Archives for category: virology

Meme overkill: isn’t the truth rather different? This “meme” found on Gab.com suggests untruths.

Vaccination never works 100% of the time, on an individual basis. The more people who get vaccinated, though, the less likely a contagion will spread into an epidemic. The contagion has trouble spreading when most potential hosts block the spread with their own immune system’s antibodies. It is a matter of the modal potential host: if the modal possible victim of a virus is immune, the virus has trouble spreading, unable to quickly multiply in society. That is the idea of herd immunity.

It is the same as people who have encountered the disease in the wild, and develop antibodies from actually getting and fighting off the contagion: a disease even in a pandemic slows down its rate of spread and then wanes the more people develop antibodies. Even in the worst pandemics not everyone gets infected. Because the herd immunity threshold eventually gets reached.

Vaccination is an attempt to spur antibody growth without actual infection and the risks associated with suffering through the disease. As a mass program, vaccination often makes sense.

The actual incentives to the individual run this: I take the vaccine and hope it works, but others being vaccinated provides extra protection, but . . . others being infected and surviving is BETTER YET.

That is, me getting vaccinated and others suffering through the disease is the best egoistic strategy.

Extrapolate this out and vaccination would seem the most rational social action.

IF WE CAN TRUST THE VACCINE.

That is one big IF. And lack of trust of vaccine producers (merited or unmerited) throws a huge monkey wrench into our calculations of advantage.

Regarding the current “pandemic,” the disease is deadly only to a small set of the population — that set of people who suffer from co-morbidities such as diabetes and Vitamin D deficiency. Those who are healthy tend to do very well.

If healthy people were even a teensy altruistic, and not sniveling poltroons, they would valiantly risk the disease and let those in jeopardy cower in sequestration, waiting for a vaccine.

Meme engineers out to change human behavior use many techniques. The technique used in the visual meme at top is a cautionary case. It suggests something not true: that what is relevant is that “work” versus “not work.” There are degrees. The desire for others to be vaccinated is not irrational, contrary to the innuendo of the meme.

But there are even more rational strategies.

The most rational one is honesty. Not because dishonesty doesn’t “work” but because honesty encourages rationality generally. It works better.

Right now, we could use a lot more rationality. We are ruled by people whose strategy is to increase fear-based reaction and mass compliance to authoritarian demands. And we are surrounded by cowards who, so fearful, cannot accept new information or wait to make up their minds when actual contexts become clear.

These people have succumbed to the meme of servility. Which is worse than SARS-CoV-2 and its co sequent disease, COVID-19. Our civilization can survive even worse plagues, and has. But can we survive mass servility?

twv

In the 1990s, I judged Bill Gates’s business practices to be more than a little dodgy, even creepy.

A friend informs me that his philanthropic education initiatives were ridiculous but thankfully short-lived.

His current population-reduction obsession lurking behind his vaccination obsession is creepiest yet, and seems of a piece with his business ethics.

The man appears to be earnest — but like a socialist dictator is earnest.

I used to mock anti-vaxxers. But the likelihood of me accepting to be vaccinated by a concoction Gates were pushing is getting close to zero.

twv

Sen. Ted Cruz alerted us, weeks ago, to the uncomfortable fact that the U.S. Government had helped fund the Wuhan research into the coronavirus:

But what is at issue is obviously not just a matter of funding.

A coronavirus was developed specifically to make it infectious to humans. From bats. There is an academic paper trail. Here it is, courtesy of Dr. Peter Breggin, who calls it “the perfect weapon.” Check it out:

Breggin famously and successfully opposed the once-common practice of lobotomization.

Is it our coronavirus? No, says Breggin, but it is very similar. “Closely related.” He believes the current virus was made from this, or used it as a first attempt.

I do not know if the almost-in-the-open yet-still-clandestine development of the current offending coronavirus was a result of scientific hubris and government incompetence, as we ‘hope,’ or the result of something like the international cabal that Tony Blair mentioned so soon after 9/11.* But Americans, programmed to despise conspiracy theories (by the CIA!) will likely avoid the whole subject because, well, they love their murderers, and despise some ‘other’ side’s murderers.

My takeaway is pretty consistent with my past findings: our governments are evil and their spokespeople should not be trusted.


* Blair’s statement about an international conspiracy is one of those pregnant admissions that most folks avoid thinking about:

Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization with ties to a global network, which has been in existence for over ten years.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, New York Times, October 05, 2001

I do not know which “global network” (conspiracy) is involved in our current crisis. But I suspect at least one is indeed in play.