[Medium] The Masks Masquerade

I want to travel this summer

Incompetence and Errors in Reasoning Around Face Covering

SIX ERRORS: 1) missing the compounding effects of masks, 2) missing the nonlinearity of the probability of infection to viral exposures, 3) missing absence of evidence (of benefits of mask wearing) for evidence of absence (of benefits of mask wearing), 4) missing the point that people do not need governments to produce facial covering: they can make their own, 5) missing the compounding effects of statistical signals, 6) ignoring the Non-Aggression Principle by pseudolibertarians (masks are also to protect others from you; it’s a multiplicative process: every person you infect will infect others).

In fact masks (and faceshields) supplemented with constraints of superspreader events can save us trillions of dollars in future lockdowns (and lawsuits) and be potentially sufficient (under adequate compliance) to stem the pandemic. Bureaucrats do not like simple solutions.

Continue reading on Medium: medium.com/incerto/the-masks-masquerade


  1. Noteworthy article which I recommended to the local newspaper to publish as a public service to highlight the points that are missing in mainstream news. They replied that they can’t publish – the reason doesn’t matter. I would like to write a letter to the editors to be published in that paper on this topic. I would provide a link to this article and follow any guidance or restrictions you would specify. Perhaps if I email the writing for approval?

    Please reply if you allow me to proceed.

  2. Perhaps, Nassim, but I have a few concerns…

    • Is the virus the result of government-funded research (is it from a lab, rather than from a wild animal, and accidentally or deliberately released)
    • Do masks set a precedent for the erosion of our liberties
    • If the virus is a lab escapee, whether deliberate or not
    • If masks slow down the infection rate and/or numbers, does it also increase the time by which the more vulnerable populations to this virus remain susceptible?
    • Is a quick herd immunity a better strategy?
    • What was happening in the news just before COVID-19? (Railway blockades? Greta Thunberg? Extinction Rebellion? Peak Oil and/or US Shale Oil? Bad economic forecasts/events?)
    • Why should COVID-19 land on such a round year number as 2020?
    • Why would COVID-19 break out in the same town– Wuhan– as the virus research lab?
    • What was happening with regard to pandemic rehearsals prior to COVID-19– even immediately prior?
    • Who and what has to gain from COVID-19 and, say, vaccines for it?
    • WRT anti-fragile measures, are medical systems anti-fragile? Do they have built-in redundancies, such as for 100-year pandemics? Why should government be too concerned about being overwhelmed by some kinds of pandemics if there are built-in redundancies for just such events. If there aren’t, why not? Efficiency? If so, how’s that working out?
    • Any roles or associations WRT CRISPR-Cas9 and gene drives vis-a-vis CV-19?
    • COVID-19 and lockdown and related degrowth and relocalization issues?
    • Etcetera

    I am wondering if Nassim might sometimes miss the forest for the trees. To wear or not to wear a mask would seem to fall into far more contexts than are necessarily taken for granted.

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