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Comment Re:Economics of envy (Score 1) 303

If government revenue as a percent of GDP stays roughly constant while a larger and larger share of GDP goes into the hands of the top percentiles, it's pretty easy to end up with a system that redistributes more while still taking in the same amount of money as a whole. Imagine two economies: One where everybody is equal and one with one super wealthy person and a whole bunch of poor people. Both have governments that consume the same amount of GDP. The second economy is likely to transfer more wealth, simply because the wealth starts out massively skewed and becomes less so after taxes and government expenditures.

Comment Re:Sinister? (Score 1) 482

Nope, I never mentioned the CDC you did.

The first mention of the CDC in this thread is your post here, preceded by a link in your previous post that you later note is supported because it "mentions released information from CDC which you can go read for yourself." Which I did. Which was not supportive of your position on Gardasil.

I never mentioned the NIH either.

My bad. I meant to write NIH. Which you linked to here. Which notably also does not support your statistical contentions.

Got it! The only thing you can do in Google is read the top links, and those links are the only things that matter. Further, anything you can't learn in 5 minutes or less on Google is worthless information.

OK, so you spout factually questionable claims. I challenge you on your sources and you are offended at the very notion that you should spend time doing such a thing. Then you tell me to search Google to support your ridiculous position. When I do so and the initial results continue to crap all over your claims, you're annoyed that I don't spend vastly more time and effort than you have to support your position. Or is the problem that I googled "guardasil vaccine injuries" instead of "guardasil vaccine harm" like you explicitly told me to do in as many words.

Sarcasm aside, wholly shit I'd hate to see how bad you can slaughter a concordance or bibliography.

If you had given me anything remotely resembling a bibliography, I'd have been all over it. The links you gave either didn't support your position or didn't bother to list where they got their data. The few links that I started to chase down from my quickie Google that did have some footnotes turned out to have bullshit footnotes. I'm going to jump out on a limb here and say that if one of us is doing vastly more bibliographic leg work than the other, it's me.

Finally, again you are simply arguing about statistics. The numbers, again, were never the subject of my posts in this thread.

Your first post in this thread that I responded to is here where I noted that your statistical claims in that post are unsupported nonsense. We're still holding firm there. If you're in favor of people making educated decisions based on real risk analysis, don't spread bad numbers. Spread good, well-supported numbers.

Simple logic. "Medical procedures" have risk, risk should yield a choice. True or false? If you say "True" then we agree and there is nothing further to discuss on that point. If you say "false" then you lied early on.

True, but so general as to be totally meaningless. Drinking water from your tap has risk. Eating ice cream has risk. Playing miniature golf has risk. That's why we use numbers to quantify that risk. I don't see people leaping into threads about mini golf pointing out that people should carefully evaluate the risks of mini golf before playing. This tells me that either vaccines are really a lot more dangerous than mini golf (a position I don't see a lot of support for), or that people are badly misevaluating the measured risks.

If your grand philosophical point is that medical procedures have risks and that anybody who disagrees with the specifics of your arguments is arguing that medical procedures don't have risks, I don't really see how you can claim the high ground by taking a stand against sophistry.

If there are deliberate adjustments to the facts, omission of facts, or fabricated information to sway people's freedom of choice...

I'm right with you there. That's why I'm calling out your bad statistics.

Following that I touched on the common misinformation method of splitting risk and only advertising the number someone wants, instead of providing a real number which is a summation of all problems.

That's not a useful number at all, which I think is your problem. You end up bundling "redness at the injection site" which is pretty much a side effect of sticking needles in people with "head explodes immediately after injection." If half of the subjects get redness at the injection site and one person's head explodes after 100 million doses, is it honest to say, "Theres a 50% chance of a reaction, such as having your head explode"? Because that's what you're doing, and that's what I object to.

Comment Re:Sinister? (Score 1) 482

I gave a method of finding alternative statistics which you choose to ignore.

OK, I'll bite. You referenced the CDC and NIH and I pointed out that their numbers totally reject your numbers. Now you're not happy that I'm using the CDC and NIH and failing to use your unnamed alternative knowledge sources that are, like, totally better than the CDC and NIH that you referenced earlier. OK. Let's do it.

Should we just google 'gardasil vaccine injury' and see what we get?

First link is something pointing out that Gardasil is safe by any reasonable measure. Probably not a kosher source of alternative knowledge from your perspective, so I'll skip those. Moving on.

There's this, which has numbers but no references. Here's one with references, so that's a good start. 48 deaths! Wow! Wait, the reference is just to VAERS, which we talked about earlier. Just the VAERS root site, not even the actual document. Well, let's try again.

