CALICO's recent activity

  1. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    CALICO
    Link
    I've read a couple since my last post in these threads. The Bormann Testament, by Jack Higgins. A spy hunts for a former Nazi and the manuscript he wrote, allegedly outing Nazi's who flew under...

    I've read a couple since my last post in these threads.

    The Bormann Testament, by Jack Higgins. A spy hunts for a former Nazi and the manuscript he wrote, allegedly outing Nazi's who flew under the radar after the war.
    It was okay. I didn't really like it, but I think it just wasn't my jam. Y'know?

    The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton. Ironically topical given what the world is going through, but it's been in my book stack for a while now. I'd never read it previously, not seen the film.
    Not knowing what to expect going in—other than an otherworldly disease—I found myself gripped until the end. I didn't love the ending of I'm being honest, but overall I quite enjoyed the book. Crichton has a way of writing an engaging story.

    Currently I'm roughly 250/950 pages through my paperback of The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. I went into this one completely blind. I just knew it was a bestseller, and honestly I thought it was going to be something in the Fantasy genre. I don't have a wonderful history with Historical Fiction, but I can't put this book down. I care way more about an out-of-work Mason, and this uptight Monk than I ever thought I would. And it's set during The Anarchy? Sign me the fuck up. I'm ready.
    For reference among those have read it before, I'm shortly after Tom & Friends arrive in Kingsbridge. I anticipate finishing it within the next few days, and I dread running out of pages. I'm enjoying this so much.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Lessons Animation Taught Us | Movies with Mikey in ~arts

    CALICO
    Link
    If you're a 'comment before topic' kind of person, this is a kind of spoiler for the end of the video; other people bought the idea of making their own personal "Lessons Animation Taught Us"...

    If you're a 'comment before topic' kind of person, this is a kind of spoiler for the end of the video; other people bought the idea of making their own personal "Lessons Animation Taught Us" videos.
    It's a whole playlist, currently at a commendable 60 individual videos.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on Coronavirus could reshape global order in ~health.coronavirus

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    I've said it before (I don't think here), and I'll say it again: Corona could be the greatest catalyst for regime change since the Arab Spring. Many world leaders are old. Many of their cabinets...

    I've said it before (I don't think here), and I'll say it again: Corona could be the greatest catalyst for regime change since the Arab Spring.

    Many world leaders are old. Many of their cabinets are similarly old. Corona is not excellent for the old.
    The Government of Iran, for example, is extraordinarily old. And the Government of Iran is getting slapped by Corona.

    You soften existing Governments and Regimes, you restrict your people, your people lose faith in their government, your people lose jobs, their families, their dreams.
    You have vast potential for change.

    Someone you have deprived of everything is no longer in your power. He is once again entirely free.
    —Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Historian, philosopher.

    7 votes
  4. Comment on Your thoughts regarding the media coverage? in ~health.coronavirus

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    Of a sorts. I'm former Air Force, current civilian contractor. I came out here intentionally.

    Of a sorts. I'm former Air Force, current civilian contractor. I came out here intentionally.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Your thoughts regarding the media coverage? in ~health.coronavirus

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    We work with the numbers we have. If we want to count the numbers we don't have, we might as well make up whatever we want, or alternatively don't bother trying to count at all. After all, if we...

    We work with the numbers we have. If we want to count the numbers we don't have, we might as well make up whatever we want, or alternatively don't bother trying to count at all. After all, if we can't be 100%, why even try at all?
    The best analogy I have is calculus. If one wants to estimate the area under a curve, they would utilize rectangles and find their cumulative areas. The more rectangles you use, and the finer their width, the more accurately you can estimate the under under that curve. This represents data points, and unlike calculus we can't just simply integrate and find the limit of a sum to ascertain the really-real fatality rate.
    More data points = more accuracy.
    As more people get infected. As more people recover. As more people die. As more testing occurs. As the data continue to flow in, the Case Fatality Rate will begin to settle near its actual. At least, as actual as the real world will permit.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Your thoughts regarding the media coverage? in ~health.coronavirus

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    There's a reason I put a bunch of disclaimers in my comment. Again, yes, it's not that simple. The Case Fatality Rate fluctuates as more data comes in. As well, Johns Hopkins has a page on...

