New Interview: I spoke with law professor Richard Epstein, whose controversial article on coronavirus circulated in the Trump administration, about why he believes many coronavirus models are wrong, and the dangers of sloppy science during a pandemic.
I have never seen someone demolish a scholar’s reputation as savagely as Richard Epstein demolishing his own.
The demolition of Richard Epstein is as devastating as you have heard, but you really need to read it to take it in. It’s the combination of absolute *certainty* by Epstein, and absolute wrongness on numerous provable points, that is amazing.
this is one of the most damning things i've ever read
Reading this is both painful & exhilarating. Chotiner quickly drills down to the essence of Epstein's argument which amounts to crude law and economics style bullshit applied to a subject he knows little about, but flatters himself he knows a lot about.
If I was told that Isaac Chotiner wanted to do a Q+A with me about my work I would simply delete everything I’d ever written and apologize as I walked into the sea
Holy shit Richard "500 U.S. Deaths" Epstein agreed to an interview with
this interview with that "coronavirus perspective" dipshit is amazing
If you missed it yesterday, do not miss today interview with Richard Epstein. Epstein's Hoover Institute paper predicting max 500 dead circulated early in White House - and provided a veneer of rationalization to Trump's wish to ignore the virus
One thing to remember as you’re reading this train wreck of an interview is that Epstein is very highly respected in the lucrative right wing field of “racism doesn’t exist and we don’t need anti-discrimination laws” studies
1. This interview -- really a disembowlment -- of coronavirus contrarian Richard A. Epstein is, quite justifiably, getting a lot of attention. I wanted to give some historical context to explain Epstein's dingbat theories.
Stunningly example of what happens when academics stray into fields in which they have no expertise--in this case, a lawyer who thinks he's an epidemiologist. The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Administration via
Extraordinary exposure of conservative contrarian corona quackery by ⁦⁩ ⁦
Every scientist knows this guy. He shows up with a nonsense “theory” about your area of expertise and is indignant that you — a working scientist, with a million other things on your plate — won’t take the time to explain why he’s not even wrong.
Some of the best ideas come from “outsiders” and responding to #COVID19 will require a range of expertise. All I ask is that talk to someone who does this for a living. Otherwise you get masterpieces like this
This, folks, is what happens when an administration outsources policy decision-making to science deniers, whether climate () or coronavirus ().
the coronavirus contrarian whose views have influenced the white house response appears to be a smooth brained idiot with a terminal case of dunning-kruger
What an incredible interview. I'm not going to characterize it beyond that. Recommended. A lot.
“We did not see sars or Ebola weaken over time,” Kuritzkes said. “It is only appropriate public-health measures or vaccines that have helped to control those epidemics.”
That idiot NYU professor Richard Epstein who said we shouldn't confront the coronavirus? Also a climate denier.
Area Libertarian Dumb as a Fucking Rock
My lord, what an interview! completely owns Richard Epstein. “E: Admit to it. You’re saying I’m a crackpot. C: I’m not saying anything of the— E: Well, what am I then? I’m an amateur? You’re the great scholar on this?” Absolutely shameful
Just… don’t say this stuff when you’re arguing with someone.
A Q. & A. with Richard Epstein, who wrote an article questioning the World Health Organization’s decision to declare the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and suggested that about 500 people would die from COVID-19 in the U.S.
What is Darwinian economics? "I’m taking standard Darwinian economics—standard economic-evolutionary theory out of Darwin [...] general-equilibrium theory." Is that an actual thing libertarian law-and-economics people use? (Also this interview, my god)
Wat een ontluisterend interview is dit [en wat een goed idee om factchecks direct na citaten te zetten]
I'm not sure if I've ever seen an interview subject get destroyed as thoroughly as Richard Epstein gets destroyed by Isaac Chotiner here
This is a great dissection, in the States, of the kind of dangerous gobbledygook "all of this is an overreaction" column we're still seeing, somehow, in Canada.
"[Epstein] questioned the World Health Organization’s decision to declare the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and suggested that about five hundred people would die from covid-19 in the U.S."
"Admit to it. You’re saying I’m a crackpot." has a most satisfying fact check with . (Tiny sidenote to : "H.I.V. virus" is redundant.)
Wondering about the modeled mortality rate for interviews at this point
I have to admit that I laughed pretty hard at this part (
I live for interviews. This is the best one since Ian Buruma.
There's something deeply satisfying about watching a category 5 charlatan being made to confront their charlatanry with no wiggle room
This man has run a multi-decade con game about AIDS and disease modeling, and he doesn’t even understand that HIV isn’t “weaker” now then it used to be.
Oh my God. Read this. This moron used his complete misunderstanding of biology to build the "model" trump believed that led to our current state of underpreparation.
