Posts

Covid-19 in India: Why didn't it happen earlier? 2021-04-27T19:13:00.798Z
“Meditation for skeptics” – a review of two books, and some thoughts 2021-03-20T23:35:23.037Z
Should it be a research paper or a blog post? 2020-09-24T08:09:08.179Z
Book Review: Fooled by Randomness 2020-07-13T21:02:36.549Z
Don't punish yourself for bad luck 2020-06-24T21:52:37.045Z
Dietary Debates among the Fruit Gnomes 2020-06-03T14:09:15.561Z
Sherrinford's Shortform 2020-05-02T17:19:22.661Z
How to navigate through contradictory (health/fitness) advice? 2019-08-05T20:58:14.659Z
Is there a standard discussion of vegetarianism/veganism? 2018-12-30T20:22:33.330Z
Cargo Cult and Self-Improvement 2018-08-07T12:45:30.661Z

Comments

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-09-17T13:03:34.529Z · LW · GW

I don't think that contradicts my original statement strongly. The statement is itself a hypothesis, but I wrote it down because I find it likely that it describes behavior. However, I don't have a strong degree of confidence about it. 

Some comments may not be in the worldview / belief category, and in this case it may be the case that the people I hypothesized about may just neither upvote nor downvote. It is also possible that in this case voting on posts or comments may be motivated by different things.

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-09-17T12:23:04.360Z · LW · GW

Maybe worldview is a word that comes along with too many associations? What about "prior belief"?

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-09-17T09:24:22.035Z · LW · GW

There may be a certain risk that downvoting culture replaces "comment and discussion" culture (at least at the margins). A reason for that may be that there is no clear idea of what a downvote (or an upvote) actually means, such that possibly some people just upvote if the content of a comment / post confirms their worldview (and vice versa).

Comment by Sherrinford on Open & Welcome Thread September 2021 · 2021-09-17T09:21:21.028Z · LW · GW

Maybe this overview over some career paths in German politics is helpful: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/7FqszSxJ6NHBcZ7nW/report-on-careers-in-politics-and-policy-in-germany 

Comment by Sherrinford on I wanted to interview Eliezer Yudkowsky but he's busy so I simulated him instead · 2021-09-17T09:11:35.323Z · LW · GW

You made interesting points. In particular, I did not know about the Cult checklist, which is really interesting. I'd be interested in your evaluation of LW based on that list. 

I also like that you really engage with the points made in the comment. Moreover, I agree that posting a comment even though you can predict that it will not be well-received is something that should be encouraged, given that you are convinced of the comment's value. 

However, I think you are interpreting unfairly much into the comment at one point: "Are you OK? A hypothesis here is that you might be having a bad time :-(" seems a bit out of place, because it suggests to me that speculating about alleged motivations is helpful.

Comment by Sherrinford on LessWrong is paying $500 for Book Reviews · 2021-09-15T17:07:59.323Z · LW · GW

"Karma is a strong correlate of quality (whether or not the bounty is paid out is not strictly contingent on the karma it gets, but is influenced by it).

Importantly, quality is not the automatic result of effort. Someone could expend a lot of effort writing an extremely long and detailed review that no one wants to read because it’s tedious or because the English is grating. "

Before anyone gets sad: 

While Karma is certainly a useful measure for the probability that a book review will be seen as rewardworthy by the LW team, nobody really knows how strongly it correlates with "quality" as defined by what non-LW readers would see as high-quality. Saying that "Karma is a strong correlate of quality" is not an objective description, but a belief. 

Unreadable book reviews would probably be seen as having low quality both on LW and on goodreads or other review sites. Readability is only one factor leading to more Karma points, however, and I assume that obvious things like topical fit with things the typical LW reader likes and less obvious things like being close to the center of the social network of LW will lead to higher Karma points. Therefore, we could say that Karma measures quality in the same sense that IQ measures intelligence: It would then just measure what it's defined to measure, so the word "quality" could just as well stand for "Karma points" without mixing words and associations. The correlation betwee   Karma points and quality in this sense then is 1.

Comment by Sherrinford on LessWrong is paying $500 for Book Reviews · 2021-09-15T16:48:16.145Z · LW · GW

Slightly, but only slightly off-topic: 

Comment by Sherrinford on LessWrong is paying $500 for Book Reviews · 2021-09-15T16:44:44.951Z · LW · GW

"Conditions

...

