Algernon_Asimov's recent activity

  1. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of October 18 in ~health.coronavirus

    Algernon_Asimov
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    Australia might have started the COVID vaccination race later than other countries, but we're catching up fast! This week, Australia passed the USA for the proportion of fully vaccinated people....

    Australia might have started the COVID vaccination race later than other countries, but we're catching up fast!

    This week, Australia passed the USA for the proportion of fully vaccinated people. We have fully vaccinated 56.45% of Aussies, compared to 56.28% of Americans. And, with our single-dose percentage at 71.26%, compared to the USA's 65.10%, we're on track to be more vaccinated than them. (It's a fairly safe assumption that people who get the first dose of a COVID vaccine will follow up with a second dose.)

    We've also passed Israel, which is often held up as an example of a highly vaccinated country, on first doses, with our 71.26% compared to their 70.63%.

    Internally, we measure the percentage of the eligible population (people aged 16 and up) who are vaccinated, rather than the percentage of the total population. (If we can't vaccinate children yet, it's pointless to measure our progress in vaccinating them.) Our most populous state has single-dosed over 90% of its eligible population, while our second-most populous state will achieve that goal this week. The Australian Capital Territory (a tiny area with a small population, which contains our capital city of Canberra) has single-dosed over 95% of its eligible population! Overall, 85.1% of eligible Aussies have had their first dose of a COVID vaccine so far - and the vaccinations aren't stopping. Every day, a couple of hundred thousand more doses are administered across the country.

    Authorities are starting to talk about getting as much as 95% of the eligible population vaccinated, which would align with our vaccination rate for general childhood vaccines.

    Then, when a vaccine gets approved for children under 16 (recently approved for 12-15 year-olds, while approval for younger children is a work in progress), they'll also get vaccinated by the same >90% of parents who are themselves vaccinated against COVID.

    Things are looking up!

    7 votes
  2. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of October 18 in ~health.coronavirus

    Algernon_Asimov
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    My lockdown (as previously mentioned here) is finally coming to an end this week, now that my state has reached 70% of the eligible population being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Thursday...

    My lockdown (as previously mentioned here) is finally coming to an end this week, now that my state has reached 70% of the eligible population being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Thursday will be our last day in lockdown. Friday will be the first day of a progressive, staged, re-opening that will take place over the coming weeks and months. The next stage of re-opening will come in a couple of weeks when we get 80% of the state's eligible population fully vaccinated.

    By Thursday, I and my fellow residents of this glorious city will have spent a cumulative total of 262 days in lockdown since March 2020. That's about 8¾ months. They say this is a world record. I wholeheartedly hope that we hold this record forever, and noone ever beats it.

    This weekend, I'm going to visit a friend I haven't seen since I don't even know when. Time's a blur. I just know it's been too long.

    And I'm sick of my lockdown buddy, having visited him most weekends for the past 3 months. It was necessary and beneficial, but now I need a break from him. You can have too much of a good thing.


    Statistics-wise, about 85% of Australians aged 12 and up have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, and about 68% are fully vaccinated. They say we're on track to get more than 90% of the eligible population vaccinated.

    11 votes
  3. Comment on Yet another variation on the initialism: LGBTQIASB+ in ~lgbt

    Algernon_Asimov
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    The article I linked in my post was written by an indigenous person who identifies as a brotherboy. I made sure to check that this article wasn't written from an outsider's point of view when I...

    A lot of information around these constructs appear to be propagated by non-indigenous people, so I'm skeptical of their veracity.

    The article I linked in my post was written by an indigenous person who identifies as a brotherboy. I made sure to check that this article wasn't written from an outsider's point of view when I was deciding whether to include it in my post.

    The constructs don't appear to be universally or contemporarily shared by indigenous cultures.

    Which is why we have different initialisms for different countries: the American version includes a phrase used by Native Americans, and the Australian version includes terms used by indigenous Australians.

    And I also wonder — do these culture-specific constructs even have meaning or utility outside of their original cultural contexts?

    Do they have to have meaning outside those cultural contexts? They're specific to the cultures they come from, and that's fine. Including brotherboys and sistergirls in the Australian version of the LGBT+ initialism doesn't mean that all Aussies can claim to be brotherboys or sistergirls; it just means we recognise them in our rainbow community. Importantly, it recognises that the western definition of "transgender", which is already recognised in the initialism "LGBT", does not include all brotherboys and sistergirls.

