‘The Modelers’ Thought Of Everything Except Reality

This is a post from a U.S. economic research website, criticizing the ludicrously over – the – top actions taken to limit the effects of the COVID – 19 coronavirus pandemic. The responses were of course based on the warnings of “scientists” who rather than using empirical evidence relied on output from mathematical models in order to predict how the pandemic would unfold.

Needless to say the predictions were hopelessly wrong …

Via The American Institute for Economic Research,

As a site focused on economics, AIER would rather have stayed away from commentary on diseases and their mitigation. In normal times, we would have. 

The archives of AIER dating back to 1933 show that we had no comments on the polio epidemic (1948-1951), the Asian Flu (1957-59), the Hong Kong flu (1968-69), the Avian bird flu (2006), or the Swine flu pandemic of 2009, which was a strain most like 1918 and therefore, one might suppose, would have caused panic but did not.

We had nothing to say because disease mitigation is a job for medical professionals, not economists and certainly not politicians.

The problem is that this time, the disease mitigators (some of them, the ones in power and with the ear of politicians) didn’t stay out of economics. Indeed, their plans for mitigation trampled all over commerce, life, and the freedoms that are necessary to make it function. For a few months in 2020, the presumptuous model-building disease mitigators became central planners, overriding the wisdom of not only medical professionals but also economists, philosophers, political scientists, historians, and everyone else including legislatures and voters.

Our first piece on the topic ran January 27. The focus was on the quarantine power and the argument was simple: because people are not ridiculous and know how to deal with disease in consultation with medical professionals, this state power should not be deployed. At the time, people said we were being alarmist even for saying this. Nothing like this could ever happen in the U.S. because we have a Constitution and courts and a tradition of trusting the people …  Continue reading >>>

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Covid-19 pandemic is all but OVER, we already have HERD IMMUNITY, says top Oxford scientist

from RT

Covid-19 pandemic is all but OVER and we already have HERD IMMUNITY, says top Oxford scientist
The UK government was one of many that reacted to the coronavirus outbreak based on worst-case scenario predictions. But the author of an alternative model has restated her position, saying the virus is already “on its way out.”

Sunetra Gupta is a professor of theoretical epidemiology at Oxford Univer5sity. Back in March, before the UK’s lockdown, she and her team published a study suggesting that the coronavirus may have infected 50% of the British population back in early March, before the lockdown measures were put in place. The model concluded that continuing on a path toward herd immunity would be the most sensible course of action.

Boris Johnson’s government originally chose to aim for a model like Prof. Gupta’s, just as those notorious irrational hotheads the Swedes were. It soon, however, gave in to public (read: Twitter) pressure. Boris called in that professional harbinger of doom, Imperial College’s Neil Ferguson, instead.

Prof. Ferguson’s model was nothing short of apocalyptic, featuring as it did half a million dead, and bodies piled up in car parks outside hospitals – everything but a yawning crevice in the ground and satyrs raining hell from the sky. So stark was the warning that he seemed to take it to heart, deciding to treasure a few moments with his married mistress while he could. For this small indulgence, he was eventually forced to resign from his post. But his thinking informs the government’s coronavirus policy to this day … Continue reading >>>

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Determining the true fatality rate of Covid-19 vital, says another scientist with an infallible mathematical model

The objective of mathematical models of an epidemic is to predict the Infection Fatality Rate or IFR. Two extreme scenarios (and everything in between) fit the available data which as shown above is so incomplete as to be useless. In the one used by the Imperial College modellers, the fatality rate is in the benchmark of 1pc which would imply that the epidemic took off towards the end of February in the UK, and less than 10pc of the population had been exposed by time of lockdown.

In the other, the fatality rate could be as low as 0.01pc; this would require the virus to have been introduced about a month earlier and for over 50pc of individuals to be exposed by March 23.

These figures for the number of people exposed to the virius but not affected by it can only ever be pure guesswork of course. Most modellers have “fitted” their model to the , in plain English again, adjusted the algorithms to produce the answer whoever is funding the research requires from thevery limited data available on cases and deaths as reported. If fact one model used to formulate advice given to the UK government was, we are given to understan, from the Diamond Princess Cruise Liner. This corresponds to running a model of a national community based on a large number of people confined within a limited space which guarantees thel SIR model will produce an artificially high  a high fatality rate – or present governments with the worst case scenario on which to formulate policies.

