All of Nicole Dieker's Comments + Replies

I agree, with a caveat. There's overeating in terms of food volume (bigger portions, eating past fullness, however you'd like to look at it), and there's "eating the same volume as you did before, except much of the food is more calorically dense."

As I commented on the Hyperpalatable Food Hypothesis post, you can actually compare recipes from then and now to see what's going on:

My Betty Crocker cookbook from 1969 (where I get most of my dessert recipes) has a brownie recipe that calls for 2 cups sugar, 4 oz chocolate, 2/3 cup butter; it's meant to bake in

... (read more)
7Matthew Barnett1y
Yes, excellent point. Guyenet claims we’re overeating calories. He doesn’t claim we’re necessarily overeating raw mass, and in fact talks about caloric density in the book a few times.

oh oh oh oh I get it, I was reading the current story onto the story you were actually telling

thank you!

Why is selling an investment at the market's highest value point in history irrational? Because it might be at an even higher value point in history later, and by selling you practically ensure that it'll take longer to reach the next peak? 

(This is a legitimate question, btw -- not a bait.)

I don't think the price being at an all time high was a necessary, intended, or ... even explicitly included part of the story I was telling. I picked the price numbers purely for purposes of illustration, by looking up the current price and rounding it - the specific number wasn't intended to be significant. The sale is irrational because it's performed by a cat, who (presumably) has no useful information or analysis about the value of the company and its stock. If the sale were being undertaken by someone intentionally, on the basis that they think Facebook isn't worth as much as the current price implies, that would imply the existence of information that the market price should respond to.

Also would like clarification here: "have it go back to the previous price level without us needing to collectively find a replacement quantity of cash to put back in the bucket."

You don't need a replacement quantity of cash, but you do need a (replacement?) quantity of eager buyers. Value does in fact need to be replaced.

Otherwise, neither Facebook nor GameStop's stocks will ever go back to the previous price level (and we can be nitpicky and say well, if it's part of a larger broad-market fund and everyone's buying the fund but you still need an everyone... (read more)

For the price to rebound, we would need there to be people willing to both buy and sell the stock at the old price. To the extent that the supply of buyers was reduced (since their desire to buy was satisfied) by a major shareholder's cat dumping their stock, we would need to find some new buyers.  But there are people coming in/out of the market all the time - not everyone who was ever going to have an interest in Facebook stock was waiting with a bid order on the books for the cat to sell into. Let's say for sake of argument that the "true and actual" value of a share of Facebook stock (based on some platonic ideal analysis of the time-discounted sum of all its future dividends) is $235. Even if the cat manages to sell enough stock to temporarily punt the price down to $200, it will still be true that the sum of future dividends is $235. There will then be a quick profit to be made by anyone noticing the discrepancy who's willing to offer to buy at $205, who will in turn be outbid by those offering $210, or $230, or $232, or $233.50... and that'll bring the price back into line with where it "ought" to be. There doesn't need to be a large quantity of shares traded at those prices, because spot price is just based on the most recent trade. And if there aren't any (non-cat) sellers willing to sell below $235 then anyone wanting to buy Facebook stock at all will need to meet their terms. In the textbook-ideal case this would all happen almost immediately.  In practice probably it would take a bit longer for the market to figure out the big sale was an irrational actor; meanwhile some people with an urgent desire to sell will have started offering at $230 or $225, so there will be a bit of churn before things settle.

That's an excellent point -- I knew that every buyer required a seller, and that there are (rare) situations in which you could try to sell your investments only to have the brokerage firm say "sorry, no buyers available right now."

But even though there's the same amount of cash going to/from buyer/seller in all unique transactions, future transactions either decline or increase in value based on whether more people are trying to buy or sell (as you noted). 

So if you want your future transactions to increase in value, you want more people to want to b... (read more)

It's both a CYA and a joke. Anyone who says anything about the stock market online begins with the statement that "this should not be constituted as investment advice," e.g. here and here (two examples pulled from top of google search). 

There is assumedly a legal reason that this disclaimer came into practice, e.g. if I wrote something and you did it and you lost money you might sue me, so I am obliged to tell you that A) I am not giving you advice and B) you should not take it!

...which is why I thought it would be much funnier if someone wrote "Everything I'm about to say constitutes official investment advice" on their econblog posts or "We don't care about your privacy" on cookie disclaimers and having most people misread it as the regular stuff. I'm surprised nobody is doing this, considering the low legal risk provided by online anonymity.

agreed agreed agreed

but hey guess what the market rebounded today so yay for that?

