I think we should look further into this study, which seems somewhat reassuring, but I have reservations about it:
Kuodi et al., January 2022, "Association between vaccination status and reported incidence of post-acute COVID-19 symptoms in Israel: a cross-sectional study of patients tested between March 2020 and November 2021" (pdf, not yet peer-reviewed)
Their previous version understated the results, since it didn't include the uninfected. The new version does, and says (cutting out some text before and after, and emphasis added by me):
Methods: We invited
Also, by Elizabath (I think her LW post was not updated since some corrections were made).
I would focus on the UK metareview she looked at, since it should better capture the risk of severe brain fog and fatigue. The intelligence study estimated the average drop in IQ by acute symptom severity, but I think there are decreasing marginal returns to IQ, so I'm more worried about a small risk of a big drop (or being unable to even focus on doing an intelligence test, due to brain fog or fatigue), and Taquet et al focused on neuro and psych diagnoses that did n... (read more)
I think what you're saying is coherent and could in principle explain some comparisons people make, although I think people can imagine what an experience with very little affective value, negative or positive, feels like, and then compare other experiences to that. For example, the vast majority of my experiences seem near neutral to me. We can also tell if something feels good or bad in absolute terms (or we have such judgements).
I also think your argument can prove too much: people would choose to skip all but their peak experiences in their lives, whic... (read more)
Some other previous back of the envelope calculations (collected here):
By AdamGleave (2 shots and for Delta):
My new estimate from the calculation is 3.0 to 11.7 quality-adjusted days lost to long-term sequelae, with my all-things-considered mean at 45.
That being said, we can still roughly estimate risk from definitely having Delta. A healthy 30yo probably has about 4x (3x-10x) less risk than before, due to vaccination, despite Delta causing higher mortality. It almost entirely comes from Long COVID. In absolute terms this is ~
One major concern I have with the tail of long COVID is its severity even if/when it does get better after a few years. If I have debilitating long COVID for 3 years and then I recover fully, how will my career be affected, and what kind of person will I be after that? I think it's reasonably likely that it would cause value drift away from effective altruism (in part because being connected to EA while feeling hopeless about my own future productivity seems psychologically painful, and if I become primarily preoccupied with my own recovery and wellbeing),... (read more)
That's a good point. I think the comparison of severe symptoms between COVID-positive COVID-negative matched controls would be good evidence about the risk. I don't recall if any comparison studies tracked severity between positive and matched negative groups, though, rather than mostly just presence of symptoms, and I do recall studies without comparisons tracking severity, which people could use to report non-COVID-related severe symptoms, as you suggest.
Q. Getting covid later is probably better than earlier.
As a counter consideration, vaccine effectiveness might wane quickly, and it's likely better to get COVID while better protected than while less protected. See, e.g. https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20211227/covid-booster-protection-wanes-new-data
That being said, I'm still leaning towards avoiding COVID to avoid long COVID.
For what it's worth, I agree that the post reads to me as not very balanced, but a lot of the evidence and arguments presented are still worrying, and I am still worried about long COVID. (I also don't put myself above confirmation bias, though.)
G. Overall deaths from everything have been very unusually high at points in 2021, even in 15-64 age group
This could also be explained by things other than COVID or long COVID, too, e.g. lockdown/isolation, less exercise, increased depression, poorer access to healthcare.
Zvi/Scott/Elizabeth's earlier analyses of earlier studies on long COVID which treat it as a minor concern
My impression from Scott's big post was that it was not overwhelmingly likely to be minor, and rather that it was fairly ambiguous. My impression from Elizabeth's analyses (that I've read several months ago) is that long COVID is not necessarily a minor concern, but that we're paying disproportionate attention to it relative to other things we can also worry about, e.g. exercise, air quality, other infections, and there can be real tradeoffs between get... (read more)
I would be surprised if the worst cases, where people can't really work and it lasts about half a year or longer, were mostly psychosomatic, or at least mostly psychosomatic in a way that's easily avoidable by just having different beliefs about long COVID. Can you really believe yourself into debilitating chronic fatigue and brain fog for half a year?
(EDITED: "a year -> "half a year", since I don't recall long COVID studies going much longer than half a year, when I looked into them, which was probably 3-6 months ago.)
I broadly agree but don't think that proves covid was the culprit. Vague shitty symptoms doctors refuse to grapple with were a problem long before covid, and if people with these symptoms can get better care by calling it long covid than leaving it open or blaming something else, they'd be stupid not to.
