Comment by arunto on How should I behave ≥14 days after my first mRNA vaccine dose but before my second dose? · 2021-04-08T10:24:32.711Z · LW · GW

Maybe figure 1 of this article: Antibody Responses in Seropositive Persons after a Single Dose of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine could be helpful. I think relevant are the blue dots (for persons seronegative before the first vaccine).

Since the antibody reaction is on a log scale I would be more confident after 28 days than after 14 days based on that graph. But the n for the different time ranges (days after vaccine) are much too small to be sure, of course (and I am not a medical expert).

Comment by arunto on Forcing yourself to keep your identity small is self-harm · 2021-04-04T08:23:16.228Z · LW · GW

I agree that "Keep your identity small" is too general as advice. But the problem Graham has adressed regarding identity is an important one.

So I would propose:

  1. Keep you political identity small. Because as soon as you strongly identify with a specific political group your ability to see reality relatively clearly can be greatly diminished, because politics has opinions about a great amount and variety of topics.

  2. Know your identities and try to realize that you opinions about the world in those areas that are relevant for you identities can be much more biased than in other areas.

  3. Try to have multiple social identities / group memberships because of their protective effects (e.g. Haslam et al., 2008; Iyer et al., 2009).

Comment by arunto on Why We Launched LessWrong.SubStack · 2021-04-01T11:11:29.426Z · LW · GW

Is this move permanent or just for the short term? Because your main expense should become quite cheap in the future due to a changing supply side.

Comment by arunto on The best things are often free or cheap · 2021-03-18T07:54:58.540Z · LW · GW

I really like the content of the post, but disagree with its title. I believe a better title would have been:

"Great things are often free or cheap".

Some examples for better things for that list have been mentioned by other comments. But there is a deeper reason I think the title is quite problematic:

Looking for "the best" seems to me a losing strategy when it comes to quality of life. There is (almost) always something or somewhere else that is better but out of your reach for several reasons (money, distance, time, etc.). If you look for that your experience will be contrasted with a hypothetically even better one, devaluing your own experience.

So, I believe we should not look for "the best", but we definitely should look for "great", for experiences that truly enrich our life and, as you rightfully pointed out, in many cases are cheap and easily accessible if we only start looking for them.

Comment by arunto on AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine and blood clots · 2021-03-16T15:56:02.098Z · LW · GW

Yes, that was the main argument for the decision of the PEI - the risk for a group that does not profit as much from a vaccine as older people.

If I had to guess:

  1. The women had taken oral contraceptives.
  2. Maybe this group will be excluded from this specific vaccine in the future.

(But it is just a guess, I am no expert).

Here additional background information from the German PEI (translation by deepl):

"In seven cases (as of 03/15/2021), a specific form of severe cerebral venous thrombosis associated with platelet deficiency (thrombocytopenia) and bleeding has been identified in temporal association with vaccination with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

It is a very serious disease that is also difficult to treat. Of the seven affected individuals, three had died.

The affected individuals had ages ranging from about 20 to 50 years.

Six of the affected individuals had a particular form of cerebral venous thrombosis, namely sinus vein thrombosis. All six individuals were younger to middle-aged women (see above). Another case with cerebral hemorrhage in platelet deficiency and thrombosis was medically very comparable. All cases occurred between four and 16 days after vaccination with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. This presented as a comparable pattern.

The number of these cases after AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination is statistically significantly higher than the number of cerebral venous thromboses that normally occur in the unvaccinated population. For this purpose, an observed-versus-expected analysis was performed, comparing the number of cases expected without vaccination in a 14-day time window with the number of cases reported after approximately 1.6 million AstraZeneca vaccinations in Germany. About one case would have been expected, and seven cases had been reported.

The younger to middle-aged group of people affected by the severe cerebral venous thromboses with platelet deficiency is not the group of people at high risk for a severe or even fatal COVID-19 course.

In addition to the experts from the Paul Ehrlich Institute, other experts in thrombosis, hematology, and an adenovirus specialist were consulted with the details of the reported cases. All experts were unanimous in their opinion that a pattern could be discerned here and that a connection between the reported above-mentioned diseases and the AstraZeneca vaccination was not implausible.

