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A new national advisor - BobK - 08-14-2020

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattperez/2020/08/12/who-is-dr-scott-atlas-trumps-new-covid-health-adviser-seen-as-counter-to-fauci-and-birx/amp/

Thoughts ?


RE: A new national advisor - OutsiderFan - 08-14-2020

(08-14-2020, 06:20 PM)BobK Wrote:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattperez/2020/08/12/who-is-dr-scott-atlas-trumps-new-covid-health-adviser-seen-as-counter-to-fauci-and-birx/amp/

Thoughts ?

You really don't want to read my thoughts, so I will keep them to myself.


RE: A new national advisor - BobK - 08-14-2020

I do lol lol


RE: A new national advisor - chrisk - 08-14-2020

CNN on Atlas

Keilar: Dr. Atlas wouldn't know science if it kicked him in the Atlas

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/08/13/brianna-keilar-fact-check-trump-new-coronavirus-adviser-scott-atlas-crn-vpx.cnn


RE: A new national advisor - Hurlburt88 - 08-15-2020

I sure don't get his views on testing!  

A (another) potential embarrassment to the Stanford brand?


RE: A new national advisor - DocSavage87 - 08-15-2020

Scott Atlas is a tool.  Unfortunately he's got some company among Stanford experts who should be investigated for their sloppy research (Ioannidis et al) and whether there was knowing corruption of data as a whistleblower report suggests.

Here's a Scott Atlas opinion column on March 26 that cites the very poorly constructed study by Ioannidis to downplay the virus impact:
Quote:There is massive uncertainty, but using Ioannidis’ mid-range fatality rate, this virus could cause about 10,000 deaths in the United States overall, overall, a number that would not be extraordinary news in the total of flu-like deaths every season. 
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/mar/26/widespread-isolation-and-stopping-all-human-intera/

This guy shouldn't be within ten yards of any group leading the US effort against SARS-CoV-2.


RE: A new national advisor - akiddoc - 08-15-2020

(08-14-2020, 06:20 PM)BobK Wrote:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattperez/2020/08/12/who-is-dr-scott-atlas-trumps-new-covid-health-adviser-seen-as-counter-to-fauci-and-birx/amp/

Thoughts ?

This guy is part of the Silicon Valley mindset that says if you are an expert in one thing, you must be smart enough that you know more than everyone else in every other field. This is the kind of thinking that led to the death of Steve Jobs. It would be the equivalent of a pediatrician saying they know more about geriatric medicine than everyone else.


RE: A new national advisor - oregontim - 08-15-2020

(08-15-2020, 01:38 PM)akiddoc Wrote:  
(08-14-2020, 06:20 PM)BobK Wrote:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattperez/2020/08/12/who-is-dr-scott-atlas-trumps-new-covid-health-adviser-seen-as-counter-to-fauci-and-birx/amp/

Thoughts ?

This guy is part of the Silicon Valley mindset that says if you are an expert in one thing, you must be smart enough that you know more than everyone else in every other field. This is the kind of thinking that led to the death of Steve Jobs. It would be the equivalent of a pediatrician saying they know more about geriatric medicine than everyone else.

This guy is part of a concerted attack on democracy and the constitution of the USA. The current president and his collection of enablers continue to sow division to increase their political power. The continuing attempt to obscure and diffuse Covid-19 information is part of that attack. So finally they found an MD willing to pander to them. The attack on truth, and caution, and national response continues. Sad to see Stanford label applied to this, but it comes with the territory. A kook is more news when Stanford is attached. Dammit.


RE: A new national advisor - Goose - 08-15-2020

(08-15-2020, 01:54 PM)oregontim Wrote:  This guy is part of a concerted attack on democracy and the constitution of the USA. The current president and his collection of enablers continue to sew division to increase their political power. The continuing attempt to obscure and diffuse Covid-19 information is part of that attack. So finally they found an MD willing to pander to them. The attack on truth, and caution, and national response continues. Sad to see Stanford label applied to this, but it comes with the territory. A kook is more news when Stanford is attached. Dammit.
Oregontim, I am not sure which would be worse. It may be that the POTUS of the USA truly believes he is right and everybody who disagrees with him is wrong. In that case, the people sewing division are the ones that disagree with him. Simply agree with him and all would be well. It also may be he is cynically sewing division knowing full well he is wrong and not caring. Either one is pretty horrible. However, I believe it is more the first case than the second. POTUS believes what he has to believe to make him be right. Facts and "reality" just don't matter.
I don't believe he is capable of a well thought out cynical attack on democracy. His native stupidity does it for him. He simply doesn't believe that the COVID-19 epidemic is as bad as it appears to be to everybody else. He can't contemplate the possibility that is true, because if it is, he was wrong. That is impossible, ergo it can't be that bad.


