Categories
Society

Pluralistic ignorance

Bookmarked Pluralistic ignorance by Contributors to Wikimedia projects (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.)

refers to a situation in which the minority position on a given topic is wrongly perceived to be the majority position or where the majority position is wrongly perceived to be the minority position.

When I was little I assumed most people I met were also not religious 😂 I then carried that assumption forward to other geeky people like me, but I finally learned my lesson on this front in my twenties.

Now collectively the US is suffering from this phenomenon wherein Republicans cannot fathom that their views are unpopular and so believe elections are being stolen from them. Of course, no one wants to admit they’re in the wrong, and especially not when it puts them on the losing side, so we face an uphill battle for democracy now they’ve dug in and refuse to believe anything contrary to their belief in their majority, from demographics to clean audits to a complete lack of evidence of wrongdoing.

Categories
Relationships Society

Geek Social Fallacies

Liked Five Geek Social Fallacies by Michael Suileabhain-Wilson (plausiblydeniable.com)

Social fallacies are particularly insidious because they tend to be exaggerated versions of notions that are themselves entirely reasonable and unobjectionable. It’s difficult to debunk the pathological fallacy without seeming to argue against its reasonable form; therefore, once it establishes itself, a social fallacy is extremely difficult to dislodge.

I have definitely encountered Geek Social Fallacies 1, 2 and 5:

  • Anyone who excludes someone is bad, even if the person excluded would make the activity or event worse
  • Friends don’t criticize anything about each other
  • Everyone must be included in everything
Categories
Health

There’s no guarantee COVID will get weaker

Bookmarked Will Covid-19 become less dangerous as it evolves? by Linda Geddes (The Guardian)

Analysis: experts warn that viral evolution is not a one-way street and a continuing fall in virulence cannot be taken for granted

Omicron appears to be less severe than the Alpha or Delta variants – but both of these variants caused more severe illness than the original Wuhan strain. Importantly, viral evolution is not a one-way street: Omicron did not evolve from Delta, and Delta didn’t evolve from Alpha – it is more random and unpredictable than that.

And when we let it spread rampant, seems more likely that there will be more mutations.

When I was a kid playing SimEarth, I thought putting a bunch of radiation everywhere and causing mutations was the coolest. Real life, not so much.

There is a possibility that Omicron is so transmissible that it has hit a ceiling whereby future variants will struggle to outcompete it. But just a few months ago, people were saying the same thing about Delta. Also, Omicron is likely to keep evolving.

It also seems crazy to let it run wild and risk further evolution when we’ve hit the limit of our current vaccine capabilities, and we’ll need to develop a new booster to really protect against Omicron and likely other new strains.

“Smallpox was endemic, polio is endemic, Lassa fever is endemic, and malaria is endemic,” said Stephen Griffin, associate professor of virology at the University of Leeds. “Measles and mumps are endemic, but dependent on vaccination. Endemic does not mean that something loses its teeth at all.”