Ebola thread

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Adacore
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Adacore » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:54 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote: I suppose if one screened flights from airports near the border(just as we are presumably doing for flights from affected countries now), there would be little net tracking difference, yes?



Heheh.

Funny you should mention that.

There are no flights from the affected countries to the US.

Or, at least, there are very, very few. Not regular things like US-France or US-China flights, which are regular.

On this point: FiveThirtyEight ran an article about flights from West African countries currently affected by ebola. Basically, if you want to go with a travel ban, a ban on anyone who lives in or has visited those countries is the only way to go about it, but it would be difficult to enforce, since people could well try to lie to border agents.

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Thesh
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Thesh » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:41 am UTC

Why not just shut down international air travel completely and build a 1000 meter tall, 50 meter thick, 5000 meter deep wall out of layers of concrere, steel, depleted uranium, and boron carbide, completely enclosing the United States with no doors or gates or any way to pass through?
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:06 am UTC

The Tea Baggers are working on that wall.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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PolakoVoador
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby PolakoVoador » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:55 am UTC

I saw the following going around the Internet in the last few days, thought would be relevant to share here:
"More americans have married Kim Kardashian than have died of ebola."

leady
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby leady » Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:04 pm UTC

The same was true of AIDs until it wasn't

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:19 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Why not just shut down international air travel completely and build a 1000 meter tall, 50 meter thick, 5000 meter deep wall out of layers of concrere, steel, depleted uranium, and boron carbide, completely enclosing the United States with no doors or gates or any way to pass through?


I suspect the biggest answer is "lack of depleted uranium and boron carbide".

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:41 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Thesh wrote:Why not just shut down international air travel completely and build a 1000 meter tall, 50 meter thick, 5000 meter deep wall out of layers of concrere, steel, depleted uranium, and boron carbide, completely enclosing the United States with no doors or gates or any way to pass through?


I suspect the biggest answer is "lack of depleted uranium and boron carbide".

We may not have enough for the entire project.
We have enough to get Started.

Shall we Beef Up what we have?
Or; Start a New and even More Deadly Section?

Where to you want that Wall?
Here is an Idea! We can run it North/South.

You can have the East.
Let's call Dallas, 'East'.

You Patriotic People of The East, just, forget about us.
We'll take our Chances, looking West.

It's a tradition with us.
We'll fall off the Edge over here in the West.

It's a better Idea than running it across the Western Desert.
Of cousre, That's a Tradition, too.

In my opinion, Any International responds should have Public Warnings in Every Language known to Man
Written in stone, metal, glass and plastic, as a person approaches any border of the US.

Don't Go There!
They Don't Want You!


Don't Go There!
Those People are Mean!


Don't Go There!

If you find yourself on the Wrong side of the US Border,
Call Jesus: 1-800-Hell-Help

Sister StarChild will call your Mom.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:54 pm UTC

you know, when I first started reading this topic I was a bit stunned, normally level-headded people turning it into a joke.

But then I found out that in the states it's been politicised, the blues have taken one position, the reds another and they're more interested in laughing at the other tribes position than in actually dealing with the problems.


http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/10/16/fi ... icization/

One day I woke up and they had politicized Ebola.

I don’t just mean the usual crop of articles like Republicans Are Responsible For The Ebola Crisis and Democrats Try To Deflect Blame For Ebola Outbreak and Incredibly Awful Democrats Try To Blame Ebola On GOP and NPR Reporter Exposes Right Wing Ebola Hype and Republicans Flip-Flop On Ebola Czars. That level of politicization was pretty much what I expected.

(I can’t say I totally expected to see an article called Fat Lesbians Got All The Ebola Dollars, But Blame The GOP, but in retrospect nothing I know about modern society suggested I wouldn’t)

I’m talking about something weirder. Over the past few days, my friends on Facebook have been making impassioned posts about how it’s obvious there should/shouldn’t be a quarantine, but deluded people on the other side are muddying the issue. The issue has risen to an alarmingly high level of 0.05 #Gamergates, which is my current unit of how much people on social media are concerned about a topic. What’s more, everyone supporting the quarantine has been on the right, and everyone opposing on the left. Weird that so many people suddenly develop strong feelings about a complicated epidemiological issue, which can be exactly predicted by their feelings about everything else.

