Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by hubie on Friday February 23, @06:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the this-was-once-a-solved-problem dept.

'It's all preventable': Measles cases at South Florida school concern pediatricians

A local pediatrician is emphasizing the importance of parents vaccinating their kids as Manatee Bay Elementary School confirmed five cases of the infectious disease.

Broward County Public Schools announced late on Monday afternoon that there are now five confirmed cases of measles at Manatee Bay Elementary School in Weston. [...] infectious disease experts said as of Friday, when this outbreak became public knowledge, that it's highly likely the kids are not vaccinated.

Most children get the MMR — or measles, mumps and rubella — vaccine, but with a disease as contagious as measles, doctors say it only takes a few holdouts to fuel an outbreak. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Florida among the states in which parents using a religious exemption to opt their children out of traditional childhood vaccinations is trending upward.

"Definitely, parents today are much more hesitant than ever. We actually are struggling in our pediatric practices to get kids completely immunized, to complete their series by the time they enter kindergarten because parents are scared, they're kind of feeding into this misinformation," said Dr. Lisa Gwynn, a pediatrician who teaches pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "It is extremely unfortunate because it's all preventable, and the measles vaccine has been around a long time and it's safe and effective, so the fact that we are still seeing this in modern times is really unfortunate, it's also dangerous for the community, measles is an extremely infectious and contagious virus."

How did a modern developed nation that first landed people on the moon come to this.


Original Submission

This discussion was created by hubie (1068) for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Friday February 23, @07:03AM (5 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Friday February 23, @07:03AM (#1345800)

    How did a modern developed nation that first landed people on the moon come to this.

    Only one way to find out [youtu.be] ... well, maybe more than one way [youtu.be].

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, @10:10AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, @10:10AM (#1345828)

      Please elaborate, won't click on your links.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by DannyB on Friday February 23, @03:37PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 23, @03:37PM (#1345860) Journal

        The lickable clinks he provided are a couple of ordinary every-day safe YouTube videos.

        --
        The people who rely on government handouts and refuse to work should be kicked out of congress.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by epitaxial on Friday February 23, @07:12PM (1 child)

        by epitaxial (3165) on Friday February 23, @07:12PM (#1345931)

        Woman with a thumb for a face loses court case over wearing a mask to work. Also dubious understanding of the English language. https://news.yahoo.com/fact-check-marjorie-taylor-greene-005700526.html [yahoo.com]

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by janrinok on Friday February 23, @07:43PM

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 23, @07:43PM (#1345939) Journal

          That linked article had me in stitches! That MTG can say things such as "We all want Earth to be the best planet in the world." had me giggling for quite a while.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by mrpg on Friday February 23, @09:06PM

        by mrpg (5708) Subscriber Badge <mrpgNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday February 23, @09:06PM (#1345953) Homepage

        1st
          'Pay up:' Marjorie Taylor Greene loses Supreme Court bid to overturn $100k in mask fines

        The Supreme Court rejected Rep. Greene’s bid to overturn the hefty fines she incurred for repeatedly refusing to wear a mask on the House floor during the pandemic. “That’s right—Marjorie Taylor Greene took her Covid conspiracies all the way to the highest court in the land,” says Jen Psaki.

        2nd
          Futurama - Is this some sort of brain scanner? Some sort, yes, in France it's called a guillotine

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Snegbuff on Friday February 23, @08:40AM (25 children)

    by Snegbuff (29985) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 23, @08:40AM (#1345818)

    If a few holdouts are fueling an outbreak, then the remaining non-holdouts must be succumbing to the infection. But they are vaccinated, so...

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Opportunist on Friday February 23, @09:15AM (24 children)

      by Opportunist (5545) on Friday February 23, @09:15AM (#1345821)

      No vaccine provides 100% protection. None. Ever. What allows the "elimination" of a disease is not only the vaccine but also the prevalence of the infection.

      Ponder this for a moment: Let's imagine we have a vaccine that provides a 80% immunity. That's actually pretty good. One should think that 1 in 5 people would get sick that way, and this would actually be the case if there was a 100% infection risk. That's not the case, though. The infection risk in turn depends on how many people have the disease and can spread it. Now, without a vaccine, we have a 100% infection rate and a 100% spread rate (worst case). So everyone will sooner or later get it, no chance to escape it unless you want to live like a hermit.

      With a vaccine that provides 80% of the people getting it with immunity, only 1 in 5 people will get the disease. So 20% infection rate? Nope. Even lower. Because not 100% of the people around can spread it. Only 20% will spread it at all, and these 20% have only a 1 in 5 chance to pass it on. That has a very strong positive feedback loop built in. If you only have a tiny fraction of the population that is susceptible to a disease and an equally tiny fraction that carries it, any epidemic outbreak is practically impossible. You will have a few cases, but they will be few and far between, a few outliers, usually people who brought it back from a trip abroad where there is no vaccine protection.

      If, though, you bring in a heavily infected population into a vaccinated population, you're back to a 20% infection rate.

      If you bring it into an unvaccinated population, you have an epidemic at your hands.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by darkfeline on Friday February 23, @09:34AM (11 children)

        by darkfeline (1030) on Friday February 23, @09:34AM (#1345824) Homepage

        That's also a convenient copout for when you force a clearly impotent medication on a population and erode their trust in medicine overall.

        Which brings us to back to the vicious cycle we have on our hands now, as people start doubting more and more.

        "Just one little white lie, what harm could it do?"

