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12:15 AM
@ilkkachu bugs eat cabbage. so do goats.
12:29 AM
Hi cas
@Jesse_b I'm against GMOs for political reasons, not scientific. the technology is cool and amazing. allowing corporations to do whatever they like to the food chain and to the environment is not. allowing patenting of organisms or genes is not.
12:56 AM
@Wildcard maybe you could run CS6 in a hackintosh VM. but you're better off doing what you're trying to do - switch to TeX. no lockin, no proprietary software, just infinitely malleable and re-usable text files.
@cas yeah, that's the allure.
Although, for the purposes of this particular checklist, I might end up going with LibreOffice since it would then be able to be edited and worked with by almost anyone.
But I like using version control, and that doesn't play nice with odt files.
are your forms meant to be used electronically (e.g. pdf forms) or printed and written on with a pen?
@Wildcard would something like an M4 macro or perl script be acceptable? Such that there's some sort of simple markdown that's input by a human, then run through a processor to get to the LaTeX?
LO has its own version control. not as good as git or command-line but adequate.
@cas printed and filled out with a pen.
@JeffSchaller well, first I have to get a LaTeX document that actually reproduces what I have out of InDesign now.
1:04 AM
yeah, scripting is one of the best ways to generate complex tex documents. once you figure out how to do it once, automate it. saves a lot of tedious typing.
Really this is all a backburner project for me, I only brought it up because I've been meaning to get around to it and someone (Faheem I think) mentioned using TeX.
@Wildcard I saw your TeX question early on; one of the comments pointed to a simple checklist; is that far off?
@JeffSchaller yeah, because in mine there aren't checkboxes, there are sign-off lines. And they're over to the right, against the right margin.
@Wildcard ahhh, I misinterpreted "checklist" into "checkboxes"; sorry! I'm interested in this because I leaned into LaTeX a while ago, for reasons.
@JeffSchaller it's a good question, though. I just replied to that comment you mentioned, with about the same text as here.
Okay, gotta run. (Will reply later to any pings though.)
1:09 AM
i agree with Faheem. your best bet is to post a redacted image showing the structure of the doc you want, with the text blacked out.
to be fair, the textual description you wrote is pretty good; it's my mental block that turns "checklist" into "lists with open boxes next to them". You wrote "numbered and named section header for each section of the checklist itself ... then the numbered checklist steps begin"
maybe "numbered list with two kinds of sign-off lines next to them"
6 hours later…
7:17 AM
Q: Stack Overflow is doing me ongoing harm; it's time to fix it!

Monica CellioOver the last month, Stack Overflow has violated its own policies and precedents to cause egregious and unnecessary harm to me -- to my reputation (personal and professional), to my health, and to my safety. This harm is significant and ongoing. It is past time for the company to correct its e...

This should be interesting. My prediction is crickets from SE staff until it has over 500 or 600 upvotes, and then there will be some inadequate response and they still won't talk to Monica directly. But I hope to be pleasantly wrong about that.
@JeffSchaller yeah, I don't think I can get any clearer in the description; I need to show an example.
@cas I think you're right. I'll have to circle back to it, though, because that will take some work to make properly illustrative. It can sit there unanswered in the meantime....
5 hours later…
12:01 PM
@Wildcard If they say they will talk to her directly, even after it gets thousands of upvotes and trying to ignore it, I will still be pleasantly surprised!
@terdon they’ve already said they would talk to her directly, but haven’t.
So as far as I’m concerned, their saying now that they will talk to her directly wouldn’t change anything; I’d have to read in a post by Monica that they have contacted her to be pleasantly surprised.
I was just imagining a world where Monica is a moderator again. Can you imagine her triple-checking every sentence she writes; and every user quadruple-checking her sentences? Living on eggshells doesn't seem like a fun way to exist.
I honestly don't think she can be an effective moderator any more. For precisely that reason. Also because she'll be under too much scrutiny and because she's a polarizing figure.
12:11 PM
unfortunately :(
I would focus on SE honestly attempting to mitigate the harm they caused by going public rather than on reinstatement.
absolutely. I was also thinking about emulating George Stocker in some way and writing a response SE could use
Yes. The biggest fix would be to get the Register article edited — not an additional retraction, but alter the original...
(Biggest because it’s not directly under SE’s control and would presumably require some external groveling from someone somewhere.)
