Thursday Throughput: Masks Edition

Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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132 Responses

  1. …the side effects of the Moderna vaccine, so far, can include pain at the injection site, fatigue, muscle aches and headache.

    I sincerely hope the vaccine works and that if so, it is very widely distributed. Even so, I can anticipate the public health departments doing what they do when they promote the flu vaccine.

    People will say, “but the vaccine gives me covid.” And the public health officials will say, “that’s a MYTH!” without actually acknowledging there are some (minor) side effects that, temporarily and in a minor way, resemble covid symptoms. As a result, the credibility of those promoting the vaccines will erode unnecessarily.

    Maybe that won’t happen. But the “mythbuster” approach to public health almost never works, in large part because it brushes over legitimate concerns.

    ETA: Maybe I shouldn’t say “almost never.” I don’t have facts to support that assertion. But I strongly suspect (again, without being able to prove) that “mythbusting” doesn’t work.Report

    • Frankly, the side effects sound like “immune system ramping up so it’s ready to fight the real thing if the person gets exposed” to me.. I get similar side effects to the flu shot. I do not get the flu from the flu shot, I get an immune response that then keeps me from getting the flu.

      I also read somewhere something about the fact that these are RNA vaccines based on spike proteins, and if this works, this might bode well for a “universal” flu vaccine – no more annual jabs, no more the companies having to weigh “these strains are the bad ones” vs. “these strains are likely to be common” and that would be a nice added effect of COVID vaccine development – better, faster, and more effective vaccines for other things.Report

      • Oh, I agree. My problem is, when the public health guy at my workplace (a large educational institution) urges us on a zoom presentation to get our annual flu shot, he dismisses the side effects. As in, he just says it’s a myth. He doesn’t explain that some people have the types of side effects you (and I) get, but that they’re an immune system ramping up response. He just dismisses them out of hand.

        To be fair, that’s just one example. The handout I get when I get my annual flu shot does acknowledge that those effects can happen. My main point, though, is that when people say “it gives me the flu” and the public health person says, “no, it doesn’t,” the public health person isn’t addressing the underlying concern. That, I think, is one reason people refuse to get the shot. They see through the (perhaps unwitting) misrepresentation.

        I just hope they do a better job at selling the public on the covid vaccine, if it works.Report

        • Philip H in reply to gabriel conroy says:

          Yeah about that – scientists and folks trained in science like public health officers are not well versed in communicating scientific uncertainty to laypeople. They are also not really good at seeing underlying emotional needs in what appear to be factual statements. “I get the flu from the flu shot” appears to be a factual statement that is easily dismissed because, in fact, you don’t. And after dozens of years of flu vaccines, public health folks also likely assume they don’t need to explain how the vaccine works and why it has side effects. Hell, they are still struggling to explain why masks are important in a way that resonates with vast swaths of Americans.

          Not for nothing but if you have seen this disconnect in your institution, you might want to bring it to said health officer’s attention. They may honestly not get what’s really going on.Report

          • Thanks for the thoughtful response. (I know I get kind of punchy in my comments.)

            I have thought about bringing it to the attention of my institution’s guy. I haven’t yet (and it’s been several months since he made the statement, so maybe there’s an expiration date on such things?)

            I will say, that for all my complaints about how things like the flu shot are advocated for (and how the “myths” are identified and “busted”), I have, for several years, gone out of my way to get the flu shot, both because I don’t want to have the flu and I don’t want to give it to someone else.Report

        • I think it would be more fair – and might help convince some people – if they explained the side effects as “this is a sign the vaccine is working, actually” and I don’t know why they don’t do that. I mean, I’m a biologist, okay, but I’m not a MEDICAL biologist and I understand immune response.Report

      • Philip H in reply to fillyjonk says:

        We do probably need to rethink a host of vaccines as RNA and DNA sequencing technology continues to expand. I’d imagine at an RNA level you develop a universal flu vaccine and probably universal vaccines to other families of ill intending bugs – Staph and Strep come to mind.Report

        • fillyjonk in reply to Philip H says:

          Maybe childhood vaccines requiring fewer boosters? I know someone who is a pediatrician has talked about how booster compliance isn’t as good as she’d like to see it being.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H says:

          FYI Staph & Strep are not viruses, they are bacteria. I don’t think the sequencing method works against them as it stands, but if you know something I don’t, please share with the class!Report

          • fillyjonk in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            there are vaccines against bacteria (Diphtheria and Tetanus) but I think they are actually to help us make antibodies to TOXINS the bacteria make, which are what cause the bigger issues?

            Or I could be wrong and the vaccine can also prevent the infection? I know at one point there talk of “someday there might be a vaccine against the common tooth-decay bacteria” so I think antibacterial vaccines are possibleReport

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to fillyjonk says:

              They are.