On the Right, there is condemnation of the CDC’s opposition to quarantines as globalist gibberish, fourteen questions that will never be asked about Ebola centering on why there aren’t more quarantine measures in place, and arguments on right-leaning biology blogs for why the people opposing quarantines are dishonest or incompetent. Top Republicans call for travel bans and a presenter on Fox, proportionate as always, demands quarantine centers in every US city.

On the Left (and token libertarian) sides, the New Yorker has been publishing articles on how involuntary quarantines violate civil liberties and “embody class and racial biases”, Reason makes fun of “dumb Republican calls for a travel ban”, Vox has a clickbaity article on how “This One Paragraph Perfectly Sums Up America’s Overreaction To Ebola”, and MSNBC notes that to talk about travel bans is “borderline racism”.

How did this happen? How did both major political tribes decide, within a month of the virus becoming widely known in the States, not only exactly what their position should be but what insults they should call the other tribe for not agreeing with their position? There are a lot of complicated and well-funded programs in West Africa to disseminate information about the symptoms of Ebola in West Africa, and all I can think of right now is that if the Africans could disseminate useful medical information half as quickly as Americans seem to have disseminated tribal-affiliation-related information, the epidemic would be over tomorrow.

Is it just random? A couple of Republicans were coincidentally the first people to support a quarantine, so other Republicans felt they had to stand by them, and then Democrats felt they had to oppose it, and then that spread to wider and wider circles? And if by chance a Democrats had proposed quarantine before a Republican, the situation would have reversed itself? Could be.

Much more interesting is the theory that the fear of disease is the root of all conservativism. I am not making this up. There has been a lot of really good evolutionary psychology done on the extent to which pathogen stress influences political opinions. Some of this is done on the societal level, and finds that societies with higher germ loads are more authoritarian and conservative. This research can be followed arbitrarily far – like, isn’t it interesting that the most liberal societies in the world are the Scandinavian countries in the very far north where disease burden is low, and the most traditionalist-authoritarian ones usually in Africa or somewhere where disease burden is high? One even sees a similar effect within countries, with northern US states being very liberal and southern states being very conservative. Other studies have instead focused on differences between individuals within society – we know that religious conservatives are people with stronger disgust reactions and priming disgust reactions can increase self-reported conservative political beliefs – with most people agreeing disgust reactions are a measure of the “behavioral immune system” triggered by fear of germ contamination.

(free tip for liberal political activists – offering to tidy up voting booths before the election is probably a thousand times more effective than anything you’re doing right now. I will leave the free tip for conservative political activists to your imagination)

If being a conservative means you’re pre-selected for worry about disease, obviously the conservatives are going to be the ones most worried about Ebola. And in fact, along with the quarantine debate, there’s a little sub-debate about whether Ebola is worth panicking about. Vox declares Americans to be “overreacting” and keeps telling them to calm down, whereas its similarly-named evil twin Vox Day has been spending the last week or so spreading panic and suggesting readers “wash your hands, stock up a bit, and avoid any unnecessary travel”.

So that’s the second theory.

The third theory is that everything in politics is mutually reinforcing.

Suppose the Red Tribe has a Grand Narrative. The Narrative is something like “We Americans are right-thinking folks with a perfectly nice culture. But there are also scary foreigners who hate our freedom and wish us ill. Unfortunately, there are also traitors in our ranks – in the form of the Blue Tribe – who in order to signal sophistication support foreigners over Americans and want to undermine our culture. They do this by supporting immigration, accusing anyone who is too pro-American and insufficiently pro-foreigner of “racism”, and demanding everyone conform to “multiculturalism” and “diversity”, as well as lionizing any group within America that tries to subvert the values of the dominant culture. Our goal is to minimize the subversive power of the Blue Tribe at home, then maintain isolation from foreigners abroad, enforced by a strong military if they refuse to stay isolated.”

