Author Topic: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?  (Read 253667 times)

Bloop Bloop

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1950 on: May 15, 2020, 10:17:48 AM »
I think it is helpful to reject any argument that refers to an overarching world view and analyse each issue separately and critically. Otherwise it is easy to join a faction and then...you are not a free thinker any more.

Samuel

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1951 on: May 15, 2020, 10:49:27 AM »
Sometimes I think there should be occasional popups on Facebook and other platforms gently introducing different cognitive bias concepts.

"Did you know Confirmation Bias describes each personís underlying tendency to notice, focus on, and provide greater credence to evidence that seems to confirm his or her existing beliefs?"*

"Did you know Anchoring describes the tendency to rely on initial information to ďanchorĒ subsequent judgements and interpretations?"*

Seeking out multiple sources and points of view is great and puts you ahead of the curve but developing some understanding of the predictable pitfalls of human cognition would help too.



*Language lifted from https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/

Kris

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1952 on: May 15, 2020, 11:31:28 AM »
Sometimes I think there should be occasional popups on Facebook and other platforms gently introducing different cognitive bias concepts.

"Did you know Confirmation Bias describes each personís underlying tendency to notice, focus on, and provide greater credence to evidence that seems to confirm his or her existing beliefs?"*

"Did you know Anchoring describes the tendency to rely on initial information to ďanchorĒ subsequent judgements and interpretations?"*

Seeking out multiple sources and points of view is great and puts you ahead of the curve but developing some understanding of the predictable pitfalls of human cognition would help too.



*Language lifted from https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/

That would be great. Unfortunately, those pop-ups would probably only serve to make many people double down on their beliefs.

FB has a function now that pops up a ďfact checkĒ link below many articles people post that have been debunked. I see so many people react to that by saying that the fact checks themselves are the fake news, and that itís proof that FB is a tool of the lamestream media.

Saffron

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1953 on: May 15, 2020, 12:02:56 PM »
I've had 2 work colleagues pass away from Covid-19 in the past 2 weeks. The first was a police officer in my agency. I knew him and we chatted from time to time. The second was a facilities manager for my building. Both were in their early 60s.

At least in hotspot areas like Washington DC we need to keep up with the social distancing and maximizing teleworking. If it weren't for the fact that I'm in my early 30s and have no kids, I wouldn't be volunteering to go in and keep essential operations going. 


waltworks

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1954 on: May 15, 2020, 12:08:56 PM »
I think it's fair to say that the internet was the worst thing to happen to humanity in this millennium so far. It's interesting because I was (as a preteen!) on the internet in the 1980s when I was a huge nerd/student/mascot in the mathematical modeling division at LANL.

At that time, everyone on the internet was insanely smart and nerdy. If you wanted to find porn (yes, it existed, and yes, I looked for it... sigh) or anything else, you had to spend a lot of time on gopher at various FTP sites and man, when you found it... it wasn't worth the effort or the wait.

If you asked a question on usenet, you'd get some jerks and flaming, but from bickering PhDs (I got royally reamed when I wanted to build a Tesla turbine powered motorcycle in my garage...for good reason) rather than stay at home moms trying to sell essential oils, or people who can't spell telling you about how the gov't wants to control them.

I'll come across as an elitist jerk, but the internet is bad for dumb people. It's bad for average people. It's bad for even fairly smart and educated people - they're too stupid and/or cognitively biased/lacking in formal logic skills and stats to deal with the signal to noise ratio.

Here I am posting on a forum (and I have thousands of posts!) but if I could wave a magic wand and turn the internet off forever, I'd probably do it.

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mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1955 on: May 15, 2020, 12:19:56 PM »
Misinformation and confirmation bias is bad, and the Internet has been jet fuel for that. But on balance it's far and away been a net positive IMO.

I can list a whole bunch of positives but for the sake of brevity, I'll list just one. It gives gay and trans kids places to be themselves without being ostracized or having the shit beat out of them.

waltworks

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1956 on: May 15, 2020, 12:23:28 PM »
Ask minorities in China how they like the internet...

I think it has the potential to end democracy, frankly. It's great that kids have a place to virtually hang out where they feel safe. The technology can, and already has, been used to make minorities much *less* safe in other places, and there's no real reason it couldn't happen here too.

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mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1957 on: May 15, 2020, 12:27:24 PM »
Ask minorities in China how they like the internet...

I think it has the potential to end democracy, frankly. It's great that kids have a place to virtually hang out where they feel safe. The technology can, and already has, been used to make minorities much *less* safe in other places, and there's no real reason it couldn't happen here too.

-W

Are these problems endemic to the Internet, or to China?

mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1958 on: May 15, 2020, 12:29:19 PM »
What was the golden age of democracy? I would guess that it's probably right now.

waltworks

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1959 on: May 15, 2020, 12:35:40 PM »
Are these problems endemic to the Internet, or to China?

Neither. My point is that the internet is a very powerful tool for controlling people now. Maybe the most powerful ever invented (ok, maybe a tie with organized religion?)

In the US, we just get mostly chaos and misinformation. That's already causing serious problems. In other places, it's become a medium of total political control, and that's a road we can end up on too. Once you get there, I'm not clear how you can ever overthrow the government and get back to democracy, frankly.

