Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - SteveMDFP

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 34
Policy and solutions / Re: Cannabis
« on: May 27, 2020, 09:32:43 PM »
Lime Hemp Concrete (LHC) or Hemp Concrete is a carbon negative building material that uses Hemp and Lime. This research was focused on quantifying the already established carbon sequestration capability of LHC. An LHC test cube was manufactured, CHN Elemental analysis of hemp and XRD analysis of binder was conducted to determine the quantity of carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration potential of 470.3 kg of CO2 per m3 of LHC was predicted using stoichiometry. At the age of 28 days, it was found that the cube had achieved a carbon sequestration of 307.26 kg of CO2 per m3 of LHC.

This may be much ado about nothing.  The analysis avoids the fact that the lime used here comes from limestone, from which the CO2 has been cooked off.  Hardly carbon neutral.  Furthermore, the mechanical properties of this material are useless:  "The mechanical strength of the LHC cube manufactured for the current study was negligible, indicating a need for developmental research in this particular parameter. "

The rest / Re: Cannabis OR Hemp
« on: May 25, 2020, 10:32:31 PM »

So now the ASIF forum is becoming a weed growers forum?

I wouldn't object.  But we already have a gardening thread.  Posts could go there.

The politics / Re: The American Progressive Movement
« on: May 23, 2020, 08:28:27 AM »

Summary...this is tax policy only and represents pre-election posturing. Removing the social security cap would represent a major tax increase on high earners. That's a plus, but there is nothing here that fundamentally changes things for the super rich. The American public strongly supports a wealth tax and this just illustrates how much control the oligarchs have over the electoral process.

More details needed on how Biden's plan for infrastructure priorities, economic stimulus, etc.

In the absence of a thread dedicated to a potential Biden Administration, this seems like the best place to comment on stuff like this as it shows what progressives are up against.

Nice summary, thanks.  These are significant steps in a progressive direction, though not sufficient in themselves.  Overall, we should applaud these policy proposals.  Being modest in scope may be a political necessity in an election, but a base to build upon none the less.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: May 23, 2020, 08:19:18 AM »
To throw some science onto the pile, here is a preprint meta-analysis of IFR estimates:

A systematic review and meta-analysis of published research data on COVID-19 infection-fatality rates

The meta-analysis demonstrated a point-estimate of IFR of 0.75% (0.49-1.01%) with high heterogeneity (p<0.001).


Within distinct study types, there was a difference in the point-estimates for IFR. Published research had  a  much  lower  point-estimate  (modelling:  0.57%,  0.22-0.69%,  observational:  0.46%,  0.14-0.90%) than  pre-prints  (1.06%,  0.81-1.3%),  although  the  lowest  heterogeneity  was  seen  in  the  pre-print research.

Thanks for this.  The conclusion isn't far off from contributors' analyses on this very thread above.  Essentially, an IFR near or somewhat below 1%.  Of course, the available data are skewed towards populations that have good healthcare available.  The mortality may be significantly higher in populations suffering poverty or poor health care.

This is the worst global health crisis in 102 years.  In a way, we should be thankful==the 1918 virus was significantly more lethal than this one.  Next time, we may not be so lucky.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: May 23, 2020, 07:57:55 AM »
     I haven't given much attention to the effect of river discharge on the Arctic sea ice.  While the warm outflow of a big river seemed important for impact on the ice near the river delta, it seemed too small to matter much to the big picture, e.g. heat content of the entire Arctic Ocean, or even to the entire Beaufort Sea.  But these statements from the paper linked by Error refute that:
     "The Mackenzie and other large rivers can transport an enormous amount of heat across immense continental watersheds into the Arctic Ocean"

     "...the volume of the total discharge over the 3 week period is equivalent to a layer thickness of 0.19 m of warm waters across the entire open water area of 316,000 km2"
     (ed.  The area of the Beaufort Sea is 178,000 km2)

      "The warmest waters were observed near the coast of the Mackenzie Delta, e.g., 13°C at 147 km, 10°C at 287 km, 8°C at 350 km, and 2°C as far as 456 km from the Mackenzie River mouth"

     "The Mackenzie River has an enormous watershed of 1.8 million km2 with the southern extent reaching to 52.2oN. This watershed is primarily within the continental climate regime, and the heat can be intense in summer when the maximum temperature may reach 32°C around latitude 53°N (e.g., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). Fresh and warm Mackenzie waters reside in the surface layer with the attendant high thermal capacity thus contributing excessive heat to melt sea ice, most effectively when the sea ice cover has been fragmented "

     "In addition to the Mackenzie, there are a number of other large rivers that discharge into the Arctic Ocean. Notable are the Yukon, Ob, Yenisei, Lena, and Kolyma Rivers, each with its immense watershed under a continental climate regime providing massive discharge of warm waters into the Arctic Ocean or a peripheral sea to melt sea ice in spring and summer. "

     "This massive discharge carries an enormous heating power of 1.0 × 1019 J/yr for each 1°C of the warm river waters above freezing, equivalent to 2.5 gigaton of trinitrotoluene (TNT) per °C per year...

