Play Nice The NM Devils Chessboard thread.

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Swallow_Wood

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You’ll probably be able to verify this then?
I will take a look at the info contained in that piece and attempt to unpack it. But warning bells all round given the tone of the content, its anonymous source, their links to right wing nut jobs like Nick Holt and the reference to withdrawn journal articles and work not peer reviewed as confirmatory pieces.
 

Swallow_Wood

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What's more likely tho?

The combination of zoonotic jumps that is sposed to be the story of its "natural" original or a leak from a lab that's run by someone who has co-published a paper specifically about adding spike proteins to SARS to create new viruses?
Honestly? The former.

Gain of function research has been going on for decaces as a scientific discipline and spike protein evolution has been going on forever and will continue to go on forever. That someone who runs a virology lab that does GoF work publishes on spike protein alteration is not a surprise. That a coronavirus has arisen in south east China is even less surprising.

Having such a lab in Wuhan is not coincidental given the location is coronavirus central, seems the ideal location really. That said if it is a lab leak it won't be the first as a SARS leak occured less that 10 years ago in China, but that one was contained quick smart.
 
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Swallow_Wood

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Really don’t have a horse in the man-made v natural race myself. It simply isn’t my field. I am more interested in the CCP’s initial response to the virus, and whether the damage could have been mitigated to a far greater degree in the earliest stages. Need to learn from it as the world cannot handle another pandemic like this for a while.
Totes agree.

I think it would have gotten out regardless given the transmitability but there could have been much better cooperation on this. The reality is that sooner or later a motherducker of a virus will come from that region and we had better be prepared.
 

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ferball

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Honestly? The former.

Gain of function research has been going on for decaces as a scientific discipline and spike protein evolution has been going on forever and will continue to go on forever. That someone who runs a virology lab that does GoF work publishes on spike protein alteration is not a surprise. That a coronavirus has arisen in south east China is even less surprising.

Having such a lab in Wuhan is not coincidental given the location is coronavirus central, seems the ideal location really. That said if it is a lab leak it won't be the first as a SARS leak occured less that 10 years ago in China, but that one was contained quick smart.
GoF research will only go on for as long as it takes some ******* to wipe us all out. Not forever.

Re the bolded - what's the basis for that comment? Evolution is alot more specific than it seems. The available changes are limited. But also the number of lab leaks is ridiculous. I think its four for SARS 1. (However its alot easier to contain SARS 1 cos its symptomatic before you become infectious.) Two in China, one in Taiwan and one somewhere else ... maybe Singapore. Then there is the reports of how poor biosecurity is at the Wuhan joint and others in Beijing. Do you know how many lab leaks are suspected in the last 50 years? Lots. Some for human disease some for animal disease. Its pretty ducked up.

On that basis alone GoF research needs to be carefully monitored by international agencies with teeth but there aren't any.

Its just as likely, probably more so, that it came from a lab. Wouldn't be the first time and it won't be the last.

Its interesting how politicised this has become tho.
 

Val Keating

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Pretty sure Obama squashed the gain of function research that Fauci was doing with China, but Fauci snuck it back in when Trump was elected.
 

Swallow_Wood

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GoF research will only go on for as long as it takes some ******* to wipe us all out. Not forever.

Re the bolded - what's the basis for that comment? Evolution is alot more specific than it seems. The available changes are limited. But also the number of lab leaks is ridiculous. I think its four for SARS 1. (However its alot easier to contain SARS 1 cos its symptomatic before you become infectious.) Two in China, one in Taiwan and one somewhere else ... maybe Singapore. Then there is the reports of how poor biosecurity is at the Wuhan joint and others in Beijing. Do you know how many lab leaks are suspected in the last 50 years? Lots. Some for human disease some for animal disease. Its pretty f’ed up.

On that basis alone GoF research needs to be carefully monitored by international agencies with teeth but there aren't any.

Its just as likely, probably more so, that it came from a lab. Wouldn't be the first time and it won't be the last.

Its interesting how politicised this has become tho.
The changes available via evolution are limited, but they are also scattered. From what I have read, the specific change to the furin cleavage site on this virus, which makes it able to enter the human cell, doesn't exist in its closest relatives. This has then led to claims of alteration. This change does exist in other coronaviruses and is scattered across the family tree of the viruses, not clustered within a specific family, meaning viruses can evolve similar traits across the tree without direct link. I am yet to see any evidence of an evolutionary trait that clearly indicates alteration and thus a likely lab development and then leak.

