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  2. Good grief. You've quite the active imagination, SL.
  3. Today
  4. Alien Invasion Imagine an invading alien force which quite accidentally came to Earth via an errant asteroid. The aliens themselves are quite unusual. They are passive, non-sentient, and they multiply under the right conditions. Most alarmingly the aliens are quite small, they invade humans, multiply and pass from human to human... and they are miniature, unpredictable, terrorists who seemingly at whim, can kill the human host they have invaded including themselves. A sort of miniature non-sentient suicide bomber who kills the host and themselves without much rhyme or reason... although statistically we can detect a pattern regarding which hosts are more likely to trigger the attack. There is also much evidence regarding how they multiply and propagate from human to human... oddly they can be modeled on something from Earth we more commonly know as a "virus". In a world with a proper government whose responsibility is to protect individual rights from domestic and foreign invaders, a council is assembled, and the issues debated... How do we protect the individual rights the very right to live of our citizens from this blind insidious invading alien force? [Edit: not sure if this should be added here or added as a new thread... actually I'd like to request Dream Weaver move it to a new thread called "Aliens and Proper Government" ]
  5. Which is currently massaged by government regulations. Hmm. Point taken.
  6. One thing that has struck me about the social impact of this outbreak is how much the character of the social response is altered by the advance in communications technology. In 1957-58 there was the pandemic of the H2N2 virus. I was only nine and didn’t retain much memory of it. According to the CDC note linked below, it killed about 116,000 people in the USA. That is twice the number of Americans killed in Vietnam. The population of the US in 1957 was about 172 million, whereas today it’s about 330 million. So percentage-wise, it would today be as if about 200,000 Americans were killed. I attach also a study I found on the US response to that pandemic. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1957-1958-pandemic.html https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/bsp.2009.0729
  7. I am not finding a lot of info about the quality of ventilators and using them. But here goes. Several news stories report doctors saying there is a great shortage of ventilators in Italy. Do they have old ventilators or new cutting edge ones? No answer. I don’t see similar stories about shortages in Switzerland. Maybe in Switzerland there are more ventilators available, doctors know better how to use them, and/or they have better ventilators. Maybe hospitals in Switzerland are freer and more adaptive to getting supplies than they are in Italy. Coronavirus' ventilator demand: Who makes them and what will it take to get them? lists several ventilator makers. One of them is Hamilton Medical in Switzerland, which has raised its production in response to demand (link). Interestingly, the CEO says about his company’s devices: “The new generation of these devices has a so-called closed-loop ventilation. This means that you almost only have to put the mask on the patient or intubate him. And then the device does everything necessary fully automatically based on pressure, volume, lung mechanics and other parameters that measure heart and lung functions, for example. This relieves the physician from having to check again and again whether the device is set correctly or whether it needs readjustment. And it provides additional safety, especially in countries where the expertise of medical personnel does not match the level in this country." This article gives the impression that the ventilator must be used, or be designed, in the right way in order to give optimal controlled assistance to the patient. This article shows a picture of one of these devices.
  8. Because I didn't mention anything about the government making that determination. That would just be hospital policy. Any studies are probably for people not sick with a viral infection that has no known cure. So hospital administrators should make the determination of how long people should use a ventilator if they have covid. Besides, there are people on ventilators longer than 21 days anyway. In a crisis, I think it would be better to err on the side of preserving as many resources as possible.
  9. @Eiuol I'm seeing 14-21 days, if the quibble is over "a few days" compared to "long enough". Currently many community hospitals in America have reached their limit, bed-wise. The factors that led to this are going to be debated for years to come, contrasting it with the causes of WW1, WW2, or the "Great Depression". The medical field has had government intruding into it since the 1950's. The FDA and other regulatory agencies serve as gatekeepers of varying degrees of objectivity in their approval processes. Medicare and government regulation requiring treatment complicate where finite resources are to be allocated. How would this play out in a capitalist society? . . . why am I reading: "The proper action might be to limit ventilator use to a week at most. If they don't recover, let them die, since at that point it probably would not make a difference."? History reports what is, while fiction portrays what should and ought be. — Aristotle, paraphrased.
  10. More information from https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/27/scott-gottlieb-coronavirus-new-york-152094 I did not realize that he was considered an alarmist by the white house. He specifically mentions the temperature element, that we may be having new travel restrictions on South Africa etc. Interesting mention of use of copper will increase (mentioned around the end)
  11. This isn't quite true for ventilators. It's okay to be on a ventilator for a few days. But the longer you are on a ventilator past that time, you are simply extending their time until death. It is possible that Italian hospitals are mismanaging the use of ventilators, not an issue of socialized medicine or not. That is, the proper action might be to limit ventilator use to a week at most. If they don't recover, let them die, since at that point it probably would not make a difference.
