Posts

Is there something like a "meta-encyclopedia"? 2020-06-11T12:16:08.423Z · score: 14 (6 votes)
Meetup : Fifth Buenos Aires LessWrong meetup 2014-08-04T22:00:08.749Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
[link] Why Psychologists' Food Fight Matters 2014-08-01T07:52:38.604Z · score: 28 (28 votes)
[link] [poll] Future Progress in Artificial Intelligence 2014-07-09T13:51:49.243Z · score: 8 (9 votes)
[link] Nick Beckstead on improving disaster shelters to increase the chances of recovery from a global catastrophe 2014-02-19T17:27:04.303Z · score: 6 (9 votes)
[link] Psychologists strike a blow for reproducibility 2013-11-28T05:26:46.988Z · score: 26 (27 votes)
[Link] "A Long-run Perspective on Strategic Cause Selection and Philanthropy" by Nick Beckstead and Carl Shulman 2013-11-05T18:27:04.851Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
[link] "The Survival of Humanity" 2013-09-14T15:19:37.300Z · score: 1 (6 votes)
[video] "Transhuman", featuring Sandberg and Bostrom 2013-06-16T18:59:57.994Z · score: 6 (9 votes)
[link] Join Wall Street. Save the World 2013-05-31T16:49:23.151Z · score: 23 (26 votes)
[Paper] On the 'Simulation Argument' and Selective Scepticism 2013-05-18T18:31:10.901Z · score: 11 (14 votes)
[Link] 2012 Winter Intelligence Conference videos available 2013-04-29T20:01:45.806Z · score: 7 (10 votes)
[Link] Values Spreading is Often More Important than Extinction Risk 2013-04-07T05:14:44.154Z · score: 11 (20 votes)
Anki decks by LW users 2013-04-02T17:50:16.480Z · score: 29 (29 votes)
[Link] Tomasik's "Quantify with Care" 2013-02-23T13:52:10.309Z · score: 13 (14 votes)
CEV: a utilitarian critique 2013-01-26T16:12:20.846Z · score: 28 (47 votes)
[Link] TEDx talk of Anders Sandberg on the Fermi "paradox" 2013-01-01T20:52:18.972Z · score: 2 (5 votes)
Meetup : Fourth Buenos Aires Less Wrong meetup 2012-12-29T22:47:23.224Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
[link] Interview with Anders Sandberg on how to make a difference through research and how to choose a research topic 2012-12-01T18:25:01.174Z · score: 8 (9 votes)
GiveWell and the Centre for Effective Altruism are recruiting 2012-11-19T23:53:24.535Z · score: 11 (16 votes)
[Link] One in five American adults say they are atheist, agnostic or "nothing in particular" 2012-10-10T23:45:17.260Z · score: 8 (28 votes)
Meetup : Third Buenos Aires Meetup: 2 June 2012 4:00PM 2012-05-26T07:47:09.998Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Buenos Aires meetup: Saturday, February 25th, 4pm 2012-02-17T17:57:06.548Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Buenos Aires meetup: Saturday, May 14th, 3pm 2011-05-13T21:15:01.081Z · score: 4 (5 votes)

Comments

Comment by pablo_stafforini on How to set up foot pedals · 2020-08-24T13:22:32.340Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for writing this—just a couple of days ago I thought it might be a good idea to get food pedals.

Since you use Karabiner, have you considered using goku to create "complex modifications"? It might help you make your keyboard more ergonomic and hence ease your wrist pain. I personally like to use the spacebar as a modifier key, and control the arrow keys with spacebar-j / k / l / i. You can also set spacebar-a / s / d / f to delete letter/word forward/backward. I actually have hundreds of modifications, but these are amongst the most useful.

Also, you may already know this, but just in case: on Gmail, you can enable 'auto-advance' under preferences/advanced, and then use 'e' instead of '[', which is easier to reach on the keyboard (so perhaps that pedal is best used for some other function).

Comment by pablo_stafforini on What would be a good name for the view that the value of our decisions is primarily determined by how they affect causally-disconnected regions of the multiverse? · 2020-08-10T13:02:17.486Z · score: 9 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Acausalism.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on I'm looking for research looking at the influence of fiction on changing elite/public behaviors and opinions · 2020-08-09T12:16:22.733Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
Also it is good that you had here an example of something that a lot of people would view as a negative case (making the invention of the hydrogen bomb faster).