But how plausible is a fatality rate of 1pc? First we must remind ourselves

The author is a “a professor of theoretical epidemiology”, in plain English another academic highly qualified in the science of making things up. How much money could we save as a nation if we just stoppeed funding these parasites and the universities that employ them. So what we are prsented with is another theoretical “scientist” who likes playing around with computers and statistics despite being spectacularly unqualified to do so. More garbage in in – garbage out conclusions.

A notable feature of this crisis has been the tendency of authority to obscure the figures to suit their purposes, both here and in the US. If the university brainwashed half – wits in government want to calculatethe likely death rate from COVID – 19 and the total all cause deasths related to the pandeimic, let them find and disclose the number of people who have died as a result of the first closure of the NHS in its history. It is likely to show that more have died of the response to the “crisis” or from causes not related to COVID – 19 after having been expose to this similar to seasonal ‘flu but not as bad Coronavirus variant.

Then we should take Novartis’s upper estimate for annual flu deaths of 22,000 and then add the above figure to that, and subtract that total from the total “excess deaths” figure to find the casualty figure for which the whole country of sixty seven million has been assaulted by idiots fooled by criminals. in the UK, the virus had two or three months to spread in the population before lockdown. And yet it managed to kill only 238 healthy people under 60 in England. For context 68,000 people died in 2018 anyway. That does not suggest that this is a particularly deadly disease for healthy people up to 60, and perhaps even for healthy people beyond that age.

Scientist who convinced Boris lockdown was the only way to beat coronavirus criticised many times for flawed research

The scientist whose mathematical models of how the coronavirus would spread in the UK and the wildly exaggerated estimates of how many deaths might result from the epidemic reportedly led to the decision to implement a countrywide lockdown and trash the economy has been criticised in the past for flawed research.

In fact Professor Neil Ferguson, of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London, who authored and published a research paper predicting that The UK was likely to see 250,000 premature deaths during a coronavirus epidemic unless measures to effectively shut down the country were taken. It is this research which convinced Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet and advisors to introduce the lockdown.


Neil Ferguson: would you buy a used mathematical model from this man (Picture: Daily Telegraph_

It is, however, always unsafe to accept the word of one scientist or one research project, and it seems Prof. Ferguson is such an incorrigible publicity junkie he has a track record for making exaggerated and sensationalised claims about the probable outcomes of various crises which is longer than the Tour de France course. It is now being discussed publicly that Ferguson has a long established reputation for making predictions based on allegedly faulty assumptions and the results of mathematical models which have nonetheless shaped government strategies and impacted the UK economy. We have to cease this deification of scientists now. They are not impartial and objective seekers after truth, but are every bit as self interested as the rest of us. And when we look at Freguson’s career and the disastrous policy decisions his methematical models have lead to, the best we can say is “He’s not The Messiah, he’sa a very naughty boy,” (h/t Monty Python’s Flying Circus.)

The 2001 model used by Professor Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London concluded that the culling of animals include not only those found to be infected with the virus but also those on adjacent farms even if there was no physical evidence of infection.

“Extensive culling is sadly the only option for controlling the current British epidemic, and it is essential that the control measures now in place be maintained as case numbers decline to ensure eradication,” said their report which as presented to government, but published after the cull began

This mass slaughter – technically known as contiguous culling – triggered disgust in the British public as news video night after night showed the corpses of healthy animals being stacked, soaked with fuel oil and burned, and also prompted analyses of the methodology which led to such an appalling and, as it turned out, unjustified conclusion.

An analysis of Ferguson’s research published in the 2011 paper, Destructive Tension: mathematics versus experience – the progress and control of the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic in Great Britain, found that the government had ordered the destruction of millions of animals on evidence from “severely flawed” modelling.

According to one of its authors – the former head of the Pirbright Laboratory at the Institute for Animal Health, Dr Alex Donaldson – Ferguson’s models made a “serious error” by “ignoring the species composition of farms,” (a fairly basic piece of information, it must require a special kind of stupidity to be unable to distinguish betwen cattle, sheep and pics,) and the fact that the disease spread more easily between some species than others.

The report stated: “The mathematical models were, at best, crude estimations that could not differentiate risk between farms and, at worst, inaccurate representations of the epidemiology of FMD.”

It also described a febrile atmosphere – reminiscent of the fear and panic whipped up by attention seeking “experts,” celebrities and the mainstream media in recent week – and suggested that this hysteria allowed mathematical modellers to shape government policy.

“The general impatience that met the wait for the full extent of infections to become apparent, accompanied by an ever increasing number of outbreaks and piles of carcasses awaiting disposal, was perceived as a lack of success of the traditional control measures and provided the opportunity for self-styled ‘experts’, including some veterinarians, biologists and mathematicians, to publicise unproven novel options,” the researchers said.

