Friday, April 03, 2020

Predictions Are Hard, Especially About The Future

Nobody has a perfect crystal ball, though people with prominent platforms and microphones should resist the temptation to pretend that they have a superior one that they can consult. We, as readers of the fine blog Eschaton, are savvy consumers of the news and know that the people on the teevee generally know even less than what they say, but I am sorry to say that most people don't. And while Fox News is obviously a uniquely bad vector for mass spreading of bullshit, it isn't exactly the only one. Totebaggers and readers of the political desk of the New York Times are often getting a different brand of bullshit, though one which is not necessarily less damaging.

But, anyway, the problem isn't that some people "got the pandemic wrong" a month ago. It's that the message went out through conservative media that downplaying the coronavirus and painting it all as some big liberal conspiracy to make Trump look bad, instead of a mounting body count, was the the talking point. It wasn't that people made wrong predictions, it's that they are all willingly in service of bullshit even as the death count soars.