‘You Better Go to Raw Data’

 

People operating complex machines and systems–ships, aircraft, and nuclear power plants, for example–are often dependent on information that has been processed or filtered in some way. The same is true of people exercising their responsibilities as citizens in a large and complex society, inasmuch as they cannot directly and personally observe most of the relevant facts and events.  Disasters that occur in complex physical systems can serve as a metaphor to help shed light on disasters–actual and potential–in the political sphere.

On June 9, 1995, the cruise ship Royal Majesty was on a routine voyage in good weather.  The vessel was equipped with GPS, which displayed latitude and longitude position…which the crew diligently plotted..and also drove a moving map overlaid on the radar scope.

Unfortunately, the information being displayed and plotted bore little resemblance to the actual reality.

As the gray sky turned black veil, the phosphorus-lit radar map with its neat lines and digital indication seemed clearer and more inviting than the dark world outside. As part of a sophisticated integrated bridge system, the radar map had everything–from a crisp radar picture, to ship position, buoy renderings, and up to the last bit of data anyone could want–until it seemed that the entire world lived and moved transparently, inside that little green screen. Using this compelling display, the second officer was piloting a phantom ship on an electronic lie, and nobody called the bluff.

The bluff was finally called by reality itself, at 10 PM, when the ship jerked to the left with a grinding noise.  It was hard aground on the Rose and Crown Shoal, and could not be backed off.

It was quickly determined that the cable to the GPS antenna had come loose, and the system was not actually obtaining the real, current positions. The captain ran to the LORAN unit, a completely separate electronic navigation system. The position accurately displayed on the LORAN differed from the displayed GPS position by 17 miles.

The GPS unit had in fact honestly disclosed its lack of current information: it did this by displaying the characters ‘DR’…for Dead Reckoning, ie, extrapolating the current course and speed..but the annotation appeared in small characters and was not noticed. The crew thought they were getting an actual portrayal of the current reality, rather than an estimate that would progressively become a guesstimate with the passage of time.

To use the term which has become common in media and political circles, the GPS and its associated display units were creating a convincing narrative…a narrative so convincing that no one, evidently, took the trouble to cross-check it with the LORAN, or to do a celestial fix.

How many American citizens live in a media and information environment which is as closed and as convincing as what the crew of the Royal Majesty was seeing on their bridge?  Consider how quickly overwhelming media narratives were put together concerning, for example, the Hunter Biden laptop or the murders of the women in Atlanta.  In most such cases, you could watch CNN, MSNBC, and some of the old-line tv networks, you could listen to NPR, you could look at the memes being circulated on social media–and they would all be telling you the same story, an overall narrative which for most people will be as consistent and as convincing as that phantom world displayed on the Royal Majesty‘s radar scope and plotted on the paper charts was that ship’s Second Officer.

As disasters go, the Royal Majesty affair was a fairly minor one: embarrassing and expensive, but no one was killed or injured.  Here’s a case that was much worse–the approach of a Delta Airlines flight into Boston Logan Airport, on July 31, 1973.

At 11:40:07, the Captain advised the First Officer, who was doing the flying for this approach:

You better go to raw data.  I don’t trust that thing.

“That thing” was a Flight Director, an instrument that displays the calculated actions needed to follow a desired flight path.  Both Captain and the FO had become concerned about indications on this instrument which didn’t seem to make sense.

It was too late.  25 seconds later, the plane slammed into the seawall. There were no survivors.

The NTSB determined that the Flight Director’s ‘mode’ switch was incorrectly set: while the Captain and the FO believed it was displaying the calculated actions required for the airplane to follow the Instrument Landing System radio beam down to the runway, it was actually doing no such thing.  “Raw data” refers to the display of the plane’s actual, physical vertical and horizontal deviation from where it should be on the ILS beam…and would have shown that the airplane was not where it needed to be.  The Raw Data was not, however, so prominently displayed on the instrument panel as were the Flight Director commands.

