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August 06, 2021

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libertarianism, the gift that keeps giving

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/08/06/1024933341/detroit-public-health-privatize-covid-bankruptcy

[totally off topic]

lj, may I contact you about a work matter? ral at msbit.com.

sure! check your email

I'm sure they will be all in for defending people against vaccine mandates.

After carefully getting their own vaccinations, of course. And probably requiring their staff to do so as well.

Speaking of defending people against vaccine mandates, this from the NYT via yahoo on super-great guys Ted Cruz and Rand Paul:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ted-cruz-calls-zero-covid-133500026.html

"There should be no mandates - zero - concerning covid," Cruz said. "That means no mask mandates, regardless of your vaccination status. That means no vaccine mandates. That means no vaccine passports."

(...)

Texas, Cruz's home state, is seeing a rise in new infections that is now limiting the availability of hospital beds. A Houston hospital system is preparing huge tents to treat an overflow of patients, while a doctor there said intensive care units in the city resembled a "war zone." The state is averaging more than 13,500 new cases a day, trailing only Florida.

(...)

"It's time for us to resist. They can't arrest all of us," Paul said. "They can't keep all of your kids home from school. They can't keep every government building closed, although I've got a long list of ones they might keep closed or ought to keep closed."

Coronavirus cases in Kentucky are up by 50% in the last week, data shows. Almost every county in Kentucky has "high community transmission," according to the CDC.

And this guy:

Federal government sends ventilators to Florida as DeSantis says he's unaware of shipment

https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/11/politics/florida-ventilators-desantis/index.html

That's the type of guys I have no qualms to wish that they would catch facial necrotizing fasciitis to make their outside match their inner self.

here's a libertarian (Julian Sanchez) making sense:

Here’s what I note in both cases: The cranks typically have the superficial trappings of real science. Links to journal articles on the one hand, or on the other, impressively hackery looking hex dumps & spreadsheets full of IP addresses. “See, I’m giving you the evidence…”

Now in both cases, this evidence is absolutely useless to the target audience. They have neither the training nor the context to evaluate the quality or relevance of technical articles in medical journals—or even to understand what the article is claiming in many cases.

Ditto on the “election fraud” side: The target audience has no idea what a real packet capture looks like, or whether it makes any sense that someone would have the kind of information claimed in that spreadsheet full of numbers.

They are, however, being flattered by the INVITATION to assess the evidence for themselves—do your own research, make up your own mind!

So what do the responses from acutal experts look like? Well, generally pretty dismissive—understandably so—because they can tell the evidence is nonsense, and typically aren’t super interested spending hours going into granular detail about why or throwing around citations to technical material they know full well a lay audience isn’t remotely equipped to understand. (The people who ARE equipped to understand the technical material don’t need a pop debunking.)

it goes on from there

"facial necrotizing fasciitis"

The amazing things I learn here!

But if you don't do your own research, aren't you just being a sheep? I know one thing - accepting a bunch of stuff you don't understand from some rando on the internet as evidence of the thing you want to believe is what tough, smart, self-researching non-sheep do. That's way better than listening to so-called "experts" and "trusted sources" who have "credentials" and "reputations." You know, like a sheep would.

research is for those who lack faith in their own guts.

That's way better than listening to so-called "experts" and "trusted sources" who have "credentials" and "reputations." You know, like a sheep would.

Especially if they were (like Harold) that most dangerous of animals, a clever sheep.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnYFsp93KE

(I know I linked this quite recently, but knowing you all, I can't imagine most of you will mind.)

And a fuller script, showing once again an excellent MIT sense of humour:

http://www.mit.edu/afs.new/sipb/user/ayshames/Python/SHEEP.PYTHON

We conveniently have this thread to point out this, from a former front pager here, who links without comment this

https://reason.com/2021/08/12/cdc-took-mistaken-data-on-delta-variant-transmissibility-from-a-new-york-times-infographic/

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claimed the delta variant of COVID-19 is "as transmissible as" chickenpox.

Problem? Well, it links to a WaPo article that says
The delta variant of the coronavirus appears to cause more severe illness than earlier variants and spreads as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal federal health document that argues officials must “acknowledge the war has changed.”

