Comment by kuudes on Making Vaccine · 2021-02-06T12:28:06.804Z · LW · GW

A friend offered that page 7 of white paper could maybe be used to deduce that Radvac would prevent Covid with ~40%.

This would mean the decision boundaries would get to p(Covid)*40% > 0.01 <=> p(Covid) > 0.01/0.40 <=> p(Covid) > 0.025 so then you would need your chance to get Covid to be over 2.5% for the use to be net beneficial.

If we also presume a 80+ year old person who has 25% probability of death given Covid, then it becomes

p(RV works)*p(get Covid)*p(Covid harm) > p(RV harm) <=> p(Covid)*40%25% > 1/10000 <=> p(Covid) > 0.0001/(0.40.25) = 0.001

so for them the chance to get Covid before official vaccination would need to be over 0.001 for it to be net beneficial with these boundary conditions.

Comment by kuudes on Making Vaccine · 2021-02-06T12:22:41.779Z · LW · GW

I made a little different, simplified take on the matter:

For Radvac to be net useful, it needs that following is true: p(RV prevents Covid)*p(user gets Covid [is exposed to Covid such that it would lead to infection])*p(Covid causes long term harm) > p(RV causes long term harm)

p(RV harm) is currently from the RV paper likely less than 1/10000, cited example is Pandemrix that caused long term harm of narcolepsy with 1/16000 if you had Swedish or Finnish genome. p(Covid harm) is high in old people, where you can die with up to 25% probability, but for most of young people around here long Covid would seem to dominate and that seems to be maybe 1%. Long Covid probability seems to be not well found, and this seems a likely direction for improving decision with better data.

with these presets we get: p(RV prevents Covid)*p(user gets Covid) > p(RV harm)/p(Covid harm) <=> p(RV prevents Covid)*p(get Covid) > 0,0001/0,01 = 0,01

from this, we get 3 inequalities as boundary conditions: (presume scenario where getting Covid is max, that is 100% => prevention needs to be > 0,01; vice versa)

  • p(RV prevents Covid) > 0,01
  • p(get Covid) > 0,01
  • p(RV prevents Covid)*p(get Covid) > 0,01

so with current boundary conditions the key thing to find out with Radvac is how likely it is to cure Covid. This needs to be shown likely to be over 1% or it should not be used unless other boundary conditions can be shown to differ.

An aside: this same calculation applies to all other vaccines, which is why the effort has been put into making sure p(harm from vaccine) is ascertained to be much less than 1/10000. This making sure the vaccine harms the least is about necessary condition for mass vaccinations to be net useful for the participants themselves. This is why we have used 1 year+ for safety testing, which gives us way better and lower prior for vaccine harm than 1/10000. If you get no long term harm from N trial persons, then per succession rule your naive prior is that p(harm) < 1/(N+2).

Comment by kuudes on The Darwin Game · 2020-10-17T12:24:34.822Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the info. This conflicts with the specification of

A new instance of your class will be initialized in each round.

which I interpreted to mean that there exists exactly 1 instance of the class per round.

The model you propose makes sense though, I guess my mental model of the thing was mistaken.

Comment by kuudes on The Darwin Game · 2020-10-17T01:04:57.886Z · LW · GW

You are not peeking at the game engine, you can just message this the same as you can message cooperation (2, 0, 2 code etc).

You also do not need to save any information over instances - all of your bots on a round are running on the same instance. If any of your ForetellerBots observes SignalBot, then SignalBot has not dropped. SignalBot's existence is in itself the flag.

Comment by kuudes on The Darwin Game · 2020-10-17T00:14:59.676Z · LW · GW

Does this open a security hole of future prediction like Spectre etc?

Some bots could have a thing where they remember if they have met certain another bot (SignalBot) in the game. If they haven't, they decide that the game setup carries certain preset information.

If the bots find out later in the game that the preset condition would be true, then they coordinate so that SignalBot causes infinite loop and gets disqualified and the game restarted. Now the game will miss SignalBot, causing the others to use this information to deduce the signalled information.


Givens: In some cases Left is best strategy. Otherwise Right is best strategy.

  1. ForetellerBot observes SignalBot in the game, decides to play Right.
  2. Bots observe Left is better strategy.
  3. SignalBot nonhalts and gets thrown out, game is reset.
  4. ForetellerBot observes no SignalBot in the game, decides to play Left.
Comment by kuudes on The rationalist community's location problem · 2020-10-10T01:29:21.263Z · LW · GW

As requested, I would like to bring into consideration Oulu, Finland.


Weather – SAD

Oulu is near the arctic circle. Can maybe be remedied by staying indoors and having adequate lighting? Summers are very sunny!


Salaries in Finland and in Oulu are generally lower than those in San Francisco. Student trainee programmer earns about 2000 €/month, middle aged software developer about 4500 €/month, a specialist surgeon about 8000 €/month gross.



About relocating MIRI into Oulu, I would contact Business Oulu, as they should be able to customize an actionable plan and help in details such as visas and permits. As we are talking of lot of people in this case, such an organization would be useful, and this is exactly what their mission is.


You can function with English, Finnish population has generally very high proficiency in English. On basic life level you can expect grocery store clerks and taxi drivers to understand you and be able to answer and explain things to you in fluent English. In professional life, software development cluster of Oulu mostly uses English internally because of international cooperation connections stemming since Nokia times in 1990s.