Thanks for this.  I remember that remarkable anomaly near the mouth of the Mackenzie in 2012.  This year may shape up to show similar anomalies at that or the Siberian rivers.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cannabis can help save this planet
« on: May 21, 2020, 02:27:55 PM »

So the problem was the alcohol I consumed?
Thanks for that!

I hate you!
Not... ;)

LOL.  The moral of this may be to stick to weed instead.  ;-)

Policy and solutions / Re: Cannabis can help save this planet
« on: May 21, 2020, 01:17:06 PM »
Cannabis needs water
So does food...

More changes to the forum? Limiting video posts?
Or am I just too drunk to remember how to do it?

The forum software recognizes links, not links. 
Thus,"https: // v=vApEgrLf7S4"

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: May 21, 2020, 12:06:31 PM »
The title is a bit click-baity, but the content is interesting and relevant:

‘It’s something I have never seen’: How the Covid-19 virus hijacks cells

"Recent studies show that in seizing control of genes in the human cells it invades, the virus changes how segments of DNA are read, doing so in a way that might explain why the elderly are more likely to die of Covid-19 and why antiviral drugs might not only save sick patients’ lives but also prevent severe disease if taken before infection...
"they found that within three days of infection, the virus induces cells’ call-for-reinforcement genes to produce cytokines. But it blocks their call-to-arms genes — the interferons that dampen the virus’ replication.
"The result is essentially no brakes on the virus’s replication, but a storm of inflammatory molecules in the lungs, which is what tenOever calls an “unique” and “aberrant” consequence of how SARS-CoV-2 manipulates the genome of its target."

The implication is that administering interferons early in the course of infection may be effective.  There are already clinical trials in progress with interferons, with encouraging animal studies already done.

My sense is that a vaccine will arrive too late to help most, but effective anti-viral treatments may be rolled out much sooner.   It may be essential that antivirals be started early in the course of disease (likely to those with risk factors for a bad outcome only).  Interferons do produce flu-like symptoms, so you wouldn't want to administer these injections to those at little risk of a bad outcome.

The port at 8501 is unfortunately a must, and wont be going away any time soon

"Any port in a storm."

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: May 18, 2020, 02:03:51 PM »
This CNN article is highly illogical and manipulative!

Corona tracing apps can be completely privacy-respecting (decentralized Apple/Google approach).

The expansion of the Patriot Act by the Senate yesterday has nothing to do with Corona response at all.

This is US politics doing its thing. Drawing a line between those two issues is pure propaganda. It reads like Nick Paton Walsh is in opposition to the issue. But all he does is spreading FUD and misinformation.

Exactly right.  There may be the *potential* for the Covid crisis to compromise privacy rights, but I've seen limited evidence so far. The CNN article, like much of corporate-based news, is click-baity nonsense. And contact tracing can indeed be done while respecting privacy.  For anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of how this is done, there's an excellent video by a professor of mathematics:

Does contact tracing necessarily sacrifice privacy?

This collection of assets has suddenly grown from ~4 trillion to ~7 trillion.  The infusion of 3 trillion in newly-printed cash hasn't so far shown inflationary impact, prices in the US in this short-term period are quite deflationary.  The total of 7 trillion effectively negates 7 trillion of national debt.

It's highly relevant, I think.  The Covid-related economic contraction would result in a Greater Depression without such efforts to maintain stability of the money supply.

I appreciate these discussion of the macroeconomic consequences of responses to the COVID-19 crisis in this thread.  Steve, if the Fed can blink $ trillions into existence, buy up assets, and then put them on the balance sheet, why do we care about the national debit at all? Why do we finance it in normal times with interest payments? Why not blink it out of existence on an ongoing basis?

Obviously these questions are a bit rhetorical. In practical terms, are we getting close to some discontinuity in how these pieces fit together?  The "system" as you describe it has the feel of a perpetual motion machine.

Well, the Fed effectively prints money with these actions.  Hyperinflation *can* result.  MMT tends to advocate for gradually replacing money that's been created through private-sector borrowing/lending with government-issued money.  The system would need to be adjusted to gradually discourage borrowing/lending.  There are several ways to do that. 

However, such an approach gradually makes banking less and less needed, less and less profitable, less and less powerful.  It also requires a shift in policy by the Federal Reserve.  The Federal Reserve leadership are mostly people with a banking background.  If you think like a banker, your policies will favor banking.

Foor a detailed look at fed reserve balance sheet from a few years ago:

Current position:

But again, i think this is best discussed elsewhere.


A graphic representation may be easier:

This collection of assets has suddenly grown from ~4 trillion to ~7 trillion.  The infusion of 3 trillion in newly-printed cash hasn't so far shown inflationary impact, prices in the US in this short-term period are quite deflationary.  The total of 7 trillion effectively negates 7 trillion of national debt.