@JeffSchaller Yes. Dammit, I really don't want to step down, but if they don't take public action to try and ameliorate the harm they've caused, I don't see how I'll have much choice.
One of the theories floating around is that any public statement will open the company to slander lawsuits. Which does make everything more complicated, dammit.
I'm not a lawyer, but it's never too late to do the right thing.
12:17 PM
I know. I'm just saying that this is corporate. I'm not excusing it, only pointing out that if lawyers are involved, things are more complicated.
12:29 PM
@JeffSchaller the problem here is that the right thing for a company is often not the same as the right thing for the human beings involved
Why is this a legal matter? No money was involved. These are volunteer positions.
in this particular instance, I don’t think there’s much that SE have publicly said that’s really actionable, at least in terms of defamation (which might also explain why SE have never explained what Monica did to violate the terms of the CoC); but a proper apology would need to account for the real results of their actions, and that would be actionable
@FaheemMitha reputation is involved.
@StephenKitt Whose reputation? And what harm was done? If you mean the moderator who was dismissed, nothing was actually said, as far as I know.
@FaheemMitha a lot was implied, and many people reacted to that (which makes the harm actual)
I mean, nothing was said regarding the dismissal. And I expect that SE is covered, in that the mods serve of the pleasure of the corporation. I'm sure that's written somewhere.
@StephenKitt Well, I'm not a lawyer, but the question seems to be whether that is actionable.
I don't know enough to have an opinion.
My limited experience is that courts and lawyers are best avoided unless one is dealing with very serious stuff. And even then, one needs to consider whether the costs are worth it.
12:34 PM
@FaheemMitha exactly, that’s my point: so far I think that what SE have said provides little ammo for any action, even though the resulting harm is real
Of course, I live in a country where the courts don't really function, so that's my bias.
they said she was dismissed for repeatedly violating the code of conduct. which means they said she repeatedly and deliberately mis-gendered people - that's not just an implication, that's what violating the CoC means.
@cas but they haven’t said what part of the CoC she violated, so it’s open to interpretation
I really have no idea what any court would make of this, but I really doubt it would be worth the trouble, unless someone else was paying the legal costs.
And maybe not even then.
Of course I agree with you that that is what the current situation implies, but I’m not sure it would hold up in a defamation lawsuit.
12:36 PM
claiming that she repeatedly violated any part of of the CoC causes damage to her professional reputation, even if they refuse to specify which part of it she allegedly violated.
I agree; what I’m saying is that it’s really hard to go from that to something that will hold up in a defamation lawsuit (which are hard to prosecute).
and, given that she was fired for asking questions about the new pronouns, it's an entirely reasonable (in the general sense and in the legal sense of that word) assumption that it was the new pronoun rule she was accused of violating.
defamation's not so hard. especially if you're in the UK or have some other reason to claim British jurisdiction (like, for example, publication of the defamation in the UK).
and Australian defamation law is almost as bad as British.
ah yes, the UK aspect is a good point, and since El Reg is involved there’s publication in the UK
And the compensation would be what?
Is the right thing for other moderators to step down?
12:52 PM
@Tim if they want to protest the state of affairs, or disassociate themselves from a company acting like that, what else can they do?
it seems to me that you wouldn't have to be a moderator for SE staff to take action
@JeffSchaller hm?
just speculating about who's subject to the new CoC
all users, I would suppose. Unless you mean who's going to be first to be axed using it... (except that in some ways it seems that one particular person already was, even before the new CoC was in effect.)
1 hour later…
2:03 PM
@cas Yeah I wouldn't take a hard stance either way. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with genetically modifying plants, but there may be some unknown affects of modifying plants to not die from copious amounts of poisonous pesticides that are likely going to remain on the food until you eat it.
I think it's dangerous to become religiously attached to scientific things though (or probably anything for that matter). The vaccine debate really bothers me. I'm for vaccines but (and people are already getting ready to praise their vaccine gods and attack me for what I'm about to say) pharmaceutical companies have been proven to be one hell of an actual evil force. Is it that unreasonable to think they may be selling some vaccines we don't need or putting some ingredients in that
possibly aren't safe? (Oh as it turns out since the whole vaccine debate started they have outright removed a handful of ingredients from all vaccines, but don't worry they were always safe)
You can't even have a conversation about vaccines anymore though. It will just be a bunch of lemmings screaming "VACCINES ARE GOOD!" regardless of what you try to say
2:41 PM
Actually, there is this concept called contingency. So if you can get a lawyer on contingency you only pay if there is some monetary reward as a result of the case.
