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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Empty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird

So, with the very likely possibility that baseball and basketball — at minimum — will be played to empty stadiums, it begs the question: Will it be as fun?

And before you answer, think about it for a second. No crowd noise. No intensity that builds for the home team or against the away team. Yes, the scoreboard will tell the tale, but the pressure is cranked up when you have a building full of crazy fans screaming their lungs out.

I get that it’s a business and that the money’s at the ML level, but considering crowds, distance from population centers, and the pleasures of relaxed fandom, I’ve been thinking that we might just run some mLs instead.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 28, 2020 at 10:17 AM | 6412 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, fans, stadiums

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   4301. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: May 28, 2020 at 03:34 PM (#5954183)
Good news for PF:

Norwegian Air secures USD 300 million in state aid
On May 20, 2020, Norwegian Air announced that it had completed the conversion of USD 1.3 billion worth of debt into equity, thereby unlocking a massive USD 300 million state loan guarantee. This restructuring entailed a massive dilution for the low-cost carrier’s existing shareholders, which saw their voting power cut by nearly 95% as lessors were handed major stakes. As a result, Irish leasing company AerCap Holdings and Chinese government-controlled BOC Aviation are now Norwegian Air’s largest shareholders, with 15.9% and 12.67% stakes respectively. The development occurs weeks after a successful outcome of the recapitalization had been threatened by low bondholder support.

The airline’s May 1 bondholder meeting saw 38% of votes cast rejecting the debt-to-equity swap proposal, which had required a two-thirds supermajority to pass. Two days later, the company announced that it had entered an agreement with the largest holders of the “NAS07” bond series and that, as a result, the proposal had been approved. As the airline industry grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, there is increasing speculation that such far-reaching restructurings lie ahead. Notably, a May 26 study revealed that the airline industry’s debt could reach USD 550 billion by the end of 2020.
   4302. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 28, 2020 at 03:49 PM (#5954185)
I was told it would take my THIRD YEAR before I got to use a lathe.

We had to take shop in both 7th & 8th grade. Early in 8th grade I got yelled at by the teacher for using one of the power tools we "hadn't been trained on" yet. We'd been trained on it the year before. I didn't realize that I was supposed to have forgotten everything about it in the interim.

Kids are just so stupid sometimes!
   4303. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 28, 2020 at 03:53 PM (#5954186)
there is increasing speculation that such far-reaching restructurings lie ahead


The last firm I worked for, a small boutique investment bank, has a fairly large restructuring business. I'm still in touch with the people I worked with there, hoping to maybe get another "consulting" gig (also, I just like the people). They say they're very busy.

   4304. BrianBrianson Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:03 PM (#5954190)

Bur the article does not address the publicity-seeking behavior for an unvetted hypothesis and the willingness to (putting it kindly) be used by others for their political purposes, and to do so trafficking on his rep for trashing the errors of medical scientists.


This is harder to talk about, because the level of public interest is so high, in a way that's largely out of my experience. So I can say on the science end it's entirely normal and ordinary, but on the press interactions ... it's not that odd, to me, but the sample size there is small.

But many of the critiscisms remains ... nuts. Example:

Worse, 1) the paper he is citing for this result doesn't do any extrapolation the least bit similar, nor give any reason why anything like that might be appropriate.


So ... ~50% of citations?
   4305. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5954193)
My college didn't have any PE requirement. I don't even think there was a class that required any physical exertion that you could get course credit for. My brother, OTOH, went to a prominent West Coast school and got credit for both golf and some sort of dance class.
   4306. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:11 PM (#5954197)

So Brian, what's your position here? That Ioannidis' work is sound? Or that it's bad but sometimes academics get things wrong and it will be caught and corrected in the peer review process?
   4307. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:12 PM (#5954198)
It's a blatant misuse of someone else's data to achieve a local IFR result he has to know is wrong (b/c over 100% would be infected in that part of France), in turn, in order to establish the "fact" that the IFR is much lower than the anticipated 0.9%. And the extrapolation methodology is not even described anywhere in the article. What % of scientific papers do all that, especially ones from respected scientists at top-tier universities?
   4308. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:19 PM (#5954200)
My college didn't have any PE requirement. I don't even think there was a class that required any physical exertion that you could get course credit for. My brother, OTOH, went to a prominent West Coast school and got credit for both golf and some sort of dance class.


My wife tells me that she was allowed to go bowling for her PE requirement.
   4309. Lassus Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:24 PM (#5954201)
PE requirement
Vassar laughs.

But I DID take squash, which was more sociologically hilarious because the instructor was something like 75 years old, and said that anyone who could score three points against him would get an automatic A+. No one could at any point over the entire semester. It's possible no one made it to two. And these were kids who went to places where they played squash, like Groton.
   4310. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:44 PM (#5954207)
My wife tells me that she was allowed to go bowling for her PE requirement.
We had lots of options at my school in Worcester, MA, and bowling was one (in the *ancient*, original gym building). Also played squash.
   4311. mathesond Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:54 PM (#5954209)
Diane Chambers became a pretty good bowler while in university.
   4312. Srul Itza Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:55 PM (#5954210)
There is an old saw, much used here, about people who use statistics as a drunk uses lamp-posts — for support rather than for illumination.

That is exactly what is happening with Ioannidis. He is not doing science because he is not interested in doing science. He has a political ideology he wishes to push, and is cobbling together numbers higgledy-piggledy to create "work" which appears to support his inclinations -- until someone actually takes a look at it.

Because he is familiar with the jargon, he is able to make it look like he is doing science, at least to laymen, and to create a gloss that apologists like Brian can latch onto,to excuse his behavior.

Why Brian feels so duty bound to defend a charlatan, only he can answer.
   4313. PreservedFish Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:01 PM (#5954212)
Brian has appeared to argue that sometimes getting things wrong on purpose serves a useful role in the scientific process.
   4314. PreservedFish Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:08 PM (#5954214)
Good news for PF:

When do you think I'll get my refund?
   4315. DCA Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:17 PM (#5954221)
Without knowing the particular details of this piece of research, I think what Brian was saying (because it is what I would say) is that when an area of inquiry is not well known and actual experimental data are not available, a lot of quasiexperimental approaches are tried out to very different results and in retrospect many are hilariously wrong but it’s part of the figuring out process that comes from, eg, meta-analysis of many studies.

Also, I’ve coauthored with one of the other Stanford authors and he did not come off as a political hack at all.
   4316. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:27 PM (#5954222)
I’ve coauthored with one of the other Stanford authors


Criminey, I love this place.
   4317. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:30 PM (#5954225)
I don't think they're political hacks. These aren't political questions, or at least, they shouldn't be.* I don't know what their motivations are, but I suspect they wanted to be the famous contrarians whose Freakonomics-style research enabled the world to reopen. They were so convinced they were right early on and that has clouded their judgment.

