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- Whiteboard1: Classic View of Reality
- Whiteboard2: Expert Consensus and Models
- The modeling process
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The post Episode 903 Scott Adams: Good News is Breaking Out Everywhere. Swaddle Up and Get Some. appeared first on Scott Adams' Blog.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump everybody commanded here, it's time for the simultaneous swaddle, it said, bonus, entertainment, you get commercial free. If you see life and its common nature with a ferocity matched only by a tiger with corroded virus, you need to add a tiger to grow the virus. To get this ferocity.
So today I M gonna work, show you
a bit about reality that some of you may have not been exposed,
Do you know how M always talking about if you have a good talent stack,
you can see situations little more clearly, you can see and more different windows. If you have experience in different fields
So I'm gonna give you a little glimpse of what I see. What I look into this is who were proto virus situation here.
Those if matters, what do you think there for those of you who have similar backgrounds, you're gonna, say to yourself. I knew that
but you might get a new way to explain it to other people so stay around. For that
and for some of you, you're, just gonna, be sort of surprise. You're, just gonna, say not even sure, that's real or find out first,
Some things in the news that happening just reason
Did you hear that Japan is going to reportedly? I think I'd way for confirmation of this, but.
Reportedly Japan is going to pay its own firms to leave China, they get it,
I am the live ouch I think China is. Can we have some serious problems?
Have you noticed that everybody is talking about the camel Harris for Vice President vice president candidate with Joe Biden,
Look how close we are worse.
as you know, think she would be the best choice.
Would you at least agree that the consensus
formed around her. Will you
at least agree that other people have sorted decided,
she's leaving you predicted the bedding pole, she's number one forgetting them
but then Biden has signalled it about as clearly as you possibly could see, you realize
I'm on the verge of the greatest prediction of all time, but it might not the stone. So why not happened sign? I wanna gave to cocky anything happened that doesn't work out, Allah I'll, be the first one to admit it.
But so close, I don't know if you ve noticed, but there are some really hopeful signs number one
The number of hospital admit, I guess,
One way down in New York numbered
what up, but I think that's trailing indicator, meaning
those people who are already in trouble for a while, but is
your people are going into the hospital. What's I mean, what's it mean? Is it because of Hydroxyl clerk me? Is it because of social distance? We don't know,
It is a good sign that everybody is talking about the curve, bending, maybe things in the right direction, but.
There's another good side, one that
We ve all been waiting for. My town has told me:
I'm getting reports from other people and other places they to do not have fully stocked shells.
But the least in some stores they too have the great white. The great way hope.
So normality is returning
proximately. When I told you that
the toilet paper disappeared. I sent you give it one month, it'll be back here. It is
so let's talk about some other stuff or poor. More dry Jocker died. If you don't know who he is that we need as much to you
is a question for you when we're done when we're on the other side of this current virus will be the heated debate of whether that
The number of deaths,
was lower than predicted because we did such a good job or because
who is never dangerous in the first place,.
So in order to anticipate that problem that we're not gonna, know why we didn't have a lot of deaths and people disagree.
Could we agree in advance who are comparable is
the words. Could we find another country who?
is sufficiently like us or maybe a few of them who are
who are doing something different, let's say, they're, not doing social distancing.
There was a not testing, because we didn't have that option
they're, not wearing Basques, at least all of them, because we didn't have that option either. So, if you
I do find somebody who is due
something smarter than us
to find somebody who's, not doing much testing in there
also not doing much social distancing
they ve already got the good amount of infection.
That would be a comparable right. Am I right so I don't know which
which country that is below people that out there, that, if, if anybody is claiming that.
Wait until we're on the other side of this and say see it self evident. That is because of the social distancing or it self evident that the major difference it was no
at all, it's not gonna, be obvious. Just by looking at it, you may have some standard to compare tutor, even gather a hope of understanding what happened
Here's my little love. Why born lesson from today.
This is work all the classic
in reality this
the view that we think should be the view
this should be the way reality works.
If you are a young.
You may have learned that this is where reality looks like you, ve got your experts,
consult with your leaders here leaders make some policies
and then those policies rain down on the happy citizens who are happy that experts were part of the process and their leaders took the revised
There were a good world we live, so that will be the case
ass, a view of the world.
