Great point on trust. Here's a recent paper by Eric Budish reflecting on the issue, via Tyler Cowen.
Thanks for doing your own research and laying out clearly what you think Bitcoin offers.
All these features of Bitcoin make it an attractive candidate for being a store of value and medium of exchange.
I think you're mostly right on what features Bitcoin has, but I think you're mistaken that they make it a good currency.
Related: probabilistic negotiation (linking to my comment). Because of asymmetric information about demand schedules in the individual one-off context, either you're guessing or accepting their self-reports (i.e., I agree with Kokotajlo and Shlomi). As nice as probabilistic negotiation is in theory, practically you just hope to converge to splitting the surplus, and giving-in happens for whomever tires of the negotiation first. Depends on how much you know about your counterpart.
It's much easier to set market prices where you have repeated transaction... (read more)
Previously after Pfizer's 11/5 interim report on Paxlovid in high risk patients, you said an 89%, 95% CI: [64, 97] (n=774) was certain enough to conclude efficacy but not certain enough to stop the trial because the CI was uncomfortably wide.After they had their 12/14 final report on Paxlovid in high risk patients, you said an 89%, 95% CI: [72, 96] (n=1379) looked good.At that time they also shared the interim report on Paxlovid in standard risk patients, showing 70%, 95% CI: [-8, 92] (n=854).Now after their 6/14 final report on Paxlovid in standard risk p... (read more)
It was at that point I thought, "we've rediscovered Kant's categorical imperative."
Transitivity is a fundamental axiom necessary for a consistent utility function, which is central to rational choice theory. Sure, the potential for resource loss makes it more problematic for the agents you're studying, but if you don't have a consistent utility function to support your modeling in the first place, it's already problematic for your studying of the agents. Put another way, you don't even need to "reach" the coherence argument if you can't get over the consistency bar.
Why is a resource central here? Consider (if it helps, also change "upgrade" to "switch"):
Let’s start with the simplest coherence theorem: suppose I’ll pay to upgrade pepperoni pizza to mushroom, pay to upgrade mushroom to anchovy, and pay to upgrade anchovy to pepperoni. This does not bode well for my bank account balance. And the only way to avoid having such circular preferences is if there exists some “consistent preference ordering” of the three toppings - i.e. some ordering such that I will only pay to upgrade to a topping later in the order, ne
On fluvoxamine, the FDA's report includes additional analyses that even go beyond what I talked about regarding the NIH's. Though I will say their discussion of the meta-analysis seemed a little disingenuous (though some comments in peer review can feel the same, so) - garbage in, garbage out is always a potential problem, and one should never hope for a meta-analysis to "substantially alter the assessment of the individual trials," so failing to deliver on that is just par for the course and should not be viewed as a negative.But even just taking the meta... (read more)
Selection-induced correlation depends on the selection model used. It is valuable to point out that tailcalled implicitly assumes a specific selection model to generate a charitable interpretation of Taleb. But proposing more complex (/ less plausible for someone to employ in their life) models instead is not likely to yield a more believable result.
It is still tempting to assume each exact transaction is zero sum (while the macro level invisible hand is yielding positive sum) but that would be a mistake. First, there may be a little bit of buyer and seller surplus (represented by a market maker facilitating a strike price between the bid/ask spread). Second, risk matters - could be that gain the seller missed out on was just not the right deployment of their capital for their risk profile, so they actually aren't "missing out" on it at all. Third, you're not observing opportunity costs in strike pric... (read more)
Here's an extremely related episode about Nathan's from the History Channel, addressing signaling.
As nuts as IRBs can be, their purpose is not to protect people from research findings but from research (mis)conduct. They are to protect the human subjects.
Plus if you think about the Proposer's optimization problem, it really hinges on "what is the probability that the Responder will accept my offer?" Obviously, the probability is at a maximum for 0,10 and one expects it to remain very high, even 1.0, through 5,5. Proposer is already aware that their own expected value declines after that point, and probably assumes it does so monotonically. If the Responder can share their particular probability schedule, that's great, and it's actually important if Proposer for some reason is unaware of the incentive structure. Yudkowsky and Kennedy's explication is nice and probably helpful advice, but not really a "solution."
Glad I ran into this post!
I'm in an area that is only back to an early October 2021 rate of new cases. My gut says it seems a couple/few weeks early to go completely mask-optional (and it's not like we did in November 2021...), but there is actually quite a bit different now - a much higher share of non-susceptibles (thanks Omicron! and the booster), milder illness (thanks Omicron! and the booster), kids are getting vaccinated, better treatments are available. It's also annoying that these decisions are really just made ad hoc ("does the current CDC map give us cover?" never gettin... (read more)
I agree, since the start of the rumblings, I had updated from (significant territorial gains to Dnieper and maybe Odessa region) to (integrating Luhansk and Donetsk with fighting in other parts of Eastern Ukraine). Putin got me there.However, the initial reporting making it sound like an all-out invasion is happening is based largely on missile attacks, so it's possible that we're just seeing forward strikes and fighting could remain in the East (including Northern East). Kyiv is of course eventually on the radar in any situation. But "invading from Belarus" would be very different if it were into Volyn and Rivne vs. Chernihiv (BBC says Chernihiv).
