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14 Sep, 13 tweets, 5 min read
1/ Gaslighting a Population: A How-To Guide to Generate Fear and Compliance in the Modern Age

Step 1: Amplify Fear, Kill Proportionality and Context

(Part one of a multi-part series)
Amplifying Fear
-Widely disseminate sensational, scary stories. Predict doom and gloom.

Example: Here we see a US death projection from the IHME model that has yet to make remotely accurate Covid predictions.

3/ -Downplay or ignore more realistic (accurate) projections (mirroring reality) that have accounted for improving metrics.

Example: See YG’s remarkably accurate projections (which got much less coverage).

4/ -Make vaguely fearful language/statements the norm.

Example: Here, on Meet the Press, we’re treated to doomsday predictions and the statement “it certainly looks like a new spike is coming” despite no data to support said claim.

6/ -Censor or suppress data on social media.

Example: After being retweeted by @realDonaldTrump, here we see @boriquagato get shadow banned for presenting factual information.

7/ Example: See that YouTube has removed videos from medical experts if they’re deemed different from the consensus.

Killing Proportionality and Context
-Present sensational claims or raw data without context, don’t normalize with comparisons or contrasts to known risks.

Example: Here we observe a sensationalist (and false) headline about Houston hospitals.

9/ Example: But here we see that even in the best of times, hospitals can come under some strain.

10/ Example: Here we see long-Covid presented by the NYT without comparisons to other viruses. How scary!

11/ Example: But here we find widespread “neurological effects” from influenza.

12/ Example: Deny the public vital proportionality. Here we see UK data giving useful and helpful information not reported.

13/ Example: Here we see a prominent journalist with the NYT refuse to make factually accurate comparisons between Covid and influenza. Putting a novel virus into context with a known risk would just be “unhelpful.” It’s more helpful for them not to know.

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More from @19_phd

16 Sep
The Core Principles of Team Reality: Or, The Principles of a Comprehensive Perspective to #COVID19

The present ideological divide is likely best stated as follows:

Team Reality - A comprehensive perspective

Team Apocalypse - A narrow perspective
2/ What is a comprehensive perspective?

-A comprehensive perspective acknowledges that Covid is a risk, but also that it is one of MANY risks to consider. It acknowledges that targeted, low cost mitigation can make sense. It also seeks to *balance* risks.
3/ -A comprehensive perspective acknowledges that humans do not have infinite lifespans and that time spent disrupting normal life carries enormous cost for everyone alive (hundreds of millions of years lost in the US if we pause life for just one year).

Read 12 tweets
12 Sep
1/ Why does anyone listen to Fauci? And why give any weight to his predictions about Covid 15 months from now?

We should be skeptical of people with narrow risk perspectives and objectively poor track records.

Let’s take a look at his.

2/ In late July, Fauci criticized the lax lockdowns in the US and praised more stringent lockdowns in Europe. In doing so he cited completely arbitrary and nonsensical numbers (50% vs 95% lockdowns), but also wrongly claimed Europe had “managed Covid.”

3/ But anyone with a flexible mental model of Covid and an eye on trends knew his claims were bogus. Fast forward a month and the situations had reversed. Metrics plummeting in the US as new cases surging in Europe.

Predictable for anyone but Fauci.

Read 12 tweets
11 Sep
1/ Have you been angry and frustrated by behavior from the public, experts, and governments in 2020?

We are largely engaged in a contest between a *comprehensive perspective* and a *narrow perspective*

I humbly offer an explanation: We’re in *The Availability Cascade* cycle
2/ If you have it, please turn to page 142 in Thinking, Fast and Slow. If not, stick with me. Kahneman writes that Cass Sunstein coined a name for the way human cognitive biases - as they relate to risk assessment - flow into the public. He called it the Availability Cascade.
3/ When a particular risk is presented to the public and it generates an emotional charge, especially with anecdotes, this can create a self-sustaining cycle that erodes careful and objective risk assessment by the public and policy makers.

Example: google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.…
Read 11 tweets
3 Aug
Lockdowns all over the world have been disasters. Evidence continues to mount that lockdown advocates are pushing a simplistic, un-nuanced, deeply harmful, and largely ineffective approach. What follows is an argument as to why lockdown advocates are dead wrong.

The pro-lockdown crowd bears the heavy burden or proof. It’s their job to adequately justify such draconian and drastic life-altering measures. So far they’ve definitively failed to substantiate the efficacy or necessity of lockdowns. Here are three key reasons why.

I. Lockdowns kill, take livelihoods, and cause despair.

- Many people have died *because* of lockdowns. Reduced access to healthcare alone has likely caused tens of thousands of deaths in both the US and the UK.


Read 15 tweets

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