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mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1960 on: May 15, 2020, 12:39:19 PM »
I mean, the same criticisms were likely levied at the written word, the printing press, newspapers, radio and television.

In some places, those are and were the exclusive domain of the government to spread propaganda. In other places, they became outlets for anything and everything, including and especially lampooning the government. I wouldn't wish any of those away.

GuitarStv

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1961 on: May 15, 2020, 12:40:37 PM »
What was the golden age of democracy? I would guess that it's probably right now.

The US is objectively less democratic today than it was twenty years ago.

mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1962 on: May 15, 2020, 12:50:44 PM »
What was the golden age of democracy? I would guess that it's probably right now.

The US is objectively less democratic today than it was twenty years ago.

I don't doubt that's true if you're using the Democracy Index as a measure. But the question is whether it's a trend or local fluctuations. And how much is credited to the Internet, as opposed to things like voter suppression and gerrymandering, which would probably be happening regardless, and wouldn't have as much light shed on it as it does with the Internet.

I think we can all agree that we're clearly better off than at any time pre 1965 (Voting Rights Act), which means the high point of American Democracy has to be some time between the 1970s and today. If things are getting worse, I'm sure you can find tons of things to blame. Cable news. Data science making it easier to gerrymander in the most efficient ways possible. etc.

boy_bye

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1963 on: May 15, 2020, 01:07:09 PM »
What was the golden age of democracy? I would guess that it's probably right now.

The US is objectively less democratic today than it was twenty years ago.

I don't doubt that's true if you're using the Democracy Index as a measure. But the question is whether it's a trend or local fluctuations. And how much is credited to the Internet, as opposed to things like voter suppression and gerrymandering, which would probably be happening regardless, and wouldn't have as much light shed on it as it does with the Internet.

I think we can all agree that we're clearly better off than at any time pre 1965 (Voting Rights Act), which means the high point of American Democracy has to be some time between the 1970s and today. If things are getting worse, I'm sure you can find tons of things to blame. Cable news. Data science making it easier to gerrymander in the most efficient ways possible. etc.

we no longer have the protections of the voting rights act, and it shows.

for my part, i think the internet was super great until the republicans got their hands on it.

waltworks

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1964 on: May 15, 2020, 01:18:38 PM »
I mean, the same criticisms were likely levied at the written word, the printing press, newspapers, radio and television.

In some places, those are and were the exclusive domain of the government to spread propaganda. In other places, they became outlets for anything and everything, including and especially lampooning the government. I wouldn't wish any of those away.

Yeah, but now the signal/noise ratio is so high, and the barrier to entry so low, that it's impossible for people to make sense of. Printing presses are an expensive PITA to own and operate. So a free press can serve as a check on authoritarianism (we've seen this happen over and over), but the high barrier to entry prevents at least some idiocy from spreading. Yet an organized and well funded organization can still exert a ton of control by using things like fake social media accounts. Worst of both worlds, IMO. You get all the downsides of big money/gov't using it for nefarious purposes (just like a printing press can) at the same time as legitimate information gets sidelined by the sheer volume of garbage.

The internet took everything bad about human nature and gave it a megaphone. School shootings? Conspiracy theories? MLM schemes? All of those existed before, but the internet poured gasoline on those fires. It brings out the worst in us and simultaneously makes us easier to control.

-W

GuitarStv

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1965 on: May 15, 2020, 01:22:27 PM »
What was the golden age of democracy? I would guess that it's probably right now.

The US is objectively less democratic today than it was twenty years ago.

I don't doubt that's true if you're using the Democracy Index as a measure. But the question is whether it's a trend or local fluctuations. And how much is credited to the Internet, as opposed to things like voter suppression and gerrymandering, which would probably be happening regardless, and wouldn't have as much light shed on it as it does with the Internet.

I think we can all agree that we're clearly better off than at any time pre 1965 (Voting Rights Act), which means the high point of American Democracy has to be some time between the 1970s and today. If things are getting worse, I'm sure you can find tons of things to blame. Cable news. Data science making it easier to gerrymander in the most efficient ways possible. etc.

I'd argue that the internet is significantly contributing to erosion of democracy.  It has almost completely destroyed traditional high quality sources of information (news) and replaced it with an unpoliced and unaccountable sea of lies.  Democracy isn't just voting.  It relies on an informed electorate who then make decisions based upon their own best interests.  Without any reliable source of information (or with the reliable sources of information being drowned in the sea of lies), it becomes increasingly difficult to find informed people who are voting . . . and without that we end up with significantly less democratic elections.

Sure, the US is less democratic by the Democracy Index.  But the blame for that I feel is largely due to the effects and impact of modern usage of the internet.  My suspicion is that this trend will continue.

LWYRUP

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1966 on: May 15, 2020, 01:25:32 PM »
I think it is helpful to reject any argument that refers to an overarching world view and analyse each issue separately and critically. Otherwise it is easy to join a faction and then...you are not a free thinker any more.

Or if the conversation is about an overarching world view, it would be better for that conversation to happen at the level of political philosophy.  Which if words like demonrat, republicrat, sheeple, drumpf, shillary, obummer, etc. are being used the conversation is clearly multiple intellectual notches below that and is usually my signal to abandon ship. 

