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The Rite of Reply

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On Wed 4 Nov at 2:45pm Tom Pain wrote:
@ Twy Stimes. You'll have to ask Webbo.
@ Dreamer. Without delving into the arcane mysteries of science of which you are obviously the undisputed expert, I can only offer the reply of common sense. As I said, but you perhaps didn't notice; if the virus can get in the mask, it can obviously get out. Water can pass through either side of a net and past it's edges. It seems odd to me that such a brilliant mind as Dr. Fauci needed the inexorable march of Science to change his opinion on such a basic observation. Perhaps he was thinking more of his considerable investments than the science and, seeing as how science can reverse its course so suddenly, it may do so again tomorrow.
There's a clever chap called Ivor Cummins who has a mind for statistics as acute as yours on YouTube Nov 3, "Crucial viral uptake critique of data sending UK into lockdown meltdown". It looks as though those Tories are cherry picking the statistics for their own capitalistic ends. You might be interested. Oh yes, could you bear to lighten the weary condescension a tad? It's becoming a bit of a bore.
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On Wed 4 Nov at 7:03pm Dreamer wrote:
When you stop claiming nonsense that has been disproven dozens of time, I will stop correcting you and pointing out why you are wrong (the bit you feel is condescending).
Your mask statements are yet again a demonstration that you simply can't be bothered to read the studies on topics you feel you can simply apply "common sense" to. Study after study, all using different methods, have repeatedly shown the effectiveness of basic face masks in containing virus containing aerosol and particles.
Limit yourself to making statements you can support with actual evidence and learn the basic terminology of what you are discussing and I will happily stop calling out you untruths, misinformation and lies.
And once again: Blog posts, random contextless quotes from the PM and YouTube videos (even when they are made by The Fat Emperor, who appears your current infatuation) are not scientific studies or evidence.
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On Wed 4 Nov at 11:44pm Tom Pain wrote:
Who is the fat emperor? Is he related to Minnesota Fats the rumoured sire of soul sensation Etta James? I thought not. For vague generalisations you're rivalling climate change itself. Pot/Kettle? What I don't understand is, what iron you've got in the fire to go along with this farce. What motive do you have for wishing to see the economy, and thus the regular supply of food, destroyed? Austerity means bare survival - existing, not flourishing. Does the ideology you support have your interests at heart?
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On Thu 5 Nov at 8:36am Mister_D wrote:
@Tom Paine Just wear the mask please. We'd all quite like to make it through this winter.
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On Thu 5 Nov at 12:59pm Tom Pain wrote:
I do wear wear one if asked to in the full knowledge that they are utterly useless and that what they spuriously protect me from is not a serious disease. I also wear a hat at all times when in public to cover my horns, lest the natives become nervous.
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On Thu 5 Nov at 4:34pm Mister_D wrote:
@Tom Paine. I'm unsure if you're just trolling here, but "not a serious disease"?. I don't know if you check in with the news now and then? I shouldn't really have to say this, but you're wrong on two counts here: they're far from useless and their primary purpose is not to protect you, it's to protect us from you. And you shouldn't need to be asked - presumably you're not a child, the onus is on you to wear one. And no, you're not striking any kind of blow for liberty.
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On Thu 5 Nov at 5:04pm Mister_D wrote:
Wait a minute, are there only 4 people left on this forum? Lol, haven't checked here for a year at least. At least your ridiculous views aren't reaching a wide audience. Or any audience.
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On Thu 5 Nov at 5:20pm Basil wrote:
What the Lancet has to say is interesting: 'At the beginning of the pandemic, many experts advised against the use of facemasks by the public due to a sense that their potential risks, such as self-contamination, could outweigh the potential benefits, and that public use would lead to depletion of the supply needed for health-care workers. Experts then shifted their thinking about potential benefits of masks to include protecting others against infection with SARS-CoV-2 (source control), similar to how surgical masks in the operating room protect patients. However, self-protection is the main reason why infection prevention and control experts recommend health-care workers to wear a facemask when entering a patient's room who may have a viral respiratory infection. With COVID-19, however, facemasks might be beneficial for protection of both health-care workers and the public.'
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On Thu 5 Nov at 5:55pm Ferret wrote:
A point of information: Tom Pain is a self-confessed troll. Best not to respond to anything that he writes. He thrives on responses. His anti-lockdown pandemic denial is dangerous misinformation. Webbo should close him down.
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On Thu 5 Nov at 6:47pm Dreamer wrote:
The Fat Emperor was what your dear a friend Ivor Cummins goes by on his blog, etc. You don't really do much research on the folks whose hogwash you parrot, do you?