3:05 PM
@Jesse_b The danger with GMOs aren't really the direct effect on those who eat them though, but the effect on the ecosystems into which they spread.
It's the same issue as with introducing rabbits to Australia, etc.
@Kusalananda Yeah well widescale farming is also an issue regardless of what crop is used
Plowing 1000 acres that used to contain diverse crops to plant a single crop is terrible for the ecosystem
So it is.
I guess my point was that you can be against GMO and be right, and you can be for it and also be right. Things are rarely 1 or 0
3:52 PM
@StephenKitt El Reg? The Register?
@FaheemMitha yes
The Register (nicknamed El Reg) is a British technology news and opinion website co-founded in 1994 by Mike Magee, John Lettice and Ross Alderson. Situation Publishing Ltd is listed as the site's publisher. Drew Cullen is an owner, Linus Birtles the managing director and Andrew Orlowski is the Executive Editor. == History == The Register was founded in London as an email newsletter called Chip Connection. In 1998 The Register became a daily online news source. Magee left in 2001 to start competing publications The Inquirer, and later the IT Examiner and TechEye.In 2002, The Register expanded to...
see also The Register’s old Twitter account
Odd nickname.
Seeing as it's British, I mean.
@FaheemMitha despite the stereotypes, Brits aren’t limited to English, especially when it comes to nicknames ;-)
@StephenKitt That's not what I meant, exactly.
4:15 PM
Strange, incoming.debian.org is currently empty.
Sorry, no. It's all in subdirectories.
5:05 PM
@terdon That's AFAIK not true. First, a true statement can't be the basis for slander. Second, an apology may be admitting that you had previously made an untrue statement, but that doesn't really count against you. If legal process were used, you'd have to turn over documents, testify under oath, etc. So you'd wind up having to admit it anyway. What an apology does do is reduce the harm, i.e., reduce the damages...
IANAL, of course.
@cas Both SE Inc and Monica are in the US. Very doubtful UK law would enter into this at all. (Especially since the judgement would need to be enforced in the US, since that's where SE Inc is). Unless she decides to proceed against The Register.
5:29 PM
@derobert Me neither, just repeating one of the things I've heard on the rumor mill (albeit from a reliable source).
Personally, I'm with whoever advised her to just walk away.
I guess people spend a lot of time here, so it's easy to lose perspective.
Or who knows how much the spillover off-site has been.
6:03 PM
@Jesse_b yup. I ignored the whole subject for a long time and thought it was way overblown, but you are exactly right. The trick is that as with any situation that hints at governmental or scientific wrongdoing, the entire group of people concerned about it can be painted as anti-science conspiracy theorists—which only applies to a tiny percentage of them in actual fact.
@terdon Please don't step down.
It's up to you of course, but the way I see it, the only effect of having all the moderators step down who disagree with how SE handled this situation, would be to have a group of moderators who uniformly don't think it was a big deal or who think that SE didn't really do anything wrong.
@Wildcard Generally speaking, vaccines are a good idea. Granted, there might be exceptions.
Not that I want to have an argument about it. Just to be clear.
@FaheemMitha :D
@Wildcard If all the mods step down, we won't have any mods left.
@Wildcard agreed
Which, I'm guessing could be a problem.
6:09 PM
... if terdon steps down I'mma have to apply to be a moderator :/
@ThomasWard Will you terrorize all of us?
@Wildcard It's true that Western medicine isn't very functional, and may be getting less so.
@FaheemMitha Vaccines are the only product in the U.S. for which manufacturers are entirely exempt from legal liability for defects in manufacturing. And the only companies that manufacture them, have all been convicted of felonies (such as lying to and/or bribing regulators, destroying evidence, etc.). There is no rational basis for claiming that those manufacturers have magically become virtuous where vaccines are concerned.
@Wildcard I know. That's a big part of why I'm still here, albeit on strike.
@Wildcard That's interesting. I didn't know any of that. But I was thinking about vaccines generally, not just American ones. The concept rather than the execution, if you will.
Also, do you have a reference for the above, and is anyone trying to plug that hole?