That paragraph was meant to be less intuitive and more "wait if you really follow this line of thought it takes you to some nonsensical arenas..."

But we don't get to say "I'd like to exchange a fractional share of Microsoft for a widget." You can only exchange a fractional share of Microsoft for A) cash or B) shares in something else, and you can only do so if someone else is willing to make the trade. There are situations in which you could have an asset you want to sell and nobody wants to buy it, which is also true for other assets like houses (and, if ... (read more)

One note that I wanted to add as we begin the discussion: in the hour it took me to write this post yesterday afternoon, Facebook stock had the largest one-day value drop in the market's history.

This is what appears to have happened:

  1. Facebook announced that it was losing users
  2. Bots (it's bots, right?) interpreted this news as "Facebook is going to lose value, better sell my shares while they are still high value"
  3. Bots (right?) sold shares (to whom?)
  4. Share value declined

All of the money-making value was redeemed before people like you and me even had a chance to trade. Right?

I don't know enough about how equities trade during earnings, but I do know a little about how some other products trade during data releases and while people are speaking. In general, the vast, vast, vast majority of liquidity is withdrawn from the market before the release. There will be a few stale orders people have left by accident + a few orders left in at levels deemed ridiculously unlikely. As soon as the data is released, the fastest players will general send quotes making a (fairly wide market) around their estimate of the fair price. Over time (and here we're still talking very fast) more players will come in, firming up that new market. The absolute level of money which is being made during this period is relatively small. It's not like the first person to see the report gets to trade at the old price, they get to trade with any stale orders - the market just reprices with very little trading volume. Correct, you absolutely did not have the chance to be involved in this trade unless you work at one of a handful of firms which have spent 9 figure sums on doing this really, really well.
I think you're totally right that to the extent that the stock market is a zero-sum game retail traders will lose almost every time, since the big players on the other end will always have more information and power to leverage that information than retail. I think a lot of the relevance of this comment depends on your view of stock-market-as-casino vs stock-market-as-generator-of-wealth-at-several-steps-removed.  I take the view that it's mostly the latter; widget maker IPOs, accepts money from big institutional IPO investor and buys capital with it in exchange for proceeds, IPO investor (effectively after several intermediate trades) sells that share of proceeds-generated-from-capital to retail trader.  The capital is still doing stuff for people!  It's just exactly what it's doing is totally opaque to almost everyone.

I agree with you on ALL OF THIS. Make your evaluation as similar to what you're actually aiming for as possible, make sure you don't neglect any sections of music and/or allow previously learned material to degrade, spread effort over time aka spaced repetition

BTW, in our house we're building a "piano performance ladder" (house concert, smaller venue, bigger venue, duets with other musicians, etc.). My mom used to teach this kind of thing to kids -- play for parents first, then grandparents, then church or nursing home, etc. It holds up for adults too...

I like the idea of a piano performance ladder! Gives some built-in social validation to the work of learning piano music.

What I'm seeing in the comments, btw, is something I've been curious about testing next -- whether the ideal scenario is something like "identify single problem, solve single problem, repeat solution five times perfectly consecutively (if you can't do that, you haven't solved the problem yet)" and then move on to the next problem.

At the end of your practice session you can test your work by playing all of the measures you've solved in current or previous sessions (the whole piece, if possible, or just the parts you've been able to address so far). If you win that attempt, STOP. If not, add failed measures to the next session's problem-work-set...

But the probability of success increases as you accumulate previous successes, right?

And there's a difference between "play 5 times perfectly" and "play 5 times perfectly consecutively." Much more randomness (and potential regression to the mean) if you are allowed to have imperfect runs between your perfect ones. 

For sure! I think people are trying to get a couple different things out of practice quantification: * Self-evaluation: evidence of their skill level * Decision-making: a criterion for deciding when marginal practice time is best spent elsewhere * Motivation: appreciating their successes, having a sense of progress, building consistency over time It's both tricky to know which one you're doing, and also to do it effectively. For self-evaluation, I think it's most helpful to make your evaluation as similar to what you're actually aiming for as possible. If you want to be able to perform in public without memory slips, then arrange some public performances to test whether you're able to do this or not. A nursing home is great for this - or was before the pandemic, anyway. If you want to be able to accurately play long passages with no warm-up, then start by trying to play short passages with no warm-up. Being very clear about exactly what you're evaluating, and having a sense of some alternatives, in order to select the most relevant test, is helpful here. What I really think is important is to focus on "converging lines of evidence." Playing in front of a crowd on a piano that's not your own, being able to play accurately on your first time, being able to start in the middle of the piece, and being able to play at a variety of tempi give you a lot more information about your skill level than being able to play a particular passage accurately even 100x in a row. For decision-making, the reason I think it's best to move on after one success is that going too deep on one area tends to mean people don't practice their entire piece, or get hyper-focused on one piece at a time. Also, memory research shows that small bits of practice on particular chunks of information spread out over time are more effective than overlearning the chunks all at once. So "STOP AFTER WIN" tends to spread efforts out more, which I think leads to more effective practice. For motiv

