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    • I suppose out of everything you said this is the thing to highlight here. Unlike cancer screenings, and personally deciding when to accept those interventions and treatments, our actions with covid affects everyone else around us. So personal opinions on how we value our freedoms over the last year and a half, how much we value people not getting sick, dying, and the value we individually believe that those last 10 to 15 years of our lives are worth really become irreverent and are just thrown into a melting pot with everyone else's opinion. If you're one of the outliers, you're gonna be pissed, but what can we do about it?
    • Mark - gotcha about the PCR / lat flow tests. As far as I can work out you take a lateral flow test first, and then a PCR test in an attempt to confirm that result? I guess my point is why do we use the rapid tests at all, when they aren't accurate. (Edit: I guess a positive result on a lateral flow makes you 'cautious' and take a PCR, if you didn't bother with the lateral flow at all you might never know that you potentially had the virus... That makes sense now). I think I have also figured out why PCR tests are not being used to end self-isolation, because again they are inaccurate in the case of negative results (false negatives up to 29% - eg. if the first test is negative, in up to 29% of cases repeat testing gives a positive): https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/369/bmj.m1808.full.pdf As far as I can figure out, asymtomatic people will still have the virus 'particles' (for want of a better word) but already have the antigens available to produce the antibodies to prevent the virus from causing harm, hence should still test positive (but then again with no symptoms, I guess you are less likely to go and get tested). Perhaps wrong there!   Interesting point about breast cancer screening. My thoughts around stuff like this are definitely unusual, and my opinion of the medical profession as a whole is gradually decreasing, but I do see that what they do is remarkable and can 'save' lives - inverted commas because I don't believe you can ever 'save' a life, only prolong it, because death is the only certainty that we have. The quality of life that many people experience after serious medical interventions is debatable, so that leads me to question the validity and motives of such processes. Anyway, back to breast cancer... Roundabout story but a few people close to me are definitely seriously affected by what I would call health anxiety - either living their lives bouncing from one test result to another, or have spent considerable time worrying about an 'abnormal' test result, or both. To me, quality of life holds more importance than length of life, so while I appreciate that regular testing (of all sorts) can 'save' lives, what is the cost of that? https://www.komen.org/breast-cancer/screening/mammography/accuracy/  - "After 10 yearly mammograms, the chance of having a false positive is about 50-60 percent" Cervical cancer is another one - regular screening encouraged, but lots of false positives and worried people. The actual percentage of cervical cancer prevalence is hovering around 0.7%, but "A long-term cohort study of 3,406 HPV-negative women who had annual Pap smears for 5 years found a 14.4% rate of false-positive cytology that resulted in unnecessary interventions and treatments" - https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/365059 If people spent their time eating properly and doing exercise instead of having tests and worrying about whatever the results might throw up, would that be better at preventing cancer? Hard to say, but that's what I plan to do - while still being mindful that I will probably get cancer or another life-ending disease at some stage. If I can make as small an impact as realistically possible on the planet until that point, then bugger off and leave the space and resources for someone else to enter the world, then happy days.   I guess the above links back to Covid, in that I think we should just crack on (and have from the start). It is a disease created by nature to remove the weakest of our species, because we are too numerous. It's not going away, and so far the average age of a UK Covid death has been 80.3, with an average life expectancy of 81.3 - we've ruined 18 months' worth of life already so I'd say we're into negative equity with that badboy. The amount of people down the bowls club (yes, I play crown green bowls ) who have completely changed (aged years) since I last saw them, and have said they feel pretty miserable now, is well over half. Bowing out of this thread now...
    • Being anti-vax has extreme connotations linked to it. So I see why people say "I'm not anti-vax but...". I agree with them, they aren't anti-vax. But given the science, if you're not anti-vax, but not taking the covid vaccination (or would any variation of the covid vaccination), you're a hypocrite, not anti-vax.
    • New boosty bus for the longer trips.  335d LCI  Dead happy with it.   
    • Cheers dude Have been impressed by it. Have to follow the upshift hints to get it to around that level which feels weird to do. It's super quiet in the cabin, and they want you to upshift it pretty early - always think it's bogging down, but it seems pretty happy to trundle along at low revs. Totally unrelated, but been listening to a bunch of different podcasts from different providers recently about autonomous cars. I'm not that interested in the technological side of it, the philosophical side has always been interesting, but a few I've listened to recently have been more about the practicalities of it. For example one was where someone hired a Waymo (Google's autonomous vehicle platform) to see what it was like. They decided to do some rudimentary tests in a car park to see how sensitive the sensors were to things being in its way on the road, like throwing a beach ball in front of it. The ultimate test was having someone step out in front of it. He initially ran along side the car and was able to make it alter its speed/course to give him a wide berth, and then naturally, when he stepped out in front of it, it did an emergency stop. Thing is, if they're programmed to stop instantly if someone steps out of it, that means that if you had a fairly high percentage of cars in a city being autonomous, it would be super easy for people to cause gridlock. If you know that cars around are always going to defer to pedestrians out of fear of knocking someone over, there's less incentive to play by the rules. The sensors/radars on cars will obviously be set to be pretty sensitive so if you're in the middle of London (so fairly slow moving traffic anyway), you could just walk out and not really give a shit because if you can see it's an autonomous car, it'll stop for you to avoid an accident. As soon as one person does that then traffic will either stop or significantly slow, meaning more people can then do the same because it effectively becomes safe to do so. It also suggests that it would be super easy to f**k with autonomous vehicles from doing their thing if you were so inclined. An extreme example obviously, but it did make me think about how things will actually play out. Going back to the philosophical side of it, even down to the decision of "who should the car sacrifice" people can't agree. I heard about a study where they polled people about whether an autonomous car should always protect the driver, even if it means sacrificing more people outside of the car, or sacrifice the driver if it protects the greater number of people. The majority said that it should be the latter. However, when asked whether they'd buy a car that sacrificed others to save the driver, or sacrifice the driver to save more lives, they all said the former. Is it up to car makers to decide, or should it be government level?    The concept of insurance also changes pretty significantly too. If you're not actually driving the car, who should insure it for accidents? The company who sells the car? The company who made the software? The company who made the sensors? The owner?  There was an interesting interview I heard with the CEO of Ford where he was saying that they are looking at it being a fundamental shift in the concept of car ownership, where most people in built up areas will never need to own a car again and that instead it'll be like a subscription service where you can just use any car you find, or more akin to the rental scooters that are in a lot of cities now. I can see that happening, but again it poses a lot more questions too...  I guess I'd always assumed that autonomous cars would basically like-for-like replace cars in our lives as they do now (to an extent), but I can't really see how that would be possible, or even if that's really practical.