        --
        Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by shrewdsheep on Friday February 23, @10:19AM (5 children)

          by shrewdsheep (5215) on Friday February 23, @10:19AM (#1345829)

          How do you define "impotent medication"? On the population level, childhood vaccinations have all but eliminated the most severe contagious childhood diseases. They have substantially alleviated the cost for society and human suffering. Any medication to such an effect I would call highly potent.

          Still children die or get disabled from vaccinations. But this can be seen to be irrelevant after a moment of reflection.

          You do play the lottery and believe you might become rich from it, per chance?

          • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, @03:18PM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, @03:18PM (#1345856)

            childhood vaccinations have all but eliminated the most severe contagious childhood diseases

            Sure. But now we have childhood obesity, cancers that weren't there 100 years ago, increases cases of MS, autism, and...quite frankly the entire millennial generation. If modern medicine can't explain the link between childhood vaccinations and whatever the hell the millennials are, I'm just not ready to trust them...

            • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Friday February 23, @03:58PM (2 children)

              by shrewdsheep (5215) on Friday February 23, @03:58PM (#1345863)

              Mass vaccinations started in the 70s. The millennials are therefor the 2nd/3rd generation being vaccinated. The other diseases mentioned have also only popped up lately. This mostly rules out vaccinations as a reason.

              • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, @04:49PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, @04:49PM (#1345883)

                Mass vaccinations started in the 70s. The millennials are therefor the 2nd/3rd generation being vaccinated. The other diseases mentioned have also only popped up lately. This mostly rules out vaccinations as a reason.

                It was a joke. Albeit a bad one.

                I work with a bunch of millennials. I have a near-perfect attendance record which isn't difficult when you work from home...but they work from home and regularly have to take entire days off for ridiculous reasons like taking a cat to the vet or "I have a dentist appointment for a cavity at 8 AM, so I won't be in for the rest of the day because my mouth will be numb" or "I need to take an hour off to drive my wife to the store because she doesn't like driving".

                Any excuse to take time off while getting paid will eventually lead to them not being paid anymore....at least not by this company.

                In three years I've only heard *one* excuse that was "legit". Dude took a week off because his wife was giving birth.

                • (Score: 3, Insightful) by julian on Saturday February 24, @07:23AM

                  by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 24, @07:23AM (#1346036)

                  Sounds like they're clawing back some semblance of work/life balance. You should both feel happy for them and join them in this. The entire economy can continue working this way but will actually be better for almost everyone. And the proof we have for that are the scores of nations that aren't as pathologically obsessed with work and productivity as the USA who are all beating us on quality of life measures that actually matter.

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by epitaxial on Friday February 23, @07:14PM

              by epitaxial (3165) on Friday February 23, @07:14PM (#1345932)

              I correlate those numbers with voting republican. See how correlation works?

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Friday February 23, @01:12PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday February 23, @01:12PM (#1345839)

          Would you rather have:

          A) clearly impotent vaccine with decades of history of relatively few unfortunate side effects (and, consider: the car trip to the pediatrician to get the vaccine is itself a risk of a gruesome death), or

          B) a "NEW IMPROVED" "SUPER POTENT, ONE SHOT FOR LIFE, NEVER GET THE MEASLES, GUARANTEED!!!!!" vaccine that just might turn 17% of all children who get it into schizophrenic psychopaths as they turn 14...?

          The established protocol for the measles resisting component of MMR is a population level saturation with the vaccine, and that has clearly worked at keeping the measles under control, in populations which comply.

          But, when has 'Murica ever stood for compliance?

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday February 23, @05:46PM (3 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 23, @05:46PM (#1345905) Journal
          Like that horse tranquilizer?
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 24, @01:38AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 24, @01:38AM (#1345986)

            If you are talking Ivermectin, I suggest you do some serious research as to what this stuff does, how it works, and it's applications. Like aspirin, BNP cream, penicillin, and many other chemicals we have found which interact with life chemistry, using this stuff for specific purposes is often beneficial.

            Incidentally, I don't think you will have much luck tranquilizing a horse with Ivermectin, however there is a chemical commonly used to tranquilize horses which does a great job of permanently eliminating drug addiction to opioids. It's quite a prolonged painful treatment though.

            Ivermectin is an antiparasitic ( insect/wormb). I have used it to remove mange, fleas, live, nits, worms, from mammalian livestock and pets. Even on myself. It's a common farm chemical, taken by injection, topical application, or orally according to where it's target is.

            I still don't know if Ivermectin will work on viral loads. I have two main sources of information who have opposite viewpoints; both have lots of "research" to back them up. One is highly motivated to say anything it takes to protect a very lucrative business model of designer diseases with matching designer cures. Very well funded with *almost* unlimited power of censorship as well as government funding and business model law creation/enforcement.

            The other is like me. Skeptical. The ways used to compel obedience, waive responsibility, not even do proper scientific testing with experiment and control groups ( by eliminating the control group ). All in order to get around the international Nuremberg Codes passed in retrovision of what the government doctors of Germany were allowed to do during WWII.

            From my chair, I see this whole pharmaceutical/governmental/WEF theater as a prelude to world control by a very few, with synthetic diseases and "vaccines" being the main enforcement mechanism to drive motivation of the masses to comply without violence. All lined up and willingly signing legal releases under fear of either the Boogeyman or social rejection fomented by economic means. Looks just like 666 to me.

            If I perish for my belief, so be it. At least I return to my maker knowing I did not do that which I was told not to do. I am quite aware of the mathematics of the exponential function and the logistic differential equation, and that, coupled with human nature, leads me to some rather pessimistic beliefs to where things are headed.

