I just had a very interesting experience with regard to the information of flu vaccine and how the most official information can be designed to maximize gain for the society instead of oneself.
Because this year I am in an enclosed environment in campus, and the health clinic here can’t get access to flu vaccine en mass so I told the class of around 50 kids that they should register for the flu vaccine if they can. One of those kids searched on Baidu, and here is what he saw:
Apparently, flu vaccine is only recommended for the very young and very old here in China, an recommendation not based on what is best for the individual since US CDC recommend this to everyone. When that kid saw this, he just send it back in a very sarcastic tone. I have to say, I was really shocked by the stupidity. After all, those kids are suppose to be reasonably smart.
This brings me back to when Fauci was asked how didn’t him recommend mask wearing sooner, he said that they had to take into consideration the lack of supply of PPE have prioritize the healthcare professionals.
There was once I was invited to Belgium by Bayer, on the plane I talked to the person in charge of Bayer’s diabetic product in China. Her main difficulty is how to get the information to people who actually need it. There are the group who readily accept the knowledge of diabetic management and there are those who just seems impervious regardless of authority or method of the information. Those are the group who lives in their own world and trust their own experience only.
I think it is going to be very important going forward to think about what are the reasoning behind official recommendations and official information. One really need to corroborate information from multiple channels nowadays, instead of just take everything at face value. Maybe every information made available to the mass has hidden agenda. One should see through the ploy and figure out what is omitted and what is real. Think for oneself instead of hoping that the authority would be thinking on your behalf.
——————–THE FOLLOWING IS WRITTEN MONTH LATER today I followed up on this line of thinking and checked on Baidu on flu vaccine.
As it is shown here, on top of the list are news regarding death toll “linked” to the population vaccine scheme in Taiwan and Korea. If you vaccinate the entire population, there are people who would have died anyway would do so after the vaccination injection. That is just the way it is. Of course, there are always concerns when it comes to the residual stuff, or the adjutant such as aluminum salt, but that is a different set of considerations.
I think this is a perfect way to illustrate how people would perceive the world if all they have is this kind of pieces of information. Without a systematic framework to make sense of and incorporate all the information, one would easily gravitate towards the most marginalized interpretation of things. Dramatically increase the weight of those outlier events. It is no wonder that useful information acquisition is going to be a privilege, since the vast majority of people would lack the holistic background information to put the outlier reports they see reported in the news. Imagine I am someone with zero medical knowledge, how would i feel if the first I see when I search for flu vaccine is the so called flu vaccine related death? Should I blindly trust the health officials?
Should I be in the position of with zero medical knowledge, how would I make the decision with regard to flu vaccine? How would I mitigate the possibility that the medical professionals are too invested in the profession? A contingency table is a good way to reason about it, just as I would any insurance policies. Another way is to observe the behavior of people who have the most knowledge on these kind of things. Do rich people who love themselves inject themselves with this? I bet the would hire the best people to consult them for this. I would also want to learn more about the risk involved, and decide if that is a risk profile I want to accept. Basically, that would be the information gathering and reasoning process I would go through should I don’t have the knowledge.
This experience also highlight to me the danger of information that comes to me in pieces. When there isn’t a spectrum and structure to put the piece of information in place, the magnitude of one observation can be exaggerated. I begin to understand why people who are overly exposed to news report can only dwell in the basement. Being alive involves taking risks. While it is foolish to jump into things before knowing the risk factors, being scared by everything is also no way to live. The best approach is to be fulling aware of the downside possibility, if it is truly unavoidable, then try to figure out a way to mitigate it. For instance, before inject the flu vaccine, make sure you are covered by insurance. It would even be better if there is a financial product that I can bet with the third party specifically for this event. Given that flu vaccine induced severe side effect is in the order of 1 in a million, should I be that person, I would hope that I can make a fortune out of it.
Actually, that might be a good way to encourage people to inject flu vaccine. Yet, that one in a million chance is there, so sell a flu vaccine betting instrument alongside the flu vaccine. If your genetic make up makes you that one in a million, a 10RMB purchase can become 10 million, which would cover the fee associated with the treatment and then some.
——————-THE FOLLOWING IS WRITTERN LATER STILL I actually agree with some of the observations poited out by the authors of POOR ECONOMICS
Feynman probably embodies the best mode of thinking to me. There are few things:
- When deciding on what problems to work on, he think along two angles: what are the problems that he wants to solve, two, what are the problems he have to tools to solve.
- He thinked through the offer of a higher pay, and he felt that he would probably spend that money on pretty girls, which would be a distration to physics, so he went against that offer.
- He find out that he actually drink when he was on his own, and he felt this would hinder his ability to do physics in the long run so he decided never drink on his oen again.
Also that paper from the Chinese mathematician of how he think through everything before act. Basically that is the best mode of thinking.
Point being, if you find yourself in an unfavorable situation, don’t complain about the society. Even if it is true, that you are suppressed systematically, what is the use of whining? The first step for changing that circumstance comes of change your mode of thinking. Maybe you are trapped by your thinking. Get the best information, and see if there is a path to take you out.