Many conflicts of vision can be ascribed to confusing cause and effect. That of course says nothing of unrelated effects ascribed to a cause incorrectly, which is probably much more common!

Type II diabetes. For a variety of historical reasons, elevated glucose is seen as a cause, or at the very least is the diagnostic, of Type 2 diabetes. Hyperglycemia is actually an effect of the disease of Type 2 diabetes; treating it does not address the underlying disease. Elevated glucose does not cause all the harms associated with Type II diabetes; it is simply one of the constellation of effects of the underlying cause, hyperinsulinemia.

Why do people always have to say “I don’t like this person! I’m actually a leftist!” before stating an emminently reasonable position that doesn’t conform to the left? Rogan does this all the time. If someone in the mainstream defends Rand Paul, it’s always prefaced with “He’s ICKY!!!… But…” Even nominally conservative or libertarian people use this construct. Why do conservative, libertarian or simply non-batshit-leftist statements always seem to require a disclaimer?

Does every manager type in a large organization go to the same “School of Vapidness”? Why does every single one seem to have a compulsive need to send a spam email out after the completion of some particular milestone with the same empty platitudes? “Given the complexity and challenges of <upcoming task>, in our <milestone in the preparation for upcoming tast>, I see a true team coming together! Our ability to function as a team is so critical. I am constantly reminded that there is no better team at <large organization> than the <sub team working on this task>. You guys RULE!” I understand and am fully behind “Thank you everyone for your hard work. These are difficult tasks that require lots of effort to execute, and the work is appreciated” Done. But you said exactly the same thing to the last <random group of people> you “managed”, regardless of performance. And you will say the exact same thing to the next group. All these empty, repeated, meaningless platitudes mean you can’t really be sincere/honest so I disregard your entire BS statement, hence the purported purpose of your bromide is completely undermined. Maybe it’s just me. But does anyone read that and really think it’s a sincerely stated, honest evaluation and feel pride? I just think “empty bullshit, f-off”.

Lockdown inverse correlation with outcome. There is some data that show an inverse correlation between severity of lockdown efforts and negative Covid-19 outcomes (see e.g.  PANDATA). If this was treated like the media and politicians often treat cause and effect, one might infer that lockdowns cause worse Covid and come out against lockdowns. While there’s a plausible mechanistic pathway for that (lock people indoors, more transmission, more concentrated viral load), it’s just as plausible that regions more strongly impacted implement more stringent measures in a (vain) effort to mitigate those larger impacts. I wonder whether the reason this isn’t treated the same way “experts” often treat observations and cause/effect is the fact that doing so would result in reduced power for the state and influence for the media?

Why is it that “requirements” become sacrosanct? We have to do things by the book even if that creates extra work and/or compromises the effectiveness/efficiency of whatever endeavor we are engaging in. It seems that the people in charge of enforcing ‘requirements’ or ‘standards’ are completely clueless about the systems those requirements/standards apply to and therefore have no ability to make judgements and so simply follow the script, often to the detriment of the entire effort. Also seems a common way to dodge responsibility and effort.

Anthropogenic global warming (climate change?) – Is CO2 a cause, or effect? There is clear data in the geological record of significant temperature changes over the course of the earth’s history. To the degree one can discern, it seems temperature is a leading indicator, CO2 a trailing, so rising temperatures actually cause the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere, rising CO2 is not causing rising temperatures. To say nothing of why we seem to focus on CO2, one of the most minor of GH gasses, both in quantity and efficacy. The cynic might observe that it’s the only emission whose control and regulation gives power and money to societies ‘experts’ and ‘elites’.  And with methane providing another avenue to more power and control, it’s starting to be emphasized.  Man, I’m a cynic. I mean realist.

Social construction of gender roles. There’s an assumption that society forces gender roles onto individuals and the cause of variation between the sexes in work and play is the result of that societal enforcement. And social institutions do enforce gender roles at some level. But the cause is biological and evolutionary. The effect is the development of social institutions that reflect that underlying biological root cause.

When we see discrimination everywhere – “I’m not welcomed into a male-dominated sport/activity”, “I’m not in a management position because of systemic racism” – are groups that have been told to expect discrimination and racism mistaking the absolutely normal skepticism and ‘hazing’ that comes with new experiences for real discrimination? People are never (or rarely) welcomed into a new group with open arms; there’s a period of “are you competent at this endeavor? Are you willing to listen and learn before demanding recognition? Do you fit in? Demonstrate to us that you belong here.” – a lot of that dynamic happens subconsciously, some deliberate. Not having been trained to take offence at every turn, I might take that as the normal process; some one trained to see nefarious purposes everywhere might interpret that more ominously.

Acronyms. Cutesy. Doubly nested. Triply nested. I hates them.