After an overall review and consideration of the above facts, the Paul Ehrlich Institute recommended that vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine be suspended in Germany as a precautionary measure in order to further analyze the cases. The German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) has followed this recommendation. The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will review during the week of March 15, 2021, whether and how the new findings affect the benefit-risk profile of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and the EU approval of the vaccine."

Source: PEI

Comment by arunto on AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine and blood clots · 2021-03-15T21:26:15.583Z · LW · GW

Today's statement by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI), Germany's vaccine and pharmaceutical regulatory agency (translation by deepl, emphasis in the quote is mine)

"The Paul Ehrlich Institute informs - Temporary suspension of vaccination with COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca

Following intensive consultations on the serious thrombotic events that have occurred in Germany and Europe, the Paul Ehrlich Institute recommends the temporary suspension of vaccinations with the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca.

Compared to the status on March 11, 2021, additional cases (as of Monday, March 15, 2021) have now been reported in Germany. Analyzing the new data status, the experts of the Paul Ehrlich Institute now see a striking accumulation of a special form of very rare cerebral venous thrombosis (sinus vein thrombosis) in connection with a deficiency of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) and bleeding in temporal proximity to vaccinations with the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca.

The data are being further analyzed and evaluated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Vaccinations with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in Germany will be suspended until the EMA's evaluation is complete. Today's decision affects both initial and follow-up vaccinations.

The Paul Ehrlich Institute advises that individuals who have received AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine and feel increasingly unwell more than four days after vaccination - for example, with severe and persistent headache or pinpoint bleeding of the skin - should seek medical treatment immediately." PEI

Comment by arunto on AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine and blood clots · 2021-03-15T13:47:00.104Z · LW · GW

My prior would be that there probably is no blood clot problem. With the HPV vaccine there were the same fears and a large study showed that this was not the case (source: NPR ).

Blood clots are a somewhat common problem, see e.g. Data and Statistics on Venous Thromboembolism so cases of that are to be expected.

Of course, it is possible that this time it is different and of course, it should be investigated. However, I think that the probability is high that stopping using this vaccine while investigating will kill much more people than its continuous use.

Edit: Having thought about it a little bit longer, I am not so sure anymore about the last paragraph above. Because there is a second order risk: that the unlikely, I believe, case is true that the vaccine causes dangerous blood clots, but the public is told to get vaccinated anyway - possibly leading to a major loss of confidence in all vaccines once this is clear, and by reducing vaccination rates killing many, many more people than the blood clots.

Comment by arunto on Are there good negotiation classes? · 2021-02-24T21:32:45.322Z · LW · GW

For me some of the lecture notes from the MIT OCW course "Power and Negotiation" were quite helpful. However, that mostly applied to contract negotations - as others here have remarked, for the internal workings of a company those negotiation skills are much less relevant. For that I would rather look into diplomatic skills, dealing with conflicts etc.

Comment by arunto on Covid 1/21: Turning the Corner · 2021-01-21T19:45:13.373Z · LW · GW

I feel like restaurants suing so they can have indoor dining says something bad about America. European restaurants just don't do that, so restrictions don't need to be lawsuit-proof.

Not all of Europe's restaurants don't do that. In Germany there have been in most states lawsuits against Covid restrictions of all types, e.g. against restaurant closures.

Comment by arunto on Covid: The Question of Immunity From Infection · 2021-01-20T21:37:18.665Z · LW · GW

That doesn't look good. However, it could be less bad than it looks because of their matching criteria (Supplementary Table 1) not really assessing the severity of different types of prior health issues but their existence only (probably because that is what they had access to for such a large sample), e.g. "history of diabetes: Yes/No".

I think that a latent health status with a high probability of having complications (leading to a hospital stay) if contracting COVID-19 is also linked to a higher probability of a hospital stay or death in the following months even without contracting COVID-19. Hard to tell how much one should correct down the results of the study for deaths and hospital admissions based on that (but I believe there still remains a substantial negative long term impact by the infection with COVID-19).