Yes I misunderstood your post. I appreciate your taking some responsibility as the communicator (e.g., probabilities and likelihoods are pretty quant!), but your post could have also been reasonably read as referring to inexplicit models, and that is on me. Communication breakdowns are rarely on one party alone.I agree that cliodynamics has been a dicey application of quant modeling to history - the valuable parts of it are generally in the inexplicit modeling rather than the real quant model per se. Inexplicit forecasting is more common, but it's also les... (read more)
Maybe I missed something, or maybe it's simply that the study of history portrayed to us laypeople is usually so qualitative, but this just sounds like a call to apply quantitative model building and testing to the study of history. With some choice word replacements, you could get the post to sound like basic statistical modeling.In some respect, people do this all the time with "event studies" (and then generalizing those to future events), or in "economic history." Perhaps they don't really address broad strokes of history, but "cliodynamics" tries.I wa... (read more)
Florin's right that the 15-64 age group doesn't pain a clean picture of the actual numbers since it combines very different excess death rates, but even the 25-44 group experienced a serious increase. Rather than Katja being "wrong," they are very much right."For the next 2 years, you will have a 25% higher risk of death than usual" is not a high absolute risk of death, but that shift from baseline is not just "not entirely insignificant" either.
Right, there is a ton of misunderstanding regression floating around on this issue it seems. Yet, one would still think that Having covid would be more predictive of Long covid than Believing you've had covid, since Believing and Long ought to be correlated only through their shared association with Having (common cause rather than mediation). The fact that this is not the case could indicate that people with chronic conditions come to think they Had covid (discussed at the end of the study) or that the measure of Having covid is not that good (see Siebe's... (read more)
Yet, one would still think that Having covid would be more predictive of Long covid than Believing you've had covid, since Believing and Long ought to be correlated only through their shared association with Having (common cause rather than mediation). The fact that this is not the case could indicate that people with chronic conditions come to think they Had covid (discussed at the end of the study) or that the measure of Having covid is not that good (see Siebe's comment), or that it's psychosomatic (loose usage of the term), or something(s) else
My worry was that maybe an antigen throat test would need a different design/reagents/whatever (since there'd be a lot more saliva, etc.) than an antigen nasal test to be sensitive. Apparently the health authorities will not explain any of the "under the hood" issues (just that a throat swab is more difficult, and therefore more dangerous, to do to yourself), and the expert WaPo got is worried not about false negatives but false positives! First, the specificity of the tests are great so it's hard to fathom what would be introduced to drop that, and second... (read more)
A single omicron antigen test is good after showing symptoms, not before (Table 1). The good news is antigen doesn't miss randomly (of course not) - it misses lower viral load cases (Figure 1a). But we can't be sure those cases are at a steady-state of viral load, so it doesn't necessarily ensure that missed cases remain low viral load. Asymptomatic cases tend to be lower viral load than symptomatic cases (makes sense), but it's by no means a guarantee (Figure 1b-c, median Ct of symptomatic is ~25 while median Ct of asymptomatic is ~30, higher Ct means low... (read more)
Yeah the "ethical rules" linked tweet asks, since tests are available in the UK, what if we just had Londoners take two - one in the nose and one in the throat, to see if they work? (so a non-confident version of #3)It's more complicated too, not just #2 of developing tests we know work with saliva. From the linked preprint, the viral loads are somewhat higher in saliva than nasal earlier but nasal than saliva later (low sample size for this inference though).And those data are a bit sad as they show that regardless of the saliva/nasal viral loads, antigen... (read more)
And we have VAERS, to which individuals can report directly. Plus, the surveillance system (including our crappy contact tracing systems run by the states) means we get sub-hospitalization data. Ideally contact tracing would also help arrest spread (not so much if they call you 3 days after you test positive 3 days after you first show symptoms...sheesh), but at the very least you're getting a survey done.I think just from becoming aware of the surveillance and adverse event reporting systems, Valentine's base for a high degree of skepticism is pretty shak... (read more)
You know what we still never got anywhere on settling, and which is super relevant right about now? The extent to which vaccines make some people immune to infection while others largely aren’t, versus the extent to which they make most people less vulnerable to infection in each encounter but not fully immune....My model now says it’s a hybrid. People have different levels of antibody and other responses to the vaccines, which means some people are effectively fully immune (at least for a while), others get more limited protections
You know what we still never got anywhere on settling, and which is super relevant right about now? The extent to which vaccines make some people immune to infection while others largely aren’t, versus the extent to which they make most people less vulnerable to infection in each encounter but not fully immune....
