Is the Pandemic Over and a V-Shaped Recovery Baked In?

Is the Pandemic Over and a V-Shaped Recovery Baked In? by Charles Hugh Smith for Of Two Minds

So what do we know with any sort of certainty about the claim that “the pandemic is over”? Very little.

Is the pandemic over in China, Europe, Japan and the U.S./Canada? Is the much-anticipated V-Shaped economic recovery already baked in, i.e. already gathering momentum? The consensus, as reflected by the stock market (soaring), the corporate media and governmental easings of restrictions seems to be “yes” to both questions.

But science is not a consensus-based activity, and so skeptics of consensus are looking to the sciences of epidemiology, virology, etc., and economics for evidence-based answers.

But as scientist and author Michael Crichton explains in this seminal paper he gave at Caltech in 2003, much of what is presented (“sold”) as “hard science” is nothing but guesswork / conjecture and consensus, i.e. reaching a politically appealing conclusion and then conjuring up some junk science to support the conclusion. Aliens Cause Global Warming (by Michael Crichton) (via Michael M.)

The scientific method is pretty straightforward: propose a testable hypothesis and then design an experiment that acts on only one variable: one group in which no action is taken and another in which one action is taken. If the action taken has a recordable effect, then that data must be replicated by other labs performing the same experiment to confirm that there weren’t errors in the protocol, equipment or data collection.

A variation of this protocol is a double-blind study, so-called double blind because neither the subjects/volunteers nor the researchers administering the experiment know which subjects received the active compound and which received a placebo.

In the case of natural systems such as the movements of planets, the method is to propose a model of Nature that can be reduced to mathematical predictions that can be confirmed by observations.

Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to run these sorts of experiments on a pandemic or economy. It would be unethical to let the virus run rampant in one city and then control the pandemic with lockdowns in another, or treat one group of patients with a worthless placebo while giving others a potentially life-saving treatment.

Even if such an experiment of two cities could be run, the great number of variables would reduce the certainty of any conclusions.

For example, the exact same variation of the virus would have to be unleashed in both cities, both cities would have to have very similar weather, air quality, ethnic groups, demographic profiles and so on. If any of these weren’t controlled, then they could skew the results, meaning any conclusion based on a single variable could be completely erroneous.

The same can be said of economics, which strictly speaking doesn’t qualify as science because despite its heavy use of arcane equations, it is essentially impossible to reduce an economic setting down to only one variable and then stage a controlled double-blind study.

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