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A blog disaster, or: Never trust WordPress

There is no post today, because WordPress and its Gutenberg editor ate large swaths of it. Lesson learned. I had written about Eric Clapton’s reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine but don’t know if I’ll revisit and reconstruct the original post.

I actually had a post ready to go today, and there’s a reason why you’re not seeing it. Early this morning, I decided to go over it one more time and make a few edits. While doing so, I accidentally closed my browser tab, and when I came back to the post I discovered that it had reverted to an early version of the post lacking at least 1,500 carefully chosen words that had been added to it as I completed it last night. Going through versions on the WordPress back end failed to find the missing text. Ultimately, disgusted and annoyed, I decided I didn’t have the time or the inclination to try to reconstruct the missing post given that I had to go to work. I don’t know if I’ll take what remains of the post tonight or tomorrow and try to reconstruct what I had written, the better to publish it over the weekend or on Monday. I might. I might not. Right now, I have no motivation to do so. All I have time to do before heading to work is to post a brief explanation.

I have learned a valuable lesson, though, that never should have been necessary. In the past, I always used to write my posts in HTML using BBEdit and then cut and paste them into WordPress after I finished them. That way, if WordPress did anything odd, I wouldn’t lose any text, and, better still, I’d have a text file copy of every post I’ve ever written. However, the latest iteration of the WordPress editor Gutenberg had lulled me into composing some of my posts right in the WordPress editor, saving me reformatting that was sometimes necessary as I transferred the text. Given that I have a backup service that periodically backs up the entire blog, I didn’t think I was risking much. I guess I was wrong.

What happened, I think, is that Gutenberg sometimes doesn’t like custom HTML. WordPress can now automatically embed elements like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts; all you have to do is to cut and paste the link into the post. However, for some things you still need to use custom HTML embeds, and I’ve found that Gutenberg doesn’t play well with some of them at all. Whenever I use such HTML, it’s not uncommon for me to get messages flashing in the editor that the automatic backup failed, although manual saves generally work. In any event, I used some custom HTML, with copious use of the “Save draft” button. I thought I was OK. Apparently not. After I had accidentally closed the editor tab, returning to the post showed huge swaths of the post gone, basically everything added after the custom HTML embed. In any event, I plan on never letting something like this happen again by going back to composing my posts in BBEdit.

If anyone wants to know what the post was about, it was this:

The last Tweet contains a link to the entire Telegram channel post in which Robin Monotti shares Clapton’s story. Of course, I was going to note that it took Clapton half the post even to get to his story about the vaccine. Before that, he couldn’t help but rant about “lockdowns” and positively reference the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, the eugenics-adjacent recommendation last fall just to let COVID-19 rip through the young and use “focused protection” for the elderly and chronically ill. When he did finally get to his vaccine reaction, he was quite vague about what the heck his “bad reaction” to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine actually was, particularly the first shot. Maybe we can crowdsource a post in the comments.

And maybe, just maybe, I will go back and try to reconstruct the original post when I have time.

In the meantime, I’m cursing WordPress, Gutenberg, and myself! I’ve been at this for over 16 years and really should know better.

ADDENDUM: If you’re a Clapton fan and like the whole “white boy doing the blues” thing that he helped popularize, I highly recommend the latest album by The Black Keys, Delta Kream. I just added it to my Apple Music library this morning and have been listening to it as I work in my office and lab. Very enjoyable electrified covers of blues classics.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

46 replies on “A blog disaster, or: Never trust WordPress”

How frustrating. Really, WordPress.

I’m really sorry to miss your comments on this today, too.

As far as I know, Clapton has never apologised for, or even repudiated at all, his “Keep Britain white” comments from the 1970s. Yet another example of crank magnetism.

As far as I know, he did not. True, he was very drunk and/or high when he made those comments, but that’s not an excuse for not apologizing.