Yep, that sounds like a reasonable strategy. Repeat the parts to perfect the whole...

I will say that L clarified this morning that "repetition begins when something is learned," which is to say that once you know something, the next step is to repeat what you know.

More on all of this as I continue to collect data...

The flip-a-coin experiment is a very good idea. Are you predicting that the result will look something like this:

  • Win, flip coin, heads
  • Win
  • Stop
  • Win (first try next session), flip coin, follow heads/tails instructions


  • Win, flip coin, tails
  • Stop
  • Fail (first try next session)

That's worth testing, and I can start tomorrow.

Will be interesting to see if it devolves to this:

  • Win, flip coin, heads
  • Fail
  • Fail
  • Fail
  • [...]
  • Win, flip coin, follow heads/tails instructions

Or resolves to this:

  • Win, flip coins, tails
  • Stop
  • Win (first try next session)

Spaced repetition (stopping af... (read more)

Good question, I will try to be more precise. My hypothesis in the experiment above was: * The first attempt after the first win is more likely to succeed if it is made immediately after the first win than if it is made one or more days after the first win. I'm not claiming the probability is high. At my very low skill level (I have probably spent 30 hours on Yousician a few years ago), I would expect that if a successfully played a song for the first time (after many failed attempts), I would have around 15% chance of success on the next attempt immediately afterwards. It might be very different for you. I also made a claim that continuing to practice helps more than stopping after first win each time, but I did not suggest a way to test that. It is not clear to me what the best test is because the success rate might vary in the two setups. Here is a suggestion for a claim * On a given task, if you practice one day until you have 5 wins, the total time spent (or total number of attempts) on the task is less than if you play until first win 5 days in a row.   * If you test your ability to perform the task one day after ending the practice above (day 6 in the first scenario and day 2 in the second scenario) then scenario 1 will give you the highest probability of win in first attempton the test day and it will also on average give you a smaller number of attempt until first win on the test day.  I'm less confident in the last prediction, because you don't get the spaced repetition practice. Maybe playing until 4th win one day 1 and until first win on day 2 is better.  You could combine the two experiments above, so only after the first win do you flip a coin to decide if you are doing 5 times "stop after first win" or if you are doing "stop after 5 wins". 

BTW I could learn something even more useful than "stop after win" with another month of metrics; maybe "immediately redefine more sophisticated win condition and work towards that" is the real key. But the data I've got now suggests that just repeating something you've already practiced to a defined win condition is counterproductive.

If you define your win condition and achieve it, your next step is to define a new win condition and achieve it as well. That means you could go from "play passage all notes accurate from memory" to "play passage all notes accurate from memory without curling 5th finger."

I'm going to write a post on Tuesday about reps reps reps vs. mindful repetition, and why a rep where you pay attention to why you're failing is just as valuable as a win.

I think the real question is whether the traditional approach to shooting a 3-pointer works. Do people who shoot shoot ... (read more)

So I looked into this, and the 'refine win condition' seems to be an actual technique that some of the best 3pt shooters do employ! I looked up some interviews with some of the best basketball shooters (Steph Curry and Ray Allen) and they mention playing little games with themselves while practice. They will do things such a define win condition as a swish instead of just making the shot, or employing some particular type of rhythm or footwork, or slightly altering the angle of their shot. But on the other hand, they also mention plenty of repetitive drilling, and watching the available footage of them practicing, it is hard to see a 'stop after win' approach in action. There are videos of Steph Curry practicing with a coach who passes him the ball - it looks pretty repetitive to me [] (although maybe he's playing some mental games with himself that are hard to pick up?).

That's how I've done it, too. Once you know what pitch your favorite song starts on, for example, or what key it's in, learning pitches becomes much easier.

This assumes that you can recall music from memory in its original key, of course. If you can't, your first step might involve strengthening that kind of recall.

Thank you! Have you read Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning? That's where I stole all of the ideas that I didn't steal from Chessable...