              I just don’t know that the RNA/DNA sequencing that is being done for COVID would work on bacteria.Report

            • Michael Cain in reply to fillyjonk says:

              Having reached a certain age, I was given the “pneumonia shot” earlier this year. It provides protection against some kinds of infections by a bunch of the different sorts of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. Despite its name, the vaccine is aimed more at preventing so-called invasive infections rather than respiratory tract infections.Report

            • Brent F in reply to fillyjonk says:

              anti-bacteria vaccines of numerous varieties (attenuated bacteria, antigen proteins, neutralized bacterial toxins).

              Its just less common of a therapeutic technique for bacterial disease than it is for viral ones. Bacteria can be treated with antibiotics for one thing.Report

              • fillyjonk in reply to Brent F says:

                Ah, but for how much longer? Antibiotic resistance is becoming more widespread – I think I heard of antibiotic-resistant Shigella last year, and while most people who get that evict it from their systems OK without treatment, for those who don’t…Report

  2. Philip H says:

    These people are not interested in the truth. They are interested in their conspiracy theories. They are interested in proving that COVID is overblown, that this is all a plot and that we are all living in an authoritarian police state. I’m not going to pretend they have good intentions. They don’t.


    And we’ve seen this in the climate debate, and about smoking, and pollution generally. Makes you wonder whether those of us trying to save humanity through science are wasting our time.Report

  3. Damon says:

    You know, I’m just gonna post this. Because if you’re telling folks they have to alter their life hard to flatten the curve and all that….you damn well better be walking that talk, otherwise you’re going to laughed at. People are going to start realizing that, since you’re special, dem rules don’t apply to ya….and they are going to get pissed.

    Nobody arrested his dumbass.Report

  4. LeeEsq says:

    A lot of people don’t want to take the COVID pandemic seriously because of culture war reasons. Dealing with the pandemic is disruptive pain that very few people like except hardcore introverts who can do high paying jobs online. That doesn’t mean the pandemic isn’t real.

    The pro-COVID side isn’t that great with rhetoric. One thing I’ve been seeing on Facebook is a few people posting “A Zoom Thanksgiving is better than an ICU Christmas.” That will only convince the people already being very tough about COVID-19. It isn’t going to get the people who were going to do what they were going to do to take COVID seriously. You need some real force for that like grounding air travel, shutting down public transit, and police and troopers blocking highway entrances. That will get people to not travel for Thanksgiving and Christmas.Report

    • Michael Siegel in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I think a better message might be “pass on Thanksgiving this year so we can hav a huge one next year”.Report

    • Matty in reply to LeeEsq says:

      There is a resistant minority who, for whatever reasons, will not do things to reduce their own or others risk. However there also seems to be a broad consensus among behavioural scientists advising on this that in general it is better to appeal to people’s sense of civic responsibility than to try and scare or punish them into compliance.

      On a more personal level, when I see Facebook comments about how “people aren’t taking this seriously” or “the public are to blame” my instinctive response is “fuck you if you don’t appreciate the efforts I’m making”. If I were not already inclined to take the science seriously I really don’t think being blamed would encourage me to do so.Report

    • Matty in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Things I think should be done.
      1. Recognise that people have made big sacrifices and find a way to reassure them there will be a payoff. The vaccine news should make this easier, if the antivaxxers don’t seize the narrative, but there does need to be light at the end of the tunnel.

      2. Separate out how we mitigate the negative effects of shutdowns from how we re-open things once the danger has passed. For instance it might be better to close restaurants completely and pay the staff good compensation to stay home until it is safe to reopen on normal terms than to mess around with limited seating and people popping masks on and off with each mouthful.

      3. Quit conflating multiple things when we talk about “normal”. I’m willing to bet more people are concerned about being able to visit grandma than being able to do a two hour commute to an office. The later you could probably get a high proportion of people to give up forever but when you mix them up they get scared the first is never coming back.Report

  5. Oscar Gordon says:

    ThTh8: Why can’t it be replaced? The structure doesn’t look that complicated.Report

  6. Kazzy says:

    Thanks for the space links. My 5-year-old was just talking about his desire to be an astronomer. A telescope may be under the tree this year. Any recs?Report


    A good telescope is quite an investment. It is best to learn the night sky by naked eye, then use binoculars, and then acquire a telescope. In ’03 I bought a Celestron 80mm FirstScope for $300 and I still use it. Its usefulness has increased with the purchase of a set of eyepieces and filters for $125 in May of 2020. If you want your kid to witness the spectacle of the night sky but not invest in something which may wind up gathering dust, visit a local astronomy club and see if someone will let ’em look through their ‘scope. Or bring them to a nearby observatory to see the night sky. Of course COVID makes these options a challenge.

    Or visit Cloudy Night’s classifieds and buy a good used ‘scope.