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On Thu 5 Nov at 7:01pm Dreamer wrote:
Regarding the stake I have in this: stopping the spread of misinformation and lies by people like yourself.
Why do I see that as so important? Because the nonsense folk like you spread is what undermines reasonable first line defenses against a pandemic and that leads to lockdowns.
Don't be silly and try to claim I support lockdowns as primary response or damaging the economy in any way.
Quite the contrary, I am a strong supporter of a proper response that stops the spread and saves the economy. As I have proven repeatedly using a large selection of evidence: countries that respond efficiently do both.
My thoughts and opinions on that are documented repeatedly right here in thus forum. That you ignore that and try to paint me as something I am not... Well, that just fits with your selfish anti-fact mentality and behaviour.
And if you invested just five minutes of actual literature research (rather than confusing water with microdroplets when you apply your common sense or resorting to blogs), you would find a wealth of information confirming the efficiency of mask wearing in stopping the spread. But I appreciate you don't want to do that. You made up your mind long ago (based on a complete lack of knowledge as you happily demonstrate again and again). And refuse to see or hear anything that might challenge that view. Far from being the critical thinker you claim to be. And to what end? So you can justify being selfish and not wearing a mask.
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On Thu 5 Nov at 7:16pm Dreamer wrote:
Basil... Thanks for that Lancet quote. The change in messaging regarding mask usage was interesting to see. I was suprised how long the move to accepting the idea of source control took (I also started from the same point as described in that quote). All the more as countries in East Asia have long been showing us the efficiency.
 
 
On Thu 5 Nov at 7:19pm Tom Pain wrote:
Thank you for those kind words ferrete.It sounds as if your leave hasn't improved your tolerance levels,but I have to admit your consistency, you still oppose free speech.I hear from the Tom Paine society that various Ms have been discovered in Bull House and the Rights of Man was really the Rights of Government. The printer, a champion of human freedom had surreptitiously changed the wording. So now you Tom Paineacs can rest easy you still have his imprimatur. Basil, I think there's a little difference between a surgical mask and a paper or cloth one,say like between a moped and a Ferrari.
Haven't any of you picked up on what NHS whistleblowers are saying or the thousands of doctors who are risking, indeed losing their jobs to speak out?
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On Thu 5 Nov at 9:10pm Mister_D wrote:
@Tom Paine: resorted to the laudanum? Just wear a mask please, without being asked. Or at least put a sock in it.
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On Fri 6 Nov at 1:13pm IDM wrote:
TP, not a serious disease? I doubt whether the friends and family of around the 48,000 now unable to post here would agree.
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On Fri 6 Nov at 1:44pm IDM wrote:
Dreamer, 8-04, 25 Oct, (Political disease). Belgium has a high reported death rate because they don't count in the same way. For example, if two in a care home test positive and die, they are Covid deaths. But if ten in the same care home die within a few days of Covid symptoms, they are counted as well, even if untested. We only count if Covid is on the death certificate (less likely if not tested).
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On Fri 6 Nov at 5:54pm Dreamer wrote:
IDM, indeed. That is why "excess deaths" is the closest thing to a reliable measure for fatalities.
My reference to Belgium in that thread was regarding the dire hospital and ICU situation.
 
 
On Sat 7 Nov at 9:46pm Tom Pain wrote:
I've got my information from Sebastian Rushworth MD- How accurate are the covid tests?
Dr Rushworth clearly explains the meaning of specificity and sensitivity in PCR tests. His figures come from a review of 38 studies.
Sensitivity determined as 88%, Specificity as 94%
If 1 in 10of the population is infected and 1000 people are tested then 100 will have it and 900 won't.Of the 100 infected the test will identify 88
Of the 900 negatives the test will accurately identify 846 as clear but it will tell 54 healthy people they are infected. So 142 out of the1000 will be told they've got it. So 62% of those showing positive have the disease and 38% don't.
Supposing the epidemic is abating and only 1 in 100 is infected. Then out of the 1000 people 10 will be infected and 990 won't.
Of the 10 infected 9 will be correctly diagnosed.
Of the 990 clear 931 will be told they haven't got it.
That leaves 59 clears diagnosed incorrectly as infected.
So only 9 out of the 68 diagnosed as infected actually are.
So when only 1% of the population being tested are infected 87% will be false positives.
So, with one tenth of the population infected yo get142 positives for every 1000 tested. When only one hundredth are infected you get 68 positive results.
So if the actual prevalence of the disease decreases by a factor of ten, the prevalence of PCR positives has only decreased by one half. This will make the disease seem much more prevalent than it really is.
This is a brief summary, if you want more details it is on line, for those with a wish to know.