On the other side of my magic whiteboard,
so incredible, you probably all on making it. One of the kind here is more accurate view of the world goes like this,
You ve got your experts. Let's say that there is a situation that comes up that they have
the scene before. Let's take the corona virus situation that they see,
other pan and other infections
but the haven't seen this one. So I think you ll agree.
This was a brand
there is a lot of fog of war and they didn't have good information at first, but there, the experts,
even though they don't have good information, they still have
I would inform the leaders what to do because doing nothing.
It is also a decision.
So the leaders have to make a decision to do nothing or to do something very expensive and aggressive.
Not to make the decision on their own.
And the leaders are going to be able to get away with say while we were
we don't know, there's not enough information. If you just let us wait a year,
No, we can't wait a year will be too late, so the extra
are forced to make a decision
before they have anything that would satisfy themselves of what to do what they do. Well, here's what I believe happens in the real world. You got lots of experts, but they're, not all equal. Some experts are more influential, let's say
you're searching, for example, so they're, probably several experts in the field who are recognised as the most important ones,
So probably it only takes half a dozen or maybe fewer than ten of the top experts to
that they have an instinct for something where they feel there's a problem or this
do really bad in other, all other all their experience. There pattern recognition or biases good
bad about even saying this is bad and say that you have an expert is not just the data and if they don't have data at least not reliable data, they didn't take advantage of their their patent.
Commission and by us, but also, very importantly, they don't want to kill anyone. That's gonna be job one
This really is a very important bias.
Those are going to make sure that nobody can blame them for a killer.
Everybody in particular, that would be everybody's natural impulse. Of course, there are also professionals, so they're gonna try to be as independent minded as possible for the
greater good, but by yourself and that position, would you ever recommend something? That's a pretty good chance of killing a million people if you get around
you're gonna wanna do whatever is the safest in terms of not killing a million people?
taking every chance that you're, the one who made some WS recommendation and killed a million people,
professional as they may be, there's still humans and nobody wants to kill a million people see voice, get that force.
So what do you do if you ve got a really strong feeling that something is bad? But you don't know. Let me give you a little story. Math example of why they
be confused in the early days of the pandemic? I say that
The thing that makes a virus powerful is just I'm oversimplifying that
Is how vital it is?
doubly this, if you get it so two different things how quickly as spreads and then, if you get it, what are your eyes?
And so in a very rough terms you can sort of multiply them multiply them to see abandoned. Is
serve yeah, let's say a very low spreading, but it was very deadly.
Well, I wouldn't be the worst thing because you might be stopped because even those deadly, it's not going to spread, therefore,
so multiply the low vitality type c. You high death rate gives you some power over, but you can get to the same.
Our number, by having some super viral, doesn't kill many percentage of people, but it gets so many people,
they even those a low percentage, a lot of them die, so both of them could be equal power one because as very viral and the other, because this very deadly. But what happens if you get something? That's super viral and by the worst. Turning
Fade super deadly. I dont believe we ve had one of those. Maybe the spanish flu qualify
but I'm not even sure loud was used. The super deadly super viral measurer wooden leg is classified
in the early stages of the pandemic was enough information that the experts could now if they
something that was very viral.
But only a little bit deadly
or something that was a nine
neither the town environmentally and deadly they didn't know there will be a China things. Look bad right,
So what do you do if you're the experts and you ve got to advise the policymakers? What to do either to do nothing or do
a thing and you don't have any information? Will you gonna take your best instincts and judgment here? Risk management.
You are not wanting to kill millions of people and you're going to have to convince leaders who are going to ask you for your data and what are you do
so the President says: ok, this is important. I get it.
Show me. Your numbers.
What are they have all that much of anything right, because they just don't have good numbers of gases. They have assumptions, are less a variable.
Is really all very complicated there. What is the president? Have you convince the president.
Even though you're the experts
and all you have is hunches and guests.
Some patterns and things from the.
Ass. There were similar, you ve done some math on the back of an envelope can convince the president, and could you convince the public with something with that? Could you go directly to the public and say look
care can't prove it, but a whole bunch of us who are experts
I have a really bad feeling about this thing.
We don't want a million people die. So
Could they convince the public notice? The public would say the same thing based on what show Azure proof that this is so bad.
They would say things like well, there was this anecdote and lose a story in theirs is unreliable information through this pattern of something that was different, that was
there's this time we thought we were right. There were wrong and when their damn, you
You say to yourself an usher convinced that this is real. Yet yet we still have to make decisions.
