## Coronavirus

• 9.6k
So you agree the largest wealth transfer in history didn't just happen.
— frank

Not sure how you get that from what I've said, but...

So you do believe that? Cheeses.
• 2.9k
So science is untrustworthy.
— Xtrix

Science is an activity, not an institution.

Science is an institution. Of course it's an activity. You're saying it's untrustworthy, apparently as both.

But it’s been undermined for political reasons.
— Xtrix

What political reasons? What have the Republicans got to gain from vaccine hesitancy?

That's like asking what they have to gain for going along with the election lies. Their constituents believe it -- a large number of them -- and so they cater to them.

But that wasn't the point. The point is that science has been undermined for political reasons for decades. I mentioned climate denial, but there are plenty of others. The sugar industry, the tobacco industry, etc. The connection to politics is obvious.

That underlining problem is a systematic, deliberate erosion of trust in science and expertise.
— Xtrix

Right. So a minority of people not trusting science and expertise is a monster for the powers that be? Why? What have they got to lose from that state of affairs?

For the corporate powers, people don't fall in line even when the message is legitimate, as with vaccines. This is bad for business. For political powers, they risk losing the election. Just ask Liz Cheney how it's going.

You've not linked any of this to a 'problem' yet. What's the problem that's being caused by this minority not trusting scientists?

Not only scientists, but science and expertise in general. What's the problem with this? What's the problem with a majority of Republicans thinking the election was stolen? Because I believe rationality and truth matter. Believing nonsense leads to very real and very damaging actions -- whether regarding the environment, or food, or drugs, or vaccines, or free elections.

Go on... If the Republican doctors are not mislead then how do you support your claim that a majority of Republicans are mislead?

Some doctors are Republicans. Misled about what, exactly? Vaccines? Elections? A majority of Republicans claim the election was stolen -- does that mean a majority of Republican doctors believe the election was stolen? Not necessarily.

Are you claiming that doctors are somehow immune from the forces of misinformation that mislead all other Republicans?

No, but given their expertise in medicine, I assume they are less likely to be mislead by a Facebook post about how vaccines magnetize you than the average person.

If so, then what's their secret?

Their "secret" is that they've studied medicine. So education, I guess? At least when it comes to medical misinformation. When it comes to election fraud claims, who knows? I haven't seen any evidence that about it one way or the other.

...vaccines...

Republicans gain if people take vaccines (the whole thing was developed on their watch). Industry gains if people take vaccines (by the billions of dollars), the most powerful lobby in the world is pushing for it and most countries (US included) are falling into line with increasingly draconian measure to make it impossible not to be vaccinated). So where's the problem here?

Ask Trump, who was booed by his crowd when he said "Take the vaccine, it's good," what he stands to lose. He quickly pivoted to nonsense about "freedom." That's what the Republicans have to lose: their voters.

Vaccination is, without a shadow of a doubt, as well supported by the industrial and legal system as guns, fossil fuels and vote gerrymandering. Yet you're trying to paint them as the victims here. The poor oppressed pharmaceuticals who no-one trusts, how will they ever sell their products now, with so little trust.

?

How strange.
• 4.9k
Yes, it’s a state-managed collectivist economy through-and-through, and the current seizure is only evidence of how far it is willing to go. But forcing businesses to limit capacity, to enforce mandates, to close early, to adopt shifting policies, to collect subsidies, to outlaw dancing, gathering, walking to the bathroom without a mask etc. is unprecedented, especially in countries that haven’t quite swallowed the socialist pill yet.
What lengths countries like the US go because of less than a million deaths in couple of years because of such a puny pandemic. A mere two thousand deaths per a million! Or even less. The Spanish Flu had killed tens times more by now.

Oooh, the horrible, horrible collectivism.

(I wonder how the US recovered from the evil socialism and the trampling of the rights of the individual during the Spanish Flu)
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It’s not like medicine or anything else has advanced in a century. No, it was surely the fact that we outlawed dancing and meddled in everyone’s lives that saved them. Bless the government for taking our rights.
• 4.9k
It’s not like medicine or anything else has advanced in a century.
Still, nearly a million dead Americans, even if the vast majority were old, shows that we haven't put aside the threat of pandemics yet.
• 9.6k
• 5.9k
You're saying it's untrustworthy, apparently as both.

From where are you getting that? I think science is the ultimate method for discovering what is the case about our world. I don't think scientific institutions are doing it very well. Is that so hard to understand?

That's like asking what they have to gain for going along with the election lies. Their constituents believe it -- a large number of them -- and so they cater to them.

So the Republicans are persuading people to be anti-vaccine because it wins them votes because people are anti-vaccine? Do you realise how daft that sounds?

The connection to politics is obvious.

Not to me it isn't. Climate I get, sugar I get, tobacco I get. All big industries, big lobbying power. The connection is indeed obvious. Money.

So anti-vaccine sentiment. Who's earning the money out of that?

For the corporate powers, people don't fall in line even when the message is legitimate, as with vaccines.

So people don't fall into line? Yet...

I'd say it's no coincidence that those who profess vaccine "skepticism" or refusal, and those who claim the election was stolen, happen to be majority Republican. There's no mystery as to why that is, all you have to do is take a look at the media they consume. Which was my point.

