More information on Factored Cognition: the term was introduced by Ought and Ought has done a series of explainers and experiments on it. Ought also wrote a brief introduction to IDA, with a view to ML experiments.
David MacKay: Sustainable Energy – without the hot airDavid MacKay: Information Theory text bookSteven Pinker: How the Mind Works, The Stuff of Thought (Cognitive science, linguistics, philosophy of language)
It's not a news source, but I find the Google and Apple Mobility data for Europe to be a useful measure of "how people are actually behaving on the ground". If people are going to retail/recreation locations (rather than ordering online), they are probably not taking the pandemic that seriously. Much of Europe eased up more than US before it had a rapid growth of cases (starting in August/Sep), and behavior hasn't changed much since this rapid growth.
in San Francisco, the so-called deaths of despair are both up 60% year over year and dwarf Covid-19 deaths four to one
These are mostly deaths due to fentanyl. When fentanyl displaces heroin in a region, it usually causes this kind of spike in deaths. (I don't know if there's an uptick in fentanyl in SF over the last few years, but such an uptick has happened in various places in the US). SF already had serious drug/homelessness problems. Why think this has anything to do with the specifics of SF's Covid response?It also seems odd to criticize SF. Their Covid track record looks superb compared to major US or cities of Western Europe (save for Germany). Lots of businesses will be forced to close, but that's also true in places that have had more permissive rules.
Big improvements (for me -- YMMV):1. Boston has two of the world's best few universities very close together. (It's hard to live close to Stanford without studying there, and it's a huge trek from Stanford to Berkeley).2. There's an obvious Schelling point in Boston for where to live (Camberville), while interesting people/companies/organizations in the Bay are in SF, Oakland, Berkeley, and South Bay/Peninsula. 3. Boston is closer to NYC (and the other big East Coast cities) and Europe.
I'd guess Camberville is significantly cheaper in terms of overall COL than SF but it has similar big city amenities (concerts, opera, museums, huge diversity of events) that Berkeley lacks.
I've lived in Boston, NYC, SF Bay, and Oxford. For me, a big advantage of Boston was that most people I knew were clustered in a small area (Cambridge/Somerville or a short cycle away from them). This is radically different from the SF Bay, where people are spread across Berkeley (where UC Berkeley, MIRI, CFAR are), Oakland, SF (where Open Phil and many tech jobs are) and the Peninsula and South Bay (home of Stanford and many other tech jobs) and transport between these areas is mostly slow (esp without a car). London, NYC, and Berlin have the same issue of people living far apart, but it's mitigated by better transport options than the SF Bay. Oxford has the same advantage as Boston. (NB: I was studying in Cambridge and so had more friends in that area. But at the time, many rationalists who weren't studying at Harvard/MIT also lived near Cam/Somerville.)
I presume the blinding is imperfect because some of the vaccines cause mild reactions that the placebo wouldn't. I doubt it's a big problem. The people doing the trial are selected for being more conscientious than the average person. (For one of the two trials, the rate of Covid seropositivity was only ~1% for people starting the trial, which is lower than the general US population). They will not want to risk their household members getting Covid, and they will have been warned that that the vaccines are unlikely to work perfectly.