    A “department store” telescope is typically sub-par, but cheap, and could throw cold water on any astronomical aspirations. YMMV.

    Astronomy is a good hobby, cheap to start but can be expensive if one becomes truly pasdionate.

    Please note becoming an astronomer by trade is more about math and papereork than actual ‘scope time. But all that math and paperwork ensures the ‘scope time is very rewarding.

    For an idea of good telescopes and brands, check Highpoint Scientific.

    • Kazzy in reply to PROFESSOR ESPERANTO says:

      Thank you! Super helpful. Our area has a ton of light pollution (about 15 miles as the crow flies from NYC with lots of development in between and around). He loves looking at the moon and last night on a walk we saw a bright light in the sky and speculated on its source, ultimately deciding it was probably Mars. But who knows? Our neighbor — an elder gentleman — has an impressive looking ‘scope we can see in his living room and which I saw him take out the other night. Perhaps he can be a bit of a mentor for the wee one.

      We’re fortunately close enough to some areas with decent stargazing, so maybe we need to focus our energies there. I wouldn’t want him to get a telescope and then be disappointed in the “results”. Thanks for all the tips!Report

      • PROFESSOR ESPERANTO in reply to Kazzy says:

        Hi again,

        Download Stellarium. Cross-platform planetarium software and it is free on desktop.

        Or drop a few bucks on Star Walk, you can use it in the field and identify objects on the fly with your phone. Also search your phone’s particular app store for satellite trackers to spy flares. They are typically free but YMMV.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to PROFESSOR ESPERANTO says:

          Muchos muchos muchos gracias. I think I’ve hastily downloaded apps or found websites on occassion but they always seemed kind of lackluster. This is just the type of advice I needed!

          Time will tell if he sticks with space as an area of fascination or at least enough to pursue it as a career. He IS 5 after all. But he loves looking up at the sky and sharing his observations and is incredibly proficient at theorizing on why things are the way they are… even if they make zero sense and completely lack any internal consistency. :-pReport

        • Slade the Leveller in reply to PROFESSOR ESPERANTO says:

          I’ve had the Night Sky app on my iPad, and it’s pretty great.Report

    • veronica d in reply to PROFESSOR ESPERANTO says:

      Agreed. Learn the sky. It’s really fun. Plus, once you’re ready to splurge, you can get a good Dob telescope waaaay cheaper than one of the complicated computer controlled ones.

      On mine, I set up one of those laser reticle viewfinders, to easily find a naked eye object to start searching. Next to that I have a wide angle finder scope with a right-angle objective. That’s way more comfortable to use on a Dob, since I don’t have to crane my neck as much. Plus, it doesn’t reverse the image. Anyway, from there, star hopping will lead me to the target.Report

  8. Pinky says:

    Science-related question: Should we have postponed the election? It was the biggest contact event that happened 3-14 days before the monstrous increase in cases.

    Cultural question: Would the country have survived the announcement? I don’t think it would have, but then again I don’t think the US would have been able to handle that at any point in our history. I remember the reaction to Giuliani, the most popular person in the country, suggesting a postponement of the 2001 NYC elections. (There may be a rule against political tangents on the science thread, and if so, please no one pursue this. I think of it more as a cultural tangent, but I don’t want to heat things up.)Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Pinky says:

      I don’t think the election was the driver of the increase. NJ is genuinely surging and we had almost total vote by mail. Nearby NYC had in-person, with long lines in many situations, and is faring much better. I suppose there is still time to see an effect but based on my observations in this area, I don’t see the obvious signs indicating a cause-and-effect.

      That said, this area is generally very good about masking up and distancing. Plus we had such high rates of infection earlier that built up community immunity may have dampened any potential spreading in NY(C). But I’m just speculating there.

      Other parts of the country? Entirely possible depending on how the election was conducted and what the situation was on the ground before/during/after.Report

    • greginak in reply to Pinky says:

      If an election were to ever be postponed the prez would have to be the Anti Trump in that he wasn’t a internet troll and lightening rod. You would need a a metric crap ton of trust about what would happen and mutual agreement by both parties. In other words those conditions have never ever likely been met in the history of the US.

      Vote by mail/early voting seems like the easy and obvious work around.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky says:

      I don’t think it could have been postponed, short of a constitutional amendment. Which would have required the kind of consensus greginak discusses above, so not happening any time since the early 1820s.Report

  9. NSF has officially announced that Arecibo will be demolished. See link in the update.Report

  10. [ ThTh7′]
    Linus: Lucy, why is the sky blue?
    Linus: That just shows how stupid I am. I thought there would be a more complicated reason.Report

  11. Saul Degraw says:

    Michigan lawmakers are apparently heading to D.C. tomorrow to meet with Trump and Trump’s request. I really wish they told him no but they are afraid of him still. The two Wayne County commissioners are attempting to recant their certification after receiving calls from Trump. At least the media has refused to give into Trump except NewsMax and OANN.