            For a few ( maybe 10 percent of current world population ) , the future looks bright, but for those of us who are prone to mindlessly obey , we will be stripped of everything by taxation , social unrest, currency manipulation, and deliberately planned obsolescence enforced by inability to maintain our stuff.

            • (Score: 2, Informative) by khallow on Saturday February 24, @12:02PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 24, @12:02PM (#1346056) Journal

              If you are talking Ivermectin, I suggest you do some serious research as to what this stuff does, how it works, and it's applications. Like aspirin, BNP cream, penicillin, and many other chemicals we have found which interact with life chemistry, using this stuff for specific purposes is often beneficial.

              It was touted on far less evidence than supported vaccination.

              I still don't know if Ivermectin will work on viral loads. I have two main sources of information who have opposite viewpoints; both have lots of "research" to back them up. One is highly motivated to say anything it takes to protect a very lucrative business model of designer diseases with matching designer cures. Very well funded with *almost* unlimited power of censorship as well as government funding and business model law creation/enforcement.

              The other is like me. Skeptical. The ways used to compel obedience, waive responsibility, not even do proper scientific testing with experiment and control groups ( by eliminating the control group ). All in order to get around the international Nuremberg Codes passed in retrovision of what the government doctors of Germany were allowed to do during WWII.

              But I read things like this [theguardian.com]:

              In March 2021, I received my first vaccine dose and posted a photo on Twitter from the clinic. Within minutes I was receiving strange messages: “Why would you do that?”, “not safe”, “why not use ivermectin instead”, “you are paid by the Gates Foundation”. One person even sent a link to a suction device to remove the vaccine fluid from my arm. Any message I sent promoting the benefits of vaccines led to threats and abuse.

              However, we then found several examples of medical fraud in the clinical trials of ivermectin: some of the databases had been simply made up by unscrupulous doctors. When we filtered out all the poor-quality clinical trials, there was no longer any clinical benefit for ivermectin.

              After we reported on the medical fraud in July 2021, the abuse became much worse. I was sent images of Nazi war criminals hanging from lamp-posts, Voodoo images of swinging coffins, vivid threats that my family were not safe, that we would all burn in hell. This was happening most days – I opened my laptop in the morning to be confronted with a sea of hate and disturbing threats. Twitter did nothing after I reported these threats. So I had to shut down social media.

              Someone in a position to evaluate both vaccination and Ivermectin chose vaccination - because there was no evidence left to support Ivermectin.

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday February 25, @02:01PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday February 25, @02:01PM (#1346180)

              Well stated and quite reasonable paranoia on all counts.

              I would like to point out that this latest (75ish years) run up in the power of the rich has been engineered with a "quality of life" improvement for the masses sufficiently clearly better than the chaos of post revolutionary France, cutting off the option of correction by open revolt without generations of significantly increased suffering.

              Present methods of population control seem to have us on course for a massive genocide of the uncontrolled relatively poor who continue to breed like rabbits, or handing the globe over to them in another 75 years with a few million of the "old guard" firmly in charge at the top. I seriously doubt there is any kind of master plan effectively guiding it all beyond a 10 year horizon.

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by HiThere on Friday February 23, @02:20PM (9 children)

        by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 23, @02:20PM (#1345846) Journal

        There's also never a 100% infection risk...unless you define risk to allow that. Without vaccination you will still never get 100% of the population infected.
        Your basic argument is pretty good, but you oversimplified it.

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Friday February 23, @05:59PM (7 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday February 23, @05:59PM (#1345910)

          Then there's a strong argument, IMO, for allowing a portion of the population to continue to take the risks, and rewards, of natural infection with childhood diseases, the way that millions of generations of humans, hominds, primates and mammals in your family tree and mine did before us.

          What we're gaining with vaccination is pretty obvious, in our face right here right now. What we may be losing is going to be much harder to spot, impossible if we have no baseline for comparison.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday February 23, @07:04PM (6 children)

            by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 23, @07:04PM (#1345928) Journal

            I think you're assuming that the risks they are taking are restricted to affecting themselves. This is false.

            --
            Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Friday February 23, @07:56PM (5 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday February 23, @07:56PM (#1345943)

              I think you are assuming that the risk of an existential threat to humanity via 100% vaccination compliance is zero. I disagree.

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
              • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Sunday February 25, @12:23AM (4 children)

                by Opportunist (5545) on Sunday February 25, @12:23AM (#1346125)

                What would be the risk? That we eliminate a disease with severe effects including death?

                I'm willing to take that risk...

                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday February 25, @02:43AM (3 children)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday February 25, @02:43AM (#1346142)

                  Be careful what you wish for, even when you get it you usually also get things you didn't anticipate as part of the deal.

                  Clean drinking water causing polio was a very early example, and the impetus for the first vaccine as well.

                  Parasitic worms sound like something you would want to avoid, right? Maybe not: https://theconversation.com/they-might-sound-gross-but-intestinal-worms-can-actually-be-good-for-you-49868#:~:text=Mutualistic%20helminths%20help%20regulate%20immune,ability%20to%20respond%20to%20danger. [theconversation.com]

                  --
                  🌻🌻 [google.com]
                  • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Sunday February 25, @09:58AM (2 children)

                    by Opportunist (5545) on Sunday February 25, @09:58AM (#1346160)

                    Ok, care to point to something beneficial we might get out of catching a disease that has a high mortality rate and a good chance to cause lasting negative effects? And I mean benefits that a vaccine against it cannot impart, because what most vaccines, and the MRR is one of them, do is to give the body what it gets out of surviving that disease: An immune system that knows the disease and knows how to deal with it the next time.

