Last week I hoped that the Coronavirus pandemic would kill a few horrible ideas. One of those bad ideas involves bowing down before data models as if they were some sort of pagan god. (I should have added to that list the idea of foundations funded by American billionaires.)
Data models are not science, but most people have no idea what science is, so they fall prey to this insidious myth. In reality, data models are the opposite of science. Science is always backwards looking. Science’s ability to predict the future is terribly limited. The scientific method can tell you that, if certain things happen under identical circumstances, the results will be the same.
History and probability can, however, provide a range of probable outcomes. Ranges of probability are boring, though, and too complicated for your typical 78-IQ journalist to understand. So data models are reduced to grotesque charts and absolute numbers.
Thus, Bill Gates’s pet propeller-head museum, also known as the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) got headlines by forecasting certain metrics for the Coronavirus. These metrics inspired (mostly Democrat) governors to freak the hell out and demand millions of ventilators, hundreds of thousands of new ICU units, and four billion body bags.
The knuckle-draggers in the media jumped on these numbers, designed specifically to appeal to simpletons, and flooded the American mind with horror-story images.
Idiots began demanding the President of the United States personally design, test, and assemble one million sophisticated and delicate invasive ventilators per day and make them magically transport to New York City the way Captain Kirk could transport from the Star Ship Enterprise to imaginary planets lightyears away.
Have I exaggerated? Perhaps, but far less than the IHME exaggerated the numbers that caused the Great American Freak-Out of Twenty Twenty.
The IHME’s exaggerations and their consequences deserve life in imprisonment for everyone associated with that hideous cult, including all of its donors, however small their donation.
How bad were the IHME’s projections? Via the irrepressible Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit:
– Overestimation of hospitalizations: 8 times
– Overestimation of of ICU beds needed: 6.4 times
– Overestimation of ventilators needed: 40.5 times
Put another way:
IHME OVER-ESTIMATED DEMAND FOR VENTILATORS BY 40 TIMES!!! FORTY TIMES!!!
The idiots at IHME would flunk out of a freshman-level data analysis class on Kahn Academy with those results. Monkeys throwing darts would have produced more accurate estimates.
To put that into perspective, imagine being told you need 40 children to qualify for food stamps. So you pump out 40 little ones, show up at the government office in your virus-proof (but not N95) mask and your latex (but not hospital-style) gloves with your 40 little snot-gobblers (including the ones who are now my age) at your side to learn from the pudgy bureaucrat behind the bullet-proof sneeze guard, “Oh, we made a mistake. You only needed one child to qualify for food stamps.”
I mean, God bless all those wonderful lives you brought into the world, but I think you’d be pretty upset at the bureau of misestimation for requiring that you reproduce 39 more times than necessary.
But that’s not all!!!
If you really want to know how Mr. Trump must feel, imagine that every afternoon at 4:30 for 40+ years, a gaggle of reporters barged into your bedroom to cajole you and your husband to pump out rugrats even faster than one every nine months. “Your first litter is starving while you lollygag in producing enough offspring to enable the government to feed them.”
That’s exactly what’s going on in Washington DC every day. The poor president walks out to inform the country on how the war against China’s deadliest export is going, only to be harangued by a bunch of morons over why he isn’t personally manufacturing 40 ventilators for every one that is actually needed.
Meanwhile, Americans are losing their jobs faster than the New York Times can invent fictitious sources. The economy is a car without brakes or mirrors careening down a busy sidewalk in reverse, obliterating people and sole proprietorships along the way. Otherwise reasonable people are calling 9-1-1 on their neighbors for mowing their lawns without full anti-contamination suits.
And it’s all the fault of four nerds and a spreadsheet out in the wretched state of Washington, the very state that introduced America to Antifa, Bill Gates, and the Chinese Coronavirus!
This pandemic is a human tragedy on its own. People are sick and dying. Families are in misery waiting to hear whether a loved will survive. People are afraid for their health and their homes. It was bad enough without pseudoscience that diverted medical attention from where it was actually needed. The IHME has done serious damage to human lives. Its gross exaggerations probably cost people their lives through misallocation and unnecessary preparation. Not to mention the economic damage that could shorten the lives of two generations. God have mercy on all of us who have suffered and will suffer loss because of this insidious disease. But the truth of Coronavirus was bad enough; it did not need embellishment by supposed experts.
I say it’s high time we all don our face shields and march in six-foot intervals to the steps of the IHME headquarters at the University of Washington chanting arcane algebraic equations until the idiots inside surrender or destroy their laptops.
Then, let’s Make America Work Again!
UPDATE: The dunderheads at IHME have cut their model projections by 50% (h/t The Gateway Pundit):
This is crucial. Hospitals and governor LOST THEIR MINDS because they relied on the incompetent models from IHME. The need for equipment is HALF of what the governors were told. See their correction.
ALWAYS DOUBT THE EXPERTS.