The fallacy of modelling

WM Briggs with a timely point:

I have seen this mistake made so many times in this crisis that I am well on my way to a stroke.

The models reported on—just like Ferguson’s and everybody else’s—are built saying social distancing reduces death. This fact is an integral part of them. It’s not a “discovery” of the models, it is a condition in them. The models had to say social distancing worked because they started with the premise social distancing worked.

You cannot “discover” social distancing worked via any model …

A scientist creates a model, or a civilian looks at a model created by some smart person, and, somehow, the model takes on a life of its own. It becomes and replaces reality, this model, at least in part.

Since the model is now “reality”, we can look at it like we do Reality and pretend to come to an understanding of how the world works. The model’s workings take the place of Reality’s workings.

This is all wrong.

Yes and when it comes to why the particular models on Cv are flawed comes back to the people using Modelling as a propaganda tool.

Which people? These:

9 comments for “The fallacy of modelling

  1. bruce charlton
    May 16, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Well said. Modelling is an hypothesis – what’s more a brainless hypothesis (often made by technicians, not experts on the subject matter, caluclations made by a software program).

    A model just re-states your assumptions in a simplified form. That’s what models are. They don’t discover anything.

    A model only potentially become science when the inputs are valid and relevant – and when it has been TESTED. Not just once, but several times, in different conditions.

    Here we have models of how (simplified assumptions about) social distancing affect (simplified) models of influenza outbreaks. A quick look at the literature shows that some models regarded SD as useful in spreading out an epidemic (but without calulating the many costs of doing so) other showed SD resulted in more deaths.

    None of the models had ever been tested. Now that SD has been deployed narly everywhere, they still haven’t been tested – because although the results fail to validate SD (i.e. the model is wrong) – everybody assumes the hypothesis is true; and reality is mistaken (i.e. the facts are wrong; there are ten/ hundred-fold more deaths than reported – e.g. in China – that are being hidden).

    There Never Has Been any reason At All to assume that these SD epidemic models were correct. They were not introduced because of ‘panic’, because the decision to enforce SD came before the panic. SD was introcued because enough powerful people wanted to introduce SD.

    Now we have SD, the same people want to keep it – whatever the numbers/ facts/ deaths show.

    • May 16, 2020 at 7:37 pm

      Where do we go from here then?

  2. Valentine Gray
    May 16, 2020 at 10:39 am

    “Wee, Sleekit, Cowrin Timerous Beastie, O what a panic’s in thy breastie”. We remain LAB-RATS, in our case mice, sit indoors and shit yourselves because that invisible bogeyman will get you and the only thing that can save you is that angel hiding in a Vaccine. Those clapping seals of Downing St disgust me, the psychological damage being done to the population by a new breed of (no not Viruses) humans known as EXPERTS, who will if they can get away with it become another ruling class to burden us with.

  3. May 17, 2020 at 12:05 am

    Remember when ‘social distancing’ was known as ‘Personal Space’? Such space, maintained, suited everyone except Arabs and Orientals who wanted to stand (and dance) with you in your trousers.

  4. May 17, 2020 at 12:06 am

    James quotes WMBriggs: “The models had to say social distancing worked because they started with the premise social distancing worked.” This is silly. Humanity has know since at least the days of biblical leprosy that there are contagious illnesses, ie those passed from person to person. Thus putting that into a computer simulation model is a sensible thing to do, consistent with knowledge of the world.

    And the point of computer models is to ask them “what if?” And often in more detail than can be worked out on the back of an envelope, or solved algebraically, or done manually this century. Strangely enough, if the computer models are adequate, that is useful. If the computer models are not adequate, it is less useful to useless. And often the different scenarios are ranked (eg number of deaths in an epidemic) well enough, even if the absolute values are a fair bit off.

    If you carry on like this James, people will start wondering whether you are sound.

    Keep safe and best regards

  5. Mona
    May 17, 2020 at 8:29 am

    Its called brain compression, the Media are overwhelming the senses, with Police making the case for the Tommy Robinson redemption. The whole thing has been a shit show from the start, panic panic panic, where is Lord NELSON when you need him?.

  6. May 17, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    If we’re going to be ‘sound’ instead of misreading, let’s have a look at this first – it goes into the British situation, observed by a Canadian:

  7. May 17, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    James seems very fond of this lady Polly, or perhaps rather her thoughts.

    There is a problem. the video linked from the main post is 18+ minutes. The one linked from James’s comment immediately above is 24+ minutes.

    I thought I would give it a try. Then 57 seconds in, we get her saying: “This is going to be a meandering video, but … ”

    Who really has time for 18, 24 or 18+24. I would like to – this to please James – but I don’t.

    Keep safe and best regards

    • May 18, 2020 at 7:10 am

      Polly updates her videos as the information comes in. Whether one has time for what is going on or not is up to the individual. She has not been wrong yet and the vaccines are a case in point.

      ‘Not being wrong’ means, in this case, being willing to update as new information appears or in other words – the scientific or investigative method. To hypothesise and test is not the same as modelling.

      Modelling means a priori arrival at the Science before there is even a crisis and then rolling that out when it hits a month or so later. The Event 201 Conference was all about that.

      That is political. A good analogy is the NPCC, Gore, Michael Mann. The Science was preordained, the other half of scientists [read unpaid by major funders] begged to differ, hence the need for political proposals to make it a crime to disagree and be a Denier.

      The level of knowledge required to arrive at a conclusion, the vastness of the material, is something no one blog can gather, which is where links come in.

      The modelling is most certainly an issue if there is a political agenda behind it and there is certainly one in this case, now moving onto the tracking down and mass innoculation phase.

      The issue of being able or not to get all this to the man in the street is dependent on everything from where he’s tuning into for his reality, onhis weariness, fatigue and worry, and onthe natural desire of a human for an ‘all is well’ scenario when it’s not all right in the least.

      There is a further stage where the family takes measures to protect themselves. That’s where we are now.

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