And the Blue Tribe also has a Grand Narrative. The Narrative is something like “The world is made up of a bunch of different groups and cultures. The wealthier and more privileged groups, played by the Red Tribe, have a history of trying to oppress and harass all the other groups. This oppression is based on ignorance, bigotry, xenophobia, denial of science, and a false facade of patriotism. Our goal is to call out the Red Tribe on its many flaws, and support other groups like foreigners and minorities in their quest for justice and equality, probably in a way that involves lots of NGOs and activists.”

The proposition “a quarantine is the best way to deal with Ebola” seems to fit much better into the Red narrative than the Blue Narrative. It’s about foreigners being scary and dangerous, and a strong coordinated response being necessary to protect right-thinking Americans from them. When people like NBC and the New Yorker accuse quarantine opponents of being “racist”, that just makes the pieces fit in all the better.

The proposition “a quarantine is a bad way to deal with Ebola” seems to fit much better into the Blue narrative than the Red. It’s about extremely poor black foreigners dying, and white Americans rushing to throw them overboard to protect themselves out of ignorance of the science (which says Ebola can’t spread much in the First World), bigotry, xenophobia, and fear. The real solution is a coordinated response by lots of government agencies working in tandem with NGOs and local activists.

It would be really hard to switch these two positions around. If the Republicans were to oppose a quarantine, it might raise the general question of whether closing the borders and being scared of foreign threats is always a good idea, and whether maybe sometimes accusations of racism are making a good point. Far “better” to maintain a consistent position where all your beliefs reinforce all of your other beliefs.

There’s a question of causal structure here. Do Republicans believe certain other things for their own sake, and then adapt their beliefs about Ebola to help buttress their other beliefs? Or do the same factors that made them adopt their narrative in the first place lead them to adopt a similar narrative around Ebola?

My guess it it’s a little of both. And then once there’s a critical mass of anti-quarantiners within a party, in-group cohesion and identification effects cascade towards it being a badge of party membership and everybody having to believe it. And if the Democrats are on the other side, saying things you disagree with about every other issue, and also saying that you have to oppose quarantine or else you’re a bad person, then that also incentivizes you to support a quarantine, just to piss them off.
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Thesh
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Thesh » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:59 pm UTC

It will take around 25 exagams of Uranium, and 3.5 exagrams of Boron Carbide. Not sure what the abundancy of our solar system is, but at the very least we can mine it from other solar systems. Might take a few hundred thousand years, but it's definitely doable.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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CorruptUser
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:22 pm UTC

Hey, if it gets people to fund NASA I'm all for it.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:58 pm UTC

Now. Now.
We don't need to have a wall that is Solid Uranum and Carbon Carbide

We can open the Mine in the Owen's Valley, again.
We have a great deal of depleted Uranium near by.

We can use Salt from the Great Lake.
This is an Employment Opportunity!

It will Be Great!
We can have a Unified National Mission! YEY!!

As we are Working along, Happy as Pigs in Mud.
Someone might ask what we are doing.

We can tell them, "This Wall is a Logical Extension of Our National Vision."
"We are Walling Ourselves In! Isn't it Great?!"


I like that part over there, a great deal.
See how it has a No Tresspassing Signs on Both Sides.


We Are Fabulous!

(*hack-hack* *coulgh-cough*)
I might take a day off.

Here; You take over.
Here's my hard hat.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:50 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:you know, when I first started reading this topic I was a bit stunned, normally level-headded people turning it into a joke.


Locally, we had a lady get sick on a bus, and claim to have just arrived from West Africa. Oh, by the way, this was at the Pentagon. Everyone flipped their lids...oh look, turns out she's a lobbyist who lied about her story.

The actual risk still seems highly minimal. Sure, it really does suck for the people who do have it, but we joke about many things every day that are VASTLY more deadly in the western world.