This is just embarrassing for Epstein and every institution he's associated with. And, of course, it's dangerous. Maybe lawyers aren't the go-to thinkers on epidemiology or evolution. His AIDS claims are just nutty, too.
Richard Epstein is so full of himself he thought he could survive an interview with Isaac Chotiner.
Henceforth let it please *not* be known as [email protected] General Equilibrium Theory Still reading but just wow it's even worse than I thought someone should hand him a lollipop and talk sweetly while stroking his hair.
Good scholarship requires the humility to discard a theory if the facts disprove it and to know that expertise in one domain doesn’t translate to another. Epstein’s arrogance is so deeply anti-intellectual it left me speechless. He has blood on his hands.
This interview by is such an embarrassment for the Hoover Institute and for anybody who relied on this person’s analysis. The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Administration | The New Yorker
This should be career-ending, but because American law schools effectively function with an affirmative-action-for-conservatives policy, it won't be.
This interview with the guy whose bullshit the Trump admin has been at least partially relying on is absurd, he knows so little about what he's talking about that the New Yorker interspersed actual expert comments debunking all he gets wrong.
The problem with the legal academy, explained. Q: And you’re not an epidemiologist, correct? A: No, I’m trained in all of these things.
Law professor complains that epidemiologists don't understand general equilibrium theory (not the Borowitz report)
No, not even close to what I was talking about. However, history is loaded with people throwing the word evolution around, in a completely non-scientific context, and thinking that makes them legit. Funny example from recently.
A [pick an adjective] interview by Isaac Chotiner of Richard Epstein about his "models project way too many COVID deaths" piece. I've known Richie for about 20 years; he's.. complicated. But I think this was NOT his finest hour (piece or interview).
Wow. This interview is just...extraordinary.
"Epstein later updated his estimate to five thousand, saying that the previous number had been an error". [which was 500]. Who amongst us doesn't, on occasion, revise their model estimation tenfold, yet maintains the original conclusions?
I never fully trusted law professor #RichardEpstein’s pretensions to socioeconomic expertise. His entry into the medical sciences is even more phony — and, we now see, dangerous.
What’s your favorite part of this ⁦⁩ piece? Hard to pick, but for me I think it’s when Epstein claims Bill Gates backs his view and Chotiner pulls a Gates quote out like the Marshall McLuhan scene in “Annie Hall.”
At any time, the Chotiner-Epstein interview would be a horrifying study of the hazards of intellectual arrogance. But given the influence of Epstein's glib and ignorant work on White House management of this crisis - yikes.
One consequence of a fact-free presidency is that the entire evidence-based world lines up against it. That tempts learned people of a contrarian bent to conclude "must be wrong." The more resistance they get, the more certain they feel. Watch it play out.
I've been interviewed by three times in the last few years - twice for and once for the - and there's nobody who uses this particular medium better
Dear God: never let me get so full of myself that I approach Epstein levels of abject dickishness.
The “intellectual” source of the coronatruthers/“it’s the flu”/reopen the economy types appears to be Richard Epstein, of Hoover. He was interviewed about his role in all this by The New Yorker. He doesn’t come off well. Read it ALL
One of the most important public services performed by is exposing intellectual blowhards like Richard Epstein ... as intellectual blowhards
How a lawyer at a partisan think tank turned a crackpot theory about epidemiology into an excuse for inaction at the federal level
Or to put it another way, the WH economics team is to economics as Richard Epstein is to epidemiology 3/
If you think Chicago School “public intellectuals” were responsible for massive death & suffering in the age of neoliberalism, just wait till you see what law and economics star Richard Epstein has to say about the age of #Covid_19 #CoronavirusPandemic
It's as though is publishing its fact-check file along with this Q&A with on #COVID19. Terrific, and important.
"I’ve worked on evolutionary theory for forty years in its relationship to law." via
This perfectly epitomizes how some people wantonly throw around "evolutionary theory". Just sprinkle some evolutionary theory on it!
The Majesty of the Law.
This is some industrial grade refined bullshit served with an big side of bullying. The scope of Epstein’s scientific ad mathematical illiteracy on display is staggering. The fact some ppl in power listened to this is beyond scary.
Epstein killed himself. But aided and abetted.
A case against DIY science advice Contrarians are valuable & help make science stronger They should not be silenced or punished But their presence makes formal mechanisms of science advice that much more important A case study
The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Administration | Great ⁦
An astonishing firehose of bluster. If you only experience white-hot rage in response to one dangerous, astonishing thing today, make sure it's this.
Legal academia's great giant gives an interview where he reveals the secret of his success to
Very important read. A conservative attack on #COVID19 modeling that was sadly influential (and, as clear in this interview, profoundly scientifically misinformed). The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Administration. #virology
In which law professor Richard Epstein says “medical people[‘s] ... great weakness is understanding general-equilibrium theory.”