    This appears to be an attempted coup through unrelenting attempts despite all previous failure. It will continue until January 20, 2020 and possibly beyond. We need more brakes to be put in place to prevent this miscreant antics.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      This is nuts. But totally expected. Authoritarians try to stay in power by any means necessary.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      How much you wanna bet that if Trump runs again in 2024 (if he isn’t dead yet), that the whole of the media will once again give him billions of dollars worth of free publicity? Instead of treating him like, say, Andrew Yang.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        If anything the media has been one of the bright spots of the post-election because they are treating all of Trump’s claims with absolute contempt. The only exceptions are NewsMax and OANN as mentioned above. But they might not learn. I think it is good that the media is covering the very stupid authoritarian attempts because they out cry sometimes causes local pols to shy away.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          There was no election. Some Venezuelan’s and Democrat coders punched numbers into computers and presented it as election results, but those numbers don’t bear any semblance to actual votes, cast by voters. In 75% of Wayne County’s precincts, the number of votes doesn’t match up with the number of ballots on hand, not by a little, but by a lot.

          And Democrats keep making the problem worse, illustrating how the country is being split into two camps, smart people and stupid people. In Georgia, the recounters in one county went through a batch of ballots and counted 10,707 for Biden, 13 for Trump, which isn’t actually possible unless the ballots had previously been segregated according to the winner, with 13 errors. The other mathematical problem was that the batch only contained 1,084 total ballots. They’ve apparently hired the stupidest person in Georgia to work the recount, one who thinks that you add a number of a number by attaching the new digit to rest of the digits. “Those are three votes for Biden. That’s three ones. Three ones make “111”.

          The Republicans simply aren’t going to accept the results as anything other that foreign and domestic election rigging. That used to be a common feature in Appalachian politics, and after giving up on the DoJ and other agencies to correct election interference, we solved it just by surrounding the corrupt officials and engaging them in gun battles until they surrendered or died. Athens Tennessee did that in 1946. The police, surrounded and outgunned, surrendered at 3:00 AM and the citizens found that they’d won the election by a 3:1 margin. Heck, in my home town it was so bad that one of the prominent wives that my mom knew was killed with a car bomb in the parking lot of grocery store. If the election rigging is not resolved, we will probably have a whole lot of that. Nuclear civil war is preferable to rigged elections.Report

          • Oscar Gordon in reply to George Turner says:

            George, take a Tylenol and have a lie down, your fever is back.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

              I still don’t know why we tolerate his rantings and ravings here.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Because echo chambers are bad, and George usually refrains from attacking people.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                There is a difference between an echo chamber and allowing a paranoid loon in who can write paragraph after paragraph of conspiracy theory.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                lets all agree to ignore him. If no one comments on his stuff he can’t get his jollies.Report

              • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                George is also representative of how a very significant portion of the right wing currently thinks. He is, for better or worse, more reflective of current Republican thought than other right wing commenters are. And he doesn’t violate the commenting rules (writing pages of fiction is not against the site rules). So we have no reason to ban him and I’d personally be opposed to doing so.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:

                I think we just have a different worldview here. I think letting Turner go on with his paragraphs of insanity just normalizes it.

                One of the Wayne County commissioners who tried to resist certification had a racist social media feed that was easy to uncover. He did this despite being a government official. Now he is trying to reverse his reverse.

                I would say that Trump’s attempts at overturning the election are stupid and clumsy and clownlike. But an attempted coup is still an attempted coup. The GOP fever does not seem to be dying down and a broadminded commitment to letting speech like Turner’s speak for itself does not seem to be working.

                Something else needs to be tried.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                I’m agnostic as to whether George is allowed to post or not, but I feel much like Saul does here, that engaging with illiberal anti-democratic arguments makes the difference between democracy and un-democracy simply a matter of opinion, with no real fixed truth possible.

                Democracy depends on some basic prerequisites, one of which is agreement on process and commitment to legitimacy.

                These prerequisites must be non-negotiable. No tolerance for their abridgement can be allowed otherwise the entire thing falls apart.Report

              • Pinky in reply to North says:

                Also, nothing destroys a site’s goodwill faster than a discussion like this.Report

              • greginak in reply to Pinky says:

                Lots of things destroy good will. Having people scream a candidates son is a pedophile is one of them. I’m not saying he should be banned. Ignore the trolls is usually the best policy. But endless viscous attacks withers goodwill. As we are this place is good by intertoobz standards, but there are plenty of vicious attacks that inhibit good conversations.

