Another Patron Q&A this weekend

My Patreon supporters have a zoom link to join in directly, but that doesn’t mean others can’t chime in. You can preload me with exciting and provocative questions in the comments here, our use the YouTube chat to hammer at me.

11am Central time, on Sunday, 19 September — be there!


  1. says

    This may be an option –
    Steam does have a Linux client, even though not all Steam games are “Linux” compatible.
    However, Valve (the company behind Steam) does have thing called “Proton” which is a layer that allows Windows games to run on the Steam Linux client. I haven’t tested it myself though.

  2. says

    Note that the upcoming Steam Deck (handheld), coming out later this year, runs on a custom version of Linux (Steam OS), so they are working on making more and more games work in both Linux and Windows, so there is hope.

  3. mmfwmc says

    I have a question about covid evolution in the face of a vaccine. Given the choice between a vaccine that stops spread but does nothing to reduce lethality and a vaccine that allows spread but eliminates lethality, what would be a better strategy for us? It would seem that we are in an arms race with the virus and that we will never eliminate it, so making it less lethal should solve the problem – the virus multiplies happily but harmlessly, whereas stopping the spread means that we will forever be fighting breakthrough infections that evolve a way around the vaccine.

    (Yes, I know this is a false dichotomy – both effects will be on a spectrum and current vaccines do both to a degree, so feel free to change the parameters if you want.)

    Have I misunderstood something?

  4. John Morales says

    mmfwmc, the vaccine changes the body, not the virus — well except indirectly, by changing its environment.

    The likelihood of virus mutation increases the more virus there is.

    In a partially-vaccinated population, virus strains that are sufficiently infectious will outcompete other variants, and so that selects for the more virulent strains.

    So, stopping the spread is the best strategy.

  5. mmfwmc says

    @John Morales,

    As far as I understand it, selection pressure works to drive infectiousness but not lethality. A virus can be infectious but relatively safe – e.g. the common cold.

    So if we have a vaccine that prevents the lethal effects, a mutation would need to increase infectiousness and coincidentally increase lethality. I remember reading a paper about farmers spraying only 75% of their crops with pesticides to prevent the build-up of resistance since that resistance caused a competitive disadvantage in the absence of pesticides. Although, as you point out, more virus means more chances to find this unlucky combination.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    Provocative questions…..
    If insects evolved from sea-living arthropods, why are there still sea-living arthropods? Checkmate, atheists!
    -are there spiders in Sheol? OT says little on the issue.
    -When the sun starts rising in the west (according to a sacred book* {and all sacred books are infallible}), how badly will that influence the day-night cycle of arachnids?

    *You guessed right, it is the book by ‘that’ prophet.