It's highly relevant, I think.  The Covid-related economic contraction would result in a Greater Depression without such efforts to maintain stability of the money supply.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: May 16, 2020, 12:37:52 AM »

I was nearly gobsmacked to read such a clear, accurate and nuanced article in the mainstream press--about *any* technical subject, let alone the arctic.

Then I looked at the article, by Andrew Freedman, of the "Capital Weather Gang."  The group produces excellent meteorological and climatological reporting.   As I'm in that capital area, I've benefited from their expertise before.

The rest / Re: Pareidolia
« on: May 16, 2020, 12:25:43 AM »

That's probably why the man is looking so angry...

If somebody did that to my nose and forehead, I'd be angry, too.

Surely you cannot mean that the 4 trillion USD  fed rollout means that the US deficit has decreased by 4 trillion ? 

But this discussion probably needs moved to another thread.


It's still relevant, because the Federal Reserve is again pursuing quantitative easing and related measures right now in dramatic fashion.  This is a potent tool to fight economic contraction/deflation/contraction of the money supply (these are three facets of a single economic phenomenon).

The Federal Reserve balance sheet is a collection of assets (treasury bonds and now some commercial bond assets).  And these are true assets, with a real rate of return--that goes to the Treasury, to help pay for the fiscal budget.  This is exactly like a sovereign wealth fund.

So, acquiring these assets doesn't reduce the deficit, it reduces the debt, in real macroeconomic terms.

The Federal Reserve doesn't give money to any entity other than remitting profits to the Treasury.  It lends, and it buys.  It lends to banks at a policy-derived interest rate, and it buys mostly Treasury bonds at the market rate.  In severely troubled times like this and the Great Recession, it can buy other assets.  They just announced they will be buying corporate bond ETFs.  This isn't some taxpayer giveaway, plenty of normal investors are buying corporate bond ETFs.  And the Fed will receive interest payments, which then will be remitted to the Treasury.

In effect, when the Treasury sells a trillion dollars of bonds to the market, and the Fed buy a trillion dollars of Treasury bonds from the open market, then the government has just printed a trillion dollars to pay for a trillion dollars in spending.

This sounds terribly reckless, a prescription for hyperinflation.  But it's not.  Most of the money in circulation in the economy never was created by the Fed, nor the Mint, nor the Treasury.  Most money gets created in the process of credit/debt, borrowing/lending.  This majority component of circulating money is inherently unstable in amount.  In a recession, borrowing and lending stops, and the money supply contracts, creating deeper recession, further suppression of borrowing and lending, causing further contraction of the money supply.  Positive feedback is present.  There's also positive feedback in the other direction with inflation.

The macroeconomic system is thus dominated by positive feedbacks.  Systems dominated by positive feedbacks display oscillations.  In macroeconomics, the inevitable oscillations from these positive feedbacks are called "the business cycle."

Deflation is deeply destructive, and high inflation is also bad.  The oscillations can really only be effectively tamped by actions of the Federal Reserve.  Essentially it's entire function is to be the economy's thermostat. 

These ideas are part of the foundation of Modern Monetary Theory.  We could do a lot of progressive good by gradually replacing much of the credit/debt-based circulating money with government-issued money.  Doing so could go far in eliminating the positive feedback cycles that produce the instability and oscillations that plague economies.  It can also fund massive amounts of federal spending without causing inflation.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: May 15, 2020, 04:33:12 AM »
Thanks for all the warm wishes and good advice!
Terry, are you okay?
Terry? I hope all is well. We would all appreciate a quick hand wave.

Terry's silence is concerning, since his last posts described Covid-like symptoms.
The forum software reports:
Last Active: May 09, 2020, 02:52:07 AM
Last post:  April 23, 2020, 12:19:38 AM

Anyone have a back-channel way to contact him?

"This Federal Reserve balance sheet represents a *negative* debt, and in macro-economic terms, should be taken as effectively reducing the nominal national debt."

Do tell. What is the accounting relationship between the Fed balance sheet and the government deficit ?


Remember that the entire surplus of the Federal Reserve is remitted to the Treasury.  If the Federal Reserve earns a profit, that goes to the Treasury.

With QE, the Federal Reserve uses freshly-minted money to buy assets.  The money then expands the money supply, and those interest-bearing assets generate income that effectively goes straight  to the Treasury.  The balance sheet of the Fed is thus exactly like a sovereign wealth fund.

Just like any sovereign wealth fund, a 4 trillion dollar asset balance is equal but opposite to the macroeconomic effect of a 4 trillion dollar debt.

Thanks for giving arguments against the points instead of just calling Zerohedge names, Steve.
The article projects we won’t get Unemployment beck down to 5% until 2026. Do you think that is overly pessimistic too?

I don't know, but I think it may be plausible.  The economy has instantly shed a large proportion of non-essential jobs (which is bad) and also a lot of non-essential economic activity and carbon emissions (which is good).