Ironically, as Mayor Blomberg noted in #4213, Ioannidis' claim to fame was exposing bad science.

* And for the record, I was initially in their camp. If you go back and read the old coronavirus thread, I originally touted some of the early articles that said the CFR in China, outside of Wuhan, was only 0.4%. But it's very hard to escape all of the subsequent data pointing to a higher number.
   4318. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 28, 2020 at 05:53 PM (#5954228)
Brian has appeared to argue that sometimes getting things wrong on purpose serves a useful role in the scientific process.

If this is true, he is a tremendous asset to the scientific community.
   4319. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:22 PM (#5954234)
Barry, then the problem Ioannidis was highlighting in his famous paper is that those researchers weren't trying?
   4320. Ron J Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:52 PM (#5954242)
4313 I suppose it does help train the, "Hey that ain't right" center of your brain. Sorting out arguments made in bad faith could be useful in sharpening you for the more mundane problems.
   4321. Zach Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:56 PM (#5954244)
Something my PhD advisor taught me: you are not trying to get the right number, you are trying to get the number that your method gives. If your method gives the wrong answer, then that's the result: the experiment measured X, but method Y predicts Y.

Sometimes the experiment is wrong, and more sophisticated measurements or analysis is needed.

Sometimes the theory is wrong, and you need to pay attention to things that you were ignoring or treating as small.

Frequently it takes multiple iterations before you're sure experiment and theory are measuring the right things.
   4322. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:00 PM (#5954245)
Sorting out arguments made in bad faith could be useful in sharpening you for the more mundane problems.


Not just "bad faith," unless the term just means "everything I disagree with."

It's a critical exercise to read arguments and propositions with which you disagree. Anyone who just has a point of view without knowing why it's right is a lesser mind, and the only real way you're able to know why it's right is to be able to know and argue effectively with different positions.

Even though it's drivel, one isn't really educated or politically intelligent in any serious sense if they haven't read things like The Communist Manifesto. I actually enjoy reading it, even though it's ultimately nonsense. I enjoy reading well-constructed works on all parts of the political spectrum, always have.(*) Unfortunately, in recent years, precious snowlflake-ism has taken the place of actual idea engagement. We see it on BTF routinely; indeed, in recent years it's become the dominant ideology around here.

Marx and Engels made their arguments in good faith; they're just badly faulty arguments. There's a monumental difference between the two. (And, as an aside, using the faulty reasoning on display around here, they'd be deemed "literal killers," but of course that's preposterous.)

(*) And conversely, have no real desire to read trash even if it generally comports with my political/social/cultural perspectives.
   4323. Zach Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:03 PM (#5954246)
One of the problems (not mine) he was working on at the time related to chemical processes that occurred in interstellar gases.

The standard way of calculating the rate gave numbers that were absurd -- something like 10 orders of magnitude off. He and a collaborator went to an improved treatment and pretty much nailed it.

The fact that the old method was giving awful values wasn't an error, it was the result -- the lesson was that the more elaborate method was needed if you want to get a good value.

I haven't read the study you guys are arguing about, but it can be surprisingly difficult to measure what you think you're measuring.
   4324. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:08 PM (#5954248)
I haven't read the study you guys are arguing about, but it can be surprisingly difficult to measure what you think you're measuring.
and yet, it can be so easy to publicize the result...especially when it's convenient.
   4325. Ron J Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:09 PM (#5954249)
4323 Being wrong isn't the issue. That's just a fact of life. Extremely clever people have made silly errors or have gone down the rabbit hole in good faith.

The problem is that he was in effect making up the number to get a result he wanted. It wasn't honest error. It was academic fraud.
   4326. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:12 PM (#5954250)
Being wrong isn't the issue.


The ultimate "issue" is actually that he's anti-lockdown. All the rest is just noise and/or pretense. If he'd been "wrong" on the high side, and pro-lockdown, we wouldn't be hearing a peep.
   4327. Zach Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:20 PM (#5954251)
Ok, here's a link. Is this the paper you're asking about?

This doesn't look dishonest, although I would have doubts about the accuracy of any study that's trying to combine multiple studies, taken in multiple countries, using different tests, in a rapidly developing situation.

I'm a little surprised that the Santa Clara study, which anecdotally did have some people trying to participate in order to get a test, does not look like an outlier here.
   4328. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:27 PM (#5954252)
It doesn't look dishonest because there's no serious sense in which it is dishonest. It was a very early study, with admittedly imperfect sampling, that came to a fundamental conclusion that has been confirmed by every other similar study that has tackled the subject -- in a variety of places in the world.

   4329. Zach Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:35 PM (#5954253)
The basic approach of looking up all studies of a certain type and putting the results on an equal footing seems reasonable. Getting all the details right -- is a reported death in Japan really the same thing as a reported death in France, or in Iran -- is a huge kettle of worms. But you're reading a quickly done meta study that was performed during a rapidly developing situation, so take it for what it's worth.
   4330. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:37 PM (#5954254)
I suspect they wanted to be the famous contrarians whose Freakonomics-style research enabled the world to reopen. They were so convinced they were right early on and that has clouded their judgment.

This isn't some ####### game. You're accusing Ioannidis of Trump-level narcissism.
   4331. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:39 PM (#5954255)
I'm a little surprised that the Santa Clara study, which anecdotally did have some people trying to participate in order to get a test, does not look like an outlier here
Well, that's a large of the problem. He only included studies that gave him the result he wanted. All of the biggest and most reliable studies so far (because of the size of the study and the populations studied, which generally had high rates of infection), most of them performed by governments, have been excluded. On the other hand, some tiny studies, surveying very biased samples (such as the one from Oise), were included.
   4332. Laser Man Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:45 PM (#5954257)
The fundamental conclusion of the paper in [4327] is that the "Covid-19 IFR is around 0.1-0.2%, similar to that of influenza." How has that conclusion been confirmed by every other study?
   4333. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:49 PM (#5954258)
This isn't some ####### game. You're accusing Ioannidis of Trump-level narcissism.

firstly, no. trump is literally out here telling scientists they should inject people with chlorox to see what happens. that's a level of narcissism that's beyond compare.

secondly, the fact that you know this #######'s name is a strong indication of his narcissism. it's not a coincidence that the "scientists" who are getting publicity from the coronavirus are ones who have been loud wrong at every turn. the IMHE #######, this #######, that sweedish #######... they're attention seekers; they're skip baylesses.


and yeah, it's not a ####### game. we agree on that one.
   4334. PreservedFish Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:52 PM (#5954259)
But you're reading a quickly done meta study that was performed during a rapidly developing situation, so take it for what it's worth.


I mean, there have been many comments in this forum - anonymous, hasty, and futile - that have evinced more caution, wisdom and understanding than recent the Ionnadis paper.
   4335. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:55 PM (#5954261)
The fundamental conclusion of the paper in [4327] is that the "Covid-19 IFR is around 0.1-0.2%, similar to that of influenza." How has that conclusion been confirmed by every other study?