Which is it? Do people fall into line according to the media they're fed, or not?

Believing nonsense leads to very real and very damaging actions -- whether regarding the environment, or food, or drugs, or vaccines, or free elections.

That's just a truism. Believing something which is false is obviously risky, I asked you why believing the anti-vaccine message was problematic.

A majority of Republicans claim the election was stolen -- does that mean a majority of Republican doctors believe the election was stolen? Not necessarily.

I wasn't suggesting it was necessarily the case. I was asking why you thought it wasn't.

Their "secret" is that they've studied medicine. So education, I guess? At least when it comes to medical misinformation.

The vaccines were developed two years ago. How would their medical training tell them whether they're safe or not?

Where was all this medical training when they were over prescribing opiods in return for a sandwich hamper?

What went wrong with Pete Doshi's medical training that caused him to be so concerned? What's gone wrong with Vinay Prasad's who's concerned about myocarditis in the under 40s? Did their medical training not stick? Odd that they made it so far up to now.

Ask Trump, who was booed by his crowd when he said "Take the vaccine, it's good," what he stands to lose. He quickly pivoted to nonsense about "freedom." That's what the Republicans have to lose: their voters.

We're talking about why people have been fed an anti-vax message in the first place. Your argument here is circular.

Vaccination is, without a shadow of a doubt, as well supported by the industrial and legal system as guns, fossil fuels and vote gerrymandering. Yet you're trying to paint them as the victims here. The poor oppressed pharmaceuticals who no-one trusts, how will they ever sell their products now, with so little trust. — Isaac

?

How strange.

I'm asking why you think that suddenly the most powerful industry in the world has so little influence you're worried about it's key message not getting through.
• 5.9k
Their "secret" is that they've studied medicine. So education, I guess? At least when it comes to medical misinformation...

Lets review this claim...

The opioid crisis has killed more than half a million people. It's responsible for the first decline in life expectancy in the US for a hundred years. Let's see how the medical training of the experts helped us during that unprecedented slaughter.

The Government wouldn't risk such a thing would they...?

The groundwork for the crisis was laid in the 1980s, when pain increasingly became recognized as a problem that required adequate treatment. US states began to pass intractable pain treatment acts, which removed the threat of prosecution for physicians who treated their patients’ pain aggressively with controlled substances. — Nature - Tracing the US opioid crisis to its roots

But the journals would have spotted such obvious misinformation surely...?

In the United States, the idea that opioids might be safer and less addictive than was previously thought began to take root. A letter to the editor in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980 reported that of 11,882 hospitalized people who were prescribed opioids, only four became addicted, but the short letter provided no evidence to back up these claims. A widely cited 1986 study, involving only 38 people, advocated using opioids to treat chronic pain unrelated to cancer. The prevailing view is that these studies were over-interpreted. But at the time, they contributed to the perception that opioids were addictive only when used recreationally — and not when used to treat pain. — Nature - Tracing the US opioid crisis to its roots

Those Pharmaceutical white knights, we can trust them though...?

Purdue Pharma and other companies promoted their opioid products heavily. They lobbied lawmakers, sponsored continuing medical-education courses, funded professional and patient organizations and sent representatives to visit individual doctors. During all of these activities, they emphasized the safety, efficacy and low potential for addiction of prescription opioids. — Nature - Tracing the US opioid crisis to its roots

In fact, opioids are not particularly effective for treating chronic pain; with long-term use, people can develop tolerance to the drugs and even become more sensitive to pain. And the claim that OxyContin was less addictive than other opioid painkillers was untrue — Purdue Pharma knew that it was addictive, as it admitted in a 2007 lawsuit that resulted in a US\$635 million fine for the company. — Nature - Tracing the US opioid crisis to its roots

But the family physicians, the surgeons, the medical experts with all their training...?

Doctors didn’t question what they were told by pharmaceutical representatives and on continuing medical education courses about prescription opioids, in part because of a lack of experience

Because many doctors are in private practice, they can benefit financially by increasing the volume of patients that they see, as well as by ensuring patient satisfaction, which can incentivize the overprescription of pain medication.

The incentives were there for people to prescribe more and more, particularly when they had already been convinced it was the right thing to do
— Nature - Tracing the US opioid crisis to its roots

Doctors are routinely overprescribing—giving every patient a bottle of 30-60 highly addictive opioid tablets. Most commonly this is oxycodone written with instructions to take 5-10 mg as needed every 4-6 hours for pain. But if patients follow these instructions, they will be taking up to 90 MME (morphine mg equivalents) a day—a dose nearly double the threshold above which the US … — BMJ - Overprescribing is major contributor to opioid crisis

But we're all saved because of those experts at the FDA who'll step in to make sure everything's safe and sounds, no...?

In 2017, the President’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis found that the opioid crisis was caused in part by “inadequate oversight by the Food and Drug Administration,”

Over the past 25 years, despite mounting evidence that a surge in opioid consumption was resulting in adverse public health consequences, the FDA continued to approve new opioid formulations for chronic pain

the FDA’s conduct is all the more troubling in light of the close relationship between the agency officials responsible for opioid oversight and opioid manufacturers. For example, the 2 principal FDA reviewers who originally approved Purdue’s oxycodone application both took positions at Purdue after leaving the agency.

