gwillen's Comments

Betting with Mandatory Post-Mortem

I like this a lot. I would also like to hear a post-mortem from the winner in a lot of cases, although of course it's kind of silly to impose it. But I do sometimes see the winner and the loser agree that the bet turned out to be operationalized wrong -- that they didn't end up betting on the thing they thought they were betting on. I'd like to know whether the winner thinks they won the spirit of the bet, as well as the letter.

Covid-19: My Current Model

I am still skeptical of the strength of "MNM" effects. Control systems with huge lag times are infamously unstable. Are most people really able to judge whether they should be scared or not based on the R value from a week or two ago, which they don't even know but have to eyeball from the trend in cases?

Covid-19: My Current Model

Right, I was thinking the same thing -- not just a person, but medical personnel. So you're going from patient 1, to someone's hands, who is then directly touching patient 2, plausibly even patient 2's mucous membranes. That's much more direct than a typical fomite contact, which is more like face-hands-fomite-hands-face (or if you sneeze on a doorknob, face-fomite-hands-face.)

Coronavirus is Here

No, a bet was never made and accepted. You can see my reply to him as to why I didn't accept his offer. He never replied to my counteroffer.

April Coronavirus Open Thread

For what it's worth, I upvoted your comment.

But since you stated that you had a source already, I don't see how it's asking much for you to post a link to the source you already said you had.

[EDIT: After a couple days, I regret the tone of my comments here. I don't want to discourage anybody from writing posts, or asking for help in composing posts. And I think "there oughta be a rule" was a poor summary of my position and sounded pretty hostile. I think it would be nice if people mentioning the existence of sources would link the sources they mention, and in general I'd like it if people linked source more often. But that wasn't really directed at you personally, it was spillover from elsewhere.]

April Coronavirus Open Thread

Cool, thanks for expanding on that. You might want to link this comment in your other comments about this idea, so people have some details to read. It's a lot more informative than the one I was responding to!

April Coronavirus Open Thread

This is an interesting idea but would benefit from more elaboration.

Why the GI tract in particular -- do you have evidence that this will significantly reduce the risk of respiratory symptoms, or just speculation / "common sense"? Is there evidence that the GI tract as the initial site of exposure will produce an infection / an immune response, but with a reduced chance of the infection spreading to the lungs / respiratory tract? Or with it taking longer to get there, similar to Robin Hanson's thoughts about deliberate exposure with a low dose, like variolation of old?

If you have any links/references, please definitely post them. If it's just speculation, it's interesting speculation but tell us what it's based on.

April Coronavirus Open Thread

I have heard, and give some credit to, the theory that silicon valley tech company culture played a role in the bay area's response being relatively early. Tech companies were making contingency plans and sending their employees home, well before there was any kind of government action here. I don't know what fraction of employees / day-to-day interactions that represents. But e.g. all Google employees working from home seems like it could have played a nontrivial role in Mountain View, which was the epicenter of the bay area coronavirus outbreak.

April Coronavirus Open Thread

Can you link whatever you have on this, even before you write it up? Articles, the paper you mentioned, the studies about reducing infections this way, where you get the idea in general?

(Everyone, please do this! It is really helpful, and it's probably easier for you to re-find things than for people to try to find them based on your comment! I wish LW had a rule about doing this!)

March Coronavirus Open Thread

That's extremely interesting. I would love to see someone in our community who I trust to be good at statistics redo the analysis, since all the data is public.

Apparently there are already multiple trials underway, though: . The Science article came out before the paper, so I wonder where the idea struck first.

Apparently the broader pro-immune effects of the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis have been known or suspected for a long time; see e.g "Non-specific effects of BCG vaccine on viral infections",, which is a fucking wild read and I highly recommend reading the whole paper.

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