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I think he's dead on about the relative proportion of violence/murder versus rape in popular media, particularly the US. Part of it might be the puritanical history of the US. Why is it more acceptable (gauged by PG-13 rating systems) to show killing and violence than even show a breast or two people making love? You'd almost think the latter was a crime instead of the former. The general squeamishness of media on these issues completely distorts the real-world statistics of murder versus domestic violence and rape. So calling Moore out on it is more a statement of current US norms and is very different than other cultures like Japan.

Rape is very different from showing a breast or two, or two people making love.

There are many illustrations of murder which include the psychological impact on the victims. I really haven't found any material that empathizes with me, as a rape victim. Instead, every rape and sexual assault scene in Hollywood is 1-5 minutes long and triggers me into wanting to cry and rock back and forth.

I haven't seen any of his work regarding sexual violence, but there is a lot more depth to it than just the illustration of it. People who write about it who have never experienced it nor researched it sufficiently will not portray rape in a way that demonstrates the impact it has on the victim. It is often exaggerated and minimized as 'part of the life' of the character that endures it. The reality is that it is like your life was made of glass and rape is the bullet that was shot through it, creating cracks that continue to crack in everything that is connected to it, and sometimes the whole thing shatters and you can't ever imagine how to go back to the person you were before you were raped. You don't know how to put the pieces back together and neither does anyone else. But yet you are expected to keep on going. Happiness without sadness is a thing you don't understand, and you acknowledge that you may never understand. Fear is your best friend and your worst enemy. You might become repulsed by your own body. Your identity may fracture and your sense of reasoning and rationality may twist and warp. Labels follow you everywhere. It is a violation of life.

Thank you for sharing, and I know it doesn't mean much but I'm sorry that such a thing has happened to you.

Thank you for your compassion. It does mean something.

That sounds awful. How long has it been? Does it get any better over time?

It's been 10 years. I have objectively gotten better, I take better care of myself. Even when I feel like I can not go on, I still get out of bed and I do my daily routine, whether it is going to work or going to the gym and doing my chores. I've hidden in the bathroom at work to cry, and I've had many nights where I've gone to sleep wishing I would not wake up in the morning.

I have had some wonderful conversations with people online, and that gives me hope that I will be able to feel happy and be able to recognize it when I feel it. I make art, I make music, and I take great care in learning about computer science and code, and making improvements in it. I have an interest in philosophy and a love of knowledge in general, and I often think it is amusing to me that I use abstract maths to distract myself from traumatic memories, a bit of a quirk that I like about myself. I have my moments where I feel like I think I might love myself and I know who I am, few and far apart they may sometimes be. The last 5 or 6 years have been like a hurricane for me. I still struggle with a lot of things, but I think it has gotten better.

That's rough. No one deserves this much anguish and suffering.

You mentioned lack of relatable narratives in the media, I think I know one you might find close: "CSI: special victims unit". I only watched one episode, but I found it touching so there is hope the rest of it is close too.

Perhaps more importantly, there must be a way for you to have your feelings acknowledged by real, live people. Is there a sex crime victim support group where you live? If there is, I encourage you to attend it, both for you own sake and for the sake of the other people there - they need to be understood in their pain as much you need it. More broadly, what you describe sounds close to PTSD, and anyone who's gone through that hell will readily relate to your story.

I know I should, but for right now talking on the internet about it (with the ignorance about whether I am truly anonymous blanketing me) is the most I can do. I have had bad experiences in group therapy, I did not find it helpful.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD, I know I show many symptoms of it. It makes me upset that it may have held me back in achieving goals in my life, but I just know that regardless, I need to take things slowly. I have too many emotions that distract and cloud my ability to think clearly about things I consider very difficult (mostly stuff in computer science and math).

