reality check

Month Four of the Panic: Where Is the Evidence?

– July 19, 2020

“If there is no extraordinary evidence, why are there such extraordinary claims and responses? Why has the world medical, social, and economic order been torn apart for a pandemic that looks much like a normal influenza pandemic? These are the questions for which we will be seeking answers for years to come.” ~ Roger W. Koops

statue, oath

Technocrats Should Observe the Hippocratic Oath

– July 18, 2020

“Whether by today’s standards or a medieval one, at a certain level of influence, unqualified prognostication is either ignorant, irresponsible, or deceptive. Pithy epigrams alongside basic skepticism, knowledge of personal hygiene, and a propensity to self-isolate in the face of illness have superintended the human relationship with microorganisms more than massive agent-based models ever will.” ~ Peter C. Earle

open gate

Adding Detail to Paul Romer’s Simplistic Plan for Reopening America

– July 17, 2020

“Romer has in fact not thought this plan through very deeply, and his response to critiques seems to be that they shouldn’t do so either. His is a superficial plan that relies on magical thinking.” ~ James E. Hanley

brain computer

What Economists Can Teach Epidemiologists

– July 11, 2020

“Hysterical, wildly off-the-mark forecasts about COVID-19 will ultimately cause more harm than good, and find their origins in the same set of snags which regularly trip up econometric forecasts. In the epidemiological version, instead of predicting a new Great Depression, they brought an artificial depression, a growing spate of coercive masking initiatives, school closures, and the lockdowns — which quite possibly filled the powderkeg that was ignited by the killing of George Floyd.” ~ Peter C. Earle


When Will the Madness End?

– July 10, 2020

“We’ve learned throughout this ordeal that despite our technology, our knowledge, our history of building prosperity and peace, we are no smarter than our ancestors and, by some measures, not as smart as our parents and grandparents. The experience with COVID has caused a mass reversion to the superstitions and panics that sporadically defined the human experience of ages past.” ~ Jeffrey A. Tucker

martian invader statue

HG Wells on the Partnership Between Viruses and Humans

– July 8, 2020

“Let not the billions before us, who battled nature not only with their hands and minds but their immune systems, genetic variations, and other evolutionary adaptations, have lived in vain.” ~ Peter C. Earle

bubble wrap

Safety First is a Bad Ideology

– July 5, 2020

“With the birth of capitalism, we tolerated social mobility: both downward and more heroically, upward. The churning of the social space is consistent with a greater toleration of risk. Maybe we haven’t convinced you with regard to public health issues during a pandemic, but at least consider the weight placed on safety the next time you use a satellite connected device, visit a beach, or take an antibiotic.” ~ Diana & Michael Thomas

grass walking

Two Pandemics: One Serious, One Mild

– July 3, 2020

“Simply put, we adopted the wrong measures and used them to ineffectually target the milder of the two pandemics, all the while neglecting or even exacerbating the much more severe outbreak that continues to run its course through our vulnerable nursing home population.” ~ Phillip W. Magness

nurse walking

Don’t Let Hospitalization Trends Blind You to the Numbers Themselves

– July 3, 2020

“What we can see clearly from the trends around the world is that the virus’s impact has been very uneven, and massive outbreaks like those experienced in Italy and New York are not inevitable, and seem to have little to do with how local government addressed the pandemic.” ~ Stephen C. Miller

ocean wave

Municipality Second Waves: Zero and Counting

– July 3, 2020

“As the media continues to talk of a “second wave,” keep asking the important question: Have we yet seen a municipality second wave based on deaths? If the answer is no, then figure that what is happening is the first wave still washing through the larger landscape.” ~ Daniel B. Klein


The Slow, Strange, and Wonderful Unmasking of America

– July 2, 2020

“The overturning of laws and mass displays of civil disobedience will play only supporting roles to knowledge gained and exchanged painfully slowly between people. The theoreticians and philosophers are asking important questions, but I urge them not to miss this deeply libertarian phenomenon analogous to so many market processes and free exchanges of ideas that slowly right society’s ship without a captain.” ~ Max Gulker

Austin Texas

Why We Should Not Be Concerned About Increasing Covid-19 Cases in Texas

– July 2, 2020

“That increased testing means we are discovering more young and healthy people with COVID-19 should not be surprising or alarming in the slightest. The hospitals are under financial pressure from having to mostly stop doing business for months, so they are classifying as many people as possible as a COVID case in order to gain the subsidy offered by the federal government.” Edward Peter Stringham