Filipe Marchesini's Shortform 2020-04-29T13:38:19.597Z
Looking for a Team to Participate on a Competition 2020-04-14T12:29:48.769Z
Hydroxychloroquine: the day science stopped 2020-04-05T18:09:58.290Z
What is the appropriate way to communicate that we are experiencing a pandemic? 2020-03-04T00:02:01.879Z


Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Would you like me to debug your math? · 2021-06-13T22:33:25.617Z · LW · GW

After reading this post, I decided to send a message to Gurkenglas.
This was the best decision I made. I have been developing a mobile software for the last 120 days, and this is my first experience developing something this big. Sharing my screen on Discord, he was able to:
- Completely change my debugging workflow, which is likely to save me hundreds of hours in the long-term
- Teach me a new testing ritual
- Make it easier to identify useless pieces of code
- Refactor hundreds of lines with simple intuitions and good regex
- Teach me dozens of useful keyboard shortcuts and IDE features
- Give me some useful career advice

I wasn't expecting to level up that fast, but in retrospect it seems obvious that accepting a group invitation from a more experienced player would allow me to level up much faster and learn new tricks. Great learning experience.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on What are some important insights you would give to a younger version of yourself? · 2021-06-09T22:41:16.467Z · LW · GW

Hey younger version of me, start reading LW now, start programming now, study more statistics, go deeper on math.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Link: How to Star-Man · 2021-03-16T11:40:06.191Z · LW · GW

lol, your first paragraph described exactly the discussion I had with a friend less than one month ago... and you wrote the exact question he made me. 

“So you want people to sit at home all day and collect free money?”

On my mind, I had "Yes. I want this. For everyone. Not just money. I want to give everyone all the resources they need to fulfill their lives. I'm trying to discover how"

I wonder why ended up dodging the question; yes, +1 for star-manning. I like the concept.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on The map and territory of NFT art · 2021-02-16T13:10:47.563Z · LW · GW

Please, I love this discussion, I super upvoted and if you have any new thoughts about NFTs I would like to hear you talking about. Did you get any new information or have you updated your thoughts about NFTs? I am completely fascinated on how this is even possible, people caring so much about useless maps, and the territory has become "it is super valuable to have a map that tells which of the two perfect copies of a territory arrived first", or people are just pretending for the sake of playing the game in which allows you to speculate on the value of useless maps? I say "useless" in the sense that you can not have any extra utility from knowing that you have two exact sequence of bits "00101" and "00101", but you know that the first one was generated first than the second one, which is a perfect copy of the first one. Even if I have this information, the value provided by those bits doesn't change, so I wonder if this is just a game in which you pretend to care about which sequence of bits came first, even if you can not be absolutely sure which one came first (it all depends which computers uploaded a copy of this sequence of bits first to the internet, not the computer that really generated the first instance in the first place). This is completely crazy for me, but it makes me imagine that I could get a lot of value from the digital art work that I usually generate while learning new subjects in math, and people would love to pay more for the first copy of my digital art, but the second copy would be worthless, and that's because the first copy that I uploaded is the first copy that has been put on the blockchain, why would anyone give a f*** about this? But if everyone is playing a game in which "if you get lucky on getting the first copy and everyone pretends that the first copy is more valuable, you can get a lot of money by playing this game and trying to get the best first copies of every digital piece". LOL HELP ME WHAT ARE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT, is this what is really happening? Just a new emergent game with strange rules just to have fun and get money and happiness points by randomly assigning points to random digital copies on a specific blockchain? Should we even play this game? I mean, is it net useful to humanity to pretend and play this game? 

I'm having fun exploring the subject and I would love anyone to expand on this topic, if anyone has ever explored this craziness we are seeing.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Tournesol, YouTube and AI Risk · 2021-02-12T20:27:04.696Z · LW · GW

I really like the approach from Tournesol and I was wondering a way to improve the rating system. 
Not only I would like to rate a video, but sometimes I would like to dispute the rating given by another user. 

Suppose I am a seller on AliExpress. I have been selling a 4.8 star product for a year. 
Suddenly I receive a new and rare one star rating. The rating goes like this:

"User123: I waiting the product to arrive, can't wait to see it. When it arrives I will update the rating"

This is not uncommon. A good proportion of ratings happen without any correlation to the meaning of the rating labels. Sometimes someone miss click, and sometimes the user is completely stupid and does unexpected things. A user may say that some content is unreliable while being factually incorrect. 

One thing that could work is that if enough people clicked on 'dispute button' to dispute the rating given from some user, the data from that user would be considered "noise" until some debate was settled. Or we could just change the weight of his input. Maybe the user has to provide some explanation for his deviant input and his input weight would go back to normal. Otherwise few trolls could destroy the system by creating bots to steer the rating system to his preference. But it would be harder for him to justify each instance, and a user with a high proportion of ratings being disputed should raise a red flag.

On the UI provided on the white paper I can see 5 horizontal sliders. Maybe we could add optional explanations for the user to clarify why he gives "1 star importance" for this video about "very important topic". Users that give explanations for their ratings should have higher weights than users that do not provide any explanation. Maybe I could give a like on the rating+explanation from another user, updating my view on the platform and the final weight of his rating. 

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Open & Welcome Thread - December 2020 · 2020-12-09T21:25:20.233Z · LW · GW

I believe that many people will take COVID to their relatives during Christmas and the New Year, and I'm seriously thinking about starting some campaign to make people aware that they should at least this time consider wearing a mask for the next weeks and also stop socializing without a mask during this period in order to protect their relatives during the traditional holidays. I started developing a mobile app today to be released by December 12 and another (also related to COVID) to be released by December 20, I don't know what impact this will have on people's decisions, but I'm already leaving here publicly registered so that it works as a personal incentive not to pay attention to anything else until the two apps are released.
PM me if you want to join development, I'm using KivyMD to develop the apps. The first app lets you easily record your last social gatherings, saying how many people (with and without masks) were present, when it happened, the duration (short or long), and if were indoors or outdoors. Then it says how risky is going to see your relatives on Christmas or in any other date and what you should do to mitigate the risks. There are also other things, but this is the main idea. The second one is a COVID game, aiming to influence social behavior and public discourse during pandemic, details later.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Small Habits Shape Identity: How I became someone who exercises · 2020-11-26T21:48:36.374Z · LW · GW

I haven't exercised regularly in years, and last week I started thinking about how bad the consequences can be for me. I decided to do something, I wasn't in the mood, I thought "well, I'll do 10 push-ups. Maybe it's not much, but it's better than nothing". And I made it. You said "make it ridiculously easy", and now I just made 15 push-ups. Interesting. This is really easy. And I will do it again. Just a little more on the next time.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Should students be allowed to give good teachers a bonus? · 2020-11-04T00:19:54.159Z · LW · GW

Epistemic status: babble all the way down, not pruning. But I believe my approach is better than most of other answers here.

