… is from page 48 of the late, great Julian Simon’s 1996 magnum opus, The Ultimate Resource 2 (original emphasis):
The central difficulty again is: Which expert will you choose to believe? If you wish, you can certainly find someone with all the proper academic qualifications who will give you as good a scare for your money as a horror movie.
DBx: Pictured here is one such scare-mongering “expert” – Neil Ferguson – whose mad ‘model’ predictions many people gullibly, and calamitously, fell for in early 2020.
UPDATE: As Tim Worstall reminds me by e-mail, Ferguson is not only incompetent at the science at which he pretends to possess expertise, he’s also a hypocrite. His hypocrisy speaks to his own lack of belief in his ‘science.’ Here’s what Matt Ridley had to say about Ferguson in May 2020:
Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College “stepped back” from the Sage group advising ministers when his lockdown-busting romantic trysts were exposed. Perhaps he should have been dropped for a more consequential misstep. Details of the model his team built to predict the epidemic are emerging and they are not pretty. In the respective words of four experienced modellers, the code is “deeply riddled” with bugs, “a fairly arbitrary Heath Robinson machine”, has “huge blocks of code – bad practice” and is “quite possibly the worst production code I have ever seen”.