But with a more than full time job and lots of kids I usually honestly can't muster the energy to have conversations at the political philosophy level anymore, which is probably one of the reasons the other type tends to predominate.  But as a lurker, I definitely prefer when the conversation is kept at a high level and the lowbrow stuff is omitted and I can just follow along and learn things.  Which is why I sometimes prefer more heavily moderated forums / blogs, which is a shame because in theory I am very pro free speech but in practice I don't mind if there's some political analyst I trust just deleting BS left and right. 

mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1967 on: May 15, 2020, 01:54:26 PM »
I'd argue that the internet is significantly contributing to erosion of democracy.  It has almost completely destroyed traditional high quality sources of information (news) and replaced it with an unpoliced and unaccountable sea of lies.  Democracy isn't just voting.  It relies on an informed electorate who then make decisions based upon their own best interests.  Without any reliable source of information (or with the reliable sources of information being drowned in the sea of lies), it becomes increasingly difficult to find informed people who are voting . . . and without that we end up with significantly less democratic elections.

Sure, the US is less democratic by the Democracy Index.  But the blame for that I feel is largely due to the effects and impact of modern usage of the internet.  My suspicion is that this trend will continue.

I take issue with "Destroyed and replaced" because PBS, the Times, the Post, and NPR still exist and are easier than ever to access.

Cable news and political talk radio predate mass adoption of the Internet. People choosing infortainment over news was gonna happen regardless IMO. And it probably happened "back then" too. I'm only 30 and I don't know a ton about the media before I was born. I know people had a fondness for Walter Cronkite and thought he was pretty fair. But Don Henley released the song "Dirty Laundry" in 1982. In 1952' EB White's Charlotte remarked that humans will believe anything they see in writing. The turn of the 20th century saw the rise of newspaper moguls. The 1800s had vicious political machines armed with their own propaganda.

If it's not the Internet, it would surely be something else. So let's figure this out instead of adopting regressive attitudes towards revolutionary technology. 

waltworks

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1968 on: May 15, 2020, 02:11:51 PM »
Yeah, you didn't grow up in the era before the internet was ubiquitous like us old farts. Get off my lawn!

My experience is that slower pace/lower volume/higher quality information works better for humans. The internet is not slow, low volume, or high quality. That's not to say that media in the past were perfect.

There's plenty of technology I wish didn't exist (nuclear weapons, facebook, botox, refined sugar) because I think the costs outweigh the benefits.

-W

mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1969 on: May 15, 2020, 02:17:57 PM »
Yeah, you didn't grow up in the era before the internet was ubiquitous like us old farts. Get off my lawn!

My experience is that slower pace/lower volume/higher quality information works better for humans. The internet is not slow, low volume, or high quality. That's not to say that media in the past were perfect.

There's plenty of technology I wish didn't exist (nuclear weapons, facebook, botox, refined sugar) because I think the costs outweigh the benefits.

-W

I tend to think of the bolded bad items as part of packaged deals. Is it wacky that people inject botox into their face to look "young"? Maybe a little. But it also helps treat muscle spasm. Nuclear weapons are packaged with splitting the atom and all the positive implications of that. Refined sugar is part of food science, which has helped eradicate hunger, along with moving us from a civilization where everyone has to grow their own food, to one where almost no one has to, and they're free to focus on specializations and leisure.

The Internet is the same way.

frugalnacho

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1970 on: May 15, 2020, 02:21:00 PM »
The internet brought me this today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f6-MDhygWc


MudPuppy

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1971 on: May 15, 2020, 02:35:15 PM »
Refined sugar has existed for quite some time, so I'm not sure if I would call it a technology.

T-Money$

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1972 on: May 15, 2020, 02:56:46 PM »
Worthy journalism has been dead for sometime now. 

The Internet was part of it’s demise. 

The New York Times and similar products still exist, but in name only.   Their product has become so watered down, agenda/shock driven that it doesn’t compare to journalism from decades ago.

The erosion of democracy is not my main concern, the erosion of the Constitutional republic is a never ending significant issue.


iris lily

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1973 on: May 15, 2020, 03:25:41 PM »
Worthy journalism has been dead for sometime now. 

The Internet was part of itís demise. 

The New York Times and similar products still exist, but in name only.   Their product has become so watered down, agenda/shock driven that it doesnít compare to journalism from decades ago.

The erosion of democracy is not my main concern, the erosion of the Constitutional republic is a never ending significant issue.
I like everything you say here.

GuitarStv

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1974 on: May 15, 2020, 03:27:03 PM »
I'd argue that the internet is significantly contributing to erosion of democracy.  It has almost completely destroyed traditional high quality sources of information (news) and replaced it with an unpoliced and unaccountable sea of lies.  Democracy isn't just voting.  It relies on an informed electorate who then make decisions based upon their own best interests.  Without any reliable source of information (or with the reliable sources of information being drowned in the sea of lies), it becomes increasingly difficult to find informed people who are voting . . . and without that we end up with significantly less democratic elections.

Sure, the US is less democratic by the Democracy Index.  But the blame for that I feel is largely due to the effects and impact of modern usage of the internet.  My suspicion is that this trend will continue.