So I just go really slow, as slow as I need to, and I wait for things to click, and then they do. I just try to forget that the rest of the world is still rushing by, and I remind myself that none of that matters to my own personal understanding about the things I want to learn about. I get discouraged a lot, and sometimes my mind can really feel completely clouded, and nothing I do seems to help it, and I can become very afraid that I will be lost in confusion forever. That I am either past my prime, or that I never really was smart, or that I'm too damaged to really persist and actually see the fruits of my labor. Sometimes I think it is good enough to be convinced into persisting despite knowing that I never will actualize, but that thought saddens me in an exceptionally destructive way.

I know I am strong and that if there's anything that really keeps me wanting to live day to day, it's being able to experience learning in the right way, and I consider myself lucky that I get to do that even though I work.

Individual therapy? It's hard to find a good match, so just keep trying people until you find someone you like.

Have you looked into Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)? I've heard it has good results for long term trauma.

I have, I met with a licensed psychologist who did this in my area, but we didn't proceed because my experiences as I described them were things he did not think he would be the best with helping.


> That seems a bit of a generalization.

Well, have you been raped, or are your opinions purely formed from a third party position?

"Yeah, I heard it's not so bad", is probably one of the most careless, senseless, benevolent quips you can possible make to someone who has been raped. No wonder the judicial system is so flawed when it comes to the victims of this horrible crime.

I am so sorry to topoligel who has to read your comment. I'm so sorry to topoligel, just in general. I wish there was something I could do myself, to make things better, other than be a kind, caring, empathic person, and try to do as little harm in my life as possible. I am so sorry the above comment was even uttered. No rape victim needs to hear something like that again

Well, have you been raped...

I know this is a popular anti-intellectual position, but it's simply wrong. It's possible to reason about the world even without having experienced a specific phenomenon.

I've never experienced life at the nanoscale, but that doesn't mean I can't reason about semiconductor physics. I've never experienced outer space, but I can still reason about it.

The fact that some people have a negative emotional reaction to certain ideas is unfortunate, but ultimately the onus is on those people to avoid centers of intellectual discussion like HN.

Being able to reason about matter is another thing entirely to being able to reason about what it is like to have a particular (very negative) personal experience.

We're not talking about an abstract negative emotional reaction to an idea we're talking about a concrete emotional reaction to an experience.

Why do you feel like you have to show people the door because they don't agree with your particular concept around 'intellectual discussion'?

Enimodas is discussing people's reaction to it, in entirely objective and measurable terms. His specific, empirically checkable claim: some people respond differently than topoligel.

The emotional reaction I was referring to is to enimodas ideas. Specifically, if some people are unable to handle certain ideas (such as the ones enimodas expressed), it's not the responsibility of the world to suppress those ideas.

Yes, he was. But you're not. You're labeling those that challenge him to verify he has that particular experience as either anti-intellectual and/or simply not welcome here.

Yes. The people challenging whether he has had a specific experience are attempting to distinguish a privileged group of speakers/thinkers, and and wish to deny the right of anyone not part of this privileged group to use their intellect on this topic.

I don't know how else to categorize that as anti-intellectual.

See also, "only priests/prophets/etc can reason about theology" or "only muslims suffering the shame of being related to a rape victim can reason about honor killings". Same idea - if you aren't part of the privileged group, your intellectual reasoning is somehow suspect.

No, that's not the same. You can reason about it all day long but you can't simply pretend that not having the experience puts you on an equal footing with someone who has that experience. So it helps to know whether or not the person speaking has the experience or not. Just like talking to an astronaut about experiencing space flight is probably going to give you a better SNR than talking to someone who has been stuck in a mine all their lives long.

As for priests and prophets, they're all talking to themselves and on that front everybody is equal.

The honor killings bit is related to the ethics of killing which is something we all have way too much experience with and touches on the 'you have the right to extend your arm as far as my face' bit so that also doesn't apply.

A person with experience may have some specific piece of knowledge, but no one claimed enimodas was incorrect for that reason. Nor did enimodas claim his knowledge was coming from a particular experience that he lacked.

As for priests and prophets, they're all talking to themselves and on that front everybody is equal...The honor killings bit is related to the ethics of killing...