So how do you solve the situation in the real world where it's not that classic view? That's on the other, but has had the whiteboard we're the experts know just what to do. They looked at their data. They looked at their spreadsheet,
it all adds up. They told the leaders, the leaders say hey. That looks good to me. Thank you for looking into that and they make their policies
The world that just doesn't work that way. Even the experts dont know what to do. If we don't have data,
as the fog of war. It is a brand new thing,
they'll Sunday? We might understand enough about this, that if we could have travel back in time with our future knowledge, well, we maybe we would handle.
This definitely, but even the experts didn't know what was going on. Thank you, China, right
So here's what you do in this situation, where there's something you feel really strongly about your pretty sure a lot of evidence, but you can communicate it. He just kill, sell it.
So you got the model makers, the here's where,
Everybody in social media
and on the news is making a fundamental misunderstanding and analysis.
Don't use models to give you the answer. Models do not produce information. There are sales tool
Four persuasion. How do I know that I know is the opposite of what you think right. You think that the experts are announced.
So they use a model to become certain and to learn something. That's probably what you thought right.
Ask anybody who's ever done this rule living? It's not what happens.
Here's a really happens there.
Per se, go back as the models, because I gotTa Selvas thing. I need a picture gimme, a graph where that scary lookin curve Gimme a few big numbers, Gimme a rage and make
a big range, because I don't want to be wrong.
Whatever you do, make it a big range. So the bottle bakers do their magic and they come up with some really scary. Looking grass really simple that they can sell to scare the public and they can is compatible with the experts. Now. What would happen hypothetically is the people making the models came up with a prediction: there would kill people if it were wrong
what are the experts gonna to do so? For example, we say the experts are looking at the carnage over and move on and there's there's ages.
Also, I know, there's something bad there. There is definitely something bad out. There
this is not normal. As far as we can tell, we haven't confirmed it
but we're seal stuff? It just doesn't look normal spray and this was streets over there and everything.
So what happens is the model bakers said? Well, we ve put in all the variables we ve checked. Oliver assumptions and the very:
does Mamma we ve come up with says it's not much of a problem. It doesn't look like it will be a problem, a rear. So what do you feel
if you're the expert, because that model would disagree with what you plainly can see. It disagrees with yours
of risk management disagrees,
observation, instinct, hunch it
Disagrees with every fibre of your being,
You get a sight to the model maker thanks. I was worried before
but now the around the model feel better. Now they discard that model, because you get you can't keep
the model the says it might not be a problem, that's the wonder, could kill people remember job one
job, while others don't kill anybody so
Experts can accept a model that is
who was tee to not scary, because
but the experts in the position of maybe not wording the public.
About whatever their seeing in China that doesn't look good right.
And they would they would have to reject anything that made it look like
a problem so
Let's say the experts combating this aid could be this big range, two million or hundred thousand.
But let us say the first time they can back this. I you know
two million, or
Leslie. It could be ten thousand what if that was the first model. They came back
and the experts say you gotta problem here, it's only ten thousand or even, if
if ten thousand, as even the range Americans are gonna, think it's not a problem.
Because we are used to having things that are a huge risk
sometime, you fine. If you tell me,
even within their predicted range, is maybe just ten thousand. It's like the comical. Basically
how are they going to act together?
actually the way with nothing you seriously and then what then I've killed all these people because they didn't potentially but could be worse than we think so,
here's what happens models are simply ways the experts can convince leaders and the public that there is something that needs to be taken seriously. Now you're saying to me,
by this got not by this everybody.
All the scientists, all the experts,
they really? You sort of act like this is tell him you're, something like it
actually giving you a window into the future. That's the whole point of this we're spending millions,
Power billions of dollars making under all these models is the best is the smartest people in the world. Scott. Did you forget year, a cartoonist who has a degree of economics and Libya?
did you forget that, because the smartest people in the world are not talkin like you're Talkin northern that,
here's my simple argument for why they do not glimpse the future goes like this.
If you have a situation that is really fundamentally like other situations, then sometimes yes,
let's say you're into construction and you ve built several homes,
comparable you probably can put together.
This is based on these last three homes I built,
in the same town. There is but the same kind, the square.