My model now says it’s a hybrid. People have different levels of antibody and other responses to the vaccines, which means some people are effectively fully immune (at least for a while), others get more limited protections
This is definitely an im... (read more)
I'd be hesitant to conclude from prices -naturally- skyrocketing that welfare is lower. "Reasoning from a price change" as Scott Sumner would say. If you have a shortage due to supply constraints, and innovation eases the supply constraint and unlocks complementarity value in other products, that'll be reflected in their prices and does not necessarily mean people are worse off.I like your positioning of Braess's paradox as an externality. It's a special case in that it isn't the participation in the system that exerts a social cost but the particular path... (read more)
You may also enjoy Why the West Rules - For Now, which also addresses environmental, rather than institutional, factors. As Kaj_Sotala notes, these kinds of books are often entertaining reads but just-so stories.
This is again a threshold, not comparator, complaint. Ct values are generated by PCR. Instead of using a crosstab for all samples, this approach is to use a crosstab for a subset of samples with higher viral load. It's reasonable! IIRC from a previous paper, this (90% of Ct<25) has a similar effect as just reducing the overall cutoff to (80% of all). It's also reasonable to use studies from other countries or to follow other agencies, in either case the ones we think are credible, which is again about the evidence threshold. What I've been hammering on is that the idea these tests are so different that they're noncomparable is not sensible.
I somewhat like the distinction between "testing for infectiousness" and "testing for whether I have it" (especially from a public health, rather than personal healthcare, standpoint). "People want to go to parties so they want fast, even if slightly less sensitive, tests because sometimes they don't really even care about their own health status, just whether they can reasonably party" is also a great reason to try to market the product (let party organizers or other organization police what tests they will accept or whether they will expect pre-testing),... (read more)
The requirement for products to have the same cost/benefit profile really hampers innovation in the marketplace. A less sensitive test (literally, as a % of PCR) over the cumulative test-testing window (e.g., -2 to +5 days from symptom onset) may be desirable when used in a specific part of that window where it doesn't actually have as severe of sensitivity disadvantage (e.g., -1 to +1 days). Depending on the disease, we may not want to compromise on specificity at all. These are just the "cost" profiles (haha I left out price) - the personal benefit is di... (read more)
They'd be vaccinated-lite. The neutralization titers in vaccinated plasma are better than in convalescent plasma. Lots of room to complicate things and get it closer to reality, but that doesn't touch the public good value thing so much.
Trevor Bedford gets into this, and the short answer is technically yes, but the important part about decomposing Rt is not the decomposing it per se but the info it yields on how much vaccine escape might be going on. For reasonable R0s, there has to be substantial vaccine escape. https://twitter.com/trvrb/status/1466076797670363140
Regarding translating fold reductions of neutralization titers into vaccine effectiveness, I always go back to this: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01377-8 (Fig 1a). Titers ~4x convalescent is what mRNAs do against wild-type, getting them to about 90%+ efficacy. About a 2x reduction against Delta means titers ~2x convalescent, getting them to about 85% efficacy. These conform with what we've seen. A 25-40x reduction against Omicron means titers .10-.16x convalescent, getting us down to 40% efficacy for two shots. Pfizer says a booster gets us back to "full" efficacy, and hopefully that holds up!
Good job looking for cruxes! I agree with you that quantifying a differential in exposures would help nail down how much we should favor vaccination (or not), but the idea behind the probabilities I laid out was getting at the risk of inducing asymptomatic-spread. At the most unfavorable to vaccination (like how I also assumed vaccination leads to only asymptomatic disease), asymptomatics generate N infections from N exposures with p=1 and symptomatics generate exposures with p=0 (because they quarantine), so we can just look at the risk of inducing asympt... (read more)
Your POV really turns on (emphasis added):
Having a relatively rare belief that vaccinated people seem much more likely to get asymptomatically infected and to have lower mortality BUT also noting that vaccines do NOT prevent infectiousness and probably cannot push R0 below 1.0.
Much more likely than what? It would seem the relative comparison you want to make would be vs. the unvaccinated, but that's obviously false (and that's the important part). It's true they are more likely to be asymptomatically vs. symptomatically infected (yay mild COVID), but so wh... (read more)
I like the distinction between target-only forecasting and reference class forecasting.It's interesting you use the mathematical terms zeroth and first order (and higher order) approximations, when one could take reference class forecasting into statistical terms instead:1. Identify a reference class (relevant population from which the target was drawn)2. Model it and make predictionsThe zeroth order approximation is Yi=b0. Intercept-only model, your prediction is the average from the reference class.The first order approximation is Yi=b0+b1*X. Now there's... (read more)
There is still far too much uncertainty in how effective Paxlovid is, due to the trial being halted early – the idea that we know what we need to know here already is absurd.
