Articles to 2020-08-30

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First the link to this week's complete list as HTML and as PDF.


As I already said for the preprint Ali et al's result makes a complete nonsense of abusing R for the purpose of descriptive statistics – but that was known and obvious from the start except to those in power and the media.


Unfortunately Service again only talks about the false negative error rate. With the current low and falling prevalence and rising test numbers we really need to know about false positives. There are indications for them being essentially zero but we really need to know at least a rough estimate for the upper limit.


Sheridan et al. supply quantitative evidence for something that has long been well established anecdotally. Sweden has introduced no enforced restrictions but has issued recommendations and the Swedes have generally adhered to them. This makes a nonsense of the malevolent claims that Sweden had irresponsibly let the epidemic run unchecked. When people have been trained and trusted to take responsibility themselves instead of being accustomed to a pervasive Nanny State, their own considered judgement tends to be superior to some sweeping and all-encompassing formal ruling.

Of course again and as so often happens the true content of the study is the opposite of the claim in its headline.


All I can see in Gurung et al. are totally overblown claims of precision. Admittedly I am but an engineer with a rather basic grasp of physics, but all I can see in their figure 2 is a far better confirmation of theory (and reality) than any other practical measurement I've ever made or seen. Tellingly it shows a claimed difference of 2.77±0.62 MHz in a diagram spanning 1000 MHz whose smallest scale bar is 100 MHz. As far as I can tell their claim is baseless and can be dismissed outright.

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