Wait - are you using reason without having the specific experience or being a member of the privileged group? How does that work?

> I've never experienced life at the nanoscale, but that doesn't mean I can't reason about semiconductor physics. I've never experienced outer space, but I can still reason about it.

None of those things are subjective experiences.

There's a famous Bush Sr debate moment when someone asks him how the economy has affected him personally.


It was considered a turning point in the debate, from what I understand.

>Well, have you been raped, or are your opinions purely formed from a third party position?

Do you mean anecdotal evidence triumphs statistics, or for lack of being able to find statistics about this, the difference of human experience?

>"Yeah, I heard it's not so bad",

You must have misread. I did not diminish her experience anywhere, I only said others can have different experiences, and quoted one.

Next to that, I asked a question. I know most people interpret those kind of questions as a more 'polite' way of saying something they already believe, but I seem to be in the minority of people who don't make judgement calls about everything and anything, and I don't know of some special sign (like the irony sign or a /s) I can put after my question to let the reader now it's an honest question.

People might have multiple ways of thinking about their own experiences, and some of these ways are collected from people around them, the culture they grew up in. Some of these ways are truths that reside within themselves - their own feelings. The truth that an individual knows inside of the themselves can only talk about themselves, it can not describe how another individual feels about their own self awareness.

People may share empathy between similar feelings, but this does not mean that one person should try to project their way of having emotions onto another person, as if there is a 'right' way to have emotions and a 'wrong' way to have emotions. Emotions are not actions, they are emotions.

For me, as a rape victim, being raped affected my feelings in a way that was traumatic. No one else can tell me what my feelings were from the experience I endured. So now that we can take this as a fact, instead of an opinion, we are getting somewhere in understanding how to define rape objectively, using subjective (but qualified) terms. The reason I feel those feelings is because I was raped.

You don't have to make a judgement call. But some things can only be known on an individual level, and it is up to you to decide whether you believe that person, and that is all you can do as far as 'knowing' anything about it without experiencing it. From that, you can direct your life and how you interact with and understand the world. But that is the limitation you are at.

I do not know what it feels like to be a rape victim who does not feel like it harmed me significantly. I do not know how I would communicate with them because I have never had to. I have never met anyone that has been raped and brushed it off like it was the same as eating cereal that morning instead of toast. So I have no perspective on this.

>I have never met anyone that has been raped and brushed it off like it was the same as eating cereal that morning instead of toast. So I have no perspective on this.

I think you might be misunderstanding the perspective quoted there. It's not about the rape being trivial so much as being no more a salient feature in their life than breaking a leg or some other traumatic but ultimately temporary pain. I'm sure somebody who felt the way you described exists but they're an extreme outlier.

I know that for me, the thing that feels most like reliving the experience is going through the calculus of whether I've suffered enough to be able to accept my own experience as legitimate. Retelling the story triggers that feeling rather than the feeling of the actual events.

I tried for several minutes to write you advice, but couldn't be confident that anything I might say would help. I hope your inner life gets better and you find peace.

I can understand the first paragraph perspective as being a valid one, but I can not understand how that would prompt a rape victim to complain about rape victims who want to shed light on rape as a crime. I know some people are immature and think that it's a grab for attention, but I think that these are immature and / or unresolved coping methods.

I had a therapist suggest to me that that was what I was doing to myself, re-traumatizing myself every time I remembered it. I do not think so. I think having a parent scream at me that what I experienced was not rape, was traumatic. I think having a parent prod and poke until I described my rape in detail was traumatic. I think my rape was traumatic, I felt violated. I think it continues to affect me sexually, to the point that I am almost hopeless in having a normal sexual life.