                Endless conspiracy theories don’t move anything forward. At best its white noise in the background.Report

              • Pinky in reply to greginak says:

                I’m inclined to agree with you about conspiracy theorists, which is why I didn’t respond to Saul’s original comment about an attempted coup. I sympathize with Saul’s proposition that commenters like Saul should be banned from the site, but then we get into the question of who decides who counts as trolls. And those opinions may be best kept to ourselves – unless you think a more detailed discussion would be beneficial.Report

              • greginak in reply to Pinky says:

                Who is a troll and what kind of commentators we should have around here is not a new discussion at all. Who are trolls? It’s like porn. If you think someone is a troll then ignore them.

                Coups? Welp there a lot of words out there. What is the correct word for the argument that the votes of millions should be thrown out and the election decided by the congress or the supremes. Autogalope seems appropriate but who the hell knows what that means. Commonly used words are typically better then little used esoteric terms.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to greginak says:

                There is such a thing as objective reality.
                Objective evidence says that Biden won more votes.

                At this point, there is no plausible evidence being submitted to say otherwise. This is what our court system has said, and no evidence has been put forward that the courts are wrong.

                These are objective facts, not matters of opinion. A discussion board, like a nation, can’t tolerate treating matters of fact like matters of opinion.Report

              • greginak in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I don’t disagree. The election wasn’t close.

                Any board in this day and age that aims to have an appeal across the spectrum is going to have friction over things like……well…reality. Reality is pretty contested nowadays. There are some lines i won’t cross, accusations of pedophilia is way past the line, but if we want decent discussions with people with different views we have to accommodate some arguments about reality, gravity, etc. That said i have no time for the overthrow the election crap, so i’ll either just mock it or go to that bastion of sanity that is Twitter.

                Of course there are matters, not who won the election, that seem like matters of fact but are more opinion. Getting people to understand that is a bit of task.Report

              • Pinky in reply to greginak says:

                Two months and a few hours from now, we’ll know what the election boards, courts, and Electoral College have said about the election results, and we’ll know if Trump turned over power. Some people will be proven wrong, and I hope they clearly and publicly admit it. Still, in the meantime, I hate to see the poisoning of our democracy coming from both extremes.Report

              • greginak in reply to Pinky says:

                Well right now one of Trump’s lawyers, Sidney Powell, is saying
                “The entire election, frankly, in all the swing states should be overturned and the legislatures should make sure that the electors are selected for Trump”

                Call it what you will.

                Biden will be prez in jan, the only question is how much damage is done before then.

                Fun fact, the current admin is refusing to brief the Biden admin on anything. Not foreign policy, not covid. How is that helping? Is that a set up for peaceful transfer of power with the best interests of the US in mind?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                Those who want the people’s votes to be counted, and those who want to throw out the people’s votes and install a government against their will, are merely two different opinions, both of which are poisoning democracy.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Pinky says:

                Seeing what Mnuchin did this afternoon, I am terrified that the administration is willing to crash the economy on their way out. Unless McConnell decides that he’s not willing to risk Georgia under those conditions, it’s entirely within Trump’s power to do it.Report

              • “If you try to take my toys away, I’ll break them”, says the Toddler in Chief.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Up until a couple of weeks ago, I’d consider him one of our better commenters.Report

            • George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

              I have the same fever as tens of millions of other Republicans. We’re getting a completely different news feed from Democrats, because the mainstream media is just lying to everybody’s face. Even Fox has been abandoned, with MSNBC’s morning program badly beating Fox & Friends for the first time in 19 years. We decamped. We’re not under media control, naively believing the same people who’ve been lying to us for years.

              We said all the polls were garbage, and we were right. We said mail-in-voting would produce unmatched levels of election fraud, and we were right. We said corrupt officials would rig the election, and we were right. We said big tech would censor any mention of it, and we were right.

              And you all know it was rigged. On election night you went to be looking at a massive Trump sweep. Earlier that night many of you’d been saying “Huh. Are you guys thinking the same things you thought on election night 2016?” And you folks said “Yep.”

              There was no “come from behind victory” at 4:00 AM. That was vote rigging, with hundreds of thousands of ballots, 100% for Biden in some cases, arriving in unmarked vans, or numbers just appearing in election totals, even though nobody was, in theory, counting votes at that time. It was patently obvious to everybody what had happened, but the Democrats, media, and people here thought “How do we sell this?” Since then, it’s been group-think writ large.

              But Republicans, who won the election in a massive wave, winning 25 of 25 “toss-up” House elections, and winning massively down-ballot, are not part of the group. The group is a minority of extremely partisan hacks led by people who are being paid a fortune to rig an election and pass it off as valid. It’s simply not going to work.

              The rigging was too widespread, sloppy, and ad-hoc, and left blindingly obvious clues all over the place. For example, in the feed of raw election updates from the New York Times, there are treasure troves of impossible things. All that late-night counting that wasn’t even supposed to be taking place produced tranche after tranche of ballots. In every key state almost all of those tranches are fraudulent, the result of computer program because there wasn’t enough available man-power to make them up by hand.