RE: A new national advisor - oregontim - 08-15-2020

(08-15-2020, 02:06 PM)Goose Wrote:  
(08-15-2020, 01:54 PM)oregontim Wrote:  This guy is part of a concerted attack on democracy and the constitution of the USA. The current president and his collection of enablers continue to sew division to increase their political power. The continuing attempt to obscure and diffuse Covid-19 information is part of that attack. So finally they found an MD willing to pander to them. The attack on truth, and caution, and national response continues. Sad to see Stanford label applied to this, but it comes with the territory. A kook is more news when Stanford is attached. Dammit.
Oregontim, I am not sure which would be worse. It may be that the POTUS of the USA truly believes he is right and everybody who disagrees with him is wrong. In that case, the people sewing division are the ones that disagree with him. Simply agree with him and all would be well. It also may be he is cynically sewing division knowing full well he is wrong and not caring. Either one is pretty horrible. However, I believe it is more the first case than the second. POTUS believes what he has to believe to make him be right. Facts and "reality" just don't matter.
I don't believe he is capable of a well thought out cynical attack on democracy. His native stupidity does it for him. He simply doesn't believe that the COVID-19 epidemic is as bad as it appears to be to everybody else. He can't contemplate the possibility that is true, because if it is, he was wrong. That is impossible, ergo it can't be that bad.

Hmmm ... Goose, yes, I have to say, that's a very good explanation. Agreed.

(08-15-2020, 01:54 PM)oregontim Wrote:  This guy is part of a concerted attack on democracy and the constitution of the USA. The current president and his collection of enablers continue to sow division to increase their political power. The continuing attempt to obscure and diffuse Covid-19 information is part of that attack. So finally they found an MD willing to pander to them. The attack on truth, and caution, and national response continues. Sad to see Stanford label applied to this, but it comes with the territory. A kook is more news when Stanford is attached. Dammit.

Wow, different realities. I just got a -1 for the above, with the add-on note: "the seeds of division (?) were sown primarily by Barack" One of the things I hate most about 2020 is that we've lost facts as common ground. That in itself is one of the roots of the Covid-19 crisis, IMO.

And in the spirit of full disclosure, the -1 also pointed out that I had used "sew" instead of "sow." Oops. At least, a silver lining.


RE: A new national advisor - CornFed - 08-16-2020

(08-15-2020, 04:00 PM)oregontim Wrote:  
(08-15-2020, 02:06 PM)Goose Wrote:  
(08-15-2020, 01:54 PM)oregontim Wrote:  This guy is part of a concerted attack on democracy and the constitution of the USA. The current president and his collection of enablers continue to sew division to increase their political power. The continuing attempt to obscure and diffuse Covid-19 information is part of that attack. So finally they found an MD willing to pander to them. The attack on truth, and caution, and national response continues. Sad to see Stanford label applied to this, but it comes with the territory. A kook is more news when Stanford is attached. Dammit.
Oregontim, I am not sure which would be worse. It may be that the POTUS of the USA truly believes he is right and everybody who disagrees with him is wrong. In that case, the people sewing division are the ones that disagree with him. Simply agree with him and all would be well. It also may be he is cynically sewing division knowing full well he is wrong and not caring. Either one is pretty horrible. However, I believe it is more the first case than the second. POTUS believes what he has to believe to make him be right. Facts and "reality" just don't matter.
I don't believe he is capable of a well thought out cynical attack on democracy. His native stupidity does it for him. He simply doesn't believe that the COVID-19 epidemic is as bad as it appears to be to everybody else. He can't contemplate the possibility that is true, because if it is, he was wrong. That is impossible, ergo it can't be that bad.

