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Nuclear Energy - Good but not the silver bullet we were hoping for

So if you wanted to install separate windfarms to account for just one nuclear plant it would take you 10 years instead of 5.

This is a minor point, but aren't you ignoring the additional parallelization possible with building 20 windfarms vs 1 nuclear plant?

What DALL-E 2 can and cannot do

even if it theoretically understands the English language.

If you mix up a prompt into random words so that it's no longer grammatically correct English, does it give worse results? That is, I wonder how much it's basically just going off keywords.

How to Best Use Twitter

Maybe it's rather reading-twitter-posts-about-wordle that is negative.

Why do people avoid vaccination?

the FDA is bad at evaluating new technology (they approve things that shouldn't be, and block things they shouldn't); as an example, it took five years to pull thalidomide.

The FDA never approved thalidomide, so that doesn't seem like an applicable example?

if it were safe, there would be the opposite, and people with visible side effects would be celebrated as heroes

I'm not sure that I follow the logic here. Are you taking the "safe" condition to mean that we would know exactly when some side effects are due to the vaccine, and when they are just coincidental (so there would never be any arguments over that)?

Why do people avoid vaccination?

In absence of vaccines, how many serious diseases a human body was supposed to have seen throughout its life? Probably one or two, then you'd mostly be dead.

I don't understand where this assumption is coming from (both in terms of "one or two" specifically, and that there should be any particular number in the first place).

With our usual vaccination schedule, we now routinely prime our immune system against twelve diseases

Is the idea here that all vaccines have the same fixed risk level, regardless of what it's vaccinating against, whereas non-serious disases have a lower risk level? And most of the twelve diseases are not in the "serious" category?

Omicron Post #13: Outlook

[Canada's] last day of data is likely a reporting delay there.

I think it's likely more about testing capacity. E.g., Ontario restricted tests to high risk population since Dec 31.

Omicron Post #6

If by "region around Washington" you meant the graph labeled "Capital Region", I think that refers to the capital of Denmark.

Looking for reasoned discussion on Geert Vanden Bossche's ideas? +6 Months on...

It seems difficult to pin down Bossche's predictions as right or wrong.

Has his previous theory's been proven right?

His previous claim, as I understand it, is that mass vaccination will produce immune evading and more dangerous variants. I think the fact that the variants we've seen so far either emerged before widespread vaccination (alpha), or in places with low vaccination rates (the rest) is at least weak evidence against his claim.

Perhaps he would argue the low vaccination rates did produce those variants, even though the rates were low. But how could we tell?

Will his current theory's been proven right?

He says:

Omicron is likely to start out as a mild disease because short-lived, poorly functional anti-S antibodies (Abs) that resulted from previous asymptomatic infection (e.g., with another previously dominant variant) will no longer recognize Omicron. [...] However, the overall pattern of ‘mild’ disease would only prevail until Omicron becomes dominant and causes high infection rates. When this happens, short-lived, low affinity anti-S Abs will start to compete with innate Abs in an increasing part of the population as a direct result of the enhanced likelihood of re- exposure shortly after previous infection.

How would we distinguish this from the case where Omicron seems mild at the beginning because 90%+ of covid cases are mild, and then once the numbers are high enough we start seeing the smaller fraction of severe cases?

There is one prediction that looks almost tractable enough to (eventually) decide:

It is undeniable that mass vaccination will only drive the virus [...] to use alternate receptor domains on permissive cells. The fitness cost that may come with such a dramatic mutation is likely to be rewarded with enhanced pathogenicity. I am truly afraid that these dynamics will eventually allow for the natural selection of individuals with uncompromised innate immunity while eliminating those without it. While such natural selection would lead to an eradication of SARS-CoV-2 as innate immunity sterilizes the virus and blocks transmission [...] the price paid for ending the pandemic by virus eradication is not comparable to the one paid for by generating herd immunity and allowing the virus to enter an endemic state.

So I guess if we reach endemic state following mass vaccination (the general concensus is that eradication is basically impossible by now so I judge this extremely likely), then his theory will be proven wrong. And if many hundreds of millions die followed by eradication of the virus then he was right. Check back in a year or two?

The problem is that he can still claim half-credit if the virus uses an alternate receptor domain, but that doesn't lead to a high kill rate. And regardless we still won't know whether his counterfactual herd-immunity via natural immunity route would have avoided this.

Omicron Variant Post #2

Wikipedia says:

It is a viral vector vaccine based on a human adenovirus that has been modified to contain the gene for making the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19

So it's not better than the mRNA vaccines in this sense, as far as I understand (I don't know if that makes it a bad idea, as such).

The inactivated virus type vaccines are

Chinese CoronaVac and the Sinopharm BIBP and WIBP vaccines; the Indian Covaxin; later this year the Russian CoviVac; the Kazakhstani vaccine QazVac; and the Iranian COVIran Barekat.

But those are probably much harder to get for readers in Western countries. And they've generally been found to be less effective, I think; possibly because the inactivation process damages the proteins.

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