There's also the example of a work without which the Russian Revolution, and the subsequent deaths of tens of millions of people in famines and mass killings, may not have occurred. But until you mentioned it, I hadn't realized that fiction appears to be more often credited with having a positive than a negative influence, whereas for philosophy the reverse seems to be the case. Would be interesting to move beyond impressions and come up with a more rigorous way of testing this.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on I'm looking for research looking at the influence of fiction on changing elite/public behaviors and opinions · 2020-08-08T12:57:03.445Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Some examples (I'm considering fiction generally and not just written fiction):

  • The film The Day After was seen by 100 million Americans and was instrumental in changing Reagan’s nuclear policy.
    • «President Ronald Reagan watched the film several days before its screening, on November 5, 1983. He wrote in his diary that the film was "very effective and left me greatly depressed," and that it changed his mind on the prevailing policy on a "nuclear war". The film was also screened for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A government advisor who attended the screening, a friend of Meyer's, told him "If you wanted to draw blood, you did it. Those guys sat there like they were turned to stone." Four years later, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed and in Reagan's memoirs he drew a direct line from the film to the signing.» (Wikipedia)
    • «Director Meyer and writer Hume produced The Day After to support nuclear disarmament with the ‘grandiose notion that this movie would unseat Ronald Reagan’, and the nuclear freeze groups heavily exploited the ABC movie as a propaganda.» (Hänni, A chance for a propaganda coup?)
  • Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon deeply influenced Edward Teller, whose views about the Soviet Union were central in his efforts to persuade the US to develop the hydrogen bomb.
  • The short documentary film If you love this planet influenced Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau.
  • The mini-series Holocaust motivated the abolition of the statute of limitations for war crimes in Germany:
    • «In 1978 the major breakthrough into general consciousness of US citizens came with the showing on prime-time television of a four-part series simply entitled Holocaust, which was watched by nearly 100 million Americans. The fictional drama that followed the lives of a Jewish family, exposed to the full horrors of the Holocaust, and an SS man who rose to a leading position in the implementation of the extermination programme, captured the imagination in ways that scholarly literature could never do. Jewish organizations maximized the subsequent publicity opportunities presented by the success of the series to spread awareness of the Holocaust still further, both in Jewish and non-Jewish communities.
      In West Germany a year later the showing of the series was a sensation. Holocaust was watched by around 20 million viewers (around half of the West German viewing population), who were transfixed by the personalized and highly emotional dramatic depiction of persecution and extermination. People empathized with the victims and recognized the monumentality of the crime as they had never done before. ‘A nation is shocked’ was the verdict of one scholarly analysis of the impact of the film.“ ‘Holocaust has shaken up post-Hitler Germany in a way that German intellectuals have been unable to do,’ commented the widely read weekly Der Spiegel. More than three decades after the end of the war an American film, criticized by some as reducing the destruction of the Jews to the level of a ‘soap opera’, had opened up the sense of national guilt. The following year the Federal Parliament (the Bundestag) abolished the statute of limitations on war crimes, permitting further legal prosecution of perpetrators of the Holocaust. The film was widely seen as playing a significant role in the decision.» (Ian Kershaw, The Global Age, ch. 8)
  • Nikolai Chernyshevsky's What is to be done had a more profound influence on Lenin than even Marx's Kapital, and is plausibly a causal antecedent to the Russian Revolution.
Comment by pablo_stafforini on Limits of Current US Prediction Markets (PredictIt Case Study) · 2020-07-14T14:15:08.782Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

To reasonably conclude that PredictIt's limits are "limits of prediction markets"—as your title asserts—you need to show either that the other existing prediction markets also exhibit these limits, or that there is a fundamental theoretical reason for expecting such limits to be exhibited by any prediction market. As far as I can tell, you do neither. (You do say that «similar analysis is applicable to any [prediction market]», but you never justify this assertion. In fact, of the six problems you note, I think the only one that may be plausibly claimed to be inherent to prediction markets is #4, and even that one may be potentially solvable.)