 
 
On Sun 8 Nov at 9:52am Ferret wrote:
Thank you for the reference. I too found his article very interesting and informative. The gist of it is that the epidemic might not be quite as bad as the positive test results indicate, or it could be worse. The precise sensitivity and specificity of the various PCR tests are not known, resulting in this uncertainty. This does not negate the fact that the epidemic is widespread, increasing and killing thousands. Your learned MD is not trying to prove your argument, so why cite him, unless you have finally accepted the terrible truth. PCR tests are just a tool, a torch shining some light on the progress of the pandemic.
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On Sun 8 Nov at 10:30am IDM wrote:
As a completely irrelevant aside (not unknown here), I must make an abject apology - to parrots. In the flat below, Scraggy knows her own name and "grape" (her favourite food). She can form the proto-sentence "Scraggy grape" which she (and fortunately her owners) understand.
I shall be changing to "mindlessly repeats".
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On Sun 8 Nov at 11:55am Dreamer wrote:
I'm missing a reference to an actually published study (rather than a random blog). The lack of that might be due to Rushworth MD being neither a virologist nor an epidemiologist, let alone trained biostatistician. But I see he also posts about the role of dietary fibres in weight loss (between him and your much loved Ivor "Fat Emperor" Cummins a pattern is emerging, TP).
Let's take a minute to discuss the claims and how they tie in with actually reer reviewed studies: How would you explain the difference to the studies from Drosten's lab and more importantly the "Hong Kong study" which is generally seen as the gold standard by the people who actually work with the underlying technology, TP?
Does this unreviewed metastudy do what many of these ad hoc meta studies do, and throw actual false positives into the same pool as inconclusive (which are explicitly not counted as positives in actual testing settings)? Given that pretty much all published studies find true false positive rates below 1% (unless one throws inconclusive results in with them), that seems like a distinct possibility.
But let's assume that indeed all those actual primary studies are wring: How do you explain the positivity rates below 0.1% seen in numerous countries ( South Korea, Australia, NZ, Vietnam, Japan... to name just a few)?
Can you actually answer any of those questions, or are you yet again parroting things you found on some blog that you don't understand and have failed to put into proper context.
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On Sun 8 Nov at 12:02pm Dreamer wrote:
While I am at it, I wanted to quickly correct a statement I made previously.
I said that the PCR tests used for diagnosing Covid don't pick up other corona viruses. That remains true for all the CoVs typically found in humans (there is no cross reactivity with any of those Covs associated with colds, etc - they are a completely different family of CoVs, with different spikes, etc). But some of the tests will also report positive for SARS-CoV1. So a positive result can mean three things:
1) You are infected with Covid
2) You are infected with SARS
3) Or in roughly 1 of 1000 to 2000 cases you are a false positive.
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On Sun 8 Nov at 12:08pm Dreamer wrote:
Sorry, I am properly slow this morning, as I was celebrating that one of the countries I call home will no longer be run by an anti-fact nutter from January 19 onwards.
I should also note that Rushworth MD didn't adjust the prior, making the following calculations pretty much meaningless (off by a factor of at least ten) , even if the basic assumptions were correct (which I doubt, as they have been repeatedly disproven and don't line up with the extremely low positivity rates seen in numerous countries).
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On Sun 8 Nov at 2:12pm Tom Pain wrote:
The learned MD was certainly not trying to prove anything, just citing studies from the British Medical Journal Evidence Based Medicine, a publication probably more respected in medical circles than the Lewes Forum.
I'm not trying to prove anything either, just citing opinions that are at variance to those repeated endlessly by the media which I have been suspicious of since the Weapons of Mass Destruction lies.
What I did not quote from the good MD's article was the unreliability of PCR results with a Cycle Quantification of over 30 cycles (which are very reliable). The Drosten method you refer to has a CQ of 45 which, if you take heed of Anthony Fauci's comments on This Week in Virology July 16 are meaningless run at 35 cycles or higher. To put it in terms understandable to most - the PCR test can not distinguish whether or not the fragments it reveals are alive and infectious or dead and not so.
I hope this clarifies things somewhat for open minded readers unfamiliar with medical jargon.
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On Sun 8 Nov at 3:09pm Dreamer wrote:
You still have not provided an actual reference and avoided addressing of the "sanity check" questions I raised.
Let me do that for you: Matheeussen et al. Eurosurveillance, 2020. Full blinded study examining numerous different Covid tests and performed by the labs doing the day to day testing. Just to be clear: this is the absolute hold standard for this type of study. Out of 521 known negative samples 3 gave a positive result.
That number lines up extremely well with the lowest positivity rates seen in numerous countries.
