We don’t even ask happiness, just a little less pain.
(Classical reference in headline.)
This is the sort of story that drives me crazy: Peru study finds Sinopharm COVID vaccine 50.4% effective against infections Reuters. First, this is pretty much what Sinopharm found in its clinical trails. Second, this is ALL INFECTIONS, not tracked by Pfizer and tracked but not reported by Moderna and Astra Zenaca. Third, buried is that the performance v. deaths is in line with some Western vaccines: “The vaccine, however, was 94% effective at preventing deaths after two doses.”
For The Atlantic, Katherine Wu writes about the difficulty of communicating how vaccines work and how they protect individuals and communities from disease: Vaccines Are Like Sunscreen… No, Wait, Airbags… No, Wait…
Unfortunately, communal benefit is harder to define, harder to quantify, and harder to describe than individual protection, because “it’s not the way Americans are used to thinking about things,” Neil Lewis, a behavioral scientist and communications expert at Cornell, told me. That’s in part because communal risk isn’t characteristic of the health perils people in wealthy countries are accustomed to facing: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer. Maybe that’s part of why we gravitate toward individual-focused comparisons. Slipping into a pandemic-compatible, population-based frame of mind is a big shift. In the age of COVID-19, “there’s been a lot of focus on the individual,” Lewis told me. That’s pretty at odds “with how infection works.”
Sherlock Holmes is good company in bed
One Bad Apple Hacker Factor. Important even if you aren’t an Apple person, since Apple is about to kick off a new race to the bottom.
It describes in detailed but I think not too technical terms how the scheme works, what its failings are, and why Apple wants to do the scans on your phone instead of on its own servers (answer: they can’t access your files on their servers without a warrant, but somehow they *can* do it on your phone
RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Getting Ready for the End of the World.“Why is eschatology suddenly so big, not among the so-called crackpots beloved of leftist caricature, but among the tech savvy millionaires and billionaires? . . . Undoubtedly the optimism of the Reagan era has been eclipsed by the apparent second coming of Jimmy Carter.”