MIT researchers 'infiltrated' a Covid skeptics community a few months ago and found that skeptics place a high premium on data analysis and empiricism.

"Most fundamentally, the groups we studied believe that science is a process, and not an institution."

arxiv.org/pdf/2101.07993… Image
"Indeed, anti-maskers often reveal themselves to be more sophisticated in their understanding of how scientific knowledge is socially constructed than their ideological adversaries, who espouse naïve realism about the “objective” truth of public health data."
"In other words, anti-maskers value unmediated access to information and privilege personal research and direct reading over “expert” interpretations."
"Its members value individual initiative and ingenuity, trusting scientific analysis only insofar as they can replicate it themselves by accessing and manipulating the data firsthand."
"They are highly reflexive about the inherently biased nature of any analysis, and resent what they view as the arrogant self-righteousness of scientific elites."
"Many of the users believe that the most important metrics are missing from government-released data."

"One user wrote: 'Coding data is a big deal—and those definitions should be offered transparently by every state. Without a national guideline—we are left with this mess'."
"The lack of transparency within these data collection systems—which many of these users infer as a lack of honesty—erodes these users’ trust within both government institutions and the datasets they release."
"In fact, there are multiple threads every week where users debate how representative the data are of the population given the increased rate of testing across many states."
"These groups argue that the conflation of asymptomatic and symptomatic cases therefore makes it difficult for anyone to actually determine the severity of the pandemic."
"For these anti-mask users, their approach to the pandemic is grounded in more scientific rigor, not less."
"These individuals as a whole are extremely willing to help others who have trouble interpreting graphs with multiple forms of clarification: by helping people find the original sources so that they can replicate the analysis themselves, by referencing other reputable studies...
that come to the same conclusions, by reminding others to remain vigilant about the limitations of the data, and by answering questions about the implications of a specific graph."
"While these groups highly value scientific expertise, they also see collective analysis of data as a way to bring communities together within a time of crisis, and being able to transparently and dispassionately analyze the data is crucial for democratic governance."
"In fact, the explicit motivation for many of these followers is to find information so that they can make the best decisions for their families—and by extension, for the communities around them."
"The message that runs through these threads is unequivocal: that data is the only way to set fear-bound politicians straight, and using better data is a surefire way towards creating a safer community."
"Data literacy is a quintessential criterion for membership within the community they have created."
"Arguing anti-maskers need more scientific literacy is to characterize their approach as uninformed & inexplicably extreme. This study shows the opposite: they are deeply invested in forms of critique & knowledge production they recognize as markers of scientific expertise"
"We argue that anti-maskers’ deep story draws from similar wells of resentment, but adds a particular emphasis on the usurpation of scientific knowledge by a paternalistic, condescending elite that expects intellectual subservience rather than critical thinking from the public."
And yet in the conclusion they lament "the skeptical impulse that the 'science simply isn’t settled,' prompting people to simply 'think for themselves” to horrifying ends."

They then compare it to the January 6 Capitol riot.

Bizarre and fascinating document.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with comrade thersites

comrade thersites Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @commieleejones

18 Jun
"Coined in 1938 by Warren Weaver, the director of the Rockefeller Foundation's natural science division, the term "molecular biology" was intended to capture the essence of the Foundation's program: its emphasis on the ultimate minuteness of biological entities."
"It appears that some scientists who would never have identified themselves as molecular biologists were retroactively, in light of the high status of molecular biology during the 1960s, all too eager to reconstruct their careers as part of the molecular biology success story."
"This physicochemical approach bypassed historical explanations in biology & developmental & evolutionary accounts of life processes—the arrow of time. The new biology generally acknowledged only mechanisms of upward causation, ignoring the explanatory role of downward causation"
Read 32 tweets
17 Jun
"Over the past 35 years, patients have suffered from a largely hidden epidemic of side effects from drugs that usually have few offsetting benefits."

- Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 2013

papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf…
"The pharmaceutical industry has corrupted the practice of medicine through its influence over what drugs are developed, how they are tested, and how medical knowledge is created."
"Since 1906, heavy commercial influence has compromised Congressional legislation to protect the public from unsafe drugs. The authorization of user fees in 1992 has turned drug companies into the FDA’s prime clients, deepening the regulatory and cultural capture of the agency."
Read 6 tweets
11 Jun
"MIT's central bank digital currency research collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston should be published as soon as next month and rumor has it a US CBDC could be in pilot by late 2022 or early 2023."

paymentsjournal.com/its-happening-…
Read 4 tweets
11 Jun
"A dissenting view invites us to test the prevailing explanations and open ourselves to neglected ones. Through this clash of viewpoints we have a better chance of moving toward a closer approximation of historical truth."
"Dissidents (or revisionists, as they have been called) are not drifting with the mainstream but swimming against it, struggling against the prevailing range of respectable opinion."
"They are deprived of what Alvin Gouldner called "the background assumptions," the implicit, unexamined, but commonly embraced notions that invite self-confirming acceptance because of their conformity to what is already accepted as properly true."
Read 7 tweets
10 Jun
"Guided by its mandate, Policy Horizons Canada is tracking shifts in our sense-making routines, capacities, tools, and contexts in order to identify key areas of change and initial policy implications. We present the preliminary results of this work." ⬇️

horizons.gc.ca/en/2021/05/29/…
"Sense-making drives what people think they know, how they make decisions, and how they behave. It is at the heart of challenges to communicating information in ways that reach Canadians."
"It also plays a key role in overall trust in government, with long-term implications for Canadians’ views on democratic institutions and science.

Policy Horizons is exploring how Canadians’ sense-making may change in the future."
Read 23 tweets
8 Jun
2015: "Medicine & public health have played important roles in imperialism. With the emergence of the US as imperial power in the early 20th C, links between imperialism, public health & health institutions were forged through key mediating institutions."

monthlyreview.org/2015/07/01/imp…
"Another thrust of imperialism has involved the creation of new markets for products, including medical products, manufactured in dominant nations and sold throughout the rest of the world."
"Rather than broad public health initiatives targeting disadvantaged populations, the Rockefeller Foundation’s vertical orientation favored a so-called “magic bullet” approach targeting new vaccines and medications that could prevent and treat infectious diseases."
Read 10 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!

:(