And the "Live vs dead" fragments is a complete red herring. RNA is unstable to a level that causes daily pain to people working with it. The only way for there to be "dead" fragments of viral RNA anywhere, is if there was recently live virus present. This is both textbook knowledge (which you clearly do not have) and has been discussed in numerous papers over the past months. Simply put: for RNA to be present a person has to have been infected recently. It is irrelevant if the viral sample is still infectious.
I appreciate none of this matters to anti-fact people like yourself.
And even if the false positive rates were much higher (and South Korea, Japan, Australia, NZ and others all lying about their tests - the only way your claims line up with their test results), those rates would be stable and not explain the massive rise in positivity rates. Nor would it explain the massive rise in hospitalization rates.
And before you claim hospitalization rates are due to "flu season" - that would be a very early flu season and there is hardly any flu circulating (confirmed with your much loathed PCR tests).
I send by my previously repeated statement: you lack the knowledge and experience to judge the veracity of any of the claims you make. You simply echo baseless accusations you picked up on random blogs. Until you bother to learn the basics of the topics you are trying to debate and actually provide evidence in the form of primary research, you need to accept you aren't a critical thinker at all. You are a parrot (with apologies to Scraggy).
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On Mon 9 Nov at 2:51pm Tom Pain wrote:
If the BMJ evidence etc. isn't a ref. I don't know what is. Sanity check? What nonsense is that? There's loads of statistics out there, it's pointless arguing about it. There are different opinions as to what they mean. You're quite welcome to yours, I'm just giving a different take, live with it. Chuck the parrot stuff, I've already used that one up, think up something new. Oh yes, have you any idea why Public Health England are no longer reporting flu statistics? It seems obvious to me but it would be interesting to see what you think. You did ask why I don't answer all your questions, maybe it's the same reason you duck all of mine!
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On Mon 9 Nov at 7:22pm Dreamer wrote:
Let me translate that TP:
You are unable to bring your perceived evidence into alignment with neither the only study that systematically analysed sensitivity and accuracy of the range of currently used PCR tests (reference see above) nor the extremely low positivity rates found in over half a dozen countries, which are an order of magnitude below the false positive rate you claim.
You'd prefer not arguing about that but expect others to accept your interpretation of a blog post that interprets a metastudy, of which you still don't understand the basics. And that is the problem: you don't understand the analysis or methodology (as you prove to everyone here again and again).
You claim that PHE isn't reporting influenza statistics, even though a simple search on their website shows everyone that they are indeed monitoring it. It is a weekly updated report, very informative, as it is every year. But this year it is bring combined with Covid reporting, and monitoring of numerous other respiratory infections. You should read it. It is insightful.
As to parrots: I agree you used it before, but as with do many other terms you misapplied it.
I admit that I was surprised to hear you appear to not be impressed with Dubya's WMD stunt back in 2003. It surprises me, as the similarities to your current behaviour are striking: like Bush, you have this notion of what is correct. You then hunt for low quality evidence (blog posts, youtube clips, PM quotes) and use that to justify why you will stick to your opinion in the face of all evidence to the counter.
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On Mon 9 Nov at 7:42pm Dreamer wrote:
Sanity checking... Apologies, I thought that was a more commonly used term. Possibly it is jargony. Ultimately it simply means quickly checking a hypothesis to see if it stands up against even the most basic scrutiny.
For example, if your hypothesis is that a test has a false positive rate of over 2%, that hypothesis can be quickly checked by seeing what the lowest reported positivity rates are. Clearly, the false positives are the lowest possible value. If lower positivity rates are reported, then something is wrong. If multiple countries in independent test series report lower positivity rates, it is highly likely that the false positive rate is lower than the initially assumed value
So, looking at South Korea, where in April over 2000 negative test results were found for each positive one, that is a positivity rate of under 0.05%. Alone that would be suspicious, but when you see that numerous other countries achieve similarly low levels, anyone following Scientific method would reject the initial hypothesis.
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On Mon 9 Nov at 7:57pm Dreamer wrote:
As to the BMJ Evidence Based Medicine meta study you keep mentioning: did you actually read it, TP? It pools data available by early May. It correctly laments the lack of systematic studies. The authors the present their results and conclude that there is a huge level of uncertainty and further, targeted and systematic studies are required. The Eurosurveillance study I cited is exactly that and the results of that study were not available for the BMJ EBM study.
It would be odd to accept the conclusion of the EMB study ("systematic studies are needed") but then reject the result of exactly those studies.
Again: someone who wants to expand their understanding takes new evidence into consideration. Someone who just wants to be fundamentally opposed to whatever the majority thinks...
