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Covid 7/15: Rates of Change

I note your typical disdain for the anti-vaxxers. You probably have your reasons. I struggle to discount them as quickly. If I were a betting man, I would bet there are some pretty bright and well-reasoned ones in the mix. I don't think I can predict the future well, but I wouldn't be entirely surprised to find out in 10 years the anti-vaxxers were right, for the right reasons, and that we should have given their reservations far more careful consideration[0].

If you care about being fair to that class of people[1], you need to put more thought into the position of anti-vaxxers.

I note zero comment, analysis, or consideration for people who got Covid and recovered. How do they fit into this whole mess? Ctrl-F "recover." No hits.

You applaud France's rules that would require recovered Covidees to get vaccinated. Is this your disdain for those who trust immune systems to do their jobs? Or did you and France just forget about their existence entirely? Maybe some third option I can't fathom[2]?

You seem well-intentioned to me, and I read your posts thoroughly because I feel there's signal here. But don't be surprised if certain people, many of them, even very bright and well-reasoned ones, write you off as a political pro-vax hack.

Everything I've seen so far says vaccination is a political issue, not a health concern. The evidence we choose to consider, the experts we cite, and the science we believe seem to depend on the agenda we're pushing.


[0] Is "Fox News agrees with them" good enough to just write them off entirely, and ban them from the internet? Sure. Why not? Censorship has a long and illustrious historical record, full of good intentions and great results.

[1] If I'm being honest, my experience shows fairness in a political fight yields near zero benefit to anyone on either side of the political debate and costs a massive amount of stress. Hence, you probably shouldn't bother being fair. Continue to be a pro-vaxxer, wear the badge proudly, and embrace the biases it gifts you.

[2] If I'm being honest, I'm not actually a terribly bright person. I consistently fail to be able to fathom the third option in the dichotomy.

Would you like me to debug your math?

"Disclaimer" - I have no relationship with Gurkenglas outside the ~2hr session we just went through. But I got the feeling I should tout his skills to the community, so I'm doing it. He did not solicit my comment.

This was fun. We didn't do maths so much, because I don't have a maths problem. I have several major problems. We identified some of them.

Gurkenglas has a pretty good handle on looking at completely foreign code, grokking some high-level problems (need to refactor) and some low-level problems (useless conditionals) and even backing off and not fixing a low-level problem when it turns out it might just be idiomatic to the language (Golang and the omnipresent "if err != nil...") These are reasonably sophisticated habits/skills.

I got the impression he's pretty passionate about alignment and other AI-related topics, so if you've got an important AI project that needs someone who's willing to do whatever it takes to add value, schedule time on his Calendly and let's get this going!