5. You may review a book that was already reviewed on LessWrong (or SlateStarCodex/ACX), however your review must add significant value beyond the existing review(s)."

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-09-11T18:30:24.959Z · LW · GW

I assume you put that as a comment my shortform by accident? Or am I misunderstanding something?

Anyway, maybe you mean this: https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/06/07/the-us-navys-ships-are-getting-old-they-might-be-getting-a-lot-older/

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-09-11T15:48:25.509Z · LW · GW

https://medium.com/@robertwiblin/things-i-recommend-you-buy-and-use-rob-edition-1d7b2ce27d68

Comment by Sherrinford on What Motte and Baileys are rationalists most likely to engage in? · 2021-09-10T18:48:40.790Z · LW · GW

Shouldn't it be the other way round?

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-09-10T15:10:12.156Z · LW · GW

Seeing a blog post from 2019 that called UK and Australia fascistic because Melatonin is a prescription medicine makes me update slightly in the direction that discourse norms in the ea/lw communities did not decline due to corona as much as I had thought.

Comment by Sherrinford on Delta Strain: Fact Dump and Some Policy Takeaways · 2021-08-09T20:44:56.180Z · LW · GW

Here is another study on viral load:

"A recent study has even suggested that respiratory samples from people infected with the Delta variant can harbor up to 1000 times higher viral loads compared to samples with variants that are more closely related to the original Wuhan strain, although the sample size of this study was very limited. Here, we have compared the viral load in 16,185 samples that were obtained during which non-VOC, the Alpha (B.1.1.7) or Delta variant (B.1.617.2) were dominant as evidenced by genomic surveillance. We found that the Delta variant contained about 4-fold higher viral loads compared to the non-VOC or Alpha variants."

But also see the comment there.

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-08-02T19:16:49.211Z · LW · GW

That seems like an interesting approach that may potentially make good use of personal energy.

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-07-28T06:31:18.961Z · LW · GW

Very interesting, thanks.

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-07-27T16:47:19.912Z · LW · GW

Having put some thoughts into the 80,000 hours career planning document, I think it is time for the next "some weeks of thinking" projects.

Either it's gonna be similar planning processes:

  • the life of my kids, 20 years in the future
  • where should I spend the next 5 years? And where the next 20?
  • a plan for personal finances
  • a health plan
  • a sports plan
  • whom to spend time with
  • personal volunteering/politics/ea
  • writing projects

Or it's gonna be concrete learning projects:

  • gtd
  • a language
  • python or r
  • project management
  • ... (Some of them more like refreshers)

Your thoughts are appreciated.

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-07-27T16:37:24.545Z · LW · GW

I am not sure I exactly understand whst that says. Something like "parenting choices are only important if they are really bad"?

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-07-26T21:40:21.915Z · LW · GW

Thanks. Which evidence for upbringing do you mean in this case? I don't doubt that everybody is in some sense is "biodetermined", but it's ironic that the podcast episode then mainly talks about certain formative experiences the two who talk had when they met each other in highschool, and how Rob was influenced by his mother and his father als role models.

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-07-26T19:54:44.471Z · LW · GW

It's funny that in the interview episode "Rob Wiblin on how he ended up the way he is" of the 80,000 hours podcast, Misha Saul says that parents don't have much of an influence on the development of their own children (biodeterminism), but at the same time the whole interview is about important, formative experiences.

Comment by Sherrinford on Book Review: Order Without Law · 2021-07-11T18:07:43.787Z · LW · GW

I really like this review.

Comment by Sherrinford on Social behavior curves, equilibria, and radicalism · 2021-06-17T21:19:22.831Z · LW · GW

This is a nice essay. I think it could benefit from including a bit more literature, though. I remember seeing a keynote lecture during the wcere in Istanbul some years ago that included social learning models with quite similar results, probably by E. Somanathan. You may also want to check https://www.nber.org/papers/w23110

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-05-30T08:59:14.485Z · LW · GW

1.) Conflict theory in practice: you see conflicts of interest, explain them to your ingroup, and if they don't agree, they are corrupted by the enemy.

2.) Mistake theory in practice: you identify behavior as bad, explain that to everybody and if they don't agree either move to 1.) or note that people are very stupid.

Comment by Sherrinford on [Prediction] What war between the USA and China would look like in 2050 · 2021-05-28T14:56:50.557Z · LW · GW

I like that you specify a prediction what the problem with politics is, but I think this will not be the case.