    8 votes
  4. Comment on Yet another variation on the initialism: LGBTQIASB+ in ~lgbt

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Personally, I prefer "rainbow community", as it's inclusive without being academic. It's friendly and easy to use. But I don't get to decide what terms are used by the majority of people.

    Personally, I prefer "rainbow community", as it's inclusive without being academic. It's friendly and easy to use.

    But I don't get to decide what terms are used by the majority of people.

    6 votes
  5. Yet another variation on the initialism: LGBTQIASB+

    I've been pleased recently to start hearing and seeing another variation on the "LGBT" initialism here in Australia: LGBTQIASB+ Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Intersex Asexual Sistergirl...

    I've been pleased recently to start hearing and seeing another variation on the "LGBT" initialism here in Australia: LGBTQIASB+

    • Lesbian

    • Gay

    • Bisexual

    • Transgender

    • Queer

    • Intersex

    • Asexual

    • Sistergirl

    • Brotherboy

    The latter two terms, "sistergirl" and "brotherboy", are Aboriginal Australian words for people who are gender non-conforming. This includes transgender people as we westerners understand "transgender", but the terms are more inclusive than that. This article explains it better than I possibly could.

    The reason I'm so pleased to see this new variation on the LGBT initialism is because the only other variation which includes First Peoples I've seen is the American one that uses "2S" for these (from "two-spirit"). The first time I saw that (and every other time, to be honest), I felt this was highly parochial and exclusive - which is the opposite of what the initialism should be. So now I'm glad there's a Down Under version, which includes the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    Are there any other local variations like this?

    14 votes
  6. Comment on What is your favorite comedy sketch of all time? in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    John Clarke and Bryan Dawe did a weekly spot like this for nearly 30 years. They would take a current event from the week, and write a satirical interview about that event. John Clarke would...

    John Clarke and Bryan Dawe did a weekly spot like this for nearly 30 years. They would take a current event from the week, and write a satirical interview about that event. John Clarke would pretend to be a central person in the event (usually, but not always, a politician) - but he never made any attempt to impersonate that person. He would then say the most ridiculous things with a totally straight face. Brian Dawe would be the honest interviewer, taking Clarke's ridiculousness at face value.

    Some of these interviews are on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPyb1dDiGoZ07j_DKzam4sQ

    The problem is that, for one of these satirical interviews to be funny, you needed to have at least a passing knowledge of the events and people being satirised. But, if you did know the events and people, these interviews were bloody hilarious!

    They were brilliant.

    1 vote
  7. Comment on What is your favorite comedy sketch of all time? in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    I didn't realise you only wanted YouTube links. Sorry about that. I searched on Google and found Vimeo. You can search and find the YouTube version if that's what you need.

    I didn't realise you only wanted YouTube links. Sorry about that.

    I searched on Google and found Vimeo. You can search and find the YouTube version if that's what you need.

  8. Comment on What is your favorite comedy sketch of all time? in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    I already included a video link in my comment.

    I already included a video link in my comment.

  9. Comment on What is your favorite comedy sketch of all time? in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I couldn't possibly name a single favourite comedy sketch of all time. However, I've been re-watching 'The Big Gay Sketch Show' recently, and the scenes with Fitzwilliam, the boy who wants a...

    I couldn't possibly name a single favourite comedy sketch of all time.

    However, I've been re-watching 'The Big Gay Sketch Show' recently, and the scenes with Fitzwilliam, the boy who wants a vagina, are among my all-time favourites.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on The unbelievable grimness of /r/HermanCainAward, the subreddit that catalogs anti-vaxxer COVID deaths in ~tech

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Thank you for bringing your compassionate point of view to this discussion. However, there is a very big difference between the gay men who died of AIDS and these people who are dying of COVID....

    Thank you for bringing your compassionate point of view to this discussion.

    However, there is a very big difference between the gay men who died of AIDS and these people who are dying of COVID. There are vaccines against COVID which are freely available. We had no vaccine against HIV/AIDS in those days.

    I remember being told that "GAY" meant "Got AIDS yet?" I remember hearing people say that AIDS was God's plague on homosexuals for our sinful ways. I remember those things. I also remember lots of other hateful things said and done to me, and about me, as a young gay person in the 1980s and 1990s.

    But we weren't doing anything wrong, and this virus was striking us down. Meanwhile, these COVID-deniers and anti-vaxxers are not only refusing to accept science, but the ones who make it to the /r/HermanCainAward subreddit are publicising their anti-science point of view and attempting to convince other people to join them.

