December 3rd, 2011

#3081: Nephew's here and I've got perhaps 20 min to post.

We've got a pretty full day ahead of us, part of which includes building a potato cannon. Hehhehhehheh....

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But the only things I saw during the morning surf that caught my attention sufficiently to inspire comment are two posts from Vox Day, so let's do that first:

Defending yourself from a bully? Why, that's sexual harassment! If the bully is choking you and you give him a swift kick to the gnardinos, you are sexually harassing that poor victim and YOU DESERVE TO BE DESTROYED!!!!

Yes: kicking someone in the nuts because he is choking you is "inappropriate touching". No word on the appropriateness of choking long, that is, as you're not choking his chicken.

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Is the preventative worse than the disease?

I am all for vaccinating people against serious disease. Polio, smallpox, measels, whooping cough, pertussis; there are a lot of virii out there which--if they don't manage to kill you--will still screw you up, permanently. Smallpox was the original vaccine, and it was necessary because it's really deadly.

The flu? Not so much.

Look: when you get a particularly virulent strain of the flu (such as the one of the 1917 epidemic) that is a good time to be vaccinated against the flu. But for the garden variety flu that comes around every year? If you're otherwise healthy (not elderly or immune-compromised) the vaccine is potentially more dangerous than the disease.

I categorically refuse to be vaccinated against any disease that will merely inconvenience me for a week.

It's not just the risk of side effects, either. The other thing is, we've only known how to make vaccines for a few decades. We have no idea what effect they have on the human immune system, long-term. You vaccinate against polio and smallpox because those can kill you, and spread to others in the process; the short-term benefit far outweighs the potential (and so far unknown) long-term liabilities.

Example: the recent epidemic of peanut allergies. Okay, when I was in grade school everyone ate peanut butter and kids with serious allergies were rare. These days, everyone's allergic to something--like, "I have to carry an EpiPen" allergic!--and we don't know why.

Some of it is better observation and detection, but not all of it.

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Despite sleeping 3 hrs in 20 yesterday, I did not sleep well last night. But I slept better last night than the prior one!

Okay, time to get moving.