As I see it, the "politics" part in this post is not so much that country conflicts are discussed, but rather that statements like "The United States' ... primary objective is to maintain the liberal world order (LWO), also known as the "rules-based international order". " are presented as if they were established, undisputed common-knowledge facts that do not need discussion, argument, evidence or references. This creates an atmosphere suggesting that a certain specific worldview is not even a specific worldview. (This is strange in a forum that originated from something called "overcoming bias".) It hampers generation and growth of knowledge, also with respect to politics. 

Every community has such established facts. They may change over time. This may come along with a change in atmosphere and attitudes. I think that the atmosphere of lw with regards to politics has already changed in 2020-21. In particular, I perceive a change in what is an acceptable style and tone of discussing politics from a certain perspective. The addition of geopolitics as a frontpage topics is somewhat consequent.

In principle, it is possible to discuss politics while maintaining high standards of discourse. But it seems to be a field of knowledge where people don't even see a problem of subjectivity, tribalism or whatever as long as their own worldview is the standard.

However, I do not expect the "newly registered accounts" problem. I would expect it to happen if the forum combined politics with non-partisanship (of the forum itself). But lesswrong has the Karma system and the "well-kept garden" belief. 

 

Suppose you have a chess club. The strength of this club is its rigorous and reflective analysis of chess problems. People in the club are friendly, in particular when discussing chess, also regarding non-members. The chess club has officially banned discussion of diets; they know that dietary discussions are divise; some people are vegans, others aren't, and both groups are convinced of themselves. 

However, one day people in the town start panicking about deep-fried chocolate bars, due to some news report. Several senior chess players find that it's completely obvious that eating only deep-fried meals is best and chocolate bars are fantastic; combining that (obviously) improves your ability to focus on chess, and this conclusion immediately follows from applying the rigour of their chess analysis to dietary problems! This is not a dietary partisan issue, it's just obvious! Knowing that is useful information, and nobody around dislikes deep-fried chocolate bars. (Also, sneering at the chocolate-bar panic is refreshing, because the panic is not based on science, and it's just the typical overreaction of the public, and does it really make sense to ban all deep-fried chocolate bars? You will hardly die because of one or two.) 

Discussion of how best to deep-fry chocolate bars is interesting for many of the chess players; the junior players find eating more deep-fried chocolate bars worthwhile because the senior players like it and so maybe it's related to playing chess. (OTOH, some senior players just don't care and just want to play chess.) Additionally, maybe you will see some people becoming members of the club mainly to discuss deep-frying chocolate bars; some of them will even think "wow, I like this whole chess thing more than I did some years ago, I guess I am a better chess player now because I apply the principle of rigorous and reflective analysis to chess problems". But no people would join e.g. just because of potential controversy about deep-frying (there is no controversy). And even if no new members join, I think the chess club has changed its character. And it's not even because the chess club now discusses dietary problems, but because the chess club now has a somewhat official belief on dietary problems and an approach towards dietary problems that is not as rigorous as its approach towards chess.

Comment by Sherrinford on [Prediction] What war between the USA and China would look like in 2050 · 2021-05-28T06:11:31.372Z · LW · GW

I think "this is bipartisan in the US" is not the same as "this is not an ideology-based, nontribal politics discussion".

Comment by Sherrinford on [Prediction] What war between the USA and China would look like in 2050 · 2021-05-27T20:32:53.192Z · LW · GW

Ok, to clarify: It doesn't really matter that this is a politics post because you think that it fulfills the three criteria? Then where do the "tribal error modes" enter the criteria? Or do you think they only follow from violating timelessness or explanation style?

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-05-27T15:28:06.777Z · LW · GW

Interesting focal point, though I wonder how strong the overlap is.

Comment by Sherrinford on [Prediction] What war between the USA and China would look like in 2050 · 2021-05-27T15:02:13.140Z · LW · GW

Sorry, but I'll comment on a meta level. I find the topic interesting and am interested in reading such discussions; but may I ask the admins what the current policy regarding frontpaging politics is? Last time I checked, It seemed that the rule was that only Zvi is allowed to write politics for the frontpage... Now the post already starts off with a subjective worldview and presents it as objective (e.g. the "interests" of the US that are stated as facts without evidence or discussion; the "liberal world order (LWO), also known as the 'rules-based international order'" is presented as an objectively existing thing, the US is claimed to unambiguously protect it, and to have designed it "to maximize economic and political power of the United States"). I don't mind forum posts and discussions on that level, but I have a preference for consistency. So just to be sure: Is this kind of politics discussion now encouraged?

