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Comment: Re:A little misleading (Score 2) 1007

by Sevorus (#39658859) Attached to: Lack of Vaccination Sends Babies In Oregon To the Hospital
I totally disagree - it's not at all misleading to blame these deaths on lack of immunization. These infants wouldn't have been vaccinated at this age, but the OLDER KIDS AROUND them who weren't vaccinated and were carriers for the disease should have been. Vaccines work via herd immunity -the entire group benefits when a disease can't spread through a community. These infants never should have been exposed to pertusis because all the people (children & adults) around them should have been immune. The hospital I work at requires every employee to be vaccinated for flu every year. Most of the working population of this hospital would not be at severe risk from flu. We don't get immunized to protect ourselves, we get immunized to protect the elderly and pediatric patients we come into contact constantly so we don't act as hosts to transfer the virus around the hospital. Immunizations should not be individual decisions - it places the whole population at risk, not just the unimmunized individual.

Comment: Herd Immunity vs. Individual Vaccination (Score 1) 1007

by Sevorus (#39658723) Attached to: Lack of Vaccination Sends Babies In Oregon To the Hospital
What most people don't understand is that that immunization largely works through herd immunity. If a disease can't be transmitted through most of the hosts in a community it can't get a foothold and spread. Because of this, the un-immunized members of the herd nevertheless benefit because they are shielded by the immunized individuals around them. This leads to the, "I don't want my child immunized because it's unnecessary" mentality. Well at some point if enough of the herd is susceptible again that herd immunity breaks down and all of sudden the unimmunized are no longer shielded from the disease. So while the babies here are younger than the age of immunization, they are suffering because the other kids around them are not vaccinated. The hippies next door who don't believe in immunizations are putting your kids at risk. It's too bad it's going to take outbreaks of totally preventable diseases to remind people why immunizations are a pillar of public health.

Comment: "At the edge of the universe" (Score 2, Informative) 196

by Sevorus (#33973002) Attached to: Record-Breaking Galaxy Found In Deep Hubble Image
Actually, what you mean is the edge of the observable universe. If any of the inflationary models are correct there may be way, way more universe out there beyond this little blob of light, they're just cut off from observation here because the light from them hasn't had time to reach us since the inflationary phase ended. If, as is probably the case, we're in another phase of accelerating inflation, we'll never see beyond this horizon because the space between here and there is expanding faster than the speed of the light, so it'll never get here.

Comment: Not sure we're there yet (Score 2, Interesting) 83

by Sevorus (#33538276) Attached to: World's First Transcontinental Anesthesia
Well, as a practicing anesthesiologist at a major academic center on the West Coast, I'd call this interesting but not medically practical at the moment. As a technological breakthrough, it's not really all that novel. So they transmitted vital signs around the world along with a video feed? Okay...but how is that any different from a teleconference?

The problem with "teleanesthesia", as I see it, is that medical knowledge is only a part of what my presence in the OR provides. The ability to physically intervene is something that can't be done by telepresence (not yet, anyway). If the endotracheal tube comes out during surgery, then you're relying on a technician to replace it. If you need a central line (big IV access in the neck or groin), you need a technician or the surgeon to place it. The hundreds of little things like that are what keep an anesthesia care provider with patients in the OR for the entirWell, as a practicing anesthesiologist at a major academic center on the West Coast, I'd call this interesting but not medically practical at the moment. As a technological breakthrough, it's not really all that novel. So they transmitted vital signs around the world along with a video feed? Okay...but how is that any different from a teleconference?

The problem with "teleanesthesia", as I see it, is that medical knowledge is only a part of what my presence in the OR provides. The ability to physically intervene is something that can't be done by telepresence (not yet, anyway). If the endotracheal tube comes out during surgery, then you're relying on a technician to replace it. If you need a central line (big IV access in the neck or groin), you need a technician or the surgeon to place it. The hundreds of little things like that are what keep an anesthesia care provider with patients in the OR for the entire duration of each and every surgery that goes on.

The other issue as I see it is that monitoring the vitals is important, but there are a lot of things that happen in an operating room that you can't monitor as well over a video feed. How much blood is really being lost? Can I visually sweep the floor, the surgical drapes, and the suction canisters easily and get an estimate? A patient can lose a third to half of their blood volume in some cases before you're going to see that reflected in vital signs, by which time you're way behind.

I suppose there is a place for this kind of thing in battlefield medicine and maybe remote third-world locations, but in those cases the anesthesiologist should be considered a consultant to the people on the ground and not "the primary provider", as it were. In order to make this real-world applicable, you'd need a robot on the far end with visual, audio, and tactile feedback, the ability to move around the room, etc - really a surrogate you that you could reliably control as well as your own hands and eyes. Of course, then you've got the issues with dropped connections, security of the feed, etc. What happens when a script-kiddie hacks your anesthesiabot-3000 and goes nuts with the drug delivery system?