I think the question of whether there is a Faustian effect is the wrong one to ask, and it may in fact be a substitution for the real question (as Kahneman would say).

Your actual question is "should I get the Pfizer booster in the first half of February?" 

I would answer that question (and in fact have answered it for myself) by asking questions like "what do I observe happening to people I know personally who already got boosted?" and "what do I observe happening to people I know personally who did not get boosted?"

If you subdivide the people you know... (read more)

Good thoughts, but in this context I'm more worried about the future than the present, and I'm too introverted to have a statistically significant sample of people I know personally.

You can compare both ingredient lists and serving sizes if you look at cookbooks from the 1950s-1960s and recipe sites today. My Betty Crocker cookbook from 1969 (where I get most of my dessert recipes) has a brownie recipe that calls for 2 cups sugar, 4 oz chocolate, 2/3 cup butter; it's meant to bake in a 13x9 pan and yield 32 brownies.

The brownie recipe on Betty Crocker's website (that is, "today's brownie recipe") calls for 1 3/4 cups sugar, 5 oz chocolate, 2/3 cup butter, but is meant to bake in a 9x9 pan and yield 16 brownies.


In principle yes, but the question is also the distribution of recipes they ate. I'd assume some of their recipes are more palatable than others, and if you disproportionately ate the more palatable ones, presumably the diet wouldn't work. I don't even how popular recipe books used to be back then []. It seems like one should put some serious historical effort in to ensure that it gets properly replicated. In addition to the distribution question, 1969 is a bit on the late side.

The obvious question is "what were you eating in 2014 and how was it different," and the answer is "I was still doing most of my own cooking because I wanted to save money, but I was terrible at it (one of the reasons I switched to Huel was because I didn't have the skills to make food taste good) and most of my meals would have been embarrassing to serve to anybody else." 

Then, when I felt badly about not having anything good to eat in the house, I would order takeout or walk to the local Walgreens and buy candy and cookies. (Huel effectively stopped... (read more)

the one thing I do avoid is HFCS, that stuff is not allowed in the house ;)

but I will make some kind of fancy-pants dessert once a month or so, I have an old-fashioned pound cake recipe that is just delightful, we are also good at making pie (crust from scratch)

1Nicole Dieker1y
The obvious question is "what were you eating in 2014 and how was it different," and the answer is "I was still doing most of my own cooking because I wanted to save money, but I was terrible at it (one of the reasons I switched to Huel was because I didn't have the skills to make food taste good) and most of my meals would have been embarrassing to serve to anybody else."  Then, when I felt badly about not having anything good to eat in the house, I would order takeout or walk to the local Walgreens and buy candy and cookies. (Huel effectively stopped that habit, fwiw.) Do we naturally eat more when there is something missing in our foodstuff, whether it's flavor or nutrient or the experience of sharing a meal with people we care about? 

I eat honey every day, probably a tablespoon's worth on my morning oatmeal.

We don't avoid sugar but we don't go out of our way to add it. None of the food we ate today had sugar in it, for example. 

Breakfast: steel-cut oats, fruit, nuts, honey, butter, egg, milk, coffee

Lunch: Rice, homemade mango slaw, homemade guacamole, smoked sausage (we didn't make that, but it has no sugar, no HFCS, no nitrates/nitrites, no MSG), grapes, cheese

Dinner: Rice, homemade naan, homemade dal, vegetables cooked in butter and various Indian-influenced spices, red wine

Dessert: 100% dark chocolate square (Ghirardelli), segmented orange

1Nicole Dieker1y
the one thing I do avoid is HFCS, that stuff is not allowed in the house ;) but I will make some kind of fancy-pants dessert once a month or so, I have an old-fashioned pound cake recipe that is just delightful, we are also good at making pie (crust from scratch)

Oh, very true. The point of my narrative was to make an argument against "bland food being the solution," while acknowledging that hyperpalatable food could still be part of the problem. 

When I ate bland food nearly exclusively, I was focusing on metrics that allowed me first to lose and then to maintain weight, even though those metrics were high effort (not overwhelmingly high effort, but still), encouraged binge-restrict cycles (if I eat 3600 cals today and 1400 cals tomorrow, I'll still be on target) and added anxiety to food-related cultural ritu... (read more)

also any discussion of CICO is incomplete without Vi Hart's video of how food companies juke the numbers: 

4Alex Vermillion1y
I love this video. Other commenters who aren't familiar: you might really enjoy this video; give it a shot.

