by Mary Harrington
Monday, 12
September 2022
Spotted
10:15

FDA tells Americans to ‘install’ booster update

The US is now treating its citizens like smartphones
by Mary Harrington
Credit: FDA

Did a US federal agency really just compare its citizens to smartphones? A new campaign by the body that regulates food and medicine in America, the FDA, calls on people “install that update” and #UpdateYourImmunity, with a bivalent Covid-19 booster vaccine.

So, yes. But so what? Isn’t this just public health communication in language people understand? Most of us have smartphone apps or computers and are familiar with the idea of updating the software in line with new developments.

The analogy, though, set off echoes in the anti-vaxxer memeplex, where a widely-circulated meme claimed “the Covid-19 vaccines are an operating system designed to program humans and hack their biological functions”. No wonder, the meme suggests, that Bill Gates is so enthusiastic: now he can programme us as well!

As Reuters points out, this is a long way from being literally true. But you don’t have to be an anti-vaxx conspiracy-monger to grasp that the paradigm shift implied in this analogy has disturbing consequences for the relation between citizen, state and Big Pharma.

The pharma industry itself has used software development as a metaphor for how mRNA technology works. The pharma company Moderna described this on its website as “software for the cell”, writing that “recognizing the broad potential of mRNA science, we set out to create an mRNA technology platform that functions very much like an operating system on a computer”. And while it’s not literally true that Bill Gates is reprogramming our bodies for nefarious purposes, it needn’t be so for the analogy to have unsettling implications.

Firstly, it implies a profound paradigm shift: in the new view, bodily health is no longer the default human state, defined by the absence of any need for medical interventions. Now, health is attained through interventions — like a smartphone that gets better the more apps we install. “In our case, the ‘program’ or ‘app’ is our mRNA drug — the unique mRNA sequence that codes for a protein,” Moderna said.

And once we accept the principle that health isn’t intrinsic to us, but something attained through active medical intervention, the second move is to assert that such “upgrades” are not one-off events but (just like apps) something more like a subscription service. In two moves, then, we’ve accepted a paradigm in which “health” isn’t our default state, but dependent on inputs from a for-profit biotech firm, and secondly signed ourselves up for a lifetime subscription to that dependence.

It’s annoying enough to discover that a software product you once bought with a one-off payment now compels you to stay on the hook every month if you want to go on using it. Applied to our physical health, the model of for-profit updates in perpetuity has profoundly disturbing implications. Consider, for example, the eye patients now going blind again, because the company that made their eye implants has declared the technology “obsolete” and stopped supporting it.

Big Pharma has been widely criticised for profiteering from the pandemic. We should ask ourselves if we really want to accept a transition from Covid immunity as a one-off purchase to “immunity as a service”. More profoundly, we should ask ourselves if we really want to accept a view of “health” that reimagines our very organisms as structurally dependent on our ongoing willingness to pay a subscription to for-profit biotech firms, and the willingness of those firms to keep “supporting” our physical “technology”.

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Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
20 days ago

A little bit of tecchie background on this, without any commentary on the ethics or wider agendas of the FDA.

Each cell in our body is a replication factory – this factory can make anything you like (out of the ingredients it has available) if you give it the right instructions. In simplistic terms the mRNA mechanism is an instruction to make ‘something’ (which can then either be used directly or is a building block for something else).
Viruses in general hijack the replication factory inside a cell and force it to make copies of themselves, instead of the normal function of the cell, but retro viruses in particular use a very similar methodology to the mRNA mechanism when they hijack host cells, of injecting instructions into the replication factory. If an organism can get past the defences of the cell, it gets to motherlode – in theory it can then ask for anything to be constructed: copies of itself, or other weapons which can be used against the host organism. This makes the attacked entity sound incredibly vulnerable, but a single cell within a human (say) does not exist in isolation. The collective of cells form mechanisms which operate in concert at a higher level to oversee the well being of the entity overall.

The reason I mention all this is that things like mRNA vaccines are illustrative of the fact that biotech is getting closer and closer to controlled and conscious alteration of what we are constituted of – cells. CRISPR CAS 9 is another mechanism which allows our cells, our very being, to be edited – by ourselves as a choice or by external agencies hostile to our choices.