I take issue with "Destroyed and replaced" because PBS, the Times, the Post, and NPR still exist and are easier than ever to access.

Sure, a few still desperately cling on to existence.  In many ways, they're rather pale and shallow versions of their previous selves though.  The majority have been killed by buzzfeed and yahoo "news".  The newspapers that still exist are dying, even with their switch to online models . . . because it's hard to sell a product that others are giving away for free.  This is extremely damaging to democracy.



Cable news and political talk radio predate mass adoption of the Internet. People choosing infortainment over news was gonna happen regardless IMO. And it probably happened "back then" too. I'm only 30 and I don't know a ton about the media before I was born. I know people had a fondness for Walter Cronkite and thought he was pretty fair. But Don Henley released the song "Dirty Laundry" in 1982. In 1952' EB White's Charlotte remarked that humans will believe anything they see in writing. The turn of the 20th century saw the rise of newspaper moguls. The 1800s had vicious political machines armed with their own propaganda.

Cable news did exist in the past.  But the thousands of channels weren't as closely micromanaged by a couple owners as they are today.  (https://theconcourse.deadspin.com/how-americas-largest-local-tv-owner-turned-its-news-anc-1824233490)

Talk radio has seen an explosion in growth since the 90's in the US.  Coincidentally, that's when the FCCs Fairness Doctrine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine) was repealed.  That meant that it was no longer required to be honest about controversial issues discussed.

We live in a time when technology has made it easier to track and target viewers with propaganda than ever before in history.  Your movements are tracked, your tastes are tracked, the shows you watch are tracked, your personal life is available and tracked.  The few multi-billionaires who control the media in the US aren't stupid, and are using this to further their own agendas.



If it's not the Internet, it would surely be something else. So let's figure this out instead of adopting regressive attitudes towards revolutionary technology.

I'd argue it's far more regressive to ignore glaring flaws and problems with revolutionary technology because we're wowed with cat videos and memes.

Is the internet capable of being a great tool for good?  Sure.  Is it currently causing a lot of hurt and trouble and damaging democracy in North America?  Yep.  Identifying the problem doesn't mean I want to tear it down and throw it out.  But I'd sure like to start looking for solutions rather than pretend that there has been no negative change.

LWYRUP

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1975 on: May 15, 2020, 03:38:43 PM »
Yeah, you didn't grow up in the era before the internet was ubiquitous like us old farts. Get off my lawn!

My experience is that slower pace/lower volume/higher quality information works better for humans. The internet is not slow, low volume, or high quality. That's not to say that media in the past were perfect.

There's plenty of technology I wish didn't exist (nuclear weapons, facebook, botox, refined sugar) because I think the costs outweigh the benefits.

-W

I tend to think of the bolded bad items as part of packaged deals. Is it wacky that people inject botox into their face to look "young"? Maybe a little. But it also helps treat muscle spasm. Nuclear weapons are packaged with splitting the atom and all the positive implications of that. Refined sugar is part of food science, which has helped eradicate hunger, along with moving us from a civilization where everyone has to grow their own food, to one where almost no one has to, and they're free to focus on specializations and leisure.

The Internet is the same way.

I feel like the internet is like alcohol or guns or something.  Great if you handle it very carefully for a particular purpose, but easy to create problems if you don't. 

waltworks

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1976 on: May 15, 2020, 04:58:02 PM »
Yeah, that's a good analogy. It's very dangerous tech and we're currently the 5 year old that found it under the bed.

-W

Padonak

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1977 on: May 15, 2020, 05:53:36 PM »
Dont forget that the internet also ruined dating and relationships. I am old enough to remember what it was like before tinder.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1978 on: May 15, 2020, 07:22:33 PM »
Worthy journalism has been dead for sometime now. 

The Internet was part of itís demise. 

The New York Times and similar products still exist, but in name only.   Their product has become so watered down, agenda/shock driven that it doesnít compare to journalism from decades ago.

The erosion of democracy is not my main concern, the erosion of the Constitutional republic is a never ending significant issue.

People won't pay for proper journalism, which depresses journalist salaries, which leads to poor standard of reporting, which continues the cycle.

When I look at Australian newspapers I weep at the poor research, shallow analysis, and non-existent editing. I am 100% sure I could do a better job than them. Of course, I would never try, not for the shitty money they get paid.

That's the problem. The people who would make good journalists are mostly working in other, better paid professions.

iris lily

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1979 on: May 15, 2020, 08:59:33 PM »
Worthy journalism has been dead for sometime now. 

The Internet was part of itís demise. 

The New York Times and similar products still exist, but in name only.   Their product has become so watered down, agenda/shock driven that it doesnít compare to journalism from decades ago.

The erosion of democracy is not my main concern, the erosion of the Constitutional republic is a never ending significant issue.

People won't pay for proper journalism, which depresses journalist salaries, which leads to poor standard of reporting, which continues the cycle.

When I look at Australian newspapers I weep at the poor research, shallow analysis, and non-existent editing. I am 100% sure I could do a better job than them. Of course, I would never try, not for the shitty money they get paid.

That's the problem. The people who would make good journalists are mostly working in other, better paid professions.