This is what I thought when I read the SMTM papers too. "People are eating more calories but that's not why they weigh more" okay hmmmm...

Not that I think CICO is the only factor, and that's important! The leptin resistance and the insulin resistance hypotheses both make sense, for example.

Here's another compounding factor (pun intended): 

We know that it takes more energy to sustain greater mass, which is part of why people get really excited about CICO ("if I just consume less energy, my body will naturally resolve to a smaller mass") and then disapp... (read more)

also any discussion of CICO is incomplete without Vi Hart's video of how food companies juke the numbers: 

It's also helpful to put less food on your plate to begin with, as a tool to recalibrate how much is "enough" for you. It is always possible to take food off your plate and put it back into a Tupperware and then into the refrigerator, but the easy, default choice is to convince yourself to clean your plate -- especially when the alternative is putting a spoonful of whatever into either a shared leftovers container (which could be an issue depending on the hygiene standards of the people you're living with) or in a separate bin to be consumed on the day you... (read more)

I can actually speak to a variation of this theory, since I used Huel (a nutritionally complete powder) as my primary food source for, like, two years

I can also speak to the "losing weight and keeping it off for 5+ years" thing, because in 2014 I hit my all-time weight high of 138 lbs (at 5'3", this is the point at which the scale tips to overweight). I started calorie counting with a food scale and lost 15 lbs in a little over a year, which tracks with what the research claims will happen if you try to lose weight at a consistent small caloric defi... (read more)

The body-mind connection should not be underestimated. I started (very slowly) losing weight after I quit my last job. (No, it's not because I would be too poor to eat.) The primary source of dopamine + the rest of your day sucks = almost impossible to resist temptations. (Next time someone makes an UBI experiment, please also measure the impact on obesity.)
If you hate the diet it's not for the long term, just 3 months. And quitting's fine. It's also not meant to be necessarily bland, just not hyperpalatable 'cafeteria' food. It's meant to be as close to an approximation of what a hunter gatherer tribe would be eating, except in this case you have much more variety with respect to what's available to you in each category. Have you tried fried cinammon pineapple? Yours is the dream situation and I agree best for happiness. But I think a tighter approach for research is justifiable to get a clearer understanding of if it works.  The French paradox is interesting, because it's basically the above plus grains and dairy (and sugar). Higher saturated fat and lower PUFAs (which is another interesting theory). Do you add much/any sugar to your cooking? 
I feel like there's too much interpersonal variation to make much of a single case like this. It might very well be that hyperpalatable food is a major factor for obesity in general, even if it didn't affect you.

The most important thing I discovered in regards to my current partnership is that the relationship is the thing that exists between the partners. The relationship is the choices that are made by both people

In every previous situation, the relationship was dysfunctional because there was an unwillingness to acknowledge "what I want it to be," "what the other person wants it to be," and "what actually exists between us". 

(Think 500 Days of Summer, when Tom says "you can't say we're not a couple, we do all of the things couples do" and Summer say... (read more)

Specific, replicable actions that lead to predictable, desired results > specific, replicable actions that lead to unpredictable, desired results 

(with the understanding that you may need to grind unpredictability for a while until you get what you need to consistently achieve predictability)

(example being "building freelance career" vs. "maintaining freelance career") 

(actions that lead to undesired results aren't even on the table for consideration, of course)

I'm sure I'm not the person to say whether anything resolved (and also that is not what I am referring to in this case).

See, that's what I thought -- any hashtag I tweet or editorial letter I write is going to be way less effective than the movement leader telling a journalist that "Stark Doobin" (no, seriously, that's how he announced it) was going to be the person who could push the plan into completion.  

That makes me wonder whether any of the volunteer tasks are useful at all (share a tweet, share a meme, make a blog post, etc.), or whether they exist primarily to keep volunteers engaged. Which is in itself useful, keep the biggest fans on board so they don't get distracted by other shinies, but still.

Got it. So the proposed solution on the table is:

  1. Create vaccine that effectively brings R0 under 1 (reducing spread being the key factor here)
  2. Immunize population
  3. Isolate immunized population

If 1 and 2, then we don't need 3, right? 

If 2 and 3 but not 1, then we have something that resembles our current situation, with a lot of people arguing contentiously (rather than productively) over whether 3 is necessary (or helpful) and whether 2 is even necessary (or helpful) given that 1 is absent.

The other question that could provoke argument/contention is "whe... (read more)

We need different words to describe what the polio and measles shots do vs. what the flu and COVID shots do. One of these tools effectively stops [disease/death] and the other may reduce [symptoms/severity/transmission].

