The Art and Science of Prediction
Updated: Jul 10, 2021
There is no doubt that uncertainty can cause stress by way of lost hope. It is human nature to keep on hoping against all odds, so when we lose hope, many will turn to anything they believe might recover it.
Some will use meditation or hypnosis to go within to find the answers, while others will search externally, seeking assistance from friends, family, psychologists, counsellors, spiritual leaders, religious teachers and mystics; each with their own special tools of the trade.
A psychologist may use mindfulness, while a mystic's crystal ball may provide the symbolic visions to locate our missing hope. No single process is 100% accurate for all people, all the time, but our emotional state may well determine what we choose to believe to be true.
On the topic of tools of the trade, this pandemic is being measured by a laboratory technique called reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR ). Because no test is 100% accurate, a margin for error must be incorporated into the results and to this end, positive predictive value (PPV) analysis can be used to assess how many false positives there will be across a tested population. For example, if a test is 99% accurate, there will be 1 person in every 100 who falsely tests positive, and 10 in every 1,000, 100 in every 10,000 and so on.
As at 1 July 2021 in Australia, there have been around 31,000 positive COVID-19 cases out of a total 21 million tests performed. At such a low incidence of disease, this suggests the test must be close to, or even 100% accurate. Any slight inaccuracy would render many of those cases false positives. If the test accuracy is below 99.85%, ALL of those 31,000 cases will be false positives, merely as a function of the tiny 0.15% inaccuracy of the test!
People for Safe Vaccines Ltd recently commissioned an expert report into PPV, which applies PPV to case numbers and tests for Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Pfizer and AstraZeneca mRNA vaccine trials.
The report concludes that the data must be unreliable, considering the range of accuracy cited for the RT-PCR test, the anomalous results and the impracticality of achieving those very high specificities in practice.
The inventor of the PCR test, Kary Mullis, is on record stating that the PCR test should not be used to diagnose infectious disease, yet here we are 18 months after the pandemic was announced, still under the belief that this tool is the gold-standard for diagnosing COVID-19 – and still without any official recognition of the impact of PPV on case numbers!
Clearly the only thing that is 100% predictable is the governments’ ignorance of these vital facts.
Perhaps the real issue here is the government's hope to hold on to their plan at all costs, regardless of evidence to the contrary. This state-of-mind is like a form of hypnosis. But if hope springs eternal, our continued efforts might just wake them from their trance-like state and bring this country back to reality. Perhaps it's time to consult the crystal ball.