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04 May 2020



I suppose that life is just one damn sigmoid after another (h/t to Toynbee). Plus, for extra special magic, you get the added inaccuracies of determining actual cause of death, virus evolution, reporting standards changing for political and financial reasons. Yee haw.

I can see the point of epidemiologists' math in an attempt to divine the future or to test policy but after poking through a few papers (praise be to sci-hub) a lot of it strikes me as a combination of fitting data to rule-of-thumb functions and what Taleb calls 'citation rings'. No doubt simulations can produce equally poor results depending on initial conditions and the vagaries of non-linear systems.

Given the politics of the thing, the temptation (at least these days) will tend to favor immediate perceived danger and require overkill in policy. If you are going to invade Normandy beaches, take along 3x what you think you'll need and pray that Das Reich gets caught on the back roads.

The upshot? Thousands of politicians and business executive will just wing it anyway. Analysis is just to keep the TV audience entertained. In the end, there'll be That Guy who correctly guessed the right inaccurate numbers who'll be hailed as a genius.

Bob Hobert

GR -I have read and re-read your "ding dong school on testing" and concur with scenes 08:07 that most policy makers are just winging it, politics and perception being their major inputs.


I just love the disagreements.


My own take is to completely reopen the economy and to require masks outside of the house. But then I've thought so for a couple of months.

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