Posts

Covid 8/5: Much Ado About Nothing 2021-08-05T14:00:00.700Z
Covid 7/29: You Play to Win the Game 2021-07-29T16:10:01.807Z
Covid 7/22: Error Correction 2021-07-22T14:20:01.007Z
Covid 7/15: Rates of Change 2021-07-15T17:10:01.985Z
Covid 7/8: Delta Takes Over 2021-07-08T13:00:00.630Z
Spoiler-Free Review: Roguebook 2021-07-05T11:30:01.050Z
Covid 7/1: Don’t Panic 2021-07-01T12:30:00.502Z
Covid 6/24: The Spanish Prisoner 2021-06-24T14:40:00.755Z
Covid 6/17: One Last Scare 2021-06-17T18:40:01.502Z
The Apprentice Thread 2021-06-17T13:10:01.175Z
Covid 6/10: Somebody Else’s Problem 2021-06-10T13:10:00.795Z
Covid 6/3: No News is Good News 2021-06-03T16:50:01.085Z
Covid 5/27: The Final Countdown 2021-05-27T12:30:02.360Z
Covid 5/20: The Great Unmasking 2021-05-21T00:30:01.228Z
New Magic Post: The Pro Tour Was Magic 2021-05-17T16:40:00.807Z
Covid 5/13: Moving On 2021-05-13T14:30:01.849Z
Covid 5/6: Vaccine Patent Suspension 2021-05-06T20:20:00.639Z
Covid 4/29: Vaccination Slowdown 2021-04-29T13:50:01.010Z
Scott Alexander 2021 Predictions: Buy/Sell/Hold 2021-04-27T00:40:01.309Z
Spoiler-Free Reviews: Monster Slayers, Dream Quest and Loop Hero 2021-04-26T15:00:01.515Z
Covid 4/22: Crisis in India 2021-04-22T13:40:01.676Z
Covid 4/15: Are We Seriously Doing This Again 2021-04-15T13:00:01.288Z
Covid 4/9: Another Vaccine Passport Objection 2021-04-09T14:50:01.628Z
Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports 2021-04-01T12:10:01.814Z
Covid 3/25: Own Goals 2021-03-25T13:50:00.989Z
Covid 3/18: An Expected Quantity of Blood Clots 2021-03-18T13:50:00.599Z
Return to New York City 2021-03-15T15:20:00.667Z
Covid 3/12: New CDC Guidelines Available 2021-03-12T17:20:01.392Z
Covid 3/4: Declare Victory and Leave Home 2021-03-04T13:20:01.046Z
Covid 2/25: Holding Pattern 2021-02-25T14:30:01.836Z
Judging Our April 2020 Covid-19 Predictions 2021-02-23T17:20:01.309Z
Covid 2/18: Vaccines Still Work 2021-02-18T12:30:00.789Z
Covid: CDC Issues New Guidance on Opening Schools 2021-02-17T20:00:01.602Z
Covid 2/11: As Expected 2021-02-11T18:30:01.438Z
Still Not in Charge 2021-02-09T16:00:01.474Z
Why I Am Not in Charge 2021-02-07T18:20:01.333Z
Covid 2/4: Safe and Effective Vaccines Aplenty 2021-02-04T14:50:01.552Z
Covid 1/28: Muddling Through 2021-01-28T16:50:06.380Z
Covid: Bill Gates and Vaccine Production 2021-01-28T15:00:08.708Z
Everything Okay 2021-01-23T14:50:09.375Z
Covid 1/21: Turning the Corner 2021-01-21T16:40:00.941Z
Covid: The Question of Immunity From Infection 2021-01-20T15:50:01.101Z
Covid 1/14: To Launch a Thousand Shipments 2021-01-14T17:30:01.468Z
Covid 1/7: The Fire of a Thousand Suns 2021-01-07T17:00:01.843Z
Fourth Wave Covid Toy Modeling 2021-01-06T18:30:01.715Z
Covid 12/31: Meet the New Year 2020-12-31T17:20:01.393Z
What evidence will tell us about the new strain? How are you updating? 2020-12-25T21:37:25.264Z
Covid 12/24: We’re F***ed, It’s Over 2020-12-24T15:10:02.975Z
On Robin Hanson’s “Social Proof, but of What?” 2020-12-20T22:20:02.515Z
Covid 12/17: The First Dose 2020-12-17T14:20:01.106Z