Convincing displays, convincing narratives, can be very dangerous.  New information tends to be absorbed into the overall picture.  When the navigating officer of the Royal Majesty observed the radar reflection of a buoy on his radar screen, and, shortly thereafter, the passage of a buoy was reported on the ship’s port side, it confirmed in his mind that it was the ‘BA’ buoy, which marks to entrance to the Boston traffic lanes…and the whole GPS-derived picture became even more convincing.  But it wasn’t really BA–it was actually the Asia Rip buoy, anchored to a sunken wreck, which marks the Rose and Crown Shoal.

In the political/media sphere, the misleading narratives that are convincingly presented are not the matter or mechanical or human error, they are a matter of human design.  Some of the people and organizations propagating these narratives know they are false, some would rather–for career or social reasons–not think about it too deeply, and some actually believe the narratives. It happens on both/all political sides, but happens a lot more, and more effectively, on the Left, because the Left/Woke dominance of media is so nearly complete. And the narrative-protection by the Left has become extremely aggressive; it is no longer a matter of subtle shading.

The pilot and copilot of Flight 723 had only a matter of seconds to question and cross-check the ‘narrative’ that they were seeing on their Flight Director.  Citizens, operating in the political/media sphere, have less time pressure…but the time available is not infinite.  Multiple sources of information are more available than at any point in history–but the Narrative of the like-thinking media and its influence strategies is overwhelming, especially for people who don’t have a lot of time to follow political matters.  Confirmation bias, too, plays a strong role.  And the very nature of social media, I think, tends to reduce attention spans and adversely affect the kind of thoughtful reading and analysis skills which are essential in forming independent judgments of facts and policies.

The key question:

In our present era in America, will a sufficient number of people, metaphorically speaking, check the displayed GPS position against the LORAN, or check the Flight Director command bars against the raw localizer and glideslope data?  And will they do so before it is too late for recovery?

(More on the Royal Majesty incident at my post here.  Detail on the Delta Flight 723 accident is provided in the NTSB report.)

An earlier version of this post was published at Chicago Boyz, where there is a good comment thread.

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  1. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Add to that–thanks to the ubiquity of junk and noise on the internet–the difficulty of finding reliable data.  Anyone know if hydroxychloroquine works on Covid?  Lots of opinions.  Solid, reliable data…not so much.  That’s just one, sad, example.

    • #1
  2. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    As a current example of narrative control, see this: failure to cover the story about Kerry’s alleged passing of Israeli intelligence information to Iran:

    http://commonsensewonder.blogspot.com/2021/04/manipulating-news.html

    • #2
  3. MISTER BITCOIN Member
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Add to that–thanks to the ubiquity of junk and noise on the internet–the difficulty of finding reliable data. Anyone know if hydroxychloroquine works on Covid? Lots of opinions. Solid, reliable data…not so much. That’s just one, sad, example.

    HCQ works on covid especially HCQ + z pak

     

    • #3
  4. MISTER BITCOIN Member
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    David Foster (View Comment):

    As a current example of narrative control, see this: failure to cover the story about Kerry’s alleged passing of Israeli intelligence information to Iran:

    http://commonsensewonder.blogspot.com/2021/04/manipulating-news.html

    Kerry’s daughter Vanessa is married to Iranian national

     

    • #4
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Add to that–thanks to the ubiquity of junk and noise on the internet–the difficulty of finding reliable data. Anyone know if hydroxychloroquine works on Covid? Lots of opinions. Solid, reliable data…not so much. That’s just one, sad, example.

    HCQ works on covid especially HCQ + z pak

     

    You better go to the raw data on that.

    • #5
  6. MISTER BITCOIN Member
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Add to that–thanks to the ubiquity of junk and noise on the internet–the difficulty of finding reliable data. Anyone know if hydroxychloroquine works on Covid? Lots of opinions. Solid, reliable data…not so much. That’s just one, sad, example.