    There's a reason I put a bunch of disclaimers in my comment. Again, yes, it's not that simple.
    The Case Fatality Rate fluctuates as more data comes in. As well, Johns Hopkins has a page on uncertainties in their model.

    I think my point stands, however. This is more dangerous than is commonly understood, and we ought to take it seriously enough to limit its spread as much as possible.
    We could potentially expect that fatality rate to rise in a surge-scenario; a not-insignificant percentage of recovered patients required mechanical ventilation to survive. If too many people get ill at once, the medical system will become overburdened and there won't be enough ventilators for the people who need them. Thus, people will die who could have survived.

    That seems to me, less than ideal.

    7 votes
  7. Comment on Your thoughts regarding the media coverage? in ~health.coronavirus

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link
    If we've adequately prepared, or over-prepared, by the time this is all over, we'll never know. If we've under-prepared, nothing will be more apparent. If you panic too much, you don't help...

    If we've adequately prepared, or over-prepared, by the time this is all over, we'll never know.
    If we've under-prepared, nothing will be more apparent.

    If you panic too much, you don't help anyone. If you don't panic enough, you're likely to help spread it.
    I think there's an appropriate level of panic. That being, just enough panic to be diligent about washing your hands, monitoring your own symptoms (or lack thereof), covering your mouth (not with your hands you filthy boy) when you cough/sneeze, avoiding unnecessary travel, avoiding crowded areas, etc.
    Going full-on Doomsday Preppers helps literally nobody. But this myth that SARS-CoV-2 is not as dangerous as the flu, and the lackadaisical attitude that comes with it is extraordinarily dangerous. The flu is only worse until a shitload of people get Corona.

    I'm going to let y'all in on a little secret: the fatality rate is not 3.4%, it's over 7%.

    See, you'll see numbers like 2% or 3.4% thrown around by the media and by layman for one of two reasons:

    1. A misunderstanding of epidemiology, or
    2. They're trying to make you not panic.

    In epidemiology, there's this thing called the Case Fatality Rate. You do not find it by dividing deaths by total cases. You get it thus:

    Deaths / (Deaths + Recovered)

    This is because if you count unresolved cases, you're really just padding your data to make something sound less bad. Unresolved cases are those infected, but haven't either died or recovered yet. They can still go either way; they will die or they will recover, but until they do they don't get to count in the Case Fatality Rate.

    Using the most recent numbers—at the time of my writing this comment—from Johns Hopkins University, we currently have, worldwide:

    • 169,387 confirmed cases
    • 77,257 recovered
    • 6,513 deaths

    Bing, bang, boom, and the math gives us 7.8% fatality.

    Harvard epidemiology professor, Marc Lipsitch, predicts 40–70% of people worldwide will become infected in the next year.
    Dr. Brian Monahan, attending physician of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court, expects 70–150 million people in the U.S. will become infected.

    If we take them at their word, and ignore that the math is a little more complicated than I'm making it out to be, that's roughly 237–418 million people dead worldwide, and 5.4–11.6 million dead in the U.S.

    Let's not let it get so bad, yeah?

    Yes, it's not that simple.
    Yes, asymptomatics.
    Yes, demographics.
    Yes, risk factors.
    Yes, blah blah.

    The takeaway point ought to be: if we don't concern ourselves enough and can't contain this before it infects a significant portion of the world population, then the body count will be decidedly not awesome.

    From my perspective here from Afghanistan, a lot of people back home in the U.S. are not yet taking this seriously enough (and yes some people are going too crazy). If they don't begin to concern themselves, a lot of people are going to die who could have lived.

    Don't buy all the shit-paper.
    Avoid high-density areas.
    Wash your hands.
    Love you.
    Tschüss.

    17 votes
  8. Comment on Tash Sultana — Blackbird [live] in ~music

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    That was delightful. I have a love/hate relationship with discovering new to me artists that have respectable levels of renown. On the one hand, why didn't I find them earlier? I could have been...

    That was delightful.

    I have a love/hate relationship with discovering new to me artists that have respectable levels of renown. On the one hand, why didn't I find them earlier? I could have been listening to them for ages! On the other, it shows that I still have so much incredible music to hear for the first time.