Really, the most important thing here is to note how easily fear can apparently overcome a rational danger assessment.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Derek » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:31 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:you know, when I first started reading this topic I was a bit stunned, normally level-headded people turning it into a joke.

But then I found out that in the states it's been politicised, the blues have taken one position, the reds another and they're more interested in laughing at the other tribes position than in actually dealing with the problems.


http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/10/16/fi ... icization/

Coincidentally, I had just read this guy's previous article, "I can tolerate anything except the outgroup" (not related to Ebola), in which he discusses tribalism in politics, and considered posting it. It was a pretty good read.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:45 pm UTC

If the author proposes, Politics is Human Tribalism.
Then, I think the man is Brilliant.

Is he the first person to have written such a thing?
Did the Greeks not address, The Fickle Crowd?

It's ok to restate The Obvious.
We are a Tribal Monkey.

What Tribe are we Rooting for Today?
I'm not rooting for a hemorragic.

I can't help but be interested in The Game.
Viruses are interesting.

So little to be so much trouble.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Thesh
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Thesh » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:04 pm UTC

The idea of a flight ban didn't get much attention until the case in Texas. Before that, the main concern was people crossing the Sierra Leone-Mexico Border and then heading into the US from there.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:30 am UTC

Are we back to building a Wall?
A Wall that will keep us In.
A Tall Wall?

We have Great wall building traditions to follow.
We can build one 25 feet tall. That will show us!

https://www.google.com/search?q=west+ba ... B800%3B541
We are already have experience building this sort of thing.
The freeways in Cities have Walls. We Can Do It!

Of course, we have the Funds.
There is no amount of money that is too much to spend for such an important project.

Are we going to have a Wall in Both the North and the South?
When will Canada be US territory? We don't need a wall, North.

This is an Idea that can capture the imaginations of The People.
This could stop all the Red/Blue segregation.

We Will Be Purple and Proud!
We can be #1, again!
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Soteria » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:19 am UTC

The politicization surprised me at first, though I don't know why.

I'm pretty skeptical of the theory that conservatives have a deep-seated fear of disease. At least as presented here, it just doesn't seem very well-developed:

Some of this is done on the societal level, and finds that societies with higher germ loads are more authoritarian and conservative. This research can be followed arbitrarily far – like, isn’t it interesting that the most liberal societies in the world are the Scandinavian countries in the very far north where disease burden is low, and the most traditionalist-authoritarian ones usually in Africa or somewhere where disease burden is high?


And what about Russia, China, and Australia? The correlation is not very strong on the national level, and I personally haven't noticed any special aversion to disease among the conservatives I know. The argument also seems to conflate authoritarianism and conservatism, despite the fact that many conservatives in the US would rather see a weaker (less authoritative) central government.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:40 am UTC

Soteria wrote:The politicization surprised me at first, though I don't know why.

I'm pretty skeptical of the theory that conservatives have a deep-seated fear of disease. At least as presented here, it just doesn't seem very well-developed:

Some of this is done on the societal level, and finds that societies with higher germ loads are more authoritarian and conservative. This research can be followed arbitrarily far – like, isn’t it interesting that the most liberal societies in the world are the Scandinavian countries in the very far north where disease burden is low, and the most traditionalist-authoritarian ones usually in Africa or somewhere where disease burden is high?


And what about Russia, China, and Australia? The correlation is not very strong on the national level, and I personally haven't noticed any special aversion to disease among the conservatives I know. The argument also seems to conflate authoritarianism and conservatism, despite the fact that many conservatives in the US would rather see a weaker (less authoritative) central government.

oh...Politics is hard.
I thought the essay was well done.

If you want to look at the studies, contact the author.
The foundational ideas are good.
and I personally haven't noticed any special aversion to disease among the conservatives I know.

How many do you know?
People that are OK with duct taping themselves into their homes seem Concerned with Disease, to me.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Mutex » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:34 am UTC

Soteria wrote:The politicization surprised me at first, though I don't know why.