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On Mon 9 Nov at 10:02pm Tom Pain wrote:
Evade the issue all you like ,Fauci, have you heard of him? said PCR results are meaningless when carried out over 35 cycles. With your vast hands on experience of them, how can you possibly give any credence to the Drosten tests which have 40? Expand your understanding.
 
 
On Tue 10 Nov at 10:07am Ferret wrote:
My understanding of Fauci's comments is that he didn't suggest that a positive result above 35 cycles didn't mean that the result was a false positive, but simply that if you needed more than 35 cycles to detect the virus, the person's infection level was so low that they were not going to be ill, or infectious. In that way there was no need to go beyond 35 cycles. He may have been proved wrong subsequently. Definitive answers to many questions may take years of research to be arrived at. So once again, the pandemic may not be as bad as the testing results say it is, or it may be worse. People are still dying prematurely because of it.
 
 
On Tue 10 Nov at 3:17pm Ferret wrote:
Apologies for the double negative in my first sentence. it should have read "he didn't suggest that a positive result above 35 cycles meant that the result was a false positive". I hope that makes sense now.
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On Tue 10 Nov at 7:29pm Dreamer wrote:
Ferret, I don't believe providing context and background will help or indeed be acknowledged.
TP has made up his mind, his world is black and white, and anything that doesn't fit into his picture of the world is wrong.
Details such as facts, or his continously demonstrated lack of understanding or knowledge of the relevant subject matter won't get in his way.

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On Tue 10 Nov at 7:37pm Dreamer wrote:
In keeping with my previous post TP, I honestly don't care what you choose to believe (and it is clearly no more than a mystical belief). You have repeatedly shown yourself for what you really are g and it is definitely is not a free thinker.
So by all means believe what you must and spout your lies. I honestly couldn't care.
If I see you, I'll give you a cracker - which I know Polly and you really like.
I will now edit my filter settings on the "Pi Hole" proxy again, removing your posts along with most ads. Because you have the right to say and believe what you will, but I have the right to not see it.
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On Tue 10 Nov at 8:31pm Ferret wrote:
@Dreamer You've done such good work exposing TP's fraudulent nonsense it's a shame to see you go. In fact I don't think you should. There's a battle still to be fought against the anti-vaxxers, of which I am sure that TP is one, in the coming months. Just as the selfish pricks wouldn't wear masks to help protect others, there will be many who refuse the vaccine, and who will encourage others to refuse, again putting lives at risk. After all it's a "plandemic", conjured up to make millions for "big pharma", and Bill Gates in particular!
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On Wed 11 Nov at 11:44am Tom Pain wrote:
It's nice to see you both on such good form, though the personal insults are a tad over the top,even for you. Self righteous indignation is one thing,furry one, but it might be advisable to moderate your language, your punctuation and grammar are excellent but your choice of words does leave something to be desired. Dreamer,well named, how do you pronounce pi hole, I wouldn't like you to fall into the gutter like your esteemed friend, one can't be too careful. I think you should use your hi-tec device, your obvious inability to deal with a diversity of opinion could seriously undermine your health.
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On Fri 13 Nov at 1:30pm Dreamer wrote:
Thanks Ferret. Much appreciated. I'm here and reading along, just not seeing some of the posts.
The discussion with TP had gone pretty much full circle. At some point he was back to spreading myths that had already been debunked here, and cutting and pasting to reply made little sense.
I remember nearly identical discussions back in the mid-90ies. Back then AIDS was all a lie, a conspiracy to destroy Africa, make big pharma rich, test new bio weapons on the World, or some mix of those. In the absence of social media and wider access to the internet it wasn't spread as far and wide. Thus it was limited to the diehard believers and the madness of the argument (the devil himself featured heavily in some of these publications, just as he does in the 'Luciferase tattoo' Blogs today) Was obvious.
Antivaxxers, Flatearthers, The Moon Landing Never Happened, Climate Change Deniers... It's all the same mix: a handful of agitators (they actually know better or simply don't care, and sow discord for their own reasons - Steve Bannon pretty much openly admits that's him), a large number of people who are afraid and deal with threats or change by seeking simplistic answers that let them deny it, and another large, but smaller group of people who have the urgent need to oppose/be antiestablishment no matter what.
A great example for the latter group is seen in Germany: in the 70ies they were aligned with the RAF and anti-nazi, since the late 90ies they are found on the ultra right wing, and now they are swimming with the Plandemic crowd.
All of it is the opposite of enlightenment - the denying of evidence (commonly by people who lack the relevant knowledge to actually judge the evidence). So definitely a battle worth fighting :-)


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