                    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Sunday February 25, @01:41PM (1 child)

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday February 25, @01:41PM (#1346179)

                      IMO some vaccines are great, some vaccines are good, and some vaccines are pushing the envelope in ways that are potentially causing more harm than good.

                      Example: Texas mandates (or, at least mandated) HepA for all 2 year olds. Not all Texan 2 year olds are at significant risk for HepA exposure, much less HepA contraction, but all are at risk of the underreported side effects including sustained high fever following vaccination.

                      Around the 2000 time frame the vaccine industry was also pushing new vaccines to prevent diseases that don't have any significant lasting negative effects beyond keeping kids out of school for a week or two, and the economic costs of child care and parents missing work during that period. These vaccines were also being considered for the "mandatory" lists for school admission...

                      "Too much of a good thing" is no longer good. We should continue to develop and deploy new vaccines, but just because a new vaccine is developed does not mean it should be rolled out mandatory across the whole population immediately.

                      --
                      🌻🌻 [google.com]
                      • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Sunday February 25, @05:40PM

                        by Opportunist (5545) on Sunday February 25, @05:40PM (#1346201)

                        I'm with you. I don't get a malaria shot. Why? Because where I reside malaria is not an issue and even the most insignificant side effects don't warrant getting it.

                        Vaccines are a risk/reward game. And they should be treated as such.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Opportunist on Sunday February 25, @12:21AM

          by Opportunist (5545) on Sunday February 25, @12:21AM (#1346124)

          Of course this was a simplified example. The post was long enough as it is, I wanted people to read it...

          Of course there is no 100% transmission rate. There are a lot more factors to take into account, not least being whether multiple infections are possible, whether your stay a carrier and infectious after you survived the infection, whether and how fast the pathogen mutates, how infection happens and how easy transmissible it is and a ton of other factors that play into it.

          With "childhood diseases" (I don't really like the term, it sounds like it's something you could as well ignore because it's kids' play... it isn't!), the transmission rate is horribly high. Not only is measles for example insanely contagious, kids are also not exactly the kind of people who have impeccable hygiene and avoid touching each other unless necessary. If a child has it, every child in the same room will soon have it, too.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by srobert on Saturday February 24, @04:41PM (1 child)

        by srobert (4803) on Saturday February 24, @04:41PM (#1346085)

        Your explanation about how vaccines work involves some understanding of mathematics. It's good sound reasoning and I think it's correct. But it's beyond the mathematical capabilities of a significant portion of Americans. So they're not going to be convinced by it that the vaccines are safe.
        It ties in with the question of 'how the nation that put men on the moon came to this'. Back when America put men on the moon, the average American was no better at math than they are now. But they trusted people who were, scientists, engineers, etc. Today, they don't trust well educated people very much. They might have good reasons for feeling that way. Science and technology gave us a better life, but it also gave us climate change and atom bombs. Ordinary people will trust the vaccines if the pastor at their church told them that it was a blessing from God. But they won't trust the doctors who created the vaccines. Nor will they understand their reasoning.
        The task ahead for educated people is to earn the trust of everyone else. The well-educated will have to accept that their value rests in being members of a larger community.

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by Opportunist on Sunday February 25, @12:25AM

          by Opportunist (5545) on Sunday February 25, @12:25AM (#1346126)

          So I guess we'll get a better educated population by elimination of the dimwits due to them not doing what's necessary for survival rather than simply learning.

          I would have preferred the other way, but I accept the solution.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by pTamok on Friday February 23, @09:39AM (11 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Friday February 23, @09:39AM (#1345825)

    How did a modern developed nation that first landed people on the moon come to this.?

    Liberty, and individual freedom of choice, together with freedom of speech allowing people to popularise scientifically inaccurate views with few to no consequences to themselves (and indeed, sometimes substantial profit).

    It's also partly down to neglecting to educate people in rational thinking. Control over what you teach children determines their attitudes in later life. As the famous quote (possibly mischievously misattributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola by Voltaire, also attributed to Aristotle) says "Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man."

    The consequences of a poor educational grounding affects all of society.

    Unfortunately, groups of non-rational thinkers have a vested interest in preserving their privileges, and will make great efforts to do so.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by zocalo on Friday February 23, @11:39AM (9 children)

      by zocalo (302) on Friday February 23, @11:39AM (#1345832)
      That, and politicians deciding to weaponise fake news rather than try to limit its spread across the board. Now they're in a situation where they've got everyone incapable of critical thinking believing that they can't trust anything, even from what were previously, and often still are, quite reputable sources, unless it's coming from within their own "bubble". Basically, how cult brainwashing works. The upshot is that this has acted as an enabler for anyone wanting to push an agenda, no matter how insane and conspiracy theory led, as long at they understand how to play the game and which sources of information to use to hit different target demographics.

      Welcome to the idiocracy and dysfunctional political era. It's not going away anytime soon, and certainly not while populism rather than consideration of the issues and proposed solutions, is dictating how the majority vote, so better get used to it.
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
      • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Friday February 23, @11:59AM (4 children)

        by pTamok (3042) on Friday February 23, @11:59AM (#1345833)

        Perhaps voting forms should include a randomised critical-thinking test chosen from a large pool, and the vote does not count unless the test is passed?