Geologists estimates. This next house would be that nobody fight, but that doesn't work with a brand new situation. There's no it estimated in its end. If anybody could use any complicated model to predict the future, even even still
Technically, better than guessing, they would not be making models. That
It would be sitting on their trillion dollar yachts if anybody could do this in actuality like actually predict the future with
or with some statistical validity whatsoever? They do it for stocks right, they do occur, knowing what
start ups to invest in, they could make bets
on big events. In other words, I can bet that there be a yell,
agitator forest fire this that, if, if anybody could look,
into the fog of war, which is what was happening in the
gimme the pandemic. If anybody
look into that and build a model on a spreadsheet or with any kind of software thicket.
Surely reveal the future better than chance. They would be almost magic and there's no such thing as
Jake, so this is this is me living,
peer behind the screen. Part of the reason I know this is: I did financial projections for a living.
And I can tell you that if my.
If my model in my prediction did not give management, what they felt was the right thing to do for peace.
All reasons, professional reasons or the good of mankind to go back and to until a dead
we didn't know what was the right thing to do, but we knew that the model wouldn't tell us. We knew that
variables were the unknowns, were so strain phrase ever wanted things I was trying to do is calculate whether this technology that's obsolete now, but was knew them
called I Sdn, whatever big future in weather, was economical to put it into the network and insults people, and they were just gigantic unknowns about where the technology would go and what would happen with costs, and if you tweet any one of them, you just get wildly different results. It was either a great idea, terrible idea.
That was my job to calculate that, and so was was that in other situations, where I learn that you start with the answer and the answer was year were high tech company. We have to be invested in high tech stuff, don't bring me back some financial to say we don't do that, because we're gonna do that we have to do that is here is our experience
pattern. Recognition are bias. All of our external and internal incentives. Tell us we're going to invest in new technology, and it doesn't matter.
Being counter, if you go back and tell us about idea, I'm gonna tell you to go back into a variable until it's a good idea to possess the business world. We're in this business. We're not gonna, be not that business, because your spreadsheets and so
so once you see behind the curtain, you rise
that the models are always just an expression of what the experts or the leaders want them to be and their sales tools. They are not things that tell you what is it
So for all the people who were not quite seeing behind the curtain, you can see them debating in public. You see it on tv, you can see it on social media and they say things like this. Those models were inaccurate.
Doesn't mean anything if you actually understand what the models or for and what is possible
is meaningless, to say, the models turned out not to be accurate because they were
ever built to be accurate. You can't be accurate
in the same way that the models were not built to crap bars of gold for all of us. The reason is would be great if you could build a model that would crap gold. Wouldn't you do it. I mean why not you're nice person, you
thus all little gold with your algorithm, but you care really build a model that can predict the future is another thing, so you can't be mad at the people who built the model for not doing a thing. There's not a thing which is preventing the fusion
from unknowns again, if you had a situation where there were, it was so very similar last one that's different, but in the fog of war or nobody can predict this nothing. So
The people who understand the least- and I would argue p
who have never been around financial, protecting people who were not economists named? Maybe people were not scientists, they are maybe journalists, if I may
so, I think that journalists and the artists are more,
likely to think they don't understand.
What's going on because the predictions were so far off what were actually experiencing,
and I think to them. They're saying where was this conspiracy was everybody's stupid and I don't think it was. A conspiracy
and I don't think anybody involved was stupid and I know that
anybody involved was accurate, acting with bad intend. I think everybody involved usually only tools they could to get a result. I thought
protect people the most, maybe with little bias towards making sure they were not the ones who killed a million people personally
so I think everybody had a good intentions and use the tools they had, but don't be fooled into thinking that the models tell you what the future is. That's just not a thing, but they are good for persuasion and you can see how well they were
they're having having observed this situation, they think I succeeded in less convincing some of you. That is the way it works. Is not the models. Tell you something is pretty much. The experts told the models, what the models need to say in order to get to the next level.
If you want, you can see why some people have a problem with a climate models that I don't want to get into that I just want to. I just want to alert you
There hard to form an opinion on one of these things without extent.
Here too well?
that applies to climate change,
So here's what I would ask you.
Climate change models again would be accurate if.