I thought omicron didn't cause as much loss of sense of smell as previous strains?
Hmm, ya, that seems right. From a quick Google search: https://www.businessinsider.com/loss-of-taste-smell-not-common-covid-symptoms-2022-1.
Maybe Omicron just doesn't get as deep in the body generally, too, then. That would be a good sign, too.
EDIT: I forgot (or didn't know) that loss of sense of smell was less likely with Omicron, which Steven Byrnes pointed out. Seems like 12-20% (probably mostly vaccinated?) of Omicron infections vs 7-68% for previous variants (section 3.5, and I'm not sure to what extent vaccination status was considered here). I've also read that Delta was less likely to cause loss of sense of smell than earlier variants, too. If the probability of loss of sense of smell scales proportionally with other brain issues, then I'd guess Omicron is less severe than previous varia... (read more)
I think what was meant is that they'd rather experience nothing at all for the same duration, so they're comparing the concentration camp to non-experience/non-existence, not their average experience.
I think the kind of diet you outline also makes sense on asymmetric consequentialist views, including negative utilitarianism. See Brian Tomasik's writing. That being said, the net positive lives are for pretty large animals (cows), so you have very little impact on them either way, and the main effects are likely on wild animals, and then you'd want to judge their lives and the effects on them.
Population effects on wild-caught fish (including for fishmeal, fed mostly to farmed fish and shrimp) and other animals in their ecosystems together can be me... (read more)
See also the discussion on the EA Forum post.
After looking at the evidence, I think conventional factory farmed chickens (for eggs and meat) have net negative lives in expectation (on symmetric ethical views). See my thread.
At least some of these seem possible to make unlikely. If we can force the AGI to have only a few routes to hack or manipulate the panel, the signal or its effects without a dominating penalty, and strongly reinforce those, then we could avoid worst-case outcomes.
It may conduct operations that appear good (and even are good) but also have a side effect of more easily allowing or hiding future bad actions.
It can only get away with killing everyone if it manages to hack or manipulate the panel, the signal or its effects.
It may modify itself directly to
But I could get a robot, that has no qualia, but has temperature detecting mechanisms, to say something like “I have detected heat in this location and cold in this location and they are different.” I don’t think my ability to distinguish between things is because they “feel” different; rather, I’d say that insofar as I can report that they “feel different” it’s because I can report differences between them. I think the invocation of qualia here is superfluous and may get the explanation backwards: I don’t distinguish things because they feel different; th
The ability to distinguish the experiences in a way you can report on would be at least one functional difference, so this doesn't seem to me like it would demonstrate much of anything.
It is a functional difference, but there must be some further (conscious?) reason why we can do so, right? Where I want to go with this is that you can distinguish them because they feel different, and that's what qualia refers to. This "feeling" in qualia, too, could be a functional property. The causal diagram I'm imagining is something like
Unconscious processes (+un... (read more)
Ok, I think I get the disagreement now.
I can be in an entire room of people insisting that red has the property of "redness" and that chocolate is "chocolately" and so on, and they all nod and agree that our experiences have these intrinsic what-its-likeness properties. This seems to be what people are talking about when they talk about qualia. To me, this makes no sense at all. It's like saying seven has the property of "sevenness." That seems vacuous to me.
Hmm, I'm not sure it's vacuous, since it's not like they're applying "redness" to only one thing; r... (read more)
It's more that when people try to push me to have qualia intuitions, I can introspect, report on the contents of my mental states, and then they want me to locate something extra.
Are they expecting qualia to be more than a mental state? If you're reporting the contents of your mental states, isn't that already enough? I'm not sure what extra there should be for qualia. Objects you touch can feel hot to you, and that's exactly what you'd be reporting. Or would you say something like "I know it's hot, but I don't feel it's hot"? How would you know it's... (read more)
The way I imagine any successful theory of consciousness going is that even if it has a long parts (processes) list, every feature on that list will apply pretty ubiquitously to at least a tiny degree. Even if the parts need to combine in certain ways, that could also happen to a tiny degree in basically everything, although I'm much less sure of this claim; I'm much more confident that I can find the parts in a lot of places than in the claim that basically everything is like each part, so finding the right combinations could be much harder. The full comp... (read more)
My main objection (or one of my main objections) to the position is that I don't think I'm self-aware to the level of passing something like the mirror test or attributing mental states to myself or others during most of my conscious experiences, so the bar for self-reflection seems set too high. My self-representations may be involved, but not to the point of recognizing my perceptions as "mine", or at least the "me" here is often only a fragment of my self-concept. My perceptions could even be integrated into my fuller self-concept, but without my awaren... (read more)
I would also add that the fear responses, while participating in the hallucinations, aren't themselves hallucinated, not any more than wakeful fear is hallucinated, at any rate. They're just emotional responses to the contents of our dreams.