@Wildcard ... or those of us moderators such as me who exist in a state of neutrality and see it from both viewpoints but remain decidedly undecided on the ethical-ity/morality of how things were handled (or silence their opinions for the greater good of the specific sites which need to remain 'controlled' due to spam, etc.)
6:14 PM
@derobert I was just looking through the list of international/foreign banks that do business in India. It's rather alarming how many of them have been involved in major fraud. And maybe the others have too, we just don't know about it.
@FaheemMitha the link I gave has references for that point, among other references. Not sure what you mean about "plug that hole." The legislative trend in the U.S. right now is to mandate vaccines—actually that's already done in most places, so now it's to remove exemptions. Religious and philosophical exemptions have already been removed in most places, now they're removing medical exemptions.
Some days I feel like I just want to hide under my bed. But there's not much space under there. And it's probably a bit dusty, too.
@FaheemMitha Indeed...
Hello all, I would like to consult with you on something regarding neuro-musco-skeletal health, if it's okay,

I use computers since age 3, and today I am almost 30,

I have a chronic pain in my right shoulder, for 4 years now. In the last year this pain became sharper and more disturbing.

Almost every time I move my arm towards the stomach I feel a popping joint in my right shoulder, as well as pain there.

I never had a similar phenomenon in my left shoulder; it is totally an issue with the right shoulder.
@Wildcard I was referring to the "manufacturers are entirely exempt from legal liability for defects in manufacturing" part. Can't someone introduce a bill for legal liability?
6:16 PM
@JohnDoea Sort of an odd question for here but I have had two surgeries on my right shoulder and take proper posture at the computer pretty seriously, mostly due to wrist issues though
@JohnDoea Musculo-skeletal problems are extremely common, especially with computer users, but conventionally trained doctors (Western tradition) do a very poor job of diagnosing and treating it.
@FaheemMitha their exemption dates back to 1986, when they were getting (and losing) so many lawsuits for defects that they told the government, hey, we're just going to stop making vaccines unless we get exemption from liability. So they got it—along with requirements applied to the Department of Health and Human Services that they would look into how to improve vaccine safety.
I would not use a mouse for any extended period of time without a wrist pad. A wrist pad is not going to help your shoulder issue though
But those requirements were never fulfilled, not once.
You probably need physical therapy. I think in most cases shoulder surgery should be a last resort though. I regret getting mine and have done physical therapy a few times now since with good results
6:18 PM
I've found yoga extremely helpful. Also, regular breaks. See for example, Workrave. I used to do get massages once too, but it's hard to find someone who knows what they're doing. I used to have a very nice lady who did it in NC, but I don't live in NC now. Also, she died.
@Wildcard Who is they?
@FaheemMitha vaccine manufacturers.
@FaheemMitha I'm sort of ashamed that I laughed at that
@Wildcard All of them, or just American ones?
@Jesse_b Which part?
"Also, she died."
@FaheemMitha there may or may not be such a bill in progress anywhere, but the media receives most of their funding through advertisements, and the 300-pound gorilla in U.S. advertising is Big Pharma. So stories that would paint vaccines in a bad light (which would hurt manufacturers' bottom line) are almost universally ignored by U.S. media.
6:19 PM
Not because anyone died, obviously, just the way you put it
@Jesse_b Oh. Well, it wasn't intended humorously, but I can see why it might have come across as amusing.
Nobody told me. I just came across it when doing a search. It's a shame. She was a nice lady.
But she has a somewhat apocalyptic view of life. I think she once told me that she had outlived most of her high school class. Apparently being a working class person in the US is rough.
@Wildcard That all sounds very unfortunate. But ads are kind of a big problem, imo.
I mean, it's not a very functional way to move money around, because most people hate them.
@Jesse_b anyway, yes, it is very worrying how vitriolic the responses are to any comments that aren't strictly orthodox. Lemming/sheep mentality. I've seen it in other contexts too.
@FaheemMitha ah, but in the U.S., direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical ads are legal.
Even the supposedly targeted ones. But it seems to play a very important role in modern capitalistic societies.
@Wildcard Aren't all ads legal?
Well, presumably not if you want to advertise your heroin products.
And I think smoking is now severely restricted too. Maybe banned. I forget.
At least, it's not allowed on TV.