    Tash came across my spotify feed today with Jungle, and I knew I'd found someone special. I got my good headphones on, and listened to all of Flow State. I didn't love every track, but the ones I did I really love. They play with such emotion. I love their singing in overtones. It's great energy, and I love them, and I look forward to watching their work for years to come.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Tash Sultana — Blackbird [live] in ~music

  10. Comment on COVID-19 situation in the US progresses in three ways in Washington state: first death, first case in a healthcare worker, and first possible outbreak in ~health.coronavirus

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    According to the World Health Organization's most current COVID-19 Situation Report (29 Feb), there are 85,403 confirmed cases globally, and 2,924 deaths. That's 3.4% at this time. How this...

    According to the World Health Organization's most current COVID-19 Situation Report (29 Feb), there are 85,403 confirmed cases globally, and 2,924 deaths. That's 3.4% at this time.
    How this effects people across age groups, of various health status, in various enviornments, is something we'll only have the pleasure of knowing if and when this spreads further.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on COVID-19 situation in the US progresses in three ways in Washington state: first death, first case in a healthcare worker, and first possible outbreak in ~health.coronavirus

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Coronavirus has a history of this very thing. SARS and MERS—both of which are Coronaviruses—can access intestinal cells and do well for themselves there, for example. Extrapulmonary Symptons in...

    Circulatory, neurological, and reproductive damage seems unlikely considering that it's a respiratory virus.

    Coronavirus has a history of this very thing. SARS and MERS—both of which are Coronaviruses—can access intestinal cells and do well for themselves there, for example.

    Extrapulmonary Symptons in Coronaviruses:

    Clinical Course and Outcomes of Critically Ill Patients With Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection.
    Systemic Viral Infections and Collateral Damage in the Liver.
    Acute renal impairment in coronavirus-associated severe acute respiratory syndrome [pdf]
    Severe neurologic syndrome associated with Middle East respiratory syndrome corona virus (MERS-CoV)
    Neurological Complications of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus: A Report of Two Cases and Review of the Literature
    ACE2 Expression in Kidney and Testis May Cause Kidney and Testis Damage After 2019-nCoV Infection

    As far as I'm aware, no experts are claiming the mortality rate is this high

    According to the World Health Organization's most current COVID-19 Situation Report (29 Feb), there are 85,403 confirmed cases globally, and 2,924 deaths. That's 3.4%. As the sample size continues to grow, this number may change in either direction.

    3.4% isn't that bad, to be honest. SARS was several times that, and MERS was around 10x as deadly. How many people die has less to do with the mortality rate, and more to do with how many people worldwide become infected. SARS and MERS were both rather small outbreaks, COVID-19 has already infected more than the both of those combined.

    The Spanish Flu was devastating because it could kill healthy young adults and children. Most victims of the corona virus are elderly...

    I'm not really concerned with who all is at risk, what matters to my mind is that people are at risk. Yes, most deaths will be among the elderly. I'm not sure why that matters. We all die of something, that's true. But if there's an illness spreading around the world that would end your life before your body was going to give up on itself, maybe we should concerned by that.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on COVID-19 situation in the US progresses in three ways in Washington state: first death, first case in a healthcare worker, and first possible outbreak in ~health.coronavirus

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    It's a subjective thing, when to be alarmed. The Spanish Flu infected 500 million of the 1.8 billion* people on the planet at the time, and killed 50–100 million. That's about 28% of the...

    It's a subjective thing, when to be alarmed.

    The Spanish Flu infected 500 million of the 1.8 billion* people on the planet at the time, and killed 50–100 million. That's about 28% of the population infected, with a 10–20% mortality rate leaving 2.8–5.6% of the world population dead by the time it was over. It was also the worst epidemic in modern history. COVID-19 doesn't have to be the worst, to still be really fucking bad.

    Most of the infections and deaths are in China, and personally I don't trust the accuracy of their numbers. However, we work with what we have. We're at approximately 87k infected, and 3k dead. That's about 3.4% mortality. How much of the world will become infected has yet to be determined. But if we use the 28% figure from the Spanish Flu, with a world population of ~7.8 billion, that's 2.2 billion infected and 74.3 million dead. By percentage that's not nearly as bad as Spanish Flu, but it's objectively a lot of people. Is that potential figure worthy of alarm? (rhetorical question, it's subjective)

    Maybe more than 28% of the world will become infected. Maybe containment and quarantine work out and it's not nearly that much. Maybe the mortality rate will rise with a larger sample size; maybe it will be lower. However, world leaders and people of influence becoming fearful is how meaningful action is taken to reduce its impact in the first place. Best case scenario, world leaders get really scared, make some drastic decisions that severely limits the spread, and we'll all be laughing about how scared we all were about something that didn't turn out to be a big deal.