I do not desire living a life of suffering, but I allow myself to feel the sadness and the emotions that trauma caused. I have had people mock me and call me cruel names and say very cruel things, some people I was very close to, over the incident. I was convinced that I hated myself because of it, because of the whole thing. It was painful to accept that I had been raped, but it was not as painful being raped. I had almost been brought to believe that remembering being raped was suffering that I willfully brought onto myself. For me, beginning with that premise was mental hell. I could never resolve the feelings I had, I couldn't explain why I was crying all the time for what seemed like no reason. Everyone around me wanted a reason, but the reasons I gave when I had them weren't enough.

For me, talking about my rape when it is relevant helps me. Feeling like I have firm position and understanding of what happened to me helps me. Feeling like I am emotionally and intellectually strong despite my past (and how my past has affected me) helps me. I am genuinely sorry for what you experienced. In a similar light, I can not be confident with anything I can say to you to help, because maybe you have already found inner peace and balance. I'm just okay. I'm sad, but I'm okay with being sad, because there are lots of things that happen in life that are valid things to feel sad about.

Thanks for articulating what I felt when I read that comment. I would have responded, but just about everything I came up with would have violated the site guidelines.

>Well, have you been raped

Yes, I have. There's a certain resentment that comes with this question. Because it means that to comment on this issue my rape must in turn be deemed legitimate for my words to be legitimate. To be short on details for reasons that I hope a compassionate person might understand, it first started with things that probably don't fall under the category of 'rape' so much as molestation. Sexual assault is the legal term. But I was a child and had to live with this person for years, one half of the family knew and the other half denied everything.

I spent years locking my door every night, because if I didn't I had to worry about them coming into my room, waking up with their leer hovering over me. I've definitely been traumatized by this aspect. To this day I'm afraid to sleep with the door open. I rationalize it to myself as a fear of malevolent spirits but it's fairly obvious what the true fear is.

That's probably not good enough for you, and for that I resent you further.

Ultimately upon reflection I find that it wasn't so much the molestation itself that was particularly bad, at one point in high school I noted to myself that I'd rather re-experience it once every three days than experience three days of school. (I wasn't particularly bullied, I just despised school itself that much.) What was absolutely traumatizing was what happened after. The denial, living with this person that's not being held accountable for their actions.

Having to deal with the fact that you're not allowed to talk about what happened or you're a dirty liar, or you'll start a huge argument, or this or that will happen. The one thing you want most is validation, and validation is in short supply. Even for the victim of a more 'traditional' rape we can see this in action. How your friends are forced to take sides because of the huge weight of what a big deal this is. (http://www.reddit.com/r/TwoXChromosomes/comments/370ayh/ever...)

I didn't want things to be a big deal, I just wanted them to acknowledge what happened and take steps to make sure it didn't happen again.

(As a final note of pedantry, that's not what benevolent means.)

Thank you for your response. I have developed the strength to be able to respond back to comments like that, or to ignore them. I have heard them all my life. People like you existing and continuing to have the strength to exist like that is enough. I try to be a person like that too. Make sure that you are kind, caring and empathetic to yourself.

Your comment has echoes of how people used to think about child sexual abuse - it only becomes a problem for thechild if the adults make a fuss.

We know now that child sexual abuse can be very harmful to the child even with optimum adult reaction to that abuse. We can see changes in the size of bits of the brain, for example.

Similarly the stigma associated with rape victims (although its improved markedly in the developed world, it still seems a problem and even more-so in some middle eastern countries). I can't help but think our puritanical attitudes toward sex and its attendant 'cult of virginity' contributes to that stigma; the notion that the victim is somehow existentially damaged.

> even to the point where they complain about the people who get traumatized by it

Isn't this like a vet complaining about other vets that have PTSD because he/she doesn't have PTSD?

The problem is that people who say "Oh my rape was no big deal, I'm fine, you should get over it" are a) likely deflecting their own trauma and b) not being at all helpful to the "whiners" who have experienced trauma from rape. I found your comment to be marginalizing, at best.

There is no excusing rape or calling it anything other than it is: a violation. Anyone who marginalizes rape, even your anecdotal victims, are 100% wrong. Even if one person is able to walk away from a rape without significant, crippling trauma, there are still dozens of others who will never, ever be the same.

