54 thoughts on “Thursday’s Papers

  1. frank

    Government. GOVERNMENT.
    We don’t know if you should wear masks.
    We don’t know if the leaving cert should go ahead.
    disgraceful and disgusting. these people pretend to care about mental health yet wont make simple and fundamental decisions.
    That effects both our young vulnerable minds and their parents.
    it’s an abdication of the most fundamental duty if care.
    it is frankly beyond belief

    1. GiggidyGoo

      And….’we are carrying out 10,000 tests daily in centers that are closed’

    2. Commenter #1

      Listening to Katherine Zappone on the radio was painful. Couldn’t answer basic questions about policies coming out of her department, not even if info would be posted online or when. Amateur hour.

      1. bisted

        …agreed, she was dreadful…but she was dreadful even when she had an electoral mandate…whatever about still getting paid, these unelected ministers – Ross, Zapper, Regina and Groucho – all sound like they’d rather be spending more time with their pensions…

  2. John F

    The leaving certificate needs to go ahead in some fashion. The vast majority of 3rd level placings come from the cao points system, what’s the plan? Have damn all first year students at the start of the academic year in September and twice as many the year after??

    1. Gearóid

      A Levels have been cancelled and uni entry changed to continuous assessment model for the 2020/21 academic year. The same applies for the Int’l Baccalaureate across many countries. It isn’t impossible. It just requires some imagination and hard work.

      1. Cian

        the Irish & UK college entry process is very different. Here the whole thing is done though CAO (excluding some courses like Art where a portfolio is also a requirement) the collages don’t have any part in the selection of students. In the UK the colleges are active in the selection process and choose between the students based on “personal statements” and such stuff. They already have the process and procedures in place to cope.

        It isn’t impossible for us to do it – but a lot more difficult.

          1. Commenter #1

            The Leaving Cert. has been due for a reckoning for a while I think. It’s basically just become a third-level entrance exam rather than a qualification in its own right.

  3. f_lawless

    Has anyone watched that interview with Dr. Judy Mikovits who was part of the team that first isolated HIV in the 80s, and who worked under Dr. Fauci? Pretty explosive stuff if true. Although not recommended for those get triggered by people speaking about corruption in authority -you know the ones I mean, the reflexive “conspiracy theory, tinfoil hat!” commenters. ;)

    1. SOQ

      I posted that yesterday morning F, she’s making some pretty outrageous claims about Fauci, and that the medical science community is driven by the whole patent money making racket.

      I suppose the balance there is that she has an axe to grind but if what she says about the vaccine rolled out in Italy is true, meaning that it was never tested, and that flu vaccines generally leave you more susceptible to corona viruses, it might somewhat explain why CoVid-19 has been so contagious among the elderly.

      For anyone who hasn’t seen it, it really is worth a watch.

    1. SOQ

      I am not a coder but that sounds like a right mess. It’s a legacy FORTRAN system and not even structured into routines or sub procedures which is the basis for all coding since the late eighties. Give its age, it is no surprise that it can only employ one CPU but that is just a speed issue. There is no AI at all so straight down the line number crunching- a glorified spreadsheet.

      I said early on that predictive modeling was going to come under increased scrutiny now- as it should. They are only as good as the person who writes them so testing, regressive or otherwise, is crucial.

      It is highly likely that the environmental sciences are going to come similar pressure too but that should be welcomed as it is in everyone’s interests that these things are as accurate as possible.

        1. bisted

          …ah here…the mathematics behind modelling the spread of a virus is not complicated…a worse case scenario would be the first thing considered by policy makers and that could be worked out on the back of an envelope…the key variable is being referred to as the ‘R’ number -the number of people an infected person can pass the virus to…call it a model or a spreadsheet, it’s still a ‘what if’ calculation…

          1. SOQ

            Well I assumed one functions of such models was to manage the peak load on hospital services. In the case of Imperial, criticisms were made that no account of the NHS’s ability to expand were taken into account.

            But it sounds like the whole thing was unstable if it was spewing out different results from the same input data.

            It is pretty obvious that UK has completely over shot the mark, but Ferguson has a track record in this sort of thing.

