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Paul
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Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 5:32 am

When my back-of-an-envelope, SIR- and machine learning-free predictions turn out to be correct---death rate slightly higher than the flu, but not orders of magnitude; NYC nearing herd immunity; virus very widespread in many countries; etc.---as increasingly seems likely, who will get the blame for this latest symptom of The Decade Of Mass Hysteria (trademark and reasonably priced book pending)?
  • Neil Ferguson
  • WHO
  • Tedros Adhanom
  • The Wuhan Bat Soup Gourmet Kitchen
 
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Cuchulainn
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 10:36 am

I'm expecting a fully-documented model with Python code from you so that we can test it.

We need to avoid "the product is ready but not shipping" syndrome. Otherwise it will be just like the above Gang-Of-Four.

When can we expect the first installment?
Step over the gap, not into it. Watch the space between platform and train.
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katastrofa
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 12:48 pm

"Personally I think we need to question what the data means rather than jump in with ever fancier models."
Aren't models the way of questioning what data means? :-)

(@Oxford model - I don't know if I should laugh or cry. I had similar feelings a couple of years ago when I worked with two PhDs from Oxford. Living on its name?)
 
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Paul
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 1:59 pm

It’s the “ever fancier” that’s the problem, not the concept of a model. Too fancy and you learn less but impress more. The math sweet spot that I’ve written about.

You think we don’t all know this about coattailing reputation? But it works both ways re name. Oxford has a name because of all the people who have been there, as well as vice versa. Anyway, it is very clear which way the credit works for any individual you meet!

But it’s a serious issue that the weaker the intellect the more they try to impress with complexity. I said elsewhere that you need to see someone improvise on a blackboard to see if they are smart or a plodder. I have my own views on who in this forum is a plodder!

Cuch. I am not writing a paper. I am not affecting any public policy. I am not being peer reviewed. And what I am definitely not doing, because I never have, is spoon feed my students. (And you will see that in the threads on, say, characteristics in differential equations where I try to give you hints so that you learn yourself.) But if you insist on being spoon fed, here gathered together from the other threads where everything is explained already, is the simplest explanation of the back-of-an-envelope calculations.

1. Data from worldometers
2. Look at ratio of deaths to population across countries (mostly ignore claims of number infected)
3. Include Diamond Princess
4. Include major cities/states e.g. NYC
5. Judgement call on which data to prioritize. Eg Diamond Princess important as closed environment. NYC important as high population density. Small places I’ve tended throw out
6. This very clearly shows potential distribution of deaths as a fraction of local population
7. Conclusions easily drawn then on how far the disease has spread in each country
8. No need for Python. You hardly even need Excel
9. Results are in a table around here somewhere. The one where Alan says they match some US testing. I’ve heard of more testing recently that is consistent with my numbers. Eg NYC at herd immunity fraction

Anyway my vote goes to the WHO. Ferguson is doing what Ferguson does. China is doing what China does. It’s the WHO (and the WHO are responsible for Tedros Adhonam) who are dodgy. Playing it down when it was serious, now trying to cause panic when we should be calming down.
 
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katastrofa
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 5:05 pm

"But it’s a serious issue that the weaker the intellect the more they try to impress with complexity. I said elsewhere that you need to see someone improvise on a blackboard to see if they are smart or a plodder. I have my own views on who in this forum is a plodder!"

Actually, Oxford fit the simplest SIR model to aggregated population data - at least in the paper I saw.

Brilliant blackboard improvisers are usually impostors with no real talent - they mastered the improvisation skills and stealing others' work under some far-fetched claims of originating ideas. It's easy when all they need to do is bullshitting other guys as ignorant as them (or more) :-)
 
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Paul
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 5:21 pm

I started with SIR, added more complexity, decided it was potentially meaningless. And then went back to basics. 

You're just trying to be controversial about the blackboards! Most of the best I've known don't even know that there are ideas out there to steal, they would trivially discover the wheel not knowing it already existed. And they'd do it without fuss. But you are right that who stands in front of a blackboard might depend on who is in the audience. But you again stating the trivially obvious. So we shall have to agree to disagree! 
 
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katastrofa
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 6:24 pm

"trivially discover the wheel not knowing it already existed."

Are we talking about geniuses or idiots?
Seriously, I think whenever one has a brilliant idea, it's prudent to assume that they aren't the first or the only at it.
 
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Alan
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 6:25 pm

I blame the Wright brothers
 
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katastrofa
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 6:41 pm

In their defence, they made the homogenous mixing assumption in SIR more realistic.

BTW, it's been already established that Gustave Whitehead flight preceded Wright brothers' flight by over 2 years (they knew about his constructions, learnt from him and likely knew about his success). I guess they were the blackboard guys and he was a plodder :-)
 
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Paul
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 7:10 pm

Eastern Europeans just have to be right about everything! It must take a heavy psychological toll!
 
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katastrofa
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 8:59 pm

In the West you say that the truth is always in the middle, so I take the opposite stance to agree with you!
 
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Paul
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 26th, 2020, 9:23 pm

In my house, in the West, I say that you can get balance from extremes!
 
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katastrofa
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Re: Who should take the blame?

April 27th, 2020, 2:08 am

Sounds like some yoga nonsense. Cats are good at balance.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Re: Who should take the blame?

May 1st, 2020, 12:03 pm

Matt Hancock takes £100 bet that he will deliver 100,000 tests a day


https://metro.co.uk/2020/04/28/matt-hancock-takes-100-bet-will-deliver-100000-tests-day-12620770/

Any updates?? Target reached?
Step over the gap, not into it. Watch the space between platform and train.
http://www.datasimfinancial.com
http://www.datasim.nl
 
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Paul
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Re: Who should take the blame?

May 1st, 2020, 6:05 pm

What odds did he get?

Looks like he succeeded. That will disappoint the BBC.

Do we add CVDS to TDS and BDS? I think the BBC would like to see many people die if it means they can criticize the Conservatives. That's one up on simply wanting economies to collapse. (Disclaimer: I have no idea what I am talking about. I haven't watched the BBC for longer than I can remember.)
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