To be clear, the revolving door between the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry is not limited to opioids. A 2018 study found that 11 of 16 FDA medical reviewers involved in approving 28 products now work for the companies whose products they regulated.
— AMA Journal of Ethics

Well. After all that, the 'experts' will definitely put systems in place to make sure that doesn't happen again...won't they?

Some researchers are concerned that benzodiazepines, a widely used class of sedative, are being overprescribed. — Nature - Tracing the US opioid crisis to its roots

Despite this mounting criticism, FDA policies for approving and labeling opioids remain largely unchanged. The FDA has not undertaken a root cause analysis of its regulatory errors that contributed to this public health catastrophe, let alone instituted any major reforms. — AMA Journal of Ethics

What kind of kindergarten-level naivety makes you think we can trust 'the experts'?
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If we look at viruses from an information theoretic angle, it's supposed to disseminate/spread information but in the case of viruses, they're simply disseminating/spreading, zero information content.

The medium is the message.
• 1.2k
:broken:
• 2.9k
So the Republicans are persuading people to be anti-vaccine because it wins them votes because people are anti-vaccine?

The Republicans are not persuading their constituents to be anti-vaccine. Many of their constituents were already anti-vaccine. Many of their constituents are also believers in the election lie. We see how Republicans are handling that as well.

Ask yourself why they go along with something demonstrably untrue. What do they gain? What's the Problem? etc. It's fairly obvious in my view.

So anti-vaccine sentiment. Who's earning the money out of that?

Probably Alex Jones and some YouTube hucksters. But I don't think money is the reason anti-vax sentiment arose initially. I think it was originally sincere. Misinformation travels far and wide, and in social media at lightning speed. There doesn't have to be any money behind it, even if some exploit it. Same with QAnon -- I don't know who makes money off of it. I don't know who makes money off the election lie, for that matter.

Ask Trump, who was booed by his crowd when he said "Take the vaccine, it's good," what he stands to lose. He quickly pivoted to nonsense about "freedom." That's what the Republicans have to lose: their voters.
— Xtrix

We're talking about why people have been fed an anti-vax message in the first place. Your argument here is circular.

No, you just want to make it so. The underlying issue is a erosion of trust in science, medicine, and academia. The anti-vax message has thrived on social media for years -- not on corporate media.

I'll repeat what I've said from the beginning: the anti-vax movement, and the millions of people who adhere to it, are but one symptom of a larger problem. That larger problem is irrationality driven by misinformation and an undermining of science for political and financial purposes by corporate media. This has now taken on a life of its own within social media.

Corporate America, and their media, by no means like the January 6th events. They don't like vaccine refusal either. This seems to continually trip you up. But it's not at all contradictory. They cannot control a monster they themselves helped to create. The underlying cause of all of it, I think, is years of neoliberal policies. But that's another story.
• 2.9k
What kind of kindergarten-level naivety makes you think we can trust 'the experts'?

The same thing I hear from Alex Jones followers, creationists, and election fraud enthusiasts. They'll gladly point out how everyone once thought the world was flat, and the many instances where "science" got it all wrong, the experts were all fooled, instances of corruption, etc.

The experts are wrong sometimes. They could be wrong about all kinds of things. Unfortunately, you're not an expert yourself. You're some guy on an internet forum who seems obsessed with this issue. What's truly naive, however, is thinking you've cracked the case that thousands of experts are currently studying because you've spent several hours selectively perusing. I get the exact same claims from climate denialists and 9/11 truthers, who will argue in great detail why they're correct. I have no interest in engaging with it on that level.
• 5.9k
They cannot control a monster they themselves helped to create.

I'm quite in agreement with you about the way social media creates narratives which are outside of anyone's control, so we needn't disagree on that point. My disagreement with you is over the God-like ability you think you have to identify which messages are in the 'out-of-control' pile and which aren't. From where I sit, the rabid, spittle-flecked invective aimed at anyone so much as raising a doubt about vaccines sounds indistinguishable the dumb redneck version of 'them's takin' ma freedom'.

The same thing I hear from Alex Jones followers, creationists, and election fraud enthusiasts. They'll gladly point out how everyone once thought the world was flat, and the many instances where "science" got it all wrong, the experts were all fooled, instances of corruption, etc.

I didn't ask you for a list of tenuous candidates for your laughable attempt to defame by association. I asked you why you thought we could trust the experts. It should be a fairly simple question to answer. You admit that...

The experts are wrong sometimes.

So there remains the question of why you believe, on this occasion, they're not. Your argument that 'it's what the medical professionals are saying' is circular, because they're the experts who are "wrong sometimes". Your argument that it's social media out of control is circular because you've admitted to social media campaigns which are very much in control.

So, notwithstanding the lame attempts to dodge the question with "it's just obviously true and I won't discuss it", you've yet to provide any justification at all for your belief that (unlike all other examples) this social media campaign is out of control, and (unlike loads of other examples) the experts have it right this time, and (unlike practically every other example) the corporations are working in our best interests this time, and (unlike just about every other example) the government has our back here and we ought to do as we're told.