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-05-25T12:37:09.528Z · LW · GW

Do you think that commenting in Open Threads is very similar to posting and commenting here?

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-05-23T19:23:10.957Z · LW · GW

If lesswrong.com had to delete itself for some reason, where would you go instead?

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-05-18T19:35:56.624Z · LW · GW

In the context in which I have been seeing the statement that "the" control system moves a certain behavior, there is nothing but the claim that the control system does exactly do what it is claimed to do. No precise explanation. No precise prediction (sure, the claim is that the output moves towards the set point, but nothing about the time dimension). If anything, the term is always used to "explain" behavior ex-post.

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-05-18T09:56:09.392Z · LW · GW

Saying that "the control system" does something is about as informative as saying that "emergence" is the cause of something.

Comment by Sherrinford on Where do LessWrong rationalists debate? · 2021-05-01T15:31:35.266Z · LW · GW

Given that people on lesswrong.com sometimes talk about the benefit of having places to emigrate to in case they feel they have to, it may make sense to have such a place to emigrate to on a lower level, namely a different forum / webseite to emigrate because of a deteriorating discourse quality. OTOH, people may possible follow the émigrés to the new site. 

Comment by Sherrinford on Covid-19 in India: Why didn't it happen earlier? · 2021-04-28T06:35:06.890Z · LW · GW

Thanks but this does not answer the question why infection rates were low before B.1.617 appeared, which is what I asked.

Comment by Sherrinford on Daniel Kokotajlo's Shortform · 2021-04-26T19:46:23.938Z · LW · GW

What do you mean by "transparently" in favour of fossil fuels? Is there anything like a direct quote e.g. of Fatih Birol backing this up?

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-04-26T19:39:30.787Z · LW · GW

I guess this is a really bad time to write book reviews for lesswrong.

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-04-24T18:48:14.226Z · LW · GW

Yes. I hope certain forums and sites I regularly read don't continue developing into a direction of not demanding evidence and sources for claims.

By the way, there is also the danger that someone at some point just exploits his/her own reputation to push an agenda.

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-04-24T13:44:00.845Z · LW · GW

When people write articles containing wrong statements and statements without evidence or source, you can use your knowledge of the wrong statements to update the probability that the statements without evidence or source are true.

Comment by Sherrinford on Covid 4/22: Crisis in India · 2021-04-23T13:32:27.503Z · LW · GW

Certainly our vaccine policy has given little or no thought to getting doses for the third world, despite it protecting us against variants and buying massive goodwill while being super cheap. 

What about COVAX?

Comment by Sherrinford on Open and Welcome Thread - April 2021 · 2021-04-10T07:41:03.485Z · LW · GW

Ok, thanks.

Comment by Sherrinford on Open and Welcome Thread - April 2021 · 2021-04-09T22:44:32.504Z · LW · GW

Sure, it's a frontpage feed: https://www.lesswrong.com/feed.xml?view=frontpage-rss&karmaThreshold=45

Comment by Sherrinford on Open and Welcome Thread - April 2021 · 2021-04-08T12:36:47.275Z · LW · GW

Why do the old Sequences posts suddenly appear in my RSS feed?

Comment by Sherrinford on Rigorous political science? · 2021-04-05T15:11:52.490Z · LW · GW

So here's something that is not fomal theory, but may interest you: The Economist, March 27th, has a review of a new book on the history of constitutions called "The Gun, the Ship and the Pen" by Linda Colley.

Comment by Sherrinford on What are all these children doing in my ponds? · 2021-04-04T20:57:22.712Z · LW · GW

Donating shoes/bicycles/etc. to developing nations is a bad idea, because it disrupts and destroys the local economy shoe-production. There simply isn't enough regional demand, factoring in the large donations, to develop the proper economics of scale. I have no literature on this, but a well-thought out philantropist friend has noted this concept to me many times. 

That is an argument I often hear or read, but I never see a good model showing that it would indeed be a consistent argument. Suppose you have an economy that gets all its shoes for free. Why shouldn't people just be happy about that and produce something else?

The brain-drain argument is more complicated, also empirically, but concerning the "rebuild the country" argument: since this post is discussing ethics, I assume the question in this context would be: Why would an individual who is born in Syria be ethically obligated to stay there, while you are not ethically obligated to do everything to rebuild Syria?

