Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:23 pm

Typhoid-carrying fleas have been reported at the Los Angeles city hall.

I imagine living in on the West Coast now involves lifting up your artificial reality goggles and peering out the window of your autonomous hovercraft, through the smog, to see people dying of measles and typhoid like 16th century London. Can anyone confirm? Tortoise?
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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by Maddy » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:55 pm

Without meaning to fall into the "golden age" fallacy, I do wonder why risks generally thought statistically quite negligible 50 years ago loom so large today. Are people's immune systems shot from all the environmental crap we're exposed to? Have bugs become more virulent? I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and suggest that with increasing lifespan and the dawn of interventions that keep medically fragile people alive much longer, we've got a much weaker, sicker population to defend.

If I'm correct about that, is protecting the Darwin-defying population necessarily a goal we want to pursue in the larger scheme of things--particularly if it comes at a price in the form of autoimmune diseases, autism, etc.?
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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by drumminj » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:05 pm

Maddy wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:55 pm
I'm going to take a wild stab in the dark and suggest that with increasing lifespan and the dawn of interventions that keep medically fragile people alive much longer, we've got a much weaker, sicker population to defend.
I've often thought the same thing -- we've been thwarting natural selection and weakening our species as a result. One could argue our ability to adapt is something being selected *for*, but I wonder if it may bite us (westernized-humans) in the end.
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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by dualstow » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:04 pm

What’s the alternative? Sparta? Eugenics? Leave Stephen Hawking and his wheelchair on an ice floe?

You can see how Darwin works in that Arctic wolf pack documentary on Nature. That does not look like a fun life.

Of course the bugs are catching up with our vaccinations, but we’ll have to come up with new vaccines, and new methods. Letting nature sort it out...does not look like fun either.

More importantly, we’re living healthier lives than we ever have in the history of mankind. Is that so bad? God bless Maurice Hilleman. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Hilleman
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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:30 pm

dualstow wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:04 pm
What’s the alternative? Sparta? Eugenics? Leave Stephen Hawking and his wheelchair on an ice floe?

You can see how Darwin works in that Arctic wolf pack documentary on Nature. That does not look like a fun life.
I have noticed that people don't realize that evolution isn't fun. People seem to think the animals had a choice in being the fittest and surviving, like they could work at it and if they worked hard enough, they'd successfully procreate and live. Or that animals evolve to be the best at something. But the reality is the unfit used to die. And I'm sure they did the animal equivalent of screaming in impotent rage in their last moments. Nothing with a brain ever thinks "well, it's for the good of the species that I die before I have any kids." Ashkenazi Jews didn't develop high IQs because they had a cushy go of it.
Of course the bugs are catching up with our vaccinations, but we’ll have to come up with new vaccines, and new methods. Letting nature sort it out...does not look like fun either.
Yup. It won't be fun. But say a vaccine/cure isn't created. If a shit ton of humans die, like 75% or whatever, that would be awful for pretty much everyone alive. But the ones that survive because they're immune for some reason pass on those genes, and if humans survive, it's like Forrest Gump said, "That's good! One less thing!" And in the future, they won't even think about it, just like we don't think about how we're able to survive diseases that wiped out 90% of the humans who were living in the Western Hemisphere upon contact with Europeans.
More importantly, we’re living healthier lives than we ever have in the history of mankind. Is that so bad?
For individual people, it rocks. But species-wide it seems... sub-optimal if people pass on bad genes, yea.
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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by dualstow » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:19 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:30 pm
More importantly, we’re living healthier lives than we ever have in the history of mankind. Is that so bad?
For individual people, it rocks. But species-wide it seems... sub-optimal if people pass on bad genes, yea.
Sure, but:
(1) We're tool users now, where tools include false teeth, vaccines and space suits. The trade-offs are going to the dentist instead of selecting for perfect teeth (at the expense of something else), vaccines instead of waiting around to develop something like sickle cells for malaria, and space suits instead of evolving the ability to get to the moon while holding our breath.

And regarding the sickle cell, there's the anemia side of it. And those with sickle-cell disease have no protection against malaria. Evolution is messy.

(2) We're social animals. We're a network. So while not everyone is born with resistance to this or that, we help each other. Maybe this sub-optimal state forces us to cooperate even more.

I think there was a (3), but it's past my bedtime.
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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by Maddy » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:15 am

dualstow wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:04 pm
What’s the alternative? Sparta? Eugenics? Leave Stephen Hawking and his wheelchair on an ice floe?
That fate seems acceptable enough for those of us who can budget no more than about $200 a year for health care and who are indignant enough about the alternative (Medicaid) to refuse it. You kind of get used to the idea that at some point your number is up.

