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Messages - JD

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Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 30, 2020, 07:32:58 PM »

Ah, but think of the shareholders. :-*

Harpy, there’s absolutely no conflict between the needs of healthcare systems and the populations they’re trying to protect and the shareholders of any company involved in the search for a mechanism to control this pandemic.

I’ve already posted higher up this thread that in my considerable experience of this industry, the companies both big and small, involved in this process will always put the safety of any intervention at the top of their list of priorities.

Why? You can start with the Hippocratic Oath - “first do no harm” - but you can add to that the absolute priority to avoid the financial as well as the social and medical implications of a major drug side effect disaster.

No medical treatment is associated with zero risk but what angers me about ill-informed anti-vaccers is their total failure to recognise that getting vaccinated is more about protecting others than reducing their own risk of infection. It’s totally selfish and potentially enormously damaging not to play your part in the process.

Our ability to bring this pandemic to heel right now is much more likely to fail because too many people refuse to participate that it will through profit-led decision making in the supply chain.

If you, like me, had lived through the more community-focused post war era you would have been able to benefit from seeing the change achieved the Salk polio vaccine. I had close friends, children, who spent months in iron lungs. The vaccine made them redundant. Let’s do the same for all those new ventilators. It’s ultimately down to you and me - I’ll be ready when my appointment for a jab comes around.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: December 30, 2020, 12:28:27 AM »
I thought this one worthy of the forum

Antarctica / Re: Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Calving and Discussion
« on: December 02, 2020, 07:16:37 AM »
I'm mostly a longtime lurker here, but I must say the detailed analysis here is greatly helping my understanding of the dynamic forces at play.  It is apparent to me that as the main PIG has retreated, there is therefore less lateral or constraining forces on the adjacent ice sheets.   The lack of constraint combined with the difference in flow speed between adjacent ice streams is now causing them to  tear each other apart, thereby compounding the whole issue.  I'm sure this was obvious to others, but the clarity provided in the recent animations in how these mechanisms are working is fascinating, and somewhat terrifying.  Thank you everyone for the good work and intelligent conversation in here.   

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: November 21, 2020, 03:19:20 PM »
Hospitals Know What’s Coming

“We are on an absolutely catastrophic path,” said a COVID-19 doctor at America’s best-prepared hospital.

And this link to an article that gives a clear, if personally upsetting, picture of conditions on the ground has been posted by someone who has been described by another frequent commenter as a "useful idiot".

I would like to thank you for your postings. It has actually become my best source of "on the ground" news and recent research. I read everything you post on this thread and am better informed as a result.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: November 21, 2020, 01:31:51 PM »
a friendly edit...we could be at 3000 deaths per day by late December...won't fall below 1000 per day until February at the earliest...
Why then, SH? Biden in power? Herd immunity? Passage of winter?

...the cruel teacher that is mass death and the destruction that lies in its wake...I have maintained for a long time that Mom has to die (or Dad) in large numbers in rural America before the Republican base wakes up from the hypnotic state or slumber that has been induced by the charlatans that lead their party...

...there is, of course, the disturbing possibility that the Republican base hates their certainly cannot be they want to get their hands on the inheritance which consists, in most cases, of a broken down pickup truck and that used washing machine...

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: November 21, 2020, 10:15:19 AM »

This weeks infection survey estimates 665k infected people in England during the week of 8-14 November, up marginally from the previous week (654k). Considering this was the first full week of the current lockdown this is not a good sign.

The virus can spread within families for at least one 5 day generation before it runs out of potential contacts then it can take a week for symptoms to show then a few days for a test to be organised and the results to come back. So I think this is really showing that the local lockdowns prior to national lockdown were beginning to have effect. 

16444 currently in hospital and rising versus 19850 at the end of March peak indicates more action was needed.

That extra 5 days is essentially over by the time of the infection survey.

Tier 3 is clearly dropping, but nearly flat overall is a combination of drops in Tier 3 and increases everywhere else.

There's about an extra couple of days of good data in the testing of symptomatics beyond the infection survey period now, and its only really London that now stands out as continuing to rise so it would be surprising if there wasn't a definite drop in the next survey.

The age range data shows that infection is still spreading in schools, but rates have turned in other age ranges. The October peak in 10-19 year olds was all about freshers, but the rise in November is teens at school who are now almost as infected as the university age cohorts.