I'm pretty skeptical of the theory that conservatives have a deep-seated fear of disease. At least as presented here, it just doesn't seem very well-developed:

Some of this is done on the societal level, and finds that societies with higher germ loads are more authoritarian and conservative. This research can be followed arbitrarily far – like, isn’t it interesting that the most liberal societies in the world are the Scandinavian countries in the very far north where disease burden is low, and the most traditionalist-authoritarian ones usually in Africa or somewhere where disease burden is high?


And what about Russia, China, and Australia? The correlation is not very strong on the national level, and I personally haven't noticed any special aversion to disease among the conservatives I know. The argument also seems to conflate authoritarianism and conservatism, despite the fact that many conservatives in the US would rather see a weaker (less authoritative) central government.


I'll find the link later (just about to go to work) but there was a study where volunteers were shown images (some scary) and their "fear response" was measured. The republican leaning volunteers reacted with more fear. So this theory seems pretty plausible to me.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:47 am UTC

It's not, just, fear.
Fear is for cowards.

Add to it Disgust.
The BBC Guys did some work on Human Disgust.

It takes Intelligence, Education, and Training to overcome disgust.
We don't always OverCome disgust. We learn to look like we did.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Minupla
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Minupla » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:00 am UTC

I live in Canada. I have a job that takes me to the US fairly frequently.

On monday of this week, I got up, took a cab to the airport, flew kilometers above the surface of the earth at hundreds of miles. I landed in Dallas, in a crowded airport, ate dinner, checked in at my hotel, went down to the hotel exercise room, got sweaty with other guests.

You know what, statistically speaking the most dangerous thing I did that day was? Travel on the 401 between the airport and home.

Until Ebola becomes more dangerous than my morning commute, or my morning commute becomes risky enough that I choose to change my routine to avoid it, why should I worry about Ebola?

Disclaimers:

1) I manage risk for a living, so I tend to think along those lines
2) I'm Canadian, so everything I just typed supports the disease load impacts your political outlook hypothesis
3) Some, or all of the above disclaimers may not actually disclaim anything!

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:30 pm UTC

The problem with things growing exponentially is that they aren't like boring static risks. They can go from "too small to care" to "too big to handle" in a small number of iterations and so far it's been following an exponential growth curve.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3hk7wsnQ_c/V ... 141015.jpg

Nobody is asking you to change your daily routine. Your daily routine is irrelevant.

I'm just stunned to keep seeing people dismissing it, not seemingly because they've considered it carefully but rather because they've seen what side their ingroup is on and then just gone with that.

If you, in fact, work in epidemiology and pandemic control I bow to your expertise.

If, on the other hand, you do something along the lines of comparing the risk of company warehouses getting flooded out in any given year or the risk of a debtor defaulting or similar then it's not a comparable kind of risk.

The spanish flu was not the same kind of risk as lightening strikes,bombings or bankruptcy.
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:56 pm UTC

HungryHobo;
That was the post of a rational mind.
Using the tools given by his nation, his creator, and the internet.

When I use the tools given to me by my nation, my creator and the internet.
I know a little bit about Epidemiology.

Your fears of what This Bad Boy can be, In the Hands of Fucked Up AssHoles is fairly correct.
If, AnyOne with much Knowledge and access to....(fuck...I'm not going to tell you.)

It is a Dream Come True for Population Reduction.
It is Treatable. If you have access to Extraordinary 21st Century Technology.

You don't need details.
Think about those Two Points for a While.

Let us Fast Forward 18 months.
The Natural Order has been Upset!

FOX News is All Over This.
Sure Are...New York City is a bit of a mess.

"Did it start in the SubWay?"
"The Cold and Flu season hits the SubWay."
"Did it do That?"


"No. It did not start in the SubWay."
"It's been Top-Down.

"Like when AIDS hit?"
Yeah...Kind' a.

We don't have a Patient Zero.
I feel a little Guilty; You and I are Two of the Ten Thousand.


Ok. You want a Conspiracy Theory?
Something to Frighten The People with?

