibility of 2019-nCoV, 25 January 2020, Imperial College London‌. Your inquiry approach is missing something that is of utmost importance to the well-being of the common man.

I wish to draw your attention to the following letter on forensically dissecting coronavirus 2019-nCoV. FWIW:

I look forward to your comments to me and suggestions to your fraternity of specialists.

--- Letter Text ---

Letter to Virologists and Infectious Diseases Experts on the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Making

Zahir Ebrahim | Project

February 2, 2020 11:00 am | Last updated February 2, 2020 9:00 pm

My Statement on the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Making, and the epistemological problem it generates, namely: when presented with a “Virus” or its antidote “Vaccine”, how would honest virologists and noble practitioners of medical science working on infectious diseases detect that:

a) the pathogen strain (in its unattenuated killer form) is not manufactured in the laboratory and not released either by accident or deliberately and not masqueraded as zoonotic, specifically, on what scientific-investigative basis and forensic criterion might they rule that out with 100 percent confidence that it is not a biowarfare related pathogen bred in the laboratory (perhaps as demand creation catalyst for its antidote vaccine where the biowarfare is more controllable and targetable) ;

b) that its antidote vaccine (the attenuated form of the active virus that is usually patented along with its complex adjuvants to make the cocktail almost undecipherable by others for all its modalities and its long-term intent) is not part of biowarfare regimen, specifically, on what scientific-investigative basis and forensic criterion might they rule that out with 100 percent confidence that it is not biowarfare related for controlled targeting of civilian populations and/or enemy (keeping aside the questions of testing, efficacy and iatrogenicity, as well as big-pharma profits and their legal immunity from prosecution in lawsuits) ;

is appended below.

The urgency of this inquiry is underscored by the Presidential Proclamation from the White House on January 31, 2020, on Suspension of Entry of those who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus to protect the good peoples of the United States, me, from the terror of this fourth horseman of the apocalypse which the Proclamation succinctly described as:

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats. Animal coronaviruses are capable of evolving to infect people and subsequently spreading through human-to-human transmission. This occurred with both Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and SARS. Many of the individuals with the earliest confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan, China had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-human transmission. Later, a growing number of infected individuals reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating human-to-human transmission. Chinese officials now report that sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus is occurring in China. Manifestations of severe disease have included severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, and multi-organ failure. --- The White House, signed by President Donald Trump

The Presidential Proclamation speaks of “link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-human transmission.” To a commoner's mind such as mine on whose behalf the virologists and noble scientists not just at the CDC and WHO, but worldwide, are slogging day and night to keep us safe from all forms of terror, it appears, by repeated empirical experience, that many a man and woman of science and medicine, and not just the politicians and presidents, harbor the most innocent worldview of viruses, vaccines and Zoonosis, as captured in the following depiction: trusting innocence simply unable to grasp the instinct for primacy.

Caption Perspective: Oh what a difference even a slight shift can make! (Image courtesy of Desiree L. Rover's Presentation on Vaccinations, August 1, 2009)

Such innocence is of course the hallmark of politicians. But is that innocence in science professionals even remotely possible? No, of course not, because the narrow-gauge super scientists are rather well-read in the Anglo-Saxon primacy literature, and certainly not in-bred with incestuous self-reinforcement on the fundamental axioms that is the principal source of their fundings, publishings, and professional practice. I wonder which virologist would continue to be employed in CDC / WHO / and big-pharma / foundation funded research labs who might, god forbid, reach the conclusion that there is something fishy about this whole pandemic business, that it is not entirely divorced from political theses of eugenics and social engineering, and proceeded to inform the public? Ignoring subsequently sleeping with the fishes of course.