  12. Yesterday
  13. At the very beginning of the outbreak in the US, the death rate in Washington was very high, I believe around 20%. It is now substantially lower. The explanation is that the disease spread first through a specific elder care facility. There was a very strong correlation between “might be tested” and “was a patient at that facility”. This is a reminder that there are lots of unreported variables – facts about being tested, testing positive, and dying are not randomly distributed in the population. If you believe the statistics (my message is, don’t!), Italians recover better than Americans – US recovery rate is 2.5% and Italy’s is 12%. I suspect that it’s not that around 90,000 Americans still have the disease, instead there is a difference in reporting. The highest rates of infection are in Andorra, San Marino, Iceland and Luxembourg: basically, cities elevated to the status of country. The really low incidence of the disease in Africa is explained by the fact that people don’t move around much there. The one case where I think we can reasonably attribute something political to the number of cases is Iran, compared with Afghanistan and Turkey. I think they see this as an opportunity to get sanctions lifted.
  14. Well, the article I wrote about was published only 2 days ago, and I noticed it last night. So Taiwan wasn't on my radar screen until then and investigating it didn't instantly become my top priority. Anyway, I found the following news story. Fear of China Made Taiwan a Coronavirus Success Story Hope that helps.
  15. "Taiwan’s healthcare system is more like Medicare-for-All. The mortality rate from COVID-19 is very low, but so is the number of cases per 1,000 population. I can’t explain the latter. The author asserts the existence of “high traffic with mainland China,” an innuendo that Taiwan's exposure to the coronavirus is as high as, maybe higher than, other countries. Anyway, the healthcare system has not faced a stress test similar to Italy, Spain, Switzerland, or even the USA." Regarding "I can’t explain the latter." Well, you have to explain it. Taiwan has a huge portion of its population go to mainland china to work and come back. My understanding is the testing they have done. The lack of testing seems to be the common problem for areas that are had hit. And reasons for that can in fact be regulations preventing it or preventing it from being profitable enough.
  16. Regarding the immune system, in recent news there is talk about trying to use antibodies from people who have recovered from the coronavirus to treat patients suffering from the coronavirus.
  17. That's worth wondering about. For the comparison to be informative, the two different sets of test cases need to be otherwise as similar as possible. It the set of patients on ventilators are older and their health conditions much worse than the set of patients not on ventilators, then the comparison would not be very informative. By a similar standard, I admit that my comparing Switzerland to Italy and Spain may not be highly informative. The perspective is without doubt a "bird's eye view." Yet the differences between the countries are big enough to urge me to believe they are worth considering.
  18. Four Things Exploring past and present frontiers of pen and paper and electrons... Image by André Noboa, via Unsplash, license. 1. Cal Newport reports with annoyance that Moleskine has a social network: I was prompted to write this post after someone pointed me toward the distressing fact that Moleskine started a social network called myMoleskine. It allows people to publicly share their notes and follow other Moleskine users. A development for which I have only one official reaction: Sigh. [link and italics in original]My initial response was, Who doesn't? And a cursory look around quickly showed me that it can at least be a good way for talented artists to exhibit their work, be it as a way to possibly being discovered or simply to share their own delight with others who may enjoy their work. I agree that spending too much time on social media is wasteful, but thoughtful, disciplined use can be valuable. 2. "Leaping laggard" tech consumer that I am, I have kept an antenna raised on the subject of tablets that emulate (paper) notebooks, such as the reMarkable. I have held out on purchasing one so far, but that time may end soon, in part because the latest release sounds so good: But overall you're looking at a much cheaper package. The reMarkable, for all its merits, was not cheap at $700. The reMarkable 2 will sell for $399 if you pre-order, and comes with a Marker and a nice folio case. For anyone who was on the fence about the first one, the sequel may prove irresistible.The cheaper price comes with several notable improvements, including: (1) less latency between touching the screen with the stylus and marking, (2) the option of having an "eraser" end on the stylus, and (3) improved power management allowing for two weeks of use or three months on standby. 3. With so many people working from home due to the ongoing pandemic, many companies have seen the chance to win new customers and offered their remote collaboration software for free, as in beer. That's great, if you use Windows. But what if you use Linux and open-source software, as I do? At least one Linux distributor has put out a list of FOSS options for remote work: Purism has been working remote since we started in 2014. Here's our list of essential free software for remote work, all can be self hosted or used via various hosted options.I appreciate the list, but this company's About page reminds me that I ought to write something about "conscious" "capitalism" some time: The whole idea that profit necessarily conflicts with a refusal to compromise on purpose and quality is, frankly, ridiculous. 4. And speaking of Linux, the plethora of "surprising programs" under the hood has been a large part of what has made it so valuable to me. These are the subject of a thread at Hacker News, kicked off by an old-timer's post on surprising programs in Unix, the ancestor of Linux. Here is what Doug McIlroy says about typo in the parent post: Typo ordered the words of a text by their similarity to the rest of the text. Typographic errors like "hte" tended to the front (dissimilar) end of the list. Bob Morris proudly said it would work as well on Urdu as it did on English. Although typo didn't help with phonetic misspellings, it was a godsend for amateur typists, and got plenty of use until the advent of a much less interesting, but more precise, dictionary-based spelling checker. Typo was as surprising inside as it was outside. Its similarity measure was based on trigram frequencies, which it counted in a 26x26x26 array. The small memory, which had barely room enough for 1-byte counters, spurred a scheme for squeezing large numbers into small counters. To avoid overflow, counters were updated probabilistically to maintain an estimate of the logarithm of the count.The thread ranges from the useful -- like paste, which I have found helpful -- to the historical or esoteric. To be clear, not all of the programs exist in typical Linux distributions. -- CAV Updates Today: Added "(paper)" to my outdated description of those things people used to write on. Link to Original
  19. I, personally, am unaware of data to draw upon for such an inquiry at this time. Perhaps it's the order of your statements. If equipment and resources to treat the patient are not available, that results in the inevitability as well. The patient may have lived had the equipment and resources been available, but they were not, ergo.