        No doubt any such proposal would be shot down as 'undemocratic', because votes from idiots should count, and it would be likened to the bad old days of only having a vote if, amongst other things, you owned land. https://votingrights.mit.edu/history-voting [mit.edu]

        In the first presidential election, only white land-owning Protestant men were able to vote.

        --- No, I'm not being serious. I might have been when I was a teenager, a long, long time ago.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hendrikboom on Friday February 23, @05:19PM

          by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 23, @05:19PM (#1345893) Homepage Journal

          Just wait until the "critical thinking" test is based on the content of the conspiracy theories. Only the gullible will pass.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday February 23, @06:11PM (2 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday February 23, @06:11PM (#1345912)

          Unbiased poll tests would be impossible to guarantee.

          I do, however, think that freely given assignment of voting rights to others might be a step toward a more representative democracy than we have. We already do this in representative governments, but for the vast majority of our population eligible to vote who either: a) don't bother to vote at all, or b) know that they don't research the issues and candidates well enough to make an informed choice, having the option to assign their vote to someone they trust - perhaps a retired family member, or neighbor, or local demagogue who they trust to get to the bottom of all the candidates and issues and "do the right thing" when election day comes around - that would likely be more representative of the true will of the people, rather than the distorted mess we have today. Better still, I believe it would be a more rationally predictable system for the candidates to campaign to - and predictability is good for business, which is good for the economy, which is good for most people's well being.

          Now: immediate nightmare scenarios of churches full of "believers" who assign their votes to the charismatic leaders of the congregation do come to mind, but is this any different than today where the congregation "group thinks" themselves into the voting booths with straight-ticket intentions? I would argue that overworked teachers, nurses, EMTs, office drones, and the rest would also find increased and more rational representation at the polls if they could hand the responsibility of voting off to someone they trust to do the right thing, and possibly even negotiate for their interests with the candidates pre-election - not to mention keeping them "in line" once elected.

          Such a vote assignment scheme would be revokable at any time up to the minute that the polls close, and we might require proxy voters to reveal their votes to their proxy givers (or perhaps full public disclosure) seven days before the close of the polls. Would make an interesting "election week" where the proxy votes are all-in and then you get to watch and see how many people care strongly enough to override their proxy in one or more races...

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday February 23, @06:50PM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 23, @06:50PM (#1345923) Journal
            On your second paragraph, this is called proxy voting [wikipedia.org]. As to the nightmare scenario, at least nobody else is required to delegate their votes. Under the current schemes, once a representative is elected everyone who is in that district has their vote delegated to that person.

            Also with vote delegation, it should be reasonable to change delegates at any time rather than at particular election phases.
            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday February 23, @07:53PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday February 23, @07:53PM (#1345942)

              >with vote delegation, it should be reasonable to change delegates at any time rather than at particular election phases.

              Absolutely, and before polluting my ignorant mind with your linked established concepts, I'd just like to elucidate the process with a bit more development:

              One citizen of majority age (18 years or greater) one vote. The person has absolute final say over their vote. In the event that the person is deemed incompetent, under guardianship, etc. no-one may take control of their vote for them - their vote may be withheld due to such extreme designations, but not assigned to another by guardian, power of attorney, court order or any other mechanism. Persons not so stripped of their right to vote may, at their choosing, abstain from any or all elections.

              Up until the closing of polls on the day of election, the citizen-voter may choose to override any vote registered on their behalf by any proxy.

              Up until 24 hours before closing of polls, any first level (directly assigned only by voters) proxy may choose to override any vote registered on their behalf by any higher level proxy.

              Up until 48 hours before closing of polls, any second level (directly assigned by voters and/or first level proxies) proxy may choose to override any vote registered on their behalf by any higher level proxy...

              ...

              By 168 hours (7 full days) before closing of polls, any seventh level (directly assigned by voters and/or proxies up to sixth level) proxy must register their final votes for all elections they are acting as voter proxy in.

              So, voters may pool their influence, up to seven levels deep, into negotiation blocs which will have various track records of "voter loyalty" to their registrations. Instead of this meaningless party registration we have today which only serves to restrict you from voting in primary races to your registered parties, "straight ticket" voters and proxies might proxy to the party of their choice, but defect at any time by voting for themselves. Voters might proxy first to family or trade unions, or whatever negotiating bloc they feel best represents their general views, and those lower level proxies may gather together into "super proxies" which have greater negotiating power based both on the number of voters they ultimately represent, as well as the historical loyalty of those proxy groups they represent.

              The "tallest trees" at seven levels deep will suffer some disadvantages by having to show their hand early (though in the case of party-blocs their choices are pre-destined before campaigning ever begins....) I doubt that most people would end up "seven deep" to their highest level proxies, but some large proxy groups might grow seven levels deep in some of their organization.

              It would be slightly harder to explain to elementary school students about how voting works, but it seems inevitable that voter representation via proxy in elections should far outstrip our typical dismal turnout rates in the 40% range.

              Looking at the link now... so, yeah, that:

              In Canada, the province of Nova Scotia allows citizens to vote by proxy if they expect to be absent. The territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut also allow for proxy voting.[26] Canadian prisoners of war in enemy camps were allowed to vote through proxy voting... Some Chinese provinces allow village residents to designate someone to vote on their behalf...

              but, being implemented in 2025 (or later) in the U.S. I would hope we could manage some form of online voting that would allow for real-time overrides whenever a voter decides that they disagree with their proxy's choice.