    HCQ works on covid especially HCQ + z pak

     

    You better go to the raw data on that.

    Dr. Harvey Risch

     

    • #6
  7. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Add to that–thanks to the ubiquity of junk and noise on the internet–the difficulty of finding reliable data. Anyone know if hydroxychloroquine works on Covid? Lots of opinions. Solid, reliable data…not so much. That’s just one, sad, example.

    HCQ works on covid especially HCQ + z pak

     

    You better go to the raw data on that.

    Dr. Harvey Risch

     

    Giving the name of an authority figure is pretty much the opposite of going to the raw data. 

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Excellent metaphor, David. It really shines a light on our current dilemma. Thank you.

    • #8
  9. MISTER BITCOIN Member
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Add to that–thanks to the ubiquity of junk and noise on the internet–the difficulty of finding reliable data. Anyone know if hydroxychloroquine works on Covid? Lots of opinions. Solid, reliable data…not so much. That’s just one, sad, example.

    HCQ works on covid especially HCQ + z pak

     

    You better go to the raw data on that.

    Dr. Harvey Risch

     

    Giving the name of an authority figure is pretty much the opposite of going to the raw data.

    I’ve read his research.

     

    • #9
  10. MISTER BITCOIN Member
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Add to that–thanks to the ubiquity of junk and noise on the internet–the difficulty of finding reliable data. Anyone know if hydroxychloroquine works on Covid? Lots of opinions. Solid, reliable data…not so much. That’s just one, sad, example.

    HCQ works on covid especially HCQ + z pak

     

    You better go to the raw data on that.

    Dr. Harvey Risch

     

    Giving the name of an authority figure is pretty much the opposite of going to the raw data.

    If you read his numerous research papers on the topic, you will see raw data

     

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Add to that–thanks to the ubiquity of junk and noise on the internet–the difficulty of finding reliable data. Anyone know if hydroxychloroquine works on Covid? Lots of opinions. Solid, reliable data…not so much. That’s just one, sad, example.

    HCQ works on covid especially HCQ + z pak

     

    You better go to the raw data on that.

    Dr. Harvey Risch

     

    Giving the name of an authority figure is pretty much the opposite of going to the raw data.

    If you read his numerous research papers on the topic, you will see raw data

    For example? 

    • #11
  12. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Here’s a review article on hydroxychloroquine use against Covid.  As they report, the data are all over the place.  I didn’t mean to derail the OP, but just to point to a fine example of the ubiquity of “data” and “anecdata” that can be found on a subject without providing a clear answer to the question at hand.  There is a lot of confirmation bias in the choosing of which “data” to accept or deny.  This is the danger that, as I understand it, the OP is demonstrating.

    • #12
  13. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    The examples are interesting lessons, and my initial impression is that they provide a good analogy.

    You sense the “but” coming, right?

    But . . . the examples of the erroneous GPS and Flight Director systems show the problem of relying on a technological system that can provide incorrect information.  That is not what is occurring in our culture.  What is occurring is the conscious propagation of a false narrative, but actual human beings who either know better, or should knot better.

    So I think that the proper analogy is older.  It’s the Pied Piper, perhaps.  Or, worse still, the One who is a liar and the father of lies.

    • #13
  14. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    What is occurring is the conscious propagation of a false narrative, but actual human beings who either know better, or should knot better.

    Yes, much of the Narrative is constructed by people who either know they are propagating falsehoods, or who are themselves captives of the Narrative and don’t cross-check or question it.  I like the analogy because it shows vividly just how persuasive and seemingly all-encompassing a particular display of information can be.

    it seemed that the entire world lived and moved transparently, inside that little green screen. Using this compelling display, the second officer was piloting a phantom ship on an electronic lie

    Doesn’t this describe the mental world of many Americans today?  Phantom current events and phantom history, portrayed consistently from many sources.