But on the bright side, imagine what might happen to the Type 2 diabetes statistics--not to mention the grossly obese subpopulation traversing the aisles of Walmart in motorized wheelchairs equipped with oxygen tanks--if people had to actually DO something about their condition (or risk).
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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:32 am

dualstow wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:19 pm
(1) We're tool users now, where tools include false teeth, vaccines and space suits.
The animals that evolved into us were tool users for millions of years.
The trade-offs are going to the dentist instead of selecting for perfect teeth (at the expense of something else), vaccines instead of waiting around to develop something like sickle cells for malaria, and space suits instead of evolving the ability to get to the moon while holding our breath.
Going to the dentist would be more like a... I can't remember the exact term, but a 'fitness masker.' Analogous to bird researchers and "ugly" birds. Researchers took birds where the length of the tail was a marker of fitness, and the birds with the longest tails were most attractive to mates. They attached a tail extension onto previously unattractive birds, who then started attracting the ladies. But the babies of the short tailed birds inherited the deficient genes of the father, and had short tails and other unfitness, like susceptibility to parasites, which long tails normally indicated were absent. So you can mask the deficient genes with tools, but in population terms, it's like putting poison into a pop bottle and thinking it's alright to drink now.
And regarding the sickle cell, there's the anemia side of it. And those with sickle-cell disease have no protection against malaria. Evolution is messy.
Absolutely. There are other ones I've seen, where favorable traits are co-morbid with deficient ones. Tay-Sachs, blue eyes, extremely high intelligence. Native Americans are more susceptible to alcoholism; I haven't seen anything, but I would assume that there is some gene that was favorable in some way that also increases susceptibility to alcohol.
(2) We're social animals. We're a network. So while not everyone is born with resistance to this or that, we help each other. Maybe this sub-optimal state forces us to cooperate even more.
I don't think this was the case for most of our history. Furthermore, I think evidence shows that we especially didn't help unfit males. Genetic studies show that historically only 40% of males (and 80% of females) had viable offspring. And 8,000 years ago, 17 females reproduced for every 1 male. I think it's safe to say that nobody was helping out these prehistoric incels.

Until very recently, pretty much everyone on the planet lived very close to a subsistence lifestyle, they simply weren't able, or willing, to help out people who (wow, really sounding evil here) weren't fit to live. There may have been a tribe who were really got into morality, but it stands to reason that people who were very stupid, or had bad eyesight, or who had weak stomachs, or whatever, wouldn't have lasted long anyways.

So for a super long time, those unfit people were pruned. It's not like after millions of years of evolution you end up with a perfected population, either. Mutations are pretty much constant, sometimes they're good, but most of the time they're bad. It's only at our current level of technological sophistication that we're able, and willing, to help out the unfit (again, in genetic/biological terms, not moral).

I'm planning on getting more into this subject this year after I close out my current focus area, so I'm glad you brought it up. Very timely.
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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by dualstow » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:58 am

Very interesting post! What's wrong with blue eyes- macular degeneration? I think I read something like that for blue and grey eyes.
Kriegsspiel wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:32 am


Going to the dentist would be more like a... I can't remember the exact term, but a 'fitness masker.' Analogous to bird researchers and "ugly" birds. Researchers took birds where the length of the tail was a marker of fitness, and the birds with the longest tails were most attractive to mates. They attached a tail extension onto previously unattractive birds, who then started attracting the ladies. But the babies of the short tailed birds inherited the deficient genes of the father, and had short tails and other unfitness, like susceptibility to parasites, which long tails normally indicated were absent. So you can mask the deficient genes with tools, but in population terms, it's like putting poison into a pop bottle and thinking it's alright to drink now.
The part I bolded is new for me. Wow. Now you have me thinking about the discussion in Korea about whether one has the right to know if their would-be spouse has had plastic surgery.

{d}(2) We're social animals. We're a network. So while not everyone is born with resistance to this or that, we help each other. Maybe this sub-optimal state forces us to cooperate even more.
{kr.}I don't think this was the case for most of our history. Furthermore, I think evidence shows that we especially didn't help unfit males.

I agree. Social for a long time, altruistic for a short time. Well, I read something about how altruism was born out of cold, natural forces, including selfishness, and I thought, well, I'll just sweep this under the rug. It may have been in Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, but I'm only 50% sure.
It's only at our current level of technological sophistication that we're able, and willing, to help out the unfit (again, in genetic/biological terms, not moral).
And we should definitely keep going in this direction. I shudder when I think about how the deformed are treated in Japan, although maybe that has changed in recent years.
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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by sophie » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:47 am

Maddy wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:55 pm
Without meaning to fall into the "golden age" fallacy, I do wonder why risks generally thought statistically quite negligible 50 years ago loom so large today. Are people's immune systems shot from all the environmental crap we're exposed to? Have bugs become more virulent?
No. What the H are you all talking about??? Surviving childhood has become an expectation in our society thanks to vaccines, antibiotics, and modern water/sewer systems. Before the modern era, it was not.

I spent several months as a medical student at a mission hospital in rural Kenya. No vaccines and no "environmental crap" to speak of. Food was virtually 100% grown or raised locally, and people lived in communal mud thatched homes that were constantly rebuilt. Sounds healthy, right? Almost every night I was on call, I'd get that tap on the window that meant I needed to get up and watch a child die. That's the thing we're all forgetting: children used to die. A lot.