And yes, leaks happen. But that shit has leaked before doesn't mean that this leaked. It came from Wuhan. SE China and SE Asia is ground zero for coronaviruses jumping from animals to humans. That there is a lab in Wuhan is no more than coincidental until there is a clear link that the virus was either altered or onsite. That China is not giving access to material and was shifty as duck is not evidence of a lab leak, just China being China. Is it possible it was a leak? Yep, absolutely. Is it possible that it is of a natural origin? Yep, absolutely.

And yeah, GoF is dangerous as duck and should be banned. It's the equivalent of 'let's see what this button does'. Madness.

However we are now in an environment where the tech used to alter viruses are available to much smaller and smaller actors. Have you caught this podcast from early 2021?


Worrying is an understatement.
 

ferball

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The changes available via evolution are limited, but they are also scattered. From what I have read, the specific change to the furin cleavage site on this virus, which makes it able to enter the human cell, doesn't exist in its closest relatives. This has then led to claims of alteration. This change does exist in other coronaviruses and is scattered across the family tree of the viruses, not clustered within a specific family, meaning viruses can evolve similar traits across the tree without direct link. I am yet to see any evidence of an evolutionary trait that clearly indicates alteration and thus a likely lab development and then leak.

And yes, leaks happen. But that sh*t has leaked before doesn't mean that this leaked. It came from Wuhan. SE China and SE Asia is ground zero for coronaviruses jumping from animals to humans. That there is a lab in Wuhan is no more than coincidental until there is a clear link that the virus was either altered or onsite. That China is not giving access to material and was shifty as fu** is not evidence of a lab leak, just China being China. Is it possible it was a leak? Yep, absolutely. Is it possible that it is of a natural origin? Yep, absolutely.

And yeah, GoF is dangerous as fu** and should be banned. It's the equivalent of 'let's see what this button does'. Madness.

However we are now in an environment where the tech used to alter viruses are available to much smaller and smaller actors. Have you caught this podcast from early 2021?


Worrying is an understatement.

No haven't heard it (yet) but I find that stuff interesting given what's happened with COVID.

Omicron is weird as duck. If you wanted to build a virus that replaced COVID and made it much safer you couldn't do a much better job. People are talking about it as a "natural vaccine" lol.

And its definitely different from where covid was at.
 

Swallow_Wood

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No haven't heard it (yet) but I find that stuff interesting given what's happened with COVID.

Omicron is weird as fu**. If you wanted to build a virus that replaced COVID and made it much safer you couldn't do a much better job. People are talking about it as a "natural vaccine" lol.

And its definitely different from where covid was at.
Check it out, its a really good listen.

We got lucky with Omicron, and we might get unlucky with the next strain that comes along. Was the evolution of the omicron strain unlikely though? No, it was entirely possible and the talk was that Covid will ultimately become endemic, and here we seem to have the strain that delivers that outcome.
 

ferball

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10 or 15 years ago, before modern social media and mobile computing came along "non state actors" doing crazy shit was a much bigger concept. We had people like Henry Okah, Assange and people running Islamic terrorist organisations using power that only state actors usually had access to. The idea of individuals using technology to make changes to the world outside the realm of the state was very prominent (even if only a few were actually doing things.)
 

ferball

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Check it out, its a really good listen.

We got lucky with Omicron, and we might get unlucky with the next strain that comes along. Was the evolution of the omicron strain unlikely though? No, it was entirely possible and the talk was that Covid will ultimately become endemic, and here we seem to have the strain that delivers that outcome.
Its more the specific changes and the where Omicron was in the viruses genetic history before it appeared that makes me wonder about that. I put a link to some interesting info in the covid thread. I agree it was always gonna end up that way its just the path it took to get there. Seems endemic now. Interestingly with Omicron, there is a press release by the Botswana Government from November claiming that Omicron was first detected in four European diplomats who were in Botswana for a few days in early November. Assuming its not a fake press release (which is a big assumption these days when anything can be faked) its an interesting little titbit of info.

I don't want to go into the details with Omicron in this thread but it seems unlikely it will evolve to become more deadly. It seems what makes it more transmissible (and more genetically/evolutionarily fit) is what makes it less deadly. Ie where and how it replicates in the body. AS a non expert opinion it seems that if it evolves to become more deadly it will be more difficult for it to replicate with the same efficiency and therefore more difficult to spread as fast.

So that's probably a less evolutionarily effective mutation for the virus.