          2. Cian

            “But it sounds like the whole thing was unstable if it was spewing out different results from the same input data. ”
            I read that differently.
            If it was run the same way (same parameters) with the same input data it gave the same result.
            If you changed the parameters it gave different results.

            Imperial was aware of this limitation – if they ran it the same way each time it is valid.

          3. SOQ

            From Sue’s review- Non-deterministic outputs. Due to bugs, the code can produce very different results given identical inputs. They routinely act as if this is unimportant.

          4. Cian

            As I said. My understanding is that the different outputs happen when you run the code with different parameters. If you run it with the same parameters it gives the same output.

          5. SOQ

            From Sue’s review- Investigation reveals the truth: the code produces critically different results, even for identical starting seeds and parameters.

            Maybe I am just getting that mixed up with the dual processing? But even that is weird- most models use quad these days.

      1. Cian

        I read that too and while It looks a mess I read some thing differently.
        1. The code is in C (not Fortran – although they said some of the code hade been automatically converted from Frotran)
        2. It doesn’t mention there are no routines or sub procedures – where did you get that?
        3. There is no AI – but that isn’t necessarily a problem. AI isn’t inherently better at solving problems – in fact one problem with AI is that there is no way of knowing how it is calculating things..

        1. SOQ

          Ok sorry yes, I misread that. Late night posting etc. Unless they have completely rewritten everything from scratch into C++, are they still using FORTRAN for some functions? Not sure if that is even possible. Although the mention of multiple files would suggest a structure- C++ is object orientated too so that is likely.

          Agree on AI- but that is also its strength.

          1. Cian

            I read it as the Imperial code that was coded in C, and was contained in a single file.
            This code contained some functions that looked like they were machine-generated translations of FORTRAN code. But the code that s run is C.

            Subsequently, other people have taken the code and updated it to C++ and tried to tidy it up. While C++ is “object orientated”, you can still write it all in one object in one file and not get any of the benefits of object orientation. And depending on what you are doing, object orientated code may not confer any advantages over traditional code.

          2. SOQ

            OO was always a core part of C++, I have never seen it used without it myself. But yes, it was probably a number of language revisions which never really addressed the core problems. If it was the case that they had to run it multiple times and then take the average, then there was something seriously wrong.

            The real problem was that it was so influential elsewhere of course- is that what the HSE use? Where did Leo get his 600k infections number from on March 17th?

          3. Cian

            Object orientation is the use of objects in your code. If done properly it allows things like instantiation, encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism. There are really powerful (when used & used correctly)

            However if you use one instance of one object (like your first “Hello World” program) then you aren’t using any of the features of object orientation and aren’t writing OO code.
            ——————–geek off———

            As for the 600K figure. I don’t know specifically, but there is a simple model used to calculate number of infections based on how many people does each positive person infect. How many days does it take to double the cases.

            If it takes 3 days to double the number of cases (which is the speed we say from 1 case on 2nd March to 223 on the 17th… and other countries had also seen), you’d hit 600,000 within 60 days. You don’t need a computer to calculate the numbers in this model.

          4. SOQ

            Yes but it came from somewhere- otherwise why not 500k or 700k? You know what I am getting at- who is doing Ireland’s projections?

            @ Cian – so why use C++ at all then?

          5. Cian

            *If it takes 3 days to double the number of cases (which is the speed we say from 1 case on 2nd March to 223 on the 17th… and other countries had also seen), you’d hit 600,000 in 45 days (it took 15 to get to 223). You don’t need a computer to calculate the numbers in this model.

            USA: had 292 cases on 5-Mar and 37 days later they had 606,000; granted you need a large population (of uninfected people) to keep up this rate… but it is an example of a simple model that can be accurate.

          6. Cian

            @SOQ – why does it matter they chose 600K?
            If they chose 500K or 700K you’d ask why were they chosen instead. It is possible that they chose 60 days (2 months) and worked out the 600K based on that.