Don't get me wrong, like everyone else I'd love to do my job sitting on my couch in my undies via video feed to the "office", but I'm not really sure this much more than a bit of a publicity stunt at this point.e duration of each and every surgery that goes on.

The other issue as I see it is that monitoring the vitals is important, but there are a lot of things that happen in an operating room that you can't monitor as well over a video feed. How much blood is really being lost? Can I visually sweep the floor, the surgical drapes, and the suction canisters easily and get an estimate? A patient can lose a third to half of their blood volume in some cases before you're going to see that reflected in vital signs, by which time you're way behind.

I suppose there is a place for this kind of thing in battlefield medicine and maybe remote third-world locations, but in those cases the anesthesiologist should be considered a consultant to the people on the ground and not "the primary provider", as it were. In order to make this real-world applicable, you'd need a robot on the far end with visual, audio, and tactile feedback, the ability to move around the room, etc - really a surrogate you that you could reliably control as well as your own hands and eyes. Of course, then you've got the issues with dropped connections, security of the feed, etc. What happens when a script-kiddie hacks your anesthesiabot-3000 and goes nuts with the drug delivery system?

Don't get me wrong, like everyone else I'd love to do my job sitting on my couch in my undies via video feed to the "office", but I'm not really sure this much more than a bit of a publicity stunt at this point.

Comment: Re:Time to repeat the brief love affair. (Score 1) 320

by Sevorus (#33154750) Attached to: 400 Turns of <em>Civilization V</em>

Actually, I'm optimistic about this in Civ V. The AI has been split up into layers, IIRC, with each opponent actually coming up with a strategy to victory based on personal preferences and game conditions. So one civ (Ceasar, maybe) might lean towards military action regardless of game conditions, but another could find itself in a strong cultural position and then aggressively persue that goal. This is a bit different from previous versions in that the AI is taking account of the ongoing game and the player activity better, and I'm hoping it makes the "one true path" harder to follow (since the AI will adapt better).

IGN has a write up with a lot of the AI details: http://pc.ign.com/articles/107/1075587p1.html

Comment: Physics (Score 2, Informative) 160

by Sevorus (#33110226) Attached to: Defeating Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

IANAP, but I've read quite a bit over the years, and my understanding was that the uncertainty principle wasn't a limitation in our "measurements" per se, but rather how the world itself works. To take the classic example of momentum and position, for example: the problem isn't that we can't measure both the speed and position of an electron (like our tools aren't "fine" enough or something), but rather that an electron doesn't have both speed and position in the sense that we think about it. If we attempt to measure one of those two aspects, by that measurement we define the electron in a particular way and therefore blur the meaning of the other measurement.

My money is on Heisenberg, but then, I'm just a caveman.

Comment: Re:Why journalism online is not worthy of cash (Score 1) 428

by Sevorus (#32926338) Attached to: Murdoch's UK Paywall a Miserable Failure

This is exactly why I don't bother with newspapers anymore. I can get the same data with a quick scan of google news' homepage, and more timely to boot.

But I also shell out a little over a hundred bucks every six months to keep the Economist coming - because the quality of their articles is much higher than the norm. Even articles I have no interest in I typically read because I learn a lot from them. Whether I agree with all of their stories or not is a separate issue; the fact remains that they're intelligently written and thought out.

The problem Murdoch faces is that journalism can be done effectively by anyone willing to do it and with access to information. That gives an 18 year old blogger on the ground in Greece as much capacity to produce good "journalism" on the political situation there as a paid correspondent. Essentially, if you expect people to pay for your product in an environment literally flooded with similar products, you better have a really, really high quality to justify the extra cost.

If you want Eskimos to buy your Ice, you better have *fantastic* ice to sell.

Comment: Re:How did the US government miss this? (Score 1) 206

by Sevorus (#32466966) Attached to: McDonald's, Cadmium, and Thermo Electron Niton Guns
The logic of your reply can only mean it will never happen that way. That's not how government works anymore. New laws are hastily passed in response to outrage - whether from the left, the right, the top, the bottom; whatever the group can agree on being angry about at the moment and politicians can look good getting behind. But wouldn't it be nice...

Comment: Framework Thrashing (Score 1) 547

by Sevorus (#31858852) Attached to: How Many Hours a Week Can You Program?
I think the posters above have covered the hours-worked vs. actual productivity metrics, but for me the number of hours I can work is directly related to how much my mental framework needs to load and unload given projects. I work on a few different pet projects, each of which has multiple components (web-based, databases, perl/python, whatever). Once I've sort of mentally loaded the specifics of the area of code I'm working on - the relevant functions, the tables, the variable spaces, etc - I can go like mad for hours. The "zone" ppl are talking about. Even if I have to walk away for a day or two, if that was the last thing I was doing I still have most of it in working memory and after a few minutes catching up I can get right back into the groove. On the other hand, jumping to a whole new piece of code is going to require significantly more mental effort to refresh my memory of what all the fiddly-bits do and where I need to start the changes/updates/whatever.

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