              Now, try to implement this in those states which make working people take time off to go stand in long lines in bad weather on the far side of town to exercise their right to vote... because, clearly, they need to have elected representatives who represent the will of the people with the luxury of time, transportation, child care and good winter clothes over those without...

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Friday February 23, @01:18PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday February 23, @01:18PM (#1345842)

        Fake news has actually been a mainstay of Anglo society since the printing press was invented, and before...

        There was a brief period of "coherent" propaganda / journalism which attempted to present itself as "fair and balanced" during the generation or two after radio/television invaded our homes. That honeymoon has been over for a while now.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by zocalo on Friday February 23, @02:51PM (2 children)

          by zocalo (302) on Friday February 23, @02:51PM (#1345852)
          Of course. Fake news is really just another spin on propaganda, and history is always written by the victors which is essentially achieving the same end after the fact. Even taking that into account, there's still been a massive uptick since the advent of social media and the brain-dead (and now just plain dead) idea of many governments that self regulation would be sufficient to police it. Despite it existing for millennia, "Fake News" was only named Collin's Word of the Year in 2017, mostly as a result of its heavy usage during the election interference of 2016 and its entry into the public zeitgeist.

          I think that's the point at which the ease of tailed distribution designed to push the buttons of balkanised bubbles of social media society enabled things to reach critical mass, and its use and effectiveness moved from being akin to a convention weapon to a WMD, and the use of AI techniques to generate convincing fake images and video take it up another level again. We knew this was coming - there were discussions here and on the green site about it, amongst many others, and that guardrails and regulation needed to be in place before that happened, yet governments dropped the ball so badly that we're now going to be stuck with the consequences and (if you're smart, anyway) questioning the veracity and level of spin present in every single story, and especially so for those of any importance or linked to an agenda.
          --
          UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Friday February 23, @05:52PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday February 23, @05:52PM (#1345907)

            >there's still been a massive uptick since the advent of social media and the brain-dead (and now just plain dead) idea of many governments that self regulation would be sufficient to police it.

            Granted: social media "lowered the bar" in terms of cost of entry to the propaganda game. Significantly: foreign state actors may now infiltrate what we believe to be domestic conversations and sow dissention and conflict in ways that used to be extremely costly (placement of agents in foreign countries), now as a WFH gig for their astro-turfing pools of much more easily trained agents.

            Back in Ben Franklin's day, pseudonyms (sex swapping pseudonyms when the message was more effectively delivered by a woman) writing politically influential messages were also used by those wealthy enough to run a printing press and distribution network....

            Self regulation "doesn't work" - but government regulation is not a great approach, either. (Pravda, anyone?)

            >enabled things to reach critical mass, and its use and effectiveness moved from being akin to a convention weapon to a WMD...

            The Yellow Press was widely named as a major influencer in the days of the Spanish American war... at a WMD level of effect back then.

            >We knew this was coming

            It is coming, and yet it has always been here as well... Chaos - unpleasant for many, but also frequently preferable to a moribund system of order and control...

            Answers? Not really, unless you consider making me King of the World with guarantees of fealty and protection from assassination... Trust me, I'll make things better for everyone. I'll understand if that doesn't happen, besides myself I can't think of anyone else I'd trust to be completely in charge.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday February 23, @06:12PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 23, @06:12PM (#1345913) Journal

            Even taking that into account, there's still been a massive uptick since the advent of social media and the brain-dead (and now just plain dead) idea of many governments that self regulation would be sufficient to police it.

            Indeed. The only thing more braindead is the idea that someone should be policing our speech in the first place.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Friday February 23, @01:16PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday February 23, @01:16PM (#1345841)

      >Control over what you teach children determines their attitudes in later life.

      True. And the current push to encourage home schooling, fracturing of the school systems in general, defunding of the core public education systems is not pushing our population in any particular direction, it's creating a more chaotic society - which has some positive value, but at least as much negative value along with it - much more negative value when you consider the costs, and geopolitical risks, of infighting based on deeply held beliefs by all sides.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by sigterm on Friday February 23, @03:07PM (3 children)

    by sigterm (849) on Friday February 23, @03:07PM (#1345854)

    How did a modern developed nation that first landed people on the moon come to this.

    Because we've abandoned all safety standards, which in turn has undermined faith in regulators and has served to bring the entire pharmaceutical industry, and even the medical profession, into disrepute. (Make that "further disrepute" in case of the pharmaceutical industry.)

    For at least the last century, western medicine has made advances in leaps and bounds. Common diseases that used to claim the lives of thousands every year are today hardly a nuisance. This is in no small part in due to vaccines, which takes years to research and develop.

    Once a medication or vaccine is considered ready for human trials, it takes yet more years of testing and feedback before it's declared safe for the general population. In the case of the measles vaccine, it took about 13 years post-rollout before it was considered safe enough to be declared mandatory for schoolchildren. This makes sense, because you obviously cannot make statements about longitudinal effects without longitudinal data.

    However, we're now being told that inexplicably, this entire process can be compressed down to less than 6 months, and longitudinal data are somehow no longer required. Also, we don't get to see the limited trial data that actually exists, nor the figures supposedly used to justify making a medical intervention mandatory. And when it later turns out that the data wasn't at all what we were initially told, and the measures taken were completely without scientific basis and didn't actually do anything, we get constantly gaslit with nonsensical accusations of being "conspiracy theorists."

    The denialists will use this as proof that they were right all along. Which they weren't, but when reasonable objections are equated with illogical conspiracy theories, don't be surprised when actual, illogical conspiracy theories flourish.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by pTamok on Friday February 23, @04:03PM

      by pTamok (3042) on Friday February 23, @04:03PM (#1345866)

      How did a modern developed nation that first landed people on the moon come to this.