Hmmm ... Goose, yes, I have to say, that's a very good explanation. Agreed.

(08-15-2020, 01:54 PM)oregontim Wrote:  This guy is part of a concerted attack on democracy and the constitution of the USA. The current president and his collection of enablers continue to sow division to increase their political power. The continuing attempt to obscure and diffuse Covid-19 information is part of that attack. So finally they found an MD willing to pander to them. The attack on truth, and caution, and national response continues. Sad to see Stanford label applied to this, but it comes with the territory. A kook is more news when Stanford is attached. Dammit.

Wow, different realities. I just got a -1 for the above, with the add-on note: "the seeds of division (?) were sown primarily by Barack" One of the things I hate most about 2020 is that we've lost facts as common ground. That in itself is one of the roots of the Covid-19 crisis, IMO.

And in the spirit of full disclosure, the -1 also pointed out that I had used "sew" instead of "sow." Oops. At least, a silver lining.

Many writers have observed that Trump's election was, in large part, a backlash to the divisiveness of Obama and his administration.  His insults about "bitter clingers" and his comments about bringing a gun if his opponents bring a knife and myriad other reckless, dismissive comments, finally angered a sufficient segment of the public (combined with a horrible candidate and campaign in Hillary Clinton) that Trump won.  I don't think anyone would assert that Trump is not divisive.  I find it remarkable if you would assert that Obama was not.

Division is a tool that corrupt politicians use to control the largest possible segment of the electorate.  The tactic is despicable.  It is very prevalent, but it is not useful to promote solutions for big issues.  Obama, unfortunately, was an expert practitioner of the tactic.

https://www.npr.org/2017/01/19/510533942/obama-opened-the-way-for-a-cynical-demagogue-conservative-commentator-says


RE: A new national advisor - Mick - 08-16-2020

(08-15-2020, 01:38 PM)akiddoc Wrote:  This guy is part of the Silicon Valley mindset that says if you are an expert in one thing, you must be smart enough that you know more than everyone else in every other field. This is the kind of thinking that led to the death of Steve Jobs. It would be the equivalent of a pediatrician saying they know more about geriatric medicine than everyone else.

That mindset drives me crazy.  I would never, in a million years, think of telling a lawyer how to draft a contract or a complaint, but at least twice a day, I get lawyers telling me how to market.  Example: one lawyer told me we needed acrylic business cards because they would make us stand out. That's true, it would make us stand out, but not in the way that he'd expect. I told him if we sold acrylic that would be a great idea.  

I heard one comedian discuss COVID by admiring the number of Communications grads who apparently recently received their M.D.'s as well, based upon how they hold forth on the coronavirus.


RE: A new national advisor - ATLcardinal - 08-16-2020

The Wehner interview is pretty reasonable.  His analysis of Obama divisiveness seems to be: 1) He promised to heal divisions and didn't do that; 2) He accused Replublicans of putting party before country; and 3) He was so smart and analytical that once he reached a position on something he felt that if you couldn't see how reasonable and rational it was you must be cynical.  All fair and Obama was too partisan in my opinion although divisiveness is in the eye of the beholder. Note that the interview was done before Trump was inaugurated.  Wehner is a very smart guy and if one looks at what he is saying more recently he is not wasting a lot breath comparing Trump to Obama or blaming Obama for Trump -- you stop complaining about your neighbor's aggressive Jack Russell when the other neighbor brings home a pitbull:

https://lithub.com/peter-wehner-i-am-critical-of-trump-because-i-am-a-conservative/

https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2020/07/trump-has-upended-conservatism-says-lifelong-republican-peter-wehner-at-u-of-m-forum/


RE: A new national advisor - Mick - 08-16-2020

(08-16-2020, 08:39 AM)ATLcardinal Wrote:  The Wehner interview is pretty reasonable.  His analysis of Obama divisiveness seems to be: 1) He promised to heal divisions and didn't do that; 2) He accused Replublicans of putting party before country; and 3) He was so smart and analytical that once he reached a position on something he felt that if you couldn't see how reasonable and rational it was you must be cynical.  All fair and Obama was too partisan in my opinion although divisiveness is in the eye of the beholder. Note that the interview was done before Trump was inaugurated.  Wehner is a very smart guy and if one looks at what he is saying more recently he is not wasting a lot breath comparing Trump to Obama or blaming Obama for Trump -- you stop complaining about your neighbor's aggressive Jack Russell when the other neighbor brings home a pitbull:

https://lithub.com/peter-wehner-i-am-critical-of-trump-because-i-am-a-conservative/

https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2020/07/trump-has-upended-conservatism-says-lifelong-republican-peter-wehner-at-u-of-m-forum/

TERRY RULE!!!