That is the only way to let the statement that "vaccines stop the virus dead in its tracks" remain true.

Mike was talking about bringing R0 under 1 and not just about reducing disease/death.

I'm trying to remember if there was an outbreak in a vaccine-mandated zone with Delta. We know that vaccinated people could both contract and spread Delta, and that it can transmit within a "fully-immunized household" (Bloomberg, October '21).

Searching "college campuses Delta outbreak" doesn't get me any stories like Cornell's, at least not on the first page of Google; there are stories of Delta spreading through a relatively isolated facility (nursing homes, prisons, etc.) with caveats that not everyone in that facility is vaccinated. 

The lack of new... (read more)

We have existing examples of vaccine-only zones; here's how they're going so far:

Cornell University Shuts Down Campus Due to COVID Outbreak, Despite Vaccine Mandate—Here's How That Can Happen (, Dec '21, this story was reported in many major outlets)

48 test positive for Covid on world's biggest cruise ship (CNN, Dec '21,"95% on board were fully vaccinated. Of the people who've since tested positive, 98% were fully vaccinated. The total number of cases amounted to 0.78% of the on board population.")

Points worth noting:

  • cases /= serious illness
  • cases
... (read more)
The problem with the real-world situation in Dec 2021 is that we don't currently have an effective vaccine that is FDA-approved (by effective, I mean that can stop the virus in its tracks, i.e. can bring R_0 well below 1) against the Omicron variant, since Omicron has a large degree of escape from the immunity associated with previous variants. I wouldn't be surprised if a vaccine against Omicron already exists, and I certainly expect it to be developed well within next 2 months if it doesn't exist yet. The main obstacle (as it was with the original vaccine) is to pass regulatory hurdles.

Agreed (which is why I noted that county data could be more valuable than aggregated CDC data, and that nuance has the potential to be lost with every aggregation), and I spent a good 30 minutes after writing this comment asking myself if there is a better term than "primary source," which I probably used incorrectly above. 

That said, it's fair to note that I didn't actually answer the question asked, because I don't know how to determine the reliability of any given number (or any given source providing any given number). How are other people doing this?

Hooooo boy.

Here is how I have been evaluating data, curious to know if other people are making judgments based on similar inputs:

  • Primary source material (CDC data tracker) is better than secondary source interpretation (CNN COVID newsfeed).
  • Small-scale primary source material, such as state or county data, is better than large-scale aggregate primary source material.
  • Secondary source interpretation can be more, not less valuable when created by a single person (as opposed to a news site) (even if that individual does not have a medical background), as an ind
... (read more)
One of the points of OP to be that aggregations like the CDC data tracker are not themselves primary source material. Like, the chain goes "person provides sample" -> "sample gets processed" -> "result gets recorded locally" -> "result gets aggregated nationally", and each of those steps feels like it has some possibility for error or bias or whatever. That CNN is even further from ground seems useful to know, but doesn't tell us how connected the CDC is.

There's at least some possibility that it's less of a Pfizer bias than it is an "unnecessary medical intervention" bias (my family of origin made sure we all got our 1980s-recommended vaccines, but they also said "taking Tylenol for a headache doesn't solve the underlying problem, drink a glass of water instead"). You may believe that Paxlovid could be helpful in some situations but you'd rather not take it unless you absolutely have to.

That said, we've also been exposed to two years of "this will work!" followed by does not work, does not work as promised... (read more)

the person must have been very crucial


Having spent the past week (technically, the past month) being the House Hero in all matters related to holiday prep, well — I mean, I can't say this is the case in the commenter's situation, but in my household the amount of holiday planning knowledge (where the special dishes were located, where the special recipes were located, which family members have which dietary restrictions and preferences, etc.) that I was carrying, organizing, and delegating was in fact crucial

I am confused about why it's better to get Omicron later rather than sooner. I understand that avoiding overloaded hospitals is a good idea, but the reports from people who have Omicron (understanding that first-hand reports are created by people well enough to report and/or by bad actors) suggest that getting Omicron right now is equivalent to a nasty cold. 

Even the data suggests that getting Omicron right now is much less likely to lead to hospitalization, regardless of whether you feel chipper enough to tweet about it.  

So... why do you assume... (read more)

Consider that in March it is much more likely that Paxlovid will be widely available than in February.
I think this only matters if you happen to get an unusually severe case that requires hospitalization, but that still affects the expected value somewhat.