[ExI] sturgis - washington post

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 19 01:46:20 UTC 2020

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 1:01 AM spike jones via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Dan TheBookMan via extropy-chat
> >...Where are the counterfactual projections for that coming from?
> The number comes from the suspected number of people who caught at the rally.  If you
> take half million-randomly chosen yanks and compare to the number traceable to the
> rally, it appears the rally catch rate was about half the average.

Apples and oranges, don't you think? Unless Sturgis rally attendees
are like a random sample of US-Americans (what you mean by 'yanks' and
not, say, New Englanders), then it's the wrong comparison. Do
attendees randomly come from all over the US? And do they randomly
travel through all parts of the US? My guess would be they aren't
randomly from all over and that they more or less are channeled along
certain routes. So the better comparison would be to look at where
they're from and make those comparisons. And then also look at how
they got there and back and make those comparisons.

For comparison on the latter, I wouldn't want to look at COVID cases
of people taking a 1,000 mile bike trip across Northern Canada and
compare those to a similar length trip that goes around NY and NJ and
other high population reasons. Intuitively, I'd expect the Northern
Canada trip to show fewer COVID cases by far, though maybe greater
Moose and Bear encounters, some of them which might be lethal. :)

>>...It seems like the article is saying there's been a jump in cases in specific states that
>> can be linked back to the rally. Do you disagree?
> I do.  There are confounding factors of course: school was starting back up as the bikers
> returned home.  There is a university close to Sturgis.  Their catch rate was more than
> twice the Sturgis rate, such that they had to shut it back down after one week.

Granted, those might be confounding factors, but the article talks
about the bump that happened within weeks of the rally and one of the
cases mentioned was on August 27. Do you believe school starting was
responsible for that? And what about this related article:


The article Bill W posted also admits they might never know for sure
what came from Sturgis because of lax monitoring.

>>> I don’t know why the epidemiologists will not write about that.
>>...Maybe because they disagree with the counterfactual scenario you hint at above.
>> And maybe their disagreement is reasonable.
> Disagreement is fine, but where are their scholarly articles?  People study this sort of
> thing professionally.  Where are their comparisons between the grim predictions and
> the outcome?  Why was the catch rate lower and the fatality rate lower than expected?
> Why did so few Sturgisers perish?

Well, these are news stories being read here. We're not looking at the
data or models directly, but at what's being reported in major media
sources like WaPo. (No attack on WaPo, which I think is decent
overall. But I wouldn't go to it for actual research on epidemiology
-- just for reporting.) But Slate did run an article on this last
month attacking one (particularly overhyped) model:



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