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Cost/Benefit analysis of School Closures in the US · 2020-07-12T21:27:22.068Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Of course genetics isn't everything. This is recognized in the third law of behavioral genetics. Researchers who rely on twin studies do not assume otherwise.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Cost/Benefit analysis of School Closures in the US · 2020-07-12T14:16:24.790Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The post addresses this worry:

you might worry about a correlation/causation problem with that kind of statement. However, there have also been several twin studies that help eliminate this bias.

There is, however, another worry unaddressed by those studies, which wolajacy raises in their comment. This is the debate between the 'human capital' and 'signaling' theories of education, covered extensively in Bryan Caplan's book, The case against education. Even if years of education cause—rather than correlate with—increased quality of life and length of life for individual people, reducing years of education for the population as a whole may not reduce those measures much if signaling is the main causal mechanism.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Something about the Pinker Cancellation seems Suspicious · 2020-07-11T01:15:53.220Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for answering my question. I'd personally assign a ~5% chance [EDIT: on reflection, perhaps closer to 10%] to that hypothesis. If you can think of a way to operationalize our disagreement, I'd be interested in arranging a bet.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Something about the Pinker Cancellation seems Suspicious · 2020-07-10T14:02:01.751Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW
The one that seems most likely to me is Pinker preemptively canceling himself to inoculate against future attempts. I don't think it's outlandish. And I think it is quite possible that Pinker has some Machiavelli in him.

What's your credence in this hypothesis?

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Does the Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative (self-)identify as an EA-aligned organization? · 2020-07-04T15:07:47.758Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
That would be because they disagree with the consensus in EA about what constitutes 'the most impactful,' 'the greatest welfare,' and/or 'rigorous reasoning.'

I said that the belief must be reached from welfarist premises and rigorous reasoning, not from what the organization believes are welfarist premises and rigorous reasoning.

If they were sufficient, any NPO that could identify as an EA-aligned organization would do so.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. And it seems clear to me that lots of nonprofit orgs would not classify as EA orgs given my proposed criterion (note the clarification above).

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Does the Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative (self-)identify as an EA-aligned organization? · 2020-07-03T15:10:59.677Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW
I think it would be correct to classify it entirely as an x-risk org and not as an EA org. I don't think it does any EA-style analysis of what it should work on that is not captured under x-risk analysis, and I think that people working to do things like, say, fight factory farming, should never expect support from BERI (via the direct work BERI does).

I think it's worth noting that an org can be an EA org even if it focuses exclusively on one cause area, such as x-risk reduction. What seems to matter is (1) that such a focus was chosen because interventions in that area are believed to be the most impactful, and (2) that this belief was reached from (a) welfarist premises and (b) rigorous reasoning of the sort one generally associates with EA.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Is there something like a "meta-encyclopedia"? · 2020-06-27T00:15:29.597Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Another example I just discovered: Wikipedia classifies Quillette as an unreliable source; by contrast, Vox, The Nation, Mother Jones are all considered reliable sources. I don't often read Quillette, but my sense is that a criterion that generates this classification can't be defended as unbiased.

Whether a source is classified as reliable or unreliable can shape the content of Wikipedia articles in major ways, because only statements backed up by sources deemed reliable are admissible. If the list of reliable sources is skewed in a particular direction, so will be the articles.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on SlateStarCodex deleted because NYT wants to dox Scott · 2020-06-26T23:45:22.366Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There's also a similar question on Polymarket, a new prediction market. (Note that the Metaculus question is conditional on the NYT publishing a story on Scott, whereas the Polymarket is unconditional.)