RE: A new national advisor - Goose - 08-16-2020

(08-16-2020, 07:28 AM)CornFed Wrote:  Division is a tool that corrupt politicians use to control the largest possible segment of the electorate.  The tactic is despicable.  It is very prevalent, but it is not useful to promote solutions for big issues.
CornFed, I don't agree with this analysis. The politician wants to get as much support as possible. Ideally, everybody would agree with the particular policy the politician adopts. The problem arises when that doesn't happen. In the past, politicians genuinely attempted to win over the doubters, and engaged in real discussions with the opposition. That is no longer true.

What has changed is that politicians now attack not the position adopted by the opposition but rather the motives and character of the opposition. It is not what you want to do but why you want to do it that is questioned. You are "bad" and "stupid", not simply wrong in some way. This type of activity has always existed around the margins, but the "political class" and the "media class" simply didn't allow it to be mainstreamed. That is no longer true. Once it becomes personal attack, not logic, it is almost impossible for anybody to change their mind. If you do change your mind (which is difficult enough to do), you are now implicitly admitting you were indeed bad and stupid. Nobody is going to do that. Positions become "locked in" and unchangeable. It leads to gridlock.

In this type of a political climate, compromise is impossible, because to do so is to make a pact with "evil". It becomes morally inadmissible. If you want to see how that goes, look at France in the 1930s.  Better Hitler than Blum. It isn't a matter of politicians being "corrupt". It is rather a matter of them choosing a strategy that is all or nothing and ascribing evil motives to everyone who does not agree with them. It is much easier than trying to convince those people that you are right, or worse still admitting that both points of view have merit and we collectively need to forge a way ahead that works for everybody.

Unfortunately, many politicians (and thus the public) actually believes anyone who disagrees with them is ipso facto evil. The current political climate also leads to the naked application of partisan political power in ways that would never, ever, happened before. In the past, both parties knew that having 51% of the vote was not a mandate to do exactly what they wanted and to disregard the opposition. That simply won't work in the long run. Eventually, the opposition will get the 51% and then what? Executive orders are now used by both parties to solve problems in ways they can't pass through congress. DACA and moving military funds to build a border wall are both examples of the same failure. Neither POTUS was willing to go actually lead the people and do the heavy lifting it would take to actually address the real issues and force the congress to act.

The current approach of "moral absolutes" leads to true believers being elected. The current COVID-19 situation at the Federal level is driven by the fact Trump actually believes that his "gut feel" on issues is correct more often than the experts are. That is how he has run his companies. Sometimes it works out he actually was correct and he makes money. Sometimes he wasn't, and the company goes bankrupt. Not quite a viable approach for our nation, but there we are. In case one thinks this is a personal issue with Trump, consider Elon Musk as POTUS. He also believes he is right more often than the experts. So far, he has been. However, I think trusting leadership of a nation to such a person based only on their track record isn't a good bet. The risk/reward curves are just too different.


lex24 - lex24 - 08-16-2020

I don’t know Scott Atlas from Adam’’s off ox.  But I am struck by how perfectly this discussion fits into one of Jonathan Haidt’s “three great untruths”, this one being “Us vs Them (Life is a battle between good people and evil people”. ) It is not enough to disagree, we must prove our moral righteousness by always questioning the “other sides”  motives and “morality.”  Adams therefore is not just “wrong”. He’s a “tool”. Part of a plot to lead us to dictatorship.