I'm talking about the original Santa Clara paper, of which he was one of several authors.

With that said, there's nothing in the later, solo-authored paper that says what you quoted. I used the search function for influenza and the closest found was:

A comparison of COVID-19 to influenza is often attempted, but this may be an uneven
comparison. At a very broad, bird’s eye view level, worldwide the IFR of COVID-19 this season
may be in the same ballpark as the IFR of influenza (0.1%, 0.2% in a bad year). According to this
scenario, which needs further verification, COVID-19 may have infected as of May 12
approximately 200 million people (or more), far more than the ~4.2 PCR-documented cases.


It's possible, I guess, that there was search function fail, but that passage doesn't say or mean anything close to a conclusion that the Covid IFR is 0.1-0.2%. Saying he said what you said he said is just totally credibility-sapping. I have no vested interest in the guy whatsoever and beyond the Santa Clara paper I don't know that I've read a word he's said on the topic, but at this point, it's blatantly obvious he's been singled out and deconstructed because he's anti-lockdown. People can't even play it straight on the basics of what he's said. Not only does he not say what he purportedly said, but the first sentence in the part I quoted is basically a warning *not* to fall for the superficial possible comparisons between COVID and flu.
   4336. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:09 PM (#5954263)
search fail. It's the whole point of the article.

With a dearth of asymptomatic infections, the CFR approximates the IFR. Other mathematical models suggested that 40-70% or even 81% of the global population would be infected. Influential mathematical models eventually dialed back to an IFR of 1.0% or 0.9%, and these numbers continue to be widely cited and used in both public and scientific circles as of this writing (May 12, 2020). The most influential of these models, constructed by Imperial College estimated 2.2 million deaths in the USA and over half a million deaths in the UK in the absence of lockdown measures. Such grave predictions justifiably led to lockdown measures adopted in many countries. With 0.9% assumed infection fatality rate and 81% assumed proportion of people infected, the prediction would correspond to a global number of deaths comparable with the 1918 influenza, in the range of 50 million fatalities.

...

A comparison of COVID-19 to influenza is often attempted, but this may be an uneven comparison. At a very broad, bird’s eye view level, worldwide the IFR of COVID-19 this season may be in the same ballpark as the IFR of influenza (0.1%, 0.2% in a bad year).

...

While COVID-19 is a formidable threat, the fact that its IFR is much lower than originally feared, is a welcome piece of evidence. ... it is helpful to know that SARS-CoV-2 has relatively low IFR overall.
   4337. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:16 PM (#5954265)
search fail. It;s the whole point of the article.


Uh, no -- it's not. The article did not say or conclude the thing that Laser Man said it did. Nor was it the point. The point was to collect and comment on the research to date, and that's what he does.

With a dearth of asymptomatic infections, the CFR approximates the IFR. Other mathematical models suggested that 40-70% or even 81% of the global population would be infected. Influential mathematical models eventually dialed back to an IFR of 1.0% or 0.9%, and these numbers continue to be widely cited and used in both public and scientific circles as of this writing (May 12, 2020). The most influential of these models, constructed by Imperial College estimated 2.2 million deaths in the USA and over half a million deaths in the UK in the absence of lockdown measures. Such grave predictions justifiably led to lockdown measures adopted in many countries. With 0.9% assumed infection fatality rate and 81% assumed proportion of people infected, the prediction would correspond to a global number of deaths comparable with the 1918 influenza, in the range of 50 million fatalities.


True, and amply supported.

A comparison of COVID-19 to influenza is often attempted, but this may be an uneven comparison. At a very broad, bird’s eye view level, worldwide the IFR of COVID-19 this season may be in the same ballpark as the IFR of influenza (0.1%, 0.2% in a bad year).


"May be," after a direct injunction not to compare COVID and the flu, replete with a bunch of qualifying words leading into a different point, followed by a bunch of things you didn't quote that also belie the conclusion you are attributing to him.

While COVID-19 is a formidable threat, the fact that its IFR is much lower than originally feared, is a welcome piece of evidence.


Absolutely true, though unrelated to your claim about his "entire point."

it is helpful to know that SARS-CoV-2 has relatively low IFR overall.


No antecedent for "relatively low," but I'm assuming it's relative to the earlier feared IFRs. With this entirely reasonable assumption, also absolutely true (and again not related to the 0.1/0.2 idea falsely attributed to him.)

He didn't say anything close to what the faction here has been saying he said. I hadn't looked at this paper before today, or really the whole Ion kerfluffle, the reasons for which are obvious -- but now that I have, it doesn't remotely support the anti-ION claims.


   4338. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:21 PM (#5954266)
I wish I had some of what you were smoking.
   4339. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:27 PM (#5954267)
A comparison of COVID-19 to influenza is often attempted, but this may be an uneven
comparison. At a very broad, bird’s eye view level, worldwide the IFR of COVID-19 this season
may be in the same ballpark as the IFR of influenza (0.1%, 0.2% in a bad year). According to this
scenario, which needs further verification, COVID-19 may have infected as of May 12
approximately 200 million people (or more), far more than the ~4.2 PCR-documented cases.


"May be in the same ballpark," "which needs further verification," "may have infected."

He simply didn't say what he was purported to have said. Nor was what this paragraph did in fact say even remotely "the entire point" of the paper.

Did people read what he said and come to their own conclusions, or simply parrot something Vox or somesuch said?
   4340. . Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:34 PM (#5954269)
I wish I had some of what you were smoking.


Discussion of these things would proceed better if people played it straighter about what people actually said. The problem is actually wider, because it's spread to almost every outlet out there.

If people don't want to play the facts straight, the other alternative is to just admit the obvious -- that they think something like that any talk that would tend to make people and officials more reckless is net-net dangerous, even if that talk can be said to be true. That approach has more going for it than the continuing distortions and snipe hunts for "bias" and the Twitter mobs and all the rest. It also has the advantage of being truer to what your faction actually thinks and believes. "Truth" isn't everything at all times and in all places, and there's at least a colorable argument that this is one of those times and places. I'm not sure I buy it, but it's way more persuasive than the other stuff.
   4341. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 28, 2020 at 09:57 PM (#5954273)
Brian Sims @BrianSimsPA
RESIGN: Today we learned that House Speaker @MikeTurzai has known that Republican Members have either tested positive, or been quarantined, and withheld this information from Democrats including those of us who serve on the committees with those members!

