As a non-American living in America, during a pandemic, I'm both awed and horrified by this country's reverence for work.
When most people around the world talk about work-life balance, they mean *quality* of life vs hours of work. Here in America, the trade off seems to be about years off your actual life.
HALF A MILLION Americans are dead because of this pandemic and as far as I can tell a huge number of Americans are OK with this. They would rather talk about the weather.
The first thing that surprised me during the pandemic was the degree to which employers simply ignored it. We were in the middle of a catastrophe so huge it had humbled the entire human race and we were still talking about how we could avoid missing our deadlines.
People continued to work.
Essential workers were expected to risk their lives for pizza deliveries. My Amazon orders continued to be so dependable that it was notable when something was actually late.
People were asked to keep their children, pets and PJs out of work video chats. What bothered me most about this was the fundamental disrespect of asking more of people who were already going above and beyond to provide uninterrupted labor during a natural disaster.
There's a big mansion that I pass regularly on my run. Early in the pandemic, there was always a big basket out front full of basic supplies with a sign that read "For delivery drivers. Thank you!"

Thanks for risking your life! Here's some toilet paper.
I don't want to argue about opening schools but where I come from, "I'm afraid I'll die" is actually a pretty good excuse to not want to go to work. It's reasonable to be fearful during a global disaster. It's reasonable to not prioritize work over your fear of death.
Fear seems right and healthy to me right now. Too many people seem surprisingly calm about all the death.
There have been riots over racism. And riots over elections. But no riots over all the dead people. Perhaps you suspect that deep down that's what the riots were really about. If so, I guess nobody felt comfortable enough to admit it.
Anyways. We're at the end of the thread. So let me repeat. There are HALF A MILLION dead Americans in case it's already slipped your mind.
I don’t have anything to promote. If you want to show support for the message of the thread, like and retweet it. Follow me for more long-form writing about data and society.

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More from @kareem_carr

22 Feb
I've worked in a lot of different sciences and what I've discovered is that each science is its own slightly bizarre alternate reality where the scientific method turned out differently.
People say you're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. But I need you to hear this: every science has its own facts. And I don't want to freak you out but they don't even agree on what a "fact" actually is.
The scientific method relies on the answers to questions like 'what is evidence'? Sciences are free to answer these questions in their own way and to define their own scientific method.
Read 14 tweets
19 Feb
You may have heard "IQ is about 50% heritable". What you need to know is that by the same logic, "Experiencing Racism" is also heritable. A dark-skin man is likely to experience racism and his kids are likely to experience similar levels of racism to him.
If that man had children with someone white, their children's tendency to experience racism would be intermediate between both parents. Identical twins raised apart are likely to experience similar levels of racism.
Fraternal twins would be less likely to experience similar levels of racism than identical twins. Every pattern that we would normally look at to figure out if something is genetic would say "experiencing racism" is inherent and genetic.
Read 5 tweets
17 Feb
Some people follow me for my statistics insights. Other people like me for my social commentary. This thread explains how those things are related. 👇
A lot of people don't understand statistics. Statistics is critical thinking with numbers. In statistics, the goal isn't to use numbers for the sake of using numbers. It's to use numbers in service of revealing the truth.
As a statistician, I believe it is my duty to not blindly follow the numbers but it's also my duty to fairly consider what numbers can tell us about the truth of things. It falls on statisticians to sit in this in-between place and hold space.
Read 9 tweets
17 Feb
I now have 54k followers which is bigger than the population of my home country (The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis). 🇰🇳

When you leave home, you dream of “making it big”. Well today I have exceeded the theoretical maximum fanbase size of my home country. 😂
FYI. St. Kitts-Nevis is in the Caribbean...
It's very beautiful...
Read 4 tweets
2 Feb
A bit of personal news. I got vaccinated for covid-19!
I feel more than a little embarrassment over this privilege but hopefully this will encourage people who are hesitant about the vaccine to feel a little more confident. I've been working in biotech for years and I felt taking the vaccine was the right decision for me.
I wasn't expecting to be vaccinated anywhere near this early but it happened because the lab I'm in at Harvard is part of an institution that sees patients.
Read 4 tweets
30 Jan
I've noticed a kind of tribal individualist that's common online. They move in mobs, make nearly identical objections, claim not be a group or believe in groups, and are extremely hostile to the identities of others.

They've also been REALLY BAD for online scientific discourse.
Many people believe in individualism so strongly that they seem incapable of perceiving anything to do with groups. They don't understand sociology as a category of knowledge or social problems as anything more than a collection of the unique challenges of individuals.
Many individualists don't believe in sociology. They see it as a false science. Since groups don't exist for them, only individuals, they don't think sociological can exist either. After all, how can one scientifically study groups when groups aren't real?
Read 11 tweets

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