an epidemic of self delusion

this stage of the pandemic is really one of the more mystifying parts. if you listen closely, you can hear the popping of burning wires.

i got vaccinated.

i got covid.

i got really sick.

thank goodness i got vaccinated!

you should get vaccinated too!

i mean, at a certain point you’re thanking your lucky rabbit foot for keeping you from having lost your gold fillings on top of your wristwatch last poker night…


it’s like the last vestiges of observational capability have finally been beaten out of a meaningful portion of the population.

truly, we have entered the post rational world of the unfalsifiable claim.

“it would have been worse if i had not!”

Sal the Agorist on Twitter: "When the public 'schooling' kicks in" / Twitter

it’s such a wonderful meme. so pervasive. so persuasive. and so totally, utterly impervious to contradiction.

it’s the perfect brainworm to justify what you did.

you can show them all the societal data you like about higher rates of hospitalization this year than last in groups that were 95%+ vaccinated.

it does not matter. no aggregate data can refute any individual belief about one specific datapoint among many.

“i’m sure it helped.”

this belief lets anyone feel good about vaccination and boosting even as they fall ill.

it literally turns the contraction of covid by vaccinated people into the belief that covid vaccines worked for them.

this may be the most successful piece of product positioning in human history.

cognitive bias becomes cognitive dissonance becomes an iron bar certainty that your virtuous behavior saved you.

as a perfect pathway to self justification and validation of priors, it’s near 100% effective if you simply believe hard enough.

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the alternative is admitting that you were played for a chump. people are highly averse to such conclusions.

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of course, spotting the chump is easy:

ask such a person what would convince them that the vaccine did not prevent covid from being worse.

see if they have an answer.

if they do not, well, then it’s pure presumption.

that which cannot be falsified cannot be proven either.

bingo. chumpitude verified.

and boy do people not want things proven.

we’ve reached the point where agencies will no longer publish objective data because it does not support their conclusions.

“we cannot provide data because people might analyze it!” is not much of a mantra, is it?

of course, not everyone is going to stop doing analysis.

it feels like we’re giving birth to a whole new field of the anthropology of epidemiology.

at least we’ll have a goodall time…