As the lead scientist behind that disputed advice that led to Tony Blair’s government ordering the mass culling of farm livestock during the 2001 epidemic of foot and mouth disease, a crisis which cost the country billions of pounds was none other than Ferguson who based his conclusion on the output from – you guessed it – mathematical models of a cow and a bacterium, it is absolutely unacceptable that this man’s advice is being allowed to influence government.

And before that it was he who predicted that up to 150,000 people could die from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or ‘mad cow disease’) and its equivalent in sheep if it made the leap to humans. The BSE panic is long forgotten but BSE is still around and still no cure has been developed, yet to date there have been fewer than 200 deaths caused by the human form of BSE and none resulting from sheep to human transmission.

Ferguson’s foot and mouth disease research has attracted strong criticism in scientific journals and therefore cannot be said to have passed the acid test of scientific research, peer review. It has also been the subject of critical academic papers which identified allegedly unsupportable assumptions being made by Ferguson in creating the algorithms and defining the data for his mathematical modelling.

When challenged, he robustly defended his work, saying that he had worked with limited data and limited time so the models weren’t 100 per cent right – but that the conclusions it reached were valid. but as every old computer pro like myself knows, conclusions based on incomplete data may be valid in the circumstances but are meaninless. Mathematical models can only be relied on if they are fed all the relevant data, if guesses are made to fill in the gaps then the law of GIGO kicks in, “Garbage In, Garbage Out”.

Professor Michael Thrusfield, of the veterinary epidemiology faculty at Edinburgh University, who co-authored both of the critical reports, said the papers were intended to serve asas a “cautionary tale” about the dangers of using mathematical models to predict the spread of disease when there are unknown factors that can probably never be known.

He spoke of experiencing a sense of “déjà vu” when he read Mr Ferguson’s Imperial College paper on coronavirus, which was published earlier this month.

That paper – Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand – warned that if no action were taken to control the coronavirus, around 510,000 people in Britain would lose their lives.

Naive belief in the infallibility of mathematics has not only led to disastrous responses to outbreaks of disease of course, which is why many people of a naturally sceptical mindset have questioned the way modern academics conflate science and mathematics. Science and mathematics are not the same thing, in fact mathematics is not even a science, although we were al taught at school that is is. Mathematics is, in the truest sense of the word, an art: that is a contractions of artifice, which is a statement guaranteed to have some maths and science fanboys screaming in outrage. The true meaning of artifice however is not something false or dodgy, but something created by humans, something not of nature. And no matter what fanboys (and girls,) might try to tell you, nature does not do equations.

As I have said many time, computes are not infallible, they are only as good as the person who programs them. And there is no such thing as Artificial Intellegence, as Professor Ferguson’s wild adventures in mathematical modelling sem to show very clearly.

The Black-Scholes equation was the mathematical justification for the irresponsible trading in financial markets that plunged the world’s banks into meltdown a few years ago. The brainchild of economists Fischer Black and Myron Scholes, the equation provided a rational way (they believed,) to price a financial contract when it still had time to run. It was like buying or selling a bet on a horse, halfway through the race. It opened up a new world of ever more complex investments, blossoming into a gigantic global industry. But when the sub-prime mortgage market turned sour, the darling of the financial markets became the Black Hole equation, sucking money out of the universe in an unending stream. It was the Black-Scholes equation that opened up the world of derivatives.

The equation itself wasn’t the real problem. It was useful, it was precise, and its limitations were clearly stated. Derivatives could be traded before they matured. The formula was fine if you used it sensibly and abandoned it when market conditions weren’t appropriate. The trouble was its potential for abuse. Unfortunately a fatal flaw was that it allowed derivatives to become commodities that could be traded in their own right. The financial sector called it the Midas Formula and saw it as a recipe for making everything turn to gold. But the markets forgot how the story of King Midas ended.

The world’s banks lost hundreds of billions when the sub-prime mortgage bubble burst leaving thouse who had bought consolidated debt obligations in the belief that property prices would keep goping up forever. In the ensuing panic, taxpayers were forced to pick up the bill, but that was politics, not mathematical economics.

Likewise with Neil Ferguson’s mathematical models of diseases, in order to prevent a disaster which the professors mathematical models say is inevitable, politicians are being persuaded to courses of action that really will destroy national economies on the basis of a largely fictional (if not fantastic,) course of events. We must return to sanity now. Far more people are likely to die in a global recession than are ever going to be killed by coronavirus.

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Still on the subject of Ukraine – meet Barbieboushka

Ukranian model Valeria Lukyanova is a real person. you may find this hard to believe when you see the picture below, but honestly she is.