Comment by arunto on Thoughts on Mustachianism · 2021-01-10T15:21:32.403Z · LW · GW

For me it seems to be more in the range weak-moderate, but I agree, it is definitely not zero evidence.

Comment by arunto on Thoughts on Mustachianism · 2021-01-10T07:35:42.938Z · LW · GW

So if people don't take up art or music during Covid with their excess free time, that seems like reasonably strong evidence that they also wouldn't take up art or music in a non-Covid world with excess free time.

Not necessarily. Fear and anxiety can inhibit exploratory behavior.

Comment by arunto on Centrally planned war · 2021-01-06T18:25:53.813Z · LW · GW

The idea behind it seem to date to the wars against Napoleon but could at first only be a applied to the higher leaders. To apply this idea to leaders lower in the hierarchy needed technological advances:

"It was not until the innovations in weapons technology from the late 1850s onwards, above all the introduction of the breechloading rifle and the resulting battlefield revolution (dissolution of the closed form in favor of a dispersed fighting style, introduction of the rifle squad instead of the company or even battalion column as the main fighting form of the infantry), that the lower troop leaders were forced, as it were, to take on more responsibility and initiative (not to be confused with acting on their own authority)."

Auftragstaktik in Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft (translation by Deepl)

Comment by arunto on Centrally planned war · 2021-01-06T11:16:43.905Z · LW · GW

I think each soldier looking after himself was the older model some centuries ago, and maybe still is in place in many civil war situations (to the detriment of the civilian population). However, within the current international humanitarian rules of law it seems to be quite difficult to do that.

And for modern maneuver warfare based on fast troop movements I don't see how soldiers could organize their own supplies.

Comment by arunto on Stock market hints for 2021 from past crashes · 2020-12-31T14:08:38.950Z · LW · GW

I think it could be helpful to distinguish between two kinds of crashes: Crashes brought about by an external shock (as with covid) and crashes brought about by internal effects of the financial systems (asset bubbles bursting). I think it is not self evident that the aftermath of those two types follow the same rules.

Comment by arunto on Vaccination with the EMH · 2020-12-29T07:46:46.199Z · LW · GW

I like this way of applying EMH to a wider spectrum of situations outside of financial markets. When I first learned about EMH in college a textbook condensed it to "There is no such thing as a free lunch!" Which has been quite helpful for me in a lot of financial situations.

So in order to vaccinate myself with the EMH an additional daily task (additional to the meditation about rewards you have mentioned) could be: Spend 5 minutes each day on identifying promises (by others, by the media, by advertising) or hopes (by me) of a free lunch. So that spotting those becomes automatic.

Comment by arunto on My Model of the New COVID Strain and US Response · 2020-12-27T07:00:07.538Z · LW · GW

With most of this I agree. Two remarks:

"In the first case, to keep the virus suppressed (i.e. r<1) we need to take measures that would have yielded rt=0.8 for the old strain. New York sustained that number (albeit never dipping below 0.7) for two months running in the spring."

The important word here is "spring". New York went below 0.8 at the end of March. Whether something like this could be achieved in winter is a different question (whether that distinction matters depends on how fast you assume the new variant to spread). Furthermore it depends on the prevalence of the virus in the adjacent regions which could be different than in spring 2020.

" which point the majority of everyone else will get the new strain."

Í agree that in that case the majority of everyone not vaccinated will get the strain. But nevertheless a minority will not get it, and I think this minority could be huge in absolute numbers. I think almost everyone would get the new strain who

  • has to use public tranport, or
  • works in a place with constant face-to-face customer or coworker contact, or
  • has children in school or daycare.

I think the majority of those will not get the new strain who

  • work from home, and
  • have reduced indoor contacts outside the household to almost zero .

Because for those groups the risk is by magnitudes lower than the risk for the groups mentioned before. This is important to emphasize because otherwise - depending on the news about the new virus strain the next couple of weeks - it could lead to resignation and thereby to a self-fullfilling prophecy even for those who could still protect themselves against the new strain (assuming, of course, that the vaccine works against the new virus strain, too).

