Science: Force Kids To Mask To Defeat Systemic Racism

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Let’s think about evidence, and its nature using a modern peer-reviewed paper as our example.

The paper is “Lifting Universal Masking in Schools — Covid-19 Incidence among Students and Staff”, by Tori Cowger and host of others (all female?), in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Now if we were to play a game and I were to ask you, What to you think this paper is about, you’d lose. You’d use the title, look at where the paper was published, a medical journal, and say, “It’s about how great masks are at preventing the coronadoom in kids.”

A fine answer, one which you’d be fairly certain was right, conditioned just on those bits of information.

But if you were to add to your premises that the journal is no longer strictly focused on medicine, but has in recent years ventured into politics, and that the doom itself is a highly political thing, you’d still give the same answer, but would reduce your confidence in it.

Which is the right thing to do. Because here, in their own Results, was what the paper was about:

As such, we believe that universal masking may be especially useful for mitigating effects of structural racism in schools, including potential deepening of educational inequities.

This is asinine and idiotic, not least because there is no “structural racism” in schools. Not against preferred and sacred Victims, at any rate.

Here’s our next game. Would you read this paper knowing this was their dramatic conclusion, a conclusion that has nothing to do with whether masks prevent transmission of a respiratory bug?

It would indeed be a fallacy to conclude that their coronadoom results are false because of that massively lunatic conclusion. It could be this is just an ideology-spot for our authors: they can’t help themselves. They are foolish here, but sane when it comes to medicine. Or maybe NEJM editors now insist on Regime-approved propaganda being inserted into all papers. Masks might still work.

Even though we cannot conclude with certainty that their covid results are wrong, we can sure increase our judgement that these are people who can’t be trusted to find their own wee P.

Thus it would be rational to conclude that reading the paper is not worth your time. Because anybody who is stupid enough to bleat about masks reducing “structural racism” is likely to let that stupidity seep into their usual work.

Anyway, I started writing a post on the silly stats of the paper myself, showing we can reject the covid conclusions on evidential grounds as well. But the work has been done for me by Tracy Beth Hoeg in a Substack article.

If you don’t have time to read it, it’s the usual story. Unnecessarily complex statistical models, in which (difference in difference) proxies are used instead of direct observations of kids with and without masks and infection. I’ve warned us all a thousand times never to given blanket trust to proxies. The danger of the epidemiologist fallacy, among others, is present. And is here.

Plus, as Hoeg says, they “failed to weigh the known downsides of continued making of children.”


Suppose Hoeg’s demonstrations of paper’s statistical ineptness are true (and I think they are). And recall the asinine non-covid conclusion about “systemic racism”, which should not have been there.

Given this evidence, which was also available, or should have been, to the paper’s editor, why would the journal print the paper anyway?

Because, of course, masks are political, and the NEJM loves to weigh in on the side of Regime-approved politics. Perceiving, we might guess, that they’ll benefit from their signalling. A perception which is probably right.

But the paper also is there because scientists, being people, are just like people in hungering for any evidence which confirms their beliefs. And are bad at finding contrary evidence.

Scientists are better than regular people at finding confirmatory evidence. But they’re no better at uncovering disconfirmatory evidence.

Like I’ve said a thousand times, every scientist believes in confirmation bias, but they all also believe it only happens to the other guy, never themselves.

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Categories: Statistics

12 replies »

  1. NEJM editors now insist on Regime-approved propaganda being inserted into all papers.

    No different than authors “imagining” how GLOBAL WARMING affects their topic of interest even though their topic of interest has nothing to do with GLOBAL WARMING – another checkmark for the 97% that believe in GLOBAL WARMING

  2. Thank you for the Substack link – it seems clear that the research itself was substantially flawed and likely not publishable.

    But the “…may be especially useful for mitigating effects of structural racism in schools, ” is probably was pushed it over the finish line.

  3. Dear Briggs. I am gonna miss you when they apply Dynamic Silence to you like they have to Mike Jones, Kanye West, Kyrie Irving, and many others.

    “Dynamic Silence was invented by Rabbi Feinberg of the American Jewish Committee in 1947 as a method of closing off all access to the public media – and thus the larger culture – for people or organizations deemed to have an unacceptable point of view. In spite of minor changes and adaptations, it can still be understood as being comprised of two parts. In the first part, unfavored individuals are denied unmediated exposure to the public. In the second part, only negative aspects of the unfavored individuals are reported. This starts a downward spiral of de-legitimization in the public eye in which the harder unfavored individuals try to get public exposure, the more negative and unflattering that exposure becomes until, finally, nobody wants to be associated with the ideas of beliefs of the unfavored individuals.”

    As to conditioned just on those bits of information. that is a useful observation because the Evil Party (Democrats) have succeeded in colonising the minds of even the based who now regularly use words meant to deceive; words like sex reassignment surgery, transexualism, etc.

    Name one, just one, based man who refuses to use the language of the enemy. ONE who has created and popularised a neologism that unmasks the enemy, a neologism like MORO – Mutilation Of Reproductive Organs- and use that whenever the progressives propagandise in favor of evil.

    When you hear words like Set asides, quotas, civil rights, feminism, etc , teach your own self to think Anti White Male Discrimination because that is what it is.


    The Jewish historian Martin van Creveld, considered to be amongst the most knowledgeable about the arts of war of all living men, makes this observation, the first part of which is his wish for what would happen were Biden to be elected and the “comment” part how he thinks about those things since Biden’s election.

    Strive to end the policies which, starting half a century ago, have discriminated against men. Especially such as are white, young, relatively poor, and without a college education. These men are not only frustrated. They have guns, and, some of them being former military or police, knew all too well how to use them. Nor will they necessarily give them up if called upon to do so. Should their grievances not be addressed the results will be incalculable. Quite possibly, worse than those of the Civil War in which 600,000 Americans—about six percent of the entire US population, as it then was—perished. Want a more up to date idea of what it will look like? Lebanon 1975-1990, provides a good model. As does Syria from 2011 on.

    Comment: From what I read and hear it appears that discrimination against men, especially such as are white, young, relatively poor, without a college education and, for good measure, heterosexual has gotten worse rather than better. Barring radical change, an explosion of some kind is inevitable.


    Do you think the GOP has either the wisdom of courage to address this Anti White Discrimination?


    They are focusing on codifying sodomite ceremonies, electing the Turtle as Sen. Minority Leader whose legislative agenda is working to enact as much bipartisanship legislation as possible.

    Surrender to the left is a virtue in the DC GOP

    Yay!!! GOP saviors.

  4. Vermont Crank: “Name one, just one, based man who refuses to use the language of the enemy.”


  5. ‘ the known downsides of continued making of children’
    You must admit, your enemies have a sense of humour.

  6. Wells,

    Believe or not, but that treasure was given to us by Hoeg’s enemies. Mine aren’t that smart.

  7. “As such, we believe that universal masking may be especially useful for mitigating effects of structural racism in schools, including potential deepening of educational inequities.” For people to say that quote is just plain stupid just does not say enough.

  8. “Scientists are better than regular people at finding confirmatory evidence. But they’re no better at uncovering disconfirmatory evidence.”

    I suspect I am preaching to the choir, but the simple fact is, most people, even people with high IQs, massive degrees, and respected diplomas, either CANNOT or DO NOT think well. They are not rational, they are not logical, they do not reason well. Just like any idiot with an IQ of 75, their opinions and beliefs are based primarily on peer pressure and emotional bias. The only real function provided by their intellect, is the generation of plausible sounding justifications for their emotionally based opinions.

    In my experience, maybe 5% of our population have some faculty in rational thought. In certain demographics, it is much lower.

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