The error from other LWers  is not separating the evaluation of lessons to the evaluation of tests. 

Students should be allowed to give good teachers a bonus. For each lesson, in any moment of the lesson, the students should have the possibility to rate the teacher's performance on some metrics. Think on a mobile application that does that. Do you know when you take a ride with an Uber and immediately after finishing the ride you rate it? We should have the same possibility of rating teachers after their lessons (up until some limit, e.g., you had your lesson on Monday, you won't be able to rate it on the next month, you have until a week to rate this lesson). The teacher should be paid a bonus when he gets good scores. This bonus would be added lesson by lesson to teacher's account. 

Let's say each week I have three different lessons with professors A, B and C.
Professor A gives me 2 hours lesson/week. 
Professor B gives me 4 hours lesson/week. 
Professor C gives me 6 hours lesson/week. 

For each two hours lesson, the student gains one point to spend. So, I have 6 points to spend on spend on professors A, B, C in any way I choose to.

The professor A, I've just watched his lesson and I loved it. I give him 3 points. Professor B is good too, I like him, but I will just give him two points. Professor C is not that good teacher, but he seems to be working hard on these particular difficult topics, I'll give him one point.

On the end of the month, good teachers will be rewarded by how good their performance were on THE LESSONS. I haven't spent time thinking on a good function to convert the scores received by the teacher on this week to money, but it doesn't seem hard to create a fair one.

We should have a separate rating system for the evaluation of the tests applied by the teacher, so we could separate the feelings that appear on our heart when we compare the quality of the lessons to the difficulty of the problems posed by the professor on his test. We know when we go bad on an exam, "that's the teacher's fault". So this separate system would be more strict, asking several questions like "How difficult was this test? How many hours have you studied before doing it? The questions on the test were related to things taught on the lessons? How do you compare the difficult of the test questions to the difficult of the lessons' questions? Leave a comment about the test on the following Entry box". Obviously I haven't pruned these questions, they just arrived at my mind, but certainly there exist a very good set of questions that could let us investigate how well the teachers perform in creating tests and also reward them when we detect it. 

Thinking again about the first system, it should also have some questions about the lesson. "How good the professor explains the concepts? How organized he is? Did you learn the concepts? How do you rate the difficulty of the topics this teacher is trying to explain to you? [Leave here what kind of questions you believe would improve this questionnaire]. Leave a comment about the lesson on the following Entry box". 

It shouldn't be needed for a student to answer these questions to give all his points  for a teacher. But we could weight the student points by how many questions he answered. For example, if I gave you 3 points and I said why I've done this, this weighs more than a student that gives you 3 points but doesn't explain why he does that. Justified rating is worth more than unjustified rating.

  1. this advantages teachers with larger classes.

Your reward function can take in consideration the number of students that participated on the lesson, the number of students the rated the professor, and also you could average the scores, I don't know, come on, you can create a function that is fair for any class size, you just have to think about what function you will use

Where does the money come from?

Diminish all salaries in x%. Now you can redistribute this money more fairly, proportional to performance.

My second-favorite teacher in undergrad was relatively unpopular because he taught very difficult classes, at least some of which were required to graduate.

That's why it is important to evaluate the LESSONS every week. And when the test comes, this is a different evaluation. This professor was unpopular due to difficult tests, not to bad lessons, right? 

Most universitites have already systems where students evaluate their teachers at the end of the year and the scores do figure into administrative decisions of the university

That's the problem. At the end of the year you are evaluating the "teacher", which means 

If I find the teacher a good professor and I give him +5 points, but I sucked at his tests, and I give -10 points for my bad feelings for doing bad on the test, the final evaluation of the teacher is "tis teacher is bad" == -5

If the system rates week by week, we could detect misuse of the system if we suddenly see bad lessons ratings close to the test application (right after the test, for example). 

I don't think this is how market wages work. If it is known that the average teacher gets a $100 bonus, the school will offer $100 less in base pay than it would otherwise.

Maybe not right now, when the change is introduced. But in the following years, the wages will raise slower than they would otherwise, until the balance is achieved.

It doesn't seem bad to pay a little less for the average teacher with average lessons, and pay a little more for the above average teacher with above average lessons. It seems like arbitrage. You do good lessons, you earn more. Why not? And if you can now detect which teachers are much worse than average, you can fire them and get even more students that are interested in this school full of good teachers, because the bad ones can't stay

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Stupid Questions October 2020 · 2020-10-23T07:17:11.891Z · LW · GW

I don't think so. For example, follow these instructions:

  1. Say you are a poor guy on a poor country
  2. Say you luckily got a computer when you were a child
  3. Say while you were studying AI, you found LW.
  4. Say bad events happen to you/your family, and now you are in urgent need.

Now you can see, although most LW readers are not like this guy, this guy is among LW readers. My point is that we should financially support this guy, independently if he belongs to LW or not. I would say it is easy to help him and we have a reason to support him, and the fact he reads LW doesn't change the facts on his life. Again, although not common, we should be prepared to detect and solve this kind of unfortunate situation. At least this is something I would do if I had enough resources to help. 

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Stupid Questions October 2020 · 2020-10-22T20:21:15.824Z · LW · GW

Why would they?

Sometimes non needy people want to help other people in need. If you were looking to maximize happiness points across the world, for example, you would gain more points helping those members in need. 

Considering that LW readers are mostly rich Americans

There are non-zero members suffering financially, that's why I asked that. It would be too easy for some people here to make this number go to zero.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Stupid Questions October 2020 · 2020-10-22T20:13:15.929Z · LW · GW

My question was really stupid, actually I was thinking "I would like to spend at least 200 hours on this project, but it seems I won't get any money from it, maybe I could ask LW members if they want to support it financially". 
A better question is "Can I ask you money to help me to build a software that may help you?", or "it is inappropriate to ask for money on LW, the platform discourages this".

Disclaimer: I am still not sure if this is the correct question. Anyway, I am developing some helper tools, and although I won't monetize them directly, it would be good to get some money from it, because I am not the guy who has enough money to not need any money from the community anymore.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Stupid Questions October 2020 · 2020-10-22T07:12:56.357Z · LW · GW

Should LW members support each other financially?

