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Common Probability Distributions

Thanks for posting this.

A couple of nit-picks:

In the example under log-normal, you talk about stock prices. Stock prices are essentially approximately arbitrary, since they depend on the number of shares issued — you can have a stock split, were each existing stock gets replaced with 2  (or more) new ones, making no real difference to the ownership of the company.

Could you illustrate instead with market capitalisation of the companies?

Also, in your discussion of scale invariance, you talk about the size of stars and say "meters are an arbitrary unit". But that is equally true of metres used to measure people's heights, which is the example you use for normal distributions. I think that scale invariance means something subtly different from saying that a unit of measure is arbitrary. I think (though am not sure) that it's more like saying that going from 10 to 20 is just as likely as going from 1 to 2, and the same is true of going from 1000 to 2000, or from 5 million to 10 million. I.e., doublings (or whatever scaling) are equally likely whatever scale you are currently at.

Omicron Variant Post #1: We’re F***ed, It’s Never Over

It sounds like "new".

I imagine conversations going like: "So, this nu variant, huh?" "Which new variant? We're getting minor variations all the time." "But the nu one..."

And that would get even trickier if you want to some newer new variant that succeeds this one.

"Wait, when you say [?new | ?nu], are you talking about the old nu variant or the new new variant?"

Omicron Variant Post #1: We’re F***ed, It’s Never Over

No, the letter between nu and omicron is pronounced something like 'ksai'. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xi_(letter)

The one you're probably thinking of is later in the Greek alphabet. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chi_(letter)

Rapid Increase of Highly Mutated B.1.1.529 Strain in South Africa

The sidebar at about 4m20s in the video says that Guateng province has fully vaccinated 30% of its adult population.

Rapid Increase of Highly Mutated B.1.1.529 Strain in South Africa

it went from a ratio of ~1:100 to ~890:100

I think ~89% is more like 810:100. Not that that changes the general message, and there's no doubt a fair amount of uncertainty in the percentage anyway.

Covid 11/18: Paxlovid Remains Illegal

If you’re going to tell people they need to be vaccinated in order to leave their house, it seems to me like that’s strictly worse than outright mandating vaccinations.

I notice I am confused by this viewpoint.

It seems to me that the Upper Austria route, as you describe it, is giving people more choice. They can either be vaccinated or they can stay home. An outright mandate gives people less choice: their only option is to be vaccinated. I am unsure why this approach is "strictly worse".

Now, it may in practice be worse, depending on things like ease of distinguishing noncompliance, and on the relative effectiveness each intervention (and, of course, depending on what 'worse' means from your perspective). But if, say, we were taking a public health lens, and thinking about people's chances of catching and then spreading the disease, and if 'staying home' and 'being vaccinated' dropped your probability of doing those things to similar low levels, then the option with more individual choice does not seem obviously worse.

Sci-Hub sued in India

An idea for finding potentially supportive academics: I recall seeing on Twitter at various times people who would respond to a query about where someone could access a paper with some variant on straightforwardly directing them to Sci-Hub or a knowing "whatever you do, don't check out Sci-Hub for it ;)". Maybe you could find some of these people by searching Twitter and contact them?

Lakshmi's Magic Rope: An Intuitive Explanation of Ramanujan Primes

No problem!

There's still this slip (the erroneous 9) in the text:

Remember, the first few primes are 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9, each separated by a distance of 1 or 2 from its neighbors.

Lakshmi's Magic Rope: An Intuitive Explanation of Ramanujan Primes

Any whole number that's not a prime is the sum of two primes.

I don't think this is correct. I think that the closest is Goldbach's conjecture, which is for even numbers and is unproven.

I think 27 is the first counter example. 27-2 is 25, which is not a prime. 27-(any prime other than 2) is even, so not a prime.

I think of primes as analogous to elements because of factorisation, not summation.

A bit later in the essay, just before the introduction of twin primes, 9 is included in the list of primes.

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