    • #14
  15. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Closely related to this topic is the subject of ideologically closed systems.  Arthur Koestler, himself a former Communist, wrote:

    A closed sysem has three peculiarities. Firstly, it claims to represent a truth of universal validity, capable of explaining all phenomena, and to have a cure for all that ails man. In the second place, it is a system which cannot be refuted by evidence, because all potentially damaging data are automatically processed and reinterpreted to make them fit the expected pattern. The processing is done by sophisticated methods of causistry, centered on axioms of great emotive power, and indifferent to the rules of common logic; it is a kind of Wonderland croquet, played with mobile hoops. In the third place, it is a system which invalidates criticism by shifting the argument to the subjective motivation of the critic, and deducing his motivation from the axioms of the system itself. The orthodox Freudian school in its early stages approximated a closed system; if you argued that for such and such reasons you doubted the existence of the so-called castration complex, the Freudian’s prompt answer was that your argument betrayed an unconscious resistance indicating that you ourself have a castration complex; you were caught in a vicious circle. Similarly, if you argued with a Stalinist that to make a pact with Hitler was not a nice thing to do he would explain that your bourgeois class-consciousness made you unable to understand the dialectics of history…In short, the closed system excludes the possibility of objective argument by two related proceedings: (a) facts are deprived of their value as evidence by scholastic processing; (b) objections are invalidated by shifting the argument to the personal motive behind the objection. This procedure is legitimate according to the closed system’s rules of the game which, however absurd they seem to the outsider, have a great coherence and inner consistency.

    The atmosphere inside the closed system is highly charged; it is an emoional hothouse…The trained, “closed-minded” theologian, psychoanalyst, or Marxist can at any time make mincemeat of his “open-minded” adversary and thus prove the superiority of his system to the world and to himself.

    • #15
  16. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Closely related to this topic is the subject of ideologically closed systems. Arthur Koestler, himself a former Communist, wrote:

    A closed sysem has three peculiarities. Firstly, it claims to represent a truth of universal validity, capable of explaining all phenomena, and to have a cure for all that ails man. In the second place, it is a system which cannot be refuted by evidence, because all potentially damaging data are automatically processed and reinterpreted to make them fit the expected pattern. The processing is done by sophisticated methods of causistry, centered on axioms of great emotive power, and indifferent to the rules of common logic; it is a kind of Wonderland croquet, played with mobile hoops. In the third place, it is a system which invalidates criticism by shifting the argument to the subjective motivation of the critic, and deducing his motivation from the axioms of the system itself. The orthodox Freudian school in its early stages approximated a closed system; if you argued that for such and such reasons you doubted the existence of the so-called castration complex, the Freudian’s prompt answer was that your argument betrayed an unconscious resistance indicating that you ourself have a castration complex; you were caught in a vicious circle. Similarly, if you argued with a Stalinist that to make a pact with Hitler was not a nice thing to do he would explain that your bourgeois class-consciousness made you unable to understand the dialectics of history…In short, the closed system excludes the possibility of objective argument by two related proceedings: (a) facts are deprived of their value as evidence by scholastic processing; (b) objections are invalidated by shifting the argument to the personal motive behind the objection. This procedure is legitimate according to the closed system’s rules of the game which, however absurd they seem to the outsider, have a great coherence and inner consistency.

    The atmosphere inside the closed system is highly charged; it is an emoional hothouse…The trained, “closed-minded” theologian, psychoanalyst, or Marxist can at any time make mincemeat of his “open-minded” adversary and thus prove the superiority of his system to the world and to himself.

    I’ll bet your average critical race theorist has the intellectual ability to not understand this. 