You're making vaccines the exception to just about every other trend in left-wing thinking for the last 50 years. This time, the government aren't in the pocket of lobbyists, this time the experts aren't in the pay of corporations, this time the media message isn't being manipulated to favour the status quo...no, apparently this one is different. Because...?

What's truly naive, however, is thinking you've cracked the case that thousands of experts are currently studying because you've spent several hours selectively perusing.

Where have I written a single post claiming to have 'cracked' anything? I've not made a single claim that is not supported by a relevant expert.

I'm arguing one thing and one thing alone...

That whilst it is our moral responsibility to base our actions on the opinion of relevant experts, we must be free to choose which experts we decide to trust. Governments cannot be allowed to mandate or coerce us into trusting the ones they choose.

The track record of governments, institutions and even individual experts en masse, demonstrates clearly that scientific accuracy is not a reliable motivating factor behind majority opinions in any of these camps.
• 1.6k
Sucks.

The observed association between diabetes and COVID-19 might be attributed to the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on organ systems involved in diabetes risk.

We'd want to know if vaccination or something else makes a difference, or whether mere contact with SARS-CoV-2 can trigger diabetes regardless. Vaccination making a difference seems plausible, since a similar difference in emergence of diabetes hasn't been noticed at large, but this would have to be backed by numbers. Adding diabetes to possible effects kind of sucks; knowing with more certainty whether vaccination, COVID-19 disease or something else makes a difference would be helpful.
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I didn't ask you for a list of tenuous candidates for your laughable attempt to defame by association. I asked you why you thought we could trust the experts.

I’m not getting into this again. I trust the consensus of experts. The reasons I trust them I’ve been over multiple times.

We can question anything at any time, including expertise. Indeed science, medicine and expertise gets it wrong sometimes — that’s not the point. They could also be wrong about climate change and quantum mechanics and evolution. The more interesting question is why expertise and consensus gets questioned in certain circumstances and not others. Why the sudden controversy and deep questioning (all the way down to “What is truth? What is a fact?”) about *this* topic and not about others? That’s the question.

You’re not an expert on this matter. Yet you question this and not other areas you also aren’t an expert in, like physics and mathematics and chemistry. To me there’s little reason to doubt why that is. You claim to be an exception, like everyone else does. Fine — I take your word for it. You’ve already stated the vaccines are safe and effective, so there’s little else to say. Why? Because I haven’t once made the claim that everyone should be forced to take them. Not once. That seems to be your worry, along with the power of the pharmaceutical industry, which I’m also strongly against.

The point I was making, and which remains true, is that the irrationality that exists about this issue — much like the election fraud issue, climate denial, etc. — has fairly clear causes, which is the neoliberal policies of the last 40 years, and the role of information — the “infodemic” as some have labeled it. The rest is your inventions and caricatures.
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that...

The experts are wrong sometimes.
— Xtrix

So there remains the question of why you believe, on this occasion, they're not.

The vaccines are safe and effective. That’s what they’re not wrong about. Whatever you’re referring to is your own fabrication. Maybe they’re wrong about the moon landing.

you've yet to provide any justification at all for your belief that (unlike all other examples) this social media campaign is out of control,

Unlike all other examples? Are you suggesting social media misinformation is never out of control? There are in fact many examples. I have no idea what “campaign” means here.

In any case, this is more fabrication. Social media in general is an accelerant of misinformation. Asking “where’s the evidence” about something you already have stated you agree with just shows you’re not interested much in what I’m saying. It gets tiresome repeating it over and over again.

You're making vaccines the exception to just about every other trend in left-wing thinking for the last 50 years. This time, the government aren't in the pocket of lobbyists, this time the experts aren't in the pay of corporations, this time the media message isn't being manipulated to favour the status quo...no, apparently this one is different. Because...?

Fabrication. I haven’t once stated any of this. This is your own representation.

The vaccines are safe and effective. Thus, following the advice that every medical organization in the world is saying — that those who are eligible should get vaccinated — happens to be the right move. You disagree that this is what they’re saying — fine.

Experts are saying we should move on climate change. If businesses and governments start listening — should we be suspicious? Sure. It probably means that it ALSO makes them some money. It doesn’t mean we throw out the science of climatology.
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I'm arguing one thing and one thing alone...

That whilst it is our moral responsibility to base our actions on the opinion of relevant experts, we must be free to choose which experts we decide to trust. Governments cannot be allowed to mandate or coerce us into trusting the ones they choose.

Which is just nonsense. It’s like saying it’s rational to base your decisions on facts and math, but we should be able to choose what facts and what math.

Yeah, maybe some want to trust Alex Jones instead of the CDC on vaccines, or their local barber about the effects of smoking— whatever. But decisions that effect third parties — other people — are no longer simply a matter of personal preference.

Creationists pick their own experts too. They’re free to do so. They’re not free to have nonsense taught in schools. People are free to take horse de-wormers if they want to, they’re not free to infect others with COVID or use taxpayer money to pay for their hospital bills.

