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What marginal returns now?

by jmh1 min read30th Mar 20205 comments



The returns to a lot of the discussion and analysis related to the outbreak certainly had both high potential and realized returns to that work.

Economics tells us we should expect diminishing marginal returns as additional efforts are applied.

I am being to wonder if the marginal returns now are positive or negative. If negative is that because we've just exhausted all the value to be created or is it due to misfocused efforts?

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Most people have very short timelines when thinking about the issue. To the extend we can think in larger timelines and people read LW because we gave good information in the past, it's worthwhile to continue providing valuable information.

Analysis question such as whether we should do more humidity control and if so what humanity we should target seem to be still completely unexplored.

The question of how to reduce the regulatory bottlenecks on vaccine production seems to have high potential returns.

Analysis of whether or not talking/singing is an important vector for infection seems to be important to get right.

I find it difficult to imagine how returns could be literally negative – it's not as though people are anti-correlated with the truth – unless you're taking into account some effect like "Annoying people by making too many coronavirus posts."