Concerning climate goals: While I assume that nobody in Europe would consider starting a war against the US if the US government announces an NDC lacking ambition, I would be interesting which cases of abusing "the commons" actually led to "moral indignation, then war". 

Finally, if you invest in institution-building in your local community, the same things can happen. Other people around you don't develop the capacity to contribute, you help people who could help themselves, and people can abuse the commons. If you can "reap the benefits of local status", you could also reap the benefits of global status.

So I think all of your points may be worthwhile, but they seem somewhat incomplete.

Comment by Sherrinford on Another RadVac Testing Update · 2021-03-24T20:13:44.352Z · LW · GW

Ok this may be a naive question, but given that John brews the stuff and expects certain results anyway: Isn't being congested something that might simply follow from actual placebo effects?

Comment by Sherrinford on “Meditation for skeptics” – a review of two books, and some thoughts · 2021-03-23T23:42:35.484Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the observations.

Regarding the metta stuff, I wonder whether it is a nice-to-have but basically separate from meditation essentials. After all, Zen guys seem to say that zen is just the posture.

Comment by Sherrinford on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2021-03-21T17:00:13.321Z · LW · GW

More articles on the supposed Astra Zeneca bloodclot mechanism, adding to this:

(All in German, but I think that in general, automated translation has become really good.)

Comment by Sherrinford on Covid 3/18: An Expected Quantity of Blood Clots · 2021-03-20T19:28:15.851Z · LW · GW

And there's still no mechanism.

Assuming that you refer to a biological mechanism, there are people who claim to have found just that.

Comment by Sherrinford on Covid 3/18: An Expected Quantity of Blood Clots · 2021-03-20T19:27:03.126Z · LW · GW

The EMA report saying that there may be an association with very rare blood clots ... came out after I hit the publish button. I agree that they then changed their tune from the pure explicit 'no evidence' line ...

I may be naive and sound like a broken record but I still think it would be helpful if claims about what some said or did were backed up by a link or something.

When I say p-hacking, I mean that the search function was identical to what happens when people p-hack, with identical results - they're looking at all conditions and subconditions, in all regions and subregions, with any possible lag ranges, in order to find something that happened above rate. And for the same reason - people are highly motivated to find a positive result somewhere.

So when you say p-hacking, you don't really mean people p-hack? Or maybe I don't understand the aim of your word choice - is this just rhetorics, and not meant to be accurate? It seems related to the questions whether MLK was a criminal, and tax is theft?

I don't think anyone in a meeting said the word "p-hack", but no one has denied that the search took place in this fashion, either, nor did they make any attempt to account for it, or notice any issues after they identified what they suspected was the issue. And there's still no mechanism.

So no one has denied that - was there any public accusation to deny it? Any discussion where it would have to be denied? Or was there at least a serious indication that "the search took place in this fashion"?

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

"the authorities" seems like a word that doesn't explain anything. The health minister possibly does not "use an adjusted background rate", he relies on judgement by a specialized agency. Assuming that this agency does not use an adjusted background rate seems quite a stretch; of course it's possible, but where is the evidence for that in your summary? Where is the evidence for the claim that "no one silently does such adjustments when they make things seem more safe"?

because again everyone is on the 'make the vaccines look unsafe' team.

I have no idea why "everyone" should be on that side, and again, I don't see any evidence for that. Asked by Watson, 220 German politicians today publicly stated their trust in AZ. Your implicit model of politics (or of whatever, I still don't know who "everyone" is) seems to be wrong.

Comment by Sherrinford on Covid 3/18: An Expected Quantity of Blood Clots · 2021-03-19T09:37:12.738Z · LW · GW

As always, interesting overview and very useful cost-benefit Fermis etc. As usual, I'm confused by some generalizing statements.

The WHO and EMA said there was no evidence there was an issue.

 The EMA says:

EMA’s safety committee, PRAC, concluded its preliminary review of a signal of blood clots in people vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca ...

  • the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots (thromboembolic events) in those who receive it;
  • ...
  • however, the vaccine may be associated with very rare cases of blood clots associated with thrombocytopenia, i.e. low levels of blood platelets (elements in the blood that help it to clot) with or without bleeding, including rare cases of clots in the vessels draining blood from the brain (CVST).

These are rare cases – around 20 million people in the UK and EEA had received the vaccine as of March 16 and EMA had reviewed only 7 cases of blood clots in multiple blood vessels (disseminated intravascular coagulation, DIC) and 18 cases of CVST. A causal link with the vaccine is not proven, but is possible and deserves further analysis.

