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Messages - LetterRip

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General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 11, 2020, 04:27:54 PM »

They have only 500 new cases per day, and about 10 deaths per day. They have achieved phase 4 of their reopening plan. This is not "full reopening", they are still keeping people out of indoor dining. Sports still have no fans in attendance. Businesses in violation get shut down after three warnings - including not following outdoor dining.

Part of that is because NYC has 'partial herd immunity', antibody surveys suggest 20-25% of NYC might have been exposed (though I suspect that is probably a significant overestimate - their testing method is highly susceptible to oversampling those most likely to have caught it - because they are more frequently out and about) and the people most likely to spread tend to be those most likely to get it early.  I'm sure their measures have been effective is slowing the spread, but I think their current numbers are also benefiting from their early mistakes.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 11, 2020, 11:47:19 AM »

I don't know if that's accurate or not in terms of the physics of it, but I can tell you that while wearing masks people end up shouting at each other to be understood properly, even in a sparsely-populated environment.

 I've never seen or heard anyone shouting because they are wearing masks, even among construction crews.  I don't think that is a common phenomenon.  It might happen among the partially deaf who have been compensating by lip reading and think others can't hear them because they can no longer 'hear'' other people by reading their lips.

. I'm not saying I think masks are bad (I don't know) but it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that they aerosolize water particles more than normal, and that the force of speaking loudly like that causes particles to shoot out of the sides if the mask isn't 100% sealed (which it won't be in almost all cases).

If you've turned a hose on say a bed sheet, most of the water is absorbed and drops down, very little goes through the sheet and small amounts rebound and spray sideways.  Even if everyone really were yelling because they use masks, there almost certainly will be a drastic reduction in droplets and aerosolized particles.  Also the droplets are the major concern (infectivity and severity is going to be strongly dependent on the dosing).

Side note, but in my anecdotal experience people who wear masks tend to believe it makes them invulnerable and they will walk right up to you.

Yep, which is why the health organizations were concerned about promoting masks - they are much less effective than social distancing - they are of benefit in addition to  social distancing not a substitute.  Many schools, work places, and individuals seem to think they are a substitute.

General Comments / Re: NRA getting sued
« on: August 09, 2020, 12:17:33 PM »
There are a number of possibilites regarding donations

1) Quid pro quo - Clinton's promised favors in exchange for donations.  There is really no reason to think they'd have any motivation for this.  They have combined earnings of more than 240 million since Bill retired.  Either Clinton could have a book ghost written and make 5 million per book at a minimum.  The Foundation gets regular audits and defrauding a charitiable foundation for serious money only can be done easily in a few ways - 1) license an asset to the foundation way over value (ie if they licensed the Clinton name for fund raising at 20 million per year - this is how Ikea's founder does it - he licenses the name for essentially all of their revenue); 2) provide services to the foundation way over value (ie 'fund raising services' where 90% of the value raised is kept by the company doing the fund raising; similar scams exist for 'water drilling', house building, providng foods and medicines and other goods etc; renting venues or office space etc. at drastically above market rates;.) 3) have the foundation accept 'donations' at vastly inflated values that are then tax deducted

2) Thinking US works like many kleptocracies - people in countries that are kleptocracies just assume (like you are) that it must be a corrupt front and therefore assume that donating will corruptly influence the Clintons

3) Social networking and peer pressure- have you ever 'bought' or donated to a fund raiser to be neighborly?  Ever donated because it was something that a friend was involved in? Ever donated to a fund raiser being held or supported by a boss?  Did you continue donating and purchasing from those same causes after you were no longer in contact with people involved with those charities?  The Clinton's will have had regular contact with heads of state and talked about their Charity and thus inevitably there will be some social pressure to donate to 'not look like a jerk'.  Similarly with reduced social contact will come decreased likelihood of donating.

4) fear of vindictiveness - there may not be an expectation of favor, but rather of 'disfavor' if they don't donate.

5) They could just think it is a worthy and effective charity.

The hypothesis Clinton haters seem to favor is by far the least likely and frankly absurd with strong evidence against it.  By far the most likely is 3 - followed by 2 and 4, and lastly 5, 1 isn't even slightly rational.  If donations dropped off after Hillary was no longer a Presidential candidate - then the likelihoods remain the same with a slight decrease for 5.

General Comments / Re: General Barr's Hearing
« on: July 28, 2020, 10:02:36 PM »
Repeated insistence that Federal Troops are assaulting peaceful protesters, even though literally everyone is aware that this is not true.  Not one second of response admitting that trying to burn down a federal court house is not a peaceful protest.  Lots and lots and lots of straight up propaganda and lies on this point.

A guy with a speaker phone, this was caught on video.

Police, who appear to be federal officers, throw a canister that lands at his feet, which he lightly tosses away from him and toward the officers. It lands partway across the street.

A few seconds later, a firing sound can be heard, and the man collapses to the ground, dropping the speaker.

There are other incidents I've heard of.

So anyone with a twitter, facebook, or twitch account that either "blogs" or streams from the protest is now a member of the press corps?

No, if they post cat pics, recipes, etc. probably not. If they are describing and reporting on the protests - probably yes.

You just set the bar so low that anyone with a smartphone in hand should be considered part of the press.

The courts set the bar.  I don't see how it could be set any other way though.  Some reporting by unpaid volunteers is vastly superior to commercial reporting. I'd probably be ok with requirements reasonable efforts at fact checking etc.  Of course those same would apply to all news sources.

If the blogger or vlogger breaks the law they will be prosecuted like any other criminal just as any other press

PPB doesn't determine who 'press' are, the Constitution and SC rulings do.  Bloggers are legally press/journalists and enjoy both their protections and privileges

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 14, 2020, 09:17:23 PM »
I'm reasonably comfortable in the belief that most of what we're seeing for variability in responses being in large part a derivative of underlying genetics for the person/family involved.

That is possible, but another major factor will be dose related.  The larger the the initial number of viral particles when infected, generally the worse the outcome.

General Comments / Re: Who will be next to speak out about Trump?
« on: June 08, 2020, 05:11:29 PM »
Asymptomatic has five different meanings, which is why there is confusion.

There is 'paucisymptomatic' - people report not having symptoms even though they in fact have mild symptoms - 'it is just allergies', etc.  This is when people respond to questionaires and report not having symptoms.

There is 'presymptomatic' - this is having come in contact with someone and caught the virus, yet not having a viral load sufficient to cause noticable symptoms.

There is atypical presentation - not having the definitive symptom of a fever spike.

There are false positives - the person is 'asymptomatic' because they were never actually infected.

There is truely asymptomatic - a person who never develops clinical symptoms.

Most 'asymptomatic' individuals usually a false positive, paucisymptomatic, or presymptomatic, and most of the rest are atypical presentation, there is almost no truely asymptomatic.

Survey's will get 'asymptomatic' responses for paucisymptomatic and false positives.
Testing in hospitals will get presymptomatic, false positives, and atypical presentations.

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: June 05, 2020, 08:45:27 PM »
What the wall does do, is slow them down, and gives Border Patrol more ability to detect it, and more time to respond to the breach once it happens.

That is why we already had walls and barriers in the places we do - any place where a delay is benefecial - walls and barriers have been enacted many many years ago.  Other places are so far from population or such difficult terrain to cross that there is no marginal benefit to putting a wall there - the border patrol can pick them up at their leisure.  That is why Bush Jr. made a token effort than gave up.  He put a small amount of wall in a wilderness that already required significant expertise to cross.  There simply aren't any spots that it will be useful for illegal immigrants nor to dissuade asylum seekers.

A wall can only add about 5-10 minutes to crossing times.  So they are only beneficial when extremely close to a major city where the crosser can disappear.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: June 02, 2020, 06:55:00 PM »
Outdoors the virus disperses (low concentration) and die much more quickly.  There have been almost no cases of outdoor transmission (1 in 1000 cases or such?).  So really it isn't much risk.  If we see a spike it will be memorial day weekend, and people packing into bars and clubs (here the Governor excluded those that 'served food', so they all served food and were extremely packed - much more so than usual apparently).

