Monday, 27 April 2020

"There is a paradox of computer models. If you understand why a computer model gets the results that it does, then you do not need a computer model. And if you do not understand why it gets the results that it does, then you cannot trust the results." #QotD


"The bottom line for me is that there is a paradox of computer models. If you understand why a computer model gets the results that it does, then you do not need a computer model. And if you do not understand why it gets the results that it does, then you cannot trust the results. If you are using a computer to try to figure out causal structure, you are using it wrong."
        ~ Arnold Kling from his post 'Epistemology'
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3 comments:

  1. Kling's important post-script:

    "So I bristle when someone says that based on a computer simulation, a certain policy for dealing with the virus can save X lives. I presume that there are some key causal assumptions that produce the results, and I want to know what those assumptions are and how they relate to what we know and don’t know about the virus.

    "Consider the WSJ story on France:

    "'Mr. Macron, the son of two physicians, mobilized France’s hospitals to prepare for a wave of Covid-19 patients the government feared would overwhelm hospital capacity. He requisitioned masks and other protective gear from stores and businesses across the country to protect nurses and doctors working on the front lines. And his government equipped the nation’s high-speed trains to zip patients from hard-hit regions to hospitals with open beds.'

    "The hospitals survived the onslaught, but they didn’t bear the full brunt of the virus.

    "Instead, the virus slipped into France’s national network of nursing homes.

    "The most widely-used models don’t differentiate the population by age. Blinded by these models, policy makers focus excessively on maintaining hospital capacity and inadequately on protecting the elderly."

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  2. Okay. I don't know why my Google account won't show up here from my laptop, so let's try the other computer! :)

    I figure that given our MSM has proven to be even more useless in this crisis than usual, that it's more important than ever for bloggers to link to and support each other in getting to readers and arguments.

    I wrote a series of OpEds on this subject for No Minister, going back almost to the start of this insanity. You're reader's may appreciate them. The first is Models vs. Reality, and at the bottom it links to the others, Super models, dangerous curves

    You might also like Visible Death vs. Invisible Death.

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