Lots more stuff, just going back to VAERS. Did I mention that the VAERS analysis has been done to death? Lots of web sites with personal anecdotes (probably also reported to VAERS, so thank goodness that's covered). Some (most, maybe) of those may be very true. But again, we're talking about roughly 60,000,000 doses, and we're not accumulating anything like a significant probability of serious reaction. Which is why we use statistics. Like so:

National Geographic gives the odds of being hit by lightning in any given year as 1 in 700,000. That means that we'd expect 85 of those women to be struck this year. If they all reported "hit by lightning" to VAERS, "hit by lightning" would surpass a bunch of the other things they've reported as "side effects" that people are panicking about.

Followed by more attempted ad hominem and riducule.

All to defend you being a liar...

That's a gorgeous juxtaposition. Dude, I'm attacking your data, not you. If you want to reduce the amount of damage, bring better data next time.

Comment Re:Answer (Score 1) 187

For the most part, numbers like GDP, inflation and unemployment are useful to social scientists and policymakers who know their limitations and not necessarily super useful to the public. The methodologies aren't designed to be misleading, but they are designed to capture certain details that are useful and exclude certain things that the public might thing should be included for "common sense" reasons.

Anyway, I'd say that the decline in congestion during 2011 and 2012 might be largely due to the fact that 2011 saw much higher retail gas prices than 2012 and people changed their habits over then ext two years or so.

Comment Re:Sinister? (Score 1) 482

So now we change the whole topic from "Freedom to choose" to simply "Gardasil is good" and "I don't like your statistics. Got it.

I think of it far more generally than that. I'd say if I were to summarize it's, "People who claim to be trying to educate you by getting you to look at potential side effects of vaccines are often wildly overstating the case, and their claims often fall apart under scrutiny." Your Gardasil claims are simply an example case of that. In any case, there's no "your statistics" in this case. Statistics come from data. The numbers you're throwing out don't seem to have that property. They appear to just be made up on the spot. They're just numbers without anything to justify them. That's what I don't like. That's not "education." That's just pissing in the pool of human knowledge.

If I were writing a dissertation I would surely spend many months gathering different and distinct sources.

Surely there's some middle road between "PhD dissertation" and "numbers I pulled out of thin air for a Slashdot post" isn't there?

Facts, shmacts. You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!

-Homer J. Simson

Comment Re:Sinister? (Score 1) 482

Look, if you're trying to support wild statistical claims that disagree with what's out there in reputable sources, post a link to them. Don't reference that they're in reputable sources somewhere and then bitch at me when all I can find is stuff that contradicts you.

I provided a link to the Gardasil issue which are admitted to. From this page the reports are roughly 25,000 reported serious problems from the vaccine. Looking at the total of 600,000 vaccines given that is a 4% chance that a person can have a serious side effect. The numbers I provided were actually being extremely kind to Gardasil.

OK, let's look at the data carefully. Start with the CDC summary: 57 milion doses, 22,000 reports to VAERS. Of those, 8% were serious. That works out to about 3.5 in 10,000. Given that VAERS is self-reported and doesn't require an actual diagnosis or necessarily any evidence that the issue was vaccine related, even that data is pretty overstated. Hopefully, we're using the same definition for "serious" (which for these purposes is typically "hospitalization, chronic injury, or death"). I suspect we're not, because anything with a 4% chance of serious side effects would be considered straight up poison and ripped from the shelves.

On to the NHS site. It gives no numbers for such "serious" side effects, but does gives other stats:

>10% for redness at the injection site or headaches.
>1% for fever, nausea, painful limbs.
~0.01% for hives

Self reported and without statistics (more like VAERS) are a series of disorders, most of which are not especially serious, but a couple of which are moderate to severely serious (Guillain Barré syndrome). Of course, the HuffPo site you linked notes that the statistics thus far have shown that those serious disorders appear to occur in the HPV vaccinated population at the same rate as the population at large, so it's rather hard to claim that the vaccine was the cause.

It's amazing to me that we're using the same sites and you're coming up with numbers that don't appear to be anywhere in those sites. The best I can come up with is that your methodology takes all possible reactions including "redness at the injection site", takes the 10% probability of that, notes that there was an unconfirmed case of Dutch elm disease in there, and says "Dutch elm disease (or similar) in 10% of cases!"

It's really not difficult to Google "gardasil vaccine harm" to find all kinds of reports on the vaccine.

Here is a link to the Google search results of alien abduction cases. You'll note a variety of sources with a lot of different anecdotes, as well as more serious academic sources. Depending on which site you go to, you get very different results. My concern here is that your idea of "education" is reading all of the sites and averaging what you read.

And as mentioned before, we don't know that the vaccine is truly effective.

From the FDA in 2013: The vaccine is effective against HPV types 16 and 18 which cause approximately 70% of cervical cancers, and against HPV types 6 and 11 which cause approximately 90% of genital warts.. Maybe there's some cutting edge research (or web site rumor mills) that indicates otherwise. Maybe those unnamed sources are even right. But they're usually not.