The divisiveness in this country has been with us and growing for quite some time.  It did not begin with either Trump or Obama. Far from it.  Politicians exploit this diviseness on both “sides”. (I am sure, btw, that many reading this are confident that it is the “other side” that is the cause.) If you question that talk to your friends on the “other side of the political spectrum from you- assuming you have anyone- and ask.  Most, if they are honest with you (and comfortable enough with you to say it - will blame the other side. It’s  human nature.)

If you are interested at all in exploring this, Haidt is a great read. Start with “The Righteous Mind: Why good people can’t talk about politics and religious”.  (Written, I believe in 2013) Haidt  is a moral psychologist. He was a prof at Univ of Chicago. I think now NYU.  But I’m unsure on that.

The book is apolitical from a “blame” perspective.  It discusses why we are so much more divided (and segregated) ideologically than we were 20 years or so prior.  It also notes the differences in how progressives and conservatives think. 

It is a great read, imo. ( And if you like it his book with a Greg Luckinbill written in 2018 “The Coddling of the American mind is a great read. Haidt and Luckinbill centervthe book on what they consider the “three great untruths”:  1.  The Untuth of Frgaility (What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker) 2. The untruth of emotional reasoning (Always trust your feelings) and 3. The Untruth of Us vs Them (Life is a battle between good people and evil people). 

 Unless and until we can discuss issues openly, honestly, rationally and without moral indignation towards those with whom we disagree, we will, imo, continue to spiral down this path.

I had not read Goose’s post.  So I’m sorry for the redundancy. Although I did bring in the Haidt aspect.  And, no Im not his publicist!


RE: lex24 - DocSavage87 - 08-16-2020

(08-16-2020, 11:10 AM)lex24 Wrote:  I don’t know Scott Atlas from Adam’’s off ox.  But I am struck by how perfectly this discussion fits into one of Jonathan Haidt’s “three great untruths”, this one being “Us vs Them (Life is a battle between good people and evil people”. ) It is not enough to disagree, we must prove our moral righteousness by always questioning the “other sides”  motives and “morality.”  Adams therefore is not just “wrong”. He’s a “tool”. Part of a plot to lead us to dictatorship.
I am struck how people so readily take a holier-than-thou attitude, never mentioning the actual evidence of how a person behaved and how badly he botched his predictions before painting other people as hysterical, unreasoned mobs.  If you don't know Scott Atlas at all, why are you even commenting on how others feel about him.  If you did see him hawking his perspective well before we even had decent data -- about how this was all an overreaction and continuing to say the same all through this pandemic, then maybe you should comment on that.  That's why he's a tool.  He's never changed his opinions, despite all evidence to the contrary, and that's why he was selected to be part of the task force despite his lack of expertise in either epidemiology or infectious diseases.


RE: lex24 - Goose - 08-16-2020

(08-16-2020, 11:10 AM)lex24 Wrote:   Unless and until we can discuss issues openly, honestly, rationally and without moral indignation towards those with whom we disagree, we will, imo, continue to spiral down this path.
Totally agree.


RE: lex24 - DocSavage87 - 08-16-2020

(08-16-2020, 11:54 AM)Goose Wrote:  
(08-16-2020, 11:10 AM)lex24 Wrote:   Unless and until we can discuss issues openly, honestly, rationally and without moral indignation towards those with whom we disagree, we will, imo, continue to spiral down this path.
Totally agree.

It's a nice sentiment we should all agree with.  Unfortunately the first part of his comment is an attack on those with whom he disagrees with moral indignation toward their obviously poor analysis and arguments lacking nuance.  He never touches the actual evidence and points raised by those people because obviously they are not arguing in good faith.


RE: lex24 - Goose - 08-16-2020

(08-16-2020, 11:45 AM)DocSavage87 Wrote:  He's never changed his opinions, despite all evidence to the contrary,
Which may make him very very wrong, but does not make him a "tool".
Quote:and that's why he was selected to be part of the task force despite his lack of expertise in either epidemiology or infectious diseases.
He was selected because his opinion matches Trump's, at least for the moment. His expertise is irrelevant to the POTUS, unfortunately. The fact he has some medical background helps Trump's argument (as opposed to him being say a carpet installer), but it doesn't make him qualified. Scott Atlas probably holds the opinions he does irrespective of Trump. He probably can't defend them. Unfortunately, he probably will never have to do so.