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Coffee trucks: a brilliant idea that someone should do?

The app concept would be difficult for a startup since you need to both introduce the truck and the app at the same time - it's a two-sided market. An existing coffee company would have an easier time, since their customers already have the app; they just need to add the feature to the app and start sending out the trucks. 

Why I Am Not in Charge

Notably, Rasputin really was threatening the empire - many historians consider him a significant contributor to the revolution. The suggestion here is that trying to change the working system from the inside - being a Donald Trump - can lead to a completely different system replacing it. The replacing system might be worse in a completely different way, or it might be better, but either way it's going to cause a lot of pain in the mean time. Be careful what you try - destroying the FDA or the CDC may just lead to more people refusing to get vaccinated or wear masks, while simultaneously leading to snake oil or to a resurgence of other diseases. A gain in one area leads to being much worse off in others.

Covid cafes

A Chinese restaurant near me built a plastic enclosure at their doorway, with an airlock that they place the food into, before closing the door and letting you open the opposite door. It works great, although it was definitely non-trivial to construct.

Covid cafes

I suspect that there's a bimodal distribution with COVID concern. In one group is the people who aren't concerned, or are only a little concerned. They might not eat or drink inside, but they have no problem going to a grocery story or buying a coffee inside. For them, ordering outside has no benefit but some downside (lack of normalcy and the normal reasons that ordering isn't done outside, like inclement weather). Obviously there is the real downside of COVID risk, but they're either not very concerned or don't believe in it.

In the other group are people who are quite concerned. They would never eat or drink inside, and going to the grocery story would be a stretch, as would ordering a coffee from Starbucks. But generally, they'd consider the pros and cons and not buy a coffee, likely whether it is indoors or outdoors, since they probably aren't doing the math and are just judging the activity by the general "safe" versus "unsafe" buckets. These type of people are likely not going to be going to Starbucks, regardless. This is doubly the case since people often go to a cafe as part of another activity, which this second group of people is less likely to be doing.

Because the second group isn't going to be buying coffee, Starbucks isn't going to be particularly worried about catering to them. Thus Starbucks is likely only considering the effects on their business from the first group of people, and that first group would rather be indoors than outside.

Obviously this is a massive generalization, and it's really more of a spectrum, but I think the analysis still holds when stretched out over the average group. They'll cater the most to the people who buy coffee at Starbucks the most, and those are the people who are going to be the least concerned about it being outdoors.

Unpopularity of efficiency

How often is the world actually a well functioning priority stack?

The True Face of the Enemy

It's funny... a lot of it sounds exactly like work.

Would a more deadly virus have induced greater compliance with US lockdown restrictions?

I don't know about a New Zealand path, but I do think that there would have been a much more significant response.

Consider that to a significant degree, populations seem to be fairly good at maintaining COVID-19 spread to a constant rate (ie. an R_t of around 1). This seems to be based on feedback mechanisms that operate through hearing news of the virus, through official channels, mainstream media, and social media. For instance, if you hear that the government is telling you not to go out and that the hospitals are full and that many people are dying, you will likely comply, but once those are working, you will become less cautious, causing the cycle to repeat.

I would suspect based on this that a more dangerous disease (either higher IFR or higher infectivity) would result in more cautious behavior, likely causing a flatter behavior rather than the peaks that we have had with COVID-19, but the response would be substantially the same. That said, if it was especially more dangerous (black death or smallpox levels), then a substantially different response might be possible.

Unexplored modes of language

There are a number of whistled languages, most notably Silbo. They're usually used for communicating across large empty spaces (think gaps between mountains).

Unexplored modes of language

Note that much of the research involving Pirahã is dubious.

Cultural accumulation

Looking at it looks like the USA's GDP in 1944 was $3.1T in 2019 dollars, so the Manhattan project (even spread over four years) couldn't be anywhere near $3.3T.

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