What I think needs to happen (and has suddenly become politically feasible) is institution of a universal basic income.  Rather than have vast numbers of people being forced to take bullshit jobs to earn a paycheck, provide everyone with a basic income and stop creating bullshit work.  In the short-term, paying for this with deficits/quantitative easing is not a problem.  Longer-term, money will need to come out of concentrated wealth and those with exorbitant incomes.  That will be a challenging political battle.

From zerohedge, and pushes gold, but makes some good points:

Zerohedge is an awful source, peddling conspiracy theories, doom and gloom predictions.  It's filled with click-bait garbage.

Whoever wrote this failed Econ 101.  A nation's national debt is a complex issue, but when that debt is in the nation's own currency, options for managing it are easier to manage than most realize.

Japan is considered a very strong (though slow-growth) economy.  It has a debt-to-gdp ratio of about 200%.  It's not an unmanageable problem, it's definitely not a crisis.

Yes, a deep recession is already present.  The recovery may well be slow.  It's true that deflation is a profoundly destructive process.  But the Federal Reserve has literally infinite ability to reverse deflation.  The Great Depression dragged on because economists then didn't understand the importance of the money supply.  Since the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve has learned to be aggressive in fighting deflation.  Quantitative easing was initially controversial, but 4 trillion of that easing during that recession did not create the feared  hyper-inflation, it barely avoided deflation.  QE now could increase that 4 trillion to several multiples of that amount.  This Federal Reserve balance sheet represents a *negative* debt, and in macro-economic terms, should be taken as effectively reducing the nominal national debt.

The zerohedge article is click-bait nonsense.  It's a terrible source for a discussion forum.

The politics / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: May 13, 2020, 11:21:05 PM »
Steve, google "Pelosi double-dipping". First hit (at least for me) is:

Link >>

House leadership is also working on narrowing down the guidelines for how these funds are allocated to ensure that people aren't "double dipping" into the different pots of money, a senior Democratic aide told Axios.

PS: Dixon ain't lying!

Thanks for tracking the article down.

But no, Dixon is lying, or grossly incompetent.

He says that democrats are seeking to avoid double-dipping by receiving both enhanced unemployment benefits and the economic stimulus payments.  The economic stimulus payments would generally be taken to mean the $1200 direct payments to Americans.

That's not at all what the Axios article says.  It says:
"House leadership is also working on narrowing down the guidelines for how these funds are allocated to ensure that people aren't "double dipping" into the different pots of money, a senior Democratic aide told Axios.

For example, they do not want someone who is receiving more unemployment money to also receive money through the Paycheck Protection Program. However, it’s still unclear whether the PPP fund will be replenished."

The economic stimulus payments are separate from the PPP program.  The PPP program pays employers to keep employees paid, despite businesses being closed.  If your employer is paying your salary while not working, you should not also receive unemployment benefits.  This seems completely appropriate, and necessary to avoid sniping and vetoes by conservatives.

He's just wrong, and smearing democrats with no justification.  Read the Axios article.  Democrats are trying to put money exactly where the need is greatest.  He could have included the link to the article in his bit below the video, but didn't.  Here, he's a demagogue and a hack.

YouTube clips are terrible material for a discussion forum.

The forum / Re: Suggestions
« on: May 13, 2020, 04:38:09 PM »
Good move, Oren, highly appreciated.

Btw do we have something like Satellite Resources 101 thread for beginners? Would be helpful to have some advise where to start

This is actually a great idea, but a substantial task of labor.  I remember when I first came across this site, being bewildered by discussions of what satellites were using what instruments to compile whichever data.  So many acronyms, and a simple glossary of acronyms barely scratches the surface.

It does go a bit beyond satellites.  Understanding the data derived from the various buoys is similarly daunting.  Interpreting thermistor strings and depth/temp/salinity profiles is also a bit challenging.

The politics / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: May 13, 2020, 03:47:18 PM »
Democrats More Worried About Poor People Double Dipping Than Corporations Getting Trillions

This is an excellent example of why YouTube clips are a terrible source for a discussion forum.

He says this information came from an Axios article  I can't find it.
He says Axios was quoting an anonymous aide to some congressional democrat.  We don't know who.  We don't know if there was any journalistic confirmation.  We don't know if any democratic legislator was offered a chance to comment, explain, or provide context.

The only legislator I know of who has raised a concern about "double-dipping" is Lindsay Graham. 

The Senate Republicans can derail any initiative to provide relief.  Was means-testing being contemplated in the interest of getting something of use beyond the roadblock?

Maybe the reality is as disturbing as this YouTuber claims.  Maybe the reality is more nuanced.  We really don't know, and meanwhile all we have is click-baity demogoguery without the least ability to fact-check anything.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: May 13, 2020, 02:08:41 PM »
Correct language?

Greta Thunberg hasn't and wouldn't use those words. Most women wouldn't. What's the matter with you guys?

