But it was too late. The CDC's (mis)guidance in March based on the fact that face masks aren't foolproof became June's perverted truism that face masks are useless. Getting people to accept the revised guidance ran into an obstacle: many people say they don't trust anything the CDC says, but paradoxically act like firm believers in whatever it was the CDC was saying in March. The CDC's misstep in March has become gospel for everyone who doesn't want to wear a face mask in June. Or at least that's the argument they make. Any parent recognizes a child's logic at work here. "You said..." "Now I'm saying..." "But you said..." The difference is that a child eventually outgrows it. I'm not sure society ever does.
Sometimes the perversion of science takes darker turns.
The quote above comes from a New Yorker article on Josef Mengele by Adam Gopnik. I'm not saying people who don't wear masks are Nazis (not for that reason, anyway), but the Nazi perversion of scientific practice did make me think of them. The article has a parenthetical comment that the Nazis thought of Americans when they came up with some of their own worst ideas.The Darwinian idea of the struggle for existence, designed to explain the chiselling of birds’ beaks, becomes in a generation the idea that poor people deserve to be poor. Einstein’s idea that the measurement of time is relative can warp into the idea that morality is. The missteps can be hard to track. The perversion of a scientific practice takes a second; its rectification takes a semester.
Source: New Yorker.
Whoa! This escalated sharply.(Nazi rules about "racial purity" were inspired by, but did not go as far as, American "one drop" and "blood fraction" laws, enacted in the South, which stipulated that even a remote black ancestor rendered an individual nonwhite. As with Hitler's likening of his conquest of the East to the American conquest of the West, our worst history encouraged the Nazis' worst instincts.)
Source: New Yorker.