              For example, in Georgia Trump was leading 57% to 42% with 50% of the votes counted. Then batches of fake Biden votes started to come in. How do I know they were fake? I know they were fake because in 53 consecutive batches, the ratio of Biden votes to Trump votes was exactly the same, to four decimal points.

              I looked at raw data from Pennsylvania that had been flagged for that, and found that the standard deviation in the Biden/Trump vote ratio for 7 sequential batches was 0.001653%, before the ratio shifted by 0.2278% for the next 11 batches, whose ratio had a standard deviation of 0.02587%. Those batches couldn’t have come from voting, because people can’t vote with 5-digit precision.

              Heck, it’s not even votes, because votes are integers and those batches were too small for integer division to produce ratios that accurately. Some coder declared is fake voting variable as floating point, and that’s what got scraped from the New York Times raw data feeds.

              Everywhere you look, more evidence popped out. I punched in data from Georgia counties, going in alphabetical order, to see if there was evidence of a massive turnout of black voters. I found the opposite.
              The higher the percentage of blacks in the county (which ranged from 0.4% to 66.1%), the less votes Biden gained over Hillary 2016.

              For example, Baker county is 50% black, and Biden beat Hillary by 0.31%, whereas Trump went up 15.7%. Calhoun is 61% black, and Biden beat Hillary there by 6.9%, whereas Trump was up by 12.3%. Burke is 49% black, and Biden went up 10% while Trump went up 20%. Heavily black counties, and Biden underperforming badly relative to Trump, and in once case Biden only got two more votes than Hillary did.

              In contrast, Banks county is 3.2% black and Biden went up 36%. Catoosa is 2.2% black and Biden went up 45% over Hillary. Cherokee County is 5.6% black and Biden went up 69% over Hillary. All the Biden gains, outside Atlanta, are coming from the heavily white areas, not the heavily black areas.

              The black percentage of population, versus Biden’s percentage gain over Hillary, when plotted, shows that the big Biden gains happened only if the county had a low percentage of blacks. For the first 40 Georgia counties in alphabetical order, the Pearson correlation coefficient between the two variables is -0.5426, which means there is a moderate negative correlation between black population and Biden gains, the opposite of what the media claims. The p-value on that result is 0.000303. The result is significant at p < .05.

              So statistics (science!) says that Biden's extra Georgia votes are definitely not coming from increased black turnout across Georgia. On the graph, all of his unusual gains only come from heavily white areas that vote heavily Republican.

              And the MIT team uncovered the algorithm to steal votes from Trump in exactly that kind of pattern. Coincidence? Not at this point. Very few on the right is believing a word coming from the media, and those that do are immediately put into everybody's "sucker", "loser", or "part of the con" baskets, along with Fox News.

              The problem Democrats face is that their plan to steal the election depended on getting away with it quickly and cleanly, and that obviously isn't going to happen. The victim didn't roll over and chose to fight, and as I've pointed out, all the evidence is piling up on their side, at an unbelievable rate. The media won't let you know about any of it because they're all in for aiding and abetting, which happily means that the government can seize all their assets and equipment under Trump's pre-election executive order regarding foreign election interference.

              As I said shortly after November 3rd, you don't have to convince yourselves that you won, you have to convince Republicans that you won. At that you are failing, miserably.Report

              • Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

                As I said shortly after November 3rd, you don’t have to convince yourselves that you won, you have to convince Republicans that you won. At that you are failing, miserably.

                Two points – you don’t want to be convinced. Which is why you write reams and reams of drivel that looks like intelligent analyses but is nothing more then interesting fiction.

                Beyond that – Republican election officials in many states are about to certify Joe Biden as having been elected President. They will also certify that Republicans did indeed win a bunch of elections down ballot. That fact alone ameliorates your fiction.

                And don’t forget that Republicans have failed to convince Republican state and federal judges that fraud exists. You have failed to convince much of anyone of the reality you seek to create.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Philip H says:

                Actually, no one needs to convince anyone of anything.

                The votes will be counted by those with the authority and duty to count the votes. Those vote counts will be certified by those with the authority and duty to certify the vote counts.
                Electors will then convene in Washington to cast their votes for the President.

                The VOTERS have DECIDED that Joe Biden will be our next President.

                End of story.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Kazzy says:

                I wish it were the end of the story.

                But we are just entering a very dangerous and dark time in American history where the voting base of the Republican Party is unwilling to abide by the results of free and fair elections because they know they can’t win.
                And they currently hold the majority of power in the nation which makes them very dangerous.

