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Why would CZ tweet out that he was starting to sell his FTT? Surely that would only decrease the amount he could recover on his sales?

I agree, I was just responding to your penultimate sentence: “In fact, if you could know without labeling generated data, why would you generate something that you can tell is bad in the first place?”


Personally, I think it’s kind of exciting to be part of what might be the last breath of purely human writing. Also, depressing.

Surely the problem is that someone else is generating it - or more accurately lots of other people generating it in huge quantities.

I work in a related field and found this a helpful overview that filled in some gaps of my knowledge that I probably should have known already and I’m looking forward to the  follow ups. I do think that this would likely be a very hard read for a layman who wasn’t already pretty familiar with genetics and you might consider making an even more basic version of this. Lots of jargon is dropped without explanation,  for example.

Your graph shows an ~40% risk compared to the normal day in that age group. Using their risk ratio you would need about 25x times the child pedestrian activity to achieve that risk reduction. That could be the case, but I'm not certain. I'm not even that confident that you'd get the >10x needed to ensure a decrease in risk. Kids tend to go to hot spots for trick-or-treating, so the really busy streets that get >25x and spring to mind easily might be hiding the (relatively) depleted streets elsewhere that account for a larger fraction of typical walking. Hence I think your presentation is optimistic: it's right to push back on the raw numbers but I don't think it's clear that Halloween is substantially safer than other nights per pedestrian-hour as you claim.

I also read the denominator problem differently. I took your argument to claim that 5x number to be a lower bound for the "trick-or-treating streets compared to the same streets on a typical night" and for that, it's definitely true. But then you had to gloss over the fact that we're comparing entire days (and non-trick-or-treating streets) and it's much less clear that 5x is true for all-of-Halloween compared to all-of-another-day. Therefore, their analysis justified using your 5x number while I think your analysis was stretching the truth.

While I appreciate the analysis, I also recently saw this article circulating:

It compares just 6pm-midnight on Halloween versus the corresponding time one week early and one week later. They estimate a 10x increase in deaths in age 4-8 children - see Figure 1. This doesn't look like subgroup fishing since the 9-12 group is also quite large (6x increase). By your 5x correction factor, Halloween would still be more dangerous than other days for kids.

I still think it could be true that Halloween is less dangerous since this hasn't measured pedestrian activity and trick-or-treat really might be a greater than 10x increase in 4-8 year olds out on the street. But this definitely makes it look less good to me than your presentation.

Gene drives (I.e. genes that force their own propagation) do arise in nature. There are “LINE” genes that apparently make up over 20% of our genome: they encode RNA that encodes a protein that takes its own RNA and copies it back into your DNA at random locations, thereby propagating itself even more than our engineered gene drives do. With it taking up that much of our genome, I could imagine something like that killing off a species, though I’m failing to find a specific example.These are examples of selfish genes, so that might be where to read more.

It only causes female sterility, so the males keep passing it on. It reaches the whole population because the gene encodes a protein that  affects the DNA and ensures it’s inheritance, rather than being a fifty fifty. If a modified and unmodified mate, then their offspring have only one copy of the modified DNA and one copy of the unmodified. They would have only a fifty fifty chance of passing that on. But if the gene has the effect of breaking other (nonmodified) copy, then the organisms natural DNA repair mechanisms will copy from the other chromosome to repair the damage. That copies the modified gene over! Now it has only the modified  DNA  and will pass it on with 100% chance. So will it’s offspring, forever, until there are no nonsterile females.

That looks right mathematically but seems absurd. Maybe steady state isn’t the right situation to think about this in? It’s weird that the strategy of “never reproduce” would be just as good as the usual, since not reproducing means not dying. Or we need to model the chance that the bamboo dies due to illness/fire/animals prior to getting a chance to reproduce?

Very interesting. Seems like the growth rate equations are off. Since the trees die off after giving off their seeds, population is just (mp)^2 after two generations. In steady state, mp will always have to be about 1, which puts a somewhat high bar on s to make it worth it (can you really  double seed production by waiting twice as  long?).

And where do the bamboo store all these seed producing resources for so long?

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