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 11:13:51 PM »
Note that threatening officers with adverse consequences to get them to resign or retire for dubious reasons appears to be a pattern.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 10:59:51 PM »
Do you really believe that hiding knowledge of a performance review so negative that it was about to get one fired is being honest with one's prospective employer, especially when the performance review is material to the job being offered by the prospective employer?  I know you don't believe this.

An employer is responsible for due diligence.  He answered truthfully the question on the employment form. There are almost no potential employees who would volunteer that information. Also as I pointed out he had made it clear he was leaving ASAP, and the recently promoted chief felt it was disloyal (his predecessor hired the young officer and sometime between then and 6 months retired or lost his position).  I bet there is a very good chance the new chief wanted someone else hired and he was using this to clear the spot to put someone in loyal to himself.

There is no way they could have fired the young officer based on the conduct described.  They are typical new young cop stuff.  There were no official reprimands in the file etc. No police union would have allowed him to fired without a documented history of official reprimands etc.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 07:59:26 PM »

he didn't lie, here is the exact text from his letter of resignation,

Please accept this letter as my official resignation as a patrolman for the City of Independence. I am resigning my commission for personal reasons at this time. Thank you for the opportunity and training I have received.

signed by both Loehmann and his Sergeant, and a note of acceptance by Chief Polak.

He did meet with Loehmann prior to that,

On 12/03/12, Ptl.Loehmann, Sgt.Tinnirello, Mr.Lubin, and I met. I advised him of my intent and reasons for it, and Ptl. Loehmann decided to resign instead for personal reasons. I accepted his written resignation.

here is a far more accurate picture of what went on from an officer who was his Sargent.

And here is his personnel file.  Memmorandum on page 56.

It is clear that he was miserable living in a small town and planned to move to a larger city immediately after graduating.  If you read the report, what the Chief found most disturbing was his lack of commitment to stay with the Independence Police department.

He keeps referring to being told to stay in Independence,although it appears he often thinks of going to NY,where his best friend lives, and he has opportunities to work for NYPD. He told me that he was called by NYPD,and although he declined their position,he was told he would be on their list for 2 more years. That theme was repeated many times by Ptl. Loehmann,even him stating,"I will work here as long:as possible;-and do-my best,but if I find I don't like it then I will go do something else.I found this lack of commitment to us, disturbing.

So no, I don't think it is fair to characterize what he put in his application as lying.  He had announced his intention to quit long beforehand.  The Chief didn't like his lack of commitment.  Also Loehmann was hired by the previous Chief, which probably didn't help.

It sounds like Loehmann had a bad week in the academy after a break up, and the worst day happened to be on a gun qualification day.  There is nothing to indicate he was any less mature than any other 22 year old I've met who has entered law enforcement.  I'd bet the vast majority of police have had times when they were emotionally distraught enough that they might fail to return to the firing line.  To me his failing to do so may imply good judgement (handling a gun during that time, unless you are in an emergency should be avoided).

There is nothing in his actions during the shooting that demonstrates a lack of judgement.  Under the exact same circumstances any other officer would have acted the same.  You can fault the judgement of the supervising officer in parking so close if he thought he might be an active shooter.  As I said, it was a violation of protocol.  You infer some sort of malicious forethough to it, but it may well have been merely habit.

It seems like you desperately need for there to be a villain, rather than a confluence of unfortunate events that appears to be what happened.

I've no idea why Tamir drew the replica gun - it could be he thought he might get in trouble for having it; it could be that he was thinking he was going to show them the cool gun, or a hundred other reasons that a 12 year old might think.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 04:57:05 PM »
Yes, Garmback was the driver. No, Garmback did not 'park' close to the gazebo - the car was still moving when Loehmann got out of the car, and when he shot Rice, the car had just settled backwards slightly. Garmback had not yet had time to fully stop by the time Loehmann exited. It took less than 2 seconds for Loehmann to exit the moving car and for Rice to fall.  According to Judge Ronald B. Adrine on the case:
this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this event turned deadly.... On the video the zone car containing Patrol Officers Loehmann and Garmback is still in the process of stopping when Rice is shot.

I'm not sure what you think the relevance is that he was 'parking' but hadn't completed and thus was not 'parked'.  The fact that the Judge was 'thunderstruck' is irrelevant - most people have trouble dealing with tragic events.  Once it appeared he was drawing a gun and given the prior knowledge they had, that determined the following events.  Two seconds is how quickly most things turn deadly when a police officer believes someone is drawing weapon.

This is nothing like anything I ever read.  The 9-11 call was about a black man, possibly a youth, pointing a gun, probably a toy-gun, at people.  It's just not possible for a an active shooter to be using "probably" a toy gun.

There were two dispatchers.  That is indeed what the first dispatcher was told. 

What got communicated was the black man and a gun being pointed parts, where the 'possibly a youth' and 'probably a toy' parts were lost in the communication.

A person pointing a gun at people is presumed a possible active shooter situation.

There was never anything said about an active shooter.  I think you may be misremembering what was described as happening :)

It was described in the interview that the officers believed they were responding to a 'possible' active shooter situation.  Anytime someone is pointing a gun at people - that is the presumption.

Given that there was never a question of there being an active shooter, does that change anything for you?

See above.  The presumption was an active shooter due to the pointing the gun at people.

Also he apparently did in fact draw the gun, it was in his hand and kicked away after the shooting.

"You can actually see the gun after Tamir gets shot," Meyer said. "There's a point of contrast on the film that you can see, after [Tamir] collapses to the ground, the point of contrast appears on the concrete gazebo floor that had not been there before."

That point of contrast, prosecutors said, is the replica Colt 1911 that Tamir was seen aiming at people in the hours before someone called 911.

About 40 seconds after the gun appears on the gazebo floor, Loehmann's partner, Frank Garmback, walks to it and kicks it out of the way, Meyer said.

"The significance of that is this: for it to have fallen on the ground, it would have had to have been in Tamir's hand, which means he would have had to have pulled that gun out," he said. "Both officers had their weapons drawn on Tamir even though we know in hindsight he wasn't a real threat to them, which indicates they saw a gun or what they thought was a gun."

Of course obviously not to shoot the police in retrospect, perhaps he thought he'd be in trouble so was going to throw it away or something.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 04:12:52 PM »
As an aside "brandishing" is such an evocative word, isn't it?

Yep, but the person who made the call said he was pointing the gun at people.  Thus it is the correct term.

What it is not, is a license to kill anybody accused of "brandishing" at some time in the past.

It was a self defense shooting, not a 'license to kill'.  Which generally absolves a police officer of legal liability as long as the officer could reasonably believe he was acting in defense of self or others.

Like it or not, it is not illegal to carry a gun in Ohio, so Rice having a gun, or even holding a gun, would not be evidence of a crime.  The only thing the police had was a complaint (or complaints) of somebody doing something. What they observed when they arrived at the scene was not in and of itself illegal activity.

He was shot as a matter of self-defense and in defense of his partner, it wasn't a 'punishment for a crime' etc.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 03:56:47 PM »
Screening police officers for how they respond to stress is important.  I'd really like a good screen for sadism and psychopathy as well.  His 'emotional instability' was him being upset about a break up with his girlfriend.

Is that a mitigating factor?

What do you mean?  Most people are 'emotionally unstable' after a break up.  It is extremely common - it doesn't imply a lack of fitness for duty unless there is serious information that wasn't included in the write up.

The 12-year old boy was carrying a toy gun.  The city settled with the family for $6M.

Yes, juries often will react to the emotional aspects of an argument, regardless of the fact pattern - so it is rational to settle a lawsuit even if legally there isn't any liability.  There are aspects of potential liability - namely the first dispatcher conveying incomplete information to the second dispatcher; and the veteran officer violating protocol.  Loehmann's actions though - with the information he had and the situation he was in likely weren't contributing to the liability.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 03:50:04 PM »
And he was 12.  A child.  Maybe large for his age but still a child.  No attempt to talk or find out what was happening beyond what he was told by dispatch.

