Covid 12/24: We’re F***ed, It’s Over

Not sure why the down votes on this one. One of the arguments made at the outset was that a possible vaccine would, for technical reasons specific to coronaviruses generally, cover likely mutants. I don't think the new strain changes anything, but it might politically justify continuing restrictions

[Answer] Why wasn't science invented in China?

Was there anything similar to this in ancient China:

I wonder if the presence of arguments between separate groups who disagreed about absolute truth (in the religious sense) eventually led to arguments about the natural order, and the presentation of experiments to resolve them. Given the presence of religious figures (monks like Mendel, friars like Bacon, etc) in the early sciences, I wouldn't be surprised if there's evidence for this, though I don't have any.

'my god says the cannonball hits before the feather, mine says they hit at the same time, screw you I've got a cannonball, a feather, and a tower, let's settle this'

If the argument happens in an environment where 'you made the higher status person look silly, so now you have to be punished', this does nothing, if it happens in an environment where the crowd can theoretically embrace one or the other on the spot, and it is an actual contest, then that might lead somewhere interesting.

If the Chinese language permits the statement, 'what I said can be read as disagreeing with you o higher status one, but what I intended was the read that exactly supports your beliefs which is totally consistent with the beautiful grammar', then this sort of disputation cannot happen.

I offer the example of Puritanism and Judaism as well.

Puritans believed that salvation was not assured and constantly engaged in introspection to answer the 'am I right with god' question, which required a great deal of 'examination' in a sense that may be relevant to science--see Scott Alexander's post on Puritans for examples of prominent ones.

As I understand it, 'argument' is also core to the practice of Talmudic studies in Judaism, which I suppose could lead to experiments like the above, or at least the development of formal logic. To use von Neumann as an example, if he had not been a scientist in an era where the Jews of Hungary were integrating into wider society (see Scott Alexander's post on the contribution of this group to modernity), he would have (maybe he was? I don't know) made an amazing scholar of the Talmud--he could repeat verbatim everything he had ever read and was an absolute master of reasoning.

Could the insanity of European religious conflict have led directly to the development of modern science? I don't have an answer, or sources, but maybe the idea is interesting.

How Hard Would It Be To Make A COVID Vaccine For Oneself?

Don't do this in the USA, modafinil is a schedule IV controlled substance. Manufacturing a controlled substance requires a license, and a bunch of other stuff. Use requires a prescription.

If busted, you'd probably be the only 'modafinil lab' the local cops have seen, and it's anyones guess whether the judge and prosecutors treat it like a meth lab or ignore you like a weed farm in a legal state.

Obviously this isn't legal advice, but I'd be unsurprised if making your own modafinil and using it would be treated like a felony akin to making your own DMT or meth and using it ('officer I was making that meth for personal use!' is hilarious, but I doubt a lawyer would let you try it in court). Since you're posting about this on a forum, it's probably safe for you to assume that you wouldn't avoid scrutiny from the yeah, while I definitely feel what you're proposing in principle (why do I need a medical mafia member and the pharma-industrial complex between me and my nootropics????), you'd probably be taking a legal risk you don't need. Idk what the law is outside the US, but I'd assume it isn't sane

How Hard Would It Be To Make A COVID Vaccine For Oneself?

I have not made the specific radvac vaccine, but have read the prep. I've done all of those steps for other projects, can confirm, extremely simple and straightforward.

I have had an open offer to my friends to go in halfsies on materials if anyone wants it, but no takers thus far.

As far as QC goes, 'trust the vendor to mail you the correct peptides' is the easy route, screwups in that industry are rare and shocking. If you really want to check, raman or IR spectroscopy is probably the way to go--I've only ever used 'the spectrum looks like this, which matches the spectrum in the authoritative source', I've never learned anything about actually reading them. So I couldn't do that ELISA assay or something (easy to do if you have it, but idk if one is readily available for those peptides) would work too (take sample of peptide, apply elisa test, if pass, it's the peptide)

No real reason not to trust the adjuvant or DI water suppliers either.

