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[#] Wed Nov 18 2020 18:33:09 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Wed Nov 18 2020 15:12:24 EST from LoanShark

Hmm, yeah, not sure what you're talking about. If mask usages goes to 95%, you're talking >60,000 lives saved. There is no dispute that more people staying home reduces effective R--more lives saved in any given time frame. There is no dispute that we can get effctive R below 1.0 if we try, and if the seasonality cooperates--more lives saved. Everyone needs to be as careful as possible. Q.E.D.

No. Masks don't SAVE lives. That is another thing about the rhetoric. 

They *potentially* prolong the time until people with comorbidities inevitably become exposed to the virus. To save lives, masks would have to be a 100% guaranteed prevention from infection. The claim that masks SAVE lives, that there are people who are dead because there was not a federal mask mandate - is a partisan political talking point, and nothing more. 

If we're going to be using *science*, then let's *science*. The whole idea of masks and social isolation was to protect the most at risk until cures and treatments could be developed - until we could better understand why it is so dangerous and deadly in some cases, a very bad flu in others, and hardly more than a cold in the vast majority of cases. 

So, masks don't save lives - they buy us time until we can find something that actually saves lives. 

It is making the whole school not eat PB&J because one student on campus has life threatening peanut butter allergies. 

And I'm OK with that, as part of the social contract - to a point. 

But we're not saving lives at this point. We're prolonging when those with pre-existing conditions will contract a fatal infection of Covid - unless we develop some other solution than social isolation and mask mandates. 

Be safe. But avoid partisan talking points that are vivid emotional appeals.

 



[#] Wed Nov 18 2020 21:26:43 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Just wanted to add - sometimes I come out of the gate swinging harder than I intend to... my tone isn't always the most politic. 


I'm not calling you an idiot, or even saying that you *are* wrong. 

Just that I disagree, and I think there is a different perspective that is worth considering. 

I'm not trying to start a flame war OR shut anyone down. I'm the last word on absolutely *nuthing*. If I come across like a dick sometimes, you're right - it isn't you - it is me, and I apologize in advance. Give me a chance, and you'll see me do it to someone you think deserves it. :) 

 

 

 



[#] Thu Nov 19 2020 11:34:58 EST from LoanShark

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No. Masks don't SAVE lives. That is another thing about the
rhetoric. 

They *potentially* prolong the time until people with comorbidities

You're getting into a lot of ideologically-driven hair-splitting here, and I have no time for it. This room is about health. Spare me.

[#] Thu Nov 19 2020 11:37:09 EST from LoanShark

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when a vaccine is this imminent, and we only have one more "wave" to go until it's widely available, buying time *is* saving lives, and that's all I'm going to say about that.

[#] Fri Nov 20 2020 09:00:16 EST from nonservator

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Pfizer, Moderna - these are not vaccines. They are something new and unprecedented. Rewrite my DNA? No fucking thanks.



[#] Fri Nov 20 2020 10:35:46 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Fri Nov 20 2020 09:00:16 EST from nonservator

Pfizer, Moderna - these are not vaccines. They are something new and unprecedented. Rewrite my DNA? No fucking thanks.



Can you link to source material that explains this statement? I'm not familiar. 



[#] Sat Nov 21 2020 08:43:27 EST from nonservator

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Rhetorical, not pedantically accurate, but basically true. The big takeaway is that if you worry about "unprecedented", these so-called vaccines are it.

 

https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/48250/can-an-rna-vaccine-change-your-dna-permanently

 

 



[#] Sat Nov 21 2020 15:06:58 EST from LoanShark

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2020-11-20 09:00 from nonservator
Pfizer, Moderna - these are not vaccines. They are something new and
unprecedented. Rewrite my DNA? No fucking thanks.


There is no reverse transcriptase involved here. These vaccines do not penetrate the nucleus. They are replication-incompetent, and they merely contain mRNA that goes straight to your ribosomes to produce the spike protein.

Super simple. We wrote the source code, and we know whether the payload is malicious or not.

[#] Sat Nov 21 2020 21:31:44 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Sat Nov 21 2020 15:06:58 EST from LoanShark
2020-11-20 09:00 from nonservator
Pfizer, Moderna - these are not vaccines. They are something new and
unprecedented. Rewrite my DNA? No fucking thanks.


There is no reverse transcriptase involved here. These vaccines do not penetrate the nucleus. They are replication-incompetent, and they merely contain mRNA that goes straight to your ribosomes to produce the spike protein.

Super simple. We wrote the source code, and we know whether the payload is malicious or not.

Yeah - that seems to be the gist I got from it. They produce a protein - but they don't alter your DNA or RNA. 

But - if we could genetically alter ourselves to be superior - why *wouldn't* you? 

What difference is there in "playing God" between mastering fire and figuring out the wheel or how to land a ship on the moon or how to turn off the genetic sequence that makes us go bald? 

If there are interstellar travelling aliens - I bet genetically altering their DNA was one of the first steps toward achieving that feat. Some day, we *are* going to do it - if we survive ourselves long enough. 

 



[#] Sun Nov 22 2020 10:45:10 EST from LoanShark

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for now it's largely considered unethical/illegal, right? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He_Jiankui_affair

[#] Sun Nov 22 2020 13:04:22 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Sun Nov 22 2020 10:45:10 EST from LoanShark

for now it's largely considered unethical/illegal, right? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He_Jiankui_affair

Yes - and that is what I am questioning. 

