Tiktok user using pseudoscience to predict Covid cases exactly

in STEMGeeks4 months ago (edited)

For those that have been following the number of Covid-19 cases in NSW daily (a state in Australia), a Tiktok user has posted the day before, the correct number of cases 4 days in a row.

NSW health, release at 11am each day, the number of Covid-19 cases detected up to 8pm on the previous day. This usually is through a press conference and twitter post.

Tiktok user Jon-Bernard Kariouz (https://twitter.com/jonbernardk ) has on 4 occasions picked exactly the right number of cases each day. He claims to have done this through mathematics.

image.png

What are the chances he has just been lucky?

Well, the daily cases are around 100, but vary by 10-20 per day. So lets assume there is a range of about 20 each day the number could be. This means there is a 5% chance he could guess it each day.

5% chance 4 days in a row.. unlikely, for the math buffs out there, that's 0.05^4 = 0.000625%

So we can conclude that he is definitely not just lucky.

What about his claim of using maths to determine it?

this is where it gets interesting. He gives a little insight into his mathematical techniques and it smacks of pseudoscience.

here is a quote

if we just carry the one here there would be 28 infectious people in the community

I don't know what the carry one means, but he was right, there were 28 cases infectious in the community that day, this was published the next day in the press release by NSW health. Then he goes on to say

plus the diameter of Fairfield

what's the diameter of Fairfield got to do with the price of fish? and what units is he using? Fairfield isn't even a circle so what's that mean.. here it is on the map

image.png

So lets for argument sake, use 2km as a diameter of fairfield.

so we get 28+2 = 30

and now he says ...
divided by the population of Sydney

Sydney has a population of 5million, so now we are at 0.000006.

and connect the dot just here (some squiggly diagram), and there will be 65 new cases

Well how do we get from 0.000006 to 65 cases just by joining a dot?

But miraculously he was right?

So how did he do it?

Well, if you take a look at the time he posts, it is always between 10pm and midnight that night, and if you recall, NSW health closes off the numbers by 8pm.

So you don't have to be Einstein to work out, he clearly has someone on the inside telling him the numbers.

NSW health were convinced too, so they called him, and asked him to stop, otherwise there might be some serious consequences for some NSW health staff (i.e. the leakers), but he insists on continuing and running the lie of maths can determine it.

What might happen next

Well, if I was NSW health I would feed misinformation and see if the misinformation was published by Jon or not. Eventually the leaker will be found out, so if they are listening, is your job really worth it that much? or is Jon paying you so as an upcoming comedian he can get followers?

Anyway lucky NSW health is concentrating on keeping us safe as opposed to trying to chase down a leak.. lets see how long this continues?

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