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Everything posted by CharonY

  1. That sounds like an incredible waste of valuable time to me.
  2. It is an utter waste of time trying to decipher what he says and it is going to be a distraction anyway. He almost never comments on actual policy in a meaningful way so there is really no value to dedicate any mental capacity to that. Historically folks paid attention to leaders because what they often outline their policies or provide other information. But since Trump is not leading and does not really operate on anything approach information, it does not make a lot of sense to interpret him on that level.
  3. This is not really different from the other findings, and despite what I wrote earlier, a reduction in titers does not automatically mean lack of immunity per se and the authors of the actual report did not make comments to this effect. But it does mean that protective titers drop relatively fast and unless there is rapid recruitment from memory cells. In addition, some earlier studies found the presence of T cells in infected patients (but in a very small cohort), which is in principle good news. But as usual, the situation is still fluid and highlights the need for efficacy tests (which are going to be difficult) before one can rely on them.
  4. ! Moderator Note This is more suitable for the Lounge. Note that the idea of a good illusion is of course to make it difficult for the viewer to figure out how it is done. It would be quite a jump to suddenly conclude that magic is real (unless you believe that there a lot of uncles with detachable thumbs).
  5. I think the overabundance of sources has reduced the willingness of folks to really dig into lit. Over the years I have seen students reading less, not more and it is getting harder to motivate them. It used to be hours or even days digging through the library to get all the articles one needs so you would sit down and read them if only to pretend that you have not wasting time. Now I find quite a few quite after literally reading perhaps the first two articles in a google scholars search and give up if those papers do not give all the answers. It is frustrating, to say the least.
  6. I should also add that theoretically folks may still have long-term protection if sufficient memory cells are formed, which cannot be easily be tested with simple serological assays (i.e. the rapid tests). What the study calls into question is the usefulness of serological tests to establish how many folks may have been infected without detection as well as the length of immediate protection. Now, lack of immunity against RNA viruses in general is often the result of their high mutation rate. OTOH, coronaviruses have a proof-reading enzyme that reduces the mutations rates (but are still high compared to DNA viruses). Also, there a bunch of viruses that can cause cold symptoms so it cannot actually be traced back solely to the major human coronavirus strains. I have looked a bit into some older pre-SARS papers and found one from 1990 (Callow et al. Eipdemiol. Infect) in which 15 volunteers were infected with coronavirus 229E. Here they showed that some volunteers showed slightly increased antibody titres after one year, though it did not protect from re-infection. However, there was lower shedding, indicating a higher level of neutralization and none developed a cold. So there is some potential there, especially if vaccines result in a stronger response. At the same time, SARS-CoV-2 (and 1 for that matter) obviously elicit quite different responses, including massive inflammatory responses. So there are still a lot of unknowns at play (plus, we do still do not understand all that goes into long-term immunity and the literature is maddening at best).
  7. I think extending it to other forms of asymmetric biases is something worthwhile to look into. Many mechanisms appear to to be similar. I.e. differential evaluation of folks in absence of differences in objective measures. After all, similar studies with similar setup have shown that certain groups are systematically disadvantaged. The new bit here is that those that think that those bias do not exist are the ones most likely to perpetuate it. I.e. in order for a fair evaluation one needs to be aware of the bias in the first place, as you mentioned. That goes against some narratives that state that a) fairness can only be achieved if either one pretends to be gender- (and/or race-) blind and b) specifically including race or gender will bias against the others. The study suggest that in contrast to these assumptions, folks being aware of biases swing toward a balance rather than pushing the pendulum to the other side.
  8. Your analogy is flawed. For starters the data and evidence is identical, only name is different. In addition, those that claim lack of bias could still have given higher scores to women. It does show that there is indeed a problem, but it is not symmetrical, even in a women-dominated field, which is curious.
  9. It should be added that vaccines still might elicit different or stronger responses. But other than actually trying them out there is no way (that I am aware of) to predict the outcome. Theoretically if one could coordinate enough vaccinations worldwide even short term protection may burn the virus out. But looking at those in charge, I have low hopes.