The actual final product is a kind of crude mixture, and it's just going up your nose, so you would need to deviate from the procedure pretty severely (like, adding toxic ingredients) in order to really hurt yourself by doing it wrong. It's not like a drug where microgram differences in dose are the difference between ineffective, effective, and lethal

What Would Advanced Social Technology Look Like?

Prosthetic neocortex that permits dunbars number to increase dramatically for the individual using the prosthesis.

Snyder-Beattie, Sandberg, Drexler & Bonsall (2020): The Timing of Evolutionary Transitions Suggests Intelligent Life Is Rare

Of 'we are first, we are freaks, we are fucked' categories of great filter explanations, I think (consistent with this paper) we are definitely freaks, it looks like we may be first (at least in the parts of the universe that might in theory be reachable with existing physics/von neumann probes), and the jury is out on whether we are currently fucked (I'm a pessimist, I think we might be like the patient who ate a bottle of Tylenol, feeling fine, but definitely dead in a few days due to impending liver failure)

What will the economic effects of COVID-19 be?

Antibody tests are here but are not being used to reopen (worries that people will variolate to go back to work, if that's the case wtf is wrong with your economy).

Prophylaxis and symptomatic relief appears to be 'Vitamin D to mitigate the bradykinin storm': "As per the flexible approach in the current COVID-19 pandemic authors recommend mass administration of vitamin D supplements to population at risk for COVID-19." Sure ok, one weird trick that actually works, nice.

Rapid PCR and in New Zealand, full genome sequencing for contact tracing is a thing, awesome. Rapid antigen tests are a thing too, but not helping the economy.

Idk about what works in hospitals, but ventilators and fentanyl scare me more than 'happy hypoxemia' so if I'm conscious enough to say don't take me to a hospital, that's what I'm saying. Remdesivir is not widely available enough for me to bother thinking about.

The DIY corona vaccine appears from what research has been done to be safe (no biologists who took it died) and according to animal model studies, effective. I have the wherewithal to construct it if I want, I haven't bothered, therefore I probably won't screw with the official one when it hits.

Based on present death rates and the state of the economy, quarantine wasn't worth it.

Edit: my best guess about 'long hauler' symptoms is that they're consistent with permanent damage to the lungs and long term low-moderate hypoxia, lung transplants and oxygen bottles are really the only treatments for that (if you can cure scarring and regenerate lung tissue, let the asbestosis and silicosis communities know), so long-haulers are probably screwed. Vitamin D should limit or halt this process.

This supercomputer model seems trustworthy so far:

What risks concern you which don't seem to have been seriously considered by the community?

Instead of uploading humans to create a large mess of AIs, let's connect humans together as soon as it's safe to do so (maybe at first only the elderly and bedridden, eventually anyone who can wear a hat) then add machines and maybe even animals (sup elephants and dolphins) to create a single gigantic worldbrain. As computer simulations of brain tissue get better, the AI will go from being mostly human to mostly artificial. The death of a fully integrated human body wouldn't cause an interruption in that human's consciousness, because most of it would be distributed across the entire worldbrain.

I believe that extant technology could be used to do this and actually wrote up a technical proposal that I didn't disseminate (it wasn't great and I didn't see anyone being persuaded by it so I trashed it). The technical risk is mostly in testing and some assumptions about the way the brain works that I view as 'plausible' given the state of the art, but far from 'proven'

Why isn’t assassination/sabotage more common?

Using the suggested framework, those would be class 2 not class 3. accident or successful class 3 assassination? As I understand it, analysis of these situations can be aided by wearing the correct headgear:

Why isn’t assassination/sabotage more common? at least one group of people appear to have accepted at least some of your argument.

Furthermore, assassinations fall into three categories:

Where the assassin takes credit afterwards (for intimidation, bragging to supporters, etc), where a third party is blamed (to prevent reprisals being directed at the source), and where it is unclear that an assassination was performed (wow IBM got screwed hard by that plane crash).

From the perspective in the OP, it is clear that there is a detection challenge. The most useful categories (to an assassin) are the third and the second, the least useful is the first. An external observer will see only the first category, and a potential subset of the second category, but is unlikely to see many members of the third category.

Maybe they're very common, and you're just not seeing the obvious.

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