Police aren't psychic.  They couldn't know it was a toy or that he was 12.  They had been told it was a potential active shooter situation.  Had it not appeared he was drawing a gun, they could have learned more.  His age or it being a toy is irrelevant to the situation they were in.  His physical appearance was an adult; the gun appeared real; they had been told he had been assaulting people with it; he appeared to be drawing it - those are the only relevant facts to the officers actions.  Not our emotional reaction to the tragedy.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 03:45:03 PM »
We don't know whether it was relevant or not.

Unless you have actual evidence of relevancy after almost certainly the press have gone through extensive research to find such relevancy and failed - given extensive research and a negative result - we can safely assume a lack of relevancy until such time as evidence is discovered.

What we do know is that that the police officer had been told that there was complaint of a man threatening people with a gun. That he then observed a man with a gun when he arrived changed the situation in no way whatsoever - meaning the police officer had all the exact same information to make his decision prior to arriving. (that's ignoring that the man was NOT actually brandishing the gun or threatening anybody when the police car drove up)

The new information was the apparent drawing of the weapon, something that can reasonably (though likely wrongly) inferred from the video footage we have.

If he knew his decision would be to immediately shoot the man holding the gun, then he should not have stopped his car at the scene, never mind get out or shoot.  That he arrived, observed what he had been warned about (or less) then proceeded immediately to shoot the man in question anyway, meant that this wasn't really a split second decision.  I would like to say it was completely avoidable, but his actions are suggestive of having made the decision to shoot before arriving.  If he did NOT already know what his decision would likely be when he did arrive to the described situation, that's a whole other problem.

I think you are misremembering what happened.  The way the call went out they believed they may have had an active shooter situation.  Garmback was the driver, Loehmann was the trainee.  Garmback parked close to the gazeebo where Tamir was, when he claims that they saw him begin to pull the gun from his waistband.  At which point Loehmann got out and shot.

If Loehmann had been the driver, your criticisms would be more on point, but he was a trainee and not the driver.  He would have had no influence over the situation.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 03:25:53 PM »
The officer had a reasonable fear for his life and responded as many officers would do in that situation.  It is horrific and tragic, but nothing really to do with racism.

Perhaps not, but the shooting officer had a history that was ignored.  According to Wikipedia:

In the aftermath of the shooting it was revealed that Loehmann, in his previous job as a police officer in the Cleveland suburb of Independence, had been deemed an emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty. Loehmann did not disclose this fact on his application to join the Cleveland police, and Cleveland police never reviewed his previous personnel file before hiring him. In 2017, following an investigation, Loehmann was fired for withholding this information on his application.

Screening police officers for how they respond to stress is important.  I'd really like a good screen for sadism and psychopathy as well.  His 'emotional instability' was him being upset about a break up with his girlfriend.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 02:38:32 PM »
No, the issue is that within one - maybe two - seconds of exiting the police car, Rice had been shot, and this action by the officer was based on information he already had minutes earlier.  If the police were not prepared to deal with an armed individual without immediately killing him, they should not have engaged, but waited for backup; or the SWAT team.  Being a black man with a gun in public is NOT a death warrant, exercisable by any police officer present.

That he was black is irrelevant to the scenario.  Brandishing a gun and pointing it at people is assault with a deadly weapon (I know that doing so with a toy gun is the same crime if it is done in a robbery - because people can't know that it is a toy gun which means deadly force is a high likelihood).  The police are, from their perspective responding to a serious crime.  When someone who has committed a serious crime reaches for a weapon - the rational belief is that it is with clear intent of shooting at the police.  It is irrelevant that it happened 'within seconds' of arriving.  The officer had a reasonable fear for his life and responded as many officers would do in that situation.  It is horrific and tragic, but nothing really to do with racism.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 01:26:47 PM »
According to snopes, while they worked for the same place at overlapping times - they were different departments, etc. so the owner views it as unlikely they knew each other.

If they were both working physical security, even if one was outside while the other was inside, I'd be surprised if the people in those divisions (internal vs external) did NOT interact on occasion, if only at those times when someone was removed from the premises.

Yeah I would have expected interaction as well, I was simply reporting what the owner said according to snopes.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 01:10:01 PM »
LetterRip makes a good point above that many of these cases are more murky than they initially appear.

I agree, it's good to be objective about these things. That being said, I've read too many reports about no-knock raids gone terribly wrong

The 'militarization' of the police is a major issue, but entirely seperate from police racism.  (There is some overlap in that sadists are probably a major issue for both groups).

, and seen to many videos of cops shooting fleeing people in the back, to think that this problem is just a result of misunderstanding.

Most people will be at risk of shooting a fleeing person in the back if they are still in a fight/flight reaction.  Their fear and anger for most people will be far greater than their rational brain saying it is wrong to do so.  Avoiding the physical aspects (chasing a fleeing suspect; physical struggle) is necessary if you want to avoid people getting shot in the back.  If you get emotional and instinctual behaviors activated it is very difficult to suppress them with rational thought.  If you've never experienced where your emotions and instincts take over, it is quite scary.  We are mostly 'rationalizing' not 'rational' - that is most of our behavior is actually instinctual/subconscious, and then we create a plausible story to ourselves of why we did it.

Explaining away a couple of the alleged instances is of course in the interest of truth. But in my view that doesn't particularly address the trend that I think is real.

There is definitely racism among the police, but I think we need to be careful in labeling every police interaction with a horrific outcome as being based in racism.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 12:23:21 PM »
According to snopes, while they worked for the same place at overlapping times - they were different departments, etc. so the owner views it as unlikely they knew each other.

General Comments / Re: George Floyd
« on: June 01, 2020, 12:09:12 PM »

Floyd was not shot and did not have a gun. Freddie Gray was not shot and did not have a gun. Tamir Rice had a toy gun and was shot so fast that he did not have a chance to drop the gun.  Philando Castile had  a legal gun, told the officer he had a gun, was asked to produce ID and when he was trying to produce ID, was shot 7 times at point blank range.

Haven't followed the thread, but Tamir Rice - the gun was indistinguishable from a real gun and the responding officers didn't know it was a toy, they were told he had been threatening people with it, and the video shows an interpretation of 'reaching for his gun' is reasonable, even if that wasn't what he was actually doing.  People have a false impression from TV shows and movies that it is reasonable to wait to shoot until someone has  completely drawn a weapon - but if you do that there is a good chance that even if you shoot first, you will still get shot as well.  Bullets don't incapacitate instantly.  So police are taught to shoot once people begin reaching for a weapon.  Also the picture of Tamir Rice is about 100 lbs lighter than when he was shot (He was 5' 7" and 195 lbs at the time of the shooting).  When he was shot he would have been indistinguishable from an adult.

So while we know he was 12, and it was a toy gun.  The knowledge of the responding office was that he appeared to be an adult male who had been threatening people with a real gun.

Philandro Castile - the gun was in his front pants pocket where he was reaching (he may have been reaching to undo his seatbelt), he was ordered to stop reaching for his gun.  While Castile likely was reaching to undo his seatbelt to then get out his wallet, the officer can't know that.  7 shots is quite typical if an officer opens fire - when adrenalin is pumping fine motor control is lost, so police can only expect 1 or 2 bullets to hit at even close range, and it takes 2-3 bullets to stop a person, so police are taught to shoot until motion ceases (a glock can shoot 20 rounds per second; most police do 4-7 rounds a second, so this was about a seconds worth of shooting).

While the Rice and Castile shootings are tragic and I don't think either were doing anything wrong, I don't think either of them is reasonable evidence of racism by the police.  Both officers responded within their training, and many cops would likely have had similar results.

Floyd was not shot and did not have a gun. Freddie Gray was not shot and did not have a gun.

Floyd I think the officer should get at least 2nd degree manslaughter.  Any officer will know that knelling on the neck is potentially deadly.  It appears that Floyd and Chauvin once worked overlapping security guard shifts, so it may have been personal.