@FaheemMitha not in most countries. In most countries directly advertising drugs to consumers is simply not allowed. In the U.S. the ads tell the patients, "ask your doctor if (drug-of-choice) is right for you," and then to top it off pharmaceutical companies give doctors all sorts of kickbacks (legal and illegal) for prescribing a certain quota of drugs.
Anyway, I don't have a good sense of the bigger picture of how advertising fits into economies. And it's hard to know what question to ask.
@Wildcard I didn't know that. I mean the "directly advertising drugs to consumers is simply not allowed" part.
6:25 PM
@Wildcard I haven't really gotten into it that much but I kept seeing all these "memes" about "anti-vaxers" being shared constantly, not even in response to anything. I started thinking about how pretty much everyone hates pharmaceutical companies when it comes to all the frivolous drugs with crazy side affects being advertised on tv to patients rather than doctors, but they got ahead of the curve on vaccines with the greatest marketing campaign in history
I wonder what the rules are in Asia.
@FaheemMitha well, I might be overstating it with the "most" countries, but definitely the U.S. is unusual amongst developed countries in that respect.
@Wildcard Ok.
@Jesse_b bingo.
@Wildcard I sounds like you know something about it. Do you have a medical or legal background, or are you simply well informed?
6:27 PM
@FaheemMitha the latter, simply well informed.
I take care not to form opinions on subjects that I don't know about.
@Wildcard Ok.
@Wildcard That can be hard.
So, how is it going with TeX? Addicted yet?
@FaheemMitha yeah, I had heard a lot about vaccines, but I remained neutral (and mostly ignored the subject) for a long time because I didn't personally know how much was true and how much was propaganda (on either side of the issue). But when it was proven in FOIA court that the Department of Health and Human Services had never filed a single one of their required reports on vaccine safety (in 30 years), that was a nice bright verifiable fact.
@FaheemMitha not even close. :) Too busy with other things, haven't gotten to dig into it for real yet.
@Wildcard I'm tempted to start a collaborative document (Google docs?) where we could mock up an example to aim towards
@JeffSchaller you mean an example checklist?
@Wildcard yes, something fleshed-out enough to know if something hits the mark
6:32 PM
I never expected to get that much interest and help. Thank you for even saying that.
well, my LaTeX is really rusty (20 years?!?) but it seems like a fun "problem"
> According to a Washington Post article published February 2015, the United States and New Zealand are the only two countries that allow direct to consumer advertising for pharmaceutical products ... that include product claims.
@Wildcard Do you have a link to that?
@JeffSchaller I think there's an actual collaborative LaTeX site you can use.
You could ask on TeX SE Chat.
@Wildcard Wow, that's really interesting. Freedom of Information Acts are handy things, aren't they?
6:36 PM
@FaheemMitha note that that is linked to by the first article I linked (childrenshealthdefense.org/news/…). One of the reasons I like that article as a link is because it links to primary sources, lots of them.
The Indian one is causing the dirtbags who run India no end of trouble.
@FaheemMitha yes indeed. :)
@Wildcard I hadn't really read that article carefully, sorry. But I'll save the link.
Let's not confuse the (very real) problems of the pharmaceutical industry, let alone the US medical system, and the obvious, verified benefits of vaccines.
People are digging out lots of things. Like the Indian Govt run state banks regularly "write off" large loans, secretly.
6:38 PM
@FaheemMitha well, this is just my first idea, so it's probably not very good. But the thought was to generate a sample checklist that demonstrated all the features. Then people could work towards LaTeX that would generate results close to it.
That vaccines work is simply not debatable, sorry. There are decades of solid research backing that up. Now, whether the specific vaccine that some company wants to sell you is good or not is a different issue.
@terdon the trick is, the two are inextricable in the U.S. where all the vaccines come from the same handful of manufacturers.
The problem is that people hear these things and then just don't vaccinate their children and that is simply criminal and affects all of us.
@terdon I don't think Wildcard is saying they don't work.
@FaheemMitha I don't either.
6:39 PM
@JeffSchaller Kind of hard without an actual example.
@FaheemMitha I'm misunderstanding you, probably. I meant that Wildcard et al could mock up this shared document as that example
@Wildcard The US medical system is, well, let's just call it deeply flawed. No argument there.
