Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:April:14 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2008/4/14-19 [Recreation/Activities, Science/Biology] UID:49746 Activity:nil
4/14     'World peace' hitcher is murdered
        She had said she wanted to show that she could put her trust in
        the kindness of local people.
        \_ "Think of it as evolution in action."
          \_ is she up for a Darwin award yet?
                \_ It's actually sort of dual evolution.  She's not
                   going to breed now, and the murderer's ability
                   to continue to breed is about to get severely
                   curtailed.  Thus, we can continue to purge the
                   gene pool of both victims and victimizers.
        \_ Speaking of hitch-hiking, I saw a lot of hitch-hiking in old movies.
           Was hitch-hiking in the US really that safe in the old days?
           \_ My dad used to pick up hitchhikers all the time in the 1970s
              and 1980s. I was with him a few times. I don't think it's
              necessarily unsafe as most people are honest and have
              integrity, however I wouldn't do it. I did used to hitch
              rides in college to campus from other students (who I didn't
              know) on their way in to school and I'm alive to tell about it.
              \_ Cf. Casual Carpool these days. I've been using it both as
                 driver and passenger for three years.
2008/4/14-19 [Health/Disease/AIDS, Health/Men] UID:49747 Activity:kinda low
4/14    Political correctness over science
        \_ I think you have it exactly backwards; the Red Cross' position is
        \_ I think you have it exactly backwards; the FDA's position is
           fear-mongering over science.  -tom
           \_ Oh, classification as high-risk isn't science?
              \_ All blood is tested.  The vast majority of gay men are HIV-.
                 \_ How good is the test?  What is the percentage of men who
                    have sex with men who have HIV compared to percentage of
                    men who don't have sex with men?
                    \_ The test is good enough that the Red Cross and
                       America's Blood Centers call the FDA's policy
                       "medically and scientifically unwarranted."  But
                       feel free to keep digging.  -tom
                       \_ So you don't know the comparative percentages?
                          \_ Keep digging.  -tom
                             \_ "The FDA said HIV tests currently in use are
                                highly accurate, but still cannot detect the
                                virus 100 percent of the time."
                                \_ How accurate is it?
           \_ Maybe they did a cost-benefit analysis of whether the
              increase in infections due to false negatives from a higher
              risk population outweighs the benefit of the extra blood.
              How often do HIV tests give false negatives?
              \_ Maybe you're talking out of your ass.
              \_ I would be astonished if any kind of real risk analysis was
                 done. Just like most things in our society, it is all a result
                 of pandering to the worst instincts in people.
                 \_ Eh, the Red Cross got burned very badly in the 80's on
                    HIV.  People dying from blood donations is not cool.  I
                    can understand why they're touchy about it.  They are very
                    touchy about a lot of other things as well, visiting
                    prostitutes, traveling through malaria infested areas,
                    any possible exposure to hepetitis, feeling even SLIGHTY
                    under the weather, etc.
                    \_ The Red Cross thinks the policy should be changed. -tom
                    \_ African American men are 8x more likely to have HIV
                       than white males.
                       African American women are over 18x more likely to
                       have HIV than white females.
                       ( )
                       Would you be ok with the Red Cross saying if you are
                       black you can't give blood?
                       \_ Oh man.  You're asking this on the motd?  Here we
                       \_ Your numbers don't really say anything, but I'll
                          wager that even at 18x the rate of whites,
                          it's still not 'high-risk' the way gay men are.
                          If blacks are high-risk, then sure.  Giving blood
                          is not a right, it's not even a privilege.
                          Addendum: according to a 1994-2000 study, about 10%
                          of Men who have sex with men have HIV.  That's a
                          pretty huge risk.
                          \_ That same survey claims HIV among african
                             americans is even higher.  I think that you are
                             extrapolating bad data though.  It's not saying
                             10% of all gay men have HIV.
                             \_ No, the study refers to black men in the
                                survey, not among Blacks generally.
                                \_ I think you mean black gay/bi men.
                             \_ Doesn't it say about 10% of men they tested
                                and interviewed 'who attended MSM-identified
                                venues?' I guess that is sort of self-selected.