The interesting thing around that replication factory inside the cell is that it is a form of ‘universal constructor’, a remarkable algorithmic entity first created by John von Neumann (on paper) in the late ’40s early ’50s. He did it to illustrate the mechanism underlying complex reproduction.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
20 days ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Really interesting, thanks

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
20 days ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I should clarify that while the COVID mRNA vaccines do not enter the nucleus and cannot alter your DNA, the mRNA mechanism in general is capable of doing so if engineered to do so.

Aaron James
Aaron James
20 days ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Prash, there is real evidence the mRNA is being transcribed on the human genetic material.

”Mar 4, 2022A new Swedish lab study shows that the mRNA vaccine integrates into our DNA at the cellular level – permanently. Study abstract: “Furthermore, a recent study showed that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be reverse-transcribed and integrated into the genome of human cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of BNT162b2 on the human liver cell”

Frankencine

Clyden Eyre
Clyden Eyre
15 days ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

No, that hypothesis may be incorrect due to some interesting studies indicating changes in the nucleus, this is a novel virus with novel vaccines with very little track record!

Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
20 days ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

You make it sound like a fait accompli without pointing out that both technologies are in their infancy with almost no knowledge of or control over medium to long term consequences for humankind and our planet. The Ancient Greeks would have something to say about this, I reckon.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
20 days ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

Yes they are in their infancy, but there is a direction, centered around selling people what they want to those that want it. So it’s not fair accompli, choices are available and will remain so (even if pressure of different types is applied). But there is no reason to suppose large numbers won’t embrace the new technologies as they advance, and there will be some who will be willing to take risks on themselves when other options are exhausted, and more sinisterly there will also be some willing to experiment on others – e.g. that jailed Chinese doctor.

Last edited 20 days ago by Prashant Kotak
Angela Paris
Angela Paris
20 days ago

The whole pandemic we have been lied to. The biggest lie, that this was dangerous to everyone, and that the vax stopped transmission, was known to the government and health officials from the get-go. The whole Pharma/Medical industry is run on the fact that you are broken and they are the fixers. Why throw natural immunity, a concept that has been alive and well known, under the bus? Profits. Ditto with masks, the virus is 1 micron or less in size, and people STILL believe masks work. (They don’t, even the N95s) All they do is perpetuate FEAR. Brilliant scientists and doctors were censored from speaking the truth. Bill Gates is not your friend, and he owns EVERYONE, including the media. Can anyone answer why, in order to be eligible for this new line of “products” – you need to have taken the first two shots (of the Wuhan strain)?

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
20 days ago

It strikes me that this article itself puts the lie to the pejorative “anti-vaxx conspiracy monger”, who appear to have been right all along.

Aaron James
Aaron James
20 days ago

When the House, and Senate, God Willing (Inshalla) flip November 8 first action is impeach Biden on illegally opening the border, second is the Corona investigations. Let us hope Florence Az gains a whole new set of residents for their crimes against humanity.

Kevin Jones
Kevin Jones
20 days ago

About the vaccine making you magnetic? Which conspiracy claims do you think were correct? There are an awful lot, many contradictory.

Clyden Eyre
Clyden Eyre
15 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Jones

Yes, there are some things that are out there, but there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that what were “conspiracy” labelled, are now the current narrative, lab leak, 95% safe and effective etc etc!

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
20 days ago

Mary is spot on the money here. We are clearly entering a “Brave New World”. Soon we will be craving our daily dose of soma, care of Pfizer and Moderna.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
20 days ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

In a Brave New Pharma-World.

Jim R
Jim R
20 days ago

After 7 years of “updates”, my iPad announced that its hardware was inadequate to do what it had always done, and ‘no longer supported’. Its performance started to drop of course, usually due to third party content on web sites, and I couldn’t help but wonder who all these “improvements” were benefitting. The first thought I had about the vaccine ‘updates’, is ‘how long until our immune system hardware is rendered inadequate and no longer ‘supported”?

Last edited 20 days ago by Jim R
Angela Paris
Angela Paris
20 days ago
Reply to  Jim R

I think Big Pharma wanted to get on the “subscription” gravy train, with a product with planned obsolescence like your iPad. One of my favorite questions for the experts is “have they done any testing (randomly controlled trials) of the CUMULATIVE effects of repeated mRNA dosing? Answer: Crickets.