I think thatís a very good point. And Iím sure there are students in J school who are being taught the correct things but God only knows what they do for getting a job.

frugalnacho

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1980 on: May 15, 2020, 11:21:19 PM »
Dont forget that the internet also ruined dating and relationships. I am old enough to remember what it was like before tinder.

Agreed. The state of technology, and music, and most everything, achieved the apex during my formative years.  Everything before that was primitive, and everything after it is just scary and wrong.  We need to go back to a simpler time, but not too simple.

waltworks

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1981 on: May 15, 2020, 11:48:20 PM »
I already told you to get off my lawn.

-W

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1982 on: May 16, 2020, 01:30:37 AM »
Here's a scary thought. In the fall and the winter, the Coronavirus could form a tag team with the seasonal flu. The flu weakens more of the population than are currently weak, and then the Coronavirus kills them. I'm not suggesting that the viruses will mutate and join together like they might in the script of a cheesy blockbuster movie, I'm just thinking about both of them circulating more widely in society at the same time. Right now we're moving into a hotter part of the year. SARS-COV2 will still be here when it gets colder again in October. Great.

Plina

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1983 on: May 16, 2020, 03:19:59 AM »
Here's a scary thought. In the fall and the winter, the Coronavirus could form a tag team with the seasonal flu. The flu weakens more of the population than are currently weak, and then the Coronavirus kills them. I'm not suggesting that the viruses will mutate and join together like they might in the script of a cheesy blockbuster movie, I'm just thinking about both of them circulating more widely in society at the same time. Right now we're moving into a hotter part of the year. SARS-COV2 will still be here when it gets colder again in October. Great.

At least this winter/spring there has been reports that the seasonal flu has affected less people as people have been forced to stay home when they have flu symptoms instead of happily spreading them to everyone. Here it has not been acceptable to show up at work with any flu symptoms. Combine that with extensive handwashing, then the death due to seasonal flu have been more than halved to last season and have been a couple hundreds less than the season before that.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1984 on: May 16, 2020, 04:02:42 AM »

deborah

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1985 on: May 16, 2020, 05:37:19 AM »
Because hand washing and social distancing etc. that weíre employing to reduce covid19 also reduce the incidence of other respiratory infections, in Australia (where weíre going into winter and the flu season), flu has been substantially reduced this year. See https://www.newscientist.com/article/2242113-australia-sees-huge-decrease-in-flu-cases-due-to-coronavirus-measures/ for example.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1986 on: May 16, 2020, 06:00:16 AM »
Because hand washing and social distancing etc. that weíre employing to reduce covid19 also reduce the incidence of other respiratory infections, in Australia (where weíre going into winter and the flu season), flu has been substantially reduced this year. See https://www.newscientist.com/article/2242113-australia-sees-huge-decrease-in-flu-cases-due-to-coronavirus-measures/ for example.

I'm on a military base and our medical folks have reported that they're seeing a lot less communicable diseases as well. Everything from gastrointestinal diseases to regular colds.

As I tell my Soldiers frequently "wash your filthy ****ing hands". Then I watch them decide to share a cigarette :facepalm: It's like dealing with children sometimes.

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1987 on: May 16, 2020, 06:58:44 AM »
If you don't make stuff, there is no stuff to buy. So we wait as long as possible, not as long as might be required.

I see this as a "enemy you know" kind of fear deal. The average person carries antibodies for multiple viruses at any given time. They mutate, evolve and spread all the time. When you next stay outside and mingle with other people, your immune system will be weakened from lack of exposure.

In short: life is constant struggle, most of it happens unnoticed, and then we die anyway.

LWYRUP

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1988 on: May 16, 2020, 07:20:26 AM »
Re: Flattening the Curve

I really liked that article that was shared a little further back showing the most common sources of exposure (enclosed spaces for long periods of time, direct sneeze / cough situation, public restrooms) and explaining what is not common (getting ill just because someone walked by you, touching a random surface that wasn't recently touched by someone infected).

This gives me hope that we can chart some sort of middle course where certain things are allowed again (e.g., I can take my kids camping without fear as long as we are careful) but other things are still locked down.  It also confirms for me that all of this discussion of some sort of V shaped recovery is off, because it's going to take a long time before certain things are back to normal (e.g., I'm going to be leery of public restrooms for a long while now, which is going to limit certain activities). 

Sometimes I see what I consider to be a false dichotomy on how to respond to the virus.  People say things like "either you lock down to it's totally gone or just give up and things in the middle are the worst of both worlds."  I disagree.  We know better know what prevention measures are the most effective and what are the least.  Full eradication in somewhere like the USA or Western Europe is probably bordering on impossible right now.  But we can keep the spread rate low, make sure the hospitals are not overwhelmed and have full PPE and buy time as we continue to improve on testing, tracing, treatment, etc. 

I do remain concerned for the parts of the USA where the curve is still rising AND things are re-opening.  Re-opening should only happen AFTER the curve has flattened and started to decline, and should be done cautiously to keep the rate of spread ideally below 1 so that cases continue to decline (even if just slowly).  Thankfully, where I live is still under pretty strict lockdown. 

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1989 on: May 16, 2020, 08:10:17 AM »
Re: Flattening the Curve

I really liked that article that was shared a little further back showing the most common sources of exposure (enclosed spaces for long periods of time, direct sneeze / cough situation, public restrooms) and explaining what is not common (getting ill just because someone walked by you, touching a random surface that wasn't recently touched by someone infected).