Also, @wildcard may or may not be interested in a RadioLab episode relating to the death penalty (the drug used in most of them seems related to the current conversation): wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolabmoreperfect/episodes/…
@terdon that's less of a problem than you think, actually. There are no vaccines that have been tested in a double-blind placebo based study, either for effectiveness or safety. All the so-called safety testing is done in comparison to earlier vaccines, and the original earlier vaccines were never safety tested either.
@JeffSchaller I don't follow. You mean write LaTeX to create the document he wants?
6:41 PM
We have diabetics dying in the year 2019 because they can't afford their insulin! That's just insane!
@terdon In the United States?
@FaheemMitha I thought one of the goals was to find a LaTeX replacement for his proprietary generator
@FaheemMitha Yep
@terdon while on the flip side, fully vaccinated populations have been affected by e.g. measles outbreaks. So it's not the unvaccinated causing health issues.
@JeffSchaller Right. But if Wildcard is doing it, what does everyone else do?
6:42 PM
Thank you for sharing your experience @FaheemMitha; I agree that such poor job is done.
@JohnDoea Sorry, missing context. Poor job?
@Wildcard That doesn't follow. That A can happen without B doesn't imply that B doesn't cause A.
@FaheemMitha sorry, maybe I'm mushing things together. Step 1: generate an example result (by hand). Step 2: work on creating LaTeX that generates that result
But really, as someone who has used TeX a fair amount, it's probably not that hard.
@JeffSchaller Oh, by hand. You mean like a text emulation?
Step 1 could just be that Lorem Ipsum text, or dates, or whatever
6:43 PM
@FaheemMitha the poor job being done by many western doctors in diagnosing treating neuromusculoskeletal problems, in many occasions...
@terdon that's fair. And yet...the vaccine schedule in the U.S. has exploded (huge numbers of vaccines being given to children) exactly date coincident with legal liability being removed. We now give more vaccines to children than any other country, and we have higher levels of chronic disease among children than ever.
@JohnDoea Oh, that. Yes. Well, western medicine is fairly good at slash and burn. And certainly things like basic hygiene (and, dare I say it, vaccines), have dramatically improved public heath, reduced child mortality etc. But it's fairly useless at more subtle and refined issues.
@JohnDoea Again, I recommend yoga. Though it's hard to do alone, effectively. Try to find a class.
@FaheemMitha I mean hand-drawn boxes and lists and tables to indicate the relative formatting rules
@JeffSchaller Right. That sounds reasonable.
@JohnDoea I recommend the book "Pain Free" by Pete Egoscue. I know more than one person who has successfully avoided the need for surgery through using that book, and I have alleviated acute pain with the techniques more than once.
6:46 PM
But he could just post that on TeX SE and probably someone would come up with the code in like 20 min.
@Wildcard Again, there's no way to generalize these things and that's part of the problem. I don't doubt that pharma companies are doing shady shit, that's par for the course. My problem is the very real public health dangers of blaming vaccines instead of the specific companies that may have done something shady.
And people who don't vaccinate their children are a danger to themselves and their children. I say this as a professional of the health sciences (I'm a biologist, not a doctor).
But I do understand enough of the theory behind vaccines to know that there is nothing to debate about the general idea. The specific implementations can always have problems, I don't know enough to opine on that.
@terdon that sort of makes sense to me, but on the other hand, there is such a propaganda push that "vaccines are holy and beyond question" that it literally creates cognitive dissonance. To listen to the media, vaccine manufacturers can literally do no wrong, and the safety and effectiveness of their products is entirely beyond question.
@Wildcard I guess. I haven't been exposed to it. It's just that the basic concept of a developed nation rejecting vaccines is terrifying. So I'm not surprised there's a strong push against that.
@terdon frankly, the terror you feel about that is probably an outgrowth of the same propaganda push. I understand where you're coming from, I just don't agree.
@terdon the trick is that those specific implementation problems are not up for debate when vaccines are mandated by law.
6:52 PM
@Wildcard No, it really isn't. It comes from years of studying biology and learning how diseases and disease prevention work.
In public institutions, by the way, where pretty much everyone hated pharma companies.
@terdon example: under a law just passed in California, a family with four kids, three of whom have gotten epilepsy or even died as a result of vaccines, would not be able to get a medical exemption from vaccines for the fourth kid.
