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Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:22 pm

Klaudandus wrote:Colbert actually said it in his show "Reality has a well-known liberal bias" XD

Conversely, so does science...


Suggesting facts or reality has a political bias is absurd. 2+2=4 doesn't care what end of the political spectrum one falls on.

Interpreting facts and forming policy based on interpretations can get politicized as hell, of course. Shaping the narrative is intensely political. But whenever a "science issue" becomes sharply divided along completely partisan lines, that's usually a sign that Something Bad is going on, and it's usually only tangentially related to facts or reality.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:24 pm

I don't think incentivising vaccination sets the right precedent. Vaccination's results are its incentive: health. What is needed is better science education, to combat the distrust of science that's worryingly prevalent.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:13 pm

KysenMurrin wrote:I don't think incentivising vaccination sets the right precedent. Vaccination's results are its incentive: health. What is needed is better science education, to combat the distrust of science that's worryingly prevalent.

But the reverse - lack of vaccination - costs the taxpayers money. Lots of it.

Meningitis requires amputations, years of physical therapy, prosthetics, etc. Whooping cough requires time out of school, which hurts school incomes when that is based on attendance figures.

At the very least, things like measles require visits to the doctor's office.

Most childhood diseases covered by vaccination are treated using antibiotics. The more antibiotics are used, the more strains of things become resistant to antibiotics, and the more research needs to be put into finding new antibiotics to fight resistant strains.

Evolution works on the basis that in times of easy living, mutations occur within a population and diversity increases. But when survival pressure is applied to the population, those mutations that provide advantage will increase an organism's chance to survive and multiply, thus providing the new variant of the species. If we let childhood diseases hang around breeding, then apply survival pressure in the form of antibiotics, we are selecting for antibiotic-resistant strains of these childhood diseases, or even vaccine-resistant ones. Can you imagine the tragedy of vaccine-resistant meningitis, much less the cost?

Science education won't do enough. Science has been saying that evolution is a concept since Darwin's The Origin of Species, yet the majority of religious people in the US still believe in creationism. People will believe what they want to, or are told to, regardless of the weight of scientific evidence you can throw behind it.

Science really needs to come up with a better term than "theory" for things that are effectively, but not formally, laws. Everyone believes in the law of gravity, but if it was only a theory, I bet some fundamentalists would fly right off the earth.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:16 pm

fuzzygeek wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:Colbert actually said it in his show "Reality has a well-known liberal bias" XD

Conversely, so does science...


Suggesting facts or reality has a political bias is absurd. 2+2=4 doesn't care what end of the political spectrum one falls on.

Interpreting facts and forming policy based on interpretations can get politicized as hell, of course. Shaping the narrative is intensely political. But whenever a "science issue" becomes sharply divided along completely partisan lines, that's usually a sign that Something Bad is going on, and it's usually only tangentially related to facts or reality.


Tell that to the republicans that say that Global Warming is a conspiracy.
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That is what I meant with quoting Colbert
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:59 pm

KysenMurrin wrote:I don't think incentivising vaccination sets the right precedent.


Why not?

Tell that to the republicans that say that Global Warming is a conspiracy.


There's Global Warming (or rather, "Global Climate Change" in modern parlance), and there's Anthropomorphic Global Warming (which is also sometimes "Global Climate Change"). These are two different things that one side or the other likes to conflate to make their arguments, depending on what numbers they have to support their stance du jour.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:05 pm

Again, it's not a mistrust of science, it's a mistrust of scientists.  They are people afterall and subject to the same influences that anyone else is.  That said, it wasn't a mistrust of science that made people think twice about vaccinations, it was actually a mistrust of corporations and government, and a trust in science. 
 
People were weighing the information available to them.  The odds of serious illness from vaccinations is non zero.  Their failure rate of vaccinations is also non zero.  There was new scientific, published, research suggesting that the risks were quite a bit higher than previously thought, because there was a newly identified link to a disease.  There was a realization that vaccinations are corporate creations with a full profit motive behind them.  That politicians are easily corrupted, especially when there exists such motives.  At the same time, because almost everyone was vaccinated, unvaccinated children were still protected by having a near zero exposure level.

It took time for the scientific process to debunk that research, it ultimately did but it took a few years.

I vaccinated my kids, and believe it's the best course of action, but I wasn't on the wrong side of the bad reaction lottery (as far as I know), so that's pretty easy for me to say at this point.  I may disagree with their choice not to vaccinate, but I do understand it, and it's pretty unfair to treat as some sort of ignorant hysteria.
 
 
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:39 pm

Fridmarr wrote:it's pretty unfair to treat as some sort of ignorant hysteria.


I think nowadays a lot of people associate the anti-vaccine crowd with the Jenny McCarthy "medicine gave my kid the autism!" movement; I personally don't even remember the actual scientific studies you're referring to. I'm also unsure how many people are swayed by those studies, vs "celebrity X said Y, and celebrities never lie!" syndrome.

Harshing on people for taking a stance based on a study? Not so cool. Belittling people for believing a pretty idiot? Maybe more understandable.

Not that I advocate either, but I can see why some people are reacting the way they are now.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:50 pm

But it started with the research, which was four years before McCarthy even had kids (and 7 years before the diagnosis) and was probably the basis of her claims.  I think the affects of the research on vaccination rates dwarfed the celebrity stuff.  I'm sure when she talked about the issue, the research was front and center, so it's not exactly easy to seperate her from the research. 
 
