Zvi

Sequences

COVID-19 Updates and Analysis
Immoral Mazes
Slack and the Sabbath
The Darwin Game

Comments

Covid 4/9: Another Vaccine Passport Objection

Covid 4/15: Are We Seriously Doing This Again is in my drafts folder. Don't worry.

Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

I would encourage you to make this a top-level post, I think there's a lot of very useful content here and I'd like to be able to comment / refer back to it. I'm especially interested in exploring why these particular areas have so much fraud relative to other areas slash whether this is true - one question is whether these are areas where we call people who lie or misrepresent out as committing fraud, whereas in other places maybe we don't as much do so. 

The solutions on the other hand don't seem viable to me. E.g. having a system where it will tell you how many out of X or more people are vaccinated, but won't tell you if 1 particular person is vaccinated, sounds like something you do in math team practice or when nerd sniping at a party to figure out how to figure out exactly who is vaccinated, and/or a way to start a lot of fights and have a lot of really bad free rider problems and game theory experiments that mostly don't end so well. Fascinating stuff, though. I'm curious how you think this functions in practice if there's a bar on directly checking individuals, under your proposals. 

Incentives are great and would certainly help with the 'fuzzy math' of having groups contain more vaccinated people, slash getting more people vaccinated, but I don't think there's any political/social ability to notice that going from 30% to 70% vaccinated in groups is 'good enough' in some sense and we should be OK with it, I think it needs to be effectively 100% or things won't actually happen. And yes, you can say 'but fraud!' but in some sense that serves the function of letting everyone pretend it's 100% slash not feel responsible for the fact that it's not 100% or for the people still vulnerable. 

Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

Very cool! This is an interesting example because it shows the system protecting the information in at least one case, but also shows that yes the government damn well tried to get the information, despite it being an information source that was deeply important to protect - if census info leaked and it got out our ability to do a census would be crippled.

Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

I think this assumes that the system needs to be more robust than the current system, by a lot, plus also gain privacy. What I'm saying is that (1) yes we could do both if we cared enough, in theory, because we have proof by example but also (2) we don't need that level of robustness. We need something harder to fake than a Fake ID, where the QR code doesn't reveal who you are, so you can't be tracked beyond the existing ability to track cell phones. 

There's a trade-off of security vs. privacy for sure, but right now the existing systems are lousy at best on both.

Covid 3/25: Own Goals

You can argue that risk is so low that bothering with vaccination for young people isn't worth it on selfish grounds and it is somehow more ethical then to not recommend it. I would strongly disagree due to long term risks of Covid, which are much higher than any risks of vaccination.

But also, blood clots are a disease of aging. Young people are at almost no risk of those. So even if the danger were real, which it isn't and even if there it was stupidly tiny, it would be orders of magnitude lower here.

So any argument to not recommend would have applied before anyway.

Covid 3/25: Own Goals

Cruz was speaking to a TV audience and was essentially right.

Covid 3/25: Own Goals

Ah, so it's effectively an Aella poll. She's got quite the Twitter poll business going. Her followers are definitely not as rationalist, although a lot more rationalist than average. Interesting.

Covid 3/18: An Expected Quantity of Blood Clots

I do not think everyone understands this, and I think if they did (in general understand such things) the world would look very different. Certainly those messaging do not think people understand it.

Walid Gellad is a relatively prominent Very Serious Person epidemiologist, but not one of the most known/influential, so makes sense you don't know, but he's one of the chorus of people doing the thing in quesiton.

Covid 3/18: An Expected Quantity of Blood Clots

The EMA report saying that there may be an association with very rare blood clots (which would still imply far more blood clots prevented than caused because Covid causes blood clots + math) came out after I hit the publish button. I agree that they then changed their tune from the pure explicit 'no evidence' line to a new line of Very Serious Person language designed to make it easier for everyone to resume. 

When I say p-hacking, I mean that the search function was identical to what happens when people p-hack, with identical results - they're looking at all conditions and subconditions, in all regions and subregions, with any possible lag ranges, in order to find something that happened above rate. And for the same reason - people are highly motivated to find a positive result somewhere. I don't think anyone in a meeting said the word "p-hack", but no one has denied that the search took place in this fashion, either, nor did they make any attempt to account for it, or notice any issues after they identified what they suspected was the issue. And there's still no mechanism.

I didn't intend to explicitly say that the authorities are failing to use an adjusted background rate, but my prior is that they're not doing so, because no one has mentioned doing the adjustment and in general no one silently does such adjustments when they make things seem more safe, because again everyone is on the 'make the vaccines look unsafe' team.

Covid 3/12: New CDC Guidelines Available

1400 deaths from about 70 million shots after lag, so even if that was 100% the vaccine, that would be a death rate of 1 in 50k. Seems well worth taking. But also if life expectancy vis about 80 years, that's about 30k days, so if they report deaths that day, and vaccinate a lot of elderly, isn't 1400 deaths on 70mm shots below baseline?

If you die after a flu shot no one thinks the flu shot kills you. If you happen to die after getting an mRNA shot they report it.

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