No doubt there are environmental toxins causing chronic health issues that need to be cleaned up, but let's just get some perspective here. Getting back to measles, yes most cases will recover just fine after a miserable few weeks. It would just suck if your kid was one of the 0.1% with the serious complications though, wouldn't it?
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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:48 am

dualstow wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:58 am
Very interesting post! What's wrong with blue eyes- macular degeneration? I think I read something like that for blue and grey eyes.
Yup. People that have blue eyes are more susceptible to eye problems.
Kriegsspiel wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:32 am
Going to the dentist would be more like a... I can't remember the exact term, but a 'fitness masker.' Analogous to bird researchers and "ugly" birds. Researchers took birds where the length of the tail was a marker of fitness, and the birds with the longest tails were most attractive to mates. They attached a tail extension onto previously unattractive birds, who then started attracting the ladies. But the babies of the short tailed birds inherited the deficient genes of the father, and had short tails and other unfitness, like susceptibility to parasites, which long tails normally indicated were absent. So you can mask the deficient genes with tools, but in population terms, it's like putting poison into a pop bottle and thinking it's alright to drink now.
The part I bolded is new for me. Wow. Now you have me thinking about the discussion in Korea about whether one has the right to know if their would-be spouse has had plastic surgery.
I hadn't heard about that, but it dovetails nicely into the our discussion.
Social for a long time, altruistic for a short time. Well, I read something about how altruism was born out of cold, natural forces, including selfishness, and I thought, well, I'll just sweep this under the rug. It may have been in Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, but I'm only 50% sure.
I am pretty sure the book where I read about the bird-tail study, The Red Queen by Ridley, referenced Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. I'm going to read it again next month so I'll be able to verify. I added SoFA to my reading list though, looks interesting. Maybe you read about the selfish thing in The Selfish Gene by Dawkins?
It's only at our current level of technological sophistication that we're able, and willing, to help out the unfit (again, in genetic/biological terms, not moral).
And we should definitely keep going in this direction. I shudder when I think about how the deformed are treated in Japan, although maybe that has changed in recent years.
It's definitely comforting to believe we'll discover cold fusion, have unlimited electricity, utilize CRISPR and cyborgitry to transform into demigods, and conquer the stars. I think it's more plausible that once fossil fuels become uneconomical, we'll slowly regress to a level of technological prowess a bit more advanced than the Middle Ages of Europe and China, with concomitant populations subject to Malthusian law.
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Re: Major Measels Outbreak Fearred in Washington State (anti-vaxxers)

Post by Mountaineer » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:24 am

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:48 am
dualstow wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:58 am
Very interesting post! What's wrong with blue eyes- macular degeneration? I think I read something like that for blue and grey eyes.
Yup. People that have blue eyes are more susceptible to eye problems.
Kriegsspiel wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:32 am
Going to the dentist would be more like a... I can't remember the exact term, but a 'fitness masker.' Analogous to bird researchers and "ugly" birds. Researchers took birds where the length of the tail was a marker of fitness, and the birds with the longest tails were most attractive to mates. They attached a tail extension onto previously unattractive birds, who then started attracting the ladies. But the babies of the short tailed birds inherited the deficient genes of the father, and had short tails and other unfitness, like susceptibility to parasites, which long tails normally indicated were absent. So you can mask the deficient genes with tools, but in population terms, it's like putting poison into a pop bottle and thinking it's alright to drink now.
The part I bolded is new for me. Wow. Now you have me thinking about the discussion in Korea about whether one has the right to know if their would-be spouse has had plastic surgery.
I hadn't heard about that, but it dovetail nicely into the our discussion.
Social for a long time, altruistic for a short time. Well, I read something about how altruism was born out of cold, natural forces, including selfishness, and I thought, well, I'll just sweep this under the rug. It may have been in Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, but I'm only 50% sure.
I am pretty sure the book where I read about the bird-tail study, The Red Queen by Ridley, referenced Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. I'm going to read it again next month so I'll be able to verify. I added SoFA to my reading list though, looks interesting. Maybe you read about the selfish thing in The Selfish Gene by Dawkins?
It's only at our current level of technological sophistication that we're able, and willing, to help out the unfit (again, in genetic/biological terms, not moral).
And we should definitely keep going in this direction. I shudder when I think about how the deformed are treated in Japan, although maybe that has changed in recent years.
It's definitely comforting to believe we'll discover cold fusion, have unlimited electricity, utilize CRISPR and cyborgitry to transform into demigods, and conquer the stars. I think it's more plausible that once fossil fuels become uneconomical, we'll slowly regress to a level of technological prowess a bit more advanced than the Middle Ages of Europe and China, with concomitant populations subject to Malthusian law.
Was the "dovetails" comment an intended pun for this tails discussion? ;D
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