I bet the average joe just vaccinates their kids without questioning it much.  Most public schools require them.  I'm would think that the folks who opted out, actually did a little looking around instead of following a pretty face just because it's pretty.  It's a fairly serious subject matter.
 
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:01 pm

The odds of serious illness resulting from a vaccine is non-zero, but it's also incredibly small. The death rates for children who are not vaccinated are masked by the "herd immunity" factor of the children around them who have been vaccinated. You have to go back to the 1950s to get any statistics on a non-vaccinated population, but even that isn't valid because of other advanced in medicine and knowledge.

Those against vaccinations can point to deaths resulting directly from vaccinations (generally from allergic reaction) versus the deaths caused by the illnesses themselves, but are not factoring in the number of deaths from those illnesses if no vaccine existed. There is also no way to say that the acute allergy might not have been triggered by something else had they survived.

The people who refuse vaccinations will thank you very much for the fact that your kids prevent their kids from getting diseases that could maim or kill them, but don't actually want to do anything about disease prevention themselves.

If you think that sounds a hell of a lot like many "members" of society who want the benefits of government but don't want to pay for it or don't think the rules should apply to them, you're quite right.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:41 pm

Koatanga wrote:The odds of serious illness resulting from a vaccine is non-zero, but it's also incredibly small. The death rates for children who are not vaccinated are masked by the "herd immunity" factor of the children around them who have been vaccinated. You have to go back to the 1950s to get any statistics on a non-vaccinated population, but even that isn't valid because of other advanced in medicine and knowledge.

Those against vaccinations can point to deaths resulting directly from vaccinations (generally from allergic reaction) versus the deaths caused by the illnesses themselves, but are not factoring in the number of deaths from those illnesses if no vaccine existed. There is also no way to say that the acute allergy might not have been triggered by something else had they survived.

The people who refuse vaccinations will thank you very much for the fact that your kids prevent their kids from getting diseases that could maim or kill them, but don't actually want to do anything about disease prevention themselves.

If you think that sounds a hell of a lot like many "members" of society who want the benefits of government but don't want to pay for it or don't think the rules should apply to them, you're quite right.

Or maybe they look at the data and choose what they believe is in the best interest of their child over the best interest of society.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:21 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Or maybe they look at the data and choose what they believe is in the best interest of their child over the best interest of society.


I vaccinated my kids as well, but don't recall anything contra- at the time (18/8 years ago). Some friends had a child recently and their mother told them not to get their daughter vaccinated, and the mother certainly didn't do any looking around -- she based her opinion entirely on Old Chinese Woman gossip.

While I don't doubt there are conscientious objectors out there that are well-informed, I suspect there are fewer of them than there are people who ... aren't.

Now that I think about it, I wonder how that particular demographic's gossip started. "vaccines are bad" is a particularly virulent (heh I make small joke) meme, and I wonder how these things go cross-cultural.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:22 pm

Koatanga wrote:If you think that sounds a hell of a lot like many "members" of society who want the benefits of government but don't want to pay for it or don't think the rules should apply to them, you're quite right.


Should everyone pay taxes, regardless of income bracket?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:11 pm

fuzzygeek wrote:
Koatanga wrote:If you think that sounds a hell of a lot like many "members" of society who want the benefits of government but don't want to pay for it or don't think the rules should apply to them, you're quite right.


Should everyone pay taxes, regardless of income bracket?

Only the people who actually benefit from the government. Such benefits may include (but are not limited to) police, military, emergency services, infrastructure, recordkeeping, and licensing.

Anyone who doesn't benefit from any of that should be exempt from taxes. Everyone else should pay their fair share.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:15 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Or maybe they look at the data and choose what they believe is in the best interest of their child over the best interest of society.

Well, I reckoned that what was best for my kid was to do everything in my power to avoid this:

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:47 pm

Ok lets not go there. I don't want to see pics (or the video footage) of people who've been adversely affected by vaccines either. We've already talked about the consequences on both ends, imagery isn't necessary or even a very compelling tactic.

Koatanga wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:Or maybe they look at the data and choose what they believe is in the best interest of their child over the best interest of society.

Well, I reckoned that what was best for my kid was to do everything in my power to avoid this:
Well that's my point, it's more of a best interest of the child thing, than any obligation to society. Isn't it entirely possible that looking at the data, particularly with a study out there suggesting a new link to autism via vaccines that parents choosing not to vaccinate their children believed that were doing the same thing?

fuzzygeek wrote:While I don't doubt there are conscientious objectors out there that are well-informed, I suspect there are fewer of them than there are people who ... aren't.
But it's actually kind of a pain to avoid them because according to the CDC, all 50 states require some level of vaccinations before entering public school. Then of course you have the whole birth and care visits growing up too. That's why I tend to think this is a group that's putting forth an effort to educate themselves.

fuzzygeek wrote:Now that I think about it, I wonder how that particular demographic's gossip started. "vaccines are bad" is a particularly virulent (heh I make small joke) meme, and I wonder how these things go cross-cultural.
Well I have no clue if there is any data out there regarding people who choose not to vaccinate. I don't think I even know anyone that has made that choice, not that it really ever comes up in conversation.

Koatanga wrote:Anyone who doesn't benefit from any of that should be exempt from taxes. Everyone else should pay their fair share.
And by fair share are you using a usage based model, or just taking the total cost and dividing that by the number of payers? :D
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