The norm was once to trust the institution of science and medicine. Ditto for government. That’s all changed. Deliberately so. When reality conflicts with your religious beliefs or your wealth, one move is to deny reality. That starts with undermining trust in experts. Vaccine irrationality is but one symptom of this — it was politicized from day one, and riding a wave of anti-vax bullshit that has been growing for 20 years and which has exploded on social media.

If you have specific concerns about the vaccines — and there are legitimate ones — fine. There’s not consensus about everything, and there’s a lot we don’t know about certain aspects. But that’s your pet project, not mine. Stop interjecting that into an entirely different discussion.
• 5.9k
I’m not getting into this again. I trust the consensus of experts.

What consensus? You've not provided a shred of evidence for this supposed consensus you're following. When asked you provided me with a mainstream media opinion piece from a single scientist.

The more interesting question is why expertise and consensus gets questioned in certain circumstances and not others. Why the sudden controversy and deep questioning (all the way down to “What is truth? What is a fact?”) about *this* topic and not about others? That’s the question.

Are you seriously unable to think of a reason why people are questioning the response to Covid and not, say, black holes? People's lives have been devastated.

You’re not an expert on this matter. Yet you question this and not other areas you also aren’t an expert in, like physics and mathematics and chemistry.

Again I just can't believe you're really that blind. Very little about mathematics or chemistry affects my life. The government's response to Covid can variously lose me my job, ban me from seeing my loved ones, keep me shut in the house, force me to publicise my private medical data, force me to take medications I've no desire to take... What theory in mathematics or chemistry does that?

I'm just baffled as to how you'd be searching around for some political reason why people have taken a position on this particular theory but not others.

I haven’t once made the claim that everyone should be forced to take them. Not once. That seems to be your worry, along with the power of the pharmaceutical industry, which I’m also strongly against.

The vaccines are safe and effective. That’s what they’re not wrong about. Whatever you’re referring to is your own fabrication. Maybe they’re wrong about the moon landing.

I didn't ask you what you thought they were not wrong about, I asked you why you thought they were not wrong, on this occasion.

And we need to put to bed this idea that they were just 'wrong' on opioids. Massive corruption and complacency lead to the deaths of nearly a million people. They didn't just forget to carry the fucking one, or mislabel a sample. It wasn't an error, it was system-wide deliberate failure to protect people. Unless you're claiming the system's been completely rebuilt from the ground up since then, then we're just going to get the same failures over and over again.

Are you suggesting social media misinformation is never out of control?

No. Some social media is out of control, some clearly isn't, so simply pointing to the fact that some social media is out of control is clearly insufficient as an argument that this particular message is one of those messages which is out of control, as opposed to one of those message which isn't.

I'm completely in agreement about the social media out-of-control theory. I'm asking why you're not.

Which is just nonsense. It’s like saying it’s rational to base your decisions on facts and math, but we should be able to choose what facts and what math.

Really? You're saying that we can't choose which mathematicians to listen to either? Why in earth not?

Yeah, maybe some want to trust Alex Jones instead of the CDC on vaccines, or their local barber about the effects of smoking— whatever.

Niether Alex Jones, nor the local barber are experts. Either argue against something I'm actually saying or don't bother responding. This disingenuous manoeuvring is tiresome. I'm talking about choosing which experts to listen to. Experts. You know - epidemiologists, infectious disease experts, immunologists, medical scientists. For fuck's sake, you know what 'expert' means.

The norm was once to trust the institution of science and medicine. Ditto for government.

I don't see any evidence of such times, but regardless. I think it's a good idea to trust in science and experts (not sure about governments though). It's exactly this trust that I'm advocating, against your promotion of a trust in media, government and zeitgeist.
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I’m not getting into this again. I trust the consensus of experts.
— Xtrix

What consensus? You've not provided a shred of evidence for this supposed consensus you're following.

Nor do I need to, since you already agree with it. Unless you want to take back your statement that vaccines are safe and effective. That's the consensus to which I'm referring. You may go on thinking about something else; it's not what I'm talking about.

Are you seriously unable to think of a reason why people are questioning the response to Covid and not, say, black holes? People's lives have been devastated.

Peoples lives are devastated when bridges collapse as well. Doesn't give everyone the right to pretend to be experts in engineering. Peoples lives were devastated in 9/11, as well -- doesn't give the millions of "truthers" out there the right to pretend to be experts in the structural integrity of buildings.

Similarly, Covid is indeed an unprecedented event. Doesn't give people the right to become irrational about vaccines -- which is what I'm talking about. Whatever you're talking about, only you know.

Very little about mathematics or chemistry affects my life.

It affects a great deal of all of our lives, actually. And I suppose if we wanted to, we could start "questioning" these fields as well.

force me to take medications I've no desire to take

No one is being forced to take the vaccine. They're given a choice to take them or, in some cases, lose their jobs. That's a decision the employer makes, and is unfortunately within their rights to -- just like wearing a uniform, being on time, saying certain words, etc. If we count this as "forced," then all these other aspects are forced as well. In schools and many places of employment, they've been around for decades. I had to take a Tb and hep vaccine for a job once -- it was required.

