This time last year I was at my doctor's office for a (different) vaccine and he asked me, "Hey, you're an expert in business and economics. How long will it be until the world economy goes back to normal after COVID?" 1/x
I thought about it as he jabbed me skillfully with a needle and said, "I would estimate 3 to 5 years. 7 at the outset. We'll have to bounce back on the scale of the tech crash of 2001." 2/x
Looking back a year later, I realize I was woefully naive about leaders. I was an optimist, which is unusual for me. I figured that we'd follow the science and then build our way out of this. I figured we knew how to do this as we did it in 1918. 3/x
I failed spectacularly, in the way many critical thinkers do, to factor in the populist, emotional, fear-driven behavior patterns. I incorrectly made my estimates based on science. I should have made them based on psychology and sociology. 4/x
If I were to estimate anew, from where we are today, I would say we're looking at a generation, at least. Maybe two, or three. We will have to bounce back on the scale of World War II. And we still talk about boomers today, three generations later. 5/x
It will be the same for COVID. There will be a pre and post COVID generational split. There will be a shuffling of the world order after the decimation of the disease globally in the same way there was after World War II. 6/x
There will soon be a generation who doesn't remember the world before COVID. The generation that doesn't remember the world before the Internet has school age children. And the impact of this coming generation on the world will be even greater. 7/x
I would not presume to guess what the economy and world order that generation will create will look like. I know it will be at least as different as pre and post World War II. It will be an order of magnitude more impactful than pre and post Internet. 8/x
I hope it will be a world of kindness but I fear it will be one I can to the past century of dystopian futuristic sci-fi. Those authors understood more about human nature than me. Star Trek was always about the Shakespeare, not how the relativity engine worked. 9/x
We've been studying Shakespeare's lessons for 400 years and we're still learning about the roots of humanity. And we don't have 400 more years to figure this out. We might not even have these two or three generations to coin the COVIDers as "old people" stuck in their ways. 10/x
Coming full circle, if I were asked today when I think the economy will return to "normal", the only answer I can think to give would be "never". Whether that's because humanity successfully transforms or we cease to exist remains to be seen. And I won't be around to see it. /Fin
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More from @mekki

20 Apr
@ron_blu @Ohdarkthirty1 Let's break it down, shall we? "Expert in statistics here." I claimed to be an expert in statistics, not mathematics. I have ample evidence to support that claim. For example, since you're at U of T, go take Blair Wheaton's graduate statistics course.
@ron_blu @Ohdarkthirty1 Next: "It's mathematically impossible" -> I'm explaining the tool I'm using in statistics for a particular inference. In this case it's mathematics. Math is used in stats. The "impossible" ties to what follows.
@ron_blu @Ohdarkthirty1 ... "linear vaccination growth". Note the first word. In statistics we set bounds for functions. I clearly set the bound of my claim around /linear vaccination/ patterns. I'm not making any claims about non-linear vaccination patterns.
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