  20. I understand what you mean, so I am wondering the rate of recovery of people on ventilators compared to those not on ventilators. It makes perfect sense when you can treat the disease itself rather than just the symptoms. Of the people who die, was it inevitable no matter what you did at this stage? Sure, I would rather be sick in the US, but that doesn't mean in this case the healthcare systems are different in a way that matters. Authoritarianism works great. There is no question about that. You could declare martial law, kill anybody in the street, then it would all go away pretty quickly. This means that respecting rights requires great creativity in a crisis, apparently something most people in the government and business lack. Elon Musk probably deserves more attention.
  21. The implication is that healthcare in this case means helping the person's own immune system deal with the problem, i.e. "supporting" the immune system. -Warm clothing in winter ends up being an element of healthcare -Having a place to live that has ease of accessibility to water to hydrate may also help But in South Korea, healthcare went beyond all this as in putting mandatory location monitoring of an infected person. Kind of a big brother approach that in this case worked. What I fear is we may be surprised that some fascist or socialist systems may do better than us in this crisis.
  22. @merjet Your Elon Musk reference reminded me of the James Dyson article by WRBCtv. I don't think one need be in the medical profession to learn bits and pieces here and there. Ventilators assist with the inhale/exhale process. The air moved via the process can be infused with oxygen raising it from the natural content of 21%, making more of it available for respiration.
  23. Last week
  24. Eiuol, I'm not a medical professional, but adding to what dream_weaver wrote: Acute respiratory distress syndrome. The ventilator assists the intake of oxygen. Speculating, that might assist the body's immune system. By the way, Elon Musk wants to make ventilators in NY (link).
  25. @Eiuol A ventilator helps to add oxygen to a lung where the capacity to absorb oxygen is impaired by this virus. Without a known medically applicable cure, keeping the patient alive long enough for the body to heal/recover itself, i.e., oxygenated, hydrated, nourished, does not ensure that every patient will make it, but aides those that may not have otherwise done so. @Easy Truth Many virus' spread more so during colder temperatures. And yes, the seasons are inversed between the northern and southern hemispheres. What is known so far about Covid-19 does not conclusively address your inquiry. Here's a BBC article I selected from this google search.
  26. What I'm wondering is if lacking a ventilator is why anyone died, or if the ventilator actually changes the eventual outcome. People died despite the ventilator. Basically, if there isn't a known cure, you are only treating symptoms, in which case you are prolonging things, not changing the death rate. That means it would still be unusual why Italy has a higher death rate.
  27. Florent Crivello, a product manager at Uber, writes a thought-provoking blog post titled, "The Efficiency-Destroying Magic of Tidying Up." Therein, he argues that many attempts to impose order on complex, self-ordering systems, are made out of great ignorance. His piece also proposes the following amusing analogy for urban "planners" who fall into what he calls the "high modernist" fallacy, following James Scott's Seeing Like a State. That is, they mistake complexity for chaos: Image by Brett Jordan, via Unsplash, license. [T]his insight applies to any complex system. For example, a city can look as messy as an anthill. But really, it's a beautiful equilibrium that evolved to satisfy a thousand competing constraints: topology, weather, people's traditions, skills, wealth, preferences ... Planners may make their maps look better when they use zoning to separate the city into business, residential, and commercial neighborhoods, but they also destroy a subtle, efficient balance. They forget that the only activity that goes on in any city is that of people living their lives, which requires all the activities above -- preferably in close proximity. Splitting a city into residential, commercial and business zones is like throwing dough, cheese and pepperoni into the different compartments of a bento box and calling it a pizza.Crivello's argument reminds me a little of one made against central (government) planning by the economist George Reismann, but from a different angle: The overwhelming majority of people have not realized that all the thinking and planning about their economic activities that they perform in their capacity as individuals actually is economic planning. By the same token, the term "planning" has been reserved for the feeble efforts of a comparative handful of government officials, who, having prohibited the planning of everyone else, presume to substitute their knowledge and intelligence for the knowledge and intelligence of tens of millions, and to call that planning. (as quoted in Andrew Bernstein's Capitalist Manifesto, p. 345) [bold added]I love the pizza-bento box analogy, and think it is a great way to condense the idea that something complex -- or even messy-looking -- can indeed possess an exquisite and graspable order beyond what meets the eye. -- CAV Link to Original
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