“You just don’t know anything about anything. You’re a journalist. Would you like to compare your résumé to mine?”
My journalism beat is pretty unique. It’s basically me and . We have different styles and hit different subjects. But I’m his biggest fan and this is fan-fucking-tastic.
The Contrarian #Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Administration, by via #Covid19
As I read Richard Epstein try to bluster and bully his way through this devastating interview all I could think of was Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in “Sleeper” pretending to clone a nose.
Wow, this is embarrassing ... yelling “there’s no fire” in a crowded, burning theater ... or yelling “natural selection suggests a milder strain of fire will emerge in this burning theater in no time”
The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Administration 🦠 Richard Epstein is a dangerous idiot.
OF COURSE the Republican “intellect" of the moment who has the ear of the White House on the pandemic is a complete, blithering idiot. What a horrifying interview!
It’s ‘not that kind of doctor’ for a reason.
Well worth reading. But also worth remembering: Trump survives efforts to report on his stupefying motives and actions because he rewrites history as he goes. He’s now America’s hero who’s going to make sure the virus only kills 200,000 Americans.
lmao I only just read this; hilarious! Full points for this exchange: O.K. Can I ask you one more question? - You just don’t know anything about anything. You’re a journalist. Would you like to compare your résumé to mine? No, actually, I would not.
Epstein lost me at law professor. It has come to my attention recently that some folks may not fully grasp how expertise in one field does not translate to expertise in all fields.
Anyway, interviewed . Nicely, it tackles main points on which I previously savaged Epstein's theories. The interview is very good, & two-thirds of the way down, it starts getting hilariously funny. 🤣 I shall tweet on it soon.
"I think the fact that I am not a great scholar on this and I’m able to find these flaws ... in what you wrote is a sign that maybe you should’ve thought harder before writing it." Ouch.
Scientists are very familiar with guys like this... - I'll debate anyone. (I am very brave!) - But you have to debate me on my terms and respond to all my points the way I want you to. (I am very lazy!)
This Richard Epstein interview does indeed makes him seem like a crackpot. People have already commented on various parts, but I enjoyed the quick turnaround on Bill Gates.
I also disagree this should be framed as politics or differences in party view. Main difference is one side listens to scientists/experts, and the other is basically case study for Dunning-Kruger and science is an opinion that can be debated with logic ie
.The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Administration via
The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Administration via
I’ve published Richard Epstein at several publications, and he’s not an idiot. Or, at least: he’s interesting even when he’s wrong. The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Administration | The New Yorker
The Richard Epstein interview is quite the thing, isn't it?
Richard Epstein destroys whatever reputation he ever had in a single, devastating interview. via
no one should be allowed to interview any of these people except that amazing new yorker guy
I am taking this interview of David Epstein by as definitive proof that can see the future.
The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory That Informed the Trump Administration | The New Yorker
Isaac Chotiner broke Richard Epstein's hyoid bone in this interview
This whole interview with Richard Epstein is ... eye-opening. . For example:
Just got around to reading this. Epstein reads like he's half a nudge away from crying about brewskis with Squi
“You just don’t know anything about anything. You’re a journalist. Would you like to compare your résumé to mine?” ~ ⁦
This is brilliant, . It's what I did with part of a chapter in Pinker's "Enlightenment Now," and it's exactly what I would love love love to see more of in interviews with IDW types--Pinker, Harris, Peterson, etc. Facts matter/expertise matters!
OK I finally took a deep breath and read the Richard Epstein interview and hoo boy was it worth it
A prominent sociologist recently suggested that I'm unhinged for saying I would gladly push certain folks off a cliff bc we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. In their minds, they are also fighting for a better world. This reminds me I'm right.
“Diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain” H/t quoting her 10th grade English teacher
Astonished that after published an interview showing Richard Epstein to be callous, ill-informed, and arrogant, Epstein talked with Jane Coaston--to ensure everyone got the message.
Richard Epstein is a dangerous idiot. Maybe he wasn’t always an idiot, but he’s surely one now. Embarrassing. Horrifying. Trumpian levels of unearned confidence. Someone should take his keys away. I guess this interview kind of does that.
The Contrarian #coronavirus Theory of That Informed the Trump Administration via &
"I think the fact that I am not a great scholar on this and I’m able to find these flaws or these holes in what you wrote is a sign that maybe you should’ve thought harder before writing it."
Don't forget this dude, who is maybe a lawyer or maybe a climate scientist or maybe an evolutionary biologist with a specialty in virology. But anyway, he knows epidemiologists are pretty dumb. via
It's a good bet you are losing the argument when you resort to "You just don’t know anything about anything. You’re a journalist. Would you like to compare your résumé to mine?"