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Covid 6/25: The Dam Breaks · 2020-06-26T23:30:11.508Z · score: 21 (7 votes) · LW · GW

When Eliezer and others talk about "civilizational inadequacy", they generally refer to something much broader than the United States. Eliezer mentions the example of Japan's monetary policy, for instance. He also contrasts the civilizational inadequacy thesis with "the view that in general, on most issues, the average opinion of humanity will be a better and less biased guide to the truth than my own judgment." (emphasis added) And he relies (I think) on that thesis to draw conclusions about how he expects humanity to handle AI risk; such an inference wouldn't work if the thesis was restricted to the prevailing culture or institutions of a particular country. At the very least, if usage deviates from this established meaning I think this should be made clear.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Covid 6/25: The Dam Breaks · 2020-06-26T15:38:05.733Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure I understand your response. Yes, the series of updates is clearly focused on the United States, but your claim is that "civilization" explains why the US handled Covid-19 so poorly. Since human civilization is a factor present in all countries in the world, the fact that other countries handled Covid-19 very differently constitutes evidence against the "civilizational inadequacy" hypothesis. That your post wasn't focused on these other countries seems irrelevant.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Is there a good way to simultaneously read LW and EA Forum posts and comments? · 2020-06-26T13:04:07.810Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks. I'm not sure how to implement those suggestions on Wordpress, but I'll add them to the list of possible improvements.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Is there a good way to simultaneously read LW and EA Forum posts and comments? · 2020-06-25T14:22:49.561Z · score: 10 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I maintain EA Blogs. Although this is tangential to the original question, if anyone has suggestions on either additional blogs to include or possible general improvements, please contact me or leave a comment below.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on SlateStarCodex deleted because NYT wants to dox Scott · 2020-06-23T13:35:21.251Z · score: 27 (16 votes) · LW · GW

Metaculus question: Will the New York Times doxx Scott Alexander?

Comment by pablo_stafforini on SlateStarCodex deleted because NYT wants to dox Scott · 2020-06-23T10:38:29.392Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

As a side note, I strongly recommend the uBlacklist extension Mati mentions for preventing toxic websites from appearing on your search results (e.g. a certain "rational" wiki that writes cruel stuff about people they dislike).

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Using a memory palace to memorize a textbook. · 2020-06-19T14:45:18.660Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Great post.

Gwern points to expert opinion that visual thinking ability might be second only to IQ in terms of intellectual importance.

Do you happen to remember the source for this? A quick Google search didn't help.

EDIT: Found it (I think):

an emphasis on spatial reasoning & visualization ability was one of the reasons behind SMPY choosing to use SAT-M for screening, as one of the theses is that, after general intelligence, visuospatial reasoning (as opposed to the more academically-prized glibness & verbal ability) may be the next most important requirement for major STEM achievement.
Comment by pablo_stafforini on Is there something like a "meta-encyclopedia"? · 2020-06-18T15:30:53.784Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This is my anecdotal impression as a long-time Wikipedia editor (I started contributing in 2003). I can't offer concrete evidence other than my testimony, because this impression was formed in the course of observing subtle instances of bias on countless occasions, rather than encountering any one egregious incident. (Though on reflection I can cite two not-so-subtle examples illustrative of the phenomenon I have in mind: first, the labelling of cryonics as "quackery"; and secondly, the blacklisting of econlib.org.)

The biases I noticed are in the left-wing and "skeptical" directions (meaning by the latter something like what Eliezer calls "traditional rationality", as opposed to the "Bayesian rationality" folks in the rationalist and EA communities generally endorse). Think of it as Wikipedia moving slightly in the direction of RationalWiki.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Is there something like a "meta-encyclopedia"? · 2020-06-11T12:25:21.441Z · score: 12 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I just found that such a resource exists for philosophy, in case it is of interest to others: Meta-Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

On reflection, I guess it makes sense that the philosophers would be among the first to "go meta".

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Are there good ways to find expert reviews of popular science books? · 2020-06-09T15:25:42.462Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Red Pen Reviews does something like this for health and nutrition books. I am not aware of similar initiatives for books in other scientific fields.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Most reliable news sources? · 2020-06-06T23:47:15.452Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I like FiveThirtyEight, but it's not the sort of publication you can refer to for "what happened in the past 3 days" (except for very specific events like 'how much Trump's popularity changed in the intervening period').