But corona has a r0 value of 6 or 7 while chickenpox has a r0 of 9 or 10. Compared to the r0 of the original strain, which was 2 or 3.

Is it just me, or 'spreads as easily would incorporate a potential 2-3 fold increase? Or does 'spread as easily' mean it has to have the same R0 as chickenpox or you are a liar liar pants on fire?

Thoughts?

Is it just me, or 'spreads as easily would incorporate a potential 2-3 fold increase? Or does 'spread as easily' mean it has to have the same R0 as chickenpox or you are a liar liar pants on fire?

Thoughts?

Agree. Let me add: for those many of us who do not follow CDC and other guidance carefully, it all sounds really confusing which feeds into skepticism about whatever one wishes to be a skeptic. My default is get the shots, wear a mask and lay low. Others see it differently. One thing to keep in mind when coming down on the vax skeptics is the lack of coherency one hears if one is not already tuning in with a bias that leans CDC-friendly. There are plenty of non-right wing constituencies that are vax skeptical. Clarity and less click-bait reporting would help but good luck there.

Here's a breakdown of the unvaccinated in the US. Note that "vax skeptical" is a broad category and not the same as "no f**ing way." The "wait and see" crowd has shrunk, while the "no f**knig way" crowd has remained about the same size since vaccines became available.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/unvaccinated-america-in-5-charts/

As for masks: The Texas Supreme Court just sided with Abbot and Paxton who recently declared all local mask mandates illegal (an order which several local governments had defied with support of a lower court judge).

Is there any possibility to legally require those two guys to wear an Oni mask anytime they show up in public?

There are plenty of non-right wing constituencies that are vax skeptical.

Quite true. In fact, pre-covid, the majority of anti-vaxxers were on the left. I've had a couple of conversations, with people too young to actually remember, where someone was insisting that polio/measles/mumps/chicken pox were dying out already in the 1950s without vaccines. (Don't know if they would make the same dumb claim about small pox. Probably.) Not even a little bit.

Clarity and less click-bait reporting would help but good luck there.

This is one reason why I am really noisy here (and why I try not to engage in facebook or god forbid, twitter discussions) about people providing links to what they say. It's far too easy to take half a (possibly mis-) remembered point and plug it into an argument.

Quite true. In fact, pre-covid, the majority of anti-vaxxers were on the left.

12% vs. 10% or so. True, but not sure how meaningful that is.

I know a couple. They are techno-libertarian who believe in anthroposophy, and their research consist mostly in having a lovingly curated list of pseudoscientific cranks that they can call up to critique any opposing position, so long as they don't have to try to make their critiques into a coherent counter position. I've muted them both because even when we agree, I can be fairly confident that they have reached that position through faulty information.

They are, on balance, noise. It's just on specific things like COVID and survival that they are a menace to survival.

Thoughts?

"you strain at a gnat and swallow a camel".

my personal circle of friends and acquaintances now include 4 people who are vaccinated, and caught delta COVID. all were ill for a couple of days, all had to isolate to avoid passing it along.

I'm out of patience with people who refuse to get vaccinated. by "out of patience" I don't mean I hate them or want them to be forced to get the vaccine. I do mean I'm not interested in discussing it with them. They are impervious to reason.

The sad thing is this is from someone who I am almost sure has been vaxxed and is a highly intelligent individual.

I get that one can get sucked in by click-bait occasionally. But it seems like a particular rhetorical stance is going to have you fall down that well over and over.

Meanwhile: I have two nieces in AZ. One has no kids, one has three.

Niece with three kids now has two kids with COVID. After, like, two weeks of school. They have to go to school, they are too young to get vaccinated, the state wants to ban mask mandates because Ducey is an idiot, and their particular school district (Gilbert) doesn't and won't require masks.

My niece sends them to school with masks, but they're kids, so they do what the other kids do.

Niece is a nurse, but she is considering leaving the field because she is sick of dealing with belligerent a**holes who give her unrelenting sh*t when they show up at the hospital with COVID.

This is all a great big ball of stupid, and it's killing people.

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