I was a bit surprised at the complete lack of support for my request for decency.
Now I understand the 'level' of this forum better.

Swear words are to language what potent spices are to food.  They should be used sparingly and in the right context when the situation calls for it. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: May 12, 2020, 10:42:54 AM »
There are also some areas around Greenland which certainly have more robust sea ice in far better condition compared to the same date last year. I'm not sure how much of a difference all of that will make going forward.

Most of the ice on the east side of Greenland has been exported from the CAB through the Fram Strait.  It's a contrary indicator for the health of the Arctic ice.  It will keep moving south and be melted in short order.  The ASCAT radar image animations that get periodically posted show this nicely.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: May 11, 2020, 12:27:00 PM »
Thank you Phoenix for your posts.

To blumenkraft (moderator context), I am disappointed in your response.
Why was there a separate thread created just for people to be able to use bad language?

Frivolousz21, what would your mother say if she would read that post?

This strikes me as moralistic finger-wagging.  It's beyond tiresome.  Any poster who incessantly trumpets his own experiences and personal perspective degrades an otherwise excellent discussion forum.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: May 09, 2020, 05:44:14 AM »

Is this the Kawasaki stuff that the UK organisation tried to defuse? It seems really important that SARS-CoV-2 is a danger to children, after all, isn't it? Are there any behavioural scientists encouraging this kind of news?

It's a Kawasaki-like Covid-related syndrome.  But hey, it's only a few dozen children.  Their lives aren't so important, are they?  It's way more important to get the GDP back up, because the wealthy really need that GDP.

Nouriel Roubini says global economy faces deadly recession
"Unfortunately, I fear there are some major trends…what I call the 10 deadly Ds that are going lead us to a deadly depression sometime later in this decade. Only a matter of when," he said in the interview.

Some of Roubini's "deadly Ds" include debt, deficits, deglobalization, currency devaluation, and environmental disruption.

Yes, I know I post pessimistic articles on this crisis. But I am an economic pessimist. If you are bothered by it, just don't read it, but that doesn't mean you will escape it if I turn out to be right.

The problem isn't that this sort of article is talking doom and gloom--there's an abundance of potential doom and plenty to be gloomy about.  The problem with these articles is that they take a very biased, self-interested, and superficial approach to the items discussed.

As an example of a better service to the community, note that this article was cribbed from an interview with Roubini (a respected economist worth listening to) on Bloomberg.  It would be much more valuable to dispense with the gold-bug filter and just seek out the actual interview.

Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: May 06, 2020, 07:39:23 PM »
Interesting! Thanks, Steve.

Happy to help.  On this note, I'm reminded of that case study of a cluster of transmission on that bus in China.  I think Vox posted a summary.  I believe the study was taken down, but not actually retracted.  One main takeaway is that nobody on that bus wearing a mask got infected. But another important detail was that someone getting on some minutes after the infected person got off also became infected.  It seems more than likely to me that that person got it by touching a contaminated surface.  It's possible that they all got it this way, and that the masks on others served mostly to prevent them from touching their mouth or nose.

Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: May 06, 2020, 07:26:35 PM »
Steve, but would you agree that the indirect person to person spread is less likely with Covid than an aerosol infection?

I would imagine it depends entirely on context.  In that case of spread among a group during choir practice, I'm sure it was mostly aerosol.  In settings like taking public transit it may well be both.  In school settings, and office settings, I'd guess mostly by contact with surfaces.  Hard to guess.

A lot of the research on respiratory virus transmission has looked at rhinoviruses in particular, maybe also the minor coronaviruses.  As a best guess, I'd see no reason for transmission of Covid to be different from the other respiratory viruses.

Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: May 06, 2020, 07:17:06 PM »
"Touching contaminated surfaces is the primary mechanism for transmission "

Not for covid19

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

    Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
    Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks

I know what fomites are, and yes, care should be taken with those, too. But those are not the main way that the covid19 virus spreads, from pretty much everything I've read about it (and I've read quite bit).

Depends entirely on who is using what terminology.  if I'm infected and touch a doorknob, and then you touch that doorknob and get infected--is that "person to person spread"?  Yes, it is.  It's indirect person-to-person.  Direct person-to-person is if we shake hands (or if I cough in your face, which I promise I won't do).  If you've seen actual research to say that indirect person-to-person spread doesn't happen with Covid, I'd love to see the science.  I don't think such exists.

Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: May 06, 2020, 06:29:03 PM »
If the players all washed their hands before playing, and didnt' spit or cough on the ball, then it's not likely that the ball would get contaminated. But there's no harm in washing it off every once in a while.

It's much more likely that they will pass it on to other players through their breath. Are they all going to be wearing facemasks while playing?

No.  Touching contaminated surfaces is the primary mechanism for transmission of these pathogens.  Merely breathing or coughing plays a secondary role for respiratory viruses only.  In wrestling, skin-to-skin contact is the major way to spread MRSA and ringworm.

