Feynman Profile picture
16 Sep, 12 tweets, 3 min read
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).

4/ -A comprehensive perspective acknowledges that life is far more than a sanitized existence removed from risk. It does not view human existence only through the lens of infectious diseases. It acknowledges that we are more than mere viral vectors.
5/ -A comprehensive perspective values and acknowledges individual agency, liberties, and risk tolerance. It appreciates that humans are complex beings capable of making decisions for themselves and their families.
6/ -A comprehensive perspective acknowledges and accepts robust global data and patterns. It uses this information to *contextualize* and better quantify risk from Covid and other risks in order to better inform decisions. It embraces proportionality.
7/ -A comprehensive perspective understands that Covid is the latest pathogen in a long history of pathogens that have infected humans. It does not view Covid as “alien” or so remarkably exceptional that it exists outside the natural order.
8/ -A comprehensive perspective appreciates human nature and our species’ tendency to commit cognitive errors when under stress/duress. It makes accommodations for the possibility that human nature exposes us to extreme swings in emotion-driven behavior.
9/ -A comprehensive perspective weighs risks and rewards, views the world as complex and intertwined, and appreciates that our actions have consequences and global ramifications.
10/ -A comprehensive perspective has a deep and abiding appreciation for human psychological health. It appreciates that life is far more than bodily wellness and that happiness is not just a frivolous luxury, but a state of mental well-being.
11/ In closing, this is a non-exhaustive list of principles this humble observer believes best encompass why Team Reality rejects the narrow notion that the mitigation of Covid is the *only priority* and that normal life cannot return until eradication.
N.B. I encourage people to share their thoughts and to recommend additional principles.

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More from @19_phd

14 Sep
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).

Read 13 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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