Comment by arunto on What evidence will tell us about the new strain? How are you updating? · 2020-12-26T10:46:31.894Z · LW · GW

When it comes to the UK the changes in this weekly map are quite interesting: Interactive Map Coronavirus UK

Until mid November the most infections happened in the Northern parts of England, went down there and took off in the South (ignoring Wales and N. Ireland for simplicity's sake). Now, I see two possible scenarios:

  1. With increased countermeasures in the South the case increase there is stopped and slowly recedes. Maybe a larger increase in the North due to less restrictions.
  2. The cases in the South increase even more in spite of the countermeasures, followed by cases in the North.

So, what I would be watching is the ratio of the case rates per 100,000 in the South vs. in the North. If it continues to increase that's a bad sign because in that case the increase in the South is quite likely caused by a more infectious strain and not merely the coincidence in time between a mutation and different behaviour.

Comment by arunto on What trade should we make if we're all getting the new COVID strain? · 2020-12-26T08:14:16.441Z · LW · GW

I think the secondary impact (political reactions to it) of a virus strain that is much more infectious will be much harder felt in Europe than in the US or in Asia. Because most European countries have tried to manage the infections with lockdowns and I think they will double down with longer and harder lockdowns instead of capitulating to the virus ("capitulating" is not meant in a judgemental but in a descriptive way). Given a stronger central government than in the US with its federal structure harder lockdowns are easier to accomplish there. This could heavily impact retailing, travel and leisure, driving companies into bankruptcy. So, if I had to trade those European sectors would be my primary target.

Comment by arunto on What trade should we make if we're all getting the new COVID strain? · 2020-12-25T20:37:18.354Z · LW · GW

I have a quite bad track record with options trading, anticipating the correct direction but loosing because of wrong timing. (Therefore I will reduce the equity part of my portfolio but hopefully refrain from buying put options this time).

If I had to trade one of the three, then JETS, expiration in late March. (But I won't and this is definitely not meant as a recommendation.) I think in three months time it will be sufficiently clear for the market if the new virus strains have a heavy impact - writing from a German/European perspective where I anticipate a prolonged hard lockdown if the virus is as infectious as feared. The US reaction is much harder to anticipate for me.

Comment by arunto on What trade should we make if we're all getting the new COVID strain? · 2020-12-25T19:07:36.094Z · LW · GW

I was primarily thinking about energy use for transportation falling even more than before, hitting the oil price. But I am not sure about that.

Comment by arunto on What trade should we make if we're all getting the new COVID strain? · 2020-12-25T11:54:56.203Z · LW · GW

I am not sure whether the probability of almost everybody getting COVID is the thing that matters most for the markets. The important question is what the reactions in different countries will be, what new or extended restrictions will be in place. I think there could be a reaction especially in leisure/travel, maybe in energy, too. I plan to sell my position in an energy ETF on monday and plan to buy back when the new virus strain and its political consequences have become obvious in a couple of weeks.

Comment by arunto on The institution of email · 2020-12-12T11:43:18.698Z · LW · GW

I think our norms around email could be based to some extent on very old norms from ancient tribal culture - there you had to respond, and not just weeks later, if someone asked you about something. Therefore one would have to target one of the things you mentioned (length, cost, permancence).

What if we had an email-tax, thereby changing the cost of the form? (Not so easy to implement in practice, of course). That would not change the norms per se but it would reduce the burden of the norms that result from a mismatch between the evolutionary source of the norms and the current technical environment. What email-tax level would lead to the highest welfare (happiness, productivity) could be an empirical question then (and I think the optimal tax would be higher than zero).

Comment by arunto on Covid 12/3: Land of Confusion · 2020-12-04T17:30:11.252Z · LW · GW

I'm afraid that is quite difficult.

First, you would need age specific IFRs, otherwise everything is confounded by differences in the age structure of the population and by differences in the infection rate in different age groups (e.g. how well does a community shield its nursing homes from infections?).

Second, you need population samples in order not to miss infections with no or very mild symptoms that don't lead to a test in a normal health care setting.