Eric Clapton claims that the vaccine caused sensations of freezing, burning and numbness in his hands and feet. He adds that he suffers from peripheral neuropathy, which causes sensations of freezing, burning and numbness in hands and feet.

Perhaps the vaccine temporarily exacerbated his pre-existing condition, or it was a transient relapse which had nothing to do with the vaccine. Either way, it’s not evidence that covid vaccine “caused” this reaction.

Incidentally, part of recovery from addiction is to make amends for the harm you have caused other people during your addiction.In Clapton’s case, I wonder why an apology for his racist rant hasn’t been part of that.

Incidentally, part of recovery from addiction is to make amends for the harm you have caused other people during your addiction.

In the 12-step cult.

“In the 12-step cult.”

Yea. Fuck those guys {And it is not so ‘anonymous’. One just uses the lidar to look for the 5-alarm polyvinal chloride fire — you can cut the air with a knife and it burns my eyes. They just replacing with something else — not always a bad thing. I now, after 3 weeks of anectodal ‘have not died yet’ data, recommend D9 –> D8, for instance}.

That’s why I got addicted in the first place; To spite these power hungry, patriarchial people. And their little nippy pomeranians to. Fuck those guys.

That kind of comment by Clapton is not the kind of thing I fancy at all. Nonetheless, I do observe a change of political climate around here and I do not believe we’ll be in a position to eschew ugly debates on immigration in the future. The stance adopted by Michel Barnier a few days ago, from such a non-committal marshmallow politician, is a turning point and a witness to the fact that these debates are coming to the fore. Dunno how completely racist future debates like this will be in the future, but I’m not really hopeful. I sense turmoil ahead around here and the “make country X white” will have to be dealt with with more than fluffy feel-good arguments. It’s been a while in the making…

In the 12-step cult.

Well, I’m pretty sure that Clapton is a 12-stepper. The addiction recovery centre that he established in Antigua uses the 12 step program as the basis of its treatment plan.

Terrie has provided an explanation for his failure to apologize. He still thinks that way, it seems.

That’s why I try to avoid the opinions of musicians I admire on anything else than music, because some I absolutely don’t agree with, like for instance Joe Jackson, if he says something about smoking-bans.

It’s disheartening because he has great talent as a performer, writer and blues interpreter- and has cleaned up his issues- but one area of expertise doesn’t guarantee abilities in other areas.

I found the following in the Daily Fail:
10 June 2016: he suffers from ‘damage to his nervous system” and he ‘struggles to play”. I have also read about him having peripheral neuropathy. and emphysema

Other musical Covid deniers/ vaccine sceptics:

Clapton mentions Van Morrison’s musical polemics in this vein- a song about “rebels”

A friend’s relative worships Metallica whose front man seems to be actively avoiding the vaccine citing his Christian Science upbringing. Now the relative also refuses the vaccine although he has various health issues..

A classic line from Clapton’s anti-lockdown song recorded with Van Morrison: “Dick Turpin* wore a mask too”.

If there’s a category of Aging Rocker Disease to complement Nobel Disease, Clapton is making a strong case for recognition along with Ted Nugent.

*Turpin was a legendary British highway robber.

In fairness, Van Morrison wrote the song, and Clapton only performed it. Even so, Clapton enthusiastically performed it; so he does deserve some blame. However, I think it’s Van Morrison who’s really getting into Ted Nugent territory.

If there’s a category of Aging Rocker Disease to complement Nobel Disease, Clapton is making a strong case for recognition along with Ted Nugent.

That’s going to take more work.

IIRC, the Belfast Cowboy has framed his objection in terms of financial harm to local bands.

I feel your pain on both counts, and can possibly help with one. Form History Control has saved a large number of my own WordPress articles, available for both Chrome and Firefox –

Not perfect, but definitely another layer of protectoin.

I might have to check it out, but I know my old method of composing offline and then cutting and pasting into the WP editor will prevent this from happening again.