No one has a gun to your head to take the vaccine. And to take a stand on this issue, especially when we needed a high percentage of people for herd immunity, is simply ridiculous to me. Once again it's another example of something that has been around forever (vaccine requirements) suddenly becoming a hot-button issue. If you're truly interested in worker freedom, how about dedicating more time to unions instead of railing on about vaccines? You'd think you're being asked to undergo a kidney transplant. Many places allow for more frequent testing as an alternative, regardless. But continue on your quest.

searching around for some political reason

Covid has been politicized, but that doesn't fully account for the irrationality surrounding it. The anti-vax movement has been around for a while. Social media echo-chambers and conspiracy theories abound.

There's no contradiction in my posts, so far as I can see. Whatever you've pointed out has been shown, over and over, to be fabrications. So yes, if you want to put words and thoughts into my mouth, then I'm sure there are many contradictions. What's really going on is fairly simple, and has been from the beginning: you have a very poor understanding about what I'm saying. I feel I've been clear, but who knows? Maybe it's me. If so, fine -- my bad. But you'd think after telling you many times that what you're saying isn't what I'm saying, that you'd take a second to reconsider whether this entire line of discourse isn't really a complete waste of time, an outgrowth of misunderstanding.

The vaccines are safe and effective. That’s what they’re not wrong about. Whatever you’re referring to is your own fabrication. Maybe they’re wrong about the moon landing.
— Xtrix

I didn't ask you what you thought they were not wrong about, I asked you why you thought they were not wrong, on this occasion.

How strange.

Because all the evidence I've seen presented thus far seems to indicate that the vaccines are safe -- and effective. I've also taken the vaccine myself. I know scores of people who have taken the vaccine. I've seen the numbers of vaccinations -- literally billions of people. I've seen the numbers presented for deaths, strokes, blood clots, heart attacks, and other side effects -- and, doing simple arithmetic, found them to be very rare. I read about vaccinated people having less severe symptoms and not requiring hospitalization as often as unvaccinated people. And so on.

Could all of these numbers be faked? How do I know where they come from? Isn't it just the same agencies giving me these numbers? Isn't it the corporations running the studies? Isn't the FDA bought by big pharma? Etc. etc. :yawn: Yeah, and maybe we faked the moon landing. I'm not interested in that discussion, in case that's where you're taking it.

But I trusted in the experts (including my doctor) well before many people were vaccinated. I was one of the first few who received a vaccine -- and had no hesitation. Could I have been wrong? Sure. People could have started dropping dead after three months, who knows? But I'm not surprised that I wasn't.

And we need to put to bed this idea that they were just 'wrong' on opioids.

I'm not interested in the opioid issue. That's an instance of big pharma faking studies/data and pressuring doctors to prescribe their drugs, and many doctors going along with it. This didn't receive 1/100th of the attention the COVID vaccines have from the beginning. It's a completely different issue from what I'm talking about. If you want to obsess over it, start a thread.

I'm completely in agreement about the social media out-of-control theory. I'm asking why you're not.

Why am I not in agreement with a "theory" that I put forward several pages ago and have been repeating as one major cause of the irrational behavior we see? :lol: Might as well make up whatever you like, I don't care.

Really? You're saying that we can't choose which mathematicians to listen to either? Why in earth not?

I didn't say mathematician, I said math.

Again -- if you want to pick your own facts, you're welcome to.

Niether Alex Jones, nor the local barber are experts.

Says who? As long as anything goes, so does who we consider an expert.

Either argue against something I'm actually saying or don't bother responding.

If you had taken this advice days ago, I would have saved several thousand words.

For fuck's sake, you know what 'expert' means.

Where's your evidence that these experts are experts? (Just doing an impression.)

The norm was once to trust the institution of science and medicine. Ditto for government.
— Xtrix

I don't see any evidence of such times,

https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2021/05/17/public-trust-in-government-1958-2021/

https://news.gallup.com/poll/352397/democratic-republican-confidence-science-diverges.aspx

It's exactly this trust that I'm advocating

Again, I hear the same lines from creationists. Just advocating for "real" science. Because everyone has a lock on that -- especially laypeople who've made one issue the target of their OCD.
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This variant is pretty crazy, everyone is getting it. At least it's less bad than Delta, but mutations are already arising.

It's incredible that we are still at this stage of things. Forget about "cooperation" with Global Warming, we can't deal with this BS.

Unreal.
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It's incredible that we are still at this stage of things. Forget about "cooperation" with Global Warming, we can't deal with this BS.

Both symptoms of the same problem. Irrationality.
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Nor do I need to, since you already agree with it. Unless you want to take back your statement that vaccines are safe and effective.

'Safe and effective' is a statement of fact, a property of the vaccine(s). You're advocating policy. The fact that the vaccine is safe and effective is not a policy.

I'm disputing policy, not a property of any vaccine.

You're advocating policy, not a property of any vaccine.

If you seriously can't tell the difference then you really are a lost cause.

Peoples lives are devastated when bridges collapse as well. Doesn't give everyone the right to pretend to be experts in engineering. Peoples lives were devastated in 9/11, as well -- doesn't give the millions of "truthers" out there the right to pretend to be experts in the structural integrity of buildings.