Third, with one local or regional sample you have too many random effects, too many effects specific to that region (e.g. how well it shields its nursing homes - even with age adjusted data it makes quite a difference whether you have infections of relatively healthy senior citizens living at home or of inhabitants of nursing homes in the same age group but with multimorbidity), so you should look at meta-analyses or very large population samples. But those take time so the ones I have seen are based primarily on the first corona wave.

Some possibly relevant papers:

Meta-analysis (see e.g. figure 4 for the heterogenity, table 6 for age specific IFRs)

Spanish population study (see table 1 for age specific IFRs male and female)

And since the treament protocols should have improved in the last half year I would guess that those values are upper bounds for the current IFRs.

Comment by arunto on Small Habits Shape Identity: How I became someone who exercises · 2020-11-27T06:41:06.977Z · LW · GW

I do get that "Keep your identity small" is good advice, in general. But I think that not all identities are created equal, e.g.:

"I eat healthy food" vs. "I am a vegetarian"


"I keep fit" vs. "I am a cyclist".

The second element of each of those pairs is much riskier thant the first one because it can hinder updating on new information (new studies about the benefits of different diets or about different exercise methods).

And since identity can be an effective (albeit somewhat dangerous) tool to shape one's behaviour it could make sense to look a bit deeper into which types of identities are more and which are less problematic for your world view.

Therefore I would not see all types of identiy as a Dark Lord.

Comment by arunto on Covid 11/19: Don’t Do Stupid Things · 2020-11-19T19:42:08.831Z · LW · GW

"An end to the pandemic raises the value of staying safe, and it lowers the cost of staying safe. So you should be safer and take less risk. But people’s minds largely don’t work like that. I’m not sure exactly what they do think instead."

One possible explanation would be that they don't really think, but they fantasize. About a future where the current inconveniences are over.

I know the research is in a slightly different domain (goal directed behaviour) but this situation reminds me of Oettingen's research about mental contrasting where solely fantasizing about a positive future can seduce a person to mentally enjoy this imagined future right now, decreasing the energy to go after a positive goal.

Comment by arunto on When socializing, to what extent does walking reduce the risk of contracting Covid as opposed to being stationary? · 2020-11-16T20:46:59.414Z · LW · GW

I think it depends on what "outside" means, it is not one homogenous category. I believe you cannot assume to have sufficient ventilation just because you are in the open air (e.g. in a small courtyard).

However, in a setting where you are able to run (not in circles) or even bike most of the benefit should come from ventilation even without moving.

Comment by arunto on Beware Experiments Without Evaluation · 2020-11-15T14:48:23.669Z · LW · GW

I think you are making an important point.

A relevant follow up question could be: What makes it more (or less) likely that a group or an organisation does make plans to evaluate the results of an experiment?

Some ideas:

Culture. It would be helpful to have (or create) a culture that doesn't see a "failed" experiment as a failure but as an important learning opportunity.

Intellectual humility. Running a true experiment (and not just calling one's plan "experiment") requires accepting that one has less certainty about how the world works.

Comment by arunto on Covid 11/5: Don’t Mention the War · 2020-11-06T17:50:19.186Z · LW · GW

An interesting question is what leads to this kind of reasoning?

Of course, in theory it could be a set of preferences, assigning a very high value to the learning chances of underpriviledged groups compared to the health of mostly elder people. But that is not very likely because in that case this quite extreme set of preferences should manifest itself in other political decisions, too. Which it doesn't.

I suppose it is a little bit of magical thinking - implicitly thinking the virus can be negotiated with, if the goal of a public policy is worthy enough.

Comment by arunto on Covid 11/5: Don’t Mention the War · 2020-11-06T10:10:41.058Z · LW · GW

In Germany, one reason for keeping older kids at school is the fear that underprivileged children would be disadvantaged by distance learning (not having the necessariy technology, not having a quite room for themselves, having less parental support) thereby further widening social disparities in school outcomes that are already being seen as highly problematic without that effect.

(I am explaining the policy here, not defending it.)

