I'm sure that any Republican would give the same fair shake to a pandemic inquiry that they gave to an inquiry into Iraq's nuclear program 20 years ago.

A really fair pandemic inquiry into the efficacy of lockdowns and masks and vaccines would compare different polities with different polices, and see if the restrictions correlate to death rate at the end.

https://www.npr.org/2022/05/19/1098543849/pro-trump-counties-continue-to-suffer-far-higher-covid-death-tolls ... note graph at the bottom. Death on the Y, your politics on the X.

Or, just at extremes, 5400 in BC died of COVID (so far). If we'd been Floridians, an additional 15,000 would lie in their graves.

The numbers are just slap-in-your-face obvious when you compare different places.

The discussion at this site could have been made for the question of who is really making the logical mistake of "Appeal to Authority":



Legitimate Reference to Authority

The reference to this opinion is reasonable and person without deep knowledge on the topic should respect that opinion when most of the experts in the field have an agreed consensus on the matter.

If another expert disagrees with such opinion he would be probably wrong, If non-expert disagrees then he would be certainly wrong. We should take into account that scientific knowledge is evolving and improving.

Another aspect - it’s best to trust not the opinions but the facts. A bright person is distinguished not by what he believes, but how and why he believes it. His faith is built on experience and therefore not dogmatic; it is based on evidence, not authority or intuition.

Additional requirement to the expert is to be independent. The government can not reference the ministry official, they should do the scientist or other opinions leader.


By these standards, Neal is appealing to "legitimate" authority, the "I'm a cardiologist" guys are not.

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Apr 17, 2023Liked by Justin Ling

Succinct piece on a very broad topic. Cross-cutting calm is a much needed salve in our divided culture(s). Quick shout out to the latest by Michael Lewis on the Pandemic. Well worth a trip to the library. https://www.npr.org/2021/05/03/991570372/michael-lewis-the-premonition-is-a-sweeping-indictment-of-the-cdc

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So much to chew on here.

I would have liked to have seen the precautionary principle put more front and center over the past 3 years. I mostly got behind the public health message but I think and even better message from our Public Health officials would have been "We don't know for certain but we have a strong inclination in this direction so let's all do this until we get data that suggests a different strategy". To me, one of the most infuriating messages happened right at the beginning of the pandemic when they told us that masks didn't help. I'm pretty certain they were putting that message out because they were trying to save masks for people on the front lines but it really blew up in their face later.

Justin, I was pretty surprised to see you identify yourself as leaning libertarian. I always assumed you were mainly left. That whole bit about cross-cutting was really interesting. I think there's another layer as well. For me anyways, I make a distinction between my ideological leanings and my practical leanings. Inside my head I'm pretty ideologically left. Outside my head there's a lot of cross-cutting happening. I'm curious where you lean, aside from libertarian. I think the whole idea of objective, unbiased reporting is ridiculous. I feel it would be a lot more useful to understand where people are coming from as a lens to filter what they are saying.

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