The chi-squared statistic (df=1) on hospitalization is 20.23, p<.00001. This is strong evidence against non-efficacy. What's your prior on non-efficacy? Or how unstable do you think these sample proportions are at this N? I've got a (non-Bayesian) 95% CI on treatment efficacy against hospitalization at (64%, 97%), so sure there's uncertainty in how effective it is, but I think we kn... (read more)
Sumner, and I, think it's mostly real supply issues (chassis, restrictions at port of LA). The trick with the general supply chain, rather than particular supply chains, is that it affects a lot. But, as jmh says, if it were Fed-induced aggregate demand, inflation should probably be even more broad-based. And even if the increase is due to a sectoral shift in quantity demanded in goods vs. services, that's not an aggregate demand (i.e., Fed) source; the Fed doesn't control the services-money and good... (read more)
Robin and Duncan are both right. Speakers and listeners should strive to understand each other. Speakers should anticipate, and listeners should be charitable. There are also exceptions to these rules (largely due to either high familiarity or bad faith), but we should as a whole strive for communication norms that allow for concision.
Recommending disclaimers, recommending almost-another-post's-worth-of-wrestling, censorship...all are on a spectrum. Reasonable cases can be made for the options before outright censorship. I am of the opinion that additional... (read more)
If someone posted a summary of Mein Kampf on here, I would be quite interested to read it! I’ve never read that book myself (and I’m not sure that I could quite bear to do so—which is a personal weakness/fault, I hasten to add, not something at all to be proud of), but I am a firm believer in being familiar with the views of your opponents… or your enemies. If someone were to write a high-quality review of Mein Kampf for Less Wrong, I expect that I’d find it edifying, and it would save me the trouble of, you know… actually slogging through Adolf Hitler’s w... (read more)
I agree the post didn't address Murray's points that critically or look deeply into the long list of critiques of the book, but it's a useful summary of the main points (with some criticism here and there), which I think was the point.
I'm not sure how most of these options would ensure the benefit of summarizing without the cost of reputational risk: (1) This one might, until the connections are easily followed by, say, the NYT or any random internet sleuth; (2) Maybe the title has been edited (?), but I'm not seeing a provocative title or framing, most of... (read more)
Well sure, there you go, paternalism is easy to justify when people are seen to be so irrational that their perceived needs can be dismissed and replaced with your personal preferences.
That's a good point about encouraging rationing through price ceilings, as -finally- a reason why they might push in the right direction. As we saw already, price ceilings are not a necessary condition for the rapid implementation of rationing by business. I doubt any induction would be incrementally strong enough or implemented early enough to either matter or justify aband... (read more)
I've been keeping speculation separate from panic buying in my mind, perhaps that has confused us, but I thought it was clear earlier. Panic buying is part of the demand shock. It's not "smart" but it isn't a "fake need" either. There are varying of uncertainty here, and eventually it does slip into stupidity ("I think I'll run out next week, I might have enough til then, better get some in case" ... "I have enough for months but I better grab more!"), and yet again mandating low prices does not defeat this tendency because it operates just like any other demand. If you want them to think twice, charge them more. Or ration. But mandating low prices is counter-productive.
WTP is a pretty standard measure of valuation, but I understand the reticence to rely on that. Distributional concerns are legit, after all. If the goals didn't contradict, I'd be much more reliant on efficiency/welfare arguments, and it would be quite messy and assumptive.
Anyway, they do contradict. This is because "bought by speculator, kept in a warehouse, and discarded months later" makes up so little of the sales volume, and that's even if you include "bought by speculator, kept in warehouse, and successfully sold back in the market for a profit month... (read more)
If you assume speculation is the biggie here (I'm skeptical) or if it is the only thing you care about, then that is correct. If there is a supply shock or a herding demand shock, then there will be faster stockouts.
What's the goal, reducing speculation or helping allocate product to its most valued uses? I'll take the latter every time, and letting price work as a signal is a useful means for that. I can also see a role for rationing.
Like I said, it's their buying that is the problem. Higher prices or rationing are the key. Mandating low prices doesn't solve it.
For personal consumption: if prices are ceilinged to be low, "might be out later" becomes "might be out sooner," which makes getting to the store quickly more imperative, and not just for the hoarding-inclined but also the marginally-hoarding-inclined and maybe even the people who just heard something on the news.
For resale: Indeed, there is a weaker incentive to hoard at low present prices if near-future prices are capped. But costs are also part of that equation, and you can weaken the incentive power of high near-future prices by bringing those prices i... (read more)
Definitely but banning gouging doesn't fix this problem. It makes it worse. Hoard without consequence!