This gives me hope that we can chart some sort of middle course where certain things are allowed again (e.g., I can take my kids camping without fear as long as we are careful) but other things are still locked down.  It also confirms for me that all of this discussion of some sort of V shaped recovery is off, because it's going to take a long time before certain things are back to normal (e.g., I'm going to be leery of public restrooms for a long while now, which is going to limit certain activities). 

Sometimes I see what I consider to be a false dichotomy on how to respond to the virus.  People say things like "either you lock down to it's totally gone or just give up and things in the middle are the worst of both worlds."  I disagree.  We know better know what prevention measures are the most effective and what are the least.  Full eradication in somewhere like the USA or Western Europe is probably bordering on impossible right now.  But we can keep the spread rate low, make sure the hospitals are not overwhelmed and have full PPE and buy time as we continue to improve on testing, tracing, treatment, etc. 

I do remain concerned for the parts of the USA where the curve is still rising AND things are re-opening.  Re-opening should only happen AFTER the curve has flattened and started to decline, and should be done cautiously to keep the rate of spread ideally below 1 so that cases continue to decline (even if just slowly).  Thankfully, where I live is still under pretty strict lockdown.

I agree that those underlined things are very reasonable and can serve as a functional "middle ground". Unfortunately, the current US administration has not succeeded in getting sufficient PPE to the right places [you're on your own, states], achieving sufficient testing or tracing [huh?], or advocating for evidenced based treatment for Covid [clorox injections, anyone?]. End result is "let's just open up already" while also advocating for liberation and resistance to more stringent measures to prevent infection.

The world is laughing at us.

Hey internet world, what's the international consensus to what's happening in the States?

mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1990 on: May 16, 2020, 08:53:14 AM »
Worthy journalism has been dead for sometime now. 

The Internet was part of itís demise. 

The New York Times and similar products still exist, but in name only.   Their product has become so watered down, agenda/shock driven that it doesnít compare to journalism from decades ago.

The erosion of democracy is not my main concern, the erosion of the Constitutional republic is a never ending significant issue.

How much reading of journalism do you actually do? If you only watch TV and click clickbait, I could see why youíd think this. I subscribe to two newspapers and I read the original reporting. Not the OpEds. I watch PBS and listen to NPR. Good journalism is still very much alive.

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1991 on: May 16, 2020, 09:48:17 AM »
Hey internet world, what's the international consensus to what's happening in the States?

From the UK - You're right, you are a laughing stock. We are having a bad time of it as well, things are not going well, we are opening up prematurely and making things steadily worse, but you guys are in a different league (along with Brazil).

Personally, I'd summarise it by saying that this pandemic highlights the fact that the US is a continent with 50 separate countries that all happen to speak the same language, but you're definitely NOT functioning like one country. That's why things are falling down, that and widespread pandemic denial among the gun nuts.

LWYRUP

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1992 on: May 16, 2020, 09:58:13 AM »
Worthy journalism has been dead for sometime now. 

The Internet was part of itís demise. 

The New York Times and similar products still exist, but in name only.   Their product has become so watered down, agenda/shock driven that it doesnít compare to journalism from decades ago.

The erosion of democracy is not my main concern, the erosion of the Constitutional republic is a never ending significant issue.

How much reading of journalism do you actually do? If you only watch TV and click clickbait, I could see why youíd think this. I subscribe to two newspapers and I read the original reporting. Not the OpEds. I watch PBS and listen to NPR. Good journalism is still very much alive.

If you ascribe to a specific world view and want to make sure that world view is constantly reaffirmed in subtle ways and virtually never challenged, that is accurate. 

LWYRUP

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1993 on: May 16, 2020, 10:03:52 AM »
Re: Flattening the Curve

I really liked that article that was shared a little further back showing the most common sources of exposure (enclosed spaces for long periods of time, direct sneeze / cough situation, public restrooms) and explaining what is not common (getting ill just because someone walked by you, touching a random surface that wasn't recently touched by someone infected).

This gives me hope that we can chart some sort of middle course where certain things are allowed again (e.g., I can take my kids camping without fear as long as we are careful) but other things are still locked down.  It also confirms for me that all of this discussion of some sort of V shaped recovery is off, because it's going to take a long time before certain things are back to normal (e.g., I'm going to be leery of public restrooms for a long while now, which is going to limit certain activities). 

Sometimes I see what I consider to be a false dichotomy on how to respond to the virus.  People say things like "either you lock down to it's totally gone or just give up and things in the middle are the worst of both worlds."  I disagree.  We know better know what prevention measures are the most effective and what are the least.  Full eradication in somewhere like the USA or Western Europe is probably bordering on impossible right now.  But we can keep the spread rate low, make sure the hospitals are not overwhelmed and have full PPE and buy time as we continue to improve on testing, tracing, treatment, etc. 

I do remain concerned for the parts of the USA where the curve is still rising AND things are re-opening.  Re-opening should only happen AFTER the curve has flattened and started to decline, and should be done cautiously to keep the rate of spread ideally below 1 so that cases continue to decline (even if just slowly).  Thankfully, where I live is still under pretty strict lockdown.