      Because we've abandoned all safety standards,

      Really? Citation needed? Both the FDA and CDC, the European Medicines Agency, and others have extensive regulation. You might argue the regulation has been compromised in some way, but you'd need evidence.

      which in turn has undermined faith in regulators and has served to bring the entire pharmaceutical industry, and even the medical profession, into disrepute. (Make that "further disrepute" in case of the pharmaceutical industry.)

      Who has been doing the undermining, and on what basis? There are always critics of any human endeavour, and sometimes human failings mean the criticism can be valid, but people still fly in Boeing aeroplanes and drive Ford cars. Would you prefer no regulation to poor regulation?

      For at least the last century, western medicine has made advances in leaps and bounds. Common diseases that used to claim the lives of thousands every year are today hardly a nuisance. This is in no small part in due to vaccines, which takes years to research and develop.

      Yup. Agree.

      Once a medication or vaccine is considered ready for human trials, it takes yet more years of testing and feedback before it's declared safe for the general population. In the case of the measles vaccine, it took about 13 years post-rollout before it was considered safe enough to be declared mandatory for schoolchildren. This makes sense, because you obviously cannot make statements about longitudinal effects without longitudinal data.

      That's an over-simplification and misrepresentation of how vaccines are tested and approved for human use, inviting readers to make false conclusions.

      However, we're now being told that inexplicably, this entire process can be compressed down to less than 6 months,

      Nope. Certainly not inexplicably. You might want to think about Emergency Use Authorzations. And use does not preclude on-going monitoring.

      and longitudinal data are somehow no longer required.

      Nope. And what do you think 'longitudinal data' is, and what the actual approval protocols require? It is not as simple as comparing a vaccinated group with an unvaccinated control group over a number of years, otherwise all medicines would potentially require at least an average human lifetime of testing before gaining approval. In short, they don't.

      Also, we don't get to see the limited trial data that actually exists, nor the figures supposedly used to justify making a medical intervention mandatory. And when it later turns out that the data wasn't at all what we were initially told, and the measures taken were completely without scientific basis and didn't actually do anything, we get constantly gaslit with nonsensical accusations of being "conspiracy theorists."

      Evidence, please, that supports material differences, what 'completely without scientific basis' means, and actual evidence of gaslighting.

      The denialists will use this as proof that they were right all along. Which they weren't, but when reasonable objections are equated with illogical conspiracy theories, don't be surprised when actual, illogical conspiracy theories flourish.

      Was the development and roll-out of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines pure and unsullied with mistakes and politics? Of course not. There isn't a human endeavour that isn't. The vaccines prevented a huge number of deaths*, as did public health interventions (including masks and lockdowns). The process was not perfect, and hindsight is a wonderful thing. What bothers me is that people are already forgetting the lessons of this pandemic, and are already not preparing adequately for the next (inevitable) one. Could we have done better: absolutely, yes. Will we do better next time? I fear not.

      * A lot of places ran into melt-down with insufficient respiratory intensive care available for the demand. Some places ran out of mortuary space, it was that bad. The point about the public health interventions was to reduce the demand placed on the system so that the number of people needing hospital, and especially, intensive, care was kept below the number of places available - to manage the peak. The UK got it wrong, repeatedly, as did many other places. Without the lockdowns and vaccines, corpses would be piled in the streets, as they very nearly were in Italy at the beginning of the pandemic. https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-italian-army-called-in-to-carry-away-corpses-as-citys-crematorium-is-overwhelmed-11959994 [sky.com]

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Marvin on Saturday February 24, @08:29AM (1 child)

      by Marvin (3019) on Saturday February 24, @08:29AM (#1346038)

      However, we're now being told that inexplicably, this entire process can be compressed down to less than 6 months

      You might want to read up a little about mRNA vaccines. With this technology you can basically compile an exact copy of the „interface description to the virus“ for the immunes system to learn about to generate antibodies. And by compile I mean literally enter the genetic code into a machine wich assembles the correct sequence. Almost like a StarTrek Replicator.

      The actual Protein for the immune system to learn about is assembled by the body itself. That eliminates the need of getting the proten and ONLY the orotein by complex and inefficient filtering processes.

      Most negative side effects of vaccines are caused by impurities and „wrong“ proteins that are introduced by all previous methods.

      Secondly look up LNAs, liquid nanoparticles, they made it possible to efficiently introduce the mRNA into the cell, so that it can generate the protein.

      All in all its like you gained debug access to the immune system and program it directly.

      So, once you identified the virus‘ „backdoor“ you can very fast compile the exploit and tell the immune system about it.

      The short answer being: It‘s not „inexplicably“. It‘s a combination of cutting edge science.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by sigterm on Saturday February 24, @04:57PM

        by sigterm (849) on Saturday February 24, @04:57PM (#1346086)

        I'm very much aware of this, having read up on mRNA when the Pfizer vaccine was being promoted (I'm frankly surprised that not everyone did) and watched lectures by experts like Dr Robert Malone, one of the inventors of mRNA technology.

        mRNA tech isn't strictly speaking "new," as that's how we've been "synthesising" proteins for many years. (I put synthesise in quotes, as we don't currently know how to create protein structures in a lab, but we are able to reprogram microorganisms with foreign mRNA to make the cell(s) create the proteins we need.) What's new is using it inside a living, human body.

