Kamil Pabis


Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions


Knowing your risk does not change behavior, at least that seems to be the case with genetic risks. That means dietary and lifestyle approaches towards cardiovascular disease are out. As a good approximation, everyone who wants to have a healthy lifestyle already has one*.

On the other hand, it is possible that more people would benefit from wide-spread use of statins and that they could be convinced to actually take them.

Cardiovascular disease is definitely not a neglected cause area. It is a multi-billion dollar industry and a very popular research field. Neither is targeting cardiovascular disease an effective approach towards improving population health due to Taeuber's paradox:
"..[the complete] elimination of neoplasms as an underlying cause would result in 3.83 life years to be gained among men, and 3.38 life years to be gained among women. Elimination of cardiovascular diseases results in a larger gain in life expectancy: 4.93 years among men and 4.52 years among women. "

As you can imagine the benefit to human healthspan and lifespan due to a marginal reduction in cardiovascular disease achievable through refinements of diet and drugs would be minuscule.

The only way to significantly (and efficiently) improve human healthspan in developed countries is through slowing aging which is a risk factor for all major diseases.

*A potential cause area would be to work on legislative change that will compel people to change their lifestyle, this could be feasible, e.g. via taxation.

I enjoyed a lot of the other content and hence am now much more inclined to read the EA forums rather than lesswrong. These changes could mean that people like me, who are primarily interested in progress studies and applying science and reasoning to better humanity and themselves, may miss out on relevant AI content when they move to another site. Then again perhaps the EA forums are more relevant to me anyway and I should spend more time reading these.

Nutritionists are not dumb
Let's not be too cynical here. While, yes, nutrition science is short on definite conclusions, it still remains a science. If you want to figure out how to eat healthy, you would find this out the same way you would check whether aspirin prevents cardiovascular disease in certain subgroups or whether paracetamol extends the duration of symptomatic respiratory tract infections.

Step 1: Is there a consensus statement from a reputable professional society? Do different organizations and groups agree? If yes, here is your conclusion. Most sources agree that saturated fat is unhealthy. This is not controversial in nutritional science.

Step 2: Lacking consensus, what do up-to-date reviews and meta-analyses in reputable journals say? Maybe the data is so new that no consensus has emerged or maybe it is controversial for a reason. I find that a good review often presents both sides to the argument. This would be the case with moderate alcohol consumption. Last I checked, there is no consensus and both sides have good arguments.

Step 3: What are the implications if something were true or wrong? How do I balance my own time, money and quality of life against the promise of extended healthspan? Now here you will need a bit of statistical knowledge or intuition as well as a general understanding of biology. In the case of alcohol, given the doses and effect sizes involved, the harm or benefit of either side being correct would be very small.

More importantly, the healthier you are, the less you will benefit from optimizing your diet. Nutrition is an extreme example of diminishing returns. This is because the most important paradox you have never heard of, Taeuber's paradox, clearly shows that any improvement in healthspan (without slowing the aging rate) runs into tremendous diminishing returns.

To be worth your time, promising nutritional interventions above and beyond the basics must have certain properties, i.e. they must slow aging, potentially slow aging, improve non-health related quality of life, or address multiple health-outcomes at once. In this regard, all-cause mortality is the surrogate outcome worth paying the most attention to - although it is still imperfect.

I am not sure why we cannot have a vaccine against both strains. The HPV vaccine protects against 9 HPV subtypes, for example. Either I am missing something or it's just the medical establishment moving slowly, as always.

Given the data we have getting an "illicit" fourth booster shot might be the safer play. The mRNA vaccines continue to work, especially against severe disease, the effect is just much diminished.

Also, is there even any evidence for this assertion? If we stipulate that absolutist monarchies are about as bad as a dictatorship then how did that assertion work out historically? Over the last 10'000 years when lifespans were much shorter dictatorships and related systems flourished. The ascent of democracy has paralleled an increase in lifespans. Correlation does not imply causation, but at least it makes it more likely, whereas the dictator argument is just speculation as far as I can tell.

  1. Thank you for making a great point! Large countries do implement limits on internal migration to ensure political stability. The Chinese system is called hukou if anyone wants to read up on it; I am no expert myself. I would, however, disagree that these limitations suggest there is no free movement. In fact, the very existence of these limitations suggests we should open up compared to the baselines, but perhaps not fully.
    The population of Shanghai grew almost 100% from 14M to 27M within the last 20 years - and the city transformed into a wealthy metropolis like NYC. According to Wikipedia, consistent with my intuition, a relaxation of Hukou migration restrictions coincided with the (post-)Deng Xiaoping era of stability and prosperity. So internal migration in China is enormous and while it is hard, it can't be that hard to move. Now, of course, these people are mostly Han Chinese and it is an interesting question how many immigrants of a different cultural background we could handle in Europe.
  2. Agree, it is naive to argue for a "free lunch". As far as I recall, there is good economic evidence that migration from e.g. Afghanistan is a net cost for the taxpayer in Germany despite the younger age structure of the immigrants. (It only works out under extremely optimistic assumptions, if the immigrants can find higher-paying jobs than expected.) Migration (from [very] poor countries) should be considered a form of "foreign aid", it is a cost; and it is a question of political stability. Having many immigrants is useless if the AfD or Front National then rises to power, reverts your measures and sabotages democracy.

    How does political stability change, though, is it linear with the number and type of immigrants or are there thresholds?
  3. Does this point argue strongly against open borders? Both systems could work fine and strike a similar balance. Higher migration, lower migrant rights. Lower migration (but still higher than the status quo), better migrant rights. Either way, we are trying to maximize the same product: [Number of immigrants] x [net improvement in migrant life = wellbeing(home country) - wellbeing (target country)]. Europe opts for the former, the Gulf or Singapore for the latter. Neither can tell us if a deviation from the status quo towards more migration would be beneficial or not since the systems are so different.

You are right, the same is true in Germany as well. There is even some evidence for lower crime rates for certain immigrant groups (e.g., first generation immigrants from Turkey, or SE-Asian/Chinese immigrants, if I recall correctly). Still, more crimes means more crimes, even if this is due to demographics, and the voters will punish the pro-immigrant parties accordingly.

How limiting are poor corpus quality and limited size for these models? For example, Megatron-Turing NLG was only trained on PubMed extracts but not on PubMed Central, which is part of the Pile dataset. Was this perhaps intentional or an oversight?

Regarding medical texts, I see many shortcomings of the training data. PubMed Central is much smaller at 5 million entries than the whole PubMed corpus at 30 million entries, which seems to be unavailable due to copyright issues. However, perhaps bigger is not better?

Regarding books, how relevant is the limited size and breadth of the corpus? Books3 contains 200k books out of some 10 million that should be available via amazon.

Regarding copyright, could a less ethical actor gain an advantage by incorporating sci-hub and libgen content, for example? These two together claim to include 50 million medical articles and another 2 million books.

As far as I can tell, if they suspend one of two available mRNA vaccines this is bound to have zero effect on vaccination rates in the young because the other one can fill the gap.

Load More