I second the Financial Times recommendation.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Nihilism doesn't matter · 2020-05-22T17:09:20.302Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This argument has long been known, and much discussed. See e.g. Jacob Ross, Rejecting ethical deflationism and William MacAskill, The infectiousness of nihilism.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on What are your greatest one-shot life improvements? · 2020-05-17T17:18:19.235Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Recurring Freedom session across all my devices (laptop, phone, tablet) set to disable all apps and most websites (including messaging, news, and discussion sites) 30 minutes before bedtime every night.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on What was your reasoning for deciding whether to raise children? · 2020-05-15T12:43:55.057Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There's also Jeff Kaufman's Parenting and happiness.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Thoughts on the Singularity Institute (SI) · 2020-05-06T11:59:17.447Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you!

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Thoughts on the Singularity Institute (SI) · 2020-05-05T15:37:21.532Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW
I elaborated further on the distinction and on the concept of a tool-AI in Karnofsky/Tallinn 2011.

Holden's notes from that conversation, posted to the old GiveWell Yahoo Group as a file attachment, do not appear to be publicly available anymore. Jeff Kaufman has archived all the messages from that mailing list, but unfortunately his archive does not include file attachments. Has anyone kept a copy of that file by any chance?

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Seemingly Popular Covid-19 Model is Obvious Nonsense · 2020-04-17T13:17:48.642Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

An update by the OP on what bets they are willing to make would be much appreciated.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on A practical out-of-the-box solution to slow down COVID-19: Turn up the heat · 2020-03-29T14:34:09.518Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Update: it now appears that Bolsonaro may have tested positive, though the situation is still unclear, at least to me. The main evidence in favor of the hypothesis that the Brazilian president has tested positive, according to this London Review of Books article, is that (1) Fox News claims that this is what his son Eduardo initially told them, that (2) Bolsonaro has refused to make the results of his tests public, and that (3) 25 members of his entourage are confirmed to have the virus.

Note that the article shows some signs of bias, such as calling the impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff a "coup" and describing Bolsonaro's economic minister as having studied "at the University of Chile under Pinochet" (Pinochet was the president of Chile, not the president of the University of Chile). So I'm updating only slightly and would like to see this confirmed by more neutral sources.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on The case for C19 being widespread · 2020-03-28T14:10:59.227Z · score: 13 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I really appreciate your attempt to summarize this literature. But it seems you still believe that the Oxford paper provides evidence in favor of very low IFR, when in fact others are claiming that this is merely an assumption of their model, and that this assumption was made not because the authors believe it is plausible but simply for exploratory purposes. If this is correct (I haven't myself read the paper, so I can only defer to others), then the reputation or expertise of the authors is evidentially irrelevant, and shouldn't cause you to update in the direction of the very low IFR. (Of course, there may be independent reasons for such an update.)

Comment by pablo_stafforini on The case for C19 being widespread · 2020-03-28T13:26:45.206Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW
Many passengers refused to be tested.

That's the Grand Princess, not the Diamond Princess.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Covid-19 Points of Leverage, Travel Bans and Eradication · 2020-03-21T15:29:19.413Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What is the lag between infection and feasible detection? Without knowing the answer to this question, I'm skeptical this consideration should suffice to justify indiscriminate travel bans. South Korea has largely contained the outbreak mostly by extensive testing and isolation, and without imposing significant travel bans. And we are assuming a scenario where tests are even more widespread, and deliver results more quickly, than currently in South Korea.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Covid-19 Points of Leverage, Travel Bans and Eradication · 2020-03-21T15:09:20.313Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW
As we approach the "endgame" where testing is ubiquitous and virus numbers get closer to 0, borders become more important, because adding 500 cases to an area with 1 case is much worse than adding 2000 cases to an area with 1000 cases (you have to think in logarithms).

Why would you want to ban travel indiscriminately once testing has become ubiquitous? You can instead bar entry only to the tiny minority of travelers who test positive.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on When will total cases in the EU surpass that of China? · 2020-03-18T18:11:15.743Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

And 18 or so hours later... Europe surpasses China.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-18T02:18:14.478Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The South Korean approach seems to be roughly as effective as the Chinese approach but significantly less costly and disruptive. SK managed to halt exponential growth and currently cases are increasing linearly at a rate of 75 or so per day. This has been achieved without lockdowns or extensive border closings. Instead, the key ingredient appears to be rapid, extensive and largely free testing, and an educational campaign that stresses the importance of hand washing and staying at home.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on When will total cases in the EU surpass that of China? · 2020-03-17T17:15:15.620Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Over the past few days, cases in Europe have been doubling every four days, while cases in China have been increasing linearly, at a rate of 25 cases or so per day. There are currently around 71k cumulative cases in Europe, and 81k cumulative cases in China. So we should expect Europe to surpass China in 18 hours or so.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-15T18:34:06.797Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for putting this list together.

