Phillip Magness’s Ministry of Truth

When the truth hides
And integrity falls shy
On the faultline between then and now

–Geddy Lee, “Grace to Grace

Why would a historian, of all people, delete such a post (below the fold) from his Facebook timeline?* Isn’t it an important part of the historical record worth preserving? And I’m curious: has the time come to close the universities yet? Or should they have been kept open this whole time? To the end of the semester, maybe? Into summer session?

Not rhetorical questions. The clock is ticking. The bodies are piling up. In fact, so many have piled up now that it’s unclear where to bury them all. But that’s no reason we should be sitting at home teaching online classes when an eminent authority on higher education tells us that we could be back in the classroom on Monday. Tell us in time to re-open. While you’re at it, why don’t you go to a crowded place sometime this weekend, Phil, take a selfie, and post it? Just be “vigilant about signs of illness.” We wouldn’t want you to get sick. There’s a pandemic on, I hear.

*He clarifies: he didn’t delete it; he blocked me from seeing it, so as to prevent me, in my “paranoia,” from…what’s the right word?…spreading it around. But it was originally on a public setting. So I assumed he wanted it to be seen by the public. That seems implicit in making a post public. I have no objection to his having second thoughts, but what’s done is done. Here is the screenshot, in all of its prescient glory, straight from the hand of the self-described “scrutinizer of bad statistical takes.” Hell, I’m just a scrutnizer of plain old takes. And this one doesn’t look all that great to me.

6 thoughts on “Phillip Magness’s Ministry of Truth

  1. Pingback: Coronavirus Diary (38): Waiting for the Surge | Policy of Truth

  2. Great Tune! Grace to Grace.

    A theme song to go with what went wrong at Theranos as denoted in “Bad Blood- Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start Up” by John Carreyrou.

    I am going to file this-

    “hen the truth hides
    And integrity falls shy
    On the faultline between then and now.”

    with my angry underlines thought-out the book..

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL. Yes, though I have to think that what happened at Theranos has got to pale in comparison to what happened on COVID-19…

      If nothing else, at least Carreyrou has great material for his next book! Suggested title: Don’t Hold Your Breath: Secrets, Lies, and Complacency During the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s