Perhaps the real agent behind this pandemic is science itself. Given a sufficiently dire circumstance, science can shut down our natural defenses of critically thinking about observations we can clearly see. Science tells us that if this is the disease it warned us would come, then we have no choice but place all trust on science at the expense of paying attention to what we are seeing.
The difference between my fantasy government and the current governments is that my fantasy government reassesses the urgency after the first month of lock down. The population likely will be not as alarmed by the condition especially when they see that the system is not being as overwhelmed as first feared. The government by data and urgency may find that there is no longer an urgency among the population. This is how it arrives at the conclusion that the current levels of new cases (far from zero) are tolerable for the time being.
The enlightenment-inspired government has a biased view of casualties. Casualties from science-backed human-directed actions such as vaccinations is preferred over casualties from nature. We can tolerate magnitudes more casualties from science than the number of casualties from nature.
We should study observations separately from derivations from theories. The deliberately ignorant takes the position that data is superior to science. There is a valid place for the deliberately ignorant when included in teams with domain experts representing each of the relevant scientific disciplines. In order to work, the deliberately ignorant needs to be skilled at his craft of being ignorant in the right way to propel the team towards a new solution without annoying everyone to the point of being expelled.
We should learn from recent experience of large data technologies the lesson that decision making can benefit from streaming data in addition to (and often instead of) the publication science of one-time experiments. It is clear now that policy making needs access to a continuous stream fresh data about old ideas, especially when that data accumulates over time. With access to the technologies to do this work, it is unacceptable to base policies on the failed approaches of the past that rely on published studies.
Unlike skepticism of knowledge or of ability to know the truth, the modern skepticism is a skepticism of having enough data.
An initial consciousness could through design, refactoring, and replication build up the universe without any further miracles beyond the initial consciousness in the first place.
With big data, we end up with deep historical data from distant events. There will be something needed to fill in the gaps that were mysteries at the time. That gap filler will be spontaneous data whether we acknowledge it or not. Even if we as humans leave the gap unfilled, we can’t be sure that our data analytics or machine learning algorithms won’t fill it. When it does, how can we be sure it won’t come up with a supernatural explanation that it keeps to itself?
What really makes legacy news fake is the tyrannical influence of past narratives that influence what future observations we accept. Fake news is the need to keep old narratives relevant when the such a narrative never would have emerged if started from scratch with the data available at the current moment.
Having model data explicitly materialized into tables gives the data clerk to recognize the deficiency that this data is not observed data. This provides the data clerk the opportunity to ask whether there can be another source for this data. Perhaps, for example, some new sensor technology became available that provides observations that previously required models to estimate. The analyst can then revise the analysis to use that new data instead of the model-generated data.