Or did you not know about these []?

200 cases out of ~60 million doses? I'm definitely willing to believe that. But not 4%. I'd say that's an excellent result and that compensating the rare problem case is perfectly reasonable. I mean, giving peanuts to 60,000,000 people is likely to cause adverse reactions in several hundred thousand of them.

I really should not have to argue with you that Polio vaccines should be subject to the same freedom of choice as any other vaccine should I? Can you see without me telling you how absolutely irrational that perspective is since we know that there are risks for _ALL_ vaccines?

I'm trying to parse this. Are you for or against mandatory polio vaccination? Yes, there are risks to all vaccines. But they tend to be very minor, and a risk/reward analysis is pretty straightforward, especially for vaccines against really terrible or really contagious stuff. I certainly won't take the position that all vaccines should be mandatory. If you're not taking the position that no vaccines should be mandatory, we're just haggling over which ones, but I think you are taking that position.

If you educated someone, as you claimed you were "all for", they could learn the risks Polio vaccine really does have a 1/50,000 chance for problems.

Link supporting your claim, please. I'd bet that the probability of "problems" is much higher if you include "general malaise" and much lower if you only include permanent serious problems. But I'll never know because all you do is dump unsupported numbers.

I think you should read it again without your bias goggles on. The words don't say 1 thing, they state a couple things because the author was intelligent. Such as "all medical procedures have risk".

Everything has risk. But the report notes that the risks are incredibly small and that the rewards are high and concludes that your complaints against Gardasil are overblown and that Gardasil reduces a greater risk. It's clearly a net win.

Back on point, if you are truly pro-education and free choice then you should have no reason to believe that the populace will make the wrong choices with vaccines. I'm not confident you are truly pro-education and choice.

Thank you for the oxfordjournals link. Fascinating stuff. In any case, I'm still concerned about your definition of "education." If I was arguing with the religious guys in Nigeria who caused mass rejection of the polio vaccine because they believed it was a conspiracy to sterilize Muslims, they'd be pushing "education" too. The dupes who don't realize that the vaccine is all about Muslim genocide need to be given the real information so they can decide for themselves! The problem is that education requires good quality information, not random web sites. The whole reason organizations like NIH, CDC, and FDA exist is to make sense of the statistical data and gather reliable reports rather than blindly accepting random claims on the Internet.

My general rule is that if one set of known reputable sources say one thing and the conflicting information is in unsourced web sites that can't quote (or quote accurately) primary research, that's a bad sign. That's very much what I'm seeing here. The "statistics" get more and more skewed against vaccine safety as you move farther and farther from the primary source. That's why when I hear numbers like 4%, I immediately say, "Show me the data." It simply doesn't pass the smell test, and anybody pushing those numbers out of context is not educating anyone.

Comment Re:Sinister? (Score 1) 482

The citation you mention did not have anything to do with the statistics I mentioned, but something to read regarding the industry as a whole. Unless you meant a citation outside of what you replied to. That source mentions released information from CDC which you can go read for yourself.

I'm trying to find any citations that go back to anything like the CDC to support your x/10,000 claims. They're just not there as far as I can tell. The link, for example, just looks like a crackpot rant with no citations. A few of the things that it references that I'm familiar with appear to be distorted or untrue, and others sound very strange and I can't find support for them outside of the self-reinforcing bubble of the "underground" health sites.

Lets go back to Gardasil. First, there are many potential permant side effects with the vaccine. Chronic permanent migraine headaches are one, sterilization is another, and chronic fatigue syndrome is another.

Yes, let's go back to Guardasil. Because the NHS link provided says no such thing There's no mention of sterility or chronic permanent migraines. There was mention of one case of chronic fatigue syndrome--a disease we really don't know much about and a disease which doesn't appear to happen more often in vaccinated teenagers than in unvaccinated teenagers. There may be some serious adverse reactions, but they don't appear to be common enough to have ended up on the NHS web site you linked to.

When you separate them out the numbers look pretty low. However if you have a 1 in 10,000 chance of getting any one of these things the risk from the vaccine is really 3/10,000 and not 1/10,000. Extrapolate that out further, and suddenly it's not a 1 in a million chance of something happening. This is basic mathematics and should not provide any challenge to you.

That's a great thought experiment to do with speculative numbers like "maybe 1 in 10,000" but it would be a lot better to do with real numbers like the ones we have from the trials and deployment of the actual vaccines. And I'm not seeing much in the way of real data to support the notion of a serious risk.

To go a bit further, the vaccine only prevents certain types of cervical cancer and not all cervical cancer. Claiming any number of saved lives due to the vaccine is simply fallacy.

The number I mentioned is the estimated number of cases attributed to HPV, not cervical cancer as a whole. This has the potential to be a big deal.

