FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2020
Who lost (track of) Europe?: Cable pundits keep insisting that we're tops in covid deaths.
In fact, after adjusting for population, current daily / weekly death rates in many European nations are plainly worse than ours. Yesterday, we cited this fact, linking to Kevin Drum's instructive "Chart of the Day."
As Drum's chart shows, current death rates in many Euro nations are substantially worse than ours.
Speaking extremely slowly, this doesn't mean that our own death rate is good. It simply means that their current death rates are worse.
Today, we'll answer a few questions about this state of affairs. To wit:
Why should anyone care about Europe? Who cares if their death rates are worse than ours?
Also, why should anyone care if pundits keep making an imprecise or inaccurate claim? If it helps us pile on Trump, why shouldn't we be grateful for their constant fuzzy or inaccurate statements?
Our answers go something like this:
No one has to care about Europe, or about anything else. It's fairly clear that nobody does. Such is the fairly obvious state of our failing culture.
Many of these European nations seemed to have the virus licked not too long ago. The fact that their situations have spun out of control so quickly could have served as a warning for us lunkheads Over Here.
Concerning persistent pundit misstatement, we'll only offer this:
It's stunning to see how few analytical tools our high-end journalists have. To wit:
As people have known for thousands of years, there's a difference between a "lie" and a "falsehood" or a "misstatement." Routinely, this blindingly obvious point seems to lie beyond the ken of our highest-paid media stars.
Simply put, they don't get it. Amazingly, such ancient distinctions lie beyond their ken.
Similarly, there's a difference between "total deaths to date" and "current daily or weekly death rate." And no, it doesn't make sense to draw certain comparisons between two countries without adjusting for the size of their differing populations.
If major journalists can't gasp such blindingly obvious points, what can they be expected to understand and explain? Routinely, they're left with one tool alone:
They're left with the tool of Standard Group Narrative. Memorize, orate, rinse and repeat. At the present time, it's pretty much all we have.
Our upper-end culture lies in a state of remarkably low cognition. Donald J. Trump is a lunatic, but he didn't invent this state of affairs.
We'll be discussing this cognitive shortfall all through the course of next week.
Psychiatric disorder also seems to be part of the mix. We'll be discussing that too. Needless to say, you'll see this nowhere else!
Meanwhile, west of Cali: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia?
They're sill experiencing very few deaths. That doesn't get talked about either!