Highest Rated Comments

Kalepsis3977 karma

When Oxford University was working on a COVID-19 vaccine it announced that it would be made "open source", meaning that any pharmaceutical manufacturer would be able to produce it legally without infringement on any drug patent, which would make the vaccine more widely available and less expensive, enabling widespread vaccination of the economically destitute populations in developing countries. But after their announcement that they would make the vaccine free to produce, they received immense pressure from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (wherein Oxford research staff were threatened with the reduction or elimination of all grants from the Foundation, not limited only to those for medical research) to patent the vaccine and partner with AstraZeneca to sell it. So, now, not only did AstraZeneca receive all the accolades for "developing" a vaccine (which the company did not do), it's also being produced in limited quantities and sold for $4 per dose to the federal government, which is about 20 times more expensive than the estimated cost if the formula had been open source and allowed to be mass produced by any manufacturer with the required equipment. In addition, because it is patented, it can only be produced by AstraZeneca, and poor countries have no or limited access to inexpensive vaccines.

Why did you do that, Bill?

Kalepsis277 karma

Thanks for answering, Bill.

If it wasn't an IP issue, wouldn't it make more sense to support the original plan to make it open source with public announcements as well as funding via grants from the Foundation for large scale manufacturing by market competitors with the same high quality level? Clearly, other pharma companies like Moderna, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, et al have the equipment and ability to mass produce the Oxford vaccine with tight quality control standards and sell them at cost. It would have been a win-win for the Foundation to support the cause, for the companies producing the vaccine as a public service, and it would have allowed doses to make their way to underserved countries at very low cost.

So why limit its production to only AstraZeneca? Isn't that exactly the opposite of a charitable organization's core goal?

Kalepsis160 karma

How does the system distinguish between an assailant holding a weapon and, say, a child holding a squirt-gun?

Kalepsis96 karma

Are you planning to write an article about how YouTube's suggested videos algorithm is currently massively deprioritizing independent media in favor of large, rich mainstream sources, such as CNN and Fox News, which pay YouTube money to do exactly that?

Kalepsis22 karma

Ray, your performances in Arcane were absolutely splendid. I'm not ashamed to say that your song with Sting, What Could Have Been, made me tear up.

When you compose and perform a piece, is there some method you use to ensure you invoke a particular emotional response from the audience?