Comment by theodore-ehrenborg on Covid 9/24: Until Morale Improves · 2020-09-24T19:16:30.398Z · LW · GW


Comment by theodore-ehrenborg on Covid 9/10: Vitamin D · 2020-09-12T22:33:40.895Z · LW · GW

As Tyler Cowen points out, we could easily already have a vaccine ready at trivial additional cost.

It looks like that post was written by Alex Tabarrok.

Comment by theodore-ehrenborg on What should we do once infected with COVID-19? · 2020-09-02T02:04:42.244Z · LW · GW

Last week I read the literature and concluded:

Based on these two studies, it looks almost certain that hydroxychloroquine is at least as safe as a placebo for reducing symptoms [of COVID-19], and the drug probably reduces the incidence of symptoms by a little more than 10%.

The 10% is a relative reduction, not absolute. I don't know how Scott Alexander defines "clinically significant". Some authors thought that "significant" meant a 50% or 90% relative reduction in cases, although I personally think that a 10% reduction matters. But I have no medical experience and no medical training. If you read Stat News, you know more about medicine than I do.

I also conclude:

It seems that hydroxychloroquine probably brings down hospitalizations, but it’s unclear by how much.


If you have to go to the hospital, stop taking hydroxychloroquine.

That fact comes from a large (n = 4716) randomized controlled trial, which found that hydroxychloroquine is almost certainly unsafe for treating patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19. The drug caused about a 7% relative increase in deaths.

Bear in mind that I redid some of the statistics from the studies because I thought they were incorrectly concluding that hydroxychloroquine had no effect. If you don't trust my math (I wouldn't trust a stranger's math), you can see my work here. And I wrote the post for an audience who might not know what Bayes is.

Comment by theodore-ehrenborg on Free Money at PredictIt? · 2020-08-21T02:35:08.954Z · LW · GW

Anecdote, part 2: Around the beginning of April, Andrew Cuomo was added to the presidential (or maybe Democratic nominee?) market, and was trading at roughly 10% (or 5%, or 15%—I really don't remember). Since I had already had large No positions for everyone else, I got about $60 in negative risk by buying a lot of No shares on Cuomo.

Comment by theodore-ehrenborg on WordPress Destroys Editing Process, Seeking Alternatives · 2020-08-21T02:13:21.225Z · LW · GW

I started self-hosting in early July, and it's been fairly straightforward. As a newcomer to blogging, I followed these instructions to install WordPress onto a HostGator domain. It cost $95 for three years of hosting, as well as an $18 domain name fee each year after the first year.

I have no way to compare with other hosts, but HostGator seems OK. The HostGator settings are not the easiest to navigate, but I only had to use them once (to update PHP, whatever that is). Be aware that your contact information—name, email, phone, address—is available online unless you pay $15 a year. I'm OK with that information being public, but you might not be. (I find the spam amusing: "I am a Web Design Web application 14 + years’ experience OK is eager on planning your new reserved .com Domain for your business?")

I only used the WordPress editor once, and I don't know whether that was the good one or the bad one. Instead, I write everything in Emacs's Org mode and then post it via Org2Blog. I didn't know anything about Org mode beforehand, but there wasn't much to learn, since it's basically plain text. (I know even less about Markdown, so I'm writing this in Org mode and exporting to Markdown.)

All of this was pretty fast. I bought my domain and hosting from HostGator on July 4, and my first post was on July 10. Let's say that took at most 6 hours of my time, which includes writing the post and deciding on a template.

Transferring earlier blog posts to my new blog was easy, since my earlier "blog" was just a bunch of Google Documents. I don't know how to transfer posts from a real blog, but maybe this would work.

I only have had two minor problems. About 5% of the time, Org2Blog can't connect to the server, but turning my Wi-Fi off and on fixes that. (Probably. I don't know for sure because the problem only occurred twice, so maybe something else was the solution.) And WordPress sometimes renames images that I upload via Org2Blog, so the blog post can't find them. But once I figured out that the image names were changing, it was trivial to get around that.

Comment by theodore-ehrenborg on Free Money at PredictIt? · 2019-11-18T03:30:49.206Z · LW · GW

Anecdote: In late September I put $20 into PredictIt and followed Zvi's advice, focusing on the markets for 2020 Democratic nominee and 2020 presidential winner. I was able to increase my money to $86.08, which after the withdrawal fee is $81.78. Because of the $850 per contract limit, a larger initial investment would not have gained any more money. This took a few hours to set up, so it's not very profitable. But it was fun and informative.