                                Go ahead and find some better data.
                          \_ The whitehouse fact sheet says there are ~900k
                             HIV cases in america.  There are more than 9
                             million men who have had sex with men.
                             \_ How many MSM are there in the US?
                                \_ Even so, about 70% of new AIDS cases are
                                   due to MSM contact.  Given that this is
                                   also a realitively small section of the
                                   population, that makes it THE high risk
                                   behavior.  (They also include high-risk
                                   heterosexual contact and IV drug use as
                                   people who can't give blood.)
                           \_ None of this discussion above approaches a real
                              cost-benefit analaysis, but at least it is a
                              discussion about what the real risk is. How many
                              people catch diseases today due to blood
                              transfusions? What would that percentage look like
                              if gay men were allowed to donate? How much is
                              the cost of the additional diseases? How much does
                              it cost the country to have the reduced blood
                              supply? You would have to answer all these
                              questions (and probably some more) before you
                              could do a real risk analysis. Simply being
                              risk adverse is not the same thing. Most people
                              are sheep and terrified of shit that is never
                              going to happen to them, like terrorism.
                              \_ Unless you're one of the people killed by it
                                 or knows someone who was.  But that'll never
                                 happen.  Bad stuff only happens to other
                                 \_ Or unless you're one of the people killed
                                    because of a blood shortage.  Risk works
                                    both ways.   -tom
                                    \_ Is there any evidence that excluding
                                       certain high risk groups will result in
                                       a blood shortage or are you just talking
                                       out of your ass again?
                                       \_ I am sure that it costs money. How
                                          much money? Has anyone actually
                                          bothered to do the calculation?
                                          much, we will never know, because
                                          fear, not logic, rules the human
                                 \_ If you are that fearful, how do you ever
                                    gather the courage to leave your house in
                                    the morning? I am sure your chances of dying
                                    in a car accident on the way to work are
                                    much greater than any risk caused by tainted
                                    blood. You are one of the sheep I was
                                    referring to earlier. Your masters have
                                    told you to be fearful and you bleat
                                    approvingly, not even understanding why.
                                    \_ Wow, perfect example of someone who
                                       has lost trying to regain some face.
                                       Sadly, you've failed.
                              \_ People are poor gaugers of risk, that's well
                                 known.  I bet you are to, do you think
                                 swimming is a good idea?
                                 Anyway, to respond to the only intelligent
                                 thing you said, if you want to know, why not
                                 ask the Red Cross?  Seems more effective than
                                 trolling the motd.  I know they have some
                                 numbers on tainted blood.  They check
                                 carefully to make sure a donor does not have
                                 a cold, for example.  Why?  Because many
                                 people receiving blood have suppressed
                                 immune systems.  They could certainly tell
                                 you if there is a serious blood shortage that
                                 people die from. (I doubt it)
                                 As for a real risk analysis, I bet part of
                                 the answer is that the PR aspect would result
                                 in more deaths than actually tainted blood
                                 would.  It only takes one case to get people
                                 into a tizzy, and some people would refuse
                                 blood because they wouldn't trust the
                                 FDA to have correctly analyzed and advertised
                                 the real risks.
                                 \_ I get paid to do risk analysis, so at least
                                    someone thinks I am good at it. If nothing
                                    else, I have more experience at it than
                                    most people. Colds are common and hard
                                    to screen for, HIV is neither. I am glad to
                                    see that you are at least starting to come
                                    around to my main point: the only thing we
                                    have to fear is fear itself. And rather than
                                    reassure people, the Red Cross just pandered
                                    to the fear-mongering. So it goes.
                                    else, I have more experience than most.
                                    Colds are common and hard to screen for,
                                    HIV is neither. I am glad to see that you
                                    are at least starting to come around to
                                    my main point: the only thing we have to
                                    fear is fear itself. And rather than
                                    reassure people, the Red Cross just
                                    pandered to the fear-mongering. So it goes.
                                    \_ I see you still can't provide any
                                       evidence to back up your speculation.
