PeterMcCluskey

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[Prediction] What war between the USA and China would look like in 2050

Part of what I'm asking is how long would Taiwan resist assimilation if assimilation is the only way to re-establish trade with the world?

[Prediction] What war between the USA and China would look like in 2050

Why would the Beijing government invade Taiwan? Couldn't it get most of what it wants by taking control of the airspace and shipping lanes around Taiwan?

Zvi's Law of No Evidence

I disagree. Much of what's going wrong is differing meanings of the word evidence.

Most people are oblivious to the Bayesian meaning of the word evidence. When I hear an ordinary person say "no evidence", I usually interpret it as "no evidence that's admissible in a court", or maybe even "no proof".

MIRI location optimization (and related topics) discussion

Ticks: I've found more ticks on me in the bay area than I did when I lived in Connecticut and Rhode Island. I don't think that's fully explained by behavioral changes.

I have a good deal of control over my exposure to ticks. I haven't put much effort into avoiding them. Well over 90% of the times I've found ticks on me were after going off-trail. Brushing against tall grass seems especially high risk. Wide trails seem to have very low risk. The clearest exception I've seen to this pattern may have involved transmission via a dog.

I started getting more tick bites after I stopped using sunscreen. That's definitely not due to getting more ticks on me. I think the sunscreen caused them to wander around much longer before deciding where to bite, giving me more time to find them when they're still crawling.

I've never found a tick more than 24 hours after my suspected exposure. I don't think I'm unusually diligent about checking for them.

The big caveat here is that the ticks that transmit Lyme are smaller than the ones I'm used to finding on me. I had a recent test that detected small amounts of a Lyme virus in my blood. I haven't seen any corresponding symptoms, so I don't have any guess as to where I lived when I got infected. I presume I never detected the tick that caused it.

Other insects: those mosquito maps seem misleading. There's a lot of local variation. Most parts of California seem pretty mosquito-free. The few parts that I've found bad were in mountains where the snow recently melted. The median location in New England has significantly more mosquitoes, and also a wider variety of other distracting insects, than the median location in California. My impression is that Maine is the worst state overall for insect distractions of the states that I have enough experience with to evaluate (mainly New England and the area from Colorado west), yet those maps suggest it's good.

I consider grass pollen to be a bigger negative than insects. Grass pollen bothers me much more in New England than it does anywhere in the west.

My overall preferences (for reasons mostly involving weather, outdoor recreational options, and political climate): Of the top 5 places that you mention, Reno is my top choice, Bellingham is 2nd, New Hampshire is 3rd. Colorado also seems worth considering.

There's a significant chance I'll want to stay in the bay area, probably moving to somewhere a bit less urban than Berkeley.

Best empirical evidence on better than SP500 investment returns?

The best answers to these questions that I've seen are in the book Expected Returns, which I reviewed here.

I see important benefits, and big risks.

What stops the government from taking more money in ways that it doesn't classify as taxes? E.g. civil forfeiture?

It could increase hostility to new immigrants. That might be solved by taxing people when they immigrate. I'm unsure how to evaluate the effects of those taxes.

the one main reason to expect the government to shrink is that it acts irresponsibly and politicians take out debt with no good plan to pay it back. However, if this happens, shouldn’t we celebrate that the government is shrinking?

I don't know. Does it imply that the government gets taken over by a government that can afford more military spending?

People Will Listen

How many LWers bought Bitcoin in 2011 and ended up with poor returns due to the demise of Mt. Gox?

I almost ended up losing a little of my money that way, but was stopped when my KYC evidence was rejected for no clear reason. I ended up doing well by buying Ripples a couple of years later, but I don't know whether I would have done that if I had lost money in my first attempt.

Covid 2/25: Holding Pattern

It's got to be either reporting delays, or people dying months after they contracted the virus. I've changed my mind a bit, and I'm currently guessing it's more the latter.

I compared the ratio of reported deaths over the past week in California (1273) and New York state (406). This clearly has no connection with people who recently tested positive, since New York has been reporting over twice as many new cases as California recently.

It was only before mid-January that California last reported something in excess of twice the new cases that NY reported, and only around Christmas or earlier that California reported 3 times as many new cases a NY.

So unless there's something quite misleading about the ratio of California to NY numbers, recent deaths are dominated by people who contracted the virus around Christmas / New Years.

Thirty-three randomly selected bioethics papers

It looks like the average academic bioethicist is ok (with high variance), and is not having much effect outside academia.

Like lawyers, the bioethicists we hear about the most are the ones defending the least ethical clients.

Are the less conspicuous bioethicists doing the equivalent of mundane, mildly beneficial lawyers who write contracts? Or are they mostly engaged in intellectual masturbation?

I'm unclear on why I'd hire a bioethicist unless I was trying to defend behavior that looks unethical. Which suggests that there isn't much demand for bioethicists to do constructive things.

What are the best resources to point people who are skeptical of getting vaccinated for COVID-19 to?

I suggest the RaDVaC article, as evidence of what experts think about vaccine safety when they're focused on protecting themselves.

You might follow that up with this suggestion about why the FDA might mislead us: if people notice that some vaccines are safer than the alternative by really big margins, they'll start asking why we don't just bypass FDA review in some cases. That will bias the FDA to suggest that most vaccines are tough choices, which need the FDA's expertise to evaluate. But given big variations in how harmful diseases are, this will lead the FDA to be too cautious about the worst diseases.

Also, it can't hurt to mention evidence of asymmetric blame that motivates the FDA to overstate the risks of all medical treatments.

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