All of Aaro Salosensaari's Comments + Replies

Yes, if spread grows too large, tracing + quarantines is in fact not worthwhile, and shutdowns will be cheaper. (You can play with a basic DE model and put costs on tracing to convince yourself why this is true.)

Yeah, I tried to imply the problem was in my eyes the flimsy evidence they had a correctly specified model for making that decision. In reality, they didn't stop tracing at any point (I am not sure but looking at news, the public pressure supported by non-epi computationally oriented scientists might have helped. I hope they will do proper post-... (read more)

The potential for abusing multiplication of fractions to give extremely low numbers is well known. A particularly egregious example of this can be found in the work of Christian apologist Tim McGrew, who estimates the prior probability of having the evidence we do pertaining to the resurrection of Jesus at less than 10^-40, on the basis of multiplying together supposedly independent probabilities of each of Jesus’ disciples separately experiencing a hallucination.

There is nothing biased or weird in multiplication of probabilities yielding small numbers.... (read more)

Obviously there are discussions of this, but I just checked my copy of "Modern Infectious Disease Epidemiology: Concepts, Methods, Mathematical Models, and Public Health." It discusses travel and the contribution to spread, but mostly focuses on the way IHR limits the imposition of travel bans, and why such bans are considered problematic. It does mention quarantines and travel restrictions, but they aren't the key tools that are recommended.

Could you expand on what arguments they present?

Background / my current take:

The past year I have been reading a ... (read more)

First, in that comment, I wasn't arguing that quarantines aren't helpful. I said that the parentheses make the claim false; "In epidemiology it is a basic fact in the 101 textbook that slowing long distance transmission (using quarantines / travel restrictions) is very important." You seem to agree that this is the received wisdom.  And I agree that we should have done border closures earlier, but I would note that the simple counterfactual world, where people in general ignore epidemiologists more often, is far worse than our world in many ways.  I think a world where border closures could be done at the drop of a hat would be worse in other ways as well. You can argue, correctly, that only doing closures when actually necessary is better, but I don't think breaking down the norm of not banning travel would be a net benefit. (See: Chesterton's fence, and for a concrete example, see China's ongoing internal and external travel restrictions, and how that enables concentration camps in Xinjian.) I agree with you that the current failure should make your downgrade your opinion of experts somewhat. But see above about what I think of ignoring epidemiologists more often in general. Agreed, but there was no reason to have limited test and trace resources. More recent articles confirm that we could have done symptomatic tracing - loss of smell, coughing, etc - and isolation of just those cases, and shut down transmission completely without any testing. Shutting down borders helps, especially without sufficient tests, but it should not have been needed.   I can't comment on Finland specifically, but think that your local elite was probably less unanimous at the time, and the international consensus was different as well.    Yes, if spread grows too large, tracing + quarantines is in fact not worthwhile, and shutdowns will be cheaper. (You can play with a basic DE model and put costs on tracing to convince yourself why this is true.)  And yes, removing all restrictio

I noticed this comment on main page and would push back on the sentiment: I don't think there ever has been such conditions that "more speech" was universally agreed to be better way than restrictions to fight hate speech (or more generically, speech deemed harmful), or there is in general something inevitable about not having free speech in certain times and places because it is simply not workable in certain conditions. (Maybe it isn't, but that is kinda useless to speculate beforehand and it is obvious when one does not certainly have such conditions.)

F... (read more)

Maybe I am misreading, but in case not everone is not aware of them, in many ways concept-wise the "expansive translation" sounds quite similar to critical editions / translations [1] and other similar scholarly annotated editions [2]. This kind of work usually includes more or less extensive commentaries (often presented as footnotes or endnotes) by later scholars that attempt to explain meaning and context of the original text that may be lost on their contemporary audience. (Critical editions also attempt to deal with cases where there are several diffe... (read more)

I do not feel like writing a point by point response, it seems we are in agreement over many issues but maybe not all.

Some paragrah-sized points I want to elaborate on, however:

1 If it is not clear, in my comment I attempted not to argue against your positions in particular. It was more in the support of the idea expressed upthread that building too much of the attitude of there being an identifiable "Rationality Tribe" is a net negative.

(1b Negative both to the objective of raising general societal sanity waterline and the tribespeople's ability of it. E... (read more)

The point is, the analogy fails because there is no "music people tribe" with "music meetups" organized at "". There is no Elizier Yudkowsky of "music tribe" (at most, everyone who appreciates the Western classical music has heard about Beethoven maybe) nor idea that people familiar with main ideas of music have learned them from a small handful of "music sequences" and interconnected resources that reference each other.

Picking at one particular point in the OP, there are no weird sexual dynamics of music (some localized groups or cultures m... (read more)

Yes, there is no single 'music people tribe' but there are very much tribes for specific music (sub-)genres. (Music is huge!) But as you point out, there are people of 'similar' stature in music generally; really much greater stature overall. And 'music' is much much much older than 'rationality'. (Music is older than history!) And I'd guess it's inherently more interesting to many many more people too. I don't consider 'the sequences' or LW to be essential, especially now. The same insights are available from a lot of sources already and this should be more true in the future. It was, and perhaps is, a really good intro to what wasn't previously a particularly coherent subject. Actual 'rationality' is everywhere. There was just no one persistently pointing at all of the common phenomena, or at least not recently and in a way that's accessible to (some) 'laypeople'. But I wouldn't be surprised if there is something like a 'music sequences', e.g. a standard music textbook. I'd imagine 'music theory' or music pedagogy are in fact "interconnected resources that reference each other". Again, if it wasn't already clear, the LW sequences are NOT essential for rationality. There's no weird "sexual dynamics" in rationality – based on MY experience. I don't know why the people that publically write about that thing must define everyone else that's part of the overall network. I certainly don't consider any of it central to rationality. I don't even know that "weird sexual dynamics" is a common feature of LW meetups, let alone other 'rationality'-related associations. Rationality, in the LW sense, could be all of these things. At least give it a few hundred years! Music is old. And no one has a monopoly on rationality. If anything, LW-style rationality is competing with everything else; almost everything else is implicitly claiming to help you either believe truths or act effectively. I agree! We should definitely try to become 'background knowledge' or at least as