9 thoughts on ““Science,” They Said”

  1. I was recently disputing the effectiveness of lockdowns and mask mandates, since there’s really no empirical data that validates them after over a year. I encountered some pushback saying “Well we did a lockdown and the case count eased. I’ve seen it. It worked.”

    Well, when there’s an epidemic politicians feel they have to do so something. Heck, they feel compelled to do something just to justify their position as a leader. So they do something. Then, like all epidemics, things eventually get better. The politicians and their supports point to the things they did, and then do the easing of the epidemic, and say “See, we did that!”

    Well, first off, correlation doesn’t mean causation, and in the case of the lockdowns, there’s often not even any correlation. My state could have instead burned a bunch of witches and likely had the same result, and would have ended up with people insisting that Covid must have been getting spread by witches because “I saw it.”

    1. Then, like all epidemics, things eventually get better.

      The problem with that statement is that the improvement is on a timescale that is much faster than natural improvement through eventual herd immunity could explain – people aren’t getting infected that quickly with covid. Things “eventually” got better real soon real fast. Same with the advent of covid vaccination.

      If the behavioral rules and vaccination don’t work, then how do we get all these sudden drops of the past in infection rates? Something is responsible. If it’s not the above, I’d like to know what it is.

      My take is that we should already know what it is from the 1918 flu pandemic. No vaccine, but isolation and to a lesser extent masking were both shown to work to greatly reduce the death toll from the disease. Finally, from the article, when someone writes:

      We now know from data that a prior case of COVID offers immunity as robust as vaccination—if not better.

      Unless, of course, you die first – covid being more lethal than the vaccine for almost all age groups. And it’s a fundamental failure if you get the disease in the first place. That’s the whole point of the vaccine – so you can get resistance to covid without having to catch the disease first.

      I think the model we should be looking at here is measles vaccination. Because of that, we in the US have at least a three orders of magnitude drop in cases even though measles still thrives throughout much of the developing world and repeatedly enters the US. And the vaccination for measles is imperfect – you can still catch and spread the disease.

      Just because there is covid elsewhere in the world, doesn’t mean we can’t eliminate it almost completely in the US. But it does requite more of us than at present to get vaccinated, among other precautionary measures, in order for that to work.

      I guess the real question here is how valuable is near elimination of covid to you?

      1. But it does requite more of us than at present to get vaccinated

        You’ll need to point to something that demonstrates that. And before you simply point to something that shows “80% of all COVID-positive hospital admissions are unvaxed” you should keep in mind that the CDC itself is no longer tracking “breakthrough infections”. If it is true that natural immunity is stronger than vaccination immunity then making a blunt statement like “not enough of us are vaccinated” isn’t defendable.

      2. The deal with measles, “they” tell me is 1) that virus doesn’t mutate in a way to reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine for it, 2) the vaccine is a highly effective as anything for anything else and 3) this vaccine prevents you from catching measles in a form that you can spread it, even if it protects you from its worst consequences.

        I am pro vaccine and pro masks, but people seem to act like these are impermeable shields.

  2. Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air has a post on “Joe Biden’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day”, a triple whammy of the botched drone strike, the FDA holding firm against the president’s planned rollout of booster shots on Monday and France calling in their ambassador regarding the Anglosphere countries of US, UK and Australia ganging up on them regarding a deal for Australia to purchase French non-nuclear (presumably state-of-the-art diesel electric, maybe with air-independent propulsion) submarines.

    The tragic mistaken drone strike could be attributed to “fog of war”, the situation with the booster shots speaks to an embarrassing lack of coordination between the West Wing and a crucial Federal agency, the sort of thing that was supposed to occur when Mr. Trump’s band of amateurs were in charge.

    The France thing, however, is a serious case of lowering one’s trousers and voiding oneself in the punch bowl. The Biden campaign pitch was a return to normalcy where we would stop insulting our (Western European) allies (our Eastern European and Balkan allies simply loved Mr. Trump and our Establishment in the US thought this something like the French loving entertainer Jerry Lewis that they simply could not figure out).

    If Mr. Biden is a figurehead, a puppet as claimed by the right and that the real executive power is Ron Klain, Susan Rice, Dr. Jill Biden and maybe Valerie Jarrett, how did this thing with France ever happen? Is Antony Blinken that out of his element? Is 82nd Airborne veteran Lloyd Austin out of the loop?

    Mr. Biden often no longer makes sense, if he ever did, but I thought the deal is that he would have experienced, competent people advising him and he would follow that advice? When one elects a president, one is not electing one person, one is putting into office the whole infrastructure, the whole ecosystem, the whole network that goes with that person. Instead of the stuff-show of the maniacs working for Mr. Trump, we were supposed to get the adults back?

    What is going on?

    1. What’s scary is the idea that instead of that “Presidium” that you mention, it’s SloJoe* who’s actually in charge, and making these decisions. And the so-called “adults” are letting him.

      1. But why are the “adults” letting him?

        Maybe even in his dotage, he is a force to be reckoned with and they don’t want to “cross” him? Maybe Dr. Jill would look at them sideways?

  3. Much as I admire Professor Hanson, as a scholar, as a pundit and as a farmer, his claim

    ““Modern monetary theory” defies millennia of evidence and basic logic in stating governments can simply print money without worrying about balancing expenditures with revenues or inflating the currency to ruination. ”

    is arguably wrong. Modern monetary theory claims that if there is a “demand gap” that is pushing the economy into recession, government spending can boost the economy by filling that gap. Tell me that economist Larry Summers, Treasury Secretary under President Clinton, Economic Advisor under President Obama isn’t a proponent of Modern monetary theory?

    Dr. Summers, no Libertarian/Austrian School/Deficit Hawk right-winger is telling us that when he advised President Obama on The Stimulus, there was indeed a demand gap and history showed that The Stimulus was not inflationary. He is warning that the current Demand Gap has already been filled by rounds of Stimulus during the COVID crisis, and that the last 2 trillion-dollar round along with the 1.2 Trillion Infrastructure proposal let alone the 3.5 Trillion Green Jobs thingy have no demand gap to fill and are going to stoke inflation.

    Could it be that the Biden Administration and its allies in Congress are not following any semblance of a monetary theory, Modern nor Ancient?

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