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dhex
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« on: October 26, 2009, 09:17:16 AM »

http://www.wnyc.org/news/articles/143118

spread from an orthodox kid who went to the uk, where anti-vaccination routines have been a much larger deal than the states. however, park slope is a big hotbed of the more common anti-vaccination type in nyc - high income, liberal arts educated folk who fear autism or are otherwise engaged in a "it's not natural" mindset. it's unfortunate, and something i'm obviously more concerned about, but we thankfully haven't had a serious outbreak in that community yet.

one of my working thoughts on this is that if you have highly verbal, liberal arts focused folk, the spectre of autism is particularly frightening because if you're focused on verbal communications as a signpost of intelligence or "smartness", any diminishing of that capacity is something to be uniquely feared.
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dhex
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 07:17:47 PM »

bryan caplan talks about the "cost" of fallacious beliefs in his books and essays. it's a metaphor i've stolen, because it works very well:

for example, creationism is a low-cost belief. if you're a creationist, even a young earther, chances are you will still avail yourself of antibiotics. there's no real intersection between your beliefs and your important subsistence choices.

similarly, ten or twenty years ago, being anti-vaccinationist was also low-cost, because you were likely the only one on your block who believed so. you and your children benefited from herd immunity. however, as the belief in anti-vaccination routines rises, and especially as it's clustered in communities like park slope, etc, the cost of this belief will rise as outbreaks become more likely and their effects more devastating.

if these outbreaks got worse, or there was a special event related to it - a prominent person's child died from a preventable childhood disease, or a prominent anti-vaccinationist had a similar tragic event - the cost of the belief will rise. the belief has already inflicted some cost on people in new york state, for example:

http://www.health.state.ny.us/regulations/public_health_law/section/2112/information_for_physicians/pregnant_women.htm

http://www.health.state.ny.us/regulations/public_health_law/section/2112/information_for_physicians/children_less_than_three.htm

it is actually illegal to give it to pregnant women as well, which makes it harder (at this initial stage) for me to get a dose for liz, for example. their beliefs have inflicted a cost on us, despite this mechanism being completely invisible to those holding the belief.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 07:24:08 PM by dhex » Logged
dhex
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009, 07:29:53 PM »

another part of this is that there won't be a lot of media pressure immediately against this view. the people who made jesus camp, for example, aren't going to make "anti-vaccination camp" or some kind of agit-prop showing how scary and irrational the anti-vaccination folk are.

1) there wouldn't be much of a market for it.

and

2) it's likely that many filmmakers, etc, are going to be sympathetic to this view.

http://www.slate.com/id/2217798/


if you think of it as "creationism for the npr set", it makes sense.

this isn't even getting into the chelation therapy to cure autism stuff. that's another stew for someone else to cook.
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isfet
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2009, 11:49:43 AM »

i know what you're basically saying when you say "npr set," but interestingly enough, NPR has spent a good amount of the past few days discussing/debunking myths behind vaccines, and basically just trying to tell people "your kids won't be autistic, ok?"

but you're right; it does appear that this is an idea being adopted by people who would ordinarily view themselves as "rational" and "intellectual."

as for the pregnant thing, i seem to recall that on the radio, they mentioned that the vaccine was actually safe for women who were pregnant.  i assumed that meant it was legal?
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Fitz
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2009, 01:58:59 PM »

Worth a read

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/10/ff_waronscience/

The Vaccine issue, which fuses together a lot of past century hysteria re-warmed over and a lot of Lefty Intellectual types with distrust of science, reminds me a lot of when the Christian Right and the Radical Feminists got together to try and censor pornography.

I'd love to see "anti-vaccination camp." There are very few things as powerful as seeing the people behind ideas talk about them.


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scratchmonkey
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2009, 02:13:55 PM »

I just finished reading that when you posted it -- good article, although I think saying that this "isn't religious" early on kind of muddies things. Yes, it isn't associated with an existing religion; it definitely involves magical thinking and the allurement of the tribal group that's pretty similar to how religions operate, it just happens to be a religion of the liberal arts variety.

As me and my wife are about to have a kid, we had to have this conversation, which thankfully was very short as we're both of the same mind, which is that we don't want our kid to die horribly from something that can be easily preventable. I was interested to note that when we went in to Berkeley Pediatrics to interview the guy who would wind up being our pediatrician, that they were gently pushing that you really have to vaccinate your kid. I was kind of worried, given that Berkeley can be Park Slope West, that they would be wishy-washy about it. Instead, they were very firm in a non-judgmental way.
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FortNinety
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2009, 02:27:29 PM »

Not to change the subject, but still somewhat related: so what's everyone's take on the Swine Flu vaccine?
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dhex
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2009, 02:54:05 PM »

i wish it was more widely available. i'll be (hopefully) getting a dose as a high-risk designee (caretaker of pregnant women and children under six months of age) due to shortages.

our pediatrician was notably relieved when my wife asked about vaccines (in the context of "you're not a fucking nutbag, right?)

joe: good point. i'm using "npr set" as a descriptive term of the set, not npr. npr is not loony (just oftentimes boring).
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Fitz
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« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2009, 06:05:51 PM »

Not to change the subject, but still somewhat related: so what's everyone's take on the Swine Flu vaccine?

Same as my feelings on most Flu vaccines: best given to people under 18 years of age and over 50 unless they are at a high-risk of exposure, dealing with certain care-giving issues or have chronic immune conditions.



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FortNinety
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« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2009, 06:52:20 PM »

Hence why I'm skipping mine. Sorry if that makes me some kind of left wing loony. Though depending one what happens to be me, career-wise, in the next few months, might take the shot. Meaning if I find myself taking care of the young or elderly or something like that.

Also, isn't it widely available at the moment? You can get it at pretty much every drug store in my neighborhood.
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scratchmonkey
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« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2009, 07:09:40 PM »

The seasonal flu vaccine is widely available right now; the H1N1 vaccine is what's in short supply.
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dhex
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2009, 07:20:56 PM »

h1n1 and seasonal flu are two different vaccines. so far there's an h1n1 shortage, while the seasonal flu is easier to come by, which is probably what's generally available. at this point the state has abandoned it's nov 30th deadline for healthcare workers to get a mandatory flu vaccine shot due to overall shortages. (as well as some possible lawsuits from one of the two the nurses unions)

Quote
as for the pregnant thing, i seem to recall that on the radio, they mentioned that the vaccine was actually safe for women who were pregnant.  i assumed that meant it was legal?

i skipped this before by accident, but the nys law deals with vaccines with thimerisol in them. it was only adopted last summer, and runs contrary to cdc guidelines and common sense. (because the demos is retarded and listens to jenny mccarthy.)
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FortNinety
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« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2009, 07:42:19 PM »

The flu shots around here have been heavily advertised as being effective against the swine flu. So are they just stupid or flat out lying? Knowing my neighborhood, I'd say yes to both counts.
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dhex
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2009, 11:57:22 PM »

each shot is engineered against the specific strains involved. so unless they're giving out h1n1 shots, they're lying.
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scratchmonkey
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2009, 02:46:35 AM »

I vaguely remember somebody saying on the radio that the U.S. gubbmint has actually bought all of the H1N1 shots, so if it's somebody offering them for sale, it's just a regular seasonal flu vaccine, which wouldn't help you with the swine flu at all.

(Although, and they're probably using this to justify their pitch, since we're talking different strains, it would be possible to get them both at once, which would truly suck. So getting a seasonal flu shot would "help" in a sense.)
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