Tyler Cowen on herd mentality and herd immunity

Tyler Cowen is one of the most influential thinkers in America — economist, political philosopher and general polymath. Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, he’s been paying close attention to the data and how different governments are reacting. I caught up with him to get his assessment of where we are.

One thing we like about Tyler is that he’s not tribal — in less than half an hour, he manages to take a pop at both the herd immunity crowd and the mainstream media that refused to talk about it, Devi Sridhar and Michael Levitt, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Wherever you’re coming from, stand by to get your feathers ruffled!

But through it all you get the impression of a clear mind in pursuit of sensible answers — it’s a rare commodity these days and our thanks to Tyler for sharing his thoughts.

On ‘Phantom Risk’

"We see this happening with terrorist attacks. Before 9/11, clearly people underrated the risk that terrorists would take box-cutters, commandeer airplanes and crash them into buildings. It was a terrible mistake. But even to this day, people overrate that risk because it has become salient to them. One of the biggest problems of recovering from Covid-19 when that point comes around is that people will consider the mere existence of cases to be a reason to panic and that will t…

Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsVTRmFC0hg#action=share
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