It’s more than Aging Rockers. It’s aging, period. 60’s hippies and “free thinkers” are today’s elderly curmudgeons who often are anti-mask and right wing. With age far too many dig a rut, jump in, like it and stay there. It was ever so.

The other thing I’ve learned with aging, especially since most of the people I know are becoming or are old, is that what was once left unsaid for reasons of propriety and a wish to not offend and fit in socially, are now said, whether due to unconcern about what others think or they feel free to spout out about what they’ve always felt and believed. I am regularly shocked by what friends and relatives blurt out in conversation now that they’re in their 60s, 70s or 80s. Nothing surprising about this either.

Sometimes I wonder if those elders’ former liberalism. magnanimity was- in many, not all, people merely a stance to gain social acceptance by their peers rather than the sincere advocacy of youth.

I’ve lost any number of comments to browser weirdness. I feel Orac’s pain. When i get enough words in, I will switch to a text editor if i think about it, but I don’t think about it much as I’m not writing that many longer comments these days. i also have a keystroke recorder, but reconstructing a comment from that is still a fair bit of annoying work….

So the cranky aging musician wingnut club has another member. Daltry, Morrisey, Van Morridson… It’s hard to keep up. Well, I always thought Clapton was overrated anyway. Duane Allman totally outshined EC on Derek and the Dominoes, and among white Brit blues players no one comes close to touching Peter Green.for depth and feeling.

Props to Orac for being hip to The Black Keys, I’ll have to check out that new recording.

Duane Allman totally outshined EC on Derek and the Dominoes

I am very fond of “Mountain Jam,” which, if W—dia is to be trusted has a more colorful history than I was previously aware of.

I’ve been hoping for a critique of Nicholas Wade’s conspiracy theory laced article on origins of Covid. I’m pretty sure it’s what set off Senator Ryan at the latest hearings. I hadn’t heard about Clapton, but it sounds very “old man shouts at clouds” Back in the day he’d have hailed Dick Turpin as a rebel outsider.

Elsewhere @ RI, someone complains about how the CDC lifted mask rules, showing how they are merely frivolous, unscientific hacks or such like / s

Although Joel does a good job of explaining why they made this announcement and television experts discussed their worries, I’d like to hear regulars’
thoughts about this development. I think it will create confusion in places that rescind/ never had mandates. Will it set back progress ?

It may be good science, but when most locals are below 50%, it’s bad messaging, I think, because you cannot really enforce who is and isn’t vaccinated, and it makes it harder for localities and states to require masks. I think it’s bad messaging at this point.

It won’t make a difference to me because my children are unvaccinated yet (because they’re too young, and we didn’t get in the trials), and I’m not going to even try to explain to them – even if CA removes the mask mandate – why I’m not wearing a mask when I ask them to.

A friend said that “it’s treating Americans as responsible adults”, and he’s not sure we earned that treatment.

My husband says “I really LIKE that it’s been a year and a half since I had a cold, why would I want to stop wearing a mask in public?” but we are basically hermits anyhow so it’s not like he’s had to wear one for an entire workday. I feel for the folks who have to wear them for hours at a time.

Apparently my municipality was at 87% of eligible folks with at least one dose (prior to opening up to the under 16 camp — and the local high school had a pop-up clinic with 1,000 doses on Saturday to try to catch as many of those as possible) so I’m not so anxious about encountering people without masks nearby, but yeah, I don’t trust people in general to be honest about their vaccination status.

The ‘carrot’ idea is not gonna fly, they got their own damn carrots. Something might come out of it:

They should also “have a badge on their arms that say ‘I’ve been vaccinated even though it’s not a vaccine’ so that we know to avoid them on the street, to not go near them anywhere in society,” he said.

It’s not just social distancing that anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers are begrudgingly accepting. Some conspiracy theorists are wondering if perhaps their longtime bane, the mask, could become their salvation. One perplexed poster on the fringe site 4chan asked their fellow anons if they should “wear a mask around the vaccinated, because they shed the mRNA stuff?”