Buck-O!
I have enough education in The Field to frighten Experts.

Ya' want to be Frightened of Ebola?
Good on ya"

You want to be Frightened of Your Enemies?
OK! We have a Great Many for you to choose from.

You, Mr. USA!
You have not been making Friends, everywhere you go.

During the last fifteen years, your friends have become.....embarrassed to know you.
Your Enemies are vindicated by Your Hand and Your Mouth Pieces.

Your Worth has not been diminished by Their Hands.
Your Worth has been diminished by Your Own Hands.

There is No Doubt.
The worth of the USA as member of the world community has diminished over the last fifteen years.
If she closes her Borders, Tighter than a Fucking Drum....All The Old TeaBaggers will be Living The Dream.

Survival of The Fittest.
Those TeaBagger Compounds out in the Sticks will Be Like Heaven to the Lucky Few that close the Gates in Time.

You and I both know, It is Hard to get those Gates Closed, In Time.
It's The Zombie Apocalypse. The nation is Psychologically Prepared.

If Our Enemies wanted to Reduce The Population...
How? oh, How? would They do it?

Would you like me to shut up, now?
Tell me your Class=Income Bracket.
Tell me the size of your Nearest City, Its distance from you and it's size.

I'll write a Detailed Nightmare, Just for you.
How will it get To You??
I'll tell you all about it.

The world is a strange place.
We sell NightMares on the Internet!

!FOR FREE!
That is funny stuff.

Sometimes, I wake up Grumpy.
Sometimes, I sleep in.
(never mind, it's an inside joke)
Spoiler:
Then wake up Confused.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
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Tyndmyr
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:10 pm UTC

There is a non-trivial risk from epidemics, yes. However, Ebola is not a particularly strong threat in terms of epidemics. It's not hyper-contagious, avoiding exposure is...mostly handled by things we already do. The lethality is quite nasty, but that, by itself, isn't an existental risk or anything.

If there's a legitimate fear here, it's about if this has exposed systemic flaws in our defenses against epidemics, and if we're perhaps more vulnerable than thought to a true epidemic threat. Issues like caregivers catching the disease and then being permitted to travel could have significant negative consequences in a scenario with a far more dangerous threat.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby wumpus » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:36 pm UTC

A quick question. If a hospital can't contain Ebola, just how many infectious diseases are churning around the place? Personally, I'd sooner head to the NIH in Bethesda* (which has an Ebola patient) than Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. FSM only knows what you will come down with (except, presumably, Ebola) in that place.

* Note that building 10 (the main treatment area) is an absolutely *huge* place that is easy to get lost in. Somebody could be firing a machine gun** in random directions and 99% of the occupants would be perfectly safe (and many of them wouldn't even hear it). A more telling tale of the hysteria in these parts is that the local paper was making a big deal about patients landing in Frederick, Maryland and traveling to Bethesda for treatment (implying that Bethesda was some sort of no-go zone). For reference, Frederick is also home to Fort Detrick, one of two (CDC in Atlanta being the other) in the US where researchers can legally work with Ebola (and HIV and other level-4 stuff).

** for pedantic gun nuts: use the legal definition of "machine gun" and maybe an M-16 instead of the military's idea of .50 monsters. I'm assuming that internal walls would eventually stop the bullets.

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sardia
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby sardia » Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:15 pm UTC

I deliver and install cellphone towers for the east coast and I only have one thing to say to that facility. Fuck NIH. Why did someone decide it was a good idea to put a cell tower there? We almost decided they don't deserve cellphone coverage. Took months to get past security and the paperwork approved because NIH was demanding 25 million if we scratch the roof.

Hospitals have nasty diseases because its a congregation of lots of sick people and excessive antimicrobial use. This leads to resistant bacteria and super bugs. All hospitals have that problem.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Soteria » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:09 pm UTC

wumpus wrote:** for pedantic gun nuts: use the legal definition of "machine gun" and maybe an M-16 instead of the military's idea of .50 monsters. I'm assuming that internal walls would eventually stop the bullets.