    We gay men weren't trying to drag people into our AIDS hell with us. These COVID-deniers are. We didn't have a vaccine available. They do. Therein lies the difference. And it's an important one.

    20 votes
  11. Comment on Does the Internet feel American centric to you? in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Or when we spell "colour" with a "u". :/

    And then they see people posting casually on forums on the internet and they go ballistic when others make different choices, or no choices, or heaven forbid make a mistake and write something in a way they didn't intend to.

    Or when we spell "colour" with a "u". :/

    2 votes
  12. Comment on Does the Internet feel American centric to you? in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    Fuck yes. Americans post assuming that everyone reading their posts are American. I've been told off for spelling words "wrong", as if British/Australian English doesn't exist. People had to...

    Fuck yes.

    Americans post assuming that everyone reading their posts are American. I've been told off for spelling words "wrong", as if British/Australian English doesn't exist. People had to create alternate subreddits like /r/WorldNews for non-American news because American news dominates the /r/News subreddit (and every other subreddit that doesn't specify it's not for Americans).

    It's tiresome.

    15 votes
  13. Comment on When is comedy NOT at the consequence of something else's tragedy? in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    I considered using "Who's On First" in my own comment, but I figured it was possible to twist the meaning of this routine, so that the humour arises from Abbott's lack of understanding Costello -...

    Abbott & Costello's Who's On First is a classic word play delight, ripe with miscommunication.

    I considered using "Who's On First" in my own comment, but I figured it was possible to twist the meaning of this routine, so that the humour arises from Abbott's lack of understanding Costello - which would be a form of the "distress" that the OP considers is present in all humour. So, rather than give the OP that opportunity, I stayed away from this routine.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on When is comedy NOT at the consequence of something else's tragedy? in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
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    A common form of humour is wordplay, which includes puns, but not always. Here are a couple of examples from the 'Airplane' movies (known as 'Flying High' in my country): Captain Oveur meeting...

    A common form of humour is wordplay, which includes puns, but not always.

    Here are a couple of examples from the 'Airplane' movies (known as 'Flying High' in my country):

    Then there's just plain silliness, like this section of a song performed by Danny Kaye in 'The Court Jester'. Noone's suffering or in distress. He's just making fun of a style of dance, where the first step of all is to stand... and stand... and stand... It's silly, not harmful!

    And, of course, satire exists. Like when Sir Humphrey Appleby demonstrates how to rig a survey.

    Those examples of humour don't involve tragedy or distress or suffering.

    9 votes
  15. Comment on When is comedy NOT at the consequence of something else's tragedy? in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    That's a very extreme misinterpretation of how puns work. Puns require the audience to be smart enough and/or informed enough, to get them. There's no point in my making a pun to you, or even in...

    But the idea that semantics or pronunciation have an inside joke mean that someone else is not smart enough or included in the group to 'get it'.

    That's a very extreme misinterpretation of how puns work. Puns require the audience to be smart enough and/or informed enough, to get them. There's no point in my making a pun to you, or even in your hearing, if you don't understand it.

    You're assuming that someone has to not get the pun in order for it to be humorous. However, imagine if every single person on the planet understood the language I'm punning in. The pun I'm making would stil be just as funny/groanworthy as if someone didn't understand it.

    22 votes
  16. Comment on Andrew Yang to launch a third party in ~news

    Algernon_Asimov
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    Can he even do that in the USA? Everything I've read indicates that the whole U.S. political system is constructed around the assumption that there are two, and only two, political parties. I've...

    Can he even do that in the USA?

    Everything I've read indicates that the whole U.S. political system is constructed around the assumption that there are two, and only two, political parties. I've even picked up the impression that some laws and some parts of the electoral process are designed to handle two, and only two, political parties.

    Also, there's been a third party for years: the Green Party of the United States. They haven't been able to get any traction in America's electoral system.

    Why does Yang think that his party will succeed, when the American electoral system is actively biassed against third parties, and other third parties have failed?

    2 votes
  17. Comment on High Court of Australia rules that media outlets are publishers of third-party Facebook comments in ~news

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Facebook is merely the printer. The publisher sends the manuscript to the printer to make printed copies for people to read; the publisher sends the comment to the social media site to make...

    But how is the media company the publisher and not Facebook?

    Facebook is merely the printer. The publisher sends the manuscript to the printer to make printed copies for people to read; the publisher sends the comment to the social media site to make digital copies for people to read. We don't hold the printer responsible for the final book. The editorial decision to publish or not to publish was made by the publisher, not the printer or the website.

    6 votes