        As for the lipid nanoparticles, yes, that's a novel application of novel technology. These nanoparticles are able to basically "infect" every type of cell in the body with whatever they're carrying, which in this case is mRNA.

        Here are the problems with this entirely new and hitherto unproven vaccine technology:

        1) Unlike any traditional vaccine, we're relying on creating an immune response to a specific spike protein rather than the entire virus capsule. This could be a problem if the virus mutates in such a way that the spike protein is altered, which indeed it has. It could also be a problem if the relatively small protein structure we're now using to train the immune system contains structures identical to those found in healthy cells in the body, as that carries the risk of triggering an autoimmune reaction.

        You may recall that quite early on, two highly renowned German researchers pointed this out and recommended that extended trials be conducted, and for this they were widely ridiculed. Their suggestion was that while unlikely, it was theoretically possible for the Pfizer vaccine to cause an autoimmune reaction to certain cells found in the female reproductive system. Whether this is why irregular and/or abnormal menstrual bleeding is widely reported by women who have taken the vaccine is currently not known.

        2) The nanoparticles can and will enter every cell they come into contact with.

        If the lipid nanoparticles were to enter the bloodstream (and they certainly do, particularly since Pfizer, for reasons I cannot fathom, expressly discourages the otherwise common practice of aspiration when administering an intramuscular injection), they will now turn all kinds of cells into spike protein factories, which means you get spike proteins inside your pancreas, spike proteins inside your liver, spike proteins inside your kidneys, you get the idea.

        Since the entire point of this is to create an immune response, you run the risk of creating inflammations in all kinds of locations within the body simultaneously, which again runs the risk of causing a (potentially fatal) cytokine storm, particularly in healthy individuals with a strong immune system.

        As for possible side-effects of "reprogramming" every kind of cell in the body to become spike protein factories, you may recall that researchers at Lund University in Sweden were able to demonstrate that in some instances, it was possible for injected mRNA material to be transcribed back into DNA in the liver. (This is possibly the origin of the "mRNA changes your DNA" hysteria, but it is technically true in that particular scenario.)

        3) The spike protein itself can and does cause harmful inflammatory responses wherever ACE-2 receptors are found

        The spike proteins will of course bind to any ACE-2 receptor they come across, exactly like the SARS-COV-2 virus. This is not an intentional effect of the vaccine, but impossible to avoid. While the virus itself enters the body via the airways and hence is primarily able to bind to the ACE-2 receptors in the alveoli deep within the lungs, the spike protein from the vaccine will also have ready access to ACE-2 receptors anywhere else in the body, such as inside the heart.

        Of course, this inevitably results in an inflammatory response, the magnitude of which is determined in no small part by the strength of the patient's immune system; a young, healthy person is more likely to develop a serious condition.

        We now know with absolute certainty that yes, the Pfizer vaccine can and does cause myocarditis and pericarditis, confirmed by representatives from Pfizer, no less, in recent hearings in the Australian parliament. They did their best to play down the severity of this issue, while simultaneously claiming that they didn't actually know the underlying mechanism causing this inflammation.

        It is most unfortunate that the risk of contracting myo-/pericarditis still hasn't been widely communicated, as it is indeed possible to recover almost completely from these conditions if (and only if) the patient rests until fully healed.

        Now, it is possible for a SARS-COV-2 virus to enter the bloodstream and infect the heart, and this is indeed known to have happened. However, the amount of spike proteins produced by multiple injections of the Pfizer vaccine dwarfs anything the virus is able to do.

        As you may be aware of, we know this because of numerous reports from embalmers finding strings of proteins inside blood vessels when draining blood, confirmed by autopsy results from all across the world. This eventually triggered an investigation by German researchers, who were quickly able to separate the proteins in blood samples (from living patients) using a simple centrifuge. An analysis of the abnormal mass that manifested confirmed that yes, this was indeed spike proteins produced by the vaccine. Their entire report, including pictures of the separated protein mass, is a quick Google search away.

        4) Given that this is (as you point out) a novel application of cutting-edge technology, extensive trials would surely be mandated. The risks involved with performing a mass rollout of any medication based on this technology are fairly obvious, and would have to be weighed against both the seriousness of the disease in question and the efficacy of the treatment.

        You may recall that Dr Robert Malone raised this exact issue when it was suggested that the vaccine should be given to children (I can't remember if that was defined as "under 15" or "under 18" at the time). Dr Malone pointed out that according to the statistics from Johns Hopkins, practically no otherwise healthy children in the U.S. had died of COVID-19 (I believe Johns Hopkins stated that the numbers were somewhat uncertain, but that "under 20" was a reasonable estimate), while even the simplest back-of-a-napkin calculation based on available VAERS data suggested that a mass rollout would cause in excess of 800 deaths in that age group. For this he was demonised and called a conspiracy theorist by the media, and "cancelled" by the social media giants.

        mRNA is not miracle cure, or even a demonstrable improvment in vaccine manufacturing. Lipid nanoparticles are not a panacea, and a rollout of any medical intervention based on either technology should obviously be preceded by the exact same logitudinal trials and studies we demand of absolutely every other medication or vaccine.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ElizabethGreene on Friday February 23, @03:11PM (1 child)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 23, @03:11PM (#1345855) Journal

    I predict that this will get significantly worse in the next decade. The PTB made a mistake in how they marketed the COVID vaccines. They took advantage of the trust of decades-proven vaccines like MMR. With the I expect more vaccine hesitancy in new parents of post-pandemic babies from this.

     

(1)