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Linguists

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"Do you feel like the answer depends on whether you're currently in the hole, versus when you refer to the events later after you get out? Assuming you get out."
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hannahdraper
1 day ago
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Washington, DC
acdha
2 days ago
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Washington, DC
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jlvanderzwan
2 days ago
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Ah, so this is why even the friendliest of programmers can't stop being pedantic?
zippy72
2 days ago
Only because compilers are even worse than linguists. It does something to you.
jlvanderzwan
1 day ago
You got a really good point there, never considered that before
DuskStar
1 day ago
Better a pedantic compiler than one that does different things in different situations for inscrutable reasons. Thanks, undefined C behavior.
zippy72
8 hours ago
As has been pointed out, there are circumstances within the ANSI C standard where it's legal for the compiler to make demons fly out of your nose...
alt_text_bot
3 days ago
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"Do you feel like the answer depends on whether you're currently in the hole, versus when you refer to the events later after you get out? Assuming you get out."

Taiwan

jwz
1 Comment and 7 Shares

10,000 people attended Ultra Taiwan last week:

On November 14, Road to Ultra took place in Taiwan. No social distancing was needed, or any precautions. It sounds extremely unlikely and unreal for that to be the case in 2020, where most of the world is still battling against the pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus, but its true. How?

Taiwan has been Covid-free for over seven months now. With only seven deaths and 550 cases in total between a population of 23 million people who inhabit the island, the way that the government handled the virus is truly admirable. Closing borders early, restricting public transport, evenly distributing masks to everyone and having a strict pandemic protocol is what made the island recover so quickly, and this meant that large-scale events were deemed safe again.

thatalicewu:

A note from abroad: Realizing now that I've been 5 days out of US that many folks back home don't realize how other countries might be living with the 'Rona. Here is what it was like to come to Taiwan. I think we could maybe learn a coupla things...

Upon our plane touching down in TPE, we were immediately placed in two lines: one for folks with a working intl cell phone, one for the rest of us (to buy a very affordable local SIM card.) The government is then able to track us while we are in the country

Once through immigration and baggage, we are required to take govt-approved covid-safe cars to our quarantine hotels. (If you are a local, you can self-isolate at home.) No leaving your room (or home) for 15 days. Not for walks- nothing.

At the hotel: meals are left outside your door three times a day. There is no contact with anyone. Every day, you get a call from the health department asking if you have any symptoms. If so, they will immediately rush you to the hospital for care.

As a sidebar, I have discovered that I am weirdly okay having all my daily living decisions made for me. Have not yet gone crazy confined within four walls. Perhaps I would have made a good housepet.

Never mind about domesticity, after 15 days, you are free to go. For 7 more days, you are required to check your temperature every morning (they actually gift you a thermometer) and someone calls every day to make sure you're okay.

Because most local citizens have voluntarily signed up for contact tracing (and all of us foreigners are required to opt-in) should a case break out, anyone who was in significant contact would be notified, then required to self-isolate for a number of days.

At any point, if you break quarantine - which they can tell by the movements of your phone - you could be fined 10-30k. They are quite serious on this point. Then again, they haven't had a case in 200 days. And everyone has been living their lives freely since February.

A note on contact tracing: I'm no expert, and historically a proponent of privacy, but if you have a credit card, or downloaded any number of apps, it seems "they" already have your info. So in a gosh-darn pandemic: sign up for contact tracing!

Again, not an expert. But again: EVERYONE IN TAIWAN HAS BEEN LIVING THEIR LIVES FREELY SINCE FEBRUARY! I mean yes, people voluntarily wear masks in public places, but otherwise, restaurants, subways, etc are packed. So....

I guess this could have been our lives too? Food for thought...

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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acdha
6 days ago
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JayM
6 days ago
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Atlanta, GA
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mkalus
6 days ago
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Can we stop comparing countries like Taiwan, New Zealand and to a lesser degree Australia and Japan with the rest of the world? If you’re an island with limited ports of entry it is pretty easy to make sure they know who comes and goes. The idea that the same could work on any large landmass is a delusion. Borders are artificial constructs, often with little physical representation.