They are similar to things that have worked before. In other words,
if we were good, modeling climates- and this was just another one- maybe we'd be good at it. But
We ve never we ve, never mobile the climate. Eighty years and events using the tools are we using never done it. We think we're doing now, but there's nothing to test and against. I would suggest that the best way to understand the climate change models. Is this waste
well wishes that these scientists genuinely believe based on everything they have seen every scientific test. Every paper either pattern recognition
people. They've talked to just the whole ways of their experience, I think is screaming to them were in trouble. Plan is going to warm up, but they don't have the ability cuz, it's impossible, it's not because they're.
It is impossible to communicate all the things they know the full weight of their knowledge to a leader or to the public, because it just as in Trans transmit it would just
like gobbledygook and with no I'm, not even sure you know what you're talking about and so the site
just do the same thing that you say here, which, as they go to a model
for them. The model is really persuasion, but the public thinks the model is actually information. The public thinks is,
full protection now you might be a prediction that the temperature is going up and there is a risk, but the actual ball we'll see and by the way this model can be right. Yes, they makes arrange big enough. She makes array.
Beg us is pretty good. Chance is going to follow marriage. So that is my lesson for today. I hope that was useful, was it
I would like to see your feedback l stages through a minute to look at that is bill gates in here. I don't know what you're talking about, who win
big business or I don't know of any ways. Winning very few people are winning
souci worldview, less about doctors Shiva out, so I'm still
Waiting for somebody to make a statement, I'm gonna get some good feedback here.
I'm waiting for someone to make a statement that they think they would like my opinion, and that is something that Doctor Shiva says.
So narrow it down to me not not just like a whole topic, like is a statement of fact, just narrow down I'll, give you in the Bin,
bullshit, I bore. Don't worry, take a picture of it since we do here.
I'll get it. Actually, the feedback is better than I thought I didn't know. I didn't know if that was going to work as well, as did how delightful I say it doesn't seem to me that you treat climate models like this. Should they be treated like this? Why just I just dead? Maybe you just signed on her son.
I wouldn't want you. If I didn't like you're taken things question: are you ruling models forever? Well.
I'll tell you wrote. Models were ruined for me when I became the person who made them
Nothing will disillusion you more than being the person who is doing that thing. If you wanna be unimpressed, was something they used to be impressed that
Try try being that person limit Livia how good example when I became a cartoonist
I immediately set my sites on winning the the top award in cartooning. Does I thought you know if you're an actor you probably daydream, of getting the academy or right they'll be natural, so, whatever business your annual,
We spend a little time daydreaming about winning the Superbowl getting the gold medal, or something like that. So I
I wanted to win. Stop award in cartooning use, called the Reuben and named after Rube Goldberg
and every year the cartoonist get together with sort of an academy awards and there's a vote and they give the photoplay were to a cartoonist side course. One at that
The years go by something like ten years and
the nominated and Dilber just takes off. I guess financially successful. So suddenly, Dilber is like one of the biggest things in the country that I got nominated and I said to myself: wait a minute. I don't think the comic is that much better than it was a year ago or two years ago over three years ago. But what is different?
that events in society sort of propelled me in front of a lot of people and then the comic took off. So the thing was different is making a lot of money and getting a lot of attention. I thought to myself what kind of work out of a word for cartooning.
Depends on how much pr a beginning and
So I actually we ended winning the two top words in Khartoum.
One is the overall or the the biggest one you can get, and then that
top award in my category, which was cartoon strips, is, I won them both in the same year and of course I was terribly,
uttered and everything, but almost as soon as I won them go got home the entire things like a farce and didn't mean anything to me because once I got on the inside- and I was actual winner
I just realized wasn't so much because my cartooning, it's because I had become a name brand,
and the organization that puts on the offense likes to have name brands, so it makes everybody else want to go just makes the event better. If you not use
and most people there so I am- I had won the ward
simply as a way to get me to attend the event has nothing to do with anything. I spent so many years of my career. Like law,
sitting after the sword
there. What I wanted I realize was completely meaningless. Is anybody out there? Who is one that award? Sorry? Sorry about that? My college, my undergraduate college did the same thing. When I get a famous, then they may be loved. I owe the urgently and invited me to go back and give a talk in every night. I this one another. On the London Ivory Year of the little college, I went to like men of all those people what they envy me my old classmates when they see that
Well nigh the year, then you go back and he rises just a fund raising thing once you get famous for doing something. The Earl of night in the ears of bacon have or access to your fundraising anyway, as more than you wanted to know, and I will talk to you in the morning- you know when
Transcript generated on 2020-04-16.