Metus

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Have you changed your mind recently?

Skimming your comment history it seems like the majority of your downvotes comes from expressing views inconsistent with the progressivist narrative on gender. LW now is overloaded with that.

Have you changed your mind recently?

Yeah, I decided to leave LW.

Why?

Stupid Questions February 2015

There exists a mild market in organs. I can donate a kidney in exchange for a loved one getting a kidney. I also can donate my body to science, in exchange the institution - at least in Germany - pays for some kind of burial.

Immediate edit: Actually, since there exists a black market in organs we could make some estimates about prices and conditions on a legalised market in organs.

Stupid Questions February 2015

π seems like half the size it should be

That one you found out already, it would make it much more consistent with how similar constants are used.

The gravitational constant looks like off by a factor of 4π

Not sure what you mean. Do you mean when comparing the equation for gravitational force to the electric force? Or do you mean when looking at the 'intuitive' way of writing the differential equation

?

In either case it seems that the choice of 4π is arbitrary on one equation or the other. For example choosing Gaussian units introduces a 4π in the electrical equation and makes it look more like the gravitational equation.

cosine seems more primitive than sine

They seem equally primitive by

and

%20=%20cos(x%20-%20\pi/2))

The Riemann Zeta function ζ(s) negates s for reasons beyond me

It doesn't according to Wikipedia

The Gamma function has this -1 I don't understand

I haven't read up on that so I don't really know. Seems arbitrary to me too.

[Link] An argument on colds

European countries are way more lenient with workers who do not show up for health reasons. How does the data compare there, are workers more productive on average and sick less often?

Also, what is the unintended side effect of this? Do we open up an evolutionary niche for something even more horrible? Wouldn't it be better to require sick people to wear a face mask like it is usual in some Asian countries?

LINK: Diseases not sufficiently researched

[Seperate post, because it is a seperate point]

I wonder how a "rational" funding system would look like if an economist designed it. The expression "where researchers see the most potential for a breakthrough" under the constraint of competition over limited resources just screams "market mechanism" to me.

LINK: Diseases not sufficiently researched

It seems to me that research funding is surprisingly well calibrated with a bias for infectous diseases as opposed to what I as an amateur would call "structural failure" collecting ischemic heart disease, stroke, injury and so on.

Looking at the "overfunded" category the worst offenders are HIV and cancer. I suppose cancer research is overfunded because people donate to causes their loved ones suffered and cancer tends to kill old people with a lot of money. But I have no good explanation for the overfunding of HIV which is a completely preventable disease on the personal level by using a condom and refraining from using IV drugs. BTW, the most successful HIV reduction programs give out free needles and condoms, reducing the need for medical treatment and of course human suffering in the first place.

Looking at the "underfunded" category we have injury, ischemic heart disease, COPD, depression, stroke. Injury is something that disproportionally affects poorer people, so I use the reverse reasoning to cancer. I have no good explanation for the underfunding of the other diseases here, except for maybe depression which has a bit of a stigma to it. At best I'd guess that heart attack and stroke do not have the spectacular, drawn out suffering like cancer and HIV treatment have.

LINK: Guinea worm disease close to eradication

Rinderpest was a disease in cattle we have eradicated. We are also making progress on on some more. Let's hope that this does not have any unintended horrible consequences like opening the ecosystem of human parasites to something potentially more deadly.

Why you should consider buying Bitcoin right now (Jan 2015) if you have high risk tolerance

It would be an interesting analysis to find out how many traditional players are involved and to derive from that confidence in the optimality of the bitcoin price.

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