Doubling Time and the Future

This is a simple posting about what the doubling time of a virus means for our future expectations.

We can expect a 3 week or so doubling of cases of Ebola until such time as we gain control of the spread or develop an effective cure. That may take a while. So what happens until that point? How much worry and how much time?

So lets just list a set of “doubles” and realize that it is about 3 weeks between each set. We had our first (not flown in by a medical air ambulance) patient in Dallas. Now a couple of weeks later, our first home grown transmission (to his nurse, despite medical protective gear). So that is our first “double”, from 1 to 2.

2  4  8  16  32  64  128  256  512  1K  (that '1k' is about 1000)

In weeks, that’s roughly 3 x 9 or 27. Call it about 1/2 a year. Just a while ago, Africa hit the 1000 patient mark, so we ought to expect that this all started about 1/2 a year ago. (Someone can test that if they like by looking up the index case and seeing how good the fit might be.) Now what happened after that 1000? Doubling continued. That same row can be repeated as 1000’s if desired.

2  4  8  16  32  64  128  256  512  1000x1000 (or One Million).

Now last news I heard had Africa at 4000 dead (and about 8000 infected). That puts them at about 3 x 12 weeks, or about 9 months into it. That is where we ought to be about next July… But where will THEY be by then? A whole lot worse. Now we can repeat that doubling as millions.

2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 512 1000 Million (that Americans call Billions, and Brits don’t ;-)

OK, so the world ought to be about 12 steps on by then (next July). Counting from 8k now, we get about 32 Million. Doubling Time is a bitch…

For the USA, how long to that 256 (that is nearly the entire population)? As we are already at 2, counting forward is 9 to the end of the first line, then 10 on the next line, then another 8 on the last line. 27 x 3 weeks, or about 81 weeks. Call it 20 months, give or take, until everyone in the country is either exposed, sick, or dead. That is ALL the time you have to find ways to stop the transmission. One year, 8 months. With a wall around the country and no new imports.

Now the world as a whole is already at 8,000 so how long to, oh, 8 Billion? It is a 17 count to 1 Billion, then you repeat the line of doublings as Billions, and get another 3, So 20 x 3 weeks or 60 weeks. Call it about 15 months. One and 1/4 years. Tops.

Do I think that will happen? No.

Long before then folks will start stopping this disease. If not by modern medicine, by good old fashioned quarantines (that were used since they worked… without modern medicine). At some point air travel shuts down and lots of folks shelter in place and figure they will deal with the side effects of not going to work after they find out who is still alive….

But this exercise DOES put an upper bound on how long this can go without a fix. February of 2016, we run out of world to infect. This event will be measured in months, not years. That is the tyrany of doubling time. (Or exponential growth).

Again, though, I have to point out that before that actualy happens, the S curve nature of real growth will bite. We will run out of pilots willing to fly to infected places. We will run out of folks willing to congregate in airports (or factories, or…) and things will stop; even without a cure, fix, or change of “medical protocol”.

Me? I don’t plan to do anything different until we hit about 1000 patients in the USA. That’s about 1/2 a year out. Call it April 15, 2015 or so. A fitting date… That has odds of about 300,000 : 1 on me being too late, and those are OK odds with me. At that point, I cash a chunk of the 401K, buy an RV and a couple of acres out in the boonies, and pack my water purification kit, a load of bleach, and food; and go camping for a year or so…

I don’t expect that to happen, BTW. But it is nice to know when to start taking it seriously. IFF this isn’t ramping down / being quenched, by then, well…. That also lets you know how to evaluate the response of the WHO, CDC, and others. They have 6 months to get their shit together before the shit has hit the fan and you can’t get in front of it. That isn’t a lot of time. I hope they know how to figure doublings…

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Posted in Emergency Preparation and Risks, News Related | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

Interesting Ecat report

has a link to the pdf of the report. Looks promissing. COP > 3 For over 30 days running.

according to a new 54-page report. The researchers observed a small E-Cat over 32 days, where it produced net energy of 1.5 megawatt-hours, or “far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume.” The researchers were also allowed to analyze the fuel before and after the 32-day run, noting that the isotopes in the spent fuel could only have been obtained by “nuclear reactions” — a conclusion that boggles the researchers: “… It is of course very hard to comprehend how these fusion processes can take place in the fuel compound at low energies.”

hard to fake a megawatt…

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Posted in Energy | Tagged , , | 87 Comments

Potential ebola cure – HIV Anti-viral drug

There may be a cure for Ebola.