Edit:  See, e.g.:

Fomite-mediated transmission as a sufficient pathway: a comparative analysis across three viral pathogens.

In the cited context, a contaminated basketball is a "fomite."

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: May 06, 2020, 05:06:45 PM »
Tesla stock continues to climb and Tranche 1 of the compensation package for Musk is released.

Did the shorts realise that if they started driving Tesla up now, a short opportunity would rise at the Q2 results time, when the package impacts profits?

I do wonder what will happen In Q2.  Tesla runs mainly with contract manufacturing staff.  This means that they are not a cost in a shutdown. Also the stock on book at the end of Q1 will be sold in Q2 so will boost the bottom line.

There must also be some pent up demand driven by the shutdown and it would be good planning to temporarily increase the size of the delivery fleet for the rest of Q2.

There must be some impact on more profitable EU sales as there will be very little time to manufacture for the EU market and get it shipped.

I expect Giga Shanghai to be driven to greater production during Q2, as fast as they possibly can.

Musk shouldn't moan.  His Shangai gigafactory is his ace in the hole, all by itself.  Sales in the US and EU could be soft because the recession there will be deep and so few are driving.  China, meanwhile, is set to resume economic development.  The government of China is supporting EVs in general and Tesla in particular.  They've realized they desperately need cleaner urban air, and EVs are an absolute necessity for this.

The China market is enormous.  Tesla happens to be exceptionally well-positioned among all other automakers for the current situation.

Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: May 06, 2020, 04:33:59 PM »

They say that balls need to be disinfected before and after training, and even in between, as much as possible (they advise after every 100 dribbles).

I admit this seems excessive but the action of continually disinfecting the ball might lower the probability of infection by very few points, but the act may be a worthy reminder of the invisible threat and the importance of self-isolation and testing. I see the very little cost to disinfecting the ball as often as possible unless there is a shortage of alcohol and no side effects.

Disagree.  Contaminated surfaces are a major route of transmission, not only for Covid, but other respiratory viruses, GI viruses, MRSA and ringworm.  This is why gym etiquette demands exercise equipment be wiped down between uses.

It's trivial to just have two balls for the game, disinfect frequently when balls are swapped.  Zero impact on play.  When the virus that spreads can kill vulnerable people, a few Chlorox wipes per game is a trivial cost.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: May 06, 2020, 04:16:41 PM »
Trump is certainly downplaying the disease, together with the alt-right. I haven't seen obvious trumpets overplay the disease other than when they are trying to blame China for the US failures.

Blumenkraft, do you care to give us examples of known rightwingers overplaying the disease?

Other than exaggerating the scientific position to make them look ridiculous and mislead those who they can mislead, I have not seen right-wingers fear monger about this.

Not that they won't do it if they think it beneficial. They do not care about the truth.

The only right-leaning interests who are hyping the dangers are the corporate media.  They do this with all issues, to keep ad revenue coming in.  It's intrinsic to their business model to present everything in a click-bait way. 

Corporate interests are not monolithic.  The media wants attention so they can sell ads.  This corporate interest is in conflict with most other corporate interests.  The oil companies, casinos, hotels, tourism are crashing.  Billions in wealth are evaporating from these coffers weekly.  We ought to be cheering, rather than calling for an end to lockdowns.

What's really needed is to use public funds to support the out of work public.  That's the opportunity right now to enact progressive changes.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: May 06, 2020, 02:06:34 PM »
Although still rare


Must. Find. Something. That. Affects. The. Children. Fear. And. Guilt. Fear. And. Guilt.

The only over the top fear-mongering going on of note is from capitalism-based journalism, which simply seeks more ad dollars, requiring more clicks, requiring click-baity story lines.  This isn't specific to the pandemic, it's the required business model for covering all news and information. 

Governments are not trying to use fear of contagion to try to control populations.  Authoritarian governments are all trying to downplay the importance of responding to this public health crisis.  It's the Bolsanaros and Trumps of the world who are trying to deny the lethality of this crisis, in order to maximize GDP, maximize their money from corruption, and to maximize the profitability of money-making interests. 

It's denying the reality of a lethal crisis that serves the interests of concentrated wealth.  Drawing attention to the deaths is bankrupting many of the most ruthless corporations.  Consider what's happening to the wealth of Trump and the Adelsons and Kochs right now.   

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: May 06, 2020, 01:52:29 PM »
Slovenia, Czech Republic did random antibody tests all over the country.

Slovenia 2-4% had antibodies,=42-84k people
98 dead.  0.2% death rate
Median age of population 44.5

Czech Republic 4-6% had antibodies = 426-639k people
258 dead 0.05% death rate
Median age of population 42

I think there are 3 things we can now be sure of. 1. The older population, the higher the death rate,
2. We are nowhere near herd immunity, and just few % had it.