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Everything I Know About Elite America I Learned From ‘Fresh Prince’ and ‘West Wing’ · 2020-10-13T12:34:03.411Z · LW · GW

If my stated and/or revealed preferences are that I don't value joining the elite class very much, is that wrong in either an instrumental or terminal sense?

Considering you haven't miscalculated the value from joining the elite class, I believe it is wrong to spend energy to be labeled as "elite". If you lost something you had to protect while you wasted your time with useless pursuits, like trying to "join the elite" by getting some very specific superior pedigree, then you took a very poor instrumental action. It all depends on what you actually want and how joining the elite will help you to achieve that. But it seems obvious that there are several ways of achieving anything you want without having to join the elite, except if your terminal value is being labeled as elite from some specific set of people.

For people who do seem to value it a lot, either for themselves or their kids (e.g., parents obsessed with getting their kids into an elite university), is that wrong in either an instrumental or terminal sense?

That seems wrong if there are less costly and much faster ways to achieve what the parents actually want from their kids without having to make them participate on the "become elite" rituals. Maybe the parents want their kids to be seen as good people, respected among the members of the tribe, without financial troubles. If elite people have these properties, you make your kids to participate on the rituals needed to make them labeled as elite (parents use the "elite" label here as a proxy to status, respect and financial support). But that's a bad choice when parents discover there are several other cheaper ways of achieving the same ends. And that's a bad choice when parents discover in the future that the proxies used in the past to filter good people from bad people are not relevant anymore. I believe what parents actually want is not just their kids being seen as good people, but also their kids being good people. Maybe if they become too obsessed with getting elite kids, what if parents discover their elite kids are not actually good people? Due to the weak correlation between being actually good and participating on elite rituals, I believe it is wrong to make your kids to become elite kids. You should focus on making them good, respectable and rich. Otherwise, if the correlation is strong (between participating on what you call elite rituals and becoming good, respectable and rich), you should make your kids participate on these rituals.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Can we hold intellectuals to similar public standards as athletes? · 2020-10-07T18:38:41.435Z · LW · GW

Yes, we can hold intellectuals to similar public standards as athletes. Using GPT-4/5 we could use it to create a set of questions to check if the intellectual can answer the questions correctly avoiding every kind of bias already explained here on LW. For each bias already explained before, we can create new questions that show when a human fall on them, assigning a new score to that human. I would like each human to write down all his knowledge with the help of an automatic writing system, we could create a visual tree of all knowledge the system detected the human acquired on the past, and evaluate how well he performs in answering questions about the fields he visited/he claims to know about. What's the point of asking your credentials when I can evaluate your knowledge in real-time with GPT-n systems? 

On the tree of knowledge we could see which humans score higher in which domains and why. What are the questions they can answer that others can't. Don't ask me my credentials, ask me a hard question/ give me a hard problem to solve and let's see who solves it first or better. GPT-n could babble about the solution presented by different humans, and other group of humans that score high on these domains could also rate/evaluate the solutions by others, choosing the score they assign for each solution. 

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Brainstorming positive visions of AI · 2020-10-07T18:07:01.178Z · LW · GW

Yes, jungofthewon, and AI going well will also give all humanity the ability to get adequate quantity of super-delicious green food, making everyone get unlimited access to super-delicious perfectly sustainable healthy and ethical food.

Also, AI going well will provide to humanity the best algorithm to allocate different people in different places, choosing the best place to accommodate  every person on earth. You wouldn't believe that living with this specific set of 7 people on this specific city and in this specific house would give you the maximum expected happiness points you could ever achieve by just choosing the right people to live with.  

Furthermore, this perfect auto sustainable large-scale medical diagnostic system with the cumulative knowledge from the best medical sources on earth and the best statistical analysis from all data from all patients on earth, that no person on earth ever develops any kind of disease, because the system always help you to avoid them.

I feel optimistic about the future when I think on the possibility of choosing an AI system to be my political representative that I choose to coordinate my resources in direction of optimizing large-scale systems of education, health, safety, housing, basic sanitation and entertainment. I would give all my resources for such a system that proves to me that it can handle these systems better than traditional human political representatives, and even more if it provided us drones to protect all our community from human systems that threaten our peaceful way of coordinating resources for all living beings.

We don't know how to allocate the best person for each possible task for optimizing some human system. I would be in awe if we got an AI system that could choose the best job for each human, based on their past data plus their iterated input about what they want / they like to do / they would like to be doing.

Instead of great companies in the traditional way of seeing problems being solved by a bunch of humans, I believe great ML algorithms running on decentralized systems that could be built in the next decade, where the "algorithm product" is coordinating humans to get more happiness points, more iterations among them, more health and fulfilling actions, by helping them to choose the best actions to optimize their own systems. For example, using GPT-5 we could actually describe in natural language "I would like to have a super-cheap and easy to build with the least quantity of resources automatic ethical green food production system", and then it would just tell me a set of actions to take and get that for me, and I could distribute this to the community. 

Comment by filipe-marchesini on [deleted post] 2020-09-26T09:31:02.778Z

Getting an extra $1000/month wouldn't suddenly create a bunch of entrepreneurs and revolutionize the economy

Obviously it will. You are just underestimating the number of people on bullshit jobs because they lack the capital or motivation for anything greater. I will not focus on the obvious justifications for UBI like "the fact that technological unemployment is only going to get worse. Nearly half the population is employed in jobs that could be replaced by automation, and that number will only get higher as time goes on".

Sometimes, people just need help. Especially the elderly. Maybe they're sick and can't afford medicine. Maybe they're just lonely and don't have many family members to speak to. Maybe they've been out of work for so long that they've fallen off the grid. A simple cash payment could help alleviate some of the stress they're feeling. Now, this isn't to say a basic income would fix all these problems. Construction for a building can't begin until all the materials have arrived. A basic income would alleviate some of the stress of poverty, but it can't be the only solution. People still need access to medical care, and they need other sources of support. However, a UBI could help provide that support when those services aren't available.

Maybe you are focusing on the fishermen thing too much, what about focusing in "countable happiness points"? What about counting the number of people that spend 180 hours monthly cutting a bread in half (Subway workers)? What about counting all these works that require 180 hours in sub-human conditions to just have the minimum condition to ask for food for other members? Then we get sick and no one cares, beg for food if you have any friend to help you, this is fairly common on my country. Not even 40% workers on my country earn more than $167.0 dollars monthly. These are 54 million people on probably bullshit 180 hours monthly jobs. Just shut up and multiply

For my friend that is driving Uber for 12~14h each day to get $400.00 monthly on my country. Even though he started studying HTML, CSS, etc, and getting on the path to get something bigger, he needs the money now. He can't focus on building his online business. His father died and no one cares about him. He does bullshit things (like driving Uber) to get money and to afford the basic bills: rent, electricity, food, internet. The next time he gets sick he will ask me for help, and what about me?