Since pain involves both sensory and affective components which rarely come apart, and the sensory precedes the affective, it's enough to not hallucinate the sensory.
I do feel like pain is a bit different from the other interoceptive inputs in that the kinds of automatic responses to it are more like those to emotions, ... (read more)
Once you can report fine-grained beliefs about your internal state (including your past actions, how they cohere with your present actions, how this coherence is virtuous rather than villainous, how your current state and future plans are all the expressions of a single Person with a consistent character, etc.), there's suddenly a ton of evolutionary pressure for you to internally represent a 'global you state' to yourself, and for you to organize your brain's visible outputs to all cohere with the 'global you state' narrative you share with others; where
Shouldn't mastery and self-awareness/self-modelling come in degrees? Is it necessary to be able to theorize and come up with all of the various thought experiments (even with limited augmentation from extra modules, different initializations)? Many nonhuman animals could make some of the kinds of claims we make about our particular conscious experiences for essentially similar reasons, and many demonstrate some self-awareness in ways other than by passing the mirror test (and some might pass a mirror test with a different sensory modality, or with some ext... (read more)
Of course, many animals have failed the mirror test, and that is indeed evidence of absence for those animals. Still,
Thanks, this is helpful.
what are the cognitive causes of people talking about consciousness and qualia
Based on the rest of your comment, I'm guessing you mean talk about consciousness and qualia in the abstract and attribute them to themselves, not just talk about specific experiences they've had.
a cognitive algorithm that looks to me like it codes for consciousness, in the sense that if you were to execute it then it would claim to have qualia for transparent reasons and for the same reasons that humans do, and to be correct about that claim in the same w
How do you imagine consciousness would work in the moment for humans without inner/internal monologues (and with aphantasia, unable to visualize; some people can do neither)? And in general, for experiences that we don't reflect on using language in the moment, or at most simple expressive language, like "Ow!"?
According to Yudkowsky, is the self-model supposed to be fully recursive, so that the model feeds back into itself, rather than just having a finite stack of separate models each modelling the previous one (like here and here, although FWIW, I'd guess those authors are wrong that their theory rules out cephalopods)? If so, why does this matter, if we only ever recurse to bounded depth during a given conscious experience?
If not, then what does self-modelling actually accomplish? If modelling internal states is supposedly necessary for consciousness, how and... (read more)
Some other less theory-heavy approaches to consciousness I find promising:
I also don't think GPT-3 has emotions that are inputs to executive functions, like learning, memory, control, etc..
I don't think it's obvious that nonhuman animals, including the vertebrates we normally farm for food, don't self-model (at least to some degree). I think it hasn't been studied much, although there seems to be more interest now. Absence of evidence is at best weak evidence of absence, especially when there's been little research on the topic to date. Here's some related evidence, although maybe some of this is closer to higher-order processes than self-modelling in particular:
Hmm, actually, it's not clear to me whether the site will go down immediately (with the button in tact) or after an hour.
The site will remain up for one hour with a message that a missile is incoming (based on what I described here), and that message could be a false alarm.
I don't think you'll be able to retaliate if the site is down.
Since the timer wasn't updating on either site, I assume they weren't testing us (yet).
I briefly saw a "Missile Incoming" message with a 60:00 timer (that wasn't updating) on the buttons on the front pages of both LW and the EA Forum, at around 12pm EST, on mobile. Both messages were gone when I refreshed. Was this a bug or were they testing the functionality, testing us or preparing to test us?
I am willing to accept bets that general consensus in 3 years will be that Bunny and the vast majority of dogs in such studies do not have an episodic memory which they can communicate like claimed in this post.
I am offering 2:1 odds in favour of the other side.
Are you still offering this bet? I'm interested.
