To Die For

“Statistics” has always been “politicized.” That’s an etymological fact – the word comes from words that refer to “states” or “statecraft” or the like.

So it’s no surprise that statistics reflect and reinforce political realities of various kinds.

Nevertheless, this is a wild study – finding evidence for an effect of party affiliation on excess death, after COVID-19 vaccinations became available.

Obviously, people get to “make up their own minds” about things like risk and reward, and which risks they’re willing to take and which ones they’re not. I imagine we all like to think that we have good reasons, too.

I’m not sure, though, that we “make up our own minds” as much as we think we do. And I’m not sure our reasons are always as good as we think they are, either. I think people mostly all just do what “people like us” do.

So, it matters who we want to be like. That’s my read on it.

red line embellished

Image: “Healing of the Possessed,” AnonymousUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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