Douglas_Knight

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Omicron Variant Post #1: We’re F***ed, It’s Never Over

An alternate interpretation of the result is that Beta just didn't have much immune escape. That fact that it was crushed by Delta suggests that. The vaccine produced antibodies that were more tuned to Beta than those from the original vaccine, but the difference was slight, just a factor of 2. We won't know about OAS until we have a variant with real immune escape, which may well be Omicron. But I'm not worried about OAS because it's a lower order effect.

Omicron Variant Post #1: We’re F***ed, It’s Never Over

Adjuvants are for activating the immune system to respond to free-floating virus particles. If the virus actually infects a cell and produces proteins on the cell's surface, that is a different signal to the immune system and adjuvants are not needed. Thus adjuvants were not needed for traditional live/attenuated vaccines and 21st century mRNA and vector vaccines (AZ, etc), but were needed for 1980s recombinant protein vaccines (Novavax) and traditional dead/inactivated vaccines.

Douglas_Knight's Shortform

What is calculus? Who invented it? I don't mean Newton vs Leibniz, but Newton vs Archimedes.

If it is the ability of calculate certain things, Archimedes calculated many of those things. If it is a single particular theorem, the obvious candidate is the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, connecting tangents to areas, due to Isaac Barrows, Newton's mentor.

I sometimes see people claiming that Newton bequeathed us a black box which was a giant step forward and now people learn it in high school and can do everything Newton could do. This is wildly wrong, but it is a natural benchmark to measure learning. If you believe that about calculus, or any other tool, you can go back and look for the problems it was intended to solve and see whether you can solve them. Archimedes computed the area under the parabola, which is now routine. He asked for his tomb to represent his hat-box theorem, which is not too difficult, and is often covered in multivariable calculus classes. He studied the center of gravity of paraboloids as a model for stability of boats and found a bifurcation phase transition. I haven't gotten around to trying this, but it sounds way beyond the curriculum. Newton famously invented calculus to derive Kepler's orbital laws from the inverse square force law. The second law, saying that time is proportional to area, is pretty easy and is covered in physics with calculus, or maybe even multivariable calculus, but the other laws, about the ellipse and the semi-major axis are difficult.

The meaning of the word calculus doesn't matter, but a course of calculus doesn't subsume Greek mathematics, let alone Newton.

My experience at and around MIRI and CFAR (inspired by Zoe Curzi's writeup of experiences at Leverage)

A couple books suggesting that white collar workplaces are more traumatic than blue collar ones are Moral Mazes (cited by Jessica) and Bullshit Jobs.

Covid 11/4: The After Times

Why do you mention mutation? Are you worried that mutation will evade vaccines? This hasn't happened yet: the important new strains all appeared before there was much vaccination. They spread because they were generally more infectious, not because they infected people immune to the old variant. In particular, the trial of the beta-specific vaccine found that it took twice as many antibodies of of someone vaccinated with the original to defeat beta as antibodies of someone vaccinated with the beta vaccine. Twice isn't a lot. The standard for flu vaccines for replacing vaccines with those targeting a new strain is a factor of eight.

Covid 11/4: The After Times

I expect similarly high compliance rates at any companies that do enforce it, and among federal employees, if and when it does go into effect

The deadline for federal employees is Monday, right? Isn't that cutting it really close? How will you know if it "goes into effect"?

Covid 10/21: Rogan vs. Gupta

I think that "we" believing is a category error. I think that even authorities "believing" is a category error. People did experiments to prove that hand sanitizer helped against the flu. They didn't update on these experiments because they weren't experiments to learn, but to prove what they wanted.

Covid 10/21: Rogan vs. Gupta

During the pandemic, RSV and influenza (but little else) have been driven nearly to zero. They must be transmitted in the same ways as covid. It's not clear how much of this is masks and how much is other interventions, but it's not clear for covid, either. 

Covid 10/21: Rogan vs. Gupta

What do you mean and how do you know it? I'm guessing that you mean that density causes exposure to microorganisms adapted to humans. But we're probably a lot less exposed to random microorganisms from eating dirt (though it's not clear they should be called "pathogens").

The hygiene hypothesis of allergy is speculative, but here's a concrete, widely accepted claim: before 1900, infants contracted polio and had very mild cases. After 1900, they contracted it at a later age and had bad cases. This suggests increased hygiene at the same time of increasing density, apart from the question of whether hygiene is good or bad at the current margin.

Covid 10/21: Rogan vs. Gupta

(Also, for that matter, if someone gets vaxxed and doesn't form antibodies... they might be an infection risk and should perhaps be fired for being immuno-compromised in a role that apparently requires immune competence for the good of those they interact with?

Is this a reference to something in particular, or is it entirely hypothetical? Has anyone been discovered not to have an antibody response who was not already known to be generally immune compromised?

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