Freddie Gray appears to have been given a 'rough ride' - I think they should have been charged with manslaughter.  I don't think it was racism involved, but rather that he had caused them aggravation by running from them.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 31, 2020, 01:17:01 PM »
Why would it make sense *not* to wear a mask for a virus that is transmitted through exhalation by asymptomatic and presympotmatic infectees?  Does the WHO not know that's how COVID is transmitted?

Fomites.  Masks concentrate the virus and increase face touching both of by the infected and by the non-infected.  So you end up with concentrated doses of virus transferred from the mask from the infected; to surfaces; then from surfaces to the non-infected.  It actually isn't clear whether fomites is the dominant route of transmission (people are highly likely to touch the same surfaces in the same locations - door handles, edges of counters, handles for sinks and toilets, etc. - so a compelling case for fomites can be made). There is supposedly a CDC paper that says that fomite transmission isn't significant - but I've not seen it.

Also masks can give people a false sense of security, and result in reduced social distancing.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 29, 2020, 03:48:46 PM »
With regards to masks I thinking its going to come down to a market thing.

This. Cuomo passed an ordinance that allows NYC storekeepers to legally prevent anyone not wearing a mask from entering their business, at the owner's discretion.

If we assume that some business owners will allow unmasked people and some won't, the public will quickly decide who they patronize.

Unfortunately it isn't that simple.  This is similar to bars and non-smoking.  The people who are heaviest drinkers tend to also be heavy smokers, and non-smokers would generally still patronize bars that didn't ban smoking.  Therefore there were almost no bars willing to do non-smoking, even though the majority of patrons wanted non-smoking.  Similarly most people who wear masks, but probably won't refuse to shop at places where masks are optional. The most frequent shoppers are likely non mask wearers.  Therefore to get the largest customer base - most places will probably do masks optional.

General Comments / Re: Free speech
« on: May 29, 2020, 03:37:28 PM »
I am wondering why Joe Scarborough hasn't spoken out about this.  I think he would have the right to sue Trump for slander and/or libel since there is no factual basis for his claims.  In other words, he's lying.

I think Scarborough might be able to successfully sue for libel.  He is a public figure, so actual malice has to be proven.  Actual malice here would be a 'reckless disregard for the truth' which I think there is a strong case for.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 29, 2020, 03:35:01 PM »
Fenring, thanks for that thoughtful response. I'll treasure it.  I specifically mentioned other countries that don't do social distancing, but do use masks.  Try again with a less hokey response?

It could be as simple as a lack of loud public talking.  The hardest hit countries and demographics tend to have a loud talking in public tendency.

Regarding car accidents - there have been much fewer, but with fewer people on the road some people have been going drastically faster - which means the fewer accidents that do occur, are often more fatal.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 26, 2020, 02:45:17 PM »
If they're under 65 and/or not morbidly obese, you have very little to worry about. In fact, you never really did - unless they were in a NY nursing home. Cuomo was pretty intent on wacking the elderly and infirm.

There are numerous risk factors other than obesity.  Compromised lung function is a major risk factor.  Risk of death overall if you catch COVID-19 is about 1-1.5%.  The family members I'm concerned about are probably in the 5-10% risk of death range if they catch it.  Also there is a strong possibility of serious loss of lung capacity even if you don't die.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 26, 2020, 01:12:23 PM »

thanks for your question - it makes me feel a bit better about risks for friends and family since subconsciously I'd been overestimating the risk of 1-2 interactions per week, and running the numbers gives me a clearer perspective.

My biggest worries are friends and family that attend church with the group singing that occurs and the social interactions that will have a drastically higher risk (even a small church will be 100-200 people, and risk basically increases with the square of the size of the group); or friends who are physically active working out in a gym or studio or going clubbing/dancing for the younger crowd; or large shared meals.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 26, 2020, 12:40:13 PM »

Meanwhile, since the lockdowns have continued, suicides are dramatically up and regular cancer screenings (cervical, colon, breast, etc.) are down ~90%. ER visits from minor heart attacks are down 50%.

Source?  Suicides are actually down in most of the world.  Screening is fairly non-critical, so delaying them isn't a big deal.  ER visits from heart attacks could well be due to fewer minor heart attacks from behavioral changes (ie reduced hard physical labor) and reduced infections (often it is infection that is the trigger).

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 26, 2020, 12:10:09 PM »
So Crunch, we can see that with only slight interaction events it isn't too likely. 2 such interaction events per weeks is a quite small risk.  But with normal behavior people are probably 5-10 such interactions at risk a day.  5-10 per day*7 days per week * 1/100 * 1/70 = .5-1% chance per week, and over a year 25-50% chance, assuming a constant 1% chance of encountering an infected person.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 26, 2020, 11:54:46 AM »
Ordinarily, I would try to convince you to consider that you could be making a mistake, but that can't happen.  So, buy a round for everybody when you get a chance.  Cheers!

I was in a couple of bars/restaurants this weekend. I stopped in multiple gas stations (long weekend road trip). Never once wore a mask. In your mind, does this mean I will absolutely get da 'rona?

COVID-19 has a Ro of 2-3. and people will generally have a two week window where they can infect people.  Infection usually takes a fair amount of exposure - 10+ minutes of interaction.  So you had two interactions that probably were long enough.  Each infected person has probably 10 interactions a day that are long enough to give an exposure.  So 140 interactions, and only 2-3 catch except for super spreaders.  So say 1 in 70 chance of catching it from an infected person.  And a 1 in 100 chance in most of US that the person you interacted with was contagious. 

And 2 such events - I give you a 2 in 7,000 chance (1 in 3500) that you caught it this weekend.  So definitely far from 'absolutely' at this stage in the infection.  About twice as risky as driving 10,000 miles (.0167% of fatal accident vs .0286% of catching COVID-19 - of course if we are talking fatal risk, than it is even less risk with COVID-19 since about 1-2% die who catch it)

In NYC during the peak time, with the same behaviour it would be about 5% chance of the person being infected - so 5/100 * 1/70 * 2 = 10/7,000 chance (1 in 700).

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 26, 2020, 10:44:17 AM »
A case report isn't particularly useful.  Spread rate factors (rate of viral particle production, how readily the individual secretes mucus, personal behavior like face touching and nose wiping, how readily the person triggers the cough reflex, lung volume and cough intensity) are all enormously variable and a single person isn't particularly likely to be representative - we've no idea she is typical, low or high.

General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: May 21, 2020, 11:22:27 PM »
Seriati, thanks for the link - it is actually quite a good source.  Don't have time to respond substantially for now, not sure when I will.   Briefly though - of three studies with 'good results' are the two by Raoult, and one Chinese study that had 32 patients in the treatment and control group.  All of the others studies the treatment group had worse (or 'no better') outcomes.  If you do the Raoult study properly it actually has worse outcomes for treatment group,

Although the study started with 26 patients in the HQ or HQ+AZ group, data from only 20 treated patients are given, because not all patients completed the 6-day study. The data for these 20 patients looks incredibly nice; especially the patients who were given both medications all recovered very fast.

What happened to the other six treated patients? Why did they drop out of the study? Three of them were transferred to the intensive care unit (presumably because they got sicker) and 1 died. The other two patients were either too nauseous and stopped the medication, or left the hospital (which might be a sign they felt much better).


So 4 of the 26 treated patients were actually not recovering at all. It seems a bit strange to leave these 4 patients who got worse or who died out of the study, just on the basis that they stopped taking the medication (which is pretty difficult once the patient is dead). As several people wrote sarcastically on Twitter: My results always look amazing if I leave out the patients who died, or the experiments that did not work.

So you basically have one positive ok study (but too small to reach any conclusions), a study by Raoult that when properly analyized shows worse outcome than no treatment (and a second study by Raoult that seems to have similar flaws), and 7 studies that show either worse outcomes or no benefit.

General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: May 21, 2020, 07:21:19 PM »
Except that's not true either.  The US research has been almost entire limited to the extremely ill.

There has been research in a variety of countries at all intervention points.  None show benefit.

That would mean the primary potential benefit of the treatment - suppression of the virus before it has a chance to overwhelm the body - was never going to be demonstratable.  The treatment is not a cure for someone already damaged, it's a method to slow viral progress to allow the body to fight it off.