    Something important as well, is that death is not the only bad thing that could happen to an infected person. I've seen reports that COVID-19 can result in organ damage, just like SARS. To my knowledge none has been peer reviewed this far, but I've read reports of circulatory, respiratory, neurological, and reproductive damage in survivors. How true that is, and it's prevalence among survivors, is an unknown at this time to the best of my knowledge. But it's something to keep in mind. We could be looking at hundreds of millions of people by the time this is over with lasting damage done, and not everyone lives in a place with adequate or affordable healthcare.

    *estimated. Records aren't super great, but it was somewhere around that number.

    edit: I didn't proofread

    7 votes
  13. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link
    Some of the soldiers here finished up their deployment, and after raiding their old desks I've accumulated a respectable pile of assorted paperbacks. The first I've read was Saucer by Stephen...

    Some of the soldiers here finished up their deployment, and after raiding their old desks I've accumulated a respectable pile of assorted paperbacks.

    The first I've read was Saucer by Stephen Coonts. The premise is that a survey crew finds a 140,000 year old flying saucer embedded in sandstone, and the powers that be want it for their own selfish gain.
    Less of a sci-fi and more of a thriller, it was a pretty light read. Not bad, not great. It was fun, but rather shallow. Something of a discount-bin kind of book. I guess it's the first of a series, but it's self-contained, and I didn't love it quite enough to care to find the others.

    Today I started Sphere, by Michael Crichton. The gist of this one being a spacecraft being found in the middle of the ocean, and a team of academics try to find out its secrets.
    Something of an oversight on my part, as a fan of science-fiction, that this is the first of his novels I've picked up. The writing is captivating, the plot is keeping me guessing, and the dialogue reminds me very much of how people actually talk. I read a little over half of it today, and I anticipate finishing it tomorrow. I'm anxious to see how everything pans out, it's definitely something special & different.

    Day-Later Edit: I finished it today. Jesus. I went in expecting a pure science fiction, but shit went really psychological-thriller towards the end. Completely subverted my expectations, I was guessing right up until the end; thought I had it all worked out too. I absolutely loved it, and it's been a long time since I've felt so satisfied with a work of sci-fi.
    10/10

    5 votes
  14. Comment on More than 50 people died under Victoria's euthanasia scheme during its first six months in ~news

    CALICO
    Link
    The word choice of 'scheme' is interesting to me. It may just be my own, US-centric bias, but the word carries a connotation that implies deception or secrecy. I understand the word itself is more...

    The word choice of 'scheme' is interesting to me. It may just be my own, US-centric bias, but the word carries a connotation that implies deception or secrecy. I understand the word itself is more neutral in definition. In Australia is there a similar undertone, or is it just an innocent synonym for 'plan', and I'm just overthinking things?

    5 votes
  15. Comment on What's something you have always wanted to know about being LGBT (but were maybe afraid to ask)? in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    In my experience, yes. While the majority of my lasting relationships have been with straight, cis-women, the vast majority of my fleeting relationships have been with queer folk. That's not for...

    In my experience, yes.

    While the majority of my lasting relationships have been with straight, cis-women, the vast majority of my fleeting relationships have been with queer folk.
    That's not for neglect of things like Tinder (back when it was more of a hookup app than a dating one), or going out to the bar or club. It's just easier to have an NSA encounter going out to a gay bar, or booting up Grindr. In my experience, I can open Grindr in any major metropolitan area in the world* and have somebody over quicker than I could have a pizza delivered. While the majority of people utilizing the service are m4m, there's plenty of trans-men and trans-women on there as well.

    It's both a good thing, and a bad thing.

    I dream of a world where horny people of all sex & gender varieties can get together without shame. In this respect, hookup culture among LGBT is really nice. Though, of course, there are plenty of queer folk who aren't into hookups at all.

    It's bad for a few reasons.

    • There's a higher risk of STDs. Even if I do everything right, there's no guarantee they are.