I can't focus 100% on solving real world problems and also creating online businesses because I have to spend a lot of time begging for money to pay the bills that my father was used to pay and to help the peers that no one helps. It includes creating bullshit softwares for random people on online freelancing websites, online math/physics private lessons for high school students. If everyone were getting basic income, I would be studying, programming and inventing new things 100% the time, not trying to get the next $5.00 to pay the monthly $150.00 impossible to negate bill and wouldn't need to be working all the time to help the members that earn less than me and don't have any formal education and no idea how to get money. I am basically wasting my hours because otherwise the higher earning members of my tribe would call me "an useless member that is trying to understand how to solve these unimportant problems", and they wouldn't offer me existential protection (roof, bread and support when sick). 

My partner spends 140 hours to get $200.00. If she could spend 140 hours studying and doing free random search on the internet monthly, she would be discovering, creating and contributing, instead of complaining about how life is shit and suicide is an option to overcome problems. 

Every peer of mine is doing bullshit because everyone just wants a roof, a bread, a bed and the internet connection. How can you desire anything other than that when you don't have even that guaranteed?

Maybe they pick up a part-time job, like at the grocery store where they can bag groceries in the evenings. Maybe they start doing nails out of their house once a week. Maybe they buy a single-user franchise business like a cupcake truck. Maybe they create profitable lemonade stands on every corner. My mom decided to sell candies. The point is, a basic income for these folks doesn't just increase their quality of life - it also vastly increases the economy. The more money people have, the more they spend. And a UBI would give everyone more money, even if just enough to cover their basic needs.

Do you want a bunch of entrepreneurs? Give people enough leisure time (by giving money), then you will see what happens. Just bet with me.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Expansive translations: considerations and possibilities · 2020-09-19T08:10:27.348Z · LW · GW

For me the idea of expansive translations is fantastic. Every time I read a new post in Lesswrong that brings important information to the table, I think about translating it into Portuguese and bringing the information to the members of my tribe. But obviously I don't think about translating literally, word for word, because I can see the loss of information that this would bring. I know exactly how I could write in Portuguese that would bring the sensations desired by the original author of the post, considering all the cultural nuances and inferential distances. When you really know more than one language you can see why and when it is a bad idea to translate literally.

So how could we improve an expansive translation system? Suppose I took this post from Lesswrong and translated it into Portuguese. Then I would post the translation of the post in a software or expansive translation platform for arbitrary sites. Our new expansive-translations dot com, ou our new chrome extension.

Translators in the platform could give a score (from 0 to 10) of how good that translation looked for different translation formats: translation for children, translation for people with little or no math background, literal translations, focused translations for people with visual, auditory weaknesses, etc. Also people who would come into contact with those translations could give a grade of how easy it was to understand the subject matter.

Thus, we could create a market for expansive translations focused on people of different styles. For example, the system could consider that translations by people with similar mathematical/computational background to mine would probably please me more than expansive translations focused on a lay audience. Obviously this would depend on the type of subject matter, because I am a complete layman when it comes to various subjects, but in general the similarities of my profile with the translator's profile could be a proxy for me to find good expansive translations. Also, the score I assign for each expansive translation can be used to understand what kind of expansive translation fits me more.

It would be interesting if I could even select an expansive translation of each category. Today I want to explain what bitcoin is to my grandmother, what would be the best way to do that? Surely expert translators for this kind of audience would know how to do it much better than me. I would select a specific category and see several expansive translations sorted by relevance (a metric that considered inferential distances, similar characteristics between the one who wrote and the one who reads, etc).

Each person reading an expansive translation could also assign a score to the post. I can imagine the many problems that such platforms could introduce, but having a diversity of expansive translations would help a lot and I would certainly use it often. For example, a market I would certainly pay to be part of is one of expansive translations of scientific articles. By hovering the mouse over a paragraph of an article a pop-up could appear indicating that there were 8 translators with 8 different expansive translations for the same paragraph. I could click on a (+) and then select the expansive translations I would like to read.

Certainly each translator can elaborate the ideas of that paragraph in different styles, considering differential inferential distances from the reader, etc. Suppose I read three expansive translations among the eight. I could select which one pleased me the most. Then we would use machine learning to train a system that could predict what kind of expansive translation I would identify myself with the most in a set of expansive translations.

Maybe we could still do optional microtransactions for those good expansive translators. E.g., I select the best expansive translation and pay a few cents or microcents, as simple as a like button in the corner of each expansive translation. This way we could ensure benefits and incentives for expansive translators to produce the best translations as they could be rewarded in status and financially for anyone.

I can see a lot of ways in which we could monetize this system, so we could get more money to put on research and improve the system even more. Rewarding directly good translators is an idea to ensure that we don't lose the best candidates. I will stop my babble here, but there are lot more I can talk about this topic. Very interesting this topic, ozziegooen. Also, I believe I could program this system myself. But let me know what you think.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Collection of GPT-3 results · 2020-07-20T13:36:09.517Z · LW · GW

Did you pay the premium version? I am using the free version and I am not sure if the free version is GPT-2 or GPT-3.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Erving Goffman’s ‘paper’ · 2020-07-18T07:55:38.037Z · LW · GW

Welcome Saffron!

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Calibrate words, not just probabilities · 2020-07-18T07:16:28.990Z · LW · GW

Most babble that seems to be "predictions" are actually not predictions and, as pointed by Ericf, they do not reflect the internal confidence of the speaker. Sometimes I hear "I am completely sure my favorite team is going to win the championship", although it is clear that this is not a prediction made by the person, it is his way of saying "I really would like this outcome to happen and that's my way of signal this".

"He is not going to die" doesn't mean "I predict with 90% confidence that he is not going to die" but rather "I wouldn't like him to die, and even though the unknown real probability may be high, just accepting this may create this reality, so I will say he is not going to die and reality will follow my words, and that's the power of words, as god said on the bible".

I really see a lot of people talking about "the power of words", so they don't try to truly have accurate beliefs that predict accurately the results on some timestamps, but just uttering the words "may alter reality in a way that they don't like", so they just pretend to be high confident on some possible good outcomes because, well, "I am absolutely sure coronavirus will not be that bad", but hey, "although it was very bad, I am sure everything is going to be fine". Hey, I am sure we will handle the situation and that there will still be some beds on the hospital for people. Why these fucking words don't work? Your partner says: don't give up, I am sure everything is going to be fine.