Bioweapons arsenal and ongoing development is a reality that none can deny with a straight face. We have as many creative modalities of killing as there are mad scientists. The following is a passage from my 2011 medical report referenced in my Statement on the Coronavirus below:

The larger and more pressing concern is the calculated and premeditated infection with deadly biowarfare contagion developed in research laboratories and injected with vaccines into human bodies under the deceit of healthcare (often in forced vaccination programs) – biological-bullet vaccine weapons that directly provoke the disease and its epidemic dispersion; vaccines as combination weapons (vaccines that become a weapon when combined in the same person to trigger the immune system but not weapons by themselves) that induce the body's immune system to fight and kill its own healthy cells and tissues – auto-suicide binary vaccine weapons; vaccines which affect only certain types of people with specific DNA or specific biological or immunological characteristics for selective genocide in the same or offspring generation – targeted-genocide binary weapons; etceteras. It is in this context that vaccines may come to rival the proverbial Deathstar (from Star Wars, a single weapon of mass destruction at planetary scale). The killing modalities with vaccines are only limited by the mad scientists' collective imagination, and of course by the state of science. --- What's the truth about modern medicine? By Zahir Ebrahim

What is denied however, is that it is ever used. Those who deny it have obviously not studied the history of United States' bioweapons testing on unsuspecting civilian populations, or Great Britain's use of biowarfare in the trench wars of the twentieth century, or the white man's biowarfare on the indigenous populations of the North American continent exterminating over 10 million natives as barbarians. Quite a bit of that literature is in the public domain. A great deal more is classified state secret. And thus the aforementioned epistemological questions that must naturally arise to honest civilian scientists and concerned infectious disease researchers not directly involved in bioweapons, but rarely do. Their trained skeptical minds tend to become highly directional by the complete trust and faith they repose in their institutional gods that write their monthly paychecks.

I would welcome knowing of one such veritas scientist in the world who is part of established “respectable” science, comes up with answers to the aforementioned epistemological questions, reaches a different conclusion than the established worldview by just following the principles of science but with some detective wherewithal of the criminal mind borrowed from Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, and stays alive to inform the world about their detective work! Wouldn't that just be doing real science?

I shall continue sending this statement to prominent virologists and pertinent academics throughout the world, and at WHO, CDC, as I discover them and learn about their worldviews from their technical papers. Their intelligent analysis of this epistemological problem would surely be well-informed, expert, and should be the beacon of medical guidance for all lay persons like me who harbor a skeptical mind, putting to rest all this nonsense about biowarfare pathogens made in labs and only meant for Hollywood story-telling. There is of course no such crime against humanity in reality. And whether by commission (the actual criminals) or omission (all the innocent of knowledge domain experts who deem silence and ignorance to be the better part of valor), there is of course no such thing as crimes against humanity. That is just victor's justice ex post facto. Before fait accompli, it is conspiracy theories of polymath nut-jobs and conscionable schizoids who have nothing better to do than be well-read and raise public alarm in self-defence.

--- ### ---

PDF Document The Useful Idiot's Guide To Pandemic 2020 2.84 Mb

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author by 1 of indypublication date Wed May 06, 2020 10:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Breaking news: Ferguson is running now before the spotlight shines on him

Government Scientist Neil Ferguson Resigns After Breaking Lockdown Rules to Meet His Married Lover

author by Tpublication date Thu Jul 23, 2020 20:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The question we should be asking is why did the UK listen to this guy given his track record? And was he the only advisor they listened to before shutting down the entire economy for weeks?

Here's some of Ferguson's past failures

For the Bird Flu he predicted 200 million deaths worldwide. So far the death toll was just 445.

Mad Cow Disease: He predicted up to 178,000 deaths. The actual death toll was 178

Perhaps the Animal Rights people don't realize that based on his "predicted" death toll for Mad Cow disease, millions of cows were slaughtered. In fact it was up to 14 million cows slaughtered and it would appear for no good reason and as a result up to 65 farmers committed suicide.

The laugh is that the non functioning mainstream media referred to his model for Covid-19 as the Gold Standard. In case you don't know he predicted 500,000 deaths from Covid in the UK. Lastly his institute at Imperial College London is financed by Bill Foundation to tens of millions of dollars every year. When he managed to turn the UK government into full lockdown, that is what put the pressure on the USA to also lockdown and as a result most of the countries in Europe.What we do see is Gates and his cronies hands in instigating the lockdown.

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