  10. An interesting study targeting gender bias, but potentially has relevance for other group biases as well. Researchers looked whether gender bias exist in jobs with high representation of women by asking folks to evaluate a performance review. The reviews were identical but one group had a female and another had a male name. Effectively male names were evaluated higher resulting in an 8% increase in salary over their female counterparts. Strikingly reviewers who were more certain that bias does not exist in their field, were more likely to be biased against women. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/26/eaba7814 It would be interesting to extend this study to other group differences.
  11. Add the fact that studies suggest that black and Hispanic folks are disproportionately target (e.g. for jaywalking) plus the fact that poor folks get disproportionately punished for minor infractions it does not seem like a great system to begin with (or at least has substantial issues).
  12. I echo SJ's notion of finding another medical specialist. IIRC Citrobacter are often found in urinary tract infections and the prostate in turn is vulnerable to UTI. Also note that often the boundaries between pathogens and non-pathogens are fluid. If normally non-pathogenic bacteria get into areas they shouldn't or number that are too high, they still can inflammation and other issues.
  13. ! Moderator Note Since this is more "Fantasy Fun with Physics" rather than actual physics, I am moving it to the lounge.
  14. It is generally a immunological effect that is not due the disease per se (there are exceptions and certain diseases can effectively wipe out your adaptive memory, but this is not one of those). Roughly speaking it is the reaction of your body to the antigen that determines how long your body remembers it. However, there are a lot of unknowns regarding what precisely makes a response long-lasting. It is not my area of specialization so I cannot really say how far the research in the area has progressed, but from discussions it appears to me that the field is still wide open in that regard.
  15. No, that study was just looking at antibody levels of patients. Especially when they are asymptomatic they vanish (i.e. they become seronegative). But even symptomatic folks had a drastic reduction of antibody levels within two months. It is theoretically possible that vaccine-induced immunization could be more effective, but it certainly is making folks more cautious.
  16. I think one could make a short update here. While most countries stumbled at the beginning, with different outcomes arguably also dependent on how lucky they got with initial infections, we can also start to see consequences if shutdown was not or only partially enacted. The US has re-openened without pushing the levels down sufficiently and we start seeing new cases surpassing the numbers in March. Of course, those numbers were most likely too low as too few tests were available. Nonetheless, in other countries the numbers were pushed way down. Other countries in denial include Brazil as well as other South American countries were reports indicate that numbers are continuing to rise. India is in a similar spot and who knows what is happening in Russia (excess deaths seem to paint a different picture as what is being reported). Considering recent reports that immunity only lasts for a relatively short amount of time, it could mean that vaccinations, once available, would need to be timed in an unprecedented manner, otherwise there will be plenty of pockets where new outbreaks can start and spread. Good times.
  17. Not sure what you mean precisely, but the first step in my mind is to revise policies that result in racially divergent outcomes. I doubt that we can get to a level where everyone is truly raceblind and I see little value in pretending that the society is. One important reason for the push for reforms is that traditionally racial inequalities were equated with qualities of the race itself (there is a shift from the purely racial argument to a cultural one, but it amounts to the same thing with different words). With mounting evidence, there is now more scrutiny on policies, laws and their interaction with day-to-day decisions and how those may create segregation and racial inequality. This may range from how schools are funded to criminal justice, law enforcement and so on. There is, however, also a strong pushback from certain circles which often feels like being borne of a desire to deny systematic inequalities (and thereby putting the burden back on minorities again).
  18. Society at large. This includes researchers to identify the sources of disparities and potentially proposing solutions, lawmakers trying to address them and folks voting those folks in that intend to make the right changes. If we vote in folks that intensify the war on drugs and have racial biases, chances are that segregation will continue further, for example. That is a key element. Now many policies designed in the past may be based on bad and/or racist information. And those need to be reformed.
  19. Of course, but the racial divide is something that sticks out in research again and again. And the reverse is also true, non-racial motives can result in racial disparity. All of them have to be addressed. Only focusing on motives and not looking at outcomes is not helpful to solve the issue.
  20. Even so, we have a bias in the system. White collar crimes are punished less severe than what you cal street crime and the latter are typically also subject to more policing. That is a good starting point, and therefore whenever we see disparity, we need to look into factors causing observed differences. With regard to that specific point, it depends a bit on the data set, as different areas show different outcomes, indicating complex factors are at play. Some studies suggest that local inequality are associated with higher crime rate (e.g. if one part of town drops economically). This does seem to be more frequent in white neighbourhoods, potentially because black areas start off fairly low to begin with.