                                       The opposing debators have provided
                                       quite a bit of evidence that doesn't
                                       100% answer your question, but does
                                       show that a reasonable risk exists.
                                       I don't want to hear your useless
                                       blather, put up or shut up.
                                       \_ No, they have not provided any
                                          hard evidence for their opinions
                                          whatsover. Here, read this and get
                                          back to me:
                                          "it appears at this time that the
                                          risk of possible transfusion-
                                          associated AIDS is on the order of
                                          one case per million patients
                                          transfused. There is a risk that
                                          widespread attempts to direct
                                          donations, while not increasing the
                                          safety of transfusions, will seriously
                                          disrupt the nation's blood donor
                                          (Page 74)
                                       \_ "The Red Cross thinks the policy
                                          should be dropped."
2008/4/14-17 [Recreation/Celebrity/ParisHilton] UID:49748 Activity:kinda low
4/14    Step aside, Paris Hilton.  This tops them all.
        \_ Why does this top anything?  "MM gives BJ!" is not a shocker.
           \_ $1.5M
              \_ Ok, that's kinda shocking, yeah.
           \_ On film? I think it is. It wasn't the 2000s where every
              public figure is on tape taking it up the ass.
              \_ URL?
        \_ She looks a bit chunky by today's unreasonable standards.
           \_ You'd hit that. So would I.
2008/4/14-19 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic] UID:49749 Activity:nil
4/14    LA is facing a budget crisis. The city's a shithole. Ditto with
        80% of the S Cal cities.
        \_ Unlike beautiful urine-soaked San Francisco.
           \_ Golden shower in the Golden State.
              \_ Doesn't mention how all of these sites smell like urine.
                 \_ You have your nose in the gutter, when instead you
                    should have your eyes upon the stars.
                    \_ surprisingly, people like LA more than SF, according
                       to Mr. Google:
2008/4/14-17 [Uncategorized] UID:49750 Activity:nil
4/14    Compare these:
        What happened to the holidays from 2007 onward?  Why was MLK Jr Holiday
        no longer MLK Jr Holiday, and so on?  Political correctness in play?
        \_ You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think
           it means
           \_ Whatever.  So why were the names changed?
2008/4/14-19 [Recreation/Food] UID:49751 Activity:moderate
4/14    How Hunger Could Topple Regimes - Yahoo! News:
        \_ growing corn and wheat for alternative fuels  is cause
        \_ "Government intervention on behalf of the poor - so out of fashion
            during globalization's roaring '90s and the current decade -
            may be about to make a comeback."
           Uh oh, does this mean SOCIALISM is back again? Hooray for
           Billary and the Democraps?                   -dim wit #1 fan
        \_ I read this article and all I could think about was how the
           author doesn't understand how there could be so much food
           available and yet no one can afford it. Never a second thought
           to how the two might be related and that if prices were lower
           there wouldn't be any food to buy. A warehouse of food doesn't
           feed an entire country for very long.
           \_ I don't think you read the article right. The author never says
              that.  He says that if sockpiles of food exists for people who
              can afford it, those who can't are going to revolt.  That's
              petty much a given.  Starving people leads to anarchy and
              brutal military dictatorships.
              \_ (That's especially true when the source of their hunger is
                 not the absence of food supplies but their inability to
                 afford to buy the available food supplies. [...] As Josette
                 Sheeran of the U.N. World Food Program put it last month, "We
                 are seeing food on the shelves but people being unable to
                 afford it.")
                 The above reflects a misunderstanding of basic economics.
                 There is inflation likely because there is a shortage.
                 \_ The difference is it isn't a catastrophic famine caused
                    by non market forces.  For instance there isn't a war
                    going on that has destroyed all the crop land (or manpower)
                    nor is there weather that is killing the crops.  The land
                    is fertile.  The work force is there, but food is still
                    too damn expensive for people to eat.  That is
                    significantly differenct than the last generation's food
                    \_ If the food is too expensive then there's obviously
                       a shortage. If there was a glut it would be a lot
                       cheaper. Do you also not understand economics?