    • #16
  17. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Closely related to this topic is the subject of ideologically closed systems. Arthur Koestler, himself a former Communist, wrote:

    A closed sysem has three peculiarities. Firstly, it claims to represent a truth of universal validity, capable of explaining all phenomena, and to have a cure for all that ails man. In the second place, it is a system which cannot be refuted by evidence, because all potentially damaging data are automatically processed and reinterpreted to make them fit the expected pattern. The processing is done by sophisticated methods of causistry, centered on axioms of great emotive power, and indifferent to the rules of common logic; it is a kind of Wonderland croquet, played with mobile hoops. In the third place, it is a system which invalidates criticism by shifting the argument to the subjective motivation of the critic, and deducing his motivation from the axioms of the system itself. The orthodox Freudian school in its early stages approximated a closed system; if you argued that for such and such reasons you doubted the existence of the so-called castration complex, the Freudian’s prompt answer was that your argument betrayed an unconscious resistance indicating that you ourself have a castration complex; you were caught in a vicious circle. Similarly, if you argued with a Stalinist that to make a pact with Hitler was not a nice thing to do he would explain that your bourgeois class-consciousness made you unable to understand the dialectics of history…In short, the closed system excludes the possibility of objective argument by two related proceedings: (a) facts are deprived of their value as evidence by scholastic processing; (b) objections are invalidated by shifting the argument to the personal motive behind the objection. This procedure is legitimate according to the closed system’s rules of the game which, however absurd they seem to the outsider, have a great coherence and inner consistency.

    The atmosphere inside the closed system is highly charged; it is an emoional hothouse…The trained, “closed-minded” theologian, psychoanalyst, or Marxist can at any time make mincemeat of his “open-minded” adversary and thus prove the superiority of his system to the world and to himself.

    I’ll bet your average critical race theorist has the intellectual ability to not understand this.

    So you’re saying you’re a racist then. 

    • #17
  18. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Excellent post and a beautiful analogy. The key difference, I think, is that the false data being reported by the GPS and other systems were inherently plausible, whereas the false narrative we are receiving today is not.

    What we are being told today is that America as a whole accepts a very implausible and even outlandish narrative. I don’t think most people do accept it, and I think we’re in a situation where most of the crew rejects what we see on the screen, but is unwilling to be so gauche as to say it out loud.

    And I think that’s changing, that reticence fading. I believe the left has overplayed its hand.

    • #18
  19. John Racette Inactive
    John Racette
    @JohnRacette

    Super post, David. 

    “You better go to raw data” is going to be my new trolling catch phrase.

    • #19
  20. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Actually, the Amish get plenty of covid-19.  They get vaccinated, too, though there is also plenty of skepticism about government programs and also some concern about the use of fetal cells lines in their testing. So maybe there is more reluctance to get vaccinated than in the general population, but there are plenty of Amish who do get vaccinated. Health officials in some of the counties around here that have large Amish populations tend to be understanding of Amish ways and concerns, but I imagine it varies from place to place and person to person. 

    • #21
  22. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Excellent post and a beautiful analogy. The key difference, I think, is that the false data being reported by the GPS and other systems were inherently plausible, whereas the false narrative we are receiving today is not.

    What we are being told today is that America as a whole accepts a very implausible and even outlandish narrative. I don’t think most people do accept it, and I think we’re in a situation where most of the crew rejects what we see on the screen, but is unwilling to be so gauche as to say it out loud.

    And I think that’s changing, that reticence fading. I believe the left has overplayed its hand.

    I think you may be underestimating the extent to which Democratic Party voters are “siloed”; that is, kept away from any media not controlled by the Left.

    The inconsistent details in the narratives are simply left out.  For example, #stopAsianhate reinforces the narrative that white supremacists are the greatest threat; simply by leaving out the fact that attacks on Asians are disproportionately by minorities.

    At the Academy Awards, a presenter referred to the fact that, on average, police will kill three people every day. He left out the fact that two of those three will be white.

    • #22
  23. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Taras (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Excellent post and a beautiful analogy. The key difference, I think, is that the false data being reported by the GPS and other systems were inherently plausible, whereas the false narrative we are receiving today is not.

    What we are being told today is that America as a whole accepts a very implausible and even outlandish narrative. I don’t think most people do accept it, and I think we’re in a situation where most of the crew rejects what we see on the screen, but is unwilling to be so gauche as to say it out loud.

