Be Careful What You Believe

Sherlock Holmes has pointed out it is a capital mistake to reach conclusions before examining all the evidence.

It is a more significant error to hold on to an old idea in the face of new evidence. As Keynes has said, “When I find new information, I change my mind. What do you do?”

Consider those ideas concerning Covid-19

An early September article reported on the findings of a supercomputer analysis of the genetic effects of the virus. A supercomputer’s analysis¬† We find the disease is two-part. The damage towards the end of its run, which may kill you, is an autoimmune response. I think “Bradykinin storm” may become more prominent in our discussions.

That is in stage 2. The virus causes our body to produce a response that harms us. There are ways to deal with that. What about stage 1?

Understand what tests mean

Knowing the testbed and the population you have studied is a necessity before assessing outcomes.

On 6 September, the National Post published a piece that pointed out that serious studies exist about Hydroxychloroquine and its effects. They showed the substance has no curative properties. It similarly kicked some other drugs to the curb. According to the Post, this is a mistake.  Authorities misinterpreting COVID 19 trial data with disastrous results, Canadian researchers say

Why a mistake?

The drug Hydroxychloroquine works only in the early days of the disease or even as a preventative. That happens before the Bradykinin storm autoimmune effect occurs. The tests examined only the impact on late-disease patients. Tests did not address the disease in the form the drugs could cure. Not hard to see how the scientists may have reached wrong conclusions. We cannot merely dismiss drugs that are effective in the early stages of the disease.

Statistical assessment of meaning requires more careful analysis than we see here in the hydroxychloroquine studies.

Confirmation Bias hurts us all

We live in a complex and changing world. If you hold your beliefs too closely, they will eventually harm you. People must continuously look for both validation and contradiction of their ideas. Especially contradiction.

As George Orwell pointed out, “Right-thinking will be rewarded; wrong thinking punished.”

Holding wrong beliefs prevents solutions. When you know nothing, you can still be right by accident. Keeping discredited ideas is wrong thinking. Pay attention to Keynes.

Attacking the right problem is always better.

I help people understand and manage risk and other financial issues. To help them achieve and exceed their goals, I use tax efficiencies and design advantages. The result: more security, more efficient income, larger and more liquid estates.

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