Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
“Yes. It’s really only since wireless networks got fast enough to stream pictures to portable devices that everything changed, & enabled each individual person to live twenty-four/ seven in their own personalized hallucination stream.” ―Neal Stephenson, Fall; Or, Dodge in Hell
We’re in a guerrilla information war and everyone is a participant.
Here are pertinent rules that apply to the current moment —
a) every single physical event, is won or lost online.
b) this is an asymmetric conflict.
c) you can’t participate if you can’t connect.
Stockdale speaks about how the optimists fared in [prisoner of war] camp. The dialogue goes:
“Who didn’t make it out?”
“Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”
“The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused,
given what he’d said a hundred meters earlier.
“The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by
Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then
they’d say,’We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and
Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas
again. And they died of a broken heart.”
Five simple rules for managing uncertainty in a pandemic
- Most data will be flawed or incomplete. Be honest and transparent about this.
- For some questions, certainty may never be reached. Consider carefully whether to wait for definitive evidence or act on the evidence you have.
- Make sense of complex situations by acknowledging the complexity, admitting ignorance, exploring paradoxes, and reflecting collectively.
- Different people (and different stakeholder groups) interpret data differently. Deliberation among stakeholders may generate multifaceted solutions.
- Pragmatic interventions—carefully observed and compared in real world settings—can generate useful data to complement the findings of controlled trials and other forms of evidence.
“This is a vital addition from @hughes_eilir Respiratory viruses spread faster in winter because we cram indoors and then don’t open the windows. The less ventilation a hospital, school or care home setting has, the higher the risk. The fresher the air, the lower the viral load.” —@DrPhilHammond