this is one of the worst studies i've ever seen in any field. it proves nothing apart from the credulity of many mask advocates.
Gato 🐱 I know you are not a doctor, but somehow you know your stuff well about what is important in a RTC. Everything you say is true; it is a crap study. But I will add one more strike. Even IF they had done a decent study, the differences they found are so minuscule and unimportant... It is a classic example of findings that reach statistical significance (p<0.05) due to a very large sample size. But if the numbers were true, they effect would be so small that it would certainly not justify requiring everyone in the population to wear a frigging mask. (How many strikes did they get? I thought three strikes and you are out).
Well … another data point in the soon to be written barn burner titled, “The End of Enlightenment: Our New Dark Age.”
1. Pick a side on a contested issue.
2. Fund a crap study that will hopefully provide numbers that support your side on the policy issue.
3. Publish the crap study in a journal of a field that gave us the last global financial crisis (aka a hack field).
4. Authors of crap study go on twitter and declare that the science is settled.
5. Journos, who now can only stay focused long enough to read a tweet, write a story that the “science is settled.” and link to said author tweet as proof.
6. The “wires” spread journos' “report” hither and yon.
7. TV “experts” read the report from the wires and then go on TeeVee to tell viewers that “the science is settled.”
8. Policy makers and politicians watch the TV experts pronouncement, and proceed to enact said policy because … “the science is settled.”
9. The lights start going out in cities across the land.
OTOH, going forward, whenever I have someone that I *thought* had a clue cite this study, I can use it as a sorting hat to put them in the "dumb as a box of rocks" camp. That is, unless they belong in the, "paid to be an asshole" camp, which still has lots of good seats left.
Basically "The Science" at this point be like: soiejrk$$blkrei&)b;oieoiruoiesur. And that proves masks work. Nobel prize, please. And yes, I'm available for Rachel Maddow.
Can you use capital letters please? I want to take this seriously and show the woke crowd in the U.K. that masks don’t work, but I am being laughed at as your report is in lower-case.
Thanks for the excellent and detailed review. I didn't have the patience to wade through it- when I scanned the study design and conclusions (which "prove masks work!") I was like, NFW this isn't a massive stinking confounder casserole. Next.
They PAID certain treatment groups?
Not even wrong.
I am also just going to call bullshit on the claims they did observations on hundreds of thousands of people. I can pretty much guarantee those numbers are completely fabricated.
Bad Cat, I love your analysis on all things COVID. It strikes me as very intelligent and thought through. My only complaint is that I would love to use your articles as references when interacting with folks who could benefit from quality data that goes against their thinking. I don't really feel like I can, though, because your unconventional disregard for capital letters gives your otherwise excellent writing an automatic lack of credibility in the eyes of the uninitiated. I personally find it annoying, but have grown accustomed and don't notice it because it is so good otherwise.
Your writing is good enough to go mainstream and the general public would benefit from it, so please consider using the shift key so we can spread your work far and wide as it deserves.
OMG, Thank you for this thrashing. There's only a few colleagues I trust enough IRL to have any meaningful discussions re: all things COVID, and even with them I have to be a little bit careful. My poor family has long since tired of me railing into the wind about the poor state of affairs. This article reminds me of the days when we could have a good, hard, scourging of research and subsequent honest debate as to methodology and results. Despite that this dismal study will ultimately be applied to inappropriately, I feel momentarily quite happy having read your efforts here, gato.
I was waiting for the bad cat's obliteration of this study. You did not disappoint.
"i have no idea how NBER fell for it."
The NBER doesn't vet working papers. Members are free to post whatever they wrote. No matter the quality
You will find the SHIFT key on your keyboard in two places. How can a person effectively appeal to established convention and best practices in staking their position fail to begin their sentences properly?
El Gato - really pleased to see you've been quoted in today's update from the UK's Daily Sceptic publication. This website is run in the UK by the Chairman of the Free Speech Union and journalist Toby Young and an excellent team of journalists and subject matter experts. They have been doing an amazing job ever since this horror show started in March 2020, working overnight every day to get the bulletin out. It is a fabulous repository for anyone interested in the truth.
I've been emailing them links to your articles, really glad they're obviously reading them.
(Sun 5th Sept)
Scroll down to News Round-Up:
"“This is one of the worst studies I’ve ever seen in any field,” says El Gato Malo on Substack. “It proves nothing apart from the credulity of many mask advocates.”
Gato, please consider adding a note at the top of this post explaining why you are qualified to criticize the study. I think most people here would like to share it far and wide, and that sort of thing goes a long way toward building credibility with people who don't already follow your writing.
Has anyone cross-checked the findings of the over-60 demographic infection rate with county data here in U.S.? Masked counties vs unmasked and see if that signal shows up? If it doesn't, which I'm betting is the case, then that just adds to the problematic nature of this study and would be good to put out there.