I don't know why you contrast violence and rape, as rape implies violence. And the squemishness about rape doesn't have to say anything about the viewers attitude to sex on the screen. I don't mind movie sex at all, and I abhor 99% of all movie rape or threat thereof. It seems like it's the singular way that hack writers know how to put women in peril, and it's nearly always played for cheap drama and thrills.

As for why violence goes down easier. The violence that is done in blockbuster movies has little to do with real violence, it is extremely stylized, it is about as far from reality as romantic movie sex is from real sex. And it is even more so in superhero movies.

> I don't know why you contrast violence and rape, as rape implies violence.

No, it does not. There are many instances of rape without violence e.g. adult with an unwilling minor coerced into having sex.

Do you really not consider that an act of violence?

I'd consider that a violent act, but it is very different form the kind of violence displayed on your tv screen, which is the original point.

The murdered are gone, and the raped are at the theaters, watching it, and experiencing it again. This is cruelty in the name of entertainment.

He's right there's value in making the issue visible. But if he was really concerned, he'd think about it deeper, and maybe ask the opinion of related associations, weigh the pros and the cons of inflicting psychological harm.

No, I think it's just that he likes the beauty of evil. It's just a tool in his box to make mature art for mature people who are beyond superheroes, and beyond good and evil.

But he's an artist, and I don't blame him. (I blame Obama)

The sons of murdered also go to cinemas...

Japan has a well-known rape culture. And we're talking about Comic Book Guys getting off on highly triggering violence against women, to the extent of using them as punchlines. Take Grant Morrison's observation:

"But I don't know. There's been lots of things, the sexism in DC because it's mostly men who work in these places. Nobody should be trying to say we're taking up a specifically anti-woman stance. I think it would be ignorance or stupidity or some God knows what. I was reading some Alan Moore Marvelman for some reason today. I found one in the back there and I couldn't believe. I pick it up and there are fucking two rapes in it and I suddenly think how many times has somebody been raped in an Alan Moore story? And I couldn't find a single one where someone wasn't raped except for Tom Strong, which I believe was a pastiche. We know Alan Moore isn't a misogynist but fuck, he's obsessed with rape. I managed to do thirty years in comics without any rape!" (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/grant-morrison-on-the...)

The lack of a public repo of some kind and obvious licensing makes this a no-start for me.


We had everything set up on sourceforge and we hit the limits of what we could accomplish on sourceforge last month.

We have been moving everything including downloads and forums to a better location. We have not yet moved the git repo to a publicly accessible location, but this is in progress. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and I apologize for the inconvenience.


so source is available, though not hosted in a VCS: http://download.copperspice.com/copperspice/source/

Legal info is also available. http://www.copperspice.com/docs/cs_overview/legal.html

So it's just not in github-esque hosted format you're expecting.


Although I agree there is a strong test/race bias at Stanford and Harvard, I'd also like to see the numbers on admission, not just enrollment. Cultural background may strongly influence your choice of where to go: CalTech vs Stanford, MIT vs Harvard. Compared to Asian families, Jewish people may want an undergrad education more aligned with law and humanities than very tech schools.


It feels like we've lumped together a bunch of different use cases and metrics into the current publication system.

1) Authors need to get peer review, feedback to make their case stronger and improve the communication.

2) Researchers need a way of filtering the publications so they can find the gems in any field or ones very useful to their own work.

3) Then there's the need to evaluate how well particular people are doing in their research, which boils down to metrics including the prestige of the journal (immediate) and the number of citations it'll eventually accumulate (long term). I'm not aware of any distinction between citations of a work in an introduction or review and citations of a work that provided some essential part of the current method. These are pretty big differences since the former is more strongly influenced by reputation while the latter is its utility.

Here's how one alternative system would work:

Start with a github-like editing and annotation system for soliciting and coordinating feedback. This also allows readers and possible evaluation systems to see the types of contributions people make.