3. Death rate much higher where many have it, and you are consistently exposed multiple times with billions of viruses.

Source?  This is very important information. 
A 4-fold difference in IFR is quite notable.  The tiny difference in median age between the populations shouldn't be much of an answer as to why.

Did they use different antibody tests?  Some tests in use in the US probably have a higher false-positive rate than 4%, and such a test would result in a gross underestimate of the Infection Fatality Rate.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 30, 2020, 01:33:04 AM »
Economic Damage Could Be Worse Without Lockdown and Social Distancing, Study Finds
By separating the core and non-core workers, the study suggests that the economy would shrink by 30% or more without lockdown and social distancing. "By ignoring this division in the workforce, we may badly underestimate the true depth of economic damage," Corsetti said.
"As well as containing the loss of life, committing to long-term social distancing structured to keep core workers active can significantly smooth the economic costs of the disease," said Corsetti.

"The more we can target lockdown policies toward sections of the population who are not active in the labour market, or who work outside of the core sector, the greater the benefit to the economy," he said.

Thanks for posting this.  This seems very relevant to the core issue of how to thread the needle of managing the pandemic while minimizing the cost to human welfare.  Measured, prudent lockdowns would seem essential to this task..

The world dealt with a similar crisis 102 years ago.  We can do a bit better today.  Sadly, only a bit.

Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: April 29, 2020, 07:13:08 PM »
Efficiency is also the opposite. Doing everything by hand. Living very close to the land, growing your own food with only farm sourced inputs( energy, feed, fertilizer, labor ) milk your own cow, kill your own meat provisions, preserve your own dry stores and seed.
Otherwise known as the hard way but very very efficient and all of those downsides to huge corporate agribusiness go away. Only problem is the cities starve. But nature, the birds, insects, and everything else benefits.
Each human has to take responsibility for their part in what has happened and it would take all of us to turn it around. I am cheating because I know what is required , I have the knowledge to live by human toil but I have solar, and powerwalls and ICE vehicles and they all make my life much much easier. They are less bad than other options . We all settle for less bad option even those of us trying. 

Priceless post, the whole thing.  You're living the lifestyle that many environmentalists advocate, but few people are willing to do. Hats off to you.

In a capitalist society (which virtually the entire world lives in), "efficiency" doesn't mean getting the essentials with the least environmental impact, it means maximizing the dollar return on time of labor.  Which is utterly inefficient at securing the essentials for a good life while minimizing the environmental cost.

Taming the capitalist (that is, corporate) beast is the ultimate struggle of humanity.  We're collectively not doing very well at this task.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 29, 2020, 01:20:52 AM »

Antibody tests are not inferior to PCR tests--the two are complementary.  A PCR test cannot distinguish between an infection-naive person and a recovered person.  An antibody test is needed to distinguish between the infection-naive folks from the recovered folks.

To understand the course of an epidemic in a population, you need both kinds of testing.

i read up on antibody tests and in case the infected % in the population is low and the antibody test is not (close to) perfect there can be big mistakes using those, and it seems that most of these tests are not exact...

..anyway it turns out that they will do both tests on each person, so the results will be pretty clear

Valid point.  As I've recently read, in the US, the FDA allowed over a dozen tests to come to market without independent validation.  They went from inexcusably strict with RNA viral tests to inexcusably lax with antibody tests.  But maybe 2 or 3 seem quite reliable.  Sidd, somewhere above, commented on a seemingly quite reliable test.  Examining which particular test is being used seems, sadly, to be necessary.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 29, 2020, 01:09:23 AM »
Looks like the key datum in reading the axes labels is " annual death rate per 1000 living"

So it is the annualized death rate per week?

Confusing, a poor way to express it, but makes sense compared to the second graph.

Thank you!!!  And Sigma!!  This is a community of sharp minds, and we mutually benefit from each other's efforts.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 28, 2020, 05:45:51 PM »

As The Walrus suggested below, the Y axis is just wrong.  25/1000 is approximately the total mortality of the 1918 pandemic.  That is, that should be the total area under the curve, not the peak weekly mortality.  The image is on Wikipedia, but not with any source I could find./

Edit:  I think the total area under the curve might exceed 1,000/1,000.  I'm quite sure we didn't lose more than 100% of the country's population in that pandemic.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 28, 2020, 02:34:03 PM »

Hungarian authorities to start widescale (17000 people in a couple of stages) randomised PCR testing. This should be statistically representative and unlike other countries we will do PCR not antibody tests to see how the virus is progressing thru the population. I expect pretty exact data from these both on mortality and other properties of the infection - much more axact than with antibody tests.

Antibody tests are not inferior to PCR tests--the two are complementary.  A PCR test cannot distinguish between an infection-naive person and a recovered person.  An antibody test is needed to distinguish between the infection-naive folks from the recovered folks.

To understand the course of an epidemic in a population, you need both kinds of testing.

How Shutdowns Will Keep Killing the Economy, Even When They're Over
Even beyond the short term, business owners have no way to plan. If a business owner is allowed to actually conduct business during the summertime this year, it may still be that politicians will later elect to shut businesses whenever it is decided the risk of spreading viruses demands another "shutdown." We're even told this could go on for years.