@Wildcard and then on the opposite end are those people who read on the internet that vaccines cause autism, and don't give their children even those vaccinations that have been used for ages with minimal issues. All of that seems par for the course for these ages. Whatever the subject, everything seems to get easily polarized...
@Wildcard The thing is, they didn't get epilepsy from vaccines. Death, maybe, in the case of an extreme allergic reaction, but epilepsy?
@terdon epilepsy was my addition there. But yeah, take death, or one of the more obscure medical conditions that I don't recall offhand.
@ilkkachu definitely true about things being polarized.
@Wildcard If a child had an allergic reaction, I'm pretty sure they can get an exemption.
6:56 PM
@terdon nope, not under California law.
I'd have to look that up. But anyway, I'm sorry, I am very interested in this, but I just don't have the energy to get into a proper discussion right now. My bad for joining, I know :/
And yes, I am certain of my facts on that one. (I live here, after all.)
Could we take a rain check please?
@terdon sure, no problem. :)
@terdon again, the link I'll point to is: childrenshealthdefense.org/news/…
Thanks :) I've spent most of the last month engaged in various debates, my energy levels are low...
6:58 PM
There was that case about flu vaccinations allegedly causing narcolepsy up here some years back. Apparently they did end up with the conclusion that the vaccine had something to do with it, and there's an article about the differences between that vaccine and another similar one that didn't cause issues.
@ilkkachu you may find the section of the article about autism very interesting. It gets down to brass tacks on exactly what has and hasn't been shown by science. The blanket statement repeated by the media that "vaccines don't cause autism," full stop, is not based in science. Some vaccines do cause autism in some people.
(And that's not just repeated by the media, it's also propagated by the CDC.)
@Wildcard whoa, ok.
Vaccines are obviously not without risk. I mean, just think about one is actually doing. Deliberately infecting people.
But one trusts to medical competence that the benefits outweigh the possible harm. Which is why revelations of fraud etc are so damaging.
Like when a bank collapses. You're supposed to be able to trust banks.
(Not a theoretical example.)
@FaheemMitha exactly. The only thing that makes vaccines ever a good idea is proper application of science and testing in their development. Leave that out, and add conflicts of interest and financial corruption, and you are left with nothing defensible at all. Which is, sad to say, the state of vaccines today, at least in the U.S. (and possibly elsewhere).
@Wildcard I don't know the vaccine situation in India, but I wouldn't bet on it being good.
7:03 PM
but yeah, if the unwanted effects of vaccines or other medications aren't studied, that's a big problem, and yes, it'll fuel the paranoia
@JeffSchaller I love that idea.
Actually, one of the people who work for me got his baby vaccinated recently. I paid for it. And went to one of the sessions.
The doctor gave him a sort of checklist. Give him these shots at this age.
Obviously, I had a bunch of questions for the doctor.
but I still can't help feeling happy about stuff like smallpox being dead and gone because of vaccines. Even if the vaccine had given me a minimal risk of getting autistic. (Heck, maybe it did just that, that would explain things </s>)
@ilkkachu yeah. So, prior to 1986, autism in the U.S. was 1 person in 2500. Today it's 1 out of 36. The CDC doesn't even pretend to be studying why this is happening.
are there any statistics on it from other countries?
not that those in itself would tell anything
7:07 PM
@Wildcard Is that really measurable? It's a spectrum thing, for one.
@ilkkachu yeah, so, that's one of the things that I haven't formed a solid opinion on because I don't know for a fact personally. However, I have read about an alternate explanation for the eradication of smallpox that is at least interesting. A possibly incomplete summary: smallpox was already on the decline, primarily due to vast improvements in hygiene, and the vaccine had little to do with it.
and since it is, the other thing that comes to mind is changes in diagnosing it.
I mean, it's like measuring how many people are mentally ill. How would one even start to determine that?
Not claiming that as a fact, just that there is a possible alternate explanation.
@FaheemMitha you'd have to start by defining "mental illness" as something other than "possible source of income for Big Pharma." ;)
@ilkkachu That claim (the link between vaccines and autism) is based on a single, fraudulent paper by one scientist published 10 or 20 years ago in the Lancet. It has since been thoroughly debunked but for some reason I don't know was recently revived and is being used as an argument against vaccines.
7:09 PM
@ilkkachu yeah, there's a lot of possible causes and a lot of facts that could be looked at. The point is, the CDC isn't doing any of that.