James' simple model and the MRC complex version tell the same story, R has definitely dropped to close to 1, but its only the areas that were Tier 3 before lockdown (the NW) that its definitely gone below 1. 16 days from lockdown and James has 0.97 (0.84-1.11) and if R had gone well below 1 as a result of lockdown that should be showing in his model by now.

Policy and solutions / Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« on: November 20, 2020, 02:10:31 AM »
... this panelist from the 2020 Army Futures Command Conference must be a sales rep from Cyberdyne Systems: SkyNet Division ...


Let Your Robots Off The Leash – Or Lose: AI Experts

... A DARPA-Army program called SOSU (System-of-Systems Enhanced Small Unit) is simulating a future company-sized unit – 200 to 300 soldiers – reinforced by hordes of highly autonomous drones and ground robots, explained the panelist.

... “[When] we gave the capabilities to the AI to control [virtual] swarms of robots and unmanned vehicles,” he said, “what we found, as we ran the simulations, was that the humans constantly want to interrupt them.”

One impact of human micromanagement is obvious. It slows things down. It’s true for humans as well — a human soldier who has to ask his superiors for orders will react more slowly than one empowered to take the initiative. It’s an even bigger brake on an AI, whose electronic thought processes can cycle far faster than a human’s neurochemical brain. An AI that has to get human approval to shoot will be beaten to the draw by an AI that doesn’t.

If you have to transmit an image of the target, let the human look at it, and wait for the human to hit the “fire” button, “that is an eternity at machine speed,” he said. “If we slow the AI to human speed…we’re going to lose.”

The second problem is the network. It must work all the time. If your robot can’t do X without human permission, and it can’t get human permission because it and the human can’t communicate, your robot can’t do X at all.

You also need a robust connection, because the computer can’t just text: “Win war? Reply Y/N.” It has to send the human enough data to make an informed decision, which for use of lethal weapons requires sending at least one clear picture of the target and, in many cases, video. But transmitting video takes the kind of high-bandwidth, long-range wireless connection that’s hard to keep unbroken and stable when you’re on Zoom at home, let alone on the battlefield where the enemy is jamming your signals, hacking your network, and bombing any transmitter they can trace.

The third problem is the most insidious. If humans are constantly telling the AI what to do, it’ll only do things humans can think of doing. But in simulated conflicts from Chess to Go to Starcraft, AI consistently surprises human opponents with tactics no human ever imagined. Most of the time, the crazy tactics don’t actually work, but if you let a “reinforcement learning” AI do trial and error over thousands or millions of games – too many for a human to watch, let alone play – then it will eventually stumble onto brilliant moves.

“You probably don’t want to expect it to behave just like a human,” said an Army researcher whose team has run hundreds of thousands of virtual fights. “That’s probably one of the main takeaways from these simulated battles.”

“It’s very interesting,” agreed a senior Army scientist, “to watch how the AI discovers, on its own,… some very tricky and interesting tactics. [Often you say], ‘oh whoa, that’s pretty smart, how did it figure out that one?’

DARPA and the Intelligence Community are working hard on “explainable AI:” one that not only crunches data, performs mysterious math, and outputs a conclusion but actually explains why it came to that conclusion in terms a human can understand.

Unfortunately, machine learning operates by running complex calculations of statistical correlations in enormous datasets and most people can’t begin to follow the math. Even the AI scientists who wrote the original equations can’t manually check every calculation a computer makes. If you require your AI to only use logic that humans can understand, it’s a bit like asking a police dog to track suspects by only following scents a human can smell, or asking Michelangelo to paint exclusively in black and white for the benefit of the colorblind.

“There’s been an over-emphasis on explainability,” one private-sector scientist said. “That would be a huge, huge limit on AI.”

“There are very sophisticated computations that are happening in my smart phone when it takes pictures,” the senior Army scientist said. “There are some very sophisticated computations in the engine of my car as it decides how much fuel to inject in each cylinder at each moment. I do not want to participate in those decisions. I should not participate in those decisions. I must not be allowed to participate in those decisions.”

“There is an unfortunate tendency for the humans to try to micromanage AI,” the scientist continued. “Everybody will have to get used to the fact that AI exists. It’s around us. It’s with us, and it thinks and acts differently than we do.”

“Decisionmakers need to understand,”
agreed the expert on the SOSU experiments, “that an AI, at some point, will have to be let go.”