After all, if Freddy Forecaster says "70% probability" for events that happen only 60% of the time, I know to correct, in mind, Freddy's forecast- when he says 70%, I know to anticipate that it will actually happen only 60% of the time, and would bet accordingly. So if Peter Pundit says something "certainly" will happen 100 times, and we see 55 of these events actually happen, the next time he says something "certainly" will happen, I would be willing to bet based on his words suggesting a 55% probability.

I agree with you that we should try our best to give our best estimates, and also say our confidence in our estimates, while also creating our historic record of predictions for everyone to calibrate their confidence in our statements. But, for real, every time I see a new pundit, probably this will be the first and also the last time we will be hearing about him. It is hard to have any history of his predictions. It will be very hard to find 100 predictions registered on a platform, and count how many he got it right. And even if such a platform existed with all historic predictions, that also could be gamified in a certain way, e.g, it is easy to predict that the sun will come up tomorrow, and I will win everytime I bet on this. After winning 100/100, I try to predict the price of Tesla shares on the next day. Well, even if you used my history of random easy predictions to calibrate your confidence on my hard predictions, that wouldn't help. Idk, for me it is just ABSOLUTELY hard to calibrate my confidence on the pundits' statements even if he had put "70%" on the middle of the sentence. Probably he doesn't even know what he is talking about. And probably we won't ever have any opportunity to make him to pay rent in anticipated experiences, nor to check any previous hard predictions.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on April Fools: Announcing LessWrong 3.0 – Now in VR! · 2020-07-18T06:28:37.248Z · LW · GW

Very interesting. When I stopped teaching in person due to pandemics, I started to research the best platform to teach online. When I saw this post comparing the options, and then looked YouTube videos using each one, I became absolutely religious after testing Mozilla Hubs, and started shouting out for all directions that this thing is completely awesome and I was all in. Today, I use this platform every week. The students love it! And now I discovered LessWrong is using it too. It couldn't be different.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Null-boxing Newcomb’s Problem · 2020-07-13T21:09:27.403Z · LW · GW




The statue became motionless again. Maxwell donates the prize to the priests who promised him salvation, for they had always been right.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on What problem would you like to see Reinforcement Learning applied to? · 2020-07-08T16:57:33.147Z · LW · GW

Problem: Automatic planting

Action space: the agent obtains data from the sensors and decides how to use the actuators (temperature modifiers, humidity, exposure to sunlight/other modifier) to maximize specific crop characteristics

The reward: the agent knows that he is performing better when he minimizes the time needed for the plants to reach specific characteristics. For example, when trying to minimize the time required for three plants to reach a specific height of 0.2m, a higher score would be attributed to the action policy that led the plant to grow faster to (0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.15, 0.20)m. Or say a watermelon plantation, the policy of mapping conditions of temperature, humidity (etc) that led to the emergence of the largest watermelon (given a threshold) in the shortest time possible would reward the agent with higher scores.

If it is possible to achieve high efficiency on food production using RL agents that control cheap sensors on a simple wooden box and cheap products (earth, seeds, water), we could mass produce boxes and distribute them with the embedded agent and a few rules to the final user. Users with this system would get enough food that would pay the cost of the system itself. Users could buy more boxes by selling the exceeding food, and they could distribute the boxes with neighbours, providing substantial positive impact on the world.

I really believe we should decentralize food production and it would be easier with low cost systems that automate practically the whole process, and the user would just do easy things. People would get healthier foods, they would spend less money on food (leaving more money to invest in other needs), they would develop less diseases associated with the consumption of high industrialized products or products with high amount of herbicides.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Thoughts as open tabs · 2020-06-29T17:25:57.325Z · LW · GW

One thing I tried was keeping open tabs infinitely, and I would just close them when I had finished the work on them. Sometimes I have 40 tabs opened, and I feel the pressure to "stop opening new tabs and finish those that are already open". And then, I click on them one by one, sometimes realizing that I already did what should be done and closing them. Sometimes, I keep postponing. After a new check, I think there are tabs that don't add too much and I close them.

When you keep your tabs on mind, but not on the browser (e.g. chromium) you'll eventually lose the state of mind that you had. So I would say to you write the thought, even if it is just a summary, so you can't lose what you were thinking. Write it down, and check it later.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Open & Welcome Thread - June 2020 · 2020-06-13T13:46:28.184Z · LW · GW

I think you are referring to Goodheart's law, because all the measures your examples used as a proxy to achieve some goal were gamified in a way that the proxy stopped working reliably.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on 2020 LessWrong Demographics Survey · 2020-06-12T13:07:51.862Z · LW · GW

Exactly, I am from Brazil and I can't see any option that fit my race.

According to Wikipedia, "According to the American census, the Hispanic or Latin category would not include Brazilians or Americans with origins in Brazil, [3] [4] [8] as it is specific to people of "Spanish culture or origin". [3] [4]. Technically speaking, people from Portugal or of Portuguese origin are called Lusitanians. In Portugal, the term "hispanic" refers to something related to ancient Hispania, Spain or the Spanish language and culture [9]. The common modern term for identifying both Portuguese and Spanish cultures under a single nomenclature is "Iberian", and the term referring to cultures derived from both countries in the Americas is "Ibero-American". These designations can be mutually recognized by people in Portugal and Brazil, in contrast to "Hispanic", which is totally devoid of any self-identification in these countries, and quite the contrary, is used to mark a clear distinction in relation to the culture of neighboring Spanish-speaking countries (Hispanics) in relation to Portuguese-speaking countries (Portuguese-speaking)."

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Open & Welcome Thread - June 2020 · 2020-06-09T21:32:39.239Z · LW · GW

I think you can refer the person to orthogonality thesis

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Open & Welcome Thread - June 2020 · 2020-06-03T10:58:46.386Z · LW · GW

LessWrong warned me two months before it occurred here. The suggested preparedness was clear and concise, and I felt the power on my hands. I had valuable info no one on my tribe had. I alarmed my mom and she listened me, stayed home and safe, when everyone was partying out (carnival). I long-talked with friends, and explained to them what I believed it was happening and why I believed that. I showed the numbers, the math, the predictions to the next week, next week came, and reality presented its metallic taste. Week after week, the light was getting brighter and brigher until it turned really hard to refuse to see it, or to believe on the belief that everything was just fine.

