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Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

If you're not concerned about enforcement why bother with the security theater? Might as well just trust people when they say they're vaccinated. The marginal benefits of the apps is negligible, compared to the cards. Anyone with the chutzpah and resources to forge a CDC card isn't going to have a hard time forging a QR code and a driver's license.

Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

To clarify - the most humane, least risky use case that would satisfy these desiderata would be have a modular system where we

  1. Verify off-site that DanArmak is vaccinated (or has allergies, or a heart condition, or is immunocompromised)

  2. Verify on-site that you're DanArmak

  3. Give the user the option of sharing information with the state or local health department so they can contact you or your physician about virus exposure (not just covid), food poisoning, whatever.

This could be widely adapted to a variety of situations, depending on how rigorous one wants to be about verifying someone's ID.

If we DO stick with apps, the best approach might be to give everyone a QR code (including those who haven't gotten vaccinated or tested). Separately, provide multiple options for verifying the codes (strict verification of ID, census of how many people are vaccinated once capacity is exceeded, etc)

Looks like some people may already be moving in this direction.

Again, easier to implement if the software is open source.

Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

Interestingly in New York State it appears aren't allowed to store anything about the verification per GBL 899-aa and 899-bb. That's about as close to a "no warranty" statement as it gets.

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

Same here. Fretting about how to convince, threaten, or cajole people into getting vaccinated is a solution in search of a problem, for now.

About Me: Background and Biases

I also believe that you should take civil service exams, for your own edification and to help ensure that government workers like me are at least as qualified as you. Think of it as a civic duty, on par with voting, paying taxes, and serving on a jury.  

Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

Privacy concerns could be addressed by periodically deleting data more than ten days old. 

In plain English - in what ways are Bayes' Rule and Popperian falsificationism conflicting epistemologies?

I'm not sure Bayes' Rule dictates anything beyond its plain mathematical content, which isn't terribly controversial:


When people speak of Bayesian inference, they are talking about a mode of reasoning that uses Bayes' Rule a lot, but it's mainly motivated by a different "ontology" of probability. 

As to whether Bayesian inference and Popperian falsificationism are in conflict - I'd imagine that depends very much on the subject of investigation (does it involve a need to make immediate decisions based on limited information?) and the temperaments of the human beings trying to reach a consensus. 

Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

I appreciate the explanation of the downvote (no harm no foul) and I'll try to tweak it if I get a chance. I probably do have experiential information that's hard to unpack (without starting to break confidentiality, based on my line of work - which is annoying, because I absolutely never wanted to play the "I could tell you, but then I'd have to wipe your memory tomorrow" card, but here we are). 

I do think the potential for escalation of conflict is a real concern; and that's another reason for keeping the implementation as discreet as possible. For a restaurant, I could imagine a combined vaccine status/capacity logging/contact tracing app that has the same look and feel to everyone involved as a handy way of making reservations in 30 minute increments once the capacity reaches a certain level. This would involve giving everyone a QR code, and I believe this would probably be easier to enforce because it's a lot easier to catch "two people being in the same place at the same time" 

My main "meta-points" in all of this are:

a) Keeping the code open source, like Jeffrey Zients suggests, is incredibly important.
b) We should try to come up with a set of guidelines of what it would mean for vaccine passports to be a failure (e.g., no measurable effect on case rates, evidence of rampant forgery, etc)

Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

So I guess another approach that would make vaccine passports palatable to everyone would be if we just went ahead and gave everybody something similar to the Excelsior pass (either on their phone or printed), where we'd attempt to implement that underlying logic of "x% vaccinated or y% capacity" in real time. The venue would stop allowing new people in when neither of those conditions are met, and nobody would see anybody's personal information. And it would take away any motive for the prospective attendee to cheat. This could also be leveraged for contact tracing, and perhaps the expectation would be that you get a test if you don't feel well, or if a contact tracer tracks you down. 

I don't think it would be too difficult to deploy something like this (all-in-one contact tracing/vaccination tracking/compliance app)

Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

Yeah, so I guess my point is that in the spirit of "less wrong", making a beeline for aggregate statistics appears to me to be the "least wrong".

There's also somewhat promising evidence that there's going to be enough self selection that Bayes' Theorem will have our backs even without incentives. Kinda like how there are a lot of uh, people like me in movie theaters on December 25th.

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