National political environment / culture

Finland is a EU member state aligned with the Nordic model and tops in many international measures, notable among them #4 in State of the World Liberty Index and consistent top spot of Press Freedom Index.

Local political environment / culture

Some say Oulu is the tech startup hub of Finland. Notable Oulu tech includes Oura ring for personal health tracking and KNL Networks for over the horizon IoT mesh networking.

Oulu has, well, had before Covid, a direct air corridor to San Francisco.

General infrastructure

Finnish infrastructure is generally reliable, resilient and efficient. District heating is mostly done by cogeneration and waste incineration, availability is 99.98% in average year. Electricity is about 0.03 €/kWh for the energy and about 0.03 €/kWh for transfer, totaling about 0.07 €/kWh in Oulu. Tap water is excellent and drinkable, of a significantly better quality than bottled water.

In addition to smooth sailing under normal conditions, the government and private companies prepare for exceptional circumstances by coordinating through the National Emergency Supply Agency, for instance in 2014 they tested how Finland would cope in case of total loss of the electricity grid by powering down the grid in the entirety of Lapland in VALVE 2014 excercise.

So far Finland has fared ok with Covid-19, there are currently 349 deaths because of the disease, and the summer was about disease free. Finland has already got some amount of migration from California because of Covid.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Oulu is cheaper than in San Francisco. Housing is specifically cheaper, an expensive new single family home costs about 350 000 €, cheap older one 200 000 €.

Major price differences to note: Cars and work/services likely cost more compared to USA because of the tax structure, whereas public services such as healthcare, education and childcare cost less as they are funded by the government.

Public daycare is available in English, the cost structure may feel complicated but ends up to cap of about 300 € per child per month, less for parents of low income. Children have subjective right to daycare, which means that the city has duty to arrange daycare offer for the child per parent request.

Education in Finland is a human right and there is no tuition on any level of education including primary, secondary and tertiary education.

Public healthcare is in principle free, though there are nuisance fees of about 50 euros per each of first 3 visits in a year. Employers also need to offer workplace healthcare. Private healthcare insurance for a regular healthy adult person costs about 400 €/year. Cost of prescription medicines is capped to about 600 €/year for residents by national insurance.

Income taxes may be a bit different compared to USA, but as far as I understand, paying them is easier. For 100 000 €/year wage income in Oulu, per income tax calculator the tax percentage is 34% with no special deductions. Income tax is progressive, so lower incomes pay lower percentage and it increases per income level, having a cap at 60%. For 500 000 €/year the tax would be 46% if no special deductions. There is a special procedure for foreign specialist workers which sets the income tax for 32%.

The employer or the enterprise pays pension and social care payment on top of salary which is about 25% of total salaries of the enterprise. Employees are then eligible to the mandatory wage pension, which is covered by about 1/3 by the investment equity saved by the pensioneers and their employers and about 2/3 by pay as you go system where current payments are used to fund current pension payments. Finland's public economy has currently net savings comparable to 55% of GDP, and pension equity is invested over the international market. Pension capital is considered as property of pension principals and can't constitutionally be spent by the government.

Occupancy laws

It is legal in Finland to cohabitate, there is no need for registration. Legal system does not allow wedding multiple persons, but my understanding is that the cohabitation law recognizes polycules, as it considers if a person is deemed to cohabitate with another person, and does not specify that people can only cohabitate with one person. Gay marriage is legal. Sex work is legal, pimping is criminal. In general, there is little regulation on people's sex life as long people are consenting adults; in extreme, bestiality is not in itself criminal but abuse/causing harm to animals is.

Modern conveniences

Oulu has general availability of 1000/100 Mbps cable internet, in the area where the adoption was too slow, people created their own ISP OLKA. Taxi service is fast and reliable. There are multiple nice restaurants and multiple food delivery companies available.

Walkability (/ bikeability / public transit)

Oulu is the cycling capital of Finland and Northern Scandinavia. Oulu has more than 600 km (4 meters for each resident) of cycle routes that take you easily from one place to the next. 17 percent of all trips in the city are made by bicycle. Bikeways are also kept available through the winter (video).

Medical care

Healthcare in Finland is one of the best of the world.


Finland is a safe country. Gun ownership requires a license and proper reason. Home defense is not a legal reason, armed crime is very rare. Police use of guns is also rare, and police rarely ends up killing people, even terrorists.


The Finnish education system is highly regarded. Oulu International School is the main public international school in Oulu. Per my own observations, current pupils in our schools seem happy.

Comment by kuudes on Covid 10/1: The Long Haul · 2020-10-01T21:45:02.761Z · LW · GW

In today's news: EMA has started to review AstraZeneca vaccine

Comment by kuudes on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-27T02:11:00.244Z · LW · GW

Well yes. Mainly including a couple of testlets would alleviate the self-test worry. We could infer the population average IQ relative to those testlets' hardness, which could confirm or disprove the self-reported IQ accuracy. I have understood that there has been some amount of doubt related to self reporting of IQ on the census here.

Comment by kuudes on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-24T21:32:25.891Z · LW · GW

Thanks, I did the survey. I had been lurking some multiple months in irc and reading bits of sequences and now made an account after the survey.

I would be interested to work with the organizers to include an actual IQ testlet in a future survey.