One thing I learned is that it doesn't matter if you just know something really valuable, but can't convince those that do matter for you. I tried to explain my 50 years experienced physician father that he should listen to me. He blamed my low status. But even after weeks, police at the streets forcing citizens to stay at home, he could not believe. He was in denial and my incompetence to change his mind made him to the hospital, 16 days and he isn't still back. Don't worry, he is getting better and I am just babbling around. Father of a cousin died. Brother tested positive. Stepmother obviously got it too, but tested negative. You know, I really tried, not just tried to try, not even planned to try, I really did it right way. Successive failures. It wasn't enough. I don't have anything valuable to share more than 'you have to learn ways of convincing your most loved ones' urgently, if you don't have this tool, but I don't know how to do it yet, I am struggling to find a way, and I would ask you to share when you get one. Things as simple as "there is food over there" or "there is a lion coming to you", on level 1 talk. Maybe the dark arts could have helped me when level 1 failed, but not sure. But I feel very happy for a lot of peers I helped along the way, and all is due to LessWrong, I am thankful for this community, and I changed the behavior of some people I know on the right moment of the outbreak. This simple text forum saves many lives and I am on the path to contribute too on larger scale.

I know I am not that new on the forum, I don't remember exactly when I started here, but I believe it was on the last months of the last year, but I still think I am noob, but learning. Don't upvote this comment, but do comment if you wanna say something.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on What aspects of the world emotionally bothers you on an immediate personal level on a daily basis? · 2020-05-24T11:00:16.501Z · LW · GW

The people on my personal circle I like the most don't know basic math and are not interested in learning anything about it.

I can't talk with relatives about optimizing anything, because mostly they don't allow me to talk. When I do talk, they don't listen anything. For them, the game is just about status. Or politics. Trash talk all the time. Nothing objective. As time goes on, I talk less and less with them. I don't see any solution for this, and I feel guilty for thinking on giving up on trying to express my thoughts for them.

I feel bad about realizing I killed animals and ate their corpses my whole life. And this is considered the norm, and my family can make me feel bad for even considering not murdering more non-human animals. I feel bad the most of the world don't care about non-human animals.

I feel bad for not being able to buy for my mom a house that does not flood every rain that has been happening daily.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on On Negative Feedback and Simulacra · 2020-05-04T18:44:14.522Z · LW · GW

Hot sauce:

"[...] insults her cooking and insinuates that she doesn’t know how to cook"

If my girlfriend had said something like that, I think an appropriate solution would be:

[curious] what you mean... [\curious]. [surprised] AHHHH, the hot sauce?? [\surprised]. [empathy] Ohhh, my love. Really sorry for that [\empathy]. [confession ~ lower speaking] I have to tell you something. I am so addicted to hot sauce that I even didn't remember that I shouldn't use it in (clearly exaggerating) every meal I eat. Your meal is [emphasis] really amazing [\emphasis] and I didn't want to make you feel bad. This action of putting hot sauce was completely automatic (this conveys that I wasn't carefully choosing my actions, I was just acting by default), because I am very used to put this thing on quite every meal, I swear this isn't a special occasion. Sorry me for that, next time I won't use it and I will really try to appreciate the meal without it. It isn't even healthy to put this thing on every meal. Thanks for remembering me that.

Thinking again about it, if my girlfriend had said that, she wouldn't be trying to signal that I was insulting her cooking, but she would be trying to signal that I should praise her food. I think the guy on the post wasn't praising from the beginning. For example, once I get the first mouthful, I should already say "woooww, this is delicious". Then if I proceeded to put hot sauce, she wouldn't simply say "you are insulting me", but maybe she would assert "are you really liking the food? I see you are putting extra condiments", then I would reply, "no, this is really delicious. I am putting the hot sauce because I am addicted to it, but if you find this bad, I won't put it anymore. I really would like to leave this addiction."

Anyway I really like your posts Zvi and I would like to see more thoughts of yours here on Lesswrong. I see you carefully making your steps and I admire and learn from that.

Sorry for not exploring more on the other points of the post. Time is out, bye and thanks

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on FB/Discord Style Reacts · 2020-05-04T08:33:13.514Z · LW · GW

"I was reading your post, but suddenly I had to leave in the middle of it. I would like to say that I agree/liked your intuition (to the point that I read it), and I would like to signal this immediately, because I'm afraid I won't remember to finish the reading in the future, although I would like myself to finish it in the future."

"Although your post seemed to be going in a direction I like, I had to abandon the reading. Forgive me for leaving it and not finishing absorbing a seemingly important message. I hope this reaction helps you, I'm out of time to explain why I would like to help you, bye"

"That sounds like something someone from my tribe would say. Then you seem to be an ally."

"There's only one part of your message that seems to be important."

"I'll hit like, because you quoted 'the super important thing'. Although I've seen a lot of irrelevant information in your post, I'm short of time to comment and say which part is important and which part is not. This reaction represents that 'there is an important thing in your post' and 'this thing' is the 'super important thing'."

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Peter's COVID Consolidated Brief - 29 Apr · 2020-04-29T20:00:59.961Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the great effort for bringing a summary that really makes me feel I don't have to continue digging for new information. If this work is going to be continued, I will just wait for your new updates, and then finish looking for local news, as things on my country are largely different from yours. Keep it up!

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on ESRogs's Shortform · 2020-04-29T19:02:54.299Z · LW · GW

Got it. I wonder why there aren't discussions about cryptocurrencies here on LW. Like, extensively researching the existing protocols and their characteristics and then naming which one is the best and why, and betting on it. Or even using it on the forum. I would suggest you to research these two cryptos I have cited if you are interested on updating your bets.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on ESRogs's Shortform · 2020-04-29T16:52:12.093Z · LW · GW
35% crypto -- XTZ, BTC, and ETH (and small amounts of LTC, XRP, and BCH)

Why do you bet on cryptos with weak fundamentals like LTC, XRP, and BCH, and not on cryptos with stronger fundamentals like Monero and Nano?

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Prospecting for Conceptual Holes · 2020-04-29T16:01:09.779Z · LW · GW

These points really make me update my beliefs on the importance of learning Chinese. Thanks for that.

What am I missing by not speaking Portuguese?

Brazilian speaks with the body, so you are not missing that much. Haha just kidding (although it's true that body language plays a big role here). But there are 250 million total portuguese speakers, and by just knowing Portuguese you will understand Spanish easily, because there is 89% of lexical similarity. I can understand Spanish with no problems and I never studied it. If you know how to search, there is a vast and extensive Brazilian music that you wouldn't like to miss. The literature written in Portuguese remains untranslated, except for very few authors, so you would be able to read very good books (if you like certain genres). Also, Brazil is about half of South America, and is a fantastically interesting place to travel. When new people come here, the reception is warm. Music, cooking, sports and memes here are a real thing. Knowing Portuguese would make you able to connect with our culture and you would be able to access very good content on a lot of subjects. But I am fully biased and mostly looking into the bubble (mathematics, physics and computation) and you don't lose much by just using English sources for these subjects.