Comment by arunto on Covid 11/5: Don’t Mention the War · 2020-11-05T20:48:03.346Z · LW · GW

Regarding Germany, masks, and Dr. Lauterbach's 75%:

I wouldn't put too much trust in the 75% figure by Dr. Lauterbach. He has used that exact figure since as early as March 2020 on twitter - mask wearing has become obligatory in many areas of public life at the end of April 2020 in Germany. Dr. Lauterbach (epidemiologist and politician) is probably the most hardline politician when it comes to fighting Covid in Germany (not a bad think from my perspective) so I think your remarks about Dr. Fauci and the Simulacra Level 2 apply to him, too.

And from what I am seeing mask compliance and social distancing in the public in Germany are quite high. E.g. I can't remember having seen any customer in a grocery store without a mask for the last 6 months. On the public transport systems, too, the mask compliance seems to be quite high. And there are fines if you don't comply, and they have been in place for months.

Here are parts of a press release by the public transport system of one of Germany's metropolitan areas (Rhein-Main, Frankfurt) describing mask wearing checks since mid August, i.e. even at a time when the subjective threat level was quite low in Germany (ca. 1,000 diagnosed infections per day in Germany):

"50 days after the start of the campaign, the team has encountered more than 300,000 passengers. The result: Less than one percent of all passengers were travelling completely without any mouth and nose cover. A further almost 7 percent wore their cover incorrectly, for example under their noses. More than 88 percent of all passengers without or with incorrectly worn masks complied, corrected the fit of their mouth-nose-covering or accepted a mask from the prevention team.

The rate of mask refusers was less than one percent over the entire period. However, the number of passengers with incorrectly worn masks fell from just under seven percent to a good five percent over the course of September on regional rail services, for example." RMV.DE

I think where social distancing and mask wearing hasn't worked the last months are two specific areas: private life (including large weddings or funerals) and schools. In many parts of the school systems it was believed possible to stop forcing the students to wear masks after the summer. Not such a good idea. And the German school bureaucracies are the less efficient parts of the civil service, quite dysfunctional in some German states while the local schools in many cases don't have the autonomy to decide for themselves to do more when it comes to infection prevention.

Comment by arunto on Covid Covid Covid Covid Covid 10/29: All We Ever Talk About · 2020-11-05T17:54:41.614Z · LW · GW

There already exists such a nasal spray vaccine for influenza. And there is some hope for developing something like this for the common cold in the long run.

I have translated another part of the podcast mentioned above, about this subtopic:

"Christian Drosten: There are vaccines where this is already being done. For example, there is a nasal spray vaccine for influenza that can also be used in Germany. That is coming more and more. These mucous membranes, these nasal spray vaccines, are always genetically modified vaccines, i.e. carrier virus vaccines. This has not yet been recognized by the regulatory authorities long enough for it to be safe. Fifteen years ago, there were still great reservations about this, and today, with the increasing success of these carrier virus vaccines, especially in this SARS2 pandemic, these carrier virus vaccines are already quite successful in clinical trials. In the case of Ebola, they have been very successful. And now that more such good experiences are being made, it is to be hoped that more nasal spray vaccines will soon be available. And of course, this is then possibly also as an entry into a cold vaccination in the future. With the many cold viruses that we have, more than 15 viruses that can be listed, we may at some point come to a situation where we have nasal spray vaccines against almost all of them, especially for the adult population. So I think it is not unwise for the children to go through these harmless infections for certain immunological reasons. But for the adults these infections are in some cases anything but harmless. One has to imagine for the economy how many days of sick leave in an economy are caused by the whole bouquet of cold viruses every year. If one could vaccinate against them, that would be an incredible success."

Comment by arunto on Covid Covid Covid Covid Covid 10/29: All We Ever Talk About · 2020-10-30T10:29:15.718Z · LW · GW

Regarding the question to what extent a vaccine will be able to prevent infection or primarily reduce the symptoms one of Germany's leading virologist, Christian Drosten, made some interesting remarks in his regular podcast this week on public radio (own translation with the help of

"Q: Is there also hope for such vaccines, which actually stop the virus completely, because they can elicit an immune response that is the same as in a real natural infection?