That claim, however, is one that is really based on no evidence whatsoever.
heck, IIRC, stuff like depression is diagnosed more than before, but is it because there's something that's causing people to feel worse, or because it just gets talked about more so people feel more free to admit they have issues. again, effed if I know, and might be both.
Dammit, I can't help it!
@terdon take a look at the "vaccines and autism" section of the article, check out the sources: childrenshealthdefense.org/news/…
@terdon :D
@ilkkachu yeah, that's another subject entirely from my perspective. And also ties into overreach by Big Pharma. But whatever.
@terdon Go away and take a cold shower or something.
7:11 PM
I probably should. Bye!
terdon has stepped down away
@JeffSchaller so, could you throw out a link? Google docs? I'm not sure how to set that up.
I was going to say he can't, there are people wrong on the Internet ;)
If you mean the LaTeX thing, there are better sites than Google Doc.
But I think I said that already.
@Wildcard I was just opening up a blank document. I assume you'd need a Google account in order for me to grant r/w access. I was going to populate with a SWAG from your TeX post
7:12 PM
@JeffSchaller SWAG?
(But I feel I'm being ignored...)
@Wildcard sophisticated wild-ass guess
@FaheemMitha ah, missed that before.
@FaheemMitha I googled it after you mentioned it, but I found LaTeX collaboration sites; was that your intention?
(My intention is for a WYSIWYG end-result collab)
@JeffSchaller Right, LaTeX collaboration sites.
7:13 PM
@FaheemMitha we're talking about roughly sketching out an approximation of the desired end result, using whatever program, which we can then try to replicate with LaTeX.
@FaheemMitha right, I imagine that to be useful in stage 2 :)
You can still have a hand drawn ascii thingy in the LaTeX file. Just comment it out.
(I'm still trying to assimilate that my first idea was decent)
No reason to split it over two documents.
@JeffSchaller I do have a Google account. Not sure how I feel about posting it here though.
7:14 PM
Remember, kids, with TeX you can have comments right there in your document!
And it's all FREE!!
@Wildcard and I'm a google sharing amateur. I might try to create something and see if you can request access off-site
@FaheemMitha LOL
@FaheemMitha on that note, I'd like to see Krita and Inkscape see a lot more use in school art programs (both in early school and college/university).
@Wildcard 1. can you get to this google doc link, and more importantly, do you see any way to request r/w access? It's readonly at the moment.
latex is too hot for me
@Wildcard One could say the same about a long of free software.
Apparently even TeX isn't that hard for people to pick up. Just don't tell them it's hard.
7:16 PM
and it really chaffes
lol! An "Anonymous Unicorn" is browsing it
@JeffSchaller requested.
Have you guys tried Overleaf?
Google must come up with random animals
Never mind, Overleaf wants money for collaboration.
The free account says "Only one collaborator"
I'm not sure if that means two people overall.
Can one collaborate with oneself?
7:19 PM
@FaheemMitha Not without drugs or mental illness I think
@Wildcard ahhh! It sent me an email. Thanks for indicating who you were :)
@JeffSchaller is he a random unicorn?
If you just want a collab document thing, then Etherpad is pretty reasonable.
@Jesse_b aren't we all
@FaheemMitha sure, if you imagine it from the perspective of a "cloud hosted" service. So you can work on it from home or the office or the coffee shop. Lots of collaboration with yourself :)
heey, Etherpad might be just what I need for a certain $TASK
how much of a pain is it to install?
7:24 PM
@ilkkachu It used to be very painful, but now it's mostly JS, I think. But you can use it in the cloud.
@ilkkachu does TASK contain whitespace?
@Jesse_b possibly, but I don't do word-splitting.
@ilkkachu let it be said. :p
actually, a spreadsheet-like thingy would be better, and apparently there's Ethercalc.
@FaheemMitha yeah. the point is that I can't use other people's computers here (and isn't that what the cloud is an euphemism for? :)
actually, there's now the problem that I have a solution, so now I'd need the time and energy to implement it. :D
2 hours later…
9:43 PM
I tested out that epoch calculator today and it may go into use soon lol
even more boring: asciinema.org/a/…
10:19 PM
interestingly you can actually fiddle with that formula a bit and it doesn't seem to affect it's reliability :s

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