I agree that those underlined things are very reasonable and can serve as a functional "middle ground". Unfortunately, the current US administration has not succeeded in getting sufficient PPE to the right places [you're on your own, states], achieving sufficient testing or tracing [huh?], or advocating for evidenced based treatment for Covid [clorox injections, anyone?]. End result is "let's just open up already" while also advocating for liberation and resistance to more stringent measures to prevent infection.

The world is laughing at us.

Hey internet world, what's the international consensus to what's happening in the States?

Sorry, it's hysterics like this that frustrate me.  According to https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/, our testing is a notch below Germany and the UK and a notch above France and Sweden. 

We can absolutely do better, but let's try to keep the discussion grounded in reason. 

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1994 on: May 16, 2020, 10:08:22 AM »
Hey internet world, what's the international consensus to what's happening in the States?

From the UK - You're right, you are a laughing stock. We are having a bad time of it as well, things are not going well, we are opening up prematurely and making things steadily worse, but you guys are in a different league (along with Brazil).

Personally, I'd summarise it by saying that this pandemic highlights the fact that the US is a continent with 50 separate countries that all happen to speak the same language, but you're definitely NOT functioning like one country. That's why things are falling down, that and widespread pandemic denial among the gun nuts.

Also, again, per capita deaths in the UK are almost twice as a high as they are in the US according to this chart (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/) and my city (suburbs of DC) locked down before London and I was shocked after I had been in quarantine for several weeks to see how packed and unmasked the London subways were.  The City's response to the virus was to REDUCE train service, thus increasing crowding, which made no sense. 

As you know, I oppose the premature reopening in certain parts of the US.  But your claims do not square up with the data -- if I were from the UK, my concern right now would be try to get the beam out of my own country's eye first.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 10:11:08 AM by LWYRUP »

mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1995 on: May 16, 2020, 10:11:23 AM »
Sure, a few still desperately cling on to existence.  In many ways, they're rather pale and shallow versions of their previous selves though.  The majority have been killed by buzzfeed and yahoo "news".  The newspapers that still exist are dying, even with their switch to online models . . . because it's hard to sell a product that others are giving away for free.  This is extremely damaging to democracy.

Buzzfeed hemorrhages money1. They looked to actually turn a profit in 2020, but I think that's getting more doubtful as they just announced more layoffs and furloughs. I don't know Yahoo! as much more than a news aggregator. Actually, they had some pretty good sports reporters for a while but I don't know about that now. Lots of outlets are like that. Where they do a really good job at one thing and not so great at others. It's why you need to read multiple outlets.

Anyway, the New York Times, by contrast, is a billion dollar revenue company that generates hundreds of millions in net income for shareholders. They just reached another all time high in circulation.2 Not all papers are national, like the Times. I know some local papers are hurting, and that's a bad problem that needs to be solved But I'm not convinced that Buzzfeed is killing anything right now other than the $200 million that NBC invested.

You say these outlets are pale/shallow versions of themselves now. This implies the existence of a golden age in print media. When was this? Who were you reading then and who are you reading now? You're a very smart guy so maybe you have answers to these question but I've had this conversation a dozen different times and people rarely do. I think there's a ton of great journalism going on. Here are some contemporary examples just off the top of my head:

Spoiler: show
A journalist at the post revealed that the US's soon-to-be president used his charitable organization as a self-dealing, illegal enterprise. The foundation stopped soliciting donations because of this.3

Three journalists at the Washington Post probably kept a pedophile from getting a US Senate Seat.4

The Times5 and Post6 did independent research into COVID excess mortality. While I'm sure their analysis wasn't perfect, it was more or less confirmed in the main later by the CDC. This informed us that COVID wasn't just killing people who were "about to die anyway".

ABC's 538 has aggregated all the various COVID19 death models and attempted to explain why they give different results.7


Cable news did exist in the past.  But the thousands of channels weren't as closely micromanaged by a couple owners as they are today.  (https://theconcourse.deadspin.com/how-americas-largest-local-tv-owner-turned-its-news-anc-1824233490)

Talk radio has seen an explosion in growth since the 90's in the US.  Coincidentally, that's when the FCCs Fairness Doctrine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine) was repealed.  That meant that it was no longer required to be honest about controversial issues discussed.

We live in a time when technology has made it easier to track and target viewers with propaganda than ever before in history.  Your movements are tracked, your tastes are tracked, the shows you watch are tracked, your personal life is available and tracked.  The few multi-billionaires who control the media in the US aren't stupid, and are using this to further their own agendas.

Absolutely. Big data has stacked the deck against us in some ways. Facebook. Cambridge analytica. Troll farms. Bezos owning my favorite news paper and also owning an online shopping platform that knows so much about everyone's purchasing habits. These things occasionally keep me up at night.

I'd argue it's far more regressive to ignore glaring flaws and problems with revolutionary technology because we're wowed with cat videos and memes.

Is the internet capable of being a great tool for good?  Sure.  Is it currently causing a lot of hurt and trouble and damaging democracy in North America?  Yep.  Identifying the problem doesn't mean I want to tear it down and throw it out.  But I'd sure like to start looking for solutions rather than pretend that there has been no negative change.