Has been investigated, hasn't been found to be of benefit.

If the only point was the zinc you'd have a point.

It hasn't shown any benefit as an antiviral without zinc and causes increased mortality.  So it should be eliminated.  The inhibit acidification of endosomes theory didn't pan out.  So all that remains is the zinc ionosphore - which it shouldn't be used for because there are safer zinc ionosphores.

Yep.  Which is why a "test" that limits its use only to individuals that have already suffered severe lung damage is flawed.

The people who show up at hospitals do so because of their hypoxic status - anyone who is sick enough to realize they are sick, are probably too sick to take HCQ.

By the way, hearing much about ventilators these days?  The "early results" on what was expected to be a "gold standard" life saving treatment were so terrible they started to give ventilators a bad reputation.

No, they work fine.  What was happening is people were calculating mortality ignoring those who were still recovering.  You have early COVID-19 mortality in about half the cases that eventually die, but rarely have rapid recovery after going on a ventilator.  So if you calculate deaths/(deaths+recovered) early on you get like 80% mortality rate, because the vast majority of the people who went on ventilation are neither dead nor recovered in the first week.  If you let the entire cohort go to completion you get 20% mortality rate - in line with expectations from other countries.  This was another case of bad math and bad reporting.

It found that, overall, about 20% of Covid-19 patients treated at Northwell Health died, and 25% of those placed on ventilators died. [...] This study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, describes the outlook for patients with severe Covid-19 disease. The report originally said that 12% of patients needed ventilators and that 88% of them had died.

That 88% number was based on the deaths/(deaths+recovered) from early on; the 25% is based on most of the cohort being resolved.  Hmm I guess you need to find better news sources, since clearly this is rather important news that you didn't have.  Incidentially I pointed out the math error when this was first discussed (though it may not have been on Ornery).

Granted, we'd need a serious study to separate out whether ventilators are causing fatal damage to weakened lungs or the only chance the patient has, but I don't you see demanding double blind studies for COVID patients on that front.  Why not?  Treatment for a novel virus that causes heavily lung damage is actually by ventilator is actually experimental.  Its just something that we have every reason to have suspected could be effective.

No we don't need such a study, we need doctors better trained in math so they don't make such basic errors.

You won't get an argument from me that doctors are good with statistics.  They're almost a sucky as the rest of the population with them.  The problem is though at this stage we have no good statistics, everything is just reasonable or unreasonable projections that analogize to known effects in other contexts.

We actually do have some reasonablly good statistics.  The New York antibody study was pretty well done.  I still think they are underestimated false positives but they weren't getting absurd results.  Based on 20% of NYC being infected and assuming no false positives, and no more deaths among the currently infected but not recovered - they would have a 1% Infection Fatality Rate.  Using slightly more realisitic assumptions (the false positives are 3-5% range; that about 1/3 of the mortality in the unrecovered is yet to occur) that puts the IFR in the 1.5-2% range.  Entirely consistent with finding in countries with extensive tracing and idenfitication of the infected.  What I'd really like to know is what the antibody rate is for just elderly cohorts.  Since most of the deaths are concentrated in the elderly.  If significantly more or fewer than 20% of the NYC elderly have caught COVID-19 that could significantly impact the expected IFR.

There was a really good study comparing false positives among various antibody tests (though I think they screwed up one test - since it wasn't showing any false positives.  They were planning to redo that test, but don't know if they did). 

That's why your position in particular is so dangerous and disingenous.  You pretend that we have a choice between known rock solid confirmed results and completely made up lies.

No that isn't my position.  We have some fairly good studies, some god-awful studies or studies with major errors, and we have unfounded hopes.  It is dangerous to push unfounded hopes - it gets people killed.  It is dangerous to misrepresent statistics or have major statistical errors in papers that understate the risk of COVID-19 - it gets people killed.  The vast majority of the major errors have been in papers that are claiming a reduced risk.

We don't.  We have a straight forward choice between how widely we allow people to take treatments that have reasonable probabilities of effectiveness while we are working on developing rock solid confirmed results.

That is completely wrong.  There was never any solid reason to expect HCQ to be effective and it was known to be dangerous.  So it was entirely reasonable to not use it unless and until there was good evidence of effectiveness.  When Trump announced it was a 'game changer' there was one underpowered study from China that was so small the result was likely statistical noise and then there was Raoult's publication where he calculated viral loads by excluding the cases then went on to be ventilated or died.  If you exclude the worse outcomes from one group average, you can't compare it to an average that doesn't exclude the worst outcomes.  If you exclude the worst outcomes from both averages, then it doesn't show any benefit.  Thus his result was purely bad math.

Also no one had suggested HCQ + Zinc at that time.  The HCQ + Zinc was proposed after HCQ was proving ineffective.  It was a pivot once it became clear that it wasn't useful.

Your opposition to HCQ is political not scientific, and pretending its because there hasn't been a double blind study or because "early results" from studies that were designed to fail based on the expected mechanisms of action give you cover to pretend that you are not being political.

My opposition has been purely scientific.  There have been far more studies of HCQ and COVID-19 than you seem to think, the majority had to be stopped early because of negative outcomes from the HCQ.

Unless you are saying it's better to let he disease go untreated than let people take medicines that have reasonable probabilities based on their known effects of being helpful the opposition to HCQ can only be political.  And you can't pretend you based this on the recent results, you opposed it before any studies had been conducted.

There was never any 'reasonable probability' to begin with.  What gave you the impression that such existed?  The only support was based on Raoult's bad math.

Again none of that is actually true.  There's no "overwhelming" evidence that HCQ is dangerous.  It's risks are widely known and it's used by certain segments of the population routinely.  Like any treatment there are risks and they may or may not be worth it compared to the benefits.

As said for hypoxic individuals, once you reach the fever stage you generally are hypoxic, and most people won't go for treatment until they have at least a fever.  You also have to drastically lower the dosage for people with poor kidney function.  Since the people most at risk of death for COVID-19 are also those with poor kidney function - it is never reasonable to give them HCQ.  People who 'routinely take it' are generaly young (most lupus patients are women age 18-44, median age at death for women with lupus is 59) and not at risk of hypoxia and don't have compromised kidneys.

The evidence it could be useful is in fact pretty good. Its anti-viral properties have been known about for decades.  The mechanism through which it operates is known and reasonable for consideration for an impact on COVID 19, and it's show in lab tests to have an effect on the virus.

There are literally millions of compounds that have 'anti-viral properties' - pick any plant and you will get 100's to 1000's of such compounds.  Lab tests ('in vitro') are generally done at enormous multiples of the lethal dose (over 100x the LD50 isn't uncommon), which is why it isn't considered to be very persuasive.  At pharmaceutical dosages most of them have no effect.  Something isn't promising' until there are animal studies ('in vivo').  There was never any real reason to suspect that there would be useful in vivo effectiveness.

If it wasn't connected to Trump it would be one of the top candidates for trials without any one blinking an eye.

It wouldn't be a 'top candidate' - it would be one of many 1000 candidates.

Again, you seem to be of the view that we'd be better off dead than for Trump to have been right.

No.  There was simply never any reason to think that Trump's views should matter at all - he has never shown even a basic understanding of science - so him pushing a compound shouldn't be persuasive either for or against it.  Instead based on the known risk factors it should have been low on the list of things to try.  The reason for the initial trial in China appears to have been 'availability bias' - someone heard of the in vitro study from a number of years back on SARS-CoV-1 and decided to give it a try - as with most doctors being unaware that in vitro studies are usually at doses so extreme that they almost never point to useful in vivo compounds.  In vitro studies are to screen out useless compounds to give you candidate compounds, but the candidate compounds are usually 1 in 10,000 expectation of usefulness.
Cause you've really bought into something the science doesn't prove, which if you were being consistent you'd have to have acknowledged.

Look, none of you seem to have an even basic grasp of the science.  Which is fine, there are plenty of things I'm a complete ignoramous on as well.  You are talking though as if you think you have knowledge.

