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Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition
Answer by KevinOct 22, 202026

Is anyone taking the perspective that extreme lock down for >6 months is worse than the slight chance of permanent disability and death?

I have a social bubble that’s about 100 people which still represents social distancing via a 95% reduction in my real social interactions. I have hosted multiple outdoor parties confirmed as not super spreading events, including one favorably reviewed by the lead contact tracer for San Mateo County. I regularly get food delivery and eat in outdoor restaurants. I’ve been to the Black Rock Desert for four weekends this year. Eating inside a restaurant in a Vegas casino and transiting the Grand Sierra Casino in Reno to a hotel room have felt like the riskiest things I have done this pandemic and are around the level of things I regret doing.

I’m happy to be the punching bag for the fatalistic perspective that the cure is worse than the disease given how much we now know about the disease, but it seems like this perspective should be represented.

I also likely had “asymptomatic” covid in early February and took an experimental therapeutic/vaccine about a month ago that may provide me with another six months of immunity or resistance.

Realistically I’ll have difficulty making this event because I’m cleaning up an all night Halloween party in rural California with no 4G and spotty 3g, if you moved it to Monday or Tuesday on my account I could definitely attend.

Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2020

Super lame compared to last year when people were willing to pay thousands of dollars to the code holders or the charity of their choice.

4chan continues inheriting the world.

RT-LAMP is the right way to scale diagnostic testing for the coronavirus

I got bogged down on my other company and Color expanded to West Oakland and East Oakland with free next day testing so I missed executing on the immediate business opportunity and the state of covid testing is much better than it was two months ago.

LAMP is still the best way for a citizen scientist to do their own Covid-19 testing. I’m reevaluating this business and may end up coming back to it, possibly with more of a focus on facilitating testing for events.

Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition

The culture of local areas here varies enormously in California. Rural California is full of anti mask Republicans and indoor dining is open. I ate inside of an empty French Chinese restaurant in Contra Costa County two weeks ago. Parties on the delta have been wilder than ever over the course of the summer because there was nothing else to do.

In SF and Berkeley, people give you weird looks for not wearing a mask, in Oakland outside of the hot spots people don’t really care.

Politics towards strict lockdowns seem to overlap pretty strictly with liberal social justice advocating attitudes.

Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition

Halloween night is the biggest party night of the year in the SF Bay Area and it’s on a Saturday night this year.

Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition

Six month immunity is well supported, twelve months is probably significantly too long.

Rationalist Town Hall: Pandemic Edition

It’s important to sample people from all severities of COVID-19 include “asymptomatic”. It seems likely that the mildest cases of COVID-19 come with no long term disability and that of course being intubated for a month on a cocktail of fentanyl, propofol, and valium comes with serious long term consequences. The question then is how severe and likely are chronic health problems of young to middle aged vitamin d sufficient people that experience Covid-19 with severity somewhere between a regular cold and flu.

RT-LAMP is the right way to scale diagnostic testing for the coronavirus

I think until recent throughput issues PCR was basically good enough and some scientists were attached to their hard learned PCR skills, LAMP was new and scary and unfamiliar enough that lots of scientists just didn’t know it was easier and better. Primer design was a serious obstacle in the early days of LAMP but is easy with modern computer primer design tools.

LAMP is also only better than PCR for the things that it is better at. PCR has general applications to biological science and LAMP is only good for an important subset of possible PCR diagnostic tests. I think mainstream scientists lack the understanding of what LAMP can and can’t do and for something as sensitive as HIV testing I can understand that people don’t want to rock the boat and switch to LAMP from PCR.

It’s also relevant that LAMP is only recently leaving patent protection. I’m not sure what the licensing cost structure used to be but now there are no patent license fees pushing through adoption is simpler:

I am going to try and scale towards selling RT-LAMP kits to US states in very high unit amounts; I’m feeling optimistic.

RT-LAMP is the right way to scale diagnostic testing for the coronavirus

Does this not get front paged because of coronavirus saturation?

[Link] COVID-19 causing deadly blood clots in younger people is one of the primary sources.

I like the theory that this coronavirus is a blood disease that just mostly seems to hit the lungs because it causes respiratory symptoms.

Diabetes and metabolic syndrome and heart disease seem like the most significant risk factors for serious covid19 cases. I haven't noticed the weight of patients being noted in any of the primary sources on this, but I strongly suspect that most are obese or at least overweight.

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