I realize this is totally off topic, but... what? "machine gun" just means a weapon that fires on full auto when you continuously depress the trigger. In military use it definition is slightly more refined, but it has nothing to do with caliber--they make them in 5.56, which is the same round the M16 uses.

Unless you're already pretty sick, I'd think you'd want to avoid any hospital in the first place.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:30 pm UTC

No, it's a huge building, pretty much anything eventually gets stopped by *enough* walls. It's a decent way of conveying scale.

My reasons for disliking the place have less to do with ebola, and more to do with sufficient malpractice there as to almost require me to get an amputation(they forgot to use anaseptic).

But yes, managing disease in any medical facility is an ongoing issue.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:43 pm UTC

I think you are missing all the fun.
Normal Epidemics are understood so well as to be Mundane, today.

What is fun is Biological Warfare.
The American People talk about it.

They seem to want to be Freaked The Fuck Out.
Come on. Use a little Imagination.

See? All better.
This thing can overwhelm every system the US has in less than a Year.

That's Fun.
Get out a piece of Paper and a Green Board like Glen Beck had.
We can explain it in ways that will cause Coronary Events from Coast To Coast.

Why stop at Blaming Medical Personal?
Blame Obama, then Putin, then Mexico.

It's The Blame Game!
We are fucking Experts!

Let's play some more.
You first.

How are you at No Risk?
You tell me and I'll tell you, "You are Wrong".

Maybe, FOX will give me my own Show.
The You Are Fucked Show.
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Adacore » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:02 am UTC

HungryHobo wrote:The problem with things growing exponentially is that they aren't like boring static risks. They can go from "too small to care" to "too big to handle" in a small number of iterations and so far it's been following an exponential growth curve.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3hk7wsnQ_c/V ... 141015.jpg

It was exponential to start with, certainly. I'm not convinced it still is - the number of new reported cases has been much flatter for the past 6 weeks, with the average daily growth rate in number of cases dropping from 3-4% in August to 1-2% in October. Granted, that's still greater than zero, so the number of cases is still growing, so maybe it's just exponential with a lower exponent. Either way, from everything I've read about the disease, it would almost certainly not be capable of exponential growth in a country with a modern, well functioning medical system and no tradition of close contact with dead bodies.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:11 am UTC

That's sort of reasonable.
What is that?
An attenpt to squash the latest and greatest of Horrors?

ok.
If that what you want.
A calm and considered approach to Public Health.

A Robust Public Health System and a Robust Engaged Citizenry.
I know my statement is a step farther than you were willing to go.

It's Not That fantastical.
Other nations have Hit the Mark.

We may not Hit the Mark.
We could aim at The Target for a while.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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EMTP
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby EMTP » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:28 am UTC

HungryHobo wrote:you know, when I first started reading this topic I was a bit stunned, normally level-headded people turning it into a joke


Ebola as a health threat to Americans *is* a joke. Two Americans have caught it. For those keeping score at home, that's 1/150,000,000. Both the Americans who caught it are fine. There have been no new cases for over a week.

Here is a short list of things that pose more of a danger to you than Ebola: shark attacks, being struck by lightning, being crushed to death by a vending machine, being fatally injured by your own falling furniture, being burned to death by a deep-fried turkey explosion.

The joke is that people don't understand risk. Big slow risks, like climate change, create little urgency, whilst flashy stuff like Ebola sparks panic. People will pay any price to stop Ebola and meanwhile hourly people die because people do not bother (or are afraid) to get influenza, pneumonia, or pertussis vaccinations.

HungryHobo wrote:The problem with things growing exponentially is that they aren't like boring static risks. They can go from "too small to care" to "too big to handle" in a small number of iterations and so far it's been following an exponential growth curve.


In the United States, there is nothing resembling exponential growth. Two cases. No new cases in over a week. The only people affected are healthcare workers. These are the facts.

If you, in fact, work in epidemiology and pandemic control I bow to your expertise.

