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Comment by timothy-underwood-1 on Cortés, Pizarro, and Afonso as Precedents for Takeover · 2020-03-05T16:08:51.655Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Japan was not unified particularly at all, there was a low intensity civil war within ten years that created the government which drove the modernization effort.

Comment by timothy-underwood-1 on What will be the big-picture implications of the coronavirus, assuming it eventually infects >10% of the world? · 2020-02-27T09:01:55.198Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I do have a model where that happens, that is fairly high in my actual scenario estimates right now -- basically everyone in Iran, the poor parts of the Middle East and Africa gets exposed, which is enough for the more than 10% of the global population, and then basically nobody anywhere else gets it because all of the countries with strong states that are interconnected end up using the quarantines and travel restrictions to shut down the spread of the virus, which we know works from China (probably less than 5% of the population Wuhan itself is going to come down with the virus).

Comment by timothy-underwood-1 on What will be the big-picture implications of the coronavirus, assuming it eventually infects >10% of the world? · 2020-02-27T08:57:09.949Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · LW · GW

To what extent is the anti-China narrative simply a lot of people here collectively agreeing with the official Western news story that has been agreed on in the last three years, and how much of this is an actual assessment of how China has behaved/ How it will be perceived as having behaved?

I mean from my point of view, while clearly the low level people at the city level in Wuhan failed fairly badly when faced with a novel and very fast moving problem, at the national level though it looks like the Chinese government has reacted about as aggressively and as well as you could reasonably ask a government to respond to a situation like this.

Is there a reason everyone should be thinking of China as 'ignoring signs for two weeks' and not 'shutting down everything everywhere for months, and building huge hospitals in ten days, and then all of these quarantine efforts actually worked'?

Comment by timothy-underwood-1 on At what point should CFAR stop holding workshops due to COVID-19? · 2020-02-27T00:41:15.334Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think the thing is that shutting down all social gatherings requires coordination to work. If there are no large groups, COVID-19 can't spread, dies, and you never have a pandemic. But if everyone else is meeting, and you don't, you'll just end up getting it from your wife, or a co-worker, or your neighbors or something. So you might as well hold the meeting if everyone else is going to be meeting.

What is unclear to me right now, and something I'm thinking about is whether countries and regions that don't yet have internal spread should be shutting everything down to protect themselves, and I think the answer might be roughly the same -- it might be worth it if everyone did it, but if the virus is going to survive somewhere no matter what you do, you might as well wait to shut down social events for your city and region until you actually need to, since you really, really don't want to be in lock down longer than you absolutely need to.