Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Not a prediction, a possibility

A terrific piece on prediction and covid from SlateStarCodex. Long but excellent. And not as long as usual!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Adapting to Change

The Covidiot Creed

A comment I left chez Althouse.
Several comments above make the argument I call The Covidiot Creed. Here it is in concentrated form:
“Predictions were high. Now deaths are low. The lockdown was never needed.”
It exists in a slight variant
“Predictions were high. Now predictions are low. The lockdown was never needed.”

Here is one of the examples above from M Jordan
“ Neil Ferguson’s model that really kicked off Britain’s and the US’s social distancing panic was a flat-out lie. His “model” spewed out 2.2 million US deaths, 500,000 Brits. As soon as this swayed Boris Johnson, he lowered his British death projections to 20,000. ”

Here is another, subtler example, from ST
“This panic was wildly overblown so they could run around like little Hitlers ordering shutdowns and telling people to hide in their homes.”
We can argue whether almost 2000 deaths a day are overblown of course, but it is certainly a lower figure than the original projections, and so ST concludes the measures take were just budding Hilterism, unconnected to that reduction. 

Of course the Covidiot Creed is entirely wrong. Here is what actually happened
Predictions were high death counts *unless we increase social distancing.*
We increased social distancing, in many cases with lockdowns.
The worst case did not happen, and new predictions *based on keeping the social distancing* were lower.
Social distancing saved lives.

There are other problems with the Covidiot Creed. Deaths are not low, they are just not as high as they might have been. Projections are not really low since they only go a few months, they are just not as high as they were. And the lower ones all assume the measures will continue.
But this absurd and dangerous Covidiot Creed is all over this blog.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Evergreen Redux

Coyne, who has been terrific on this stuff, has links to a documentary. Here.

Saturday, April 4, 2020