References would get more sophisticated with categories like "background material", "thought provoking previous work", and "indispensable to this work."

Publication initially goes to general repositories like arXiv where anyone can read it. Have an amped-up Google Scholar search where you can easily bookmark works of interest, tag them, and share them with colleagues. Different HN or reddit systems would spring up to bring better work to the attention of more researchers.

"Journals" have a panel of editors who select a subset of work to display under their banner. This is not mutually exclusive so particularly awesome work would be featured in Nature, Science, and more specialized journals in this alternate universe.

There would be a diversity of impact metrics including ones based purely on "my work would be impossible if not for this work X". Affiliation between authors could be factored into some metrics so greater impact is given to referenced work with more degrees of separation from the author's current and previous institutions.


I like the concept of semantic citations, e.g. "cited for methodX", but it's hard to make a general enough system out of this that doesn't disrupt the flow while reading. And in a way, we already do it, except that it's not being done in a consistent fashion that enables datamining of it. Getting publishers to standardize some markup for this would be cool, but I don't think the outcome justifies the added effort for everyone.

As for several journals publishing the same thing: there are many problems withh that idea, not the least that Nature/Science doesn't want your paper with an 11 page methods section, they want something much closer to a popsci article. So you have to write several. This is already happening today, when someone gets to publish their supercool finding in Nature they also write one or more longer, detailed (i.e. proper) papers that are sent to more specific journals.


"I like the concept of semantic citations, e.g. "cited for methodX", but it's hard to make a general enough system out of this that doesn't disrupt the flow while reading."

The different types of citations would be different markup tags and the display to the reader wouldn't be any different than the current reference notation.

Regarding the difference in ideal paper format between journals, I think there are already multiple detail levels prepared. Our Nature paper, for example, has a pretty significant supplemental information section. The standard could be three levels of detail: overview, standard, and detailed.


If the reader can't see the semantic markup, then what's the main purpose, and how does this purpose justify the additional effort required, both to implement this system in a standardized way across journals, and by authors who have to tag their citations with this semantic markup?


It's for the algorithms that process papers to produce metrics. Display systems can choose to ignore it and show them all as [1] or might use color, hover message, or whatever to show the distinction in a way that doesn't alter the standard reading experience if that's desired.


Then I think there's no way that justifies the additional effort required both from people writing papers and for journals to implement this.


Actually, all consumers of free online courses are charity cases. Deaf people are suing because MIT's and Harvard's largesse doesn't always include them.


MIT and Harvard's "largess" is funded in part by tax money collected from deaf people. Anyway, donating to a a discriminatory cause is still discrimination even if it is generous or well-intentioned.


What's the "discriminatory cause" you're talking about here?


It was hypothetical, but I guess you could say that donating courses only to non-deaf people is a cause.


So what about any charitable effort that discriminates on the basis of a protected class. If you can't do something for free to help one group without excluding some others no charity would be possible. Should MIT/Harvard intentionally avoid captioning? No. Should the government force them to use CCing? Hell no.


Your charitable cause is putting some people at a disadvantage then. If your charitable effort somehow must discriminate, it should do it in favor of the less-privileged group.


So, I should only help the bottom 1% and not help the bottom 2% - 5%?


It's odd that math, physics, and chemistry breakthroughs are often brought forth in silicon valley ageism discussions. How often are the main problems in dot-coms solved with pure research as opposed to trying to creatively work with given building blocks to construct a potentially evolving gizmo?

Creative writing might be more like software development (and entrepreneurship) than theoretical physics or pure math. Writers have a general objective that may evolve, an internal toolkit they've acquired over 10k+ hours of writing, and the task of building something where all the pieces work together to achieve the objective. And does anyone think writers in college are better than seasoned veterans that have been writing professionally for decades?

Also, variation in skill level among people >> Variation of an individual's ability across her lifetime.


