Covid 1/7: The Fire of a Thousand Suns

Still reading through the rest of the post, but this jumped out at me. Your dad said:

convalescent sera from some patients recovered  from infection with the predominant strain, while effective in neutralizing the same strain, were not effective in neutralizing the South African variant. 

But you then said:

it seems highly unlikely the new strain can do much reinfection of previously infected individuals

which seems to me to be the opposite. If convalescent sera from patients who recovered from infection with the predominant strain were NOT effective in neutralizing the South African variant... doesn't that suggest that having had the predominant COVID variant might NOT give you immunity to the South African variant?

Trying to nail this down because this point is SUPER IMPORTANT actually.

Covid 12/24: We’re F***ed, It’s Over

Depends on what you mean by "pessimistic," I guess. I think my model back in March was that basically everyone would dismiss COVID as being "like the flu"; tons of people would die; but no one would really pay much attention to it.

Instead, people actually freaked out about it and lots of people actually got overly into enforcing quarantine restrictions on each other. I was expecting that people would fail to even parse the small chance of death by COVID as sufficiently important to be worth worrying about, and that didn't turn out to be true.

I agree that the real outcome is much worse than we could have done overall, with e.g. mass testing or challenge trials -- though I don't agree that this is clearly worse than runaway herd immunity. Back-of-the-envelope calculation: if 1% of the US population died of COVID, that's around 3 million deaths, which in VSL terms is around $30T. The US's GDP for one year is around $20T. My error bars on the validity of VSL at that scale are pretty large, as is my uncertainty about comparing GDP to VSL, and other non-GDP considerations of lockdown... but the two certainly seem comparable in magnitude, and I weakly think that lockdown is better in terms of total social utility.

(edit: of course we're at ~300k deaths now, which changes the analysis by 10% or so; still seems like the calculation comes out about the same as of right now. The effect of another huge wave could change this calculation substantially.)

Covid 12/24: We’re F***ed, It’s Over

Zvi and many others on LW (including myself in this) totally failed to predict how people in the US would react to this virus. From this, I've updated that we're bad at predicting how politics and humans will respond to novel unexpected events, and probably a bit overly pessimistic about other humans' ability to be persuaded by rational argument and Real Bad Stuff happening.

I think that predicting the course of the disease or predicting whether a certain variant is more infectious is mostly a different kind of prediction from predicting people's behavior.

Unfortunately, people's behavior in response to the new strain is also really important for how bad it will get, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Gauging the conscious experience of LessWrong

I think in words, and also, specifically with letters. If I don't know both the spelling of someone's name and how the spelling corresponds to the pronunciation phonetically, it is MUCH harder for me to remember.

Covid 12/10: Vaccine Approval Day in America

Here’s the order for Los Angeles. Everyone must stay in their homes. Among other details, podcasts are explicitly exempt, religious services must be outdoors but are otherwise all right, and protests are explicitly allowed. Malls open, playgrounds closed. I think I sense a protest coming on


They reopened playgrounds. Source

Covid 12/3: Land of Confusion

Agree. I don't have Twitter blocked, but generally regard it as a memetic hazard to be avoided if possible.

Pain is not the unit of Effort

Small correction: DOMS is a distinct phenomenon from pain during exercise, which usually means that you are doing something wrong and may be injuring yourself.

DOMS occurs 1-2 days after exercise, as mentioned in the NHS quote.

Philosophy of Therapy

One part of your post jumped out at me as something that's hard to reproduce without therapy:

> Experiment for yourself, by all means, but my experience has been that a very brief conversation, coming at the right moment, can be incredibly therapeutic. Or an in-depth conversation every few months. Or support from a friend along with all the other self-help strategies that commonly work for mental/emotional problems. 

Getting help from a friend at the right moment can be very helpful. But sometimes your friends aren't available at the exact right moment, just because of things in their own life or whatever. The nice thing about paying a professional is that you're paying for reliability. If you can't find someone to talk to when you really need it on a given week, at least your therapist will be around.

A tale from Communist China

I found it mildly useful to hear about someone's experiences in this kind of situation, and it's an interesting story.

It's also a very easily digestible post.

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