                All they need is a few more willing accomplices and they can effectively snuff out democracy.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Kazzy says:

                Actually, none of that his happening. Democrat officials are refusing to recount the votes, and where forced, are rewriting the rules for recounts on the fly. In Wisconsin, only 12 Republicans are being allowed to take part in the recount process.

                If Joe Biden becomes President, he will rule over ashes.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Philip H says:

                Punch in the numbers yourself. The problem for you is that it’s math. The number of votes cannot exceed the number of voters. That’s happened in lots of places this election. The vote total needs to match the number of ballots cast. It doesn’t remotely do so in many places. This election was rigged, blatantly, and Republicans are not going to act like oppressed serfs in Soviet Russia and just look away, keep their heads down, and go along with obvious fraud.

                Fraud investigators know full well what fraud looks like, and this is it. Trump victories in 10 states that disappear at 4:00 AM, in all 10 states, isn’t something that happens absent blatant fraud. And when you look into the data to try and show it wasn’t fraud, you just find more fraud, like those impossible batches and their impossibly consistent vote ratios, with a standard deviation of 0.001%.

                Explain to me how 53 places can produce Biden votes and Trump votes in the exact same ratio, accurate to four significant digits. You know that is impossible as well as I do. You know only a computer could do that, just as well as I do.

                You simply don’t want to believe that you are cheating. You don’t want to get caught at it. But you have been caught, and you’re not going to get away with it.

                And that’s your entire focus now. Getting away with it. If you didn’t know that there was massive fraud to uncover, you wouldn’t have any objections to extremely thorough audits and recounts, overseen by both parties. But you strenuously object to the idea, just like a criminal, caught in the act, who desperately tries to avoid being searched.

                And the same is true all up the Democrat and media hierarchy. We know they’re guilty, in part, because they act guilty. They’re trying to silence witnesses. They’re trying to intimidate lawyers and officials with death threats. Social media has forbidden any mention of fraud. Who does things like that? The mafia, communist revolutionaries, and totalitarian political parties trying to get away with election rigging.

                Did the media block any story about Trump and Russia collusion? No they did not. Did Trump block any stories? No he did not. Obviously this new rule “You must not talk about election fraud!” was just made up so they could avoid covering the obvious, and try to get away with it.

                You’re arguments boil down to “We got away with it! The judge threw it out! You can’t prove it! We’re going to win anyway! You can’t stop us!” These are not arguments you hear from an honest person. These are arguments you hear from criminals who know they committed a crime, and who are trying to escape justice. Well, justice is coming, and it will be harsh.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to George Turner says:

                Ya know, you are right. If one side of the political aisle has managed to so position itself in all the right places that they can control enough of the information and enough of the election officials and enough of the judges that they can steal an election, then they deserve to win it!

                Yes, I said it. It’s the old, “If it ain’t nailed down, I’m gonna steal it, and if I could pry it up, it wasn’t nailed down well enough!”.

                Man, what could have prevented this terrible travesty? If only there was a political party that had their hands firmly upon the levers of power for the past four years and had been paying attention and taking action to get ahead of this kind of thing?!

                Oh, wait…

                You know, perhaps if the vast, VAST bulk of the GOP political class (elected and party leaders) hadn’t spent the past 4 years with their heads so firmly buried up Trumps a$$ that they could kiss his tonsils, they might have been able to do something. But no, they were on the knees giving Trump his every whim instead of minding the store.

                So sure George, EVERYTHING you say is true. So what? The GOP had the power, and the time, to counter anything the Dems could hope to do, but it wasn’t enough, because the leader of the party was too enamored with his own self-delusions to do much of anything, and Ol’ Mitch was happy to use the distractions of Trump to do whatever the hell Ol’ Mitch wanted to do (which apparently DID NOT involve doing anything to secure Trump a second term).

                What was it Napolean said? Never interrupt your opponent while he is making a mistake. Guess the dems did learn that lesson.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Well there’s a guilty argument if every I heard one. It’ll play as well on a witness stand, and in the court of public opinion, as it did in “A Few Good Men.”

                “Did you order the Code Red?!”

                “You’re d*** right I did!”

                Again, it’s just more criminal thinking. “The police should’ve stopped me!” is the attitude of a criminal whose trying to blame his crime on, you guessed, the failure of authorities to stop him.

                What’s amusing is that Democrats think they’re somehow winning something. Unless you’re personal friends with Joe Biden’s family, you get screwed. His cabinet picks and top postings are all corporate elites. Basically, billionaires bought the election, and he’s delivering their booty.

                Democrat voters have been rendered obsolete, since they’re support is no longer required to put Democrats and big tech CEO’s in charge of everything. They are now mere serfs, and will have to be grateful for any scraps thrown their way as they go about their miserable lives, locked down, worried over climate change, watching their bills skyrocket as big corporations just loot them.

                Their opinions and votes don’t matter when some keyboard commando can just punch in numbers for public opinion and election results.