                       \_ I do.  I'm saying the reasons for food security
                          failure are very different this time around.
                          \_ So what if they are?
                           \_ Because in recent times famine has been
                              a side effect of a nation's fall to chaos.
                              What we are seeing is nations with the
                              infrastructure, with a reasonable workforce,
                              with no major food blights or
                              weather catastrophes with a stable government
                              that can't afford to feed their populations.
                              Stable countries may very well slide into total
                              chaos purely because the food is just too
                              expensive.  That's a pretty scary scenario,
                              even if your freshman economics can explain
                              WHY the food is expensive.
                              \_ If they cant get basic econ. right then
                                 I can't really trust anything else they
                                 \_ Once again, you are reading something
                                    that isn't there.  The food exists.  It
                                    is possible to make food.  The land
                                    is fertile.  The roads work.  Until
                                    now famines didn't happen because of
                                    food just cost too damn much to make.
                                    But that's ok, you took some undergrad
                                    classes in the free market and know
                                    exactly what's the problem.
                                    \_ What is your point? You don't understand
                                       economics. It's not food costing too
                                       much to make. It's demand for food.
                                       What do YOU think the problem is?
                                       The article also says there have been
                                       crop failures recently.
                                    \_ Maybe if you'd taken some of those
                                       classes instead of sociology you'd
                                       better understand.
                       \_ Let them eat cake. The food is being diverted for
                          other uses, like transportation. People are starving
                          so that others can driver Hummers. You can see how
                          so that others can drive Hummers. You can see how
                          the people starving might object to this.
                          \_ Once again, if they are unable to support
                             themselves, it is their fault. Why should I
                             care about other people?   -dim wit #1 fan
                          \_ More like: so that others can eat better. How
                             should it be rationed?
                          \_ My only point is that the author of the article
                             and Ms. Sheeran both indicate that food is
                             plentiful, but expensive. This demonstrates a
                             lack of knowledge of basic economics. If they
                             had said "There is no food because fuel producers
                             are buying all of it up" that would be
                             something else entirely, but that's not
                             alluded to. They paint a picture of adequate
                             supply, but evil market forces maliciously
                             driving up prices.
                             \_ One of the reasons I think the 'Chicken Little'
                                attitude towards global warming is bad is stuff
                                like this.  People decided to get fuel from
                                corn "because it's not oil," without thinking
                                about the consequences.  The consequences, of
                                course is that corn now tracks oil price.
                                And consequently other commodity crops trend
                                up.  And why shouldn't they?  So now we have
                                an expensive, self-perpetuating (due to
                                lobbying) mistake.  Is having a 'bridging
                                technology' worth more people starving?  Of
                                course I bet people will try other expensive
                                interventions without understanding what they
                                will actually do, and the circus of human
                                misery will continue.  -- ilyas
                                \_ uh, the people who decided to get fuel from
                                   corn are for the most part global warming
                                   deniers with a political base in the
                                   corn belt.  -tom
                                   \_ How do they correlate with the
                                      PEAK OIL nut jobs?
                                   \_ I see, so the 25 years of Congress
                                      activity promoting ethanol use is just
                                      a Vast Global Warming Denier Conspiracy?
                                      operating covertly? -- ilyas
                                        -- ilyas
                                \_ What do you know, we do agree on things
                                   every once in a while. -ausman
                                \_ If oil demand vs. supply is really getting
                                   out of whack, then natural market forces
                                   would lead to this anyway, no? The main
                                   problem I've had with it so far is that
                                   the science and math didn't add up, and
                                   it was heavily subsidized. (ethanol that is)
                                   \_ I am not sure why you are discussing
                                      natural market forces when talking about
                                      food and oil, two commodities whose
                                      production and price is driven by a lot
                                      of 'uneconomic' forces (national security
                                      considerations, charity considerations,
                                      cartelization, etc. etc.)  My main point:
                                      economy, like climate, is complex and
                                      poorly understood.  Clumsy, politically
                                      motivated interventions will come out
                                      well about as often as a broken clock
                                      will tell correct time. -- ilyas
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:April:14 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>