I think this is beating a dead horse, but your claim his is false.  HCQ's potential here may never pan out, but it's absolutely wrong that there isn't evidence supporting that potential.  It's known  effects are almost certainly the reason it was tried in the first place.  I can't even imagine how any one could have the knowledge on this topic you sometimes seem to have an not be aware of that.  HCQ wasn't pulled off them medical shelf at random.

It wasn't pulled of the shelf at random.  But the dosings we can safely take can only give a 5-10% reduction in viral load.  (A healthy person who isn't hypoxic and no compromised kidneys can do a loading dosage of 800 mg, and then maintenance of 400 mg three times a week.  This will give (peak) blood cocentrations in the 500 ng/mL range which is 1.5 uM.  HCQ is about 1/25th-2/25th as potent as CQ.  CQ requires .1 uM for a 20% inhibition of virus.  So HCQ would need 2.5 uM for 20%.  If the effectivness is linear, that would be a 12% reduction (also blood concetration isn't maintained at peak so this is an overestimate) in viral load for safe dosing for healthy adults.  However that was for healthy adults.  Compromised liver clearance due to hypoxia or compromised kidneys - reduces safe dosing by at least 50%.  So we are looking at a maximum 6% reduction in viral load - probably more like half of that.  This isn't a 'game changer' - it is unlikely to show any clinical benefit.

You are making a common mistake.  Flawed studies produce flawed results. They still produce evidence.

It did produce evidence, if you recalculate properly you get essentially no viral load difference.  So it Raoult provided evidence against the theory.  The NY doctor didn't provide any evidence because there is no reason to think he was treating COVID-19 patients.

It's just of less utiilty.  Again, it's almost like you'd have to run a double blind study before you'd accept that a house needs to be built with walls on all sides.  Double blinds are to week correlation from causation, no one actually cares though if we can get a "correllation" of getting better about what the real cause is.

This had nothing to do with blinding.  The first was a calculation error; the second was misdiagnosis.  Correcting the calulation shows no benefit.  Misdiagnosis provides no evidence either way.

The NY doctor is actually a funny case, because he was using it more closely in line with how its actually projected to work.

He was using the zinc + HCQ, but since there is no expectation that his patients actually had COVID-19 it isn't evidence of anything - other than at the dosage he was using it apparently didn't kill his patients.

Yes.  As I said above - responsible news organizations don't write about treatments that don't have evidence to support them.

That's literally a lie, they do it all the time.  It's political blindness that's causing you to make this claim. No one out there wrote anything about HQC that wasn't true.  The President didn't even go that far.  He gave an optimistic message that was qualified.

He said it was a 'game changer' - see above - at safe dosages it can have little or no effect - and at the time he made that statement it was purely based on the HCQ usage without zinc as done in Raoult's study.

Feel free to point out 'responsible news organizations' writing about drugs that have dangerous side effects as treatments without evidence.  If you mean it 'had evidnece' - see above.

They report only when there is adequately vetted evidence.

Again its a lie.  How many reports have quoted a time line to develop a vaccine.  Probably hundreds of thousands.  There's no vetted evidence that supports that.  We'll read reports of the "next great thing" in medicine that ultimately pan out to be not much.

We were talking about a drug with known dangerous side effects.  Speculating there might be something useful 'in the future' is not promoting, endorsing, or otherwise implying that a drug with known serious risks is effective when there isn't evidence of such.

He was pushing a theory without scientific support.  It was actually more dangerous than promoting healing rocks or homeopathy, since those can't kill you (well, homeoupathy can have contaminated water, but most preperations are unlikely to kill you).

Again that's false.  There is scientific support.  You not liking research that has been ongoing for decades does not magically delegitimize it.[/quote]

So we differ in what 'scientific support' for a medication means.  I'd say my opinion on the matter is far more informed than yours is.

Now you are being ridiculous.  The expert advice could have been to shoot on sight that doesn't make it possible or legitimate.

Requiring quarantine is not ridiculous.  It is fairly standard practice for highly contagious diseases.

The travel ban was a radical departure from precedent and the left immediately whined about it being unnecessary and racist.

As stated by the WHO travel bans are essentially entirely ineffective due to rerouting.

Travelors were directed to self quarantine, which is pretty much the extent of the legal authority.

It most definitely is not the 'extent of the legal authority'.  There was a mandatory federal quarantine on the 195 who flew directly from Wuhan.  They were put on a military base and not allowed to leave for two weeks (one attempted to and was placed under individual quarantine).

They ignored it, and blue state politicians undermined it.  I saw deBlasio telling NY'ers to get out and mingle to go to China Town and mingle with the crowds.  Pelosi in late February visting Chinatown and saying "That’s what we’re trying to do today is to say everything is fine here," Pelosi said. "Come because precautions have been taken. The city is on top of the situation."  That's in the last week of February, almost a month after Trump's original travel ban.

NY was infected from Italy.  California was infected from China.  It wasn't Chinatown that was the source.

Lie to yourself if you want, there is ZERO chance that mandatory quaratine was happening.

Except it did happen, but only once.  The further requests of the CDC were refused.

Will ignore your Russian stuff, since it has been hashed out here before and you seem rather fact immune and it isn't really relevant to the discussion.  I'll only address Guccifer - he was confirmed to be a Russian agent through a couple of ways.  Here is one I recall, they were able to narrow it down to a specific GRU officer.

There is also some coverage of GRU and their Guccifer cutout in the Mueller report, though significant parts were redacted.

Enough time wasted with you.  Back to me working on medicine.

General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: May 20, 2020, 10:37:18 PM »
And?  The point wasn't that there may not be other zinc facilitators available, but rather those advocating hydroxychloroquine are primarily advocating it for early intervention (not death bed treatment) and in combination with zinc.  If you haven't heard this it is primarily because your primary news sources don't cover it.

I've heard it recommended for early, for late, with zinc, without zinc, etc.  The evidence is thus far little or no benefit at all - and significant increased risk of death.  The 'research' supporting it has been horrendously flawed.  The research showing harm has generally been well done.

You mean like recommending the use of quercetin?

I didn't recommend quercetin, I said that if we wanted a zinc ionophore, then it would be far more logical to try a supplement than is GRAS (generally recognized as safe), rather than a medication with known serious side effects.  I also pointed out early on that death was expected with HCQ because the ezymes that metabolize it are oxygen dependent and thus a hypoxic individual is getting a much larger effective dose.

Lol.  Again, point was that he didn't know of the rather common trend both in the use in the US and internationally for medical professionals to be taking it as a prophlatic against infection. Says nothing about whether it works, but it does hurt the hydoxychloroquine bad meme if medical providers are convinced enough to use it themselves.

It wasn't a 'common trend' - the absolute numbers of medical professionals doing so was quite small.  The reality is that many doctors are extremely ignorant of science.  Only 20% can do basic bayesian reasoning - something that is absolutely mandatory to understanding things like drug treatment effectiveness.

So why wouldn't the friend be aware of it?  Again, choice of their news providers.

Because it isn't important.  WHy would they cover it? Medicine isn't a popularity contest - the evidence is overwhelmingly that HCQ is dangerous and shows little or no benefit.  There wasn't every any good evidence to think it might be useful.

Meanwhile you mention homeopathic medicine, but you can find hundreds of CNN articles on that topic (I grant most negative, but not all).

I'd be interested in you pointing to evidence of major news organizations doing news pieces supporting homeopathy.  It would be completely irresponsible of them to do so, just as doing article suggesting that HCQ had benefit before any serious studies showing such would be irresponsible.  Responsible journalists don't advocate for dubious medical claims.

Honestly, you seem to be trying to imply that any use of a medicine off label is somehow the same thing as shoving a healing rock up your rear.  It's not.

Off label use when there is good evidence (ie well done study supporting its usage) is responsible.  Off label use without such support is indeed esentially the same thing.  It is faith based rather than evidence based.

There's clinical support for use of off label medicines they just haven't gotten to the level of a medical trial proof (which given the expense in the US of that process makes sense - why spend a billion on verifying a medicine if articles can be published that cause doctors to prescribe it off label).