For example, this channel is specialized in non verbal behavior analysis and I never found anything better than that on any language. This channel is the best on musical content (how to play drums, guitar, acoustic guitar, etc, how to sing, compose, etc). This on comedy, this on history and science. I mean, if you keep looking, you will always find a lot of good content on very different subjects. You will miss all of this by not knowing Portuguese, as with any language.

If you look on the science side, you can check Brazil here (tables from page 4~9).

There is no good translator from Portuguese to any language yet, and your best tool to date would be DeepL, in case you need to translate Portuguese info to English.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Filipe Marchesini's Shortform · 2020-04-29T13:38:19.899Z · LW · GW

Suppose a dynamic in which a creator announces that wants to complete a task. E.g.:

Creator: "I would like to give a lesson teaching how to remove the background of a photo".

The creator optionally puts a threshold in which, once the users already demonstrated enough interest, the creator starts streaming his job. Let's suppose, e.g., that the last creator have put the threshold: "$50.00".

Users decide to "put money on the table" on the platform, signaling interest in seeing the creator accomplishing the task.

Users can also signal interest without putting money on the table. The conventional "Like system". The creator can also put a threshold on the number of likes he would be willing to create the content.

Suppose during an hour these users demonstrated interest:

Users_and_values = {User1: $0.50; User2: $2.50; User3: $1.50; User4: $0.25; User5: $0.00004522; ... ; UserN: $0.10}

Once the sum(Users_and_values.values()) == 50 (it hits the threshold), the platform signal to the creator that there are enough users willing to pay for his content.

The creator starts streaming what he promised he would do (all registered users on the creator channel receive notification messages). During the stream, the users that had showed interest (and those that hadn't too) in paying can pay any time, any amount of what has been promised. For example, once the streamer already have accomplished 50% of what he promised (and signal that), users could decide to pay 50% of what they promised. "Paying as he goes" would be very cool and it would have a bar being automatically updated showing the amount already collected by the creator during the stream. If the job is not good or it is not like what has been promised by the creator, users can simply not pay. Users could simply pay 100% of what they said they were willing to pay once the streaming ends. I think you get the idea. If not, let me know if this is not clear.


Users can not show willingness to pay more than what they have on their wallet;

If a user says he is willing to pay $1.00 for seeing a task accomplished by a creator and the user didn't pay anything after the creator accomplished his job, the user should justify why. If he doesn't justify, his karma will be lowered and the next time he promises to pay $1.00, the amount would be multiplied by the probability of he paying.

There should be a threshold on maximum willingness to pay. Otherwise, an user with $1,000,000 could just show fake willingness to pay for all creators.

The payments would occur using the digital currency NANO, that allows free and instant transactions. I would like to see your input on the general idea, there are several details not discussed yet.

For instance, this could be used to reward LessWrong creators for creating their posts. Or even noobs like me would be willing to try more crazy ideas just because there are enough money on the game. Normally, I wouldn't randomly "create a sale system for bakeries". But if people suddenly said they would pay $50 bucks for seeing me doing that, that's a completely new story.

Users could also create their posts requesting what they want:

Eliezer: "Suppose you underwent a low-risk Corona exposure situation, but you very much want to avoid infecting a pool of friends or housemates. Is there a 50/20 (if maybe not 80/20) on quarantining yourself away during the time when you are most likely to be (quite?) contagious without having developed symptoms? [...] $500 for a definitive response of this kind with citations. "

So Eliezer creates the post, and puts the money. Users start submitting their answers to the post, and whenever Eliezer sees a satisfying solution, he simply clicks on "reward user".

If Eliezer never pays anyone on a sucession of posts and without justification, he could have his karma lowered. Users could report other people that are creating baits

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Prospecting for Conceptual Holes · 2020-04-29T08:56:21.174Z · LW · GW

Learning a new language (English) was decisive in my life to fill a lot of type 1, type 2 and 3 holes as you presented on this post.

In 2013 "I felt" I should learn English. I didn't have a clear goal on doing it, but "it seemed important on the long-term", but I couldn't explain why it would be important to care about really learn another language.

In 2016 I heard from a YouTuber from my country talking about AI. My goals changed completely, and I could only find real quality discussions about AI or state-of-the-art information in English.

Then it came programming, blockchain, decision theory, etc, etc. Subjects that I only started caring because I learned English and found really good English content about these subjects.

This post makes me wonder what would happen if suddenly I started to learn Chinese.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Seeking opinions on the pros and cons of various telepresence tools · 2020-04-05T22:25:20.121Z · LW · GW

Are you aware or worried about reported Zoom privacy and security issues?

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Hydroxychloroquine: the day science stopped · 2020-04-05T19:58:01.022Z · LW · GW

Thanks, corrected it now.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on How strong is the evidence for hydroxychloroquine? · 2020-04-05T18:35:35.562Z · LW · GW

Gautret et al. 2020° shouldn't be considered a study of hydroxychloroquine efficacy. It should be considered a failed attempt at studying hydroxychloroquine efficacy. Here is why I believe that.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2020-03-11T09:27:17.935Z · LW · GW

WHO I AM: I have 24 years of existence. I give math, chemistry and physics lessons to high school students since 17. I am pretty good at it and I never announced anywhere on planet that I give lessons - all new students appear from recommendations from older students. On the end of 2016 I already had 38 months going to the university, trying to get mechanical engineering credentials. I wasn't interested on the course - I really liked the math and the subjects, but the teachers sucked and the experience was, in general, terrible. I hated my life and was doing it just to look good for my parents - always loved arts and I study classical music since 14. I heard about "artificial intelligence" just once, and I decided all my actions in life should be towards automate the process of learning. I started a MIT Python course and then dropped out university. I am completely passionate about learning.

WHAT I'M DOING: (short-term) I am currently learning and doing beautiful animations with the python library called MANIM (Mathematical ANIMations). I am searching for people to unite forces to transform tens of posts in The Sequences into video content with this library. I hope to gather money from it and spread rationality in general, turning it more popular. My family and my best friends have shit quality life and I would like to get enough money to change that. Most of my reasoning is "explore the solution space and find the best ways to help most people, if you really help and it is something scalable, you will get money on the way". If I get the money (instrumental goal), I will help those who need (relatives and close friends). As soon as I achieve this goal, I will jump to my long-term goals on helping ending disease, extending life (first) then killing unwanted death, refining art, playing games.