“I am going to be watching these vaccine shedding stories like a hawk,” wrote another man on Twitter. “Is my family going to need to wear masks to protect ourselves from the vaccinated?”

And I am shooting out maximum spikage right now. I modified an old 4-beam interference spinny, superfast scanny thing (it was scrap off an old Time-Tamper 2187 — it’s used to keep razor blades sharp) to visualize the spikes and have discovered that they don’t just ooze out the poors and float around but the little buggers are spring loaded. These things are shooting out at an initial 200 fps bright streams of corpuscular stuff aranged in myriads of god-rays. 360. Bright. Soo bright. The walls! The little Bumbles bounce figurines a certain someone puts on gifts each Christmas.The patterns in the waves! It’s like a glorious Aura. The mess. And then they start to undulate, clump, and repel, these rays. then they break up into little bright bits all in a swarm doing that crazy changing pattern thing birds do; They split into five main streams. I think they are looking for their next victims as only 2 out of 7 of us aren’t wearing a MAGA hat.

A lot of unvaccinated people will take advantage of the situation to go without masks indoors. Businesses that try to continue to enforce mask-wearing will face backlash from customers. If businesses try to grant any preferential access to the vaccinated, they’ll be thwarted by Republican legislators like the ones in Florida, who claim they’re pro-business but are busy passing legislation to keep the heavy hand of government on the neck of commerce.

In other words, a mess.

Despite being fully vaccinated I suspect I will keep wearing masks in stores for the forseeable future, even after my state drops the rule next month.

But we don’t need no steenkin masks or vaccines. As the Objective Pro-Vaccine Rational Scientist (Lyons-Weiler) tells us, there are gobs of successful treatments for Covid-19 to use instead, on the undeniably sound principle that it’s better to try to fix things once you’ve gotten infected rather than trying to prevent infection in the first place.

His latest diatribe (posted on his SCIENCE website today) touts NONS, a nitric oxide nasal spray produced by a Canadian company, whose publicity blitz is based on a phase II trial in all of 79 infected patients. The NO spray supposedly greatly reduces viral counts in (? nasal passages ?) during what apparently are early-stage infections, though how this might affect ultimate clinical outcome is unclear. A company spokesman is pushing use of the product along with vaccination to curb the pandemic, but L-W is conveniently ignoring the part about vaccination.

Did someone mention nasal passages?

Where “Halifax” was bouyant [sic] and romping, providing the perfect context for it’s demented-grin lyrics, here we have “Six” which sounds anxious and even paranoid, coinciding perfectly with its lyrical concerns: mysterious coincidences involving the number 6, and a raving lunatic narrative about aliens from the planet Pajodis coming to earth, performing “nutritional experiments” and “REEMING OUR NASAL PASSAGES!!!”

Las Vegas is relaxing rules, taking down partitions etc – Several stories. on MSN/ television
What could POSSIBLY go wrong?
Crowded casinos, alcohol, drugs, vacation flings, risk lovers, youthful confidence. venues trying to attract customers with a “return to normal” vibe, visitors from diverse locales .

“We are in the end times. Israel is surrounded by armies.”

Lady, it’s both.

My Captain Trips reagent ‘test’ kit came in today. So did my fully reversable reverse transcriptase test kit. The printer is a little skectchy but probaply because I borked Google Spy on my phone — I might have to do that cross-ship thing but Brenda is fet up.

Woah. WTF? ^^ I don’t even use Google Spy. I ported to Linode because my work is of a sensitive nature and they had a really cool ad and recruitment incentive. I made money, I bought stuff, I…..

And I’ll just have you know that Brenda is just peachy with our current arrangement, thank you very much! I call Imposter on you, questionable sir.

How dare he have side effects!
Typical antivaxxer…taking a vaccine and having side effects.

As Dr Wicklund said, he seems to have a contraindication (neuropathy).