This doctor in Africa used an HIV anti-viral and got a dramatic result. From a roughly 70% natural mortality, he dropped it to 13%. What is more, for those given the drug in the first 5 days or so of symptoms ( if I’ve read the ‘when’ part right) the mortality was zero.

Yes, zero mortality if given as soon as you have symptoms.

The drug is lamivudine. Also known as heptovir.

This needs more wide spread awareness.

(FWIW, this is the first ever posting I’ve gotten done using my tablet and small keyboard. I’ll be getting a real computer ‘soon’ and returning to electronic life more fully… This is just too painful for cut / paste / edit / typing…)

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Posted in Human Interest, Science Bits | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

So Long HP; Seeking Computes…

So I’m posting this from my Samsung Galaxy Note.  I bought a bluetooth keyboard for it.  Still needs a mouse.  I can ‘sort of type’ on the keyboard.  It is a bit slow and bouncy, and the key spacing is a bit off, so more ‘fixes’ needed.   But a world better than the faux keyboard on the screen with hunt and peck.

Still sucky at ‘mark text cut and paste’.  Hoping a mouse fixes that.   For now it is what it is.

And it is what I have.

The HP Laptop is dying.  

First the battery said it would not charge.  That was about 2 years ago.  So it has lived on life support to the wall.

Then the keyboard lost it’s key markings.   No big.  I touch type.  That was about a year ago.

Now it is saying, at boot, that it has detected a fan not working and it will shutdown in 15 seconds.  (Or I can choose to continue and it might end horribly….)   So that’s where I’m at.  

Need to suck off about 1/2 TB of data (mostly on backups already… in California…) and move onto a new laptop.   Until then, this poor excuse for a typing station is what I’ve got.  Barely workable for straight text posting.

OK, I took a look at Chromebooks.  Found one that woud let me instal Linux and with a 350 GB hard disk.  No longer made… Sigh.  The others are all SSD Solid State Disk now.  OK.  Except FLASH has limited read/write cycles (about 10,000 to 100,000 ) and forgets things in a few years ( so those archived SD cards of photos ‘forget’ in 5 to 10 years…)   Put Linux swap on one of those, you have a brick in months… or weeks…   

All the “Windows Afflicted” are Win8, with EUFI, so buggered and not secure no màtter what you do.  Can”t even slide TrueCrypt under the OS.

Dell has a Linux Laptop sold by Amazon so I can wait a long time and   hope the bios is not EUFI buggered.  Sigh.


So postings will be thin until I work this out.  It woud be easier if I was happy with Mico$oft crap and lack of security, but I’m not.  I’ll likely get an old Win-7 laptop used and just scrub it.


I did try using my Raspberry Pi.  Got it to work with the HDMI TV and external keyboard.  The TV has flicker and with X windows running it is way slow in FireFox.   Midori (sp?) was fast, but both didn’t have any video player.  Sigh.  Again.   So I’m thinking if I want a ‘mix your own’ workstation I need a different card / computer for it.   


So I’m “seeking computes” and largely limited to small comment sized blocks of typing until I sort this out.  Oh, and I second Anthony’s distaste at the “beep beep boop’ editor at WordPress.  Stupid and sucky and slow.

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Posted in Human Interest | Tagged | 47 Comments

What! A coincidence?

It’s all just a coincidence, I’m sure…


Correlation of USHCN adjustments with CO2

This post is not a joke, but is stunning.

The graph below shows the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and the magnitude of USHCN data tampering. There is almost perfect correlation between the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and how much cheating our friends at NCDC are doing with the US temperature record.

That text is from above the image in the original posting, so that “below” in the text is “above” in this re-post. Still, it’s a bit hard to accept that it’s all just a coincidence. Note the “R” value. 0.988 is about as close as you can get in any real world test.

In comments several folks make remarks about it being linear while the CO2 effect is supposed to be non-linear… but maybe the CO2 effect on adjustments is different ;-)

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Posted in AGW and GIStemp Issues, NCDC - GHCN Issues | Tagged , | 64 Comments