I stopped looking after Bucky supplied the link to the MIDAS network list, since it seemed so comprehensive.

For models that incorporate actual healthcare capacity, see this thread. One limitation of the models I've seen is that they fail to account for growth in such capacity. China responded to the realization that they didn't have enough hospitals by quickly building more hospitals. Maybe Western countries are less competent than China and it will take them longer to build the needed capacity. But it seems implausible that they will be so incompetent that capacity-building efforts will not make a significant difference.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on A practical out-of-the-box solution to slow down COVID-19: Turn up the heat · 2020-03-14T17:51:44.442Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My understanding is that he never tested positive; rather, it was reported that he tested positive, and then that he tested negative. (The link you provide says otherwise, but Telesur is not a reliable source.)

Comment by pablo_stafforini on A practical out-of-the-box solution to slow down COVID-19: Turn up the heat · 2020-03-14T13:19:28.416Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Note that Bolsonaro does not have the virus.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-12T23:05:25.858Z · score: 40 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Update: the positions are now filled. See here for the official announcement.

Help wanted: pandemic.metaculus.com project lead

The high interest and proliferation of questions on the novel coronavirus calls for dedicated attention, which led to the formation of pandemic.metaculus.com. Managing it, though, is straining Metaculus's very limited staff and community moderator team. Contingent on acquisition of funding (which Metaculus is working to secure), Metaculus is looking to bring onboard someone to help manage this project. Components would include:

  • Managing the pandemic site and question series as a sort of "editor in chief" working with the community moderators (as Tamay does now for Metaculus in general.)
  • Helping build data products and analyses out of the questions and results.

The above indicates a range of skills including pretty strong understanding of Metaculus, and data analysis capability. Science background would be great, and huge bonus for actual medical knowledge. This is probably a part-time role but full-ish time is also imaginable depending upon the person, the duration, and funding.

If you're interested, please send a note and CV to jobs@metaculus.com.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-11T14:53:48.934Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Another basic SIR model, which considers impacts on hospital capacity (and resulting deaths) from infection controls of various degrees.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-11T14:47:10.620Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Wonderful, thank you so much.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-10T00:05:00.848Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Buck's tentative Guesstimate model of Wei Dai's "hospital crowding" catastrophic scenario. Many folks have already seen his comment, but I'm posting a link to it for completeness.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-10T00:02:25.020Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Daniel Filan's Guesstimate model on whether he should stay home for work. Many folks have already seen his comment, but I'm posting a link to it for completeness.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T13:37:35.782Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The Medium article that Wei Dai cited in his comment links to an "open-source model". I haven't examined it closely, though I did notice that some of the formulas are weirdly constructed (e.g. using INDIRECT rather than absolute cell references) and that some of the assumed parameters are overly pessimistic (e.g. a 3.4% CFR).

Comment by pablo_stafforini on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T01:55:45.686Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Here's a basic SIR model created by Metaculus user Isinlor. (I haven't looked at it, so don't interpret this comment as an endorsement.)

Comment by pablo_stafforini on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T01:22:16.306Z · score: 30 (14 votes) · LW · GW

I think it would be valuable to compile a list of estimates of basic epidemiological parameters of the coronavirus, such as incubation rate, doubling times, probability of symptomatic infections, delay from disease onset to death, probability of death among symptomatics, and so on. I find that my inability to model various scenarios accurately is often due to uncertainty about one or more of these parameters (uncertainty relative to what I suspect current expert knowledge to be, which is of course also uncertain to a considerable degree).

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Ineffective Response to COVID-19 and Risk Compensation · 2020-03-09T00:16:38.848Z · score: 10 (3 votes) · LW · GW
I've seen a marked uptick in people actually washing hands thoroughly in bathrooms, which is small-n observation but I found very surprising.

To add another anecdote, Tyler Cowen also noticed this.