Statistics, “Science Based” Governance

re: "lies" and statistics (and some agency denying care because it’s viewed as ineffective, v. letting citizens and markets decide)

Had a friend with a daughter at Uni who was looking for an internship in DC area. I introduced her to a friend at Commerce. In a telecon she expressed her interest in mining their data for new insights, and he waived her off "better for you to go to one of the Pharmas rather than here or anywhere in the USG.. we don’t do statistics, we follow the law."

Which is the same problem many organizations have with self-reporting unless outsourced – the autopsies / after-action reviews the intelligence community did of the majority of their analysts’ failure to forecast the USSR collapse came down to almost all of our secret collection systems reported numbers that documented the apparatchiks lying to themselves. Their leadership actually did not know the truth – and we trusted technical collection too much to deeply pursue hints of reality – food riots, etc..

This gets back to the faiths I’ve mentioned in other settings. You can either trust in a market of free individuals and their enterprise advancing the greatest common good, or you can get the worst of all results (by blending, putting the state’s thumb on the scales, however good the intention has always proven a mistake).

Of note is the discussion about (not) ~“approved use with chemo.” It’s a product of our over-lawyered culture. It (simply) hasn’t been $1B-dollar (double-blind) tested in those combinations. To suggest otherwise would leave them open to liability. Same as the words on the container that holds an Intel-processing chip – ~"not to be used when life at risk" (because they can’t/won’t certify it for that use.. so it’s up to the user to certify if they so need).

Good news is we have yet to take the license away from an M.D. to arbitrarily prescribe and try whatever they think is in the best interest of the patient. So we do get some of the benefit of the random-walk of use trials. Would be even better if we (the state) didn’t play nanny to citizens in terms of what they could prescribe for themselves.

But, like with borders, birthright citizenship, 3rd party payers for medical care, granted egality v. earned success, etc., we can’t have a free people and a welfare state. Though I’m sure we’ll keep on trying and failing (unless and until we decide to defund the federal government for anything/everything related to domestic issues – and push these issues down to the states, or even better each state segmented into 20 new-states – rather than just one place for special interests to influence, they’ll have to invest in 1000 local governments – which then by definition will make a special interest a local interest if/when successful).

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