medicine needs a higher bar

The name of the video is “Stop Using Cancer Treatments That Don’t Work (w/Dr. Vinay Prasad)”, but that barely scratches the surface. This is such an informative video that *really* makes you think about the state of modern medicine in general (definitely *not* just about cancer). There are parts that are a bit technical, but stick with this. I promise you that this’ll be one of the most enlightening hours you’ll spend.

how contagion spreads

From A Mathematician’s Guide to How Contagion Spreads

DOTS. So it is, first of all, the duration of infection. How long is someone spreading contagion for? But it’s also the opportunities for spread during that period. How many interactions they have, how many others might they expose? It’s also the transmission probability during one of those interactions.

Epidemiology is full of such examples. For instance, the link between smoking and cancer. You can’t run an experiment and get a bunch of people to take up smoking and see what happens. You have to piece together from observation what you think might be going on and ascertain the level of threat you’re dealing with. Ultimately, I think that’s where epidemiological thinking can be very useful.

People who claim that epidemiologists and doctors disagree with each other and give out conflicting advice are partially right…and completely missing the point. There should be disagreements because this is a *NOVEL* virus…as in we’ve never dealt with this before!

There are also plenty of advice and guidelines that the vast majority of healthcare experts and scientists do agree on, and it’s easy to follow the evolution of all that advice as they learn more and more about what we’re facing.

six whole weeks!

As usual, John Stewart provides the insight, but there’re no easy answers, are there?

White people lasted six weeks and then stormed a state building with rifles, shouting: ‘‘Give me liberty! This is causing economic distress! I’m not going to wear a mask, because that’s tyranny!’’ That’s six weeks versus 400 years of quarantining a race of people.

Plus, you have one party whose premise is that government is bad and whose goal is to prove that, which makes them, in essence, a double agent.

“We all have [expletive] on us. Approaching it in that manner is not both-siderism, and it’s not asking for civility. You’re always going to demonize those who disagree with you and amnesty those who agree with you. But there has to be some measure of understanding that that’s what you’re doing

But our biggest problem as humans is ignorance, not malevolence. Ignorance is an entirely curable disease.

I’m not sure I agree with the last quote, though I used to. But there’s ignorance, and there’s willful ignorance, and there’s just more and more willful ignorance out there. It’s pretty damn hard to “cure” willful ignorance. But I’m glad someone’s optimistic.

Jon Stewart Is Back to Weigh In