... Overall the number of thromboembolic events reported after vaccination, both in studies before licensing and in reports after rollout of vaccination campaigns (469 reports, 191 of them from the EEA), was lower than that expected in the general population. This allows the PRAC to confirm that there is no increase in overall risk of blood clots. However, in younger patients there remain some concerns, related in particular to these rare cases.

The Committee’s experts looked in extreme detail at records of DIC and CVST reported from Member States, 9 of which resulted in death. Most of these occurred in people under 55 and the majority were women. Because these events are rare, and COVID-19 itself often causes blood clotting disorders in patients, it is difficult to estimate a background rate for these events in people who have not had the vaccine. However, based on pre-COVID figures it was calculated that less than 1 reported case of DIC might have been expected by 16 March among people under 50 within 14 days of receiving the vaccine, whereas 5 cases had been reported. Similarly, on average 1.35 cases of CVST might have been expected among this age group whereas by the same cut-off date there had been 12. A similar imbalance was not visible in the older population given the vaccine.

The Committee was of the opinion that the vaccine’s proven efficacy in preventing hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 outweighs the extremely small likelihood of developing DIC or CVST. However, in the light of its findings, patients should be aware of the remote possibility of such syndromes, and if symptoms suggestive of clotting problems occur patients should seek immediate medical attention ...

The PRAC will undertake additional review of these risks, including looking at the risks with other types of COVID-19 vaccines (although no signal has been identified from monitoring so far). ...

Sorry for the lengthy quote, but I think it's worthwhile to read this, and I think it does not fit your description. I think that's not saying there was no evidence of an issue, it's saying there maybe was an issue among younger people and PRAC should look into that issue, but cost-benefit analysis says vaccination is still much better.

Given the different age groups affected and analyzed, I would like to understand what your "So it’s not remotely fair to use the background population rate when you’re explicitly targeting your elderly population for vaccinations." sentence means. Which background population rate was used by the authorities? (By the way, the media in Germany noted that the difference between UK and EU may be due to the fact that the age groups receiving AZ in these places are different. That is, AZ in Germany was seemingly given to young nurses, many of which are women, because it was restricted to people under 65.)

For your "sequence of events", as always I'd be happy to know whether "there’s extensive reporting of anything that happens to people right after getting the vaccine" is actually true. Intuition tells me that there's also extensive reporting of symptoms of COVID-19 in times of a COVID-19 pandemic, but in fact there's a relevant amount of unknown cases additional to official numbers. If headaches are the symptom of the relevant blood clots, should we really expect overreporting? My intuition would be that people underreported this symptom, in particular because everyone has heard that you should expect to feel sick etc after being vaccinated. On the other hand, after this discussion and media coverage, I expect people to report headaches more often, and this would also happen without any government-imposed interruption of the vaccination campaign - maybe even more so.

Being a European, I guess I must have lost my mind, so I don't really understand what "All of this due, effectively, to pure p-hacking, without even bothering to pretend otherwise." is supposed to mean. "p-hacking" would be intentional behavior, in particular combined with the "pretend" part. So you imply that there was an intention by analysts in some agency to stop the vaccination? And "without even bothering to pretend otherwise", that is, they also said so? (But then again, seeing the Samo Burja tweet and the text around it, I guess it's not even necessary to present a plausible mechanism how such things work. "Malice", "madness", etc. I can imagine the government meeting: "How do we cover up our failure?" "Let's stop vaccination by pointing out blood clots! We understand statistics perfectly, so we know that the experts in the Paul Ehrlich Institute are wrong, but due to our malice and madness, we follow their recommendation.")

"but you have a legal obligation to these people that forces your hand, because ‘there could be legal consequences’? And there’s no way to, say, pass a new law to fix that, even if you should have fixed it long ago? So that’s it, nothing you could do, huh? "

If I am not mistaken about the Bundestag procedures, the interruption of vaccination did not take long compared to the time it takes to change a law

Comment by Sherrinford on Covid 3/18: An Expected Quantity of Blood Clots · 2021-03-19T08:00:20.131Z · LW · GW

Some people I know basically said they would not want to be vaccinated with AZ before the Paul Ehrlich Institute recommended a pause. I have no reason to assume that these people are particularly unrepresentative of the population. It is possible that the break, consideration, restart, communication (including cost-benefit considerations) works better.