I like to read and keep up with the news, especially these days. Since I get most of my printed (?) news on line, a big problem is avoiding nonsense and click bait. Click bait is an easy one to solve. If the headline isn’t a headline (that is a short summary of what the article is about) then I ignore it. It could be a perfectly legit and interesting article, but if it has a clickbait headline, I’m not reading it.
I also look at the source. Something from a sketchy source I also tend to ignore. Sometimes I may read it but, as they used to say, take it with a grain of salt.
Today I came across this one. From the Times of Israel. Seems to be a legit news source. The person being written about seems to be claiming vindication of his theory that all infectious disease outbreaks peak in 40 days and end in 70. Seems nonsense on the face of it. Lots of plagues in history have gone on for years. Who is this guy? Well, he is:
Isaac Ben-Israel, a prominent mathematician, chairman of Israel’s Space Agency, and a former general
Whatevs. Still a crank it appears. Then I did something I try to never do:. I read some comments. There were only a few, half highly dismissive, the other half laudatory. I couldn’t resist looking up one of the positive commenters. Someone from Bob Jones University. Ok, call me an academic snob if you want.
Anyway, maybe it was click bait. Should have been suspicious of any article that starts with “I Was Right”.
I was right, says prof who predicted pandemic would play itself out in 70 days
Isaac Ben-Israel says virus disappears everywhere at same speed, rendering interventions irrelevant. Public health expert: He ‘has no clue about epidemiology and public health’