These same Members were among those leading the daily shouts to reopen the state. They yelled and screamed about it being safe for others across the state to gather, while they were testing positive and notifying each other, but none of the Democrats that work with them!
...
Now, months later, in the middle of a global pandemic, I’ve discovered that my Republican colleagues exposed me, and my Democratic colleagues to Covid-19! They covered that information up because they were simultaneously arguing that the risk was low, or non-existent. They lied.
   4342. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 28, 2020 at 10:36 PM (#5954275)

It doesn't look dishonest because there's no serious sense in which it is dishonest. It was a very early study, with admittedly imperfect sampling, that came to a fundamental conclusion that has been confirmed by every other similar study that has tackled the subject -- in a variety of places in the world.

Well, the Santa Clara may have been dishonest. One of their colleagues apparently raised a whistleblower complaint after they disregarded her concerns about the reliability of their tests. They also claimed that the link to sign up for the testing was not shareable, when I believe it was later shown that one of the author's wives was emailing the link to her friends to sign up (and making false medical claims about what such a test showed). Stanford is conducting an investigation and I think it's worth waiting to see what that finds.

I suspect they wanted to be the famous contrarians whose Freakonomics-style research enabled the world to reopen. They were so convinced they were right early on and that has clouded their judgment.

This isn't some ####### game. You're accusing Ioannidis of Trump-level narcissism.

I'm not accusing anyone of anything. I'm giving what is, in my opinion, a charitable potential interpretation of their work (Ioannidis' and some of the other low-IFR proponents). The less charitable interpretations are that they're dishonest, or stupid.
   4343. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 28, 2020 at 11:52 PM (#5954278)
People shocked about narcissism among top academics or researchers? Want to discuss the career of Monsieur HCQ without using that word? I'll be very impressed if Ioannidis isn't a narcissist, but I won't hold my breath. A lifetime in the academy breeds that suspicion. I mean Brian's story of his grand-advisor, for instance, or Kuhn's comment these many decades ago that people aren't converted acceptance of a new theory, they retire or die.
   4344. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: May 28, 2020 at 11:57 PM (#5954279)
It's not charitable to describe an apparently competent scientist as someone who can't ask the basic question of "what if I'm wrong?" as he pretty clearly cherry-picks studies to prove his point. "There's a 20% chance that I"m going to assist in the deaths of a hundred thousand people, but think of how popular my podcast would be if I'm right!"

firstly, no. trump is literally out here telling scientists they should inject people with chlorox to see what happens. that's a level of narcissism that's beyond compare.

Trump's narcissism is more visceral, but it's extra wacky to imagine a renowned scientist at one of our most respected centers of learning (I guess, although maybe Theranos was not an outlier) slaving away night and day over Excel to build what he has to suspect is a bull #### argument for a WSJ op-ed.
   4345. DCA Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:07 AM (#5954281)
4343- Kuhn’s observation is hardly original. It is more famously attributed to Max Planck, and I’m sure he wasn’t the first to notice that either.
   4346. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:23 AM (#5954282)

I give some credit to Ioannidis for at least acknowledging the New York antibody results in his paper. But he doesn't mention the recent Spain results. Spain tested more people than all of the studies cited in his paper combined.

Another thing that raises questions for me is the fact that his initial article estimating an 0.3% IFR was based on the Diamond Princess, at a time when (I believe) 7 people from the Diamond Princess had died. Now, a couple of months later, when 14 people from the Diamond Princess have died, his new paper makes no mention of that information. His original article acknowledged the possibility of additional deaths so I'm not sure how much of an impact the subsequent data would have on his IFR.

His Oise data has the same issue as the above, in addition to the sample bias issue. They tested people from March 30-April 4 but then he takes the number of dead as of April 7. But as of April 7 France had only reported about 10,000 COVID deaths; that number doubled over the following two weeks and has continued to rise. (If you double the fatality number he's using and use the 3% seroprevalence rate from the blood donor sample rather than the 25.9% rate from the high school, you get an IFR of 0.7%).
   4347. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:03 AM (#5954283)
It's not charitable to describe an apparently competent scientist as someone who can't ask the basic question of "what if I'm wrong?" as he pretty clearly cherry-picks studies to prove his point. "There's a 20% chance that I"m going to assist in the deaths of a hundred thousand people, but think of how popular my podcast would be if I'm right!"

I don't think the thought process works like that at all. I think we all have pre-formed biases and when you think you're smarter than everyone else *and* you're helping people (by enabling them to get back to their normal lives) it's easy to let those cloud your judgment. As I said earlier in the thread when discussing another academic, if your shtick is being a contrarian, sometimes you run the risk of becoming the proverbial hammer who sees every problem as a nail.

We see it happen here in discussions of baseball all the time. Especially once we've publicly made a claim it's easy to dig in our heels and search for data that prove us right rather than data that prove us wrong.

I mean, what are the other, more charitable explanations?

Trump's narcissism is more visceral, but it's extra wacky to imagine a renowned scientist at one of our most respected centers of learning (I guess, although maybe Theranos was not an outlier) slaving away night and day over Excel to build what he has to suspect is a bull #### argument for a WSJ op-ed.

Ironically, IIRC Ioannidis was one of the early skeptics who questioned Theranos.

   4348. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:15 AM (#5954284)
In early 2015, before the [Wall Street] Journal’s initial expose, John P. A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine, health research and policy and statistics at Stanford University, the alma mater of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, penned a column in the Journal of American Medicine Association questioning the company’s lack of peer-reviewed material.


link

He seems to have had an excellent bullshit detector, except in one case.
   4349. BrianBrianson Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:30 AM (#5954285)
So Brian, what's your position here? That Ioannidis' work is sound? Or that it's bad but sometimes academics get things wrong and it will be caught and corrected in the peer review process?


His conclusions seem to be quantitatively wrong. Qualitatively is a little harder to say - at least when the famed editorial was published, it looks like he was right that we were overestimating the case fatality rate because we were undercounting infections, but we were only undercounting infections by a factor of a few, not the factor of ~100 he thought it was.

I don't really like "caught and corrected" - peer review isn't a magic, it doesn't make papers right. If I were reviewing, I'd probably say "You have to address data sets X, Y, Z that make it look like the fatality rate is much higher". Now, I'd guess that he'd try to explain them away (non-representative populations, maybe they had an excessively old sample or something), moreso than really totally revamp his thinking. Maybe excess deaths too, though I'd guess you could make some hypotheses about that too (like, if hospitals were over capacity, you might expect other deaths to go up as people can't get medical treatment, but that's not the disease, whatnot). So, no, if this wasn't such a politicised issue, I wouldn't expect it to get fundamentally changed during publication.

But, the attacks that it's "not science" are nonsense partisan posturing that's pointless and distracting. Having people adopt and push non-standard positions is a very typical and normal part of science. If it wasn't so politicised, no one would say it's not science or even really bad science, just normal wrong science as everyone does quite often. He explains his method, we can read it and say "Yeah, I don't buy it". I do this every day. We're doing it here, now.