That does not mean that there are things Taiwan et. al. are doing that we should be doing (e.g. BCs refusal to use the Federal COVID app is one example), but this pie in the sky dreaming about “living the Taiwan life” is... well, a dream.
iPhone: 49.287476,-123.142136
quad
5 days ago
China, Africa, SE Asia are large contiguous landmasses.
mkalus
5 days ago
Last I checked Africa still had COVID, see here: https://www.covidtracker.com. China did seem to “stop it in its tracks” but with measures that would never fly in the West. If you want a complete lockdown for two months with people being confined to their homes we could try that. I have my doubts it’ll work out.
quad
5 days ago
I had a complete lockdown, for over three months. The measures we (Victoria) took to control COVID were the same as China. It's very early days, but it seems to be working out.
mkalus
5 days ago
Again, Island nation. Australia does not compare to multiple countries being cheek to cheek with each other, people and animals freely moving around. That’s why I specifically also pointed out that Australia and Japan are closer to NZ and Taiwan than other places. And doing a complete lockdown when it’s already running rampant probably won’t work out. Not to mention, even NZ had at least two new outbreaks that couldn’t be traced back to anybody coming from abroad. Indicating that there is another reservoir in the wild for the virus.
quad
5 days ago
Why do you think a high infection rate would blunt the efficacy of a complete lockdown?
mkalus
5 days ago
Firstly because you will never get 100% compliance, regardless how stiff you make it. There are many areas in North America and Europe where you just could not enforce the lockdown completely. Secondly, unlike in Australia etc. lots of goods regularly move across land borders with little control / stopping. Case in point being the US / Canada border. Since May it’s been closed for “non-essential travel”, that means trucks etc. still move but the drivers for example do not have to go into quarantine. Even with testing, odds are good that some of them will slip through and re-introduce the virus. IF the whole continent (or continents) would have followed the Chinese example and shut everything down for two months then MAYBE that would have worked, but even there I have my doubts, though the effect / impact would have been greatly lessened.
quad
4 days ago
We never had 100% compliance; lockdowns don't work under that presumption. Australia (and China) both closed their internal (states/provinces) and external borders to "non-essential" travel; drivers did slip through and re-introduce the virus. Under your model, why hasn't China… or even other countries sharing the Eurasia landmass… had widespread and uncontrollable reinfection?
mkalus
4 days ago
"Under your model, why hasn't China… or even other countries sharing the Eurasia landmass… had widespread and uncontrollable reinfection?” Which other countries? Russia? They had and do have outbreaks though clearly the focus isn’t on that in the West nor do I think would we know the reality. China locked down an entire Province, early on, when cases where small and not distributed throughout the population. That worked. You work under the presumption that the virus is only human to human transmissible, but we have found cats with the virus so we know at least they can carry it, even if they don’t get sick. Europe had lockdowns early on, even closed the Schengen borders which in general aren’t closed. Yet we see massive outbreaks. The UK similarly went into lockdown to no avail. The only way you can contain this is by: 1. Locking down for an extended period of time. 2. Control your ports of entry and don’t let anybody into the country that hasn’t gone through quarantine. 3. Massive test and trace. Reality is this: The West with their “Free Market Capitalism” thinking does not have build the necessary resources and in a time of global competition for the tools and resources other countries, like China, were quicker. We can argue if “flatten the curve” was the right approach instead of “total lockdown and mass surveillance”. But if you can’t even have a mask mandate in public spaces without people freaking out I have my doubts that this would have worked out in most places. Mistakes were made, mistakes will continue to be made mostly due to cultural differences with geography and regional / economic integration being a primary driver.
quad
3 days ago
This feels like a lot of just-so story telling. Why did Australia control it and not the UK? Similar culture, both islands. Why did China but not Russia? Both authoritarian sharing the same contiguous landmass. Why did Vietnam and Thailand control it but not Sweden or Spain? And how do you explain the variation in African countries? You've noted cultural as the primary driver, but there are many counter-examples. You mentioned geography and integration, but again, heaps of counter-examples.