    • A lot of the people—not all, but a lot—seem to be closeted or repressed people taking what they can get. It's not difficult to find a married man cheating on his wife, or a young person just trying to connect with somebody, anybody.

    • Sometimes you end up meeting somebody who you really click with, have a great time with, and it can't be anything more than a hookup. I guess that's more of a personal problem than a flaw in hookup culture tho.

    I think maybe queer hookup culture might be driven by scarcity, rather than us being more horny or sexually-progressive tho. But that's a guess.

    * I travel a lot, but I haven't been everywhere. Also, some places use different apps with the same principle.

    9 votes
  16. Comment on What's something you have always wanted to know about being LGBT (but were maybe afraid to ask)? in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    My thoughts on this one are more of a reflection of my military experience, than my sports experience—which is so limited to the point it barely exists. I can see how a trans-woman could have an...

    My thoughts on this one are more of a reflection of my military experience, than my sports experience—which is so limited to the point it barely exists.

    I can see how a trans-woman could have an advantage over cis-women in some areas. Bone density and "default" musculature being the two that come to mind immediately, though I'm not sure to what degree making the hormonal transition levels that field. There are surely outliers, but I could buy that an average non-transitioned, male-bodied athlete may retain an advantage over the average non-transitioned, female-bodied athlete in the same sport, after having transitioned.

    That's a valid question on fairness.

    My answer to that question of fairness, is that having a strict separation of the sexes in sports is fundamentally unfair.

    In much the same way that combat sports have weight classes, I don't see why we couldn't dissolve the sex-boundary in sports and instead class everything by a series of metrics instead. If you can meet X-Y-Z standards, you are A-B-C Class in Whatever-the-Sport. Whether you are cis-male/female, trans, intersex. Anything. If you qualify for some bracket, then you compete in that bracket. Your capabilities are your capabilities, regardless of your sex or gender.

    There's something of a conversation in the military world on the subject of women in Special Forces roles. Some people have the opinion that women are—on average—less physically capable than a male soldier, and would be a liability in such a role. My opinion is that if you can meet the standards to be SF, then you can be SF. I've met female soldiers who can outperform male soldiers by a wide margin. They're an outlier, sure. But their capabilities are real, and if they want to be SF, and can meet the standards to be SF, then just fuckin' let them be SF.

    10 votes
  17. Comment on What's something you have always wanted to know about being LGBT (but were maybe afraid to ask)? in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    This is a weird one for me, because I do not have the experience of having a gender identity. I never have. Only recently in my life did I become aware that this was non-standard. I have a...

    What do you think causes gender dysphoria in general?

    This is a weird one for me, because I do not have the experience of having a gender identity. I never have. Only recently in my life did I become aware that this was non-standard. I have a difficult time wrapping my brain around the concept of gender.
    I have an opinion on consciousness that isn't the mainstream, materialist-reductionist view found in science. Who is correct has yet to be determined, but I hope to be alive when we finally crack that nut—I'm willing to cede my position in the face of irrefutable evidence. Suffice to say, I'm not convinced that consciousness is entirely an emergent property coming from the architecture and operation of our neurons. However, that architecture is certainly important to the flavor of my experience. I reject the notion that my consciousness is male, or female, because I do not have the experience of feeling male, or female. As Alan Watts would put it, my consciousness is "...an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself."
    That said, I find myself dissatisfied that this flesh-robot my mind is piloting around the world is shaped like a man. I can only guess this is due to something about the structure of my brain, rather than the nature of the mind within the brain.

    In contrast, why did/do you personally want to change sex?

    I have not transitioned. Partly because having a male body does not get in the way of my relationship with others, or the world. Having a male body just makes me sad. As well, the technology of today is insufficient to change the body I have into the body I feel I should have. It would be a half-measure, in my case, and I'd find myself still dissatisfied. The hormones might help a bit, but I know the body dysphoria will still be there. I am not a danger to myself, and the nature of my work and personal philosophies keep my attention focused at a scale of things much larger than the individual.
    Maybe I'll live to see some future-ass nanotechnology that will enable a full reconstruction, or the Singularity will happen and I can petition our new Silicon God to work their magic. But until that point, it's really not worth going through the trouble. For me.
    I feel not at all attached to this body, but I exert my will over it through things like tattoos & piercings—things in which I have the power to choose. That helps.

    7 votes