    And I think that’s changing, that reticence fading. I believe the left has overplayed its hand.

    I think you may be underestimating the extent to which Democratic Party voters are “siloed”; that is, kept away from any media not controlled by the Left.

    The inconsistent details in the narratives are simply left out. For example, #stopAsianhate reinforces the narrative that white supremacists are the greatest threat; simply by leaving out the fact that attacks on Asians are disproportionately by minorities.

    At the Academy Awards, a presenter referred to the fact that, on average, police will kill three people every day. He left out the fact that two of those three will be white.

    You could be right. However, I think the situation is a little different. I don’t think most people are “kept away” from media. Rather, I think most people don’t really care, and make little effort to find out. And I think that’s changing, as the absurdity of progressive overreach becomes more apparent.

    “At the Academy Awards…” America didn’t show up. Because America is beginning to take notice.

     

    • #23
  24. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    David Foster: Convincing displays, convincing narratives, can be very dangerous.  New information tends to be absorbed into the overall picture.

    Nuclear power plants have an SPDS display (Safety Parameter Display System).  It’s a relatively simple display that allows operators to recover the plant using function restoration procedures when the normal emergency operating procedures don’t make sense given the sheer number of indicators available to the operators.  Typical control room:

    For the life of me, I could not find a single picture of an SPDS on line.

    The SPDS monitors what are called “critical safety functions”.  These are things such as reactor power, core cooling, containment integrity, secondary heat sink, and I forgot the other two.  Anyway, raw data can be very helpful when the s**t hits the fan . . .

    • #24
  25. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    The reason raw data is filtered is because there’s too much of it.  A human being who looks at raw data has to know what to look for, and use his own intuition to filter out the extraneous stuff.

    I know this is supposed to be an analogy for political decision making, but focusing on the actual incidents involved, this is a case where machines have taken over decision making, and it results in human pilots, marine and aeronautical, being less engaged.

    In the medical community you have similar problems, where machines do the monitoring and the nurses and doctors touch the patient less, rarely taking their own blood pressures and pulses.

    These machines have taken over in large part because the regulators no longer trust humans.  The phrase human error has been used to justify this, and truth be told, has resulted in less accidents not more.

    I did do some Googling of the Royal Majesty incident, and one of the findings was that their system was incorrectly configured and the personnel had no training on it.  Apparently, it had the capability of reading the LORAN data and using it as a check.

    • #25
  26. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Here’s a review article on hydroxychloroquine use against Covid. As they report, the data are all over the place. I didn’t mean to derail the OP, but just to point to a fine example of the ubiquity of “data” and “anecdata” that can be found on a subject without providing a clear answer to the question at hand. There is a lot of confirmation bias in the choosing of which “data” to accept or deny. This is the danger that, as I understand it, the OP is demonstrating.

    And it gets worse. Much worse. Is the “raw data” really raw, or manipulated, perhaps “corrected,” without express acknowledgment on the particular source you see? How was the “raw data” generated? What was collected and what was not collected? Given the almost total politicization of “science” by the Lab Coat Left, “raw data” should also be viewed with skepticism.

    • #26
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Here’s a review article on hydroxychloroquine use against Covid. As they report, the data are all over the place. I didn’t mean to derail the OP, but just to point to a fine example of the ubiquity of “data” and “anecdata” that can be found on a subject without providing a clear answer to the question at hand. There is a lot of confirmation bias in the choosing of which “data” to accept or deny. This is the danger that, as I understand it, the OP is demonstrating.

    And it gets worse. Much worse. Is the “raw data” really raw, or manipulated, perhaps “corrected,” without express acknowledgment on the particular source you see? How was the “raw data” generated? What was collected and what was not collected? Given the almost total politicization of “science” by the Lab Coat Left, “raw data” should also be viewed with skepticism.