And so like, the take home should be, that you shouldn't be confident in any given paper*, or any position being supported by one or a small number of experts. The 538 method of taking estimates from a bunch of people is far superior to trying to figure out the right answer. Eventually, the field will converge (which occasionally does take funerals).



*There's a little bit of an exception here for measured numbers, which are usually very secure. But this isn't a measured result, it's theoretical interpretation, that's being argued about.
   4350. Laser Man Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:37 AM (#5954286)
The entire point of the article is that the previously reported IFRs of ~1% are too high and "it is helpful to know that SARS-CoV-2 has relatively low IFR overall." And what does he think the IFR actually is - around 0.2%, in the same ballpark as influenza.

In the paragraph quoted, which discourages a comparison between Covid-19 and influenza, the claim is that while he thinks the IFRs are similar, "influenza devastates developing countries, but is more tolerant of wealthy nations," while Covid-19 has "more deaths in wealthy nations than in the developing world... [although] even in the wealthy nations, COVID-19 seems to affect predominantly the frail, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized." Maybe you should read the article more carefully. The point is that while the IFRs are similar, they affect different people and may have different IFR reduction strategies.
   4351. BrianBrianson Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:38 AM (#5954287)
Brian has appeared to argue that sometimes getting things wrong on purpose serves a useful role in the scientific process.


No, but sometimes you should push for ideas that look like they're very probably wrong to ensure they get a fair shake.
   4352. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:48 AM (#5954288)

Another puzzling statement he makes is that 200+ million people may have been infected worldwide as of May 12 based on his IFR range of 0.1-0.2%. I guess he's getting there based on ~292,000 reported worldwide deaths as of May 12 (according to Worldometers) and the midpoint of his IFR range.

But the numbers don't work that way. 27,000 of those deaths are in Spain, where only ~2.3 million people were infected. 22,000 in NY where only ~2.4 million were infected. Another 18,000 in NJ/CT/MA which you know are going to look more like NY in terms of IFR, not 0.1-0.2% (0.1% of the entire population of NJ had already died by May 12, 0.9% of CT and 0.7% of MA). ~30,000 in Italy which again, unless you think 100% of people in Lombardy had it, then it probably looks more like Spain/NY.

Basically, just a ton of the deaths have come in places where you simply know the IFR is way higher than 0.1-0.2%. Which means he must think the IFR is way lower than 0.1-0.2% in all the other regions. Or he just hasn't thought about it that much.
   4353. BrianBrianson Posted: May 29, 2020 at 05:03 AM (#5954291)

But the numbers don't work that way. 27,000 of those deaths are in Spain, where only ~2.3 million people were infected.


Gosh? I hate defending someone I think is wrong, but Spain has 27k deaths, 47 million people, and a rather large excess of old people (it's where Brits move to retire, for instance), plus had serious problems with care of old folks during the height. Last I was aware, we still weren't totally sure people who had very mild cases have much of an antibody response.

If you were convinced the typical fatality rate was 0.1%, there are ways to convince yourself Spain is undercounting infections, or their totals deaths aren't totally representative. I don't really want to make those arguments because I don't believe them.

But yeah, of course if you believe the mortality rate is ~0.1%, you multiply deaths by ~1000 to estimate cases.
   4354. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: May 29, 2020 at 06:43 AM (#5954292)
We see it happen here in discussions of baseball all the time. Especially once we've publicly made a claim it's easy to dig in our heels and search for data that prove us right rather than data that prove us wrong.

Again, this is a pretty unflattering comparison. He's a professional scientist. I have heard academia is uneven with ethical standards, but letting his ego drive his analysis to this extent is malpractice. The nitwit anonymous poster who can't get it into his head that Jack Morris is a mediocrity does not have training on the ethics of evaluating pitcher statistics, nor does he have an obvious obligation to society to exercise care and diligence in his arguments. The anonymous poster can, and maybe even should, be a fanboy. This is particularly an issue in epidemiology, where shoddy analysis could lead to delayed responses, and thus ultimately to thousands of deaths.

Brian seems to be describing a kind of professional devil's advocate. It is clear that someone playing such a role could serve a vital purpose, knocking down over-hyped technology and phenomena. But I think it's well-understood in epidemiology that an argument that charitably boils down to "we don't know exactly what's going on" is pretty useless for public policy. Because by the time you do know exactly that, yes, we are dealing with an apocalyptic plague, then you've already missed your chance for an optimal outcome.
   4355. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 07:18 AM (#5954293)
Again, this is a pretty unflattering comparison. He's a professional scientist.

Again, what’s your more flattering interpretation?
   4356. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 29, 2020 at 07:36 AM (#5954294)
South Korea have now had to re-close 200 schools after more Covid-19 cases appear, although again we're talking about 80 per day. Meanwhile, England (not the UK) has recommended schools to re-open from Monday, but several areas are already saying that won't happen, and Wales and Scotland have planned later dates. The R measure in the UK is assessed to be 'under 1, but just under', so the likelihood of an increase in cases seems high.

   4357. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 08:23 AM (#5954296)



Gosh? I hate defending someone I think is wrong, but Spain has 27k deaths, 47 million people, and a rather large excess of old people (it's where Brits move to retire, for instance), plus had serious problems with care of old folks during the height. Last I was aware, we still weren't totally sure people who had very mild cases have much of an antibody response.

If you were convinced the typical fatality rate was 0.1%, there are ways to convince yourself Spain is undercounting infections, or their totals deaths aren't totally representative. I don't really want to make those arguments because I don't believe them.


(1) Spain's deaths don't include nursing homes -- if you include nursing homes the number probably goes up 50-100%. So elderly population or poor care of those elderly is not really a possible explanation for the high IFR in Spain.

(2) My point is more of a mathematical one. Even if you want to handwave away NYC and Italy, as he does in the paper, and all the other places where the IFR has to be similar to those (NJ, CT, MA, Spain, etc.), as having high IFRs that are an abberation, then you can't include those deaths in your numerator when trying to imply a total number of people infected worldwide.

(3) If you doubt the reliability of antibody testing, writing a paper based entirely on various antibody tests and not mentioning that fact would seem to be a strange way to express it. When he discusses the potential reasons for NY's high IFR, he does not mention this concern at all. ("Mild/asymptomatic cases don't provoke a sustained antibody response" may also not be the best argument for reopening, either, although I haven't fully thought it through. It's certainly not good for the herd immunity argument.)

I do think Ioannidis would find your appeal to his authority as a Stanford academic amusing. His main claim to fame was a paper that claimed to prove that the majority of published academic research was false.

There is increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims [6–8]. However, this should not be surprising. It can be proven that most claimed research findings are false.


Anyway, I'm not really that interested in "why" Ioannidis and some others seem to have gotten this wrong. I was honestly trying to be charitable in offering a possible explanation other than actual dishonesty or political hackery; at best it was armchair psychology and if you disagree that's fine. My main point was that I think they're being sincere; on that we seem to agree.
   4358. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 08:44 AM (#5954299)
#4356 are the infections appearing in schools? Or are they just closing schools to minimize the risk of further spread in the community?

