Suppressing Data, Fake and Real
We all know that facebook and many other web sites are now engaged in the active suppression of false and misleading information. We know this “intellectually”, even if we have not experienced it first hand. We also know that some innocent victims, bystanders get swept up in the process. And that clearly, a waterfall of COVID info is involved. This is the story of an innocent victim: the suppression of true, scientific data.
If you want to experience this first-hand, try searching for exactly this phrase: “Comparing COVID Deaths to Seasonal Flu Deaths” in your favorite search engine. Try multiple search engines. (The original full title was apparently “Comparing COVID Deaths to Seasonal Flu Deaths in New York, the US, and other States”)
If you get what I get, its a bunch of “404 not found”, or “this content has been deleted by the author” or even entirely different, unrelated content (retaining the old original page title!!). In all cases, the search engine caches still give a glimpse of the original content.
The deleted content was/is correct (i.e. it is not fake, false, misleading or propagandistic) and it looked pretty much like the content here: https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/not-like-the-flu-not-like-car-crashes-not-like but graphed differently. It’s not fake, because its actually quite easy to verify from a large variety of sources. I mean, you can do it yourself. Look it up in your favorite reliable source. Do the math. Not like the math is hard: you just have to multiply or divide by 365 or maybe by 7 days in a week, depending on your raw data. Seriously, its just not hard.
First, some screenshots, for the record, and then the original charts which were suppressed. So, if you feel investigative-conspiracy-theory-minded, and want to explore the suppression of non-fake news simply because ?what? It made a bunch of people uncomfortable? well, this is something to dig into.
Here we go: screen-capture time. In order: first image: what google tells me, today (Thursday 23 April 2020). Second: what DuckDuckGo tells me. Notice how both search engines have something completely different in their caches, than what DailyKOS is actually publishing. It appears that DailyKOS simply substituted some different kind of content. Try this yourself, don’t just be a passive reader of my blog.
Third screenshot: Reddit is claiming that the original poster took down his own content. I’ll show you this content, just below. One way that science works is that multiple, independent researchers repeat the work, and check to see if they get the same result. This was done by some folks at the New Atlantis URL I posted above. They obtain more-or-less the same charts. Different labels. And fewer of them (New Atlantis doesn’t have the Louisiana or New Jersey charts. And the original site also had a Mississippi chart, but I can’t find it anywhere.)
Anyway, just in case the New Atlantis website goes offline, here’s the current screenshot, as of right now. Read it. It’s interesting.
And now, for the original, censored charts. I found the original on a Japanese twitter post, where they had not yet disappeared.
The four charts below. First we have New York, which looks almost identical to the New Atlantis chart.
Next, we have the whole US. This one also looks more-or-less the same as the New Atlantis graphs.
Let us now move into the alarming territory. Louisiana, first.
And they’re all starting to look the same, right? Here’s New Jersey.
In all my life of leading a semi-scientific, semi-engineering career (claim to authority: yes, I have a PhD in theoretical particle physics. I actually know a whole lot more mathematics than you. Sounds like bragging, but its true.)
… where was I? In all my life of leading a semi-scientific, semi-engineering career, I don’t think I’ve ever seen graphs with curves making right angles like that. Well, sure, the X-axis makes a right angle with the Y-axis. But not the data. So, for me, this is eye-popping. Hit-to-the-gut. Knocked back in my chair, with an expression of shock, just like in a good TV thriller. Toto, we’re not in Kansas any more.
I also enjoy rooting ‘round the seedier quarters of the internet, keeping tabs on the weird stuff that never does become an internet sensation. That just stays obscure and weird. So .. finding scientific data that is accurate and correct, and yet has been suppressed by the mighty powers of anti-propaganda data filters … well, that is interesting. Toto, this doesn’t look like Oz, either…