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The big issue with your essay is actual definition of "long COVID." As you touched on, a very wide range of symptoms with different levels of severity and potential mechanisms are all being lumped together in this category. Your argument assumes generic "long COVID" falls towards the more severe end and extrapolates from there. 

Rather than dealing with long COVID as a monolith, it's probably necessary to break it down by specific symptoms, magnitude, and duration. If you want to talk about large economic consequences, you need to filter out the large proportion of symptoms that are legitimate problems but do not rise to the level of macroscopically affecting employment.

For example, a lot of COVID cases seem to retain a persistent cough for weeks or months after the acute period. Are these people suffering from long COVID? Technically, I'd say yes, but that won't affect their position in the work force. Similarly, many people develop "brain fog" that doesn't get in the way of their job pouring concrete or shuffling papers. These are conditions that might more severely disrupt an athlete or scientist respectively, but would be lost in the noise for the average person.

Most people in the US aren't really healthy to begin with. They often lack exercise and consume a lot of low-quality food. The noise floor for poor health is pretty high. A guy who eats at McDonald's all the time and hasn't run since high school is already in bad enough shape that these kinds of nebulous long COVID symptoms will be lost in the noise. 

It remains unclear to me what the real likelihood of various post-COVID ailments really is. There have been so many poor studies that relied on self-reporting through surveys or lacked proper uninfected controls (not even nucleocapsid antibody tests), and of course the totally inconsistent definition of what "long COVID" actually is. We also need to account for vaccination status including the particular vaccine generation and the specific strain of SARS-CoV2 at hand if possible. The real question now is what are the chances of Symptoms A, B, C... with magnitudes X, Y, Z... right now, with XBB-strain virus and BA.5 or XBB vaccination, not what was happening to naive populations in 2020 or with mismatched vaccines. 

More generally, I'm surprised the potential long-term consequences of COVID on intelligence (i.e. brain fog) don't receive more discussion. This is a community where some are so concerned with eking out a few more IQ points that they're willing to consider experimental genetic selection IVF techniques on their offspring or self-medicating with ostensibly nootropic substances. Perhaps people feel that avoiding it is hopeless, so it's easier to dismiss it as a concern. 


Maybe this is a silly question I should already know the answer to and/or not quite appropriate for this thread, but I can't think of anywhere better to ask. Apologies also if it was already directly addressed.

What's the point of suppressing discussion of certain concepts for fear of a superintelligent AI discovering them? Isn't it implicit that said superintelligent AI will independently figure out anything we humans have come up with? Furthermore, what was said in Roko's post will exist forever; the idea was released to the interwebs and its subsequent banning can't undo this.


Hello ~

I've been reading this site for several months, but I still feel unqualified to actually post anything. I've yet to entirely read all of the sequences, and I also lack the math/science background that appears to be relatively common here (I'm an industrial design student). As a result I'm (perhaps excessively) wary of posting something that's redundant or has a glaring flaw I ought to have been aware of.

Thanks for giving an excuse to make a first post, though.