What do you have to lose? What could possibly go wrong? ...


UK Defense Chief Says Army Could Have 30,000 Robots by the 2030s

In the age of artificial intelligence, robots will soon represent a large part of the armed forces, according to the UK's chief of the defence staff Nick Carter, who predicted that up to a quarter of the army could be made up of autonomous systems in the near future.

This is not a movie; this is real life. It is not a drill. In about a decade, we might see a ton of robots working alongside humans in the UK army. But don’t worry, although some of the robots will have weapons, only humans will be able to fire them. Sure.

UK defense chief Gen. Nick Carter said in an interview on Sunday that by the 2030s, the country’s armed forces could include a large amount of autonomous or remotely controlled machines, per the Guardian. The country’s Ministry of Defense had made robot warfare a major part of its five-year budget proposal.  ... we will absolutely avail ourselves with autonomous platforms and robotics wherever we can," said Carter.

"I suspect we could have an army of 120,000, of which 30,000 might be robots, who knows," he said. The current trained strength of the country's armed forces is just under 74,000.


The Brits just increased their defense spending by the largest amount in 30 years. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest plan raises the country’s current £41.5bn budget by £16.5 billion, which is a roughly $22 billion increase, according to CNN.

Where’s the extra money going? Some of it will go toward "a new agency dedicated to Artificial Intelligence," the Defense Ministry said in a statement; other money will help stand up "a National Cyber Force" as well as a "Space Command" that's "capable of launching our first rocket in 2022." The UK will also "invest further in the Future Combat Air System," and toss some money toward “autonomous vehicles and aviation.”

The rest / Re: What is your likeability?
« on: November 05, 2020, 06:49:42 AM »
worth  a reply i guess.
I have a high like ratio on this blog.
About .5
In the real world my views are  marginalized and I find it hard to relate to the "normal" person I encounter.
First and foremost I have what they call Asperger syndrome this simply means  I dont think like "normal" person. I/100 ...
2nd is IQ apparently mine is something like 2 sd to the right . another 1/100....
On this forum both of my differences are approaching normal hence what I have to say often resonates  with  the average person on here.
What does  my high like ratio mean to me ?
It makes me feel I am among my peers and a valued contributor with views worth considering rather than feeling alone in an incomprehensible uncomprehending world .

I have long thought that as the Arctic seas remain open longer during autumn, the Aleutian Low will be displaced. I think this might be happening this year. When you have very warm seas and continental land masses cool during October, cold air moves toward the warm seas and rises, creating our well know Icelandic and Aleutian Lows. What happens though when the Siberian seas are very warm? It seems that the Aleutian low is displaced and a new, Siberian Seas Low is created (I believe that eventually this will morph into the Arctic Low when we reach BOE). You can see this year's air pressure chart on the first pic, and the climatological average on the second. The Aleutian low is very weak, and there is a new low in the Siberian Seas.

The loss of the Aleutian Low has significant consequences for NH weather. The Aleutian Low used to push wet, mild air into Canada, warming it and separating colder, Arctic airmasses from the US. As you can see on the third picture, the lack of these airmasses led to cold breakouts into the US this year. Also, as warm Atlantic air is no longer pushed towards Mongolia but instead into Northern Siberia/ESS region, the inner parts of Eurasia are also cooler than average.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: October 28, 2020, 06:09:55 AM »
The situation in Melbourne is now like Czechia's was in May or June. Apparent control is actual obfuscation via seasonality's modification of both transmission and mortality patterns. It is now spreading more slowly but doing so substantially more invisibly. If there is not a viable vaccine, Australia too, will be screwed (and it will be everywhere when they lift the interstate travel bans if they haven't already, I haven't been following re: Victoria).

Victoria got rid of Covid via masks, testing, tracing, and strong leadership.

The numbers started to drop before the weather started to warm up, and while I agree that it appears Covid thrives in colder weather and that it will have played one part of many in getting Covid under control in Victoria, it certainly wasn't the main reason.

Australia is not screwed, we have it under control.
Other regions of Australia get as cold as Melbourne but they didn't have outbreaks that got out of control.... their outbreaks were tested and traced out of existence.