Who is ignoring the glaring flaws and problems? Certainly not you. But I don't think I am either. I said, "Let's figure this out," meaning that it's a problem to be solved, not something to be undone.

I'm sure you're being hyperbolic, but the bolded is an incredibly reductive way to talk about all the good the Internet has done for us.

1https://www.wsj.com/articles/buzzfeed-edges-closer-to-profitability-after-tough-year-11578045602
2https://s1.q4cdn.com/156149269/files/doc_financials/annual/2020/Final-2019-Annual-Report.pdf
3https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-agrees-to-shut-down-his-charity-amid-allegations-he-used-it-for-personal-and-political-benefit/2018/12/18/dd3f5030-021b-11e9-9122-82e98f91ee6f_story.html
4https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/woman-says-roy-moore-initiated-sexual-encounter-when-she-was-14-he-was-32/2017/11/09/1f495878-c293-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html
5https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/21/world/coronavirus-missing-deaths.html
6https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/2020/05/02/excess-deaths-during-covid-19/?arc404=true
7https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/covid-forecasts/?ex_cid=rrpromo

mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1996 on: May 16, 2020, 10:12:23 AM »
If you ascribe to a specific world view and want to make sure that world view is constantly reaffirmed in subtle ways and virtually never challenged, that is accurate.

How does reading/listening to/watching original, fact-based reporting reaffirm and not challenge a person?

LWYRUP

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1997 on: May 16, 2020, 10:23:42 AM »
If you ascribe to a specific world view and want to make sure that world view is constantly reaffirmed in subtle ways and virtually never challenged, that is accurate.

How does reading/listening to/watching original, fact-based reporting reaffirm and not challenge a person?

Look, I personally find PBS and NPR to consistently promote certain world views, political beliefs and political parties rather than try to examine arguments from various perspectives in a manner I would consider fair.  And, yes, absolutely Fox News and MSNBC do the same and far worse and a far lower level of intellectual sophistication to boot.  But I personally world prefer more intellectual diversity on those stations.  NPR in particular, PBS I think does a better job of presenting balanced coverage (and just focusing more on general knowledge and not just all politics all the time). 

Personally, I prefer the financial press, such as WSJ, Economist, Financial Times, etc. for more balanced coverage.  They have the downside of constantly being in the tank for globalized capitalism (which I recognize), so I need to balance that coverage with more progressive sources and more populist sources to get a full picture of the various arguments for any particular debate.  I also have to manage this within a larger goal of pursuing a Low Information Diet, so when possible I just read books and such.  But I have a fair amount of accumulated knowledge from wasting scads of time on the internet in the past so I can usually understand the context of a given debate and guess how a particular news outlet will respond without putting too much time or effort into it. 

I agree that if you ascribe 100% to the consensus view of those who produce NPR and PBS then you will enjoy they coverage.  And, yes, I generally have fairly friendly views towards globalized capitalism so you could easily accuse me of doing the same when I roll my eyes and switch off NPR and turn on my WSJ podcast. 

I've kind of given up on thinking there's any one great neutral source and so I think it's best to just try to read widely and understand everyone's got their own motivations. 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 10:33:55 AM by LWYRUP »

mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1998 on: May 16, 2020, 10:30:59 AM »
Look, I personally find PBS and NPR to consistently promote certain world views, political beliefs and political parties rather than try to examine arguments from various perspectives in a manner I would consider fair.  And, yes, absolutely Fox News and MSNBC do the same and far worse and a far lower level of intellectual sophistication to boot.  But I personally world prefer more intellectual diversity on those stations.  NPR in particular, PBS I think does a better job of presenting balanced coverage (and just focusing more on general knowledge and not just all politics all the time). 

Personally, I prefer the financial press, such as WSJ, Economist, Financial Times, etc. for more balanced coverage.  They have the downside of constantly being in the tank for globalized capitalism (which I recognize), so I need to balance that coverage with more progressive sources and more populist sources to get a full picture of the various arguments for any particular debate.  I also have to manage this within a larger goal of pursuing a Low Information Diet, so when possible I just read books and such.  But I have a fair amount of accumulated knowledge from wasting scads of time on the internet in the past so I can usually understand the context of a given debate and guess how a particular news outlet will respond without putting too much time or effort into it. 

I agree that if you ascribe 100% to the consensus view of those who produce NPR and PBS then you will enjoy they coverage.  And, yes, I generally have fairly friendly views towards globalized capitalism so you could easily accuse me of doing the same. 

I've kind of given up on thinking there's any one great neutral source and so I think it's best to just try to read widely and understand everyone's got their own motivations.

I don't think you consume much PBS or NPR. They produce mountains of incredible, original, fact-based reporting. It's pretty disappointing that someone can list four different media sources that they read, and then follow it up with a thoroughly cited post on their believes about news media, and you assume they're seeking an affirmative safe-space where their worldview isn't challenged.

This is an incredibly lazy take. But it's one that I'm used to because I see it over and over and over again.

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #1999 on: May 16, 2020, 10:32:26 AM »
Worthy journalism has been dead for sometime now. 

THere is some great journalism still going on.  You just have to seek it out.  The problem isnít a lack of quality journalism, itís a flood of lackluster and manipulative subjectivity.