QuickReaction, Monday-6

New study on vaccines is unlikely to convince the leftwingnuts since they, like rightwingnuts, live in fact-free bubbles. The whole vaccine thing is ridiculous, utterly no scientific proof yet seemingly reasonable people (like RFK Jr) holding absurd points of view. So a study isn’t going to convince them. The problem with the vaccine issue is that there is no immediate penalty for not getting vaccinations. If everyone else does then you’re safe because there are no carriers to infect you. This can extend to a significant chunk of the population, not just one person. But then there is the “tipping point” effect, where with a certain fraction unvaccinated a disease can get started and spread. Only then do the stupid parents, and more sadly, the children, pay the price. But as long as few go along with nuttiness then it’s safe. That’s why this study won’t make any difference, as there is no (immediate) penalty for non-compliance and giving up on cherished wrong-headed ideas is too hard, despite facts.

Another vaccine story: Unexpectedly, given my comment above, I see another story about a mini-outbreak of rubella that could have entirely been prevented. But while the story headline is scary enough the actual story still won’t carry the weight against the deniers because it can be dismissed as a fluke. Move over, James Inhofe, you’re in a crowd of fools.

Yet another Ponzi scheme: The story is really blaming regulators for taking too long to shut down the Ponzi scheme and thus more people got bilked, but my comment is about the victims. Every time I read a story like this I wonder what were these fools thinking! Clearly the investors are honest people but they are suckers because they think somehow they’re getting a special deal. Unrealistic rates of return are not a great opportunity, they are the smell of a scam. How many times do “investors” have to get screwed before they stop being suckers. I’m reminded of the old adage, “you can’t con an honest man” and while I won’t label these investors as dishonest they would certainly fit an adage, “you can only scam a greedy fool”.

Took a gap for a couple of weeks to tour the intellectual capitol of the U.S., the deep southern red states.

Trampling on right travesty: It’s in Turkey and repression by islam, of course, and it does prove the U.S. is still slightly a more secular country. We tolerated, reluctantly and with much outrage, such works as Piss Christ by Andres Serrano but I bet there are those here who would love to see Turkish/Islamic-style “justice” here.

Lousy vaccination information sources: Since vaccines denialism seemed to be in the news before I left I now see this article that explains how stupid [some] parents are about it. Rather than getting information from credible sources they believe their social network, well known for its expertise and education and intelligence, rather than get good information. Then parents hack together some stupid plan based on nothing, certainly not science. And I thought nutrition information was nuts, at least some of it is based on some vague connection to facts, except all the vegan nonsense, of course. I actually like our independent streak and willingness to go against conventional wisdom, but why does that have to translate into so much stupidity.

Clumsy engineering? There may be good reasons (like high torque transfer in larger vehicles) but I wonder why automakers would continue down the more complex path of adding more gears to a conventional transmission instead of just going to CVT. CVT is showing up multiple places and now seems to be sufficiently mature that it should be used instead of these mechanical kludges. I’d also suspect that CVT can be more precisely controlled with software than a 10-speed mechanical nightmare. Anybody know why this is justified, other than giving mechanical engineers some fun project?

Marketing fail: Amazing, 3M who is supposed to be so famous for innovation botched recognizing the value of PostIts well after their value was demonstrated. So the marketing geniuses blew it but the engineers saved the day by carrying the product to customers. Actually I saw this same story first-hand, at HP. The first laser printer was hated by both marketing and sales (I was on the new product tour that introduced the product, sales people actually heckled and threw stuff at the presenters). Fortunately one guy single-handedly kept the product alive by intruding in any customer visit he could and directly selling the printer to customers, bypassing the skeptical sales force. Of course, eventually the printer division became the most profitable part of HP, no thanks to the geniuses in marketing.

Gold is getting hammered as the pros now figure all the suckers are in. The pros (aka con men) have persuaded a substantial portion of the rightwingnuts that inflation is just around the corner due to U.S. policies, supposedly highly inflationary. Actually this was just a scam, just as Goldman once did with fake oil shortage to drive up those prices, and it served to get fools to enter the market. Of course that makes it a Ponzi scheme, with new investors driving up prices for the old ones and thus creating self-fulfilling prophecy. But like every other Ponzi scheme it has to crash. So all the preppers and rightwingnuts are now getting burned as the scam artists are exiting the market in a hurry. At least this time the right group got fleeced.

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About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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