One would have to be impressively naive and deeply ignorant about how businesses work to think that commerce, investment, and entrepreneurship would just continue as usual under these conditions. In reality,  the threat of a government-mandated lockdown hanging over the heads of countless business owners and entrepreneurs will mean there will be far less willingness and ability to invest in businesses, offer products and services, or employ people.

I'm no fan of Mises, but the topic is interesting.  I think it plausible that there could be significant restructuring of the economy.  I'm struck by how much of the economy that employs people produces things that just aren't important.  See: 

Why Do So Many Modern Jobs Seem Pointless?

"Graeber points to polls in which 37 to 40 percent of respondents felt their jobs made no "meaningful contribution to the world." Add the unneeded aspects of needed jobs, and Graeber estimates the total "bullshitization" of the job market at "slightly over 50%."

All these jobs are suspended in these lockdowns.  I suspect many organizations and individuals will realize that much of what they've been paying for isn't needed.  We might see substantial persistent unemployment. 

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 27, 2020, 01:17:07 PM »
Everywhere you see the figure of about 1% mortality rate for this virus.

Is this proven? e.g. by a reasonably large scale random sample.
Or is it from inference and assumptions ?

We had extensive discussions on this point.  Sam had the most pessimistic estimates.  If you go to the Hopkins site you can see current numbers of cases and deaths:
Today the crude case fatality rate is just shy of 7%
But we know that it's mostly the infections resulting in severe symptoms that get tested, so the data look worse than reality. 
On the other hand, it takes roughly two weeks to go from diagnosis to death.  So one should take today's death toll and divide by the number of cases two weeks ago.  There were a lot fewer cases two weeks ago,
Getting a real answer depends on good antibody tests  These are just now being rolled out.  It's the only way to find those who were infected but never tested for the virus.

Some places seem to have much lower fatality rates, I believe Iceland and South Korea have the best data.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 27, 2020, 05:33:24 AM »
Famotidine as an anti-viral agent? 

New York clinical trial quietly tests heartburn remedy against coronavirus

"Reports from China and molecular modeling results suggest that the drug, which seems to bind to a key enzyme in the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), could make a difference.
"In reviewing 6212 COVID-19 patient records, the doctors noticed that many survivors had been suffering from chronic heartburn and were on famotidine rather than more-expensive omeprazole (Prilosec), the medicine of choice both in the United States and among wealthier Chinese. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients on famotidine appeared to be dying at a rate of about 14% compared with 27% for those not on the drug, although the analysis was crude and the result was not statistically significant."

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 26, 2020, 11:44:06 AM »

Well, the data was from CDC, wasn't it? I don't know who created the chart, it's not on Dr. Spencers website as far as I can see?

The chart purports to be from CDC data.  The creator seems to be Krzysztof Wojciechowicz.  It appears on the website:

I'm sure "" is an eminent journalistic source.
The chart is accompanied by a reference to the CDC.  However, that link to the CDC yields a dramatically different chart:

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 26, 2020, 12:05:53 AM »
If you ever worked at a hospital you would know that Death takes vacations, holidays, and long weekends. Fatalities rise and drop with human activity. Shutdowns should have caused a precipitous drop in the normal fatality rate. When calculating excess death the calculation should be made after adjusting for a shutdown, not from the historical average.

Calculating excess death from the historical average will undercount excess deaths.

Quite right.  Deaths from accidents or influenza should be dramatically reduced under these shutudown conditions.  Any excess deaths can quite reasonably be attributed to Covid.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 25, 2020, 07:32:24 PM »
A bit of tragi-comic relief for those who may need it in this remarkable time:

Trump is exhibiting all the symptoms of a hydroxychloroquine overdose

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 25, 2020, 06:56:40 PM »
How many parents and grandparents shall we lose to a painful death in order to avoid a month of unusual precautions?

I don't know, how many parents and grandparents and kids do you lose every year to a painful influenza death, because there are zero months of unusual precautions? You should feel guilty for not caring then as you do now. Very guilty. And afraid.

Dying from Covid is notably more painful and protracted than a typical influenza death.  Me personally, I get a flu shot every year, mostly to avoid infecting others.  I don't have that option with Covid. 

Kids being asked to observe precautions seems unlikely to traumatize many.  Certainly not in comparison to the numbers who will see their parents and grandparents struggle for breath.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 25, 2020, 06:37:21 PM »

The children will, indeed, be subject to harm and abuse if schools reopen too soon.  They will lose parents and grandparents.

SteveMDFP's answer: FEAR and GUILT!

No, reality.   We're likely about a month away from availability of effective treatments.  Whether that's immune serum, Kaletra, remdesivir, or many other options being tested.

How many parents and grandparents shall we lose to a painful death in order to avoid a month of unusual precautions?

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 34