Author, The Roots of Progress (rootsofprogress.org). Part-time tech consultant, Our World in Data. Former software engineering manager and tech startup founder.


Instant stone (just add water!)

OP here. I will recuse myself from the conversation about whether this deserves to be in any list or collection. However, on the topic of whether it belongs on LW at all, I'll just note that I was specifically invited by LW admins to cross-post my blog here.

Instant stone (just add water!)

Good point, I skipped wood here. This is an old post, I mention wood in my more recent treatments of this topic.

And good point about reinforcing being an old technique! Another thing I learned about after I wrote this post is wattle & daub.

What is “protein folding”? A brief explanation

I'm not a comp bio expert, but the core of @johnswentworth's argument seems to be that “protein shape tells us very little about [protein reactions] without extensive additional simulation”, and “the simulation is expensive in much the same way as the folding problem itself.”

Both true as far as I understand, but that doesn't mean those problems are intractable, any more than protein folding itself was intractable.

So I think you can argue “this doesn't immediately lead to massive practical applications, there are more hard problems to solve”, but not “this isn't a big deal and doesn't really matter” in the long run.

The 300-year journey to the covid vaccine

Good question, I don't know. Someone pointed me to this technical description of mRNA technology which I haven't read yet, might see if it answers your question though: https://www.nature.com/articles/nrd.2017.243

A review of Where Is My Flying Car? by J. Storrs Hall

Some folks at NYU are doing an interesting project collecting data and case studies on this: Transit Costs Project

A review of Where Is My Flying Car? by J. Storrs Hall

Hm. Very interesting.

EDIT: I just remembered that I think this is mentioned in The Rise and Fall of American Growth and that it was attributed to an increase in specialization

“Prediction” and “explanation” are not causation

Yes, @NeuroStats likes to call it “Granger prediction” for this reason

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