What happened here was a combination of really bad luck with a few super spreaders and several trials of control that didn't work plus huge mismanagement of the Federally run aged care facilities. And aged care mismanagement is a big reason for the spread.... and to underline this point a bit more... Federally run aged care facilities with less funding, fewer nurses to patient rations, accounted for 100% of the deaths via Covid in Victoria.
Victorian run aged care had zero deaths.
This one thing alone highlights very strongly that managing the spread of Covid makes a massive difference and letting run wild is a terrible idea.
For some numbers.... Fed funded aged care facilities 650 +/- and Victoria funded is 190 +/-
655 old people died in federal funded aged care.... zero in Victoria funded aged care.

Also, State borders in Australia open or are restricted based on the circumstances. We also have open borders with New Zealand, who also has Covid under control through strong leadership, testing, tracing and masks when required.

Your line of thinking is just wrong in terms of herd immunity..... and herd immunity is just going to kill a lot of people, damage even more, and we don't even know how long natural immunity lasts so.... if it is only 3 months, it is just letting the virus do what it does so well.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: October 27, 2020, 10:43:44 PM »
Herd immunity is not evil, and implying that YOU should be spared from the virus as society carries on in your absence as it HAS TO FOR YOU TO SURVIVE is incredibly ELITEST and shows a disconnect from fellow humanity.

When I walked to Midtown in May, pedestrians were almost exclusively people of color who were ensuring the city carried on and continued functioning so people like those still cloistered inside could continue to do so.

Thought this might be in response to my comment where I called herd immunity evil so I will respond.

I am a white male, 64 years old, and go to work every day in one of the poorest communites in Chicago, comprised entirely of persons of color. (30% Hispanic, 70% black) I work for a not for profit that is working with community groups to bring development to a community that has suffered from decades of disinvestment. I've installed gardens, boarded up vacant buildings, connected small businesses to available resources, contributed to the revival of a rich tradition in art, routinely connect with the homeless along the commercial district and direct them to emergency services. As a white man, I have lived a life of privilege, the kind of privilege that all white men benefit from in the U.S. I decided to use the last 15 years of my professional life giving back to the city that I love.

And herd immunity which you are suggesting is the best approach will hurt the most those for whom you profess such concern, communities of color.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: June 27, 2020, 10:22:35 PM »
Crazy thought, but is this virus making people stupid? Is being a covidiot a symptom of the illness?

All people are stupid. The only difference between people is that some know this and others don't.

The rest / Re: Pareidolia
« on: May 08, 2020, 11:35:26 AM »
America is getting the boot...

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 25, 2020, 10:07:02 PM »

Antarctica / Re: PIG has calved
« on: March 29, 2020, 06:12:25 PM »
I had prepared a commented animation, but Baking preceded me.
I publish it anyway for the added information.
I used the images from the 17th and today, with 12 days interval to highlight residual movements. I added an arrow on a reference point of the Cork2 and another arrow on a reference point of the iceberg A, the iceberg east of the Cork2, to show the shift of the Cork2 relative to A.
The images are aligned with the eastern part of the SIS to show the residual motion of the western part of the SIS, motion induced by the SWT drive.
As far as Cork2 is concerned, it should be remembered that the modest pressure of Cork2 on the SIS, whose origin I described in a previous post, is sufficient to keep it attached to the SIS. A similar speech can be made for the small iceberg B in the west of Cork2 (B is irrelevant for the rest and I only mention it as a curiosity).

The image is very zoomed, click twice to animate and zoom in.

Antarctica / Re: PIG has calved
« on: February 29, 2020, 08:50:13 PM »
The two rifts in the SIS have expanded and are clearly visible in the high-resolution Sentinel1 images. I think they are even longer, but the Sentinel2 images to confirm this are not available at the moment.  >:(  >:(
I think they will extend later in the SWT and will have to be followed as they may lead to significant calvings in the SWT.
For this reason I named them SR1 and SR2 (South Rift 1 et 2).

One of the causes of these rifts could well be the SWT being pushed to NE, as it is no longer forced to turn by the pressure of the MIS (the world of old), nor by the Cork (the world of yesterday).

Translated with (free version)

Echoing the previous 2 comments, at risk of creating a "too long" off-topic comment chain.

These are the type of threads & information I come here for. I love it, thanks.


I just want to "join" Shared Humanity in saying that your contributions in this thread are very valuable and necessary. I thank you for your daily effort of informing us about the latest results of peer-reviewed science.


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