                You remember West World season 3, where the future public was told what to think and do by an A.I., and only a tiny handful of people fought back against having their lives programmed? That’s what the Democrat machine wants for you. And note that the machine is only Democrat because that was the cheaper party for the billionaires to buy. You think you have a choice, but you don’t. You think you have information, but you don’t, because they don’t want you to know anything. You’re not getting the candidates you want, you’re getting the candidates they’re telling you to want. Almost no Democrats were supporting Joe Biden until they were told to, in a hundred different ways, by the same people who rigged the election for Joe Biden.

                A cabal of extremely corrupt people took over your party, and they’ll use it to serve their ends, not yours. They’re also so incompetent that, instead of being the hidden hand behind the scenes, making subtle changes here and there, they pulled over-the-top, pound-you-over-the-head levels of fraud, which exposed their scam for what it is.

                They’ve ran your party straight into an iceberg, because they’re not only corrupt, they’re incompetent at being corrupt. A Democrat party run by criminals, Wall Street, foreign governments, and billionaire drug addicts is not going to work out well for any Democrat voter. You can be assured of that.

                Once these events turn harshly against the perpetrators, and it is, Democrats need to clean house, and brutally, or they will never have a voice, never have any influence, never have any power, for perhaps several generations.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to George Turner says:

                It’s called Real Politik, George. There are no police here. It’s only the two parties who have gamed the system so hard there can be no third. And now they both get to play the game whose rules they agreed upon.

                Or at least they had until Mitch tossed the rule book out in 2016.

                Now it’s bare knuckle politics. You keep forgetting that I’m not a Dem. I’m not in the GOP either, I’m just annoyed you lot are being whiney sore losers.

                You reap what you sow. I’m just gonna watch from here and see if I get any battlefield salvage at the end of it all.Report

          • It puzzled me that Republicans are blaming Trump’s loss on Hugo Chavez now, because

            1. He died in 2013, and
            2. He’s nor Jewish.Report

      • JS in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        “How much you wanna bet that if Trump runs again in 2024 ”

        Obviously not if dead. Obviously not if his legal trouble catches up to him (he does have an awfully lot of state and civil cases pending, not to mention federal ones if he doesn’t pardon himself).

        But honestly, even if he walks away totally without consequence, he doesn’t seem to like being President that much. I’d say it’s a bit more likely he wants to play power broker in 2024. Let them all compete to kiss his ring for his endorsement. All the praise, none of the work.Report

    • Since tossing out votes via the courts have been a dead end, the next phase is to try to get legislatures to do it.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Not gonna happen. A LOT of state folks are up for reelection next year across the board, and they know good and well that gerrymandering can’t be relied on to save them. They have incentives to do what they are doing and say they will look at things after (you know, following the law and all).Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I saw a Tweet that pointed out 2020 isn’t the concern but 2024. Republicans are looking for weak links in the chain so if we have a 2000-type situation or something even close to that, they can pounce.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Kazzy says:

        They are probing, looking for soft spots, and auditioning for accomplices.

        The occasional Republican like the Georgia Secretary of State, will be ousted and replaced by those willing to go along.

        The GOP can no longer be considered a reliable participant in our elections, but an enemy of them.

        Sorry, I know this sounds hyperbolic and I might have even agreed only a couple year sago, but it seems incontrovertible now.
        They were given a test of their character and commitment to democracy, and they failed.Report

  12. Jaybird says:

    Gavin Newsom has instituted a 10PM curfew in California.

    Personally, I go to bed at 10 so this doesn’t strike me as particularly onerous.

    (I do wonder if the police will enforce the curfew or if it’s more of a bully pulpit thing going on.)Report

  13. [ Thth1]
    It’s an amazing achievement that these vaccines were developed so quickly. That was possible because we have the finest medical minds on the planet working on the problem. I wonder how many of them originally came here on the sort of student visa that Trump wants to eliminate.Report

  14. Will Truman says:

    Hey all, I took out a thread that was unrelated to the post at hand. I may restore it at a later point, but I believe it is imperative that discussions about the election and post-election be restricted to posts about the election and post-election. Otherwise we run the risk of every discussion being the same discussion.

    I will be making a quick editors note.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Will Truman says:

      I read your editors note. I appreciate the sentiment, but this post discusses masks, which, frankly, are part of this year’s election for a variety of reasons. So decoupling the two is going to be a bit challenging.

      Like it or not science is now part of the political arena, which means science discussions are going to continue to be very not sciency.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Philip H says:

        I must not have been clear.

        It’s not “no politics” it’s “politics should be related to the science at hand.”

        A discussion about the politics of mask wearing would have been fine. But not so much about vote counts in Michigan.Report

  15. Jaybird says:

    Ugh. Mayor Hancock did it too.