Evan Huus

Identity is such a complicated thing isn’t it? Find me at https://eapache.github.io or blogging at https://www.grandunifiedcrazy.com

Evan Huus's Comments

Are HEPA filters likely to pull COVID-19 out of the air?

Seems highly unlikely to me, for at least two reasons:

  • The SARS-CoV-2 viruses are roughly 50-200 nanometers in size, right around the size where HEPA filters are least effective (both facts from Wikipedia).
  • Given the 2-meter-distance advice, I'd assume most airborn contagion comes from fairly direct breathing/coughing/aerosolization. It's possible that a strong ventilation system could help here, but it would have to circulate a lot of air very quickly.

Edit to add: HEPA filters are already widely used in hospital ventilation systems, so I imagine any low-hanging fruit here has already been plucked.

Advice on reducing other risks during Coronavirus?

https://lcamtuf.coredump.cx/prep/#3.4 was probably in the back of my mind when I asked this question, but I just dug it up again. Lots of great tips in there.

Coronavirus Justified Practical Advice Summary
You’ve tested your vitamin D recently and levels were normal or high (as a fat soluble vitamin, it is possible to overdose on)

As somebody who hasn't tested my vitamin D level and doesn't know how (I assume this isn't something you can easily do with standard household materials?) and is worried about the possibility of overdose if I suddenly start supplementing - how should I calibrate on my "likely current vitamin D level" and what level of supplementation is safe?

Possible worst outcomes of the coronavirus epidemic

Generally agree, but I would think that some kind of "new waves" scenario has a much higher than 1% probability given that it's how influenza and many other seasonal viruses continue to circulate. That said, in many "new waves" scenarios we are able to create seasonal vaccines or otherwise mitigate the effects. This may result in a permanent drag on economic growth without reducing growth below 0 (collapse).

Winning vs Truth – Infohazard Trade-Offs

That seems both correct and desirable to me in certain scenarios? If somebody can help me win more effectively by deceiving me, I would prefer they do that. Especially when the consequences of “not winning” are severe, as in the case of a potentially deadly pandemic.

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Winning vs Truth – Infohazard Trade-Offs

I also support the general norm to default to truth. But I do believe there are cases where the negative consequences of truth become so severe and immediate that it is reasonable to not do so in favour of winning. The bar for that should be very high, but not unreachable.

Winning vs Truth – Infohazard Trade-Offs

To me that post is specifically about self-deception, not about deception of others. I fully agree that once you know a thing, it’s not worth trying to deceive yourself in order for increased winning. But it can still be worth trying to deceive others.

Credibility of the CDC on SARS-CoV-2
But right now, there is no source we could give an uninformed person and say “all you need to do is listen to them”.

A lot of your arguments are of the form "they're saying something untrue in an effort to get people to do the right thing". So isn't pointing an uninformed person at the CDC the correct thing to do, since we assume that on reading it they'll end up doing the right thing?

Separate from the infohazardness of this post (discussed in other comments and fairly specific to the audience), it seems weird to prefer truth over consequences in what we tell arbitrary uninformed people who have no interest in rationality and just want to know what the best thing to do is?

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