EDIT: Answering my own question, the outbreak was tied to a distribution center outside Seoul. They seem to have closed schools as a precautionary measure, not because the schools themselves were the source of the outbreak.
   4359. BrianBrianson Posted: May 29, 2020 at 08:52 AM (#5954300)
I don't think devil's advocacy is quite right - really, you should be willing to entertain ideas you don't agree with, but I wouldn't advocate for them unless you do believe them.

Advising public policy is another matter. I haven't done that (unless you count, like, grant reviewing for NASA and the NSF), but then I think you do have a responsibility to lay out what the state of the field is, including yourself but also others. In an era where non-idiots were making public policy decisions, that should work fine, if one wants to argue maybe that doesn't apply so well now ...

But it can be hard. Frankly, I've done a lot of writing on Wikipedia, and I can hardly stand it to touch things I do professionally because I get so irritated when the state of the literature is obviously wrong and I have to represent them fairly. So I have some empathy for why that'd be hard to do in a public policy position.

Because by the time you do know exactly that, yes, we are dealing with an apocalyptic plague, then you've already missed your chance for an optimal outcome.


This is probably true but also pretty focussed on the current situation. In the things I've listened to be epidemiologists, they also seem very aware of the dangers of becoming the boy who cried wolf, so even though in this specific case it certainly does seem like we're in semi-apocalyptic plague, it's definitely worth asking how confident we are that that's actually what's happening.
   4360. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 09:08 AM (#5954302)

Oh, and Spain is not particularly old relative to the US. 18% of their population is 65+, compared to 16% in the US when I looked this up a few weeks ago. Public policy in the US should very much be informed by the experience of Spain, rather than ignoring it as some sort of anomaly.
   4361. . Posted: May 29, 2020 at 09:22 AM (#5954304)
The nitwit anonymous poster who can't get it into his head that Jack Morris is a mediocrity does not have training on the ethics of evaluating pitcher statistics, nor does he have an obvious obligation to society to exercise care and diligence in his arguments. The anonymous poster can, and maybe even should, be a fanboy.


What are the "ethics" of, in a forum open to the public, completely inventing a quote and attributing it directly to an author who didn't make it?

Well, I think we have at least some outlines of an answer. First, in certain contexts there are professional responsibilities enforced by sanctions for violations. If a lawyer had knowingly attributed that fake quote to Ion in a brief to a judge, he or she would be subject to suspension or disbarment. We're also starting to see the outlines of an answer in the kerfuffle over Twitter, President Tangerine, and Section 230 of the now archaic 1996 communications law. This site, and certainly a place like Twitter, because they are now effectively editing and commenting on comments, aren't merely bulletin boards anymore, or the functional equivalent of the old phone companies (**) -- they're publishers. As a result, they should be legally responsible for the content they publish -- just as traditional publishers like newspapers are and always have been. That means a number of things, but first and foremost, it means they can be legally responsible (i.e., $$) for any slanderous or libelous comments they publish.

There's no reason anymore to shield these cesspools and bastions of lies from legal liability for the lies and various cesspool-isms. The world in which that law was passed is long gone.

(In reality, of course, Ion likely wouldn't sue BTF or Furtado because the number of eyeballs who see the things said about him is relatively small, and therefore the reputational damage relatively small, but that doesn't change the principle.)

(**) Once Furtado bans a YR and suspends an Andy based on the content of their posts, as opposed to running merely a fully-open bulletin board, he's a publisher under any serious definition of the concept. (He probably is merely by posting some articles for board commentary, and not others, but that's not necessary to figure out for this discussion.) With that status comes responsibility and hopefully will soon come the same legal responsibility of, say, the New York Times or the New York Daily News. The idea of open, freewheeling forums and democratic mass discussion was nice while it lasted, but that time has -- unfortunately -- long passed.
   4362. Zonk WARRIORS ALONE! Posted: May 29, 2020 at 09:42 AM (#5954306)
Looks like baseball missed its window.

It appears that the Hunger Games will be open first....
   4363. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 09:53 AM (#5954309)

(In reality, of course, Ion likely wouldn't sue BTF or Furtado because the number of eyeballs who see the things said about him is relatively small, and therefore the reputational damage relatively small, but that doesn't change the principle.)

He also wouldn't sue because the quote is not libelous in any way, shape or form. At the very worst, it's a slightly stronger form of what he has now stated in two papers and at least one article. How could he possibly claim damages, even if #4332 was published on the front page of the New York Times?
   4364. . Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:07 AM (#5954310)
How could he possibly claim damages, even if #4332 was published on the front page of the New York Times?


Because it's knowingly false and causes reputational harm, particularly given his field and the importance of precision in his field, and otherwise.

Not really sure how or why you've come to defend knowingly false statements and concocted quotes. He didn't say the thing he was said to have said. Saying he said it was a lie. The lie was made in the explicit service of discrediting him. Not remotely defensible.

Furtado can do as he will, but I'd probably start thinking of getting myself out of the business of publishing lies and other potentially reputation-damaging things about specific people. As anyone who's read Bright Lights, Big City knows, places like The New Yorker, because of the libel laws (and in part because of reputational maintenance and hygiene) employ armies of fact checkers who check every single thing before it goes to the magazine or website. Why should some place like the New Yorker have to compete with the BTFs and Jack Dorseys of the world, who publish political/social/cultural material just as they do, under named "by-lined" "writers" (*) just as they do, seeking eyeballs and profit just as they do, but don't have to shell out the money for fact checkers and lawyers as they do? Makes no sense. Time to change it. Never should have been allowed, but we can kind of let it go given the nature of the times in which the law passed and it's a sunk cost at this point anyway.

(*) Albeit unpaid "writers" -- another behavior, when pondered closely, of ... cough ... dubious ethics.
   4365. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5954311)
I hate it when people like Jim Furtado and Albert Belle publish lies and other potentially reputation-damaging things about specific people.
   4366. Lassus Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:21 AM (#5954313)
He didn't say the thing he was said to have said. Saying he said it was a lie.


If you want to talk about being explicit, why don't you explicitly identify what you're referring to here, with quotes.
   4367. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:28 AM (#5954314)
7 straight days of Sweden having more reported deaths than the same day of the week, a week prior. My guess is that it is more a leveling off than a real up-turn, and may turn slightly lower again soon. That's backed up by the ICU reports (flat with now a very slight downturn now, over the last week) and to a lesser extent the projections of recent deaths.

Also, next week Sweden will pass France in reported deaths per million, leaving only Spain, Italy, the UK and Belgium. If you include excess deaths, our best guess is that Sweden has already passed France, but may still be behind the Netherlands. Also Iran and who knows who else.