My wife is a big fan of a late night TV show called bodyshocks, in which ex model Katie Piper who was the target of an acid attack and has had to undergo many operations to rebuild her face, talks to people about cosmetic surgery disasters, faces and other body bits ruined not by violence but by that futile quest for physical perfection that obsesses so many young people these days.

Katie deals very sympathetically with cases where cosmetic surgery has gone wrong or highly visible but highly misguided tattoos. But the results of cosmetic surgery that has gone right can be just as insane.

Valeria Lukyanova - barbiesboushka?
Picture: Valeria Lukyanova. Source kwikwee.com

Just one question. WTF was she thinking?
The same thing perhaps as the deluded revolutionaries in Ukraine, Egypt, Yemem and Syria who believed Obama would actually help them in more substantial ways than by making a speech.

In fact Valeria believes she is an alien and can live on light and air. Which explains a lot and answers for us a question relating to the insanity of the new rulers of western Ukraine who believe they can win a fight with Russia.

The entire country is insane.

Stupid Criminal of the week: The scientist, the model and the cocaine

An acclaimed British scientist who was caught smuggling two kilos of cocaine has been jailed for almost five years.

Professor Paul Frampton, 68, said he was duped into carrying the drugs in a honeytrap sting involving a bikini model.

Finding him guilty of delusional stupidity as well as drug running the judge sentenced the Oxford-educated academic to four years and eight months in prison.

The divorced physicist told police he had been tricked into carrying the drugs by gangsters who posed on the internet as 32-year-old glamour model Denise Milani.

Following his arrest, he told a newspaper: “Perhaps I should have realised earlier but the fraudster was very good and very intelligent. For 11 weeks I thought I was chatting with an attractive woman.”

Did her deserve such a harsh sentence? Look at the picture below and decide for yourselves …

Milani-frampton_2285818b

Boggart Blog readers say unanimously, “Yes he did.”

Elle McPherson To Be Made Redundant? No Way!

A report in a US fashio mag says Elle McPherson has been replaced as “The Body” by someone called Karlie Kloss, a 19 year old bag of bones fashion model who is borderline anorexic and a bit minging.

Now bearing in mind the lovely, slender but shapely Elle is 47 you might think this is not surprising. Bur is Ms Kloss relly about to take over as the fuel of teenage fantasies. As Harry Hill would say, there’s only one way to find out. HAVE A FIGHT!

not elle elle mcpherson

Above top: Karlie Kloss Above: Elle McPherson

It’s not the fact that Karlie is pulling a funny face that turns me off, it’s the sticky out bones. Give me a proper lady with curves. As I have always said there is something very twisted about the fashion industry.

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Strange Bedfellows, a lib dem and a lingerie model

What topics do we think might come up in the post coital conversation of a Liberal Democrat MP and business & enterprise spokesman and a lady who models underwear for a living?

The pernicious use of size zero clothes models in advertising and its derogatory effect on profits in the food industry perhaps? Or maybe the possibility of a hung parliament enabling the Lib Dems to force some of their policies into law as the price for propping up a minority government. What about planning for the end of the world as a result of an asteroid strike in 2012.

Yes you guessed it folks, todays big news is Lembit Opik has a new girfriend. Katie Gree is as pretty and much curvier than his cheeky girl, a proper lady in fact as one would wish a bra model to be. See the lovely Katie with the less than lovely Lembit here then ask yourselves boys, how does he do it?

The only reason we can think of is he can touch his eyebrows with his tongue.

More humour every day with Boggart Blog

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Men No Longer Hitting On Jordan

It was quite a surprise today to learn that 85% of the people who visit the website of Jordan (aka Katie Price) are women. A disturbingly high proportion are in fact young women hoping to pick up some tips on how to become a professional tits out for the boys model. These girls see the pneumatic Ms. Price as a role model whose example will guide and inspire them in their quest to make £millions by getting unfeasibly large breasts, a botox face and a trout pout.

Of the men who do hit Jordan’s page most are looking for older pictures when the plastic passionella looked slightly human. Not many men are interested in Miss Chavvy (2009 version).

There is a valuable lesson for Jordan wannabees in that. Blokes are not that turned on by the idea of feeling up sacks of silicon or kissing collagen hard lips. There is no warmth or allure in a botulin smile no matter how much its owner is being paid for revelations about her body functions in OK magazine.

Go down the road Jordan has taken and soon the only men available will be Peter Andre duhalikes.

You have been warned.

More humour every day at Boggart Blog