  21. Then you are wrong in your assumption. Systemic refers to a system as opposed to just parts. Following your definition there is no room for things like systemic racism as you will find hardly any system in which everyone is racist. You also might want to explore the difference in acting racist (consciously or not) vs following an ideology. For example there is a prominent series of experiment just looking at reaction times when folks learn to associate a picture with certain words. Some of these words were for example "gangster" or "thug". And perhaps unsurprisingly folks had better reaction times for associating a picture of a black man with these negative words than a white man. Does it mean that the person is a white supremacist? Not it means that they have been exposed to a system (for example media) that have been priming them. If one does not acknowledge that these mechanism exist (as they are very well researched) then it follows that one will fail to understand important mechanism leading to racial inequalities. Another good example I think is unequal medical treatment based on race and the failed attempts to address that using a race-neutral approach, but I am running out of time here.
  22. Nope, you do not seem to get the systemic part of it. What you claim is quite a difference to what I said. Specifically the system creates folks with warrior mentalities and especially following they repeated and adversarial exposure to certain groups, it becomes more and more common, it will affect behaviour. Add to that peer pressure (and other factors, there is plenty of lit out there, if one is interested) and the result is that certain folks (say suburban WASPs) are treated quite differently from Afro-Americans. It does not mean that everyone going through the system will become like this, but it does mean that these traits will be overemphasized. And that is why increasing the number of minorities in the police force only had a moderate effect. I should add that is some areas especially community oriented policing and by hiring (minority) locals, there have been positive effects to this systemic issue. And again, it is a failure of assuming that the system is created because of the attitude of the actors- a systemic issue is based on the system itself. It can include hiring practices but it also includes rules, regulations, training, creating a certain atmosphere and so on. An individual exposed to a given system is then consequently more likely to behave a certain way. If a system is corrupt, for example and/or lacks accountability, folks are probably more likely to behave like they are not accountable. If it hits a certain threshold then even folks against it may be pressured into joining in. Can you see the difference now? To make another example, let's say following school curriculum a generation of students learn that Leopold II has civilized the Congo and thereby glorify colonialism. Then, if they go out and think that Leopold's actions were just and that black folks needed to be civilized, do you think the issue is with the student or with the school system? Do you think removing students or teachers would do anything without changing the curriculum? The rest of your post just elaborates on the failure to spot that difference and verges way into strawman county. As such I do not see a good reason to engage with that part.
  23. This kind of implies that screening for racist officers is at the root of the problem. However again, it is not. The US policing system is set up to protect the status quo and has traditionally taken an adversarial stance towards group that were perceived a threat. It has created a warrior mentality where things can get deadly rather fast. Coupling this with low accountability, lower level of training and a systemic disdain for certain groups just creates a breeding ground for deadly encounters. Of course it is a fertile ground for white supremacists, (some anti-gang units like the Lynwood Vikings were actually neo-Nazis) it is not that these guys causes all the needless deaths. In most European countries drunk brawls with the police do not end in deaths, though in perhaps more importantly, most police would not escalate the situation to that point, either.
  24. The origins are not the issue with the sole police officer. If it was the solution would be trivial and enacted decades ago. The issue is the system, which requires reform. The individual is symptom, not the cause.
  25. No, if evolution is true that is exactly what you do not expect. One aspect of evolution is that selective pressures shape the evolution of genes. I.e. you can have maintaining presssures, forcing genes not to changes. This is true for example true for essential genes, say for respiratory genes. OTOH, areas that are under weak or no selective pressure are expected to diverge more strongly. They are likely to be reasonably close among close lineages but the farther you go the more uncertainty you get. IOW if you build phylogenetic trees using conserved sequences, you get a tree that will follow lineages very closely. If you use areas that are highly variable, you will other shaping factors (such as drift). Again, this is what we expect if evolution happens. Your scenario (i.e. that phylogenetic trees will also resolve the same way regardless of loci being analyzed) will only happen if there is in fact no evolution, i.e. the genomes are either static or all change at exactly the same rate.
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