Winning the Internet today is an interview of Hoover Institute and NYU Law Professor Richard Epstein by Isaac Chotiner (occasional player at the Piedmont Bridge Club) for The New Yorker, already available online [possible paywall].
Epstein is a giant of libertarian legal studies. The interview shows he is also a pompous ass who doesn’t realize his putative skills in cross-examination do not make him a qualified epidemiologist. Chotiner is in bold below.
This is the most powerful avowal of Dunning-Kruger Effect we may ever see from the right wing.
On March 13, Epstein web-published an article (which apparently inspired the Trump Mob’s thoughts of an Easter Economic Resurrection) that, using a sophisticated cherry-picked model based on multiple false assumptions of virus behavior, predicted 500 total USA COVID-19 deaths. On March 19, faced with the superiority of the 11th-grade exponential growth model to his libertarian fantasy, he changed some fudge factors and replaced 500 with 2500. Just in time, too; we crossed 500 on the 23rd. Less than 24 hours later, the 2500 death prediction was replaced by 5000.
If you go to the the Epstein article’s comments, you can see I offered Epstein (and several of his anonymous acolytes there) a $1000 bet we would have 10,000 deaths (double his latest
wild guess reasoned estimate) by end of April. I am surprised that none have shown the least interest in this style of Applied Capitalism.
[For a sense of how crazy Epstein is, Trump himself declared today he will be a great president if he can keep deaths down to 100,000, which is Dr. Fauci’s lowest estimate given current measures for social isolation.]