HOW I FOUND YOU: I googled "pascal wager artificial intelligence" after seeing a Robert Miles (AI researcher) video. Then I found Roko's basilisk, read a lot about it and had a bad week. Then I found Eliezer Yudkowsky talking about it, and my fear went away. Then I discovered this forum and it turned out to be my main source of truth-seeking. I don't know personally anyone who has access to this kind of source of information (Lesswrong), collective truth-seeking with strong grounds.

I VALUE: I value people who works towards making the life of others better. I value people who really seeks truth. I value people who takes ethical problems seriously. I value people who spends more than 5 minutes by the clock looking for better solutions for our everyday problems.

TO ACHIEVE WHAT I VALUE: To make the life of others better, I am daily trying to discover how can I use the programming knowledge I am acquiring daily about blockchain, artificial intelligence and mobile/web/software development to create real solutions for real problems - solutions for drinking water, food (automate prodution/distribution), education (for all ages), energy, housing, income, health and environment. I didn't develop a scalable solution for any of these problems, because I am still learning and it is very hard, I admit, but I will help, no matter what, and if you wanna lose, just bet against me. I just need a little more time.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-03-06T05:31:12.239Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the suggestion, ESRogs. I'm adding the shortened version now.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-03-04T02:45:10.655Z · LW · GW

TL;DR. If you have (slightly) low PaO2, but no trouble breathing, you probably don't need to go to the hospital. And if you have trouble breathing, you should probably go to the hospital whether or not you have low PaO2. So testing for oxygen saturation doesn't add much.

I had an online conversation with an intensive care physician. I sent him a translated version of juliawise's text and he said he didn't think buying the pulse oximeter would help and then sent me a 5 minute audio explaining why. The following text is his audio translated from Portuguese to English, I hope there are no wrong translations and I changed my mind after listening to him. Please also share what you think about his response:

"All pneumonia will desaturate the patient. O2 saturation is related to perfusion (gas exchange). Patient with acute respiratory syndrome (inflammation of the lungs by viral or bacterial infection) may course with poor tissue perfusion, that is, inadequate tissue oxygenation. One way to evaluate this is pulse oximetry, PaO2.

Patients with respiratory discomfort due to lung inflammation may or may not present desaturation. PaO2 < 90 indicates oxygen therapy. But perfusion and ARDS severity should be evaluated by the PaO2/FiO2 ratio (serum O2 concentration/offered amount of O2) to maintain good oxygenation.

What takes the patient to the emergency room is not the oxygen saturation level. You won't see a patient say "I'm feeling bad, let me see my saturation level" and suddenly find 80 or 85. If you start running and put the oximeter on your finger you can easily find 91~92.

What takes the patient to the emergency room is respiratory distress. He will feel shortness of breath and we will evaluate this with the methods of severity assessment, which would be oxygen saturation. And we would see in more severe patients a value below 90%.

The clinical picture of pneumonia is coughing, shortness of breath, respiratory discomfort, pain and by doing an x-ray he will detect a pulmonary opacity. You'll see a white field, where there should be air, there'll be fluid. Then you diagnose pneumonia.

The medical reasoning is this: I think about pneumonia based on the symptoms, I observe the saturation and it correlates with pneumonia, I see the x-ray and it correlates with pneumonia so I start the protocol... actually when I do the physical exam and I think "ah, it's an acute respiratory distress syndrome" I don't even want to know what it is initially, I want to offer oxygen, guarantee the airways, improve the gas exchange and keep the patient alive until finally I can test for coronavirus.

In fact, the saturation will indicate a marker of severity in a dyspneic patient. Not a diagnostic marker. There is no way to observe a patient who is desaturating and give a diagnosis for coronavirus.

Many things change oxygen saturation. Like I told you, oxygen saturation measures the amount of oxygen inside the RBC, right? So if I have a RBC with low hemoglobin inside, like with an anemic patient, it changes the oxygen saturation. If the patient is not doing good gas exchange, it changes the oxygen saturation. For example, lowering of consciousness will give low saturation. Also if he is shocked, hypotensive or hypothermic. Another thing that also changes is the use of enamel on his fingers. "

Then I sent him an audio saying:

Me: "I got it. But let's suppose we were in the following situation: there are 10,000 infected in the city, the government starts to declare quarantine. Suppose you're home with a fever and another symptom like cough. You're left wondering, "Should I go to the hospital and test for coronavirus?" But knowing there is an outbreak and that the hospital is crowded with people with the disease, chances are you will get the disease when you go to the hospital if you don't have it. I am at home, isolated because I have the symptoms of the disease, but I am not sure if I have coronavirus and I do not know if I should really go to the hospital. How do I know if I should really go to the hospital? Should I wait until a respiratory problem like difficulty to breathe starts to appear? Is it possible that I take the measurement with the oximeter and it gives a low oxygen saturation before I even start having a breathing difficulty?

He: "Not under normal conditions. Under normal conditions, a patient with only a cough, fever, runny nose, or an upper airway condition will not change oxygen saturation. That wouldn't make you think about going to the hospital, you'd stay home, like you did every time you had a common flu picture.

Even because you will not change the treatment. You will be treated as supportive therapy like all viral infections: H1N1, etc. But if you stay home without any signs of severity, it will resolve as if nothing had happened and the diagnosis would not be closed, you know? It would be a syndromic diagnosis... a flu picture, a common flu without any complications. What happens is that in the face of the epidemic, people are testing coronavirus for patients with acute respiratory syndrome, respiratory discomfort. Then, for fear of serious evolution, these patients are tested [for coronavirus] for early ventilatory support."

Then I sent him this text message:

Me: "1) Fever → coughs → respiratory discomfort → recommend going to hospital to test for ncov and receive early ventilatory support.

Would the mistake in my reasoning be to assume that there would be low oxygen saturation before even presenting respiratory discomfort?"

He: "Yes."

Thinking about it, now I believe if I have Fever → coughs → respiratory discomfort or shortness of breath → I should go to the hospital.

If I have Fever → coughs → NO respiratory discomfort and NO shortness of breath → check oxymeter and low PaO2 → Do not go to the hospital.

So having the oxymeter wouldn't make me go to the hospital. So I don't need an oxymeter.

Comment by Filipe Marchesini (filipe-marchesini) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-03-04T01:16:14.023Z · LW · GW

Should I expect a faster infection rate on my country (Brazil) because most people here use paper money to make trades? Should I recommend people to stop using paper money and instead opt for a contactless card? Most people don't have access to banking services; so is there any option for them?