Rusted Out Brains

There are people who are seriously still fear-mongering on the basis of the original Imperial College projections. These projections have only comedic value at this point but many people have such an incapacity to accept new data that they will swear by these numbers for the next 30 years.

The Imperial College made a mistake. It was a huge, gigantic mistake. But that happens. Everybody is human. It’s time to move on.

3 thoughts on “Rusted Out Brains”

  1. Yeah, it now looks like the model MASSIVELY overestimated the pandemic. I myself gave it a lot of weight given the reputation of Imperial College, but I am happy that scenario did not materialize. In his book “Black Swan,” Nassim Taleb talks a lot about how often experts get predictions very wrong and they’re mostly just bullshit. I guess this is one such example.

    This article from The Atlantic addresses this:
    “Here’s the tricky part: When an epidemiological model is believed and acted on, it can look like it was false. These models are not snapshots of the future. They always describe a range of possibilities—and those possibilities are highly sensitive to our actions. A few days after the U.K. changed its policies, Neil Ferguson, the scientist who led the Imperial College team, testified before Parliament that he expected deaths in the U.K. to top out at about 20,000. The drastically lower number caused shock waves: One former New York Times reporter described it as “a remarkable turn,” and the British tabloid the Daily Mail ran a story about how the scientist had a “patchy” record in modeling. The conservative site The Federalist even declared, “The Scientist Whose Doomsday Pandemic Model Predicted Armageddon Just Walked Back the Apocalyptic Predictions.””

    Anybody still relying on this model to guide their response to COVID-19 is definitely uninformed or an idiot.


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