Josh Jacobson

Currently spending time on derisking research (see derisked.org). Previously worked at BERI, EpiFor/FHI, CEA, IPA. Generally US-based.

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How do AI timelines affect how you live your life?

There’s a decent argument that Cryonics takes on greater importance now.

Josh Jacobson's Shortform

There’s a lot of COVID going on my family right now, and my father’s birthday that three of us flew in for is tomorrow. I’m trying to figure out who (if anyone) is safe to spend time with him, and to what degree.

My father: 77 years old and in very good health for his age. Four Moderna shots, has never caught COVID. He’s the one we’re trying to protect from our infections.

Me (mid-30s): Triple vaxed (Moderna). Symptoms started Sunday June 19th and had a rapid test positive Sunday. Started Paxlovid Monday. Negative rapid test w/ throat swab yesterday and today. Negative NAAT test today. Symptoms were generally mild and seem to have ended late yesterday. Been in total isolation from others since positive test.

The following four people are all living together and not distancing from one another:

My sister (early 30s): Triple vaxed. Symptoms started Tuesday June 14th. Had significant symptoms and visited ER as a precaution but didn’t need to be admitted. Received bebtelovimab monoclonal antibodies. Pregnant. Started feeling better this past Thursday, but still symptomatic. Negative rapid tests with throat swabs 2 days ago, yesterday and today, negative NAAT rapid test today.

Her husband (early 30s): Triple vaxed, symptoms also started Tuesday June 14th. Took Paxlovid starting June 16th. Mild symptoms and has felt recovered for ~6 days now. Negative rapid tests with throat swab 2 days ago, yesterday and today and negative NAAT today.

Sister’s Husband’s Mother (60s): 4x vaxed, symptoms started Saturday June 11th. Took Paxlovid starting June 13th. Symptoms ended June 15th. Negative NAAT test June 20th, negative NAAT test today, but a positive rapid test with throat swab today, then a negative rapid with a different brand.

Sister’s Husband’s Father (60s): 4x vaxed, symptoms started Saturday June 11th. Took Paxlovid starting June 13th. Had had some breathing difficulty and lethargy since June 13th, which got better for a while and now is somewhat worse. Generally continues to feel affected by COVID. Negative NAAT on June 20th, positive NAAT today, negative rapid test with throat swab today.

Different scenarios all make sense to me, but I haven’t researched much:

  1. We should listen to the rapid tests, and all are safe to spend time with my Dad as much as we want, except my Sister’s Husband’s Mother, who shouldn’t spend time with my Dad.

  2. Same as above, except that given my sister’s husband’s mother has been living with the others, they might be able to pass on the virus as well. So only I am safe to be around my Dad.

  3. That for everyone except me, enough time has passed that they’re very, very unlikely to be contagious (plus everyone has had a preponderance of negative tests). I’m very unlikely to be contagious due to my negative tests, although Paxlovid rebound is real and at least somewhat significant. Therefore everyone else is safe to be around my Dad, but I’m a couple percent risk of being contagious.

  4. We all have a couple percentage point possibility of being contagious, and that an all day affair involving all of us may result in something like a 10% chance my Dad gets covid, which may be above our acceptable thresholds. In that case, we wouldn’t get together potentially, or would only gather e.g. outside and masked.

I’m interested in and would very much appreciate others thoughts! I don’t have at all a good understanding of to what extent each of us might be contagious, and would really like the thoughts of those who may have looked into this sort of question much more than I have.

Ukraine Situation Report 2022/03/04

Providing air support for Ukraine by sending in "little green men in little green airplanes". Considered to be escalatory but has been done before in the Korean war by the Soviets at just as tense a time as today, when both superpowers were already nuclear-armed

What does this mean?

Covid 1/27/22: Let My People Go

During their brief masking-optional pilot, the school reported that “smiling is more contagious than covid-19,” and a survey of students found that 70 percent said the policy improved their experience, including their ability to learn.

That only 70% of kids said that getting rid of an annoying thing was good from their point of view is to me surprisingly low, and an update in the opposite direction vs what was seemingly intended by those who shared that result.

Then again, none of these statistics ever mean much at all without looking at the survey instrument and such.

Charting Is Mostly Superstition

It's interesting that you cite last year as evidence of your trading going well, at a 13.5% gain, while the S&P 500 (SPY) total return for 2021 was 28.7%. Can you elaborate on your perspective given that the market performed so well in general?

Has anyone had weird experiences with Alcor?

FWIW I’ve had a pretty opposite experience of what you describe with CI.

Josh Jacobson's Shortform

Bringing over the outcome of a lot of recent discussion I've had on Facebook and some research I've done regarding the Narwall Mask:

  1. I believe there's currently a lot of uncertainty as to the effectiveness of the Narwall, with multiple meaningful reasons for there to be uncertainty. A lot of effectiveness outcomes would not surprise me. I do not believe it has been well-tested nor well-analyzed, at least compared to those that meet NIOSH standards.

  2. I think there's enough information out there to statistically estimate its effectiveness with some reasonable degree of confidence, but it would take me another 3-8 hours (on top of my existing research) to do so. Considering a P100 is just ~$30 for me, I've just switched to that + glasses when relevant for now instead. I think others should do the same if they can achieve good fit with a P100 (the Microcovid authors seem to think this can often be achieved.) https://www.microcovid.org/paper/14-research-sources#masks

  3. I think theres a 75% chance that after estimating its effectiveness, I'd find it to be meaningfully less than a P100 (e.g. less than 98.5% on the relevant filtration). I think there's a 50% chance I'd find it to be approximately equal to an N95 mask or worse.

Sharing this here because some LWers wear it and I think there's some value in sounding a warning about the mask potentially not being as effective as most likely anticipate.

Quinn's Shortform

there's paid tools that estimate this, probably poorly

[linkpost] Why Going to the Doctor Sucks (WaitButWhy)

I’m quite skeptical that improvements will be realized by this methodology. Not clear that there are health improvement gains in expectation.

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