In the addendum section Orac writes, “white boy doing the blues.”

@ Orac,

Q. How do you define “white boy.”

MJD says,

I’m hoping you define “white boy” more clearly than you define antivaxxer.

What part of simple English do you not understand?

‘White’ means Caucasian, not Black; ‘boy’ means male person of any age.

The Blues originated from Black musicians and white ones, in admiration, followed in their footsteps, notably some very white Brits, like Clapton, and Americans in the 1960s and beyond.

you speak as if Orac and company were not mind shatteringly CLEAR about what anti-vaxxer means.
despite feigned support for vaccines a la RFK jr ( “all my children were vaccinated” ” I support safe vaccines”) ) and many others including trolls ( “I took vaccines”) at RI,, they unquestionably disparage the usage of vaccines and raise fear, uncertainty and doubt about them any way they can whether it is childhood vaccines, flu vaccines or new ones like Covid.
ANY WAY they can. “I’m not an anti-vaxxer” thy ALL say. Wrongly.

@ Denice

” ‘Boy’ means male person of any age.”

Well, no. Literally, ‘boy’ means a physically immature male. Figuratively, ‘boy’ can refer to a male of any age, but ascribing to that person some characteristic associated with youth. This can be positive — as in rugby players referring to their teammates as ‘the boys’ to express cameraderie; or it can be derogatory, implying immaturity, weakness, subservience — the most notable of such uses being whites addressing adult Black males as “boy!”.

As such, the (well-established) phrase “white boy blues” pairs two semiotic oppositions: black/white and man/boy. You would never say ‘black boy blues’.unless you want to start a fight. Real blues, Black blues, can only be played by men,. It reflects emotions that can only be earned through hard experience, with the connotations of the effects of racism always in the background, even if the surface text is “my woman/man done me wrong”. So ‘white boy blues’ infers that the players have adopted the musical style without having the requisite background experience — due to relative race and class privilege. The implicit critique is that while the playing may be technically adept, it lacks the emotional depth of the true masters.

So,yup, EC is exhibit ‘A’. And it’s no coincidence that most critics would say his best blues work was with D&D, when he had reached his late 20s and was pretty seriously messed up by his obsession with Patti Boyd Harrison. It’s also no coincidence that the ‘white boy blues’ label is rarely applied to Peter Green, who, despite being born to a middle-class Jewish family, suffered from a variety of mental health issues throughout his life, and imparted deep emotions into his playing. B.B. King said of Green “He was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” The melancholy in “Man of the World” the song I embedded above, is downright frightening.

That said, i have no clue whatsoever about what MJD might be on about, not that I care. I also have no idea whether Orac intended all of those connotations in his use of the phrase. (As a general rue, semioticians don’t do intent…) I’m just commenting on the meanings that language evokes. i would add that since Orac’s use comes in praise of The Black Keys, this specific use is not so much a pejorative as a qualification: “This may not be ‘the real thing’ but it’s quite enjoyable for what it is.”

As another exemplar of ‘white boy blues’, and for comparison to Green re: technique v. emotion, here’s Love Sculpture’s “Blues Helping”, basically a solo by Dave Edmonds.. It’s great, but in a different way:

@ sadmar:

Believe me , I’m aware of these issues which I was not about to discuss in detail with MJD who doesn’t even get the simplest meaning put forth by Orac
I grew up with Black classmates, heard stories the horrors of segregation by my mother who was forced by circumstances to observe it firsthand for several years, , have cousins by marriage who are Black/ activist and, worked with very diverse clientele / colleagues/ friends for many years…

MJD probably needs to be told that EC is a whitey and that Blues was created by Blacks.

I was thinking that they should have administered the Covid vaccine like they did the small pox vaccine. I still have the scar on my arm 50 years later.

Vanity Fair has an article about RFK jr available for FREE on the net. I haven’t read it all but it started out fine. Vanity Fair news

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