The WaPo has a great article on the current state of Ebola and international aid efforts in Liberia.

Here’s the short version: For unknown and very complicated reasons, Ebola cases are a fraction of what they were a few months ago; and this positive change in the number of affected people is coming at just the time when most aid efforts are culminating in completed treatment and quarantine facilities.

Here’s my take on the situation:

* Ebola outbreak in Africa

* People around the world panic for no justifiable reason

* Aid pours into the country/region for lots of reasons, few of which have anything to do with rationally responding to the disease

* Infection rates dramatically decline for reasons that nobody understands (see the WaPo article)

* Aid efforts reach their effectiveness peak too late to be of any meaningful use

Or, to put it differently: complex systems are complex.

Pop quiz: can you think of any other topics that are regularly in the news that are similarly complex and will likely result in similarly irrational, expensive, and misguided responses from Man?

-JD Cross

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