If she were a Stanford student, she could have been in the coterminal BS/MS program for Comp Sci yet dropped out before getting either. The nice thing about the coterm program is your ability to get classified as a grad student early (once you get 180 credits) and start paying your way through college using research and teaching assistantships, which provide tuition and stipend.


One of the prize winners, Eric Betzig, is the first Nobelist at the relatively new Janelia Research Center (http://janelia.org). He has an interesting backstory, having taken a decade long detour from science.

Betzig says, "there was this big gap on my résumé. So I knew I had to come up with some intellectual capital to get people to listen to me again."


An interesting video: http://www.ibiology.org/ibiomagazine/issue-2/eric-betzig-and...

Here's the original paper describing PALM: http://janelia.org/sites/default/files/biblio/field_related_...


A scientist / photographer I follow on Twitter (Bryan William Jones - @BWJones) took some pretty terrific shots of Janelia last spring, it's an amazing facility:


And the on-campus 'housing':



The room in the picture is one of the short-term rooms used almost exclusively for visitors and conference attendees. Long-term on-campus townhouses and condos have nice modern designs but not that kind of view :)


NPR has a good infographic on the infectiousness of Ebola relative to other agents:



The problem with averages is they can break down pretty quickly when facing reality. Example from yesterday: I took my kids fishing on a party boat. Lots of kids on the boat. They congregated around the live bait tank. I noticed one kid who was obviously sick. He was coughing constantly all over the place. I watched him cough directly into other kid's faces. And, I am not talking about a gentle cough at all. He coughed on nearly every surface he came into contact with. If this kid was carrying active ebola or something else I would guess twenty to thirty people may have been exposed. I made it a point to have my kids avoid him, yet, in that scenario, there is no way to control exposure. For example, everyone shared one bathroom. With over 50 people onboard, the "about 2" idea is just a suggestion and in two or three weeks it goes exponential.

Yes, I tried to find the irresponsible parent and even asked the captain to make an announcement. He couldn't care less, which further throws off the "about two" rule in the face of reality.


But there's a further difference between the common cold and ebola: a cold spreads through aerosols, so all those kids standing around the sick one are breathing in live virus. Ebola spreads only through infected bodily fluids, so he'd have to be vomiting directly on the other kids for them to catch it. Usually by the time someone is vomiting or bleeding from Ebola, they feel far too sick to go on a fishing trip.

While it's possible that Ebola could mutate and become airborne (this is the plot of the movie Outbreak, after all), scientist believe it pretty unlikely. In humans, it preferentially attacks the gastrointestinal track, and virus loads are pretty low in the respiratory system.

So yes, averages do obscure specific circumstances that affect reality. However, the averages are low because the specific circumstances that would cause high averages are rare.


According to the CDC,

"Although coughing and sneezing are not common symptoms of Ebola, if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease."



yes, but it doesn't get transmitted through the air. You have to literally sneeze on someone not in their general vicinity


Even if that kid had Ebola (which is not respiratory intensive), the number 'about two' would still hold true on average.


Timestamping was described in the original BigTable paper and is included in the new open-source CockroachDB [1] (see Versioned Values in the design doc [2]).

A big question is whether you will be storing all mutations permanently or whether the database needs to provide either a time-to-live (TTL) or maximum # of maintained mutations.

If you are just keeping everything or use a keyvalue store with TTL, this can be accomplished easily with any key-value store by using fixed key sizes and appending the timestamp. In an ordered keyvalue store, you can do an efficient lookup of some time span. Some dbs like FoundationDB provide a framework to manage key space using tuples, so it's even easier to tailor and manage different key types to get the desired access speeds.

Rocksdb, a leveldb variant which is the engine beneath CockroachDB, does have TTL [3].

[1] http://cockroachdb.org

[2] https://docs.google.com/document/d/11k2EmhLGSbViBvi6_zFEiKzu...

[3] https://github.com/facebook/rocksdb/wiki/Time-to-Live


Cockroach is still away from being usable in production.



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