Tooleb keeps being wrong

I can’t believe I’m writing about a virus. I could have never imagined such a situation a year ago. The differences between a year ago and now are so stark. Streets once full of people are empty.

Anyway, Nassim Tooleb continues to demonstrate how clueless he is:

I wonder if the media has anything to do with that? What do you think is going to happen to retail sales and attendance when the media is scaring people into believing they are going to die if they go outside?

After 911, some businesses and individuals were criticized for tying to profit from the tragedy, yet here is Taleb using this tragedy to try to position and ingratiate himself as an expert on epidemiology and risk despite having pitifully weak credentials at either. Despite Tooleb being lauded as some sort of ‘great intellectual’ by the media and the left, there is not a single noteworthy scholarly contribution in his name in any reputable journal. You can see for yourself. It does not exist. His whole CV is padded with co-authored opinion pieces.

As shown below, since April, using the virus to to inflate his credentials, Tooleb has been trying to get his papers published in actual peer-reviewed journals, but I am afraid PDFs of Mathematica renderings of ‘fat tail distributions’ does not constitute meritorious scholarly work, sorry Tooleb.

Him spreading mask-ism and social-distance-ism are the left’s new religions. The defining characteristic of the left is the need to prove how virtuous they are. You see people on social media, on twitter especially, wearing masks in their avatars as if it is some sort of act of heroism.

Flattening the curve does not work. It only reduces total deaths a little at great inconvenience to everyone who is not sick and to the detriment of the economy. It’s not worth it especially given that hospitals are not near capacity, which was the main selling point–to prevent hospital overcrowding.

Tooleb says that early, aggressive intervention, including contact tracing, mandatory mask wearing, shutdowns, and quarantines, at the very onset of an epidemic, can prevent things from getting worse, but his mistake is the assumption that epidemics unfold in a manner that can be predicted and contained. Just because something worked in China or South Korea, does not mean it will work in the US or some other country. As evidence of such unpredictability, of the first 20 Covid-19 cases in the US, NONE were in New York or New Jersey, which are the two biggest hot spots of this epidemic. Remarkable. The initial cases were concentrated along the Pacific Coast, in California and Washington, yet the virus has ravaged the North East and South East far worse. California initially was hit hard, but quickly recovered. The first case of Covid-19 in New York was recent as March 1st, yet it is now the worse-affected area.

A similar pattern is also observed globally: countries that initially seemed immune such as Russia and Turkey and were praised in February, have been hit very hard since March, even more so than earlier affected countries. One would assume that by learning from the mistakes of earlier ravaged countries such as Spain and Italy, that later countries would not repeat those mistakes, but this has less to do with mistakes and more to do with the inherent unpredictability of Covid-19 and epidemiology, and the presence of important variables that have yet to be accounted for.