Aaron James
Aaron James
20 days ago
Reply to  Jim R

According to Drs Malone, Kory, McCullough et al, the third dose, (first booster), has already caused ‘Immune Imprinting’ and your immune system is hacked.

Most of you are already there.

”Original antigenic sin
Original antigenic sin, also known as antigenic imprinting or the Hoskins effect, is the propensity of the immune system to preferentially use immunological memory based on a previous infection when a second slightly different version of that foreign pathogen is encountered.Wikipedia

Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
19 days ago
Reply to  Jim R

Its performance started to drop of course, usually due to third party content on web sites, and I couldn’t help but wonder who all these “improvements” were benefitting.

The programmers, mostly. Without continuous “improvements”, there’d only be need of programmers when an actually new programme was being developed, and hence much less work for them.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
20 days ago

Modern medicine has nothing to do with health: it has grown out of investments made by companies starting in the first part of the 20th century. These investments were made on the base that they would better the results of the company (= normal). The fools are the people who do not recognise that what we consider normal medicine (current western medicine) is a business led model. Making people (and animals and farms) healthy is very much less lucrative and the health policy based on this would look very very different from what we are used to on the moment.
A good example for better health care: https://www.anhinternational.org/resources/documents/a-blueprint-for-community-based-sustainable-healthcare/
Sadly, all who have been vaccinated have been enrolled in a vast experiment on non-consenting (unaware) humans….

sarah rutherford
sarah rutherford
19 days ago

Very worrying…this link between tech and pharma and state. Shouldn’t we really be questioning our dependence on these phones? We are needing them for more and more of our daily lives – travel, tickets, payment … ..tech developers want us to be glued to our phones..they are winning.

Last edited 19 days ago by sarah rutherford
E. L. Herndon
E. L. Herndon
14 days ago

The experimental ‘Rona jabs remain unproven, but the calculus for risk/benefit is proving increasingly unfavorable. Hence, the exhortation to yet another “booster” is a violation of the First Rule of Holes: “When you find you’re in one, stop digging!”

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
15 days ago

Normal – non conspiracy minded – people are becoming increasingly skeptical of these vaccines. They were badly oversold and even the dimmest people are realizing this. I think they are going to have a hard time getting people to take the boosters and have damaged the credibility of the ‘establishment’ across the board.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
20 days ago

Firstly, it implies a profound paradigm shift: in the new view, bodily health is no longer the default human state”

I think that’s drawing a long bow. Vaccination is about building your immunity against infection from an outside agent. Some vaccines only confer limited immunity and we need boosters, like tetanus or whooping cough vaccines. That’s nothing new.

The idea that bodily heath is not the default state has been around forever. Walk into a supermarket or pharmacy and see the shelves stacked with ‘supplements’. I guess that in Britain you have public health campaigns (getting tested for bowel cancer etc.) and the more you are exposed to them the more you come to see your body as something likely to go haywire at any time!

Greg Eiden
Greg Eiden
19 days ago

Seems to me the default state is that we are creatures vulnerable to all sorts of biological threats. The question is what are modern medical practice and Big Pharma trying to accomplish? If “make money” is part of the answer, that’s ok as long as the old maxim, “first, do no harm” still applies. I suspect it’s not even taught in medical schools and it’s probably the punchline to an old joke in Big Pharma board rooms.

Philippe W
Philippe W
19 days ago

If vaccination were about immunity and health then vaccines would be made freely and freely available, and the manufacturers wouldn’t be suing each other over patent infringements in court right now.

(It’s business. Nothing more.)

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
19 days ago
Reply to  Philippe W

Seems to me more like business, science, government and conspiracy theorists, all mixed up. No wonder there are so many different interpretations possible!

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
15 days ago
Reply to  Philippe W

And everyone working for the manufacturers would give their services freely. And the banks wouldn’t ask them for mortgage payments, and the supermarkets would freely deliver free food to their mortgage-free doors.
I’m not defending ‘Big Pharma”s overreach – just pointing out that everything has a cost, and utopianism ultimately costs us more than anything else.