But yeah it is very similar to what happened with other coronaviruses. One of them was epidemic/pandemic in humanity in Asia for thousands of years before it became endemic (at least according to something I heard in the last 12 months on the abc or some other reasonable source.) If you think about population sizes and travel/exposure in that period compared to us now there is probably as much viral replication in 2 years on earth now as hundreds maybe thousands in historical and pre historical Asia. Maybe even more. Travel was limited to foot, horse driven or boats. COVID19 would still be in mainland China but might not be in Europe yet if it had happened in the past. No trains to Iran and Italy running back then.

Its 2021. Literally "the future" from when I was a kid and the technology available and the options that gives state and non state actors for all sorts of behaviours makes the ideas about how the world works that I developed as a younger person obselete. IE Anything is possible these days.
 

ferball

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Please tell me this is not going to kick off.


Its gonna happen. I think the US will talk tough then pike when it matters.

But maybe not. We've had fires, floods and plague. Volcanoes blowing the up everywhere. Another war would fit perfectly.
 

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Val Keating

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See Russia-Georgia 2008 and southern Ossetia, but with added tension and a USA desperate to retain its image and strength following the humiliation in Afghanistan.

Last thing we need is a hot war between nuclear powers. It’s pretty complicated and tbh I don’t know a lot about Ukraine and the US relationship, but Ukraine isn’t a part of NATO so are they even obligated to help.

I feel for the Ukrainians as they’re a sovereign country but are stuck in a position where NATO and Russia and Russian allies (do they have a name?) are pressuring them into committing one way or the other.

A lot of Ukrainians have a deep hatred of Russia for the famine they inflicted on them so they probably want to join NATO.

Side note, it really puts it into perspective when I think that Ukraine has almost double Australia’s population, yet they’re not really in control of what they can do.
 

Val Keating

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Great article.

“Russia’s long-standing logistical problems with providing supplies, including water”

I listened to a podcast called Unraveling hosted by Darryl Cooper and Jocko that right at the start before getting into the politics that are at play and the history, Cooper said basically this is about water supply.

This podcast is from April. 4:40 onwards and describes the water situation. Awesome podcast.



It’s a long podcast, Jocko and Darryl are not very complimentary to the American politicians. They liken them to someone who goes into a bar with a bunch of tough guys and starts a fight because they know they have a bunch of badasses with them so they pick a fight but expect the badasses to do the work.
 
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andana

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Meanwhile



TAIPEI, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Taiwan on Sunday reported the largest incursion since October by China's air force in its air defence zone, with the island's defence ministry saying Taiwanese fighters scrambled to warn away 39 aircraft in the latest uptick in tensions.

Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has complained for more than a year of repeated missions by China's air force near the democratically governed island, often in the southwestern part of its air defence identification zone, or ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.


Taiwan calls China's repeated nearby military activities "grey zone" warfare, designed to both wear out Taiwan's forces by making them repeatedly scramble, and also to test Taiwan's responses.

The latest Chinese mission included 34 fighters plus four electronic warfare aircraft and a single bomber, the Taiwan ministry said.

The aircraft flew in an
 

Val Keating

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Meanwhile



TAIPEI, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Taiwan on Sunday reported the largest incursion since October by China's air force in its air defence zone, with the island's defence ministry saying Taiwanese fighters scrambled to warn away 39 aircraft in the latest uptick in tensions.

Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has complained for more than a year of repeated missions by China's air force near the democratically governed island, often in the southwestern part of its air defence identification zone, or ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands.


Taiwan calls China's repeated nearby military activities "grey zone" warfare, designed to both wear out Taiwan's forces by making them repeatedly scramble, and also to test Taiwan's responses.

The latest Chinese mission included 34 fighters plus four electronic warfare aircraft and a single bomber, the Taiwan ministry said.

The aircraft flew in an


I know it’s simple minded, but if the US don’t support Taiwan then China is making a realistic move to be the number 1 superpower in the world.
 

andana

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W7thWcx.jpg
 

Kangaroos4eva

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They can't hold Afghanistan with allies...what makes you think they can cover Russia and China?
Different type of war. In spite of Russia and china’s advanced capabilities, the USA would still likely blitz them in a conventional fight. The following occupation and insurgency is where the us military falls down.
 

Val Keating

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They can't hold Afghanistan with allies...what makes you think they can cover Russia and China?


The only reason they can’t is because they haven’t been as brutal as they could be. If they didn’t care about what people thought, which would happen in all out war, then they wouldn’t be as careful or worried about civilians.
 

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