To clarify, you mean not just that the consensus will be that such studies find no (strong) evidence for episodic memory, but that dogs (in such studies) do not have an episodic memory that they can communicate like claimed in the post at all?
And, can you clarify what you mean by "like claimed in this post"?
Have you seen unexpected question tests of episodic memory in animals? Some examples:
Does this seem likely? I would guess this is basically true for the sensory and emotional parts, but language and mathematical reasoning seem like a large leap to me, so humans may be doing something qualitatively different from nonhuman animals. Nonhuman animals don't do recursion, as far as I know, or maybe they can, but limited to very low recursion depth in practice.
OTOH, this might be of interest; he argues the human cerebellum may help explain some of our additional capacity for language and tool use:
Ok, ya, some of these seem roughly within an order of magnitude of long COVID (higher or lower, since there's a lot of uncertainty).
I think it's worth mentioning that some of the risks here are more concentrated in older people, but can still be within an order of magnitude of COVID risk for people around my age (28). I would guess only Lyme and CFS would be concerning for a healthy person in their early 20s who doesn't take excessive risks of physical injury (low brain injury and post-ICU syndrome risk). I do wonder about recreational drug use, especially... (read more)
For this metareview it's the absolute percentage, not a comparison.
Woops, sorry, I didn't mean to suggest otherwise.
I'm interested in the other studies you think show a similar number relative to a control group.
Hmm, I only remember this one with a similar number and controls, off the top of my head (I might have been thinking of similar numbers for something else):
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03553-9 (I'm focusing on Positive cases in figure 3, who are not hospitalized; I think this paper has gotten relatively more attention in the community... (read more)
This is based on self-reports on survey data, which will again exclude asymptomatic cases- if you use the ⅓ figure and assume no long covid among the asymptomatic, that becomes 1.8% of 25-45 year olds with covid developing long covid that affects their daily life, which is well within the Lizardman Constant.On the other hand, medicine is notoriously bad at measuring persistent, low-level, amorphous-yet-real effects. The Lizardman Constant doesn’t mean prevalences below 4% don’t exist, it means they’re impossible to measure using naive tools.
This is based on self-reports on survey data, which will again exclude asymptomatic cases- if you use the ⅓ figure and assume no long covid among the asymptomatic, that becomes 1.8% of 25-45 year olds with covid developing long covid that affects their daily life, which is well within the Lizardman Constant.
On the other hand, medicine is notoriously bad at measuring persistent, low-level, amorphous-yet-real effects. The Lizardman Constant doesn’t mean prevalences below 4% don’t exist, it means they’re impossible to measure using naive tools.
1.8% seems simi... (read more)
Sorry, I was responding to this, but forgot to quote it:
My tentative conclusion is that the risks to me of cognitive, mood, or fatigue side effects lasting >12 weeks from long covid are small relative to risks I was already taking, including the risk of similar long term issues from other common infectious diseases.
My expectation is that compared to other infectious diseases, (long) COVID is
And these together ... (read more)
I don't think it's inevitable that everyone will come into contact with COVID or definitely catch COVID (which becomes more likely the more often you come into contact with it). You can still manage your exposure.
Furthermore, you can catch COVID multiple times.
My gym is personal training focused with a single cardio machine, which you must schedule in advance. If I’m doing cardio there will be at most two clients doing weight training and two trainers in the room, plus me, all > 10 feet away, in a large room with filtration they claim is good. If I’m doing weight training there’s me, my trainer (fairly nearby), and potentially a farther away client and trainer pair. In theory there could be an additional person on the cardio machine but I’ve yet to see it happen.
For what it's worth, this seems unusually... (read more)
Thanks for writing this!
My impression is that we're much less likely to catch other infectious diseases that are nearly as severe in the long term (except maybe Lyme?), and unless your probability of catching COVID is very low, your risks from COVID seem worse than driving. This is based on a few people's separate BOTECs for long COVID and my own (vague and personal, not well-researched) impression of how common and bad other infectious diseases are.
Note that a lot of other infectious diseases have become rarer under lockdowns, too, and that's something to... (read more)
The high prevalence of neurological symptoms could be related to working in healthcare during a pandemic. Mental health also looked bad, but didn't differ significantly between cases and controls.
There could be external information you and your copy are not aware of that would distinguish you two, e.g. how far different stars appear, time since the big bang. And we can still talk about things outside Hubble volumes. These are mostly relational properties that can be used to tell spacetime locations apart.