Difficulty Accepting

Each morning we hear on the UK news some stuff about whether “Freedom Day” will go ahead or not. The number of cases in the UK per day are now roughly similar to those in France. The numbers in the UK are on the up, the numbers in France are on the down.

As I add each new data point from the UK to my fit, the quality of fit to a simple exponential growth gets better and better, the R squared is now above 0.74. It currently seems to me that there is a kind of inevitability, the growth in cases is getting “more” exponential, day by day. It is possible that certain people will have difficulty accepting this, if indeed it is the case.

When exactly does one act in the case of an exponential growth?

The UK vaccine minister read Chemical Engineering so at least he should be familiar with kinetics and exponents, not so those who read classics or PPE. That is the thing about exponential growth, it grows exponentially. There is no change in gradient it just looks shallow, slow, depending on how you set the axes on the graph.

This points at another theme in which people have real trouble accepting anything which is inconvenient. The willingness to accept is almost inversely proportional to the inconvenience. The more inconvenient something is the smaller the willingness to accept it.

The second world war is full of examples of this, the annexation of the Sudeten Land, the attack on Pearl Harbour.

There is this complacency thing. The big and powerful are nearly always more prone to complacency. The USA even after Pearl Harbour did not imagine the attack on the World Trade Center.

We were discussing how pandemic preparedness, currently a hot topic, will start to fade from the minds of politicians as they seek to curry favour of the electorate with their future fiscal spending plans. It will drop down the priority list in the fullness of time.

I remember the start of AIDS, that to an extent fell off the radar.

It seems people don’t wish to learn inconvenient lessons. They have difficulty accepting anything which might curtail those things which they want to do, even if there is a risk.

Yah, I think this is it. I’ll make a hypothesis and it is quite a firm one:

The difficulty of accepting some thing is inversely proportional to the level of inconvenience it brings.

Just look at climate change, we all kind of know it is happening, but we cannot yet, in truth, be arsed to do anything much about it!