    That can be a problem, but in academic science papers there is supposed to be adequate explanation of how the data were obtained.  There have been examples of cheating, but that’s far less of a problem than the way the results are reported (or ignored) by the news media.

    • #27
  28. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Excellent post and a beautiful analogy. The key difference, I think, is that the false data being reported by the GPS and other systems were inherently plausible, whereas the false narrative we are receiving today is not.

    What we are being told today is that America as a whole accepts a very implausible and even outlandish narrative. I don’t think most people do accept it, and I think we’re in a situation where most of the crew rejects what we see on the screen, but is unwilling to be so gauche as to say it out loud.

    And I think that’s changing, that reticence fading. I believe the left has overplayed its hand.

    I think you may be underestimating the extent to which Democratic Party voters are “siloed”; that is, kept away from any media not controlled by the Left.

    The inconsistent details in the narratives are simply left out. For example, #stopAsianhate reinforces the narrative that white supremacists are the greatest threat; simply by leaving out the fact that attacks on Asians are disproportionately by minorities.

    At the Academy Awards, a presenter referred to the fact that, on average, police will kill three people every day. He left out the fact that two of those three will be white.

    You could be right. However, I think the situation is a little different. I don’t think most people are “kept away” from media. Rather, I think most people don’t really care, and make little effort to find out. And I think that’s changing, as the absurdity of progressive overreach becomes more apparent.

    “At the Academy Awards…” America didn’t show up. Because America is beginning to take notice.

     

    It’s not that they don’t really care.  Rather, liberals and progressives really do care — about maintaining their comfortable bubbles.  

    No matter how politely you pop those bubbles, in my experience going back decades, the response is usually to howl invective, followed by running away.  

    Surveys have shown that, in social media, liberals block conservatives much more often than the reverse.  It’s not just that they are not interested in hearing the other side; they are determined not to hear the other side!

     

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  29. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Here’s a review article on hydroxychloroquine use against Covid. As they report, the data are all over the place. I didn’t mean to derail the OP, but just to point to a fine example of the ubiquity of “data” and “anecdata” that can be found on a subject without providing a clear answer to the question at hand. There is a lot of confirmation bias in the choosing of which “data” to accept or deny. This is the danger that, as I understand it, the OP is demonstrating.

    And it gets worse. Much worse. Is the “raw data” really raw, or manipulated, perhaps “corrected,” without express acknowledgment on the particular source you see? How was the “raw data” generated? What was collected and what was not collected? Given the almost total politicization of “science” by the Lab Coat Left, “raw data” should also be viewed with skepticism.

    That can be a problem, but in academic science papers there is supposed to be adequate explanation of how the data were obtained. There have been examples of cheating, but that’s far less of a problem than the way the results are reported (or ignored) by the news media.

    Several years ago the National Weather Service recalculated U.S. temperatures in the first half of the 20th century.  Where the numbers published at the time showed temperatures rising and then falling, the new numbers show a steady rise, more in synch with global warming theory.

    • #29
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Taras (View Comment):
     

    Several years ago the National Weather Service recalculated U.S. temperatures in the first half of the 20th century.  Where the numbers published at the time showed temperatures rising and then falling, the new numbers show a steady rise, more in synch with global warming theory.

    It’s possible, but the NWS is not academia. I’d need to see the data.  I do know academics who were trying to use NWS data, some of which I was involved with. There are raw data, and there are different ideas, e.g., on how to account for heat islands. One nearby institution operated a NWS station for a hundred years, while a city grew up around it. It was rare, at least in our part of the country, to have a continuous record that long. The institution was being shut down and their operation of an NWS station came to an end. So there are different ideas on how to piece together data to make a continuous record.  As someone else pointed out, the raw data aren’t always that useful in themselves. But it’s good to know how the data were processed to come up with the semi-cooked data that are used in models. As I understand it, one of the problems with Michael Mann’s data was that he didn’t provide enough information to let others know what he had done. His methods couldn’t be reproduced.

     

    • #30
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