Completely agree, there just wasn't any such evidence for usage of HCQ.  There is legit off label usage, and dubious usage.  The evidence simply was never there to suggest we should even try HCQ. 

It's kind of stunning to me though that after all the climate change threads and the overwhelming belief in the power of modelling, the left has completely ignored the power of those techniques to establish meaningful corrollations.  Yes, traditional medical trials are the way to establish causation, but the selective endorse - based on political convenience - of statistically relevant corrollations seems telling.

There was no useful evidence supporting usage of HCQ.  Raoult's trials were horrendously done - he excluded the people who got seriously ill and died who were on HCQ when calculating his average viral load stuff.  The New York doctor was presenting an absurdity regarding how many cases he had treated, the reality was he was almost certainly misdiagnosing people who had colds and other minor illnesses.

Again what's your point?  Is there some reason that such news is not relevant?

Yes.  As I said above - responsible news organizations don't write about treatments that don't have evidence to support them.  They report only when there is adequately vetted evidence.  Of course I'm not saying that news organizations acted responsibly in their reporting on all COVID-19 stuff.  The idiotic claim of high rates of COVID-19 infections in California reporting was irresponsible.

The media pretends Trump is pushing an outlandish theory, you've analogized it to healing rocks.

He was pushing a theory without scientific support.  It was actually more dangerous than promoting healing rocks or homeopathy, since those can't kill you (well, homeoupathy can have contaminated water, but most preperations are unlikely to kill you).

Why would the fact that other countries' doctors and even their health authorities have reached the same conclusion about its potential to be useful not be something that is news?

The doctors didn't "reach the same conclusion".  In France, the French President was also pushing HCQ and the Raoult paper got a lot of coverage - so people pressured their doctors to prescribe it.  Just like in the US, patient pressure often results in them getting what they want.  Politicians desperate to be seen as doing something push dubious hope.  The vast majority of doctors who prescribed HCQ felt it had little or no benefit, but it was what the patient wanted.

I can't see any reason to not cover that.

Because such coverage would be irresponsible for a drug without evidence of benefit that has known dangerous side effects including a risk of death.  The coverage that it did get has probably resulted in more deaths.

When media instead limits their coverage to imply that Trump is an outlier and suppress all evidence that he is not, the media is actually lying about what is going on.

He was an outlier.  It wasn't viewed by most prescribing doctors as helpful, they were perscribing it due to patient pressure not out of expectation that it would help.  France was using it because of politics and desperation for hope, not science.

That's a stretch even for you.  Medical authorities in the US have been all over this, and there is zero evidence that Trump has ignored them  in any way deterimental to the US response.  Again, the evidence is to the contrary that where he departed it was a better decision.  If you don't know that you've missed out on important information, and if you find that you believe the opposite you've just internalized false information.

No, he departed in a worse decision.  The expert advice was quarantine, instead of travel bans.  We implemnted travel bans but not quarantines.  So all of the US citizens who returned to the US did massive spread of infections.  Similarly the travelers from other countries and through other routes that weren't banned resulted in the infection still spreading about the same as countries who did neither travel bans nor quarantine.

Lol.  Everything he pointed out was "news worthy," it's hard to even fashion a sensible way to take your comment in a world where the petty is routinely determined to be newsworthy that information directly contrary to a false media narrative is not newsworthy.  It doesn't have to turn out to be true to be newsworthy, I mean we've suffered through 3 years of a Russian collusion story that was a total lie, was none of that newsworthy either?

Everything reported on and suspected about Russia was accurate.  There was the meeting with the Russian lawyer by Trump Jr. and other Trump high level campaign members. It was deemed that Trump Jr. and others might plead lack of knowledge of the relevant law and thus the case wasn't strong enough to garuntee a conviction.  There were meetings with Trump campaign members and Russia.  Stone definitely colluded with Russia (via the GRU under the name Guccifer) and coordinated with the Trump campaign.  However there wasn't specific evidence of whether the Trump campaign had knowledge of Stones working with Russia.

So say studies written by leftist activist in academia designed to "prove" that point.

Ah yes, the liberal/academic/leftist/media conspiracy

The fact that you have to claim conservative sources lie to make your point is telling.  It's not that conservatives are misinformed, its that they disagree with liberal narratives.

Facts aren't a 'liberal narrative'.  There is objective reality even if you choose to ignore it.

I mean by golly, any one on the left that's ever repeated back some form of the Russian collusion being obvious or proven is someone that's completely misinformed.

BS.  There was plenty of evidence that it happened but it was felt those for whom we had evidence of them doing so, could plead ignorance of the law, so they weren't prosecuted.  Ignorance was an affirmate defense against the charges that would have been brought.

Here is an excerpt from the Mueller report,

The Office considered whether this evidence would establish a conspiracy to violate the foreign contributions ban . . . solicitation of an illegal foreign-source contribution; or the acceptance or receipt of “an express or implied promise to make a [foreign-source] contribution” . . . There are reasonable arguments that the offered information would constitute a “thing of value” within the meaning of these provisions, but the Office determined that the government would not be likely to obtain and sustain a conviction for two other reasons: first, the Office did not obtain admissible evidence likely to meet the government’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these individuals acted “willfully,” i.e. with general knowledge of the illegality of their conduct; and, second, the government would likely encounter difficulty proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the value of the promised information exceeded the threshold for a criminal violation.

So they didn't think they had enough evidence to prove that the acted willfully, but they absolutely had evidence that it happened.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 20, 2020, 01:41:08 PM »
Interesting hypothesis about potential virus mutation and how lockdowns could actually prevent SARS-COV2 from evolving to milder strains. Are we creating (or more accurately, sustaining) a super virus by preventing milder mutations, which seems to be an evolutionary imperative for viruses to survive?

More people infected means more opportunity to mutate.  Infect one person - n mutation opportunities.  Infect y people y*n mutation opportunities.  Mutation will be a random walk, with selective pressure.  The more virulent strains will spread the fastest and become dominant.  So it is more likely we are reducing the risk from the most virulent strains.  Say a 260 fold increase in shedding (from the strain in the article) doubles the rate of spread and there are 100 variants - so say R = 4 for virulent; and R = 2 for the other 99 strains.  Then in 8 generations, there are 16834 virulent infected; and 12672 non-virulent infected - that is in 8 generations the virulent strain went from 1% to 56% of infections.  By the time herd immunity is achieved over 99% of the total infections would be with the virulent strain.

So with unchecked growth, virulent strains become rapidly dominant.

It sounds like whoever wrote the article doesn't understand basic science or math.

General Comments / Re: Misleading or false claims by the media
« on: May 20, 2020, 01:16:10 PM »
He had never heard that zinc has to be combined with hydroxychloroquine to be effective (or so the hypothesis goes). So he did not know the studies showing no effect without the zinc were not telling you much.

One theorized mechanism for theoretical benefit of HCQ is that it is an zinc ionophore.  That isn't the only theorized mechanism.  Quercetin is also a zinc ionophore and has none of the nasty side effects of HCQ.  So if that is the mechanism one is hoping to exploit, HCQ is absolutely not the medication you want to use.

He was not aware that something like a quarter of doctors would prescribe hydroxychloroquine and zinc based on the situation and the risk assessment. He believed there was zero medical opinion agreeing with Trump.

Doctors are tying all sorts of things.  Some doctors recommend homeopathy, others healing stones.  The willingness of some doctors to recommend something isn't an endorsement of the effectiveness of something.

He had never heard of "off-label" prescribing of meds, and that it is fairly normal. He believed any doctor doing such a thing was violating healthcare norms with "unproven drugs."

Many people are unaware of off label prescribing.  So not really surprising.  However off-label prescribing without solid evidence of efficacy can be malpractice.  So yes many of these doctors are violating healthcare norms and if a patient under their care died from arrythmia while taking HCQ - they are almost certainly going to lose a malpractice suit.

He was not aware the frontline healthcare workers (some not all) have been taking hydroxychloroquine (and probably zinc) for months.

