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.
Heck, North Carolina decided to make sea levels rises illegal!!
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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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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:00 pm

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?


Any data that you could possibly get depends on the people who do vaccinate though. Your odds of, say, not getting Measles are heavily influenced by the amount of people that get a Measles vaccine, and you're required to weigh THAT number against the odds of bad reaction to in any way get some study that puts not vaccinating in a favourible light.

This reminds me of that old Packet Forwarding game. You can get away with Declining if enough people in the system Accept packets, but if enough start Declining, the entire network slows down and if everyone starts Declining, the network breaks down.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:09 pm

Darielle wrote:
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?


Any data that you could possibly get depends on the people who do vaccinate though. Your odds of, say, not getting Measles are heavily influenced by the amount of people that get a Measles vaccine, and you're required to weigh THAT number against the odds of bad reaction to in any way get some study that puts not vaccinating in a favourible light.

This reminds me of that old Packet Forwarding game. You can get away with Declining if enough people in the system Accept packets, but if enough start Declining, the entire network slows down and if everyone starts Declining, the network breaks down.
Yeah we already covered that. It's just another data point though. I don't know what data people were getting. I remember when the research came out because it generated some buzz, but I was years from having kids. I'm sure there was an element of trust involved too, because of the various accusations being made.

Here's some context: http://www.nature.com/embor/journal/v7/ ... 00862.html
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:13 pm

Fridmarr wrote:
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

Because a fair and equitable tax plan can be summed up in the space of a Maintankadin post, amirite?

Obviously there are differences between corporations and small businesses, rich and poor, able or disabled, etc. to consider. I don't believe government exists only to make roads and invade foreign countries, but to provide some basic services for the governed as well.

However, I don't get to control the population. I know that for every person in legitimate need, there are 5 or 10 lazy bastards holding their hands out.

So starting from an inequitable population, I don't know how to make any sweeping judgements that would create a fair and even taxation for all people and/or businesses - not in the space of a post here at any rate. It would probably take months to sort out the details.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:39 pm

Fridmarr wrote: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?

My kid can live with autism a hell of a lot easier than with meningitis. Between meningitis B and C, New Zealand had a 12% infection rate and 5% death rate as recently as 2004. Between 2006 and 2010, there were between 5 and 8 deaths per year from meningococcal disease, and in 2011 there were 13 deaths. That makes no mention of the number of kids who were maimed by the disease.

I have not found any evidence of even a single death in that time, linked to a vaccine, that was not presented by someone with an anti-vaccination agenda or that was confirmed by any credible study.

So yeah, keeping my kid from dying or being maimed is in my best interest, and the irresponsible bastards who don't do their part to protect other children from such horrendous diseases are full of crap, in my opinion.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Darielle » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:27 am

Yeah we already covered that. It's just another data point though. I don't know what data people were getting. I remember when the research came out because it generated some buzz, but I was years from having kids. I'm sure there was an element of trust involved too, because of the various accusations being made.


It's not really "just another data point". It's pretty much the entire premise.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:37 am

If everyone else got vaccinated, why should I put myself through the non-zero risk of being vaccinated? I mean, its not liek I'll pick up the disease from zoonosis or standing around, I have to meet someone else with it (thats why we don't have smallpox (variola) anymore for instance - I know I'm not vaccinated against smallpox, but thats not a genuine risk) is the premise.

It is also why I don't think a mandate is good, it forces people to take a non-zero risk with certainty. Also, I think its bad practice for the government to mandate specific medical treatments (proactive or reactive), as it kinda goes against the whole basis of medicine being informed consent (we can of course talk about how informed the consent really is, but thats a whole otehr discussion), and that medicine isn't infallible.

As for requiring vaccinations to enroll in school (to pick one example), how does that work with other illnesses? should we mandate the flu shot, as that keeps kids out for at least a week, and infects the other kids before so there is a staggered period of about a month before the teachers then stay home sick?
And how does a mandate or requirement protect anyone, when a vaccination isn't a 100% guarantee (it still relies on the recipients immune system providing the antibodies)? (see my earlier post about getting certain "one-off diseases" twice as a child)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:09 am

Nooska wrote:If everyone else got vaccinated, why should I put myself through the non-zero risk of being vaccinated? I mean, its not liek I'll pick up the disease from zoonosis or standing around, I have to meet someone else with it (thats why we don't have smallpox (variola) anymore for instance - I know I'm not vaccinated against smallpox, but thats not a genuine risk) is the premise.


Perfect example of why vaccines SHOULD be mandatory. Why should everybody else put themselves at risk while you skip out? Classic tragedy of the commons.

Take two seconds and imagine how the world would look if everybody thought like you do. It shouldn't be hard, but it's probably terrifying.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:25 am

Nooska wrote:If everyone else got vaccinated, why should I put myself through the non-zero risk of being vaccinated? I mean, its not liek I'll pick up the disease from zoonosis or standing around, I have to meet someone else with it (thats why we don't have smallpox (variola) anymore for instance - I know I'm not vaccinated against smallpox, but thats not a genuine risk) is the premise.

What's an acceptable proportion of people to take this attitude and not be vaccinated? What's the portion of the population that needs to be unvaccinated for a disease to survive? Is it right to allow (in the name of freedom of choice) the people of the former group to reach the latter number, allowing the disease to continue and putting others who are not unvaccinated by choice - newborn children, people with severe allergies to the vaccine, for example - at risk?

Disease transmission is not something that can be thought about solely on the basis of individual risk.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:36 am

Darielle wrote:It's not really "just another data point". It's pretty much the entire premise.

Are you suggesting that those are mutally exclusive? I realize it's important, but it's still a data point.

If your assessing the risk of getting immunized or not, then vaccination rates and infection rates are part of that equation. As those change, so does the risk, fortunately you aren't required to make a choice for life, if you ever decide the risks change you can still get immunized, well if you haven't already died from the disease at least.

Paxen wrote:Perfect example of why vaccines SHOULD be mandatory. Why should everybody else put themselves at risk while you skip out? Classic tragedy of the commons.

Well it's already been said that there is no evidence, not a single case, of any serious side effects from vaccinations. I realize the CDC says that if you have had serious allergic reactions from vaccination, you shouldn't get them, but since they don't publish data suggesting that that has ever happened, it must not really occur. 

So isn't all the risk on the crowd opting to not get immunized? Didn't you see the picture of the little kid? That's what happens if you don't get immunized.  Wasn't the point of many of those posts that not getting immunized poses a greater risk than getting imunized?  Those that are immunized are lucky and shouldn't be concerned, as they are immune.

Of course during that period in which there was such research linking vaccines to autism and colitis, when the team that had the research published went to the media to suggest that a vaccine was not safe and should be pulled, only at that point was there reason to believe there was risk associated with being vaccinated. So it's only then, when there was a perceived risk, that they should have been mandatory.  Now that that published research was debunked, they should be optional again.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:24 am

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.

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.

I came across this site which talks about this topic. http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/Mor ... -Vaccinate


Now that site seems to be one of those anti vaccine sites, but it does cite its sources and the first couple I checked pan out. I don't know that they accurately capture the spirit of everything they cite either, so you'd have to verify that. They also have a lot of BMJ references but I guess that makes sense since that was where the research was from.
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