Taki Mata comments

Posted in: Delta variant reignites U.S. mask debate See in context

If you underestimate America's willful acceptance of a constant, steady stream of death in the pursuit of hyper-individual "freedom", you really haven't been paying attention to the gun debate.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Coronavirus threat rises as Japan cheers Olympic gold medal rush See in context

What I find irritating is the number of people -- presumably currently unoccupied athletes and staff -- in the stands at the events, yelling and cheering and celebrating.

No, it may not be a huge health risk. But it sends all the wrong signals about how seriously they claim they are taking the measures at the Olympics. It sends the strange, discording message of "once you're in, let loose, you can do what you want."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Internet misinformation fans COVID vaccine hesitancy among Japanese young people See in context

I believe a core problem with "misinformation" is: math is hard, and humans are inherently bad with numbers that are either too big or too small to count on all ten digits. And if you are a malevolent actor, you can break down the numbers in all sort of ways to deceive your audience.

Case in point: The article mentioned by Ego Sum Lux Mundi above. The numbers in this article, if correct, show that the percentage of infected amongst vaccinated is indeed 6.4 times as high as with recovered. That's not especially valuable information because we hopefully can all agree that it is not a sensible option to get infected on purpose.

However, the same numbers also say something else, something the article rather conveniently leaves unmentioned: it is 3.5 times as likely to get infected if you are not vaccinated. (A number that jives with another recent Israeli publication that attests vaccines a 64% effectiveness against infections with the Delta variant.)

I don't quite get how that is in any way "bad news for the jabbed ones." If the vaccine reduces my risk by two thirds, and beyond that virtually eliminates my risk of serious consequences ... what are you trying to tell me with those numbers, that it is better not to get it?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: Italy to ban mammoth cruise ships from Venice from Aug 1 See in context

"overwhelmed Venice and its delicate marine environment"

Let's be perfectly clear here, this is not just about marine life and biology, the hordes of tourists they dumped into the city, or those ships being a massive eyesore. The water the cruise ships displaced caused massive waves damaging the foundation Venice was built upon, Venice was in danger of collapsing and sinking into the sea. And if it was up to the cruise operators they would have continued until the end.

Good riddance.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Olympic athletes to put on own medals; crowd noise to be fed into arenas See in context

How they supposed to do in order to get those medals?

The first event to be held will be discus throwing. Its winner will throw the medals at all subsequent medalists.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: VIPs allowed at Olympic opening ceremony, but no fans: report See in context

A super computer calculated that 10,000 fans would at worst lead to less than 10 new infections if 100 contagious people attended.

Did this supercomputer use 100% of its calculating capacity? All ten fingers?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: VIPs allowed at Olympic opening ceremony, but no fans: report See in context

Here's a non-snark take: That right there is probably the best solution for all involved, to have the games as safe as possible (no spectators, no infections between spectators) while being able to fulfill contracts, recover a part of the money that has already been spent anyway, and provide the athletes and sports associations with the career-furthering event they need. IOC officials do have a good reason to be there, having VIPs attend leaves a bit of a sour taste but doesn't make a lick of difference, the TV audience will be at a record low, noone will ever look back fondly to Tokyo 2020, but in the end they all got it over with and everybody can move on.

Frankly, I'm okay with that. Get it over with, and then let's never speak of it again.

And here's the obligatory snark: They should talk to Softbank, maybe they could fill the spectator ranks with the surplus of Pepper bots. (Insert that horribly squeaky やった! here.)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan seeks to have vaccine passports accepted by over 10 nations See in context


any Vaccine IS elaborated to PREVENT the Viral Infection

Yes ... and no, not exclusively. Very much simplified, the vaccine stimulates the production of two types of immune reaction in the body: antibodies and cytotoxic t-cells. Antibodies are attacking the virus itself (mainly, but not exclusively, by recognizing its spike proteine), preventing the infection. Cytotoxic t-cells on the other hand are attacking body cells that are infected by the virus, preventing the disease.

Antibody response, like you say, has never been 100% -- detecting spike proteines is hard. Also, we are now slowly entering a phase where some virus mutations start to look different to antibodies, escaping detection (that's why they are called "escape variant".) Luckily, t-cells don't work on detecting the spike proteins and are much harder to escape, that's why vaccinated people still have very strong protection from getting sick. But at this point, an infection has happened, even if ideally just for a short time and without consequence to the carrier. However, for a brief moment one will then be able to spread the virus.

I don't want to paint a bleak picture here, the vaccines we have are very good at what they are supposed to do. But you have to know what they do, and more importantly what the body does after vaccination. A vaccine is not an antiviral condom around your body.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan seeks to have vaccine passports accepted by over 10 nations See in context

There's no scientific reason to require quarantine of vaccinated foreign travelers or returning residents.