Speaking of Iran, Ioannidis uses, as one of his 12 estimates of the IFR, a survey from Iran that uses the official number of deaths from the region of Iran the survey was done in. His report makes no mention of the fact that the deaths there may (ahem) be undercounted severely. In fact, he implies that Iran's young population is the reason for the low IFR found there, and that "one might expect" that it should be "fairly low" (implied to be the same as "seasonal influenza" or lower) across the less developed world (so sure, let's extrapolate to billions of people based on the reporting of the Iranian government). Of course, on top of that, as has been discussed here before, the IFR for "seasonal influenza" worldwide (if not referring to a particularly bad year) is estimated to be much lower than 0.1-0.2% (in part, since it has to include mild and asymptomatic cases, like the COVID IFR does), and is more on the order of 0.02-0.05%.


The only data from a less developed country among the 12 studies examined here come from Iran and the IFR estimate appears to be the same or lower than the IFR of seasonal influenza. Iran has a young population with only slightly over 1% of the age pyramid at age >80. The same applies to almost every less developed country around the world. Given the very sharp age gradient and the sparing of children and young adults from death by COVID-19, one may expect COVID-19 IFR to be fairly low in the less developed countries.
   4368. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:33 AM (#5954315)
7 straight days of Sweden having more reported deaths than the same day of the week, a week prior. My guess is that it is more a leveling off than a real up-turn, and may turn slightly lower again soon. That's backed up by the ICU reports (flat with now a very slight downturn now, over the last week) and to a lesser extent the projections of recent deaths.


Sweden continues to be a very interesting observational case. Denmark and Norway combined have about the same population as Sweden, but only about 25% of the deaths so far - and arguably Denmark is worse off as an at-risk nation for Covid-19. Sweden is also excluded from the draft re-opening of borders being discussed today. Norway and Denmark will allow travellers from each other, Germany, and Iceland - but not Sweden, despite the very close links all three share.
   4369. PreservedFish Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:34 AM (#5954316)
If you want to talk about being explicit, why don't you explicitly identify what you're referring to here, with quotes.


He can't, he's too worried about the liability.

Although given 4364, I guess there's now a hope that SBB will cease providing free content for Furtado's website, and hold out for payment.
   4370. Zonk WARRIORS ALONE! Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:40 AM (#5954320)
10s of dogs are forming a class action with Tommy Lasorda as we speak, based on the explosive analysis provided by one of the world's finest legal minds...
   4371. . Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:42 AM (#5954321)
f you want to talk about being explicit, why don't you explicitly identify what you're referring to here, with quotes.


Read Dave's last few posts and they will lead you, plus there was some discussion about it last night.
   4372. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 11:07 AM (#5954326)


Not really sure how or why you've come to defend knowingly false statements and concocted quotes.

I don't defend it (I *actually* believe precision in language is important, not just when it's convenient to scoring points online). I just said it wasn't libelous. Not really worth debating the rest of it.
   4373. Laser Man Posted: May 29, 2020 at 11:13 AM (#5954327)
I apologize for my error in [4332] where I put in quote marks "Covid-19 IFR is around 0.1-0.2%, similar to that of influenza" when the actual quote from the paper is "worldwide the IFR of COVID-19 this season may be in the same ballpark as the IFR of influenza (0.1%, 0.2% in a bad year)."
   4374. Lassus Posted: May 29, 2020 at 11:57 AM (#5954331)
Read Dave's last few posts and they will lead you, plus there was some discussion about it last night.

So, you can't.
   4375. PreservedFish Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5954332)
Laser Man, you're putting the whole website at risk with your sloppiness!!
   4376. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:31 PM (#5954341)
may be in the same ballpark

Finally, something about baseball on this board...!
   4377. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:41 PM (#5954346)
CDC further compromised by this administration, had to revise recommendations, that had already been posted online, about indoor gatherings for singing, due to White House pressure.
   4378. pikepredator Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:13 PM (#5954355)
Brian has appeared to argue that sometimes getting things wrong on purpose serves a useful role in the scientific process.


If you haven't yet encountered Simone Giertz, her brain tumor named Brian, and her interest in making sh!tty robots . . . she's a treasure. She gave a Ted talk on it and everything.



3 minutes of useless machines from which we can learn stuff anyway
   4379. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5954361)
Luis Ferré-Sadurní
@luisferre
NEW: @NYGovCuomo says New York City is on track to begin phase 1 of reopening by June 8.

He says it could put 400,000 New Yorkers back to work.
1:15 PM · May 29, 2020
   4380. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:03 PM (#5954365)
My office is not expected to be inviting employees back until potentially Labor Day.
   4381. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:09 PM (#5954367)
Protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis escalated into violence and arson again on Thursday night, though whether protesters or police were more responsible for inciting the unrest is difficult to say from outside the situation. On Friday morning, Minneapolis police arrested a black and Latino CNN correspondent live on air even though he was wearing a press credential and offering to move to a different vantage point. The backdrop of this chaos is a viral pandemic in which at least 100,000 Americans have died, which has caused an economic depression in which 40 million people and counting have lost their jobs.

The White House’s priority on Friday has been its dispute with Twitter ...




this is one hell of a lede.
   4382. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:13 PM (#5954368)
Meanwhile, England (not the UK) has recommended schools to re-open from Monday,


And will pass Spain in the deaths-per=million race by mid month, while Sweden looks poised to pass France by the middle of next week.

I don't hear much of the why can't we be more like Sweden anymore.
   4383. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5954373)
Protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis escalated into violence and arson again . . .
I would think even Pee Tape could see that this has nothing to do with the coronavirus. Or baseball.
   4384. puck Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:35 PM (#5954374)
CDC further compromised by this administration, had to revise recommendations, that had already been posted online, about indoor gatherings for singing, due to White House pressure.


Ah crap. The choir examples (I've heard another one in addition to the famous WA one) are scary. I wouldn't want to sing in a choir or be near one any time soon. Maybe if everyone's spread out and there are big fans that ventilate everything away from people to an open door, but how many churches will do that.
   4385. Lassus Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:43 PM (#5954376)
I don't hear much of the why can't we be more like Sweden anymore

My biggest Sweden advocate on FB has claimed the hell up. But only because "well, they're dying for my way of life in Romania" might get him canned.
   4386. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:50 PM (#5954379)
Sweden has very good death statistics, if you are willing to go back at least 3 weeks or so. Still it's very hard to get an accurate gauge on excess deaths because, while Sweden's population has been slowly increasing, it's deahts per capita has been consistently decreasing, creating a counterbalancing effect. Last year they had the least number of deaths nationwide than they'd had since 1985 (an outlier year). You really have to go back to the 1970s to get to a point where they had fewer deaths.