I agree entirely. No one should go around pretending to be experts. Again, there's not much point in arguing about matters we agree on, it's in the post you responded to.

it is our moral responsibility to base our actions on the opinion of relevant experts

Doesn't give people the right to become irrational about vaccines -- which is what I'm talking about.

Yes, but you're talking about it on a public platform, not your own mind. It's like me saying at a murder trial "I'm just saying murderers ought to go to prison". No one's disagreeing with that, the question is whether the defendant is, in fact, a murderer. The question here is whether vaccine avoidance is, in fact, irrational, not whether irrationality is a bad thing.

Or did you seriously come on to a public philosophy forum to make the point that irrationality is a bad?

No one is being forced to take the vaccine.

And yet...

They're given a choice to take them or, in some cases, lose their jobs.

In what bourgeois privilege do you live in which the threat of losing your job doesn't constitute 'force'?

That's a decision the employer makes, and is unfortunately within their rights to -- just like wearing a uniform, being on time, saying certain words, etc.

Yes. And when employers use these rights to impose excessively on their staff those of us on the left speak up about it. We don't just say "well, it's their right, so...whatever"

If you're truly interested in worker freedom, how about dedicating more time to unions instead of railing on about vaccines?

How do you know what I spend my time doing?

No one has a gun to your head to take the vaccine.

No, but I suppose if they did you'd still say "well, you're free to get shot, it's their right to hold a gun to your head, so...whatever"

we needed a high percentage of people for herd immunity

No one is seriously talking about vaccines achieving herd immunity. The UK's chief vaccine advisor called the idea "a myth".

trusted in the experts (including my doctor) well before many people were vaccinated.

Good. Other people trust in experts too. Experts who disagree.

I'm not interested in the opioid issue....This didn't receive 1/100th of the attention the COVID vaccines have from the beginning. It's a completely different issue from what I'm talking about.

Yeah, right. You're talking about why people don't trust experts. I give you an example of experts being responsible for the deaths of nearly a million people and you're seriously trying to claim it's irrelevant?

We're talking about why people don't trust the pharmaceutical companies, the Journals, the FDA, and doctors. I offer a recent event in which the blatant, undisputed, corruption of the pharmaceutical companies, the Journals, the FDA, and doctors caused the deaths of 720,000 people and you're seriously fucking trying to say it's irrelevant. Your sycophancy has reached a new low.

720,000 people died and you're trying to brush it off as if someone forgot to shut the gate and some cows got out. Sickening.

Why am I not in agreement with a "theory" that I put forward several pages ago and have been repeating as one major cause of the irrational behavior we see?

Yes, that's right. I don't know if you're familiar with the concept but people sometimes say one thing but believe another.

Really? You're saying that we can't choose which mathematicians to listen to either? Why in earth not? — Isaac

I didn't say mathematician, I said math.

Then what's your point? That no one disagrees in mathematics? That's not the case.

Niether Alex Jones, nor the local barber are experts. — Isaac

Says who? As long as anything goes, so does who we consider an expert.

Seriously? It would explain a lot if you can't tell the difference between a professor in the medical sciences and a radio DJ.

For fuck's sake, you know what 'expert' means. — Isaac

Where's your evidence that these experts are experts?

Their diplomas. Their university pages, their body of published work.

Here, for example is Paul Hunter.
https://research-portal.uea.ac.uk/en/persons/paul-hunter

Here's Stefan Baral
https://publichealth.jhu.edu/faculty/2433/stefan-baral

It's not difficult. Now you do the same for Alex Jones and I'll believe your ludicrous claim that they're the same.

So you think that's a bad thing? Again, that would explain quite a few of your posts...
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I trusted in the experts

Here's what the 'experts' are saying...

Every single paper, pre-print, opinion piece, consultancy report, podcast and blog written by someone holding doctorate level qualification in epidemiology, infectious diseases, immunology, pharmacology or public health policy.

Every single one of these people is a qualified professor of medicine or statistics at a respected university, all have a large body of published work in their field, some are even government advisors. Every single one of them raises a question about the government's response to Covid which could rationally give people pause when considering the best course of action for them.

If you want to lump them in with Alex Jones then you've lost any right to be taken seriously. These are scientists at the top of their field.

The only claim on which rests your entire argument, is that government policy (or policies you support), are the view of a 'consensus' of experts. The very claim for which you've been unable to provide a shred of scientific evidence.
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It's a completely different issue from what I'm talking about.

Seeing as you're having trouble with this.

1. That a 'significant' proportion of the 20-30% of people still not vaccinated have been "irrational" in making that decision.

2. That this "irrationality" is driven by social media.

3. That this is a major problem we need to be concerned about with regards to global issues.

I'm disputing (1) on the following grounds

i. Many experts do not agree with 100% vaccination as an aim, many dispute the government's roll-outs to certain age groups. Following experts is perfectly rational. You've failed to make the case for your claim that we somehow ought to find out what the majority are saying and follow that, and even if you had, you've failed to provide any evidence of this majority other than your say so. Note - the action you're describing as irrational is {not taking a vaccine}, that's different to the opinion {vaccines are unsafe or ineffective}.

