Maxwell Peterson


The central limit theorems


Taboo "Outside View"

Love this post! So linear and so many examples made it so easy to read! Also I was vaguely annoyed at the term Outside View but didn’t know why or whether I was right or anything? This expansion of it into parts makes a lot of sense.

Are there reasons to think mixing vaccines is dangerous?

Yup yup - I was wondering if there was some weird less-known but persuasive reason it might be dangerous, so thought I’d do a double-check here. Cheers!

Are there reasons to think mixing vaccines is dangerous?

I’ve wanted this additional dose for more than a month but didn’t want to take someone else’s dose, so I waited. It is my understanding that supply is no longer a limiting factor on vaccination rates. This is based on two things:

  1. There are many unfilled vaccine appointments around me.
  2. The cumulative-vaccinations-by-day graph is leveling off. In April in my state we had something like 3 to 4% of the total population being vaccinated each week - now that number is around 1%.

And extra doses at my local CVS are probably not going to make it to India or Mexico or Africa if I skip my appointment. The vague feeling I’ve got is that the logistical issues are difficult enough that pharmacies won’t be sending vaccines back, though this is just a feeling. So I decided that this is a pretty different situation and doesn’t match the feeling I had in April of “I don’t want to take anybody else’s appointment”. Some states are literally running million-dollar lotteries to try and get people to get it!

Are there reasons to think mixing vaccines is dangerous?

I agree in most cases, but here specifically, I’m worried that doctors are just going to follow CDC guidance and say something like “vaccine efficacy cannot be directly compared, and one J&J counts as fully vaccinated, so current guidelines say no, no more dose”. And it would cost my company around $500 to go to a doctor’s office and get their advice, which seems like a waste.

Also, I’d already signed up for the appointment before posting this question, planning to go! So the alternatives here were not “ask LW or ask my doctor”, but rather “ask LW or ask no one”. The advice here is better than the no-advice option I would have gone with if LW didn’t exist, or deleted this type of question.

What's your visual experience when reading technical material?

Very interesting shorthand project! It reminds me of my other big learning realization, about 8 years ago, of “don’t take notes during a lecture, just sit and try and understand in the moment”. So maybe my high-level studying strategy is something like “go all in just trying to grok the thing as best you can, even if you forget a lot of the details at first”. Visualization fits nice into that strategy. Though I think I’m basically just more visual - I’m obsessed with data graphics in a way my coworkers just clearly are not at all.

What's your visual experience when reading technical material?

I read Jaynes’ Probability book from cover to cover last year, and most of my understanding of it came visually. This was a big breakthrough for me, because I’d never tried to understand math visually before - I think I thought the graphs in my calculus education were there to explain the equations, and that the equations held the real core meaning. I finally gave up on trying to gain any intuition through equations alone and went visual first when reading Jaynes and this approach gave me 5 or 10 times the value I would have gotten if I tried to understand it algebra-first.

What is the best chemistry textbook?

Ahh nice, I very much might not have the stomach to get into a whole chemistry textbook - not sure yet - in which case this sounds like a good compromise. Thanks.

What is the best chemistry textbook?

That’s right, I don’t - I was talking to a friend about vaccines expiring and he said “things want to be in a low energy state”, which sounded like the kind of thing people say a lot and is probably right, but I didn’t, like, feel it.

Thanks for your recommendations!

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