Sunday, October 19, 2014

Eppur Si Muove

WHO numbers of Confirmed, Probable and Suspected Ebola cases Worldwide
What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!”

― Robert A. Heinlein
The above chart is from an Excel file I have been keeping.  If you check my back posts over the last couple of weeks, I have been writing about this for a while.

Now, those who know me understand that I am an Eyore.  I not only see the glass as half empty, but cracked and leaking beside.  My first thought when the news started dribbling out of West Africa was not the requisite positive thinking so cherished by the Kumbaya crowd.

So I kept an eye on the numbers coming out of Africa.  The news media was screaming "Exponential", but alas, the the numbers keep coming up linear.

As more data points are offered by the WHO, the R value of the linear curve fit keeps climbing. 0.9911, 0.9931, 0.9945.  I keep waiting for the last number to start driving up past the trendline,, but alas, there has, to date, been no confirmation of a exponential takeoff.

Look, until you start seeing the new numbers coming out on Wednesday and Friday start breaking out above the trendline, the damn thing is linear.  Linear is controllable.  Don't doubt that a lot of folks are working quite hard on this to contain it.  Entertain for a moment the thought that they might be succeeding.

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