            Why use C++? It is safer (than C) and has more available features (i.e. OO).
            Think of an old 911 (C) versus a new one (C++). The new one has ABS, traction control, power steering, and a host of other safety features. The new one is safer and easier to drive albeit at a cost.
            You can (probably) get a new 911 and remove all the safety features (pop the fuses) and drive it like crazy…(take C code and compile it as C++)

          7. bisted

            …should have declared an interest perhaps…I wrote some programs back in the late 1980’s…FORTRAN 77 and ADA…got contacted by one of my old employers to see if I could certify that these were y2k compliant…both these languages use day numbers…could have certified they would be y3k compliant…still cashed the cheque…

          8. SOQ

            @ Cian- If their entire national strategy was based on a worst case 600k then it very much matters- the cost of this thing will be with us for a very long time. Also, take away the OO element of ++ and you have C so- why bother?

            Sounds like a hodgepodge which is very state sector.

            @Bisted- Y2K was an absolute gold mine for people who knew the older languages- the original project fear.

          9. SOQ

            I bet you also bought other people’s homes with the proceeds while still supporting SF- no shame- its way more common than most realise.

            Something irks me about waving the tricolour while also providing accommodation for cheap labour.

          10. Cian

            “If their entire national strategy was based on a worst case 600k then it very much matters- the cost of this thing will be with us for a very long time. ”
            I don’t understand your point. The point was the virus has the capability to double the numbers infected every 3 days. You can look 30 days out and say 1,000 infections, or 33 days with 2,000, or 36 with 4,000, or 39 with 8,000,…or 60 days out and take ~600,000 or 90 and have 1,000,000,000…. all of these are equally valid (except the last Ireland as the population isn’t that big). So pick any number.

            “Also, take away the OO element of ++ and you have C so- why bother?”
            They didn’t bother, it was written in C. And if they weren’t going to use OO principals then C is sufficient. Nothing wrong with C.

            “Sounds like a hodgepodge which is very state sector.”
            If it works don’t fix it – if Imperial were satisfied that the code was used in a particular way – knowing its limitations – then why would they waste time re-writing it?
            It’s not a state sector thing – the banks are all running similar hodgepodge systems.

    1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

      This was a problem in Australia, so the Government took over hotels and lock all new arrivals in them for two weeks. Problem solved. Australia has about 20 new cases a day, most from known sources, some are international arrivals in quarantine. Israel did this on March 9th. Ireland chose not to.

    1. Rob_G

      It’s hardly FG’s fault that they are perceived to be doing a good job, and that the public are responding to this (doesn’t seem to be doing FF much good)

      1. f_lawless

        Certainly, Irish media holds a large share of the blame. Also, it’s politically advantageous for FG that our closest neighbours are one of the worst hit in Europe.

      2. Charlie

        +1 I think you’ll find that the majority are basically happy with the way things are being handled. If they had an election today, I reckon they’d have a clear lead.

        1. GiggidyGoo

          Doubtful that the majority are happy the way things are being handled. But let’s say they are. One swallow doesn’t make a summer, and people have memories a lot longer than a few months.

          1. Charlie

            Givvus a break. Feb 2018. Anyone with half an ounce of cop on can see the approval rating has grown with FG the last month or so. They’ve played a stormer with the fence sitters.

    2. A Person

      Goo do you ever get tired of moaning about FG/FF. People are dying. You pull out some obscure article to moan about FG. Where is your health spokes person and what are they doing, how are they contributing? Give us an honest opinion – lock down or not?

        1. A Person

          Just looking for an answer to simple question. Note you never get an answer from Goo or the other shinners on here. Like, never.

  4. jamesjoist

    The flu vaccine tie in to the mortality rate in Italy seems a bit odd when there are roughly similar rates in Spain , France and the U.K .

    1. SOQ

      It comes from the study – Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017–2018 influenza season- Greg G. Wolff- which is being challenged by other academics, of course- well it would be- who knows.

      As the poem goes-

      Doctors differ and patients die
      In some cases not a lie
      And every surgical mistake
      Can lead to death and grieving and heartbreak
      Though surgeons have saved many a life
      Some die under the surgical knife
      A fact of life one well might say
      And such things happen every day,
      Doctors differ and patients survive
      And even regain their sexual drive
      Yet on our lives the Reaper has the final say
      For all a last night and last day,
      Doctors differ and patients die
      That’s a fact and facts don’t lie.

      Francis Duggan

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