Not really surprising - some healthcare workers also use homeopathic remedies (there are apparently 200,000 doctors who use homeopathy), energy bracelets etc.  With 10s of millions of healthcare workers you will find all sorts of beliefs.

He was not aware that multiple other countries are routinely prescribing hydroxychloroquine (and zinc I assume) and they have actual doctors there too.

Yep, people are succeptible to hope over evidence in every country.  Once studies revealed that it was much more dangerous than expected and had no benefit it has been abandoned.  Basically Raoult was a French researcher, so it got the most press and pressure to prescribe in France.

He was not aware that the ONE time Trump's handling of the coronavirus departed from the opinion of experts (Fauci in particular), Trump was right: Closing travel from China. He believed Trump was ignoring experts.

The WHO recommended quarantining all incoming travelers because travel bans from a particular location often result in people taking alternate routes through other countries (such as through the UK).  So Trump was indeed ignoring the experts.

What fascinates me the most about this situation is that my friend is an Ivy League graduate and easily in the top-five-percent of well-informed people in society, and he pays attention to the news. He was shocked when I told him how much "news" (context) is kept from him.

Nothing Adams said above was news worthy.  Nothing was 'being kept' from his freind.  Adams appears to be fairly ignorant himself.

If you think this is a criticism of the left, you're only partly right. I'm criticizing anyone who doesn't sample the news from both left and right. But I do observe that conservatives are far more likely to know the story on both sides because "mainstream" news is ubiquitous.

That is hilarious - conservatives are consistently the least informed about any topic - they are often worse informed than people who don't have any news source (ie 'conservative' sources actively disinform).

Also, my friend had never seen the Russian troll farm memes (which looked like a sixth grade project) so he actually believed those memes changed the election. No one who has seen them believes that.

Again - pure ignorance from Adams here.  There was an enormous variety of Russian disinformation campaigns - some of it was fairly transparent, others were highly sophisticated.  Transparent stuff is actually extremely effective on subset of the population. 

He also believes that if 17 intelligence agencies say something is true, it's because all 17 independently looked into it. I feel sorry for anyone who thinks that. In the real world, a few people in one agency have an opinion and the rest say it sounds good to them.

Complete BS - the vast majority of agencies in wealthy western countries have independent sources in most governments.  They do use shared information, but they also vet stuff through their own sources.

He also believed it is a fact that Russia hacked the DNC. It might be a fact. It might not. But we certainly don't KNOW it to be true.

We know it far better than we know most things we consider to be facts. The evidence is pretty overwhelming.

Adams may be smart, but he certainly hasn't applied it here.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 18, 2020, 02:46:19 PM »
Dr. Shi Zhengli is known as the Bat Woman of Wuhan Virology. We’ve already heard how her lab was central to research on Coronaviruses and how she and others were ordered to destroy all copies of the laboratory viruses on Jan 2nd this year in what appears to be a mass cover up.

So anyone still spreading this sort of idiocy (that orders to destroy the virus were a coverup) should be immediately on your ignore list.  When COVID-19 was reclassified due to discovery it was a respiratory pathogen - any lab that wasn't equipped to handle respiratory pathogens was ordered to destroy it.  This would happen in every country in the world and is completely normal and expected.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 17, 2020, 05:38:55 PM »
Reading through the issue tracker and pull requests - the few bugs that would actually impact the simulation appear to be quite minimal in impact - two bugs in the age distibution code appear to be the most severe I've seen so far; some bad RNG and shuffling practices.

So I'd be surprised if the outcome were changed by more than a modest number of percent - also the bugs are just as likely to have understated rather than overstated.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 17, 2020, 05:00:02 PM »
Pretty much all academic code looks like crap, unless it is written by professors who are in the CS department.  Most academics who write code are self taught and thus it is pure spaghetti.  The real question is, did the bugs sigificantly impact projections, which since they weren't pointed out as doing so - probably means they didn't.

Looks like it is published to github, for those interested

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: May 13, 2020, 02:03:49 PM »
Of course the masks aren't foolproof. The Chinese doctor who sounded the alarm and later died was convinced he contracted the virus through his eyes. And if it can get in through the eyes can it also escape from the eyes?

The eyes have lacrimal (tear) glands that drain into the nose. So infection entering the eyes is likely, especially if you are working in an area with high viral load - as a doctor would be.  That is why doctors need to wear glasses and face shields.  There might be virus secreted in the tears, but tears don't aerosolize, so eye secretions are unlikely to be a source of infection.  Personally I always wear glasses and a face mask when I go in public and social distance and try to go at times that other people are less likely.


I pointed out from the beginning that masks would likely have limited or modest benefit and that there was a legitimate fear that mask usage might reduce usage of more effective measures such as social distancing.  The reason masks likely have limited benefit is that most respiratory illnesses are primarily transfered via fomites - the infected individual touches their face such as rubbing their mouth or wiping their nose; then they touch a public surface; then an unifected person touches the surface then touches their face.  Masks can concentrate respiratory and nasal secretions, so when the infected person touches their face or adjusts their mask - they are getting a more concentrated dosage of virus on their hands.  Also many people increase their face touching when they are wearing a mask.

General Comments / Re: We gotta talk about Uncle Joe
« on: April 30, 2020, 01:36:54 AM »
This on the record confirmation from a neighbor of hers, seems to strengthen the allegation,

LaCasse said she remembers stepping outside her home in California to sneak a cigarette away from her kids sometime in 1995 or early 1996, when she was joined by Reade on her front stoop. They were emotional, discussing custody issues and violence, and she recalls Reade then mentioning Joe Biden, a man she was not particularly familiar with at the time.

"I do remember her telling me that Joe Biden had put her up against a wall and had put his hands up her skirt and had put his fingers inside her," LaCasse said.

Reade, as detailed in a previous NPR report, has accused Biden of pinning her up against a wall in the hallway of a Capitol Hill building and penetrating her vagina with his fingers in the spring of 1993.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: April 29, 2020, 04:41:26 PM »
Trump was right: injecting the disinfectant "remdesivir" actually reduces recovery time in COVID-19 patients.

Is nothing at all like a disinfectant.  It slows reproduction by providing a similar nucleotide to one needed by the virus for reproduction.  A disinfectant damages an exisiting pathogen, inactivating it.

General Comments / Re: Michelle Obama being groomed as VP candidate.
« on: April 28, 2020, 08:54:17 PM »
Ok. I'll ease up on my attacks on Michelle.

I personally didn't feel you were attacking her -  I was just clarifying.

General Comments / Re: Michelle Obama being groomed as VP candidate.
« on: April 28, 2020, 04:05:03 PM »
I'm saying it's self-promoting for someone to create their own Netflix biopic, and that Trump is also guilty of self-promotion. If you consider that a merciless attack, or any part of if technically false, you may need to re-calibrate your filter.

If Netflix contacted her to have her do a biopic, and she set up the company in response - then it isn't actually the case.  It is pretty common to set up a business entity for that sort of thing.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: April 27, 2020, 08:45:34 PM »
Very cool project,

they do testing of the available antibody tests against the same set of 3 samples,

first set is people with confirmed COVID-19
second set is samples from July 2018 and thus should be garunteed free of COVID-19
third set is people with a respiratory disease other than COVID-19  (see the site for the link to their preprint)

the "Sure" test has shockingly good specificity (100% against both negative samples), and the Premier is excellent (98%).  These have high enough specificity that they can be used for locations with low infection rates and still give reasonable results.

General Comments / Re: UFO's could it be aliens?
« on: April 27, 2020, 05:07:39 PM »
If you watch the videos - mathematical analysis and knowledge of how the video pods work lead to prosaic explanations - one was a weather balloon, the other two appear to be commercial jets.  The objects aren't moving fast - the height and parallax give the illusion of speed and the pilots are also misjudging distances.

Interestingly for past videos - once the location is known - they've been able to identify the specific commercial jet that was mistaken for a UFO.  (The jet exhaust is bright on infrared, so you don't see the physical jet; then on visible light you see the blob shape of a jet).

Also I didn't know that weather balloons have radar reflectors so that they can be seen by aircraft on radar more easily.

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