You on the other hand are advocating no choice and no education.

I'm advocating no choice in severe cases (say, polio). And I'm all for education. Like, show me the data that supports you claims. Not "my sister's friend talked to a guy on the Internet who got a vauge and difficult to diagnose disease whose cause is uncertain right after a vaccine." If that's the burden of proof, I just just go looking for a geocities site that claims that the polio vaccine gave a guy super powers. I'm sure there's one out there.

Let me extract that same advocacy and question from a different source here.

That link just reiterates all of the things I said (plus more) and notes that all of the evidence points to the HPV vaccine being very safe and the minimal risks are vastly outweighed by the benefits. In fact, it specifically knocks down the arguments you made above about Guardasil.

Since those risks are not _yours_ why not drop the "do it my way" nonsense and let people choose?

Those risks aren't always just yours. Polio is out there. It's almost extinct. Gone forever. We could conceivably never have another case of polio again as long as the last remaining folks get their shit together (with our help) and vaccinate against it. Then nobody needs the polio vaccine ever again. But there's a problem: Some places are poor and have crappy infrastructure and need our help. Fine. And some places have boycotted the vaccine. If they manage to bring back a critical mass of polio and undo that hard work, that sure does affect me and mine.

Don't want a flu shot? Fine. I usually skip it myself. But for God's sake, let's use actual data here, and let's all get it together and wipe out the really terrible diseases we have on the run. The work others have done to shield us from those terrible illnesses has caused us to forget exactly how prevalent and terrible they were, and we're doing really bad cost/benefit analysis now as a result.

Comment Re:Sinister? (Score 1) 482

Sure, the numbers will vary based on the vaccine, but that doesn't mean that your source isn't complete crackpottery and bullshit using made up numbers. That's my complaint. I'm less concerned about you eyeballing those bullshit numbers and rolling them into one rough "order of magnitude" number of how dangerous vaccines in general are. I'll happily grant that there are trade-offs for everything. A vaccine against a disease that's hard to spread and no more than a nuisance doesn't benefit you much, and if it has potentially serious side effects, it may not be worth it. But we're talking about stuff like polio. Polio isn't a minor ailment with occasional complications. Symptomatic polio is a crippling disease at best and at worst it's fatal. Paralytic polio had a mortality rate of 2-30%, depending on the demographic.

It was not, but took years to prove otherwise. Meanwhile many young women have become sterile and permanently damaged by the vaccine.

Let's dig into that a little bit. Where are you getting your data? Because the VAERS data seems not to show anything of the sort. It looks like we're talking about something that has the potential to prevent tens of thousands of cases of cancer per year and weighing it against a moderate to low probability of such scourges as "headache" and, granting your claim some credence, a vanishingly small probability of sterility.

To the second point again you choose a fragment to argue instead of what was actually said. We know that there are risks from the vaccine just like there are risks from the disease.

Sure. The problem is that we're talking about real numbers that can be compared. And your numbers are total nonsense. That means that while your reasoning is valid, your conclusion is simply wrong. If you had to choose between a 1/1,000,000 chance of death and a 1/1,000 chance of death, there's really no sensible argument for choosing the latter, all else held equal. In 1952, there were 58,000 cases of polio in the US, which is 3.7 in 10,000. From what I can find, the vaccine causes anaphylaxis at about 1/1000 that rate (worst case). It looks like vaccine derived polio is, what, 1 in 10,000,000-ish? So what factors are we considering here?

Comment Re:Flu Shots are Ruining Vaccinations (Score 1) 482

I am, by no means, anti-vaccination (very pro, actually) but you need to sell this on the benefit to the individual getting that vaccine, and not try to put responsibility on their shoulders for everyone else around them. How many times have you met someone who responds positively to being called an asshole to their face?

True, convincing assholes that they're being assholes and should stop is a touchy thing and has to be done carefully. But that's a human psychology issue. It doesn't mean they're not being assholes. We could use the same argument for giving able bodied people grief for parking in handicapped spaces. If their worldview is 100% self-centered with no room for reasonble concern for others (like, I don't know, "I have no responsibility to your children"), you either have to tactfully get them to realize they're being assholes or just live with the fact that assholes make the world a worse place to live.

Comment Re:Solution - Face-saving way out (Score 1) 482

They shoot you. Or they don't let your unvaccinated kids enroll in public school. Clearly the same thing. All punishment and reward is really just a special case of total nuclear holocaust.

And we wonder why certain peoples' philosophical frameworks make it impossible for them to handle the real world.

Comment Re:Sinister? (Score 2) 482

As others have noted, your statistics appear to be complete crap. Also this:

Polio is has been removed in the US due to both vaccination and increased sanitation. Even so, it's not "life threatening" it was crippling.

I suppose that's true in some sense, thanks to fabulous iron lung technology. Ain't science grand?

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