Yes there is. As you've probably heard a thousand times by now: a vaccination does not prevent infection, and by extension not the transmission of a virus. That's what a quarantine has always been for, isolation for the duration of the incubation time, check at the end.

You can of course argue that 14 days of quarantine are unneccesarily long. You can as well argue that negative testing should shorten or entirely forego a quarantine. In the end that all depends on how many undetected cases you are willing to accept. But you really, really can't argue that quarantine, as a general concept or in its current application to the pandemic, is pointless.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan rejects South Korean protest over Olympics map See in context

Are you talking about their map which initially did not even have Japan?

Quoted for amplification, with a chuckle. A world map on the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics website did not have Japan on it for more than ten days and was only corrected when Japan requested the map to reflect that it, well, exists.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: Don’t get confused, this Ramune drink is actually a Lemon Chu-hi for adults See in context

Seriously, don’t get confused! This drink that -- using big letters in two languages -- says "Chu-hi" on the label is actually Chu-hi!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 47 anaphylaxis cases reported in Japan after 580,000 Pfizer vaccine shots See in context

Here are the facts. (...)

2200 deaths post Covid vaccine

Correct. 2216 as of March 22, to be precise.

And since you are demonstrably good with numbers, here's another number:


as in: Two sentences later the CDC/FDA report says: "A review of available clinical information including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records revealed no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths."

know the facts.

Like a lot of things in life, it's not the size of the fact that matters, it's knowing how to use it.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: 47 anaphylaxis cases reported in Japan after 580,000 Pfizer vaccine shots See in context

Many have already died from vaccines,

As per the CDC and FDA, exactly noone died from vaccines.

but even if you survive, who knows what else they are doing to your body (autoimmune disease, allergies, autism...).

By the same logic you should reject seatbelts because, even if you survive fastening it, who knows what it is doing to your body (nylon allergies! autism! truck nuts!)

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: 47 anaphylaxis cases reported in Japan after 580,000 Pfizer vaccine shots See in context

before they make everyone sick like what happened to the Americans

True, the hundred million sick Americans are all over the news. Well, your news.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: 47 anaphylaxis cases reported in Japan after 580,000 Pfizer vaccine shots See in context

I have really strong doubts about the vaccine. I mean, 5G is the new standard right now, but if they change to a more modern network in the future, will I have to get vaccinated again to keep my wireless coverage?

Seriously, though, every rational argument against the vaccine has been already made by the manufacturers and studies themselves: Don't get it if you have severe allergies, don't get it if you already have respiratory problems, don't get it if you're pregnant. And if you belong to one of these groups ... don't get vaccinated. It's fine, vaccinating the rest of the population will keep you safe.

For crying out loud, even if you're one of those people that will not get vaccinated because you fear that in ten year's time it will give you two different shoe sizes ... it's also fine. The rest of the vaccinated population will keep you safe too (and, bonus, you can still feel validated in your misguided opinion that the vaccine was not even necessary because for you it wasn't.) The task is keeping that group of people from getting too large. 10 or so percent will be fine.

The problem is the sheer volume and variety of FUD. There is a metric dungton of irrational arguments, and from my experience Japanese are especially susceptible to irrational arguments. Not stupid, not ignorant, mind. Just very susceptible.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Fans from abroad unlikely for postponed Tokyo Olympics See in context

I get that they are hell-bent on hosting the Olympics, I really do. There's a lot of money riding on it, and quite obviously now they are just playing hot potato about who will confirm the games not to be held and ruining their political career.

But somebody please has to explain to me why they can't postpone the Games again by one year. Summer and winter games in the same year has been the standard up until 1994, and they could even brand it as "the post-pandemic mega-olympic super olympics year, with olympics up the wazoo and extra olympics on top." Surely that must be a better option than forcing the games this year, against every sense and sensibility.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Train 'otaku' say this is the narrowest train station platform in Japan See in context

@Sven Asai: Don't worry, the Shinkansen that are passing by this platform ... are still about 2 km away.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan now has an alcoholic popsicle that’s not banned for children See in context

Big whoop. 0.2% alcohol content puts it in the same ballpark as apple juice and wheat toast.


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan extends 5,000-spectator cap at events until end of Sept See in context

@Randy Johnson

I know people around me who had covid. They tested positive. Guess what. Nothing happened. Nothing.

I am truly happy for you, and for you and everyone around you I wish that it stays this way. I know two people who died, and one that, while having made it through, had to shut down and give up her company because of the long-term health implications.

This is not a joke, please don't treat it like one. If you haven't been impacted, that is great, but that doesn't mean noone else has.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

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