From March 11-May 11, compared to the average of the last 5 years, Sweden has +3873, or barely more that the official number of 3666 (by date of death). However, it's almost certainly an undercount to compare deaths to an average of the last 5 years, since overall deaths have declining yearly, and in addition through March were well below the 5-year average to that point. Comparing to the last year only shows +4559 (+17% uncounted). There's significant evidence, though, that even comparing to last year isn't enough of an adjustment, because in the first couple months the number of deaths per week was below even last year's numbers, continuing the downward trend. Adjusting for that and you get around +5000, or about +35% relative to official deaths. So, my best guess at the moment is that the actual number is somewhere in the +20%-+35% range for Sweden.

Using 4700 as the projected number of deaths in Sweden through today (date of death), that puts a current estimate for Sweden at around 6000.
   4387. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 03:03 PM (#5954383)
The thing with Sweden is that since they're not on full lockdown we really don't know what the acceleration in deaths means. The 7.3% infection rate in Stockholm was based on an antibody test in late April, and was based on a relatively small number of tests. It's possible the virus has spread considerably after that (or that the results weren't representative) and they are closer to herd immunity now. I don't think that's the case but "more people are dying in Sweden" doesn't really tell us what's happening without having more updated antibody testing results.

The last antibody testing was released 9 days ago and they were supposedly going to be testing 1200 people per week. So one would hope that the following week's results will be made public any day now.
   4388. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: May 29, 2020 at 03:06 PM (#5954384)
If you are not careful with the use of data, you end up with graphs like this for Sweden which shows a big drop-off in excess deaths starting in the middle of May. That's probably not right, because starting around 3 weeks ago the data starts to get incomplete, and is noticeably incomplete as of 2 weeks ago. There may have been a slight drop-off in excess deaths starting in the middle of May, but it's highly unlikely to have been anything dramatic.
   4389. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 03:10 PM (#5954385)

By the way, Spain has been scrubbing their historical data and stopped releasing the daily excel file after May 20. The total number of deaths has been moving up, down, and sideways on a daily basis ever since then as they revise the numbers for various provinces. Not surprising that such a process would be taking place, although it would be nice if they provided a better explanation of why they're making some of the changes.
   4390. Ron J Posted: May 29, 2020 at 03:14 PM (#5954386)
So Quebec has had primary schools (except for Montreal) open for 3 weeks. 22 teachers and 19 students have tested positive so far.

Ontario by contrast in not reopening schools.
   4391. . Posted: May 29, 2020 at 03:53 PM (#5954393)
I would think even Pee Tape could see that this has nothing to do with the coronavirus.


Actually it does -- they aren't social distancing and a lot of them aren't wearing masks, so at least in BTF faction world, they're "selfish." My guess would be though that the same people that called Karl "selfish" for wanting to play some board games are going to somehow come up with some contortions to make the burners and looters not "selfish."

So the scoreboard appears to be: Wanting to go to work and hang out with friends peacefully: Selfish (*). Gathering to burn a bunch of stuff down and steal a bunch of stuff: Not selfish.

(NOTE TO THE SLOW AND THE TROLLISH: The killing of George Floyd was terrible and almost certainly murder. It should be protested vigorously.(**) It was a disgrace to the nation. It was a disgrace to the killer and a disgrace to his three standbys who just sat there like fatass, pathetic lugs for eight-odd minutes while a man was cruelly killed, even to the point where he started asking his dead mother for help.(***) The point here is to continue to show the inanity and hypocrisy and fanaticism of the "selfish" label as placed by some on normal activities.)


(*) If not outright murderous.

(**) And the right to assemble and petition government guaranteed by the First Amendment has no "pandemic" exception and no "social distancing" requirement. Regardless of the assembly or the petition or petitioners. As we see clearly in Minneapolis. It should have been clear without Minneapolis.

(***) A man's cry to his mother when he knows his fate is a relatively oft-used trope in crime fiction as a means to appeal to the empathy of the reader and to otherwise evoke valid emotions. To read it actually happen in real life is just heartbreaking.
   4392. BrianBrianson Posted: May 29, 2020 at 04:14 PM (#5954398)

I don't hear much of the why can't we be more like Sweden anymore.


Well, you're comparing Sweden to France, and we're mostly re-opened in France now. Masks mandatory in government buildings and public transit*, optional but ~95% of people indoors, lots of free alcohol gel at shops, outdoors is more 50-50. We'll see how it goes, but nine weeks of being locked in our houses has made us pretty amenable to masks and not doing the bis°, so it may go alright. We'll see.

*I know most of you are American, I don't want to spoil it, but it's pretty popular here in France

°Obviously as an Anglo-Canadian, I'd rather get hit in the dick by a firecracker than do the bis, so my opinion may not be universal
   4393. Ron J Posted: May 29, 2020 at 04:19 PM (#5954399)
#4392 Just so you're aware, the Shooty challenge thread is still open.
   4394. Lassus Posted: May 29, 2020 at 04:31 PM (#5954401)
A man's cry to his mother when he knows his fate is a relatively oft-used trope in crime fiction as a means to appeal to the empathy of the reader and to otherwise evoke valid emotions. To read it actually happen in real life is just heartbreaking.

Also war fiction, only there's been enough war throughout the ages that it was never an invention of fiction - it was from reality. I haven't watched the video, but even the thought is horrifying.
   4395. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: May 29, 2020 at 04:51 PM (#5954404)
lots of free alcohol
go on...
lots of free alcohol gel
sounds weird, but okay; when in france...
lots of free alcohol gel at shops


this took me longer to parse than i'd like to admit.
   4396. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 29, 2020 at 05:35 PM (#5954414)
I was able to get BOTH rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer at the CVS today! Had to ask for the rubbing alcohol; they get delivery on Wednesday and apparently everything they'd put out that afternoon was gone, even though they've got a "one to a customer" limit.

We have some sort of tiny fly larvae that are devouring some of the bushes outside, and apparently spritzing them with rubbing alcohol is the way to murdalize 'em.
   4397. Greg K Posted: May 29, 2020 at 06:04 PM (#5954418)
My dad got a 20 litre tub of hand sanitizer at Canadian Tire today. Gave me a jug of it.
   4398. Ron J Posted: May 29, 2020 at 06:25 PM (#5954419)
4397 Yeah, it's seemingly plentiful all of a sudden. They have it at the cash at Home Hardware.
   4399. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2020 at 07:20 PM (#5954424)
My dad got a 20 litre tub of hand sanitizer at Canadian Tire today


this absolutely BEGS for a wildly inappropriate retort from some dude from Jersey.

but Canadians are just too pleasant - including a few I met at BBTF softball a few years back, featuring a delightful and high-scoring "10th inning" at the bar.

full disclosure: I confidently claimed that night that Thor would prevail longterm among the Mets' new "Four Aces."

welp, I could have picked Matt Harvey so there's that....
   4400. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: May 29, 2020 at 07:24 PM (#5954425)
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