2 thoughts on “Some call this flip-flopping, everyone else calls it science

  1. The politics are difficult, though. Assuming that you are one of the majority who doesn’t have the skills and education to check whether the scientists are telling the truth as it is known at the moment (or rather, to what degree they are deviating from it), and whose class-interests are different enough from those of the scientists to not trust to delegate social decisions to them, what you see is a steady stream of essentially arbitrary diktats, many of which are disruptive of your life, some of which are quite costly, and all of which demand you show your subordination.

  2. The lesson I draw from the Dunning-Kruger effect is to trust the experts. They know more than I do. They’ve been studying the field for years, even decades, and I haven’t. While there are doubtless some dishonest scientists, I do trust the consensus. To believe that they’re all (or most of them) lying requires postulating a massive conspiracy and I’m not into that. To paraphrase Damon Runyon, the expert consensus may not always be right but it’s the way to bet. To me, “doing my own research” means essentially figuring out what the expert consensus is (and educating myself on the matter as much as I can with the knowledge that I won’t be an expert). To many, unforunately, “doing your own research” means some google searching to find a source (often run by grifters) that confirms their preconceived biases or what they would prefer to believe. And, also unfortunately, this isn’t confined to Covid-19; one seems the same thing in other fields, most notably climate change.

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