Christian Drosten: With the current vaccines that are currently being tested, this will probably not work. We are dealing here with an infection of the mucous membrane, i.e. in the nose and throat and then later in the lungs - or in the bronchial system, which is more likely to be mucous membrane. And the mucous membranes already have their own special local immune system. With the current vaccines, which are more likely to be administered to the muscles, this local immune system is not as easily reached, i.e. not in the special way. There one has more the general immune effect for the whole body, thus for the systemic spread and also for a part of the general immune response. For example the IGA-antibodies, which then already arrive. IGG antibodies also arrive in the lungs, for example, especially in the context of an incipient inflammation. And this is what the current vaccines do, which probably protect against the severe course of the disease rather than against the infection in general. That's the most important thing we have to do for the time being. There won't be one vaccine for everyone in the beginning anyway. Of course, we have to provide the people at risk with a vaccine and take away the dangerous course of the disease, so that the virus will then lose this high death rate in the population.

Q: If we want to contain the spreading at the same time or at a later stage with vaccines, then one must directly go to the mucous membranes.

Christian Drosten: You definitely have to. One can perhaps imagine it in such a way, the next generation of the vaccines must also contain that.


Q: How we get to the mucous membranes.

Christian Drosten: In general this is what we would like to have, vaccines that protect the mucous membranes. That stimulate the special immune system there, so that in the future someone, if he breathes a whole load of virus into the nose, is not infected at all, thus does not get only a mild infection, but no infection at all. The virus is immediately stopped in the nose. And the good news is that some of the vaccines now being tested already contain that. They would even be able to do that already. There is an interesting study that proves this. But in principle, we have known that for quite some time, because these are vector vaccines. In other words, there are always vaccines that are mediated via a viral vector.

Q: Another carrier virus.

Christian Drosten: Exactly, where there is a carrier virus. Only one component of the SARS2 virus is added to this carrier virus, namely the surface protein. These carrier viruses often have the property that they can penetrate mucous membranes. So there is no need to inject them into the muscle with a syringe. In principle, they can also be put into a nasal spray, and on the mucous membrane, they enter the cells in the nose and develop their effect there. But at the moment we don't know anything about the side effects and this has to be looked at carefully. So we have to choose the same study order again. For many of these vector vaccines in humans, we do not yet have this mucosal experience, although we actually know from the animal model that this is what they provide."

Comment by arunto on On Destroying the World · 2020-09-29T05:59:47.411Z · LW · GW

I think we should focus a little bit more on the behaviour of the other participants in this game. Coordinating in order not to have a catastrophic event happening is difficult and takes effort. And just hoping that nobody does anything foolish seems to be a strategy doomed to fail in the long run.

Therefore those other participants who took this experiment really seriously might have done much more to prevent this outcome. E.g. forming a small group, announcing that they are dedicated to the front page not being nuked and that everybody seriously thinking about pressing the button should talk about that first. If across the time zones such a group had formed then Chris might have been convinced not to do it.

Comment by arunto on On Destroying the World · 2020-09-29T05:46:41.622Z · LW · GW

It seems not to be clear if it really happened that way:

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Stars and Stripes

Comment by arunto on What are objects that have made your life better? · 2020-05-22T05:32:54.163Z · LW · GW

Kitchen Safe

My self-control when it comes to sweets has always been quite bad. Since buying my first Kitchen Safe that hasn't been a problem any more: I have a lockable metal case in my kitchen and its key is placed in the Kitchen Safe. Once a day I get access to the key (and thus to the case and therfore to the sweets).

Comment by arunto on The EMH Aten't Dead · 2020-05-21T05:29:40.405Z · LW · GW

He could be referring to:

De Long, J. B., Shleifer, A., Summers, L. H., & Waldmann, R. J. (1990). Noise trader risk in financial markets. Journal of political Economy, 98(4), 703-738. Retrieved from

From the abstract:

" The unpredictability of noise traders' beliefs creates a risk in the price of the asset that deters rational arbitrageurs from aggressively betting against them. As a result, prices can diverge significantly from fundamental values even in the absence of fundamental risk. Moreover, bearing a disproportionate amount of risk that they themselves create enables noise traders to earn a higher expected return than rational investors do."

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