American Elephants


Models Cannot Be Counted On for Anything, a People Problem. by The Elephant's Child

Our society is not quite comfortable yet with the computer world. Comfortable is the wrong word, but I don’t know what the right one is. We currently are only beginning to learn what are their real possibilities and what are their dangers. And of course the problem is not the computers, but the people operating them.

A computer is just a machine grown out of the merger of adding machines, code-breaking machines a few trips in space, television and a lot of very complicated efforts to build something new to measure and compute. (There’s a completely scientific definition for you.) But the point I’m attempting to make is that the problems or faults are people problems and faults, not machine problems, at least for the most part.

We have had a lot of very complicated efforts to create models to tell us what to expect in, for example, climate and Covid-19. Doesn’t work. The models have been wildly wrong, and cannot be depended on at all. We just don’t know enough about what we are trying to enter. And the answers we get from the models are gradually proving to be completely wrong. Lots of bureaucratic phases about lockdowns and re-opening, and particularly the opening (or not) of the schools.

So far, online education in the school system is a major flop. Teachers are afraid to go back in the schools for fear of getting the Covid virus. Kids out of school are ranging from refusing to do the online classes, to simply finding them boring and ineffective. Teachers are not expert in creating online classes. Parents have to work, and leaving the kids home is bad. Some parents are banding together and hiring tutors. All very, very complicated. President Trump is absolutely correct. The kids need to be in school.

Does everybody understand that you wear a mask to keep your exhalations from infecting anyone else — not to protect you from whatever you might breathe in?

Here’s an article from AIER, the American Institute for Economic Research, on the models and reopening.  Worth your time. The photo is borrowed from that article, there were no photo credits, but it’s a fun picture.


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