Note to journalists: "We are finding more infected because we are testing more" is a misleading thing to report.

When you write anything about testing, it's the 'rate' of infected that matters. If they test more, the rate of infected should go down. ⬇
From a journalistic perspective, we need to think a lot more about outcomes. Think about how the public will react when they read what you write.

If you write: "They test more so we see more infected", people will think: "Oh yeah, that makes sense. So everything is fine."
But if the rate of infected isn't going down as they increase the test level, then things are not fine. Instead, the public needs to do more to stop the virus ... but they are not doing this because you just reported that these numbers are not something we should worry about.
We then see this being used as an argument for easing restriction and people going back to whatever they did before (which is exactly what is causing these waves of infected to emerge).
Take the example of Denmark: Over the past three months, we see that the number of tests has increased (as they say they have).

But when we look at the 'rate', we see that this too has gone up (although it has fluctuated).

We were at 0.3% , now we are at 0.6%. ImageImage
So things are definitely not fine, and the increase in infected cannot just be explained by "We are testing more".

As the press, we need to motivate the public to do even more to get this thing stopped. But we are doing the opposite by telling people that there is no problem.
Let me give you some more examples:

In the UK, we see that they have massively increased the number of test, and initially this caused the 'rate' to go down (very good) ... but then they got hit by a second wave and the rate has now shot back up.

So this is bad. ImageImage
In Germany, they have also increased testing, but here the rate has stayed the same. This is also bad. Remember, if you test more people, the rate should go down. Staying flat is better than it going up, but it still indicates a problem. ImageImage
In Sweden, they have also increased testing, but here the rate has gone down.

So Sweden are actually starting to get things under control. This is what we like to see. (although it's still high since Sweden came from much higher numbers to begin with) ImageImage
In France, the level of testing has also gone up, but the rate has shot up even more.

This is really, really, really bad ... and if any politician in France says: "We are testing more so we are also finding more people", that's a lie. ImageImage
In Spain, it's the same story as in France. More testing, but the rate keeps climbing. This is really bad.

Here too "More testing = more people" is a lie. Again, remember, if you test more, the rate should go down. If it goes up, it means things are getting worse. ImageImage
In Italy, they started testing more people about a month ago, but even with this increased testing, the 'rate' keeps climbing too. Again, really bad. ImageImage
In the USA, testing levels have been flat recently, and we are starting to see the rate going down. So, like Sweden, here too things are getting better:

(But remember, the USA still have many times more infected per capita than most other countries) ImageImage
In Canada, they have also increased testing, but the rate is starting to go up again, but only slightly.

Again, remember, it should go down when you test more people. ImageImage
Finally, Australia. More testing, and here, after a huge problem in July, the rate is coming down. So things are improving in Australia.

Aka, they can now say: "We are testing more people and finding less infected."

Brilliant. ImageImage

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More from @baekdal

11 Dec 20
Cyberpunk 2077 is (so far) a good Game. Not as good as Witcher 3, but good. There are however several problems with sexism. I'm not talking about the revealing clothes, I'm talking about having a female police officer wearing high-heeled shoes.

There are lot of things like this in the game, and it has no purpose. It's not a stylistic choice or help drive a specific story. This is just male developers being male ... and have apparently not realized anything that has happened in the past 10 years.
BTW: Another thing that annoys me about Cyberpunk 2077 is that a lot of people are smoking. "But," the developers probably say. "It's because it looks cool!"

Yeah... this is EXACTLY why smoking became a problem in the first place. You are repeating the mistakes of the past.
Read 10 tweets
11 Dec 20
One thing we have to stop in the media is the widespread use of 'dark patterns' (…)

Take this example from the Daily Beast. Notice that weird line next to the GDPR 'accept button'?
That line is actually the button to adjust/reject tracking, as required by GDPR. But they decided to make it look like a small grey line to trick people so they don't click on it.

Not only is this illegal, but the contempt for their readers is astonishing
In fact, if you open up the code, you can see the entire button is there. It has just been made white:
Read 8 tweets
11 Dec 20
Note to newspaper editors: That a politician is communicating directly with the public (for instance via social media) is NOT the problem. In fact, it is what a ‘representative democracy’ SHOULD be all about.

What is a problem are the lies, the antagonism, etc. But this is a problem we see across media channels. What is also a problem is when a politician can micro-target messages to different groups of people.

Those are things we need to find solutions for.
But having a politician announce something directly to the people they represent is NOT undermining democracy. That IS a representative democracy.
Read 5 tweets
10 Dec 20
Headlines in the same newspaper today:
The proportion of positive COVID tests is the highest measured in months, but fewer people hospitalized
Coronavirus is pressuring the capital's hospitals: Massive increase in the number of patients in one week.

So which one is it?
The problem here is one of 'scale' and 'focus'.

The first headline only looks at the change between yesterday and today (ultra-short term) ... and yes, technically it has gone done by a tiny amount (1.41% drop) ...but nothing indicates that it won't go up again tomorrow. Image
The other story looks at the running total over 7 days, but only for the hospitals in the capital of Denmark. So, same data ... but two completely different headlines.

Read 5 tweets
10 Dec 20
One of the advantages of buying groceries online is that when there is a problem with an item, you are notified. I just got this email:

(On a separate note. It's quite outrageous that an organic food product contained not just pesticides, but pesticides that have been banned) Image
The whole point of spending more money to buy organic food is to get rid of that. And here, they had not just sprayed it with pesticides, but a type of pesticides that are banned in the EU ... I mean, WTF Image
BTW: I'm not blaming the online grocery. They have provided an excellent service, and especially now by actively reaching out to all their customers to tell us about the problem. And I'm also sure that when they stocked these items, they were told it was organically produced.
Read 4 tweets
10 Dec 20
As others have pointed out today... this is ... expensive (they take 20.7%).

In comparison. On Baekdal Plus, my cost with hosting, email delivery, Cloudflare protection, etc. makes up only 7.9% of my revenue.

And mind you, I have a expensive dedicated server for my site. ImageImage
Also, I use Mailgun to send out my newsletter, which cost $0.80 / 1000 emails.

So let's assume you send out one email per week, and you have 800 subscribers. That's ((52*800)/1000)*0.8 ...or $33 per year in cost to send the emails.

If you it send out every day, it's $233/year
You can do it even cheaper than that. If you want to use Amazon AWS, you can lower this price to $0.10 per 1000 emails. So if you have 800 subscribers and a weekly newsletters... it's $4.16 ... except it's free below 62,000 emails, so you will have $0 cost. Image
Read 4 tweets

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