If, on the other hand, you do something along the lines of comparing the risk of company warehouses getting flooded out in any given year or the risk of a debtor defaulting or similar then it's not a comparable kind of risk.

The spanish flu was not the same kind of risk as lightening strikes,bombings or bankruptcy.


Ebola is not remotely similar to the Spanish flu. It's incredibly hard to get and even in Africa, is orders of magnitude away from being the most dangerous disease around (cf the >500,000 deaths from malaria annually, 1.2 million from AIDS). Obviously a background in healthcare or epidemiology is helpful, but I am going to moderately disagree with you and say that to some extent, numbers are numbers and risk is risk. If you understand how risk works you should be able to see why the Ebola panic is grossly irrational. It doesn't take an expert to understand why.
"Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
-- Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:37 am UTC

While the risk to people living in first world countries is effectively nil, could we please keep focus and be aware that the epidemic in Western Africa is actually rapidly growing out of control.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:30 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:While the risk to people living in first world countries is effectively nil, could we please keep focus and be aware that the epidemic in Western Africa is actually rapidly growing out of control.

ok.
I am interested to know.
Do you have Links?

Links seem to be the way we can know about The World a world away.
In the US, Eblia is a near Zero risk.

How much of a Real Risk are my Brothers and Sisters in Africa running?
Is this thing OverLaping with AIDS and Malaria? That's bad.

The numbers are a bit overwhelming for me.
When the number of active cases must be estimated...those numbers are important. still...

How many Active AIDS cases do we have on the continent of Africa?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV/AIDS_in_Africa

Those numbers are from 2011.
Who knows? It might be All Better, now.

I do not know what the MainStream Mass Media is chattering on about.
Is the electric voice teaching The People?
Is it teaching them what they Want to know?

Are the people learning about Microbiology?
Is every person from the smallest to the tallest able to tell you the difference between a virus and a bacteria?

What other wonderful things are the American people learning?
How about how immunizations work?
I never get tired of that story.

If the people of the US heard the Truth, every day several times a day, from the TV and Radio,

I think they would stop listening, as much.
They would Know some stuff, anyway.

The American People will tell you they know stuff, now.
They learned it from the TV. Very damn little of it is true.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Angua » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:02 am UTC

First case in Mali.

So far Senegal and Nigeria have managed to contain their small outbreaks effectively, so I am hopeful that Mali will be able to as well.
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby jestingrabbit » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:57 am UTC

Angua wrote:First case in Mali.

So far Senegal and Nigeria have managed to contain their small outbreaks effectively, so I am hopeful that Mali will be able to as well.


Fingers crossed.
ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

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addams
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby addams » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:19 pm UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:
Angua wrote:First case in Mali.

So far Senegal and Nigeria have managed to contain their small outbreaks effectively, so I am hopeful that Mali will be able to as well.


Fingers crossed.

uumm.
two-year-old girl


That age child is such a joy.
They touch things and people touch them.

How is she?
Can they treat her?

She's little.
Little ones have body chemistry that is different from the big ones.

Her poor people.
Did they lose her?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Seraph » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:06 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:Ebola as a health threat to Americans *is* a joke. Two Seven Americans have caught it. For those keeping score at home, that's 1/150,000,000 1/42,000,000. Both the Americans who caught it are fine. There have been no new cases for over a week There was a new case recently.

FTFY

Tyndmyr
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:10 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:While the risk to people living in first world countries is effectively nil, could we please keep focus and be aware that the epidemic in Western Africa is actually rapidly growing out of control.


It is significant, but I would categorize many another threat as more "out of control", even there.

The lethality of this disease is causing people to systemically overstate the risk. There IS a risk, and I certainly wouldn't want to catch it, but overstatements tend to support irrational behavior. Here in the US, especially, the degree of concern in media/political circles appears to be far out of proportion to the risk.

leady
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Re: Ebola thread

Postby leady » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:25 pm UTC

One things for sure - its makes listening to "the stand" on audible more eerie


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