24 December 2020

Shop Jargon

I'm going to try to paraphrase myself to be clearer...

When a machinist talks about tenths, they're talking about ten thousandths of an inch.

They know what they're talking about, but sometimes forget that for the rest of us a tenth is 1/10" not 0.0001".

I am seeing a similar trend with medical types (and I know a surprising number of them thanks to Harvey having once worked in rest-homes).

Case Fatality Rate is defined as the number of deaths over number of people diagnosed.

That's it.  No consideration for the number of times a patient was tested negative.  No allowance for a single patient to have been counted twice if they've contracted the disease again.

Just deaths/diagnoses.

Many places have started calling this equation "crude case fatality rate" to distinguish it from other calculations of CFR.

The numbers being bandied about by several people calculate out to the mortality rate restricted to the population under their care.  This is wildly different from the CFR much of the time and often depends on anecdotal diagnosis from symptoms rather than a clinical diagnosis.

A classic being cited lately has been interstitial pneumonia.  Many of the people who've died with COVID and interstitial pneumonia are of an age where the lung damage could be from asbestos.  This is called usual interstitial pneumonia.

That makes the UIP a comorbidity with COVID.

Interstitial pneumonia caused by Wu Ping Cough would be idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

I looked it up.

It hardly matters to the patient who cannot get enough air, but it completely changes if the patient died from or with the rice rabies.

What I am seeing from Harvey's former associates is no attempt to differentiate between UIP and IPF; and an alarming tendency to consider the presence of either as a diagnosis of COVID.

Gee, how did the death numbers get inflated?


  1. Mike here,
    22 years as a machinist. The second sentence is bugging me. I would change it to...

    they're talking about ***one tenth*** of one thousandths of an inch ( .0001 inch )
    For me ten thousandths of an inch = .010 inch.

    I have had to explain that to new hires often enough and recently enough that it is still fresh in my mind.
    For the non machinists yes we have some tolerances that are +- two tenths. + or - .0002 inch in diameter. That is just for a spool bore on a hydraulic pump/motor.

    1. Thank you for underscoring my point about jargon.

      One ten thousandths is a "tenth" to entirely too many machinists.

      Drafters and engineers don't say 1/10 of a thousandth. We say 0.0001"... well we would; but the shop never holds tighter than ±0.005" anyways.

      I've only worked one place where the tolerances were tighter than that, and we made aviation life support stuff. If you could breathe and were flying a Kfir or Cheetah in 1993 or later, my name is on the prints and the O2 manifold was held to ±0.00003 mm. That took LOX and let it expand to something that you could breathe and wouldn't freeze your face off using bog standard US spec bottles to replace the much harder to source French items.

    2. That job, by the way, taught me to really loathe translating from US to metric like almost no other.

      The one that really got me to hate US to metric was a water treatment plant in Quebec where the piping was all US standard stuff (like all of Canada) but the prick Quebecois engineer demanded all of the dimensions be in metric anyways.

      So, instead of the 8" Schedule 250 pipe the builder would be buying, we had to call it out as 203.2mm / 1,723.7 kPa. Over and over again... We even had to call out unified threads in fucked up bastard metric. There's no metric call-out for 3/8-16 UNC in metric. It's an inch thread. But we had to convert it.

      Nuke Quebec from orbit. Then toss Eros on it for good measure.


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