So to be clear. Following the advice of experts is perfectly rational behaviour, it does not become irrational if those experts happen to be in a minority.

ii. Many people, quite rationally, don't trust the institutions advocating the vaccine. The pharmaceutical companies are routinely involved in lies and misinformation, often escalating to criminal activity, doctors are easily pressured to prescribe whatever the pharmaceutical companies tell them to, and regulatory agencies have been shown to be unduly influenced by industry and government - the director and deputy director have just walked out of the FDA over undue government influence, 11 of 16 FDA medical reviewers involved in approving 28 products now work for the companies whose products they regulated. Mistrust of the FDA is entirely warranted. Your counter that this issue is more heavily scrutinised is, again, without a shred of evidential support.

So to be clear, it is not irrational to assume institutions will behave in a manner you've conclusive evidence of them having recently behaved.

iii. Your characterisation of the vaccine hesitant as gullible rednecks is inaccurate. Here, for example is a consultant anaesthetist with the NHS - https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jan/08/nhs-doctor-challenges-sajid-javid-over-covid-vaccination-rules . Here's the government's own chief vaccine advisor

Mass population-based vaccination in the UK should now end — Dr Clive Dix
.

I'm not disputing (2), I agree that whatever irrationality remains, it is driven by social media.

I'm disputing (3) on the grounds that the major lobbying powers have little to zero concern for the opinions of a small amount of people who were going to vote Republican anyway. Voters make almost zero difference to policy which is driven entirely by lobbying. I suspect your already agree with this and are just making a pointless exception, but if you don't I can provide a detailed argument in support.

The reason this irks me so much is that labelling everyone who disagrees with you as 'irrational' prevents us from actually reaching any kind of cooperative consensus, but rather just perpetuates the toxic tribalism that social media has been stoking for these last few years. It also undermines the legitimate use of the category to exclude from the conversation those who are genuinely irrational, all you do is give them ammunition with which fight their 'we're being silenced' campaign.
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The fact that the vaccine is safe and effective is not a policy.

I'm not advocating a policy. The article I cited was advocating a policy of incentives, which I was examining.

The question here is whether vaccine avoidance is, in fact, irrational, not whether irrationality is a bad thing.

I think I've made it quite clear that I'm referring to irrationality, and thus irrationality surrounding vaccine avoidance, of which there is plenty. Not all, of course, because there are always exceptions. But yes, when people refuse to get vaccinated because they think they'll be magnetized, or lose ability to have kids, or be implanted with a chip, etc., that's completely irrational -- and fueled by social media.

You're quite right that there's no point arguing over truisms. Yet this is what I've stated from the beginning, and here we are.

If you're truly interested in worker freedom, how about dedicating more time to unions instead of railing on about vaccines?
— Xtrix

How do you know what I spend my time doing?

I see only what you post on the forum. Seems like you spend a lot of time on this topic.

No one is seriously talking about vaccines achieving herd immunity.

Not now, no. But they were.

trusted in the experts (including my doctor) well before many people were vaccinated.
— Xtrix

Good. Other people trust in experts too. Experts who disagree.

Your sycophancy has reached a new low.

Yes, I hear this from 9/11 truthers as well. They're equally correct.

Really? You're saying that we can't choose which mathematicians to listen to either? Why in earth not? — Isaac

I didn't say mathematician, I said math.
— Xtrix

Then what's your point? That no one disagrees in mathematics? That's not the case.

:rofl:

And this is exactly what conversations like this typically reduce to.

Yeah, maybe 2 + 2 will equal 5 one day -- who knows? Some people disagree. Some people disagree with the sphericity of earth.

There's no such thing as truth or fact, so anything goes. Pick your favorite experts, your favorite math, etc., and be happy.

I'll skip reading the rest of your posts. I'm no longer interested. Stick with your "experts" and be well.
• 5.4k
Scientists believed Covid leaked from Wuhan lab - but feared debate could hurt ‘international harmony’

Leading British and US scientists thought it was likely that Covid accidentally leaked from a laboratory but were concerned that further debate would harm science in China, emails show.

An email from Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, on February 2 2020 said that “a likely explanation” was that Covid had rapidly evolved from a Sars-like virus inside human tissue in a low-security lab.

The email, to Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Francis Collins of the US National Institutes of Health, went on to say that such evolution may have “accidentally created a virus primed for rapid transmission between humans”.

But a leading scientist told Sir Jeremy that “further debate would do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular”. Dr Collins, the former director of the US National Institutes of Health, warned it could damage “international harmony”.
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Hand sanitizer/Hand rub forms part of the safety protocol against Covid (and other pathogens).

Hand sanitizers contain our favorite, legal-for-millennia, psychoactive drug, alcohol $(C_2H_5OH)$ which is also the active agent i.e. it does the killing.

Should we make it mandatory for bars to be open 24/7? Drinks to be served without age or other restrictions of any kind!
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Should we make it mandatory for bars to be open 24/7? Drinks to be served without age or other restrictions of any kind!

:lol:

Great one! Man, you're great! No kidding! I owe you!
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Great one! Man, you're great! No kidding! I owe you!

• 649

Like good old Boris did! What a loveable character, a small child in the parliament of monkeys.....
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