It could certainly be used in unethical ways. But is the idea that is is inherently unethical in any case justified

I mean, we don't have to dig very far to find examples of, "Just because society BELIEVES a standard or a position or a value, doesn't mean society is right."





[#] Sun Nov 22 2020 14:08:41 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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But - if we could genetically alter ourselves to be superior - why
*wouldn't* you? 

That sounds suspiciously close to eugenics.

Once we start selectively generating or disabling proteins, what's to stop "our betters" from making all birth defects fatal so we don't have to deal with them? And once that's done, what's to stop them from deciding which races will live and which will die? And since you're now thinking this anyway, what's to stop them from breeding gay frogs? Alex Jones was right OMG!!!1

[#] Sun Nov 22 2020 14:35:18 EST from zooer

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Brave New World indeed.



[#] Sun Nov 22 2020 16:02:49 EST from LoanShark

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There are some big ethical issues with respect to a *lifelong* experiment on a human subject.


The mRNA vaccines aren't in remotely the same category of ethical issue. You're not altering the germline. You're not altering any cell permanently. It has a built-in time limit; those cells are not going to keep cranking out S protein forever.

[#] Sun Nov 22 2020 16:50:11 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Sun Nov 22 2020 14:08:41 EST from IGnatius T Foobar
But - if we could genetically alter ourselves to be superior - why
*wouldn't* you? 

That sounds suspiciously close to eugenics.

Once we start selectively generating or disabling proteins, what's to stop "our betters" from making all birth defects fatal so we don't have to deal with them? And once that's done, what's to stop them from deciding which races will live and which will die? And since you're now thinking this anyway, what's to stop them from breeding gay frogs? Alex Jones was right OMG!!!1

What is wrong with eugenics? Eugenics is a thing. It exists. Elon Musk got dragged through the mud for confronting this on Twitter, recently. You can breed *any* biological organism for selected traits - this is *science*. Hitler turned the whole idea of eugenics into a thing we can't talk about - can't admit is how reality works - and that sets back human progress in a worse way than tampering with our genetics ever could. 

Once we start selectively generating or disabling proteins to the point that "our betters" can make all birth defects fatal, why not just disable birth defects? If we can set a switch to make birth-defects fatal, why couldn't we set a switch to make birth-defects impossible? 

Once we can master that - what does RACE matter? People will be customizing their features so that ethnicity will be an outdated concept. We'll have designer babies. Hell, within the limits of functional design, those children will be post-homo sapien. Literally this is the path to homo-superior... and the white or black of yellow of it is immaterial. Gattaca took a "glass-half empty" approach where natural born offspring were a *lesser* citizen than genetically enhanced ones. But, why have NON-genetically enhanced ones if having one with cleaned up code is a simple matter of the parents having a vaccine that recodes the DNA so that children are guaranteed evolutionary superior. 

That is all it is - is evolution. Just like technology has allowed our societies to grow massive, by making us more efficient at farming - why shouldn't genetic manipulation make our humanity grow less imperfect

Let's say, hypothetically - it works more like I describe and less like you fear - then what is the *ethical* fear of doing it? 

If it could bring humanity to a closer ideal of utopian creation without any negative consequences, if it could increase equality, decrease inequality, reduce human suffering - then don't you agree it would be unethical NOT to pursue it? 




[#] Sun Nov 22 2020 17:03:39 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Sun Nov 22 2020 16:02:49 ESTfrom LoanShark

There are some big ethical issues with respect to a *lifelong* experiment on a human subject.


The mRNA vaccines aren't in remotely the same category of ethical issue. You're not altering the germline. You're not altering any cell permanently. It has a built-in time limit; those cells are not going to keep cranking out S protein forever.
 

I never said it was. But the counterpoint to the mRNA vaccines seems to hinge on a fear that at the very least, this is a slippery slope to permanent cell alteration - or that it will happen inadvertently, ala "Nature Finds a Way/Jurassic Park Hurricanes from Butterfly Wings," chaos theory. 


Which isn't an invalid or unjustified fear. 

"There are some big ethical issues with respect to a *lifelong* experiment on a human subject."
 
But, EVERY human being *is* a lifelong experiment on a human subject. Extrapolation of this statement would lead to the inevitable conclusion that mixing your DNA with another human's DNA to create a 3rd human from that DNA is itself unethical.

Which isn't an unprecedented claim. 

We're not talking about "lifelong experiments". We're talking about altering human DNA in a way that would be beneficial to all of humanity. We're talking about figuring out how to make humanity more sustainable, more productive, more reliable - just like we do with agriculture, with engineering, with all the other tools we design and improve that refine our society. We're talking about augmenting humans to the benefit of humanity as a whole. 

I keep hearing claims that tampering with genetic code to achieve this is unethical. I don't hear anyone answering *WHY*. 

I suspect that if we get into the arguments for WHY it is unethical, we're going to see a lot of circular logic. 

 



[#] Sun Nov 22 2020 22:21:27 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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The most ethical course of action is the one that kills Bill Gates the soonest.

[#] Sun Nov 22 2020 23:30:36 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Sun Nov 22 2020 22:21:27 EST from IGnatius T Foobar
The most ethical course of action is the one that kills Bill Gates the soonest.

Nature is remarkably ethical in this regard. It will kill him as soon as it can. 

 



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