1/ Let me say more clearly what I’ve been intimating. I am suspecting we may risk a colossal public health disaster because we have a terrible paternalistic expert public health culture of ‘managing’ and ‘nudging’ populations. And also lying to control public panic & shirk duty.
2/ In essence we developed a culture of magical thinking ‘experts’ who should have been keeping a deeper system for “bottleneck events”, but who for ages have been focused on luck-based “efficiency” because for the longest time our luck was amazing. Hence fragility is everywhere.
3/ These folks are our expert class in all areas: finance, policing, firefighting, etc. and they don’t plan for suddenly correlated needs. They don’t really plan for disasters. They say they do, but they lie to themselves. And then us. Thus we don’t have depth to handle crisis.
4/ These people do not generally want to level with us. So they send 2 messages mixed together:
A) Don’t overreact/panic and don’t blame us. Take personal responsibility and you will be fine.
B) Follow our draconian instructions as if this Armageddon. Martial law minus epsilon.
5/ So many smart agentic people are unnecessarily bewildered because the message is meant for the masses who the elites treat as children. What I surmise is that people in the know think this may be much much worse than they’ve leveled with us about. Hence the severe reaction.
6/ Many are now worried about an under focus in official communication on the threat to young people in terms of morbidity & permanent or long term loss of function. But we aren’t hearing much about that yet. We are being told to take personal responsibility for expert failure.
7/ So don’t touch your face or go outside and you’ll be fine because we don’t have close to the beds, reagents, oxygen and masks that actual experts who deal with tail risk would have *insisted* upon in a correlated need event. And do note the word ‘recovered’. Are they 100%? Ha.
8/ I think the subtext is: “We, your experts, massively screwed you all. But you’ll panic if you hear how bad this could get. So let’s play a game called ‘just use common sense and a little martial-law-lite’ and we may not lose too many of us to what is a very serious threat.”
9/ So the “don’t panic” message disguises the “we experts *massively* screwed up & know a lot of things that are potentially terrifying that we are not fully openly sharing w/ you yet.” just like the financial crisis in 2008. Hence the number of people saying “it’s just the flu.”
10/ This has been my message: “Stop calming us down and sugar coating. You *experts* take the personal responsibility on that you dole out to us and fire yourselves if you downsized our emergency reserve requirements to make quick efficiency gains anytime in the last 40 years.”
11/ In short, we have the wrong expert class and they are likely now finally telling us through their *actions* how serious the risk may be. My advice: toughen up & stop listening to public-health-speak wherever and whenever it conflicts with drastic actions you see being taken.
12/ If you‘re young, think about recovery differently. Think about partial recovery that may never come fully back. Push government for answers on what reserves we have & how we can all pitch in to get depth back that has been removed for profit under efficiency & globalization.
13/ I know many agentic technology folks who would leap at the chance to solve problems. People of deep creativity and heroic resolve. Push government to stop with the Public health BS, level with us, and call up the science & tech geeks to leap into action as a brain trust.
14/ I’m sorry but I‘ve been afraid to think this aloud. This is a second version of 2008. Same stupid mindset. The last many years have been a health version of the so-called “great moderation”. Take new draconian measures as the most likely indicator of the scale of the failure.
15/ In short, start tuning out exoteric public health if you have the ability to tune in to esoteric communication between the experts now scrambling to wake up from their failure. If the mixed messages are making you stupid, turn off the audio meant to calm you & watch actions.
End/ I thank several people who I may name later for contributing. As always, my colleague @nntaleb has made versions of these points his life’s mission. That’s not called being an asshole. That’s called heroism. But, I grant you, sometimes they look very similar. Even to me. 🙏
You can follow @EricRWeinstein.
Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.
Enjoy Threader? Sign up.
Since you’re here...
... we’re asking visitors like you to make a contribution to support this independent project. In these uncertain times, access to information is vital. Threader gets 1,000,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Your financial support will help two developers to keep working on this app. Everyone’s contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support Threader by becoming premium or by donating on PayPal. Thank you.