Ten Years

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The ten-year cancerversary is traditionally the Cursed Artifact Granting Immortality anniversary.
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acdha
10 days ago
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A friend of ours was diagnosed with leukemia right around the time Gleevec was approved. He went from not expecting to see his daughter finish elementary school to watching her post-graduate success, and appreciates every day which once seemed so unlikely.
Washington, DC
fancycwabs
11 days ago
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Do facemask still offer 100% protection if a few tears fall into them?
Nashville, Tennessee
d4nj450n
11 days ago
Probably as a facemask gets wetter it gets BETER at stopping aerosols that spread virus but worse at allowing you to actualy breathe, at a guess
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11 days ago
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cmdrake
11 days ago
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I'm not crying, you are...
jimwise
11 days ago
It’s true. I am.
GaryBIshop
11 days ago
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Wow! Sweet!
alt_text_bot
11 days ago
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The ten-year cancerversary is traditionally the Cursed Artifact Granting Immortality anniversary.
harald74
11 days ago
Dude, XKCD is not supposed to make me well up!
deezil
11 days ago
Big tears.

Electoral Precedent 2020

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He also broke the streak that incumbents with websites are unbeatable and Delawareans can't win, creating a new precedent: Only someone from Delaware can defeat an incumbent with a website.
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18 days ago
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alexjurkiewicz
18 days ago
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wow. So Obama didn't have a website in 2008? The (recent) past is a foreign country.
Sydney, Australia
jeremyarc7
18 days ago
Obama wasn’t a challenger in 2008. Bush was not running for re-election so there was no incumbent to challenge.
OrionNM
18 days ago
Obama wasn't running against an incumbent, so he wasn't a challenger. The examples of challengers with websites losing are Dole ('96), Kerry ('04), and Romney ('12).
alt_text_bot
19 days ago
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He also broke the streak that incumbents with websites are unbeatable and Delawareans can't win, creating a new precedent: Only someone from Delaware can defeat an incumbent with a website.

Election Impact Score Sheet

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You might think most people you know are reliable voters, or that your nudge won't convince them, and you will usually be right. But some small but significant percentage of the time, you'll be wrong, and that's why this works.
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25 days ago
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acdha
25 days ago
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christophersw
25 days ago
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If you really cared you would only socialize with people who vote in these key swing states. And if you were truly committed to social change you would just move to one of those places. #MoveToPA2024 /S
Baltimore, MD
rraszews
25 days ago
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Sadly, by describing this as "as if you voted again", this comic will now be part of the evidence when the SCOTUS hears a challenge to the result in Pennsylvania.
Columbia, MD
alt_text_bot
26 days ago
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You might think most people you know are reliable voters, or that your nudge won't convince them, and you will usually be right. But some small but significant percentage of the time, you'll be wrong, and that's why this works.
CarlEdman
26 days ago
What if you don’t live in any of the listed states? Perhaps you should conclude that your vote is worth less than 1/20th and not go to the trouble. And if that makes you feel guilty, harangue an extra Pennsylvanian—it’ll be worth more than your vote. And remember to discourage evereybody who would vote the wrong way too. A wrong vote suppressed is as good as a right vote cast.
macr0t0r
25 days ago
Eh...welll...I'm not a fan of the idea of suppressing "wrong" votes. I'm sure that's how the supposedly "wrong" people see it as well. Somehow, I think it works for the better if we all just cheered each other to exercise our right. At least then the results would represent the desire of the majority. If the majority is "wrong," then we need to work more on education than suppression.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - War

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

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I am the first to propose this theory and I encourage someone else to do all the legwork then name it after me.


Today's News:
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