Comments

Comment by Zvi on Covid 8/5: Much Ado About Nothing · 2021-08-05T16:14:19.986Z · LW · GW

Thank you. I had not seen the follow-up. Edited in original.

Still happened, of course, but harping on it would likely be a distraction.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/22: Error Correction · 2021-07-23T22:45:48.084Z · LW · GW

I agree that 55% would be an ambiguous evaluation, but 40% is substantially different than 65% and I've been using 40% in my recent models. Central mistake is the same in both cases.

I don't remember what my update timeline was, I'd have to go back and look. Makes sense I would be too slow.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/22: Error Correction · 2021-07-23T15:13:39.180Z · LW · GW

Vaccination status is one thing, asking in 2025 whether you were vaccinated in August 2021 is another.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/22: Error Correction · 2021-07-23T15:10:00.871Z · LW · GW

Agreed, I took this down in OP and asked for a reimport, this was pretty clearly a fake.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/22: Error Correction · 2021-07-22T18:13:27.806Z · LW · GW

I don't see how we're saying different things here - we both agree that the respondents aren't evaluating the statements as containing words having meanings, they just have negative affects and that's that. 

I also don't see any charitable way for what I said about the plane ride to count as 'bullying.' Also, equating wearing masks on a jet (when there's still a national mandate for mass transit, and also there's clearly a lot of people in a tiny space for a long time) to a universal mandate for masks in indoor spaces is weird. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/22: Error Correction · 2021-07-22T18:07:34.424Z · LW · GW

I've made several changes, please reimport when you get a chance. Nothing urgent or that would change the central point.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/22: Error Correction · 2021-07-22T16:31:35.910Z · LW · GW

Yes, I get the idea that you can spread the disease before you show symptoms, but this would be the person you infect showing symptoms before you do, as an expectation, which does seem super weird. 

Or another framing: The question is, how long is the time between being infected and then infecting someone else? And the answer might be smaller than the time before you show symptoms, but if it's negative the virus is doing something involving time travel. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/15: Rates of Change · 2021-07-16T00:05:09.448Z · LW · GW

Thanks! Somehow I missed that, and I'll look for next week. Would make all the math much more forgiving, obviously, and make things much less scary. Also makes what happened in India make a lot more sense.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/15: Rates of Change · 2021-07-16T00:03:52.600Z · LW · GW

It's certainly not the most efficient market (e.g. there's been no update in the past few days which is clearly wrong), but I think it would be more a distraction than it's worth. Maybe after my apartment closes I can look into such things more seriously. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/15: Rates of Change · 2021-07-15T23:57:39.670Z · LW · GW

Any given observation can of course but squared with any given level of effectiveness, because randomness, and also because superspreaders are a thing - so the outcomes can be highly correlated. 

Hope no one got seriously ill. From the lack of mention of any adverse effects, I am guessing everyone involved is fine? 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/15: Rates of Change · 2021-07-15T23:55:43.241Z · LW · GW

Will look at this for next week. 

Comment by Zvi on Potential Bottlenecks to Taking Over The World · 2021-07-10T19:18:30.754Z · LW · GW

Depends on how deterministic you think various things are, but if you can predict the market's movements sufficiently well then trading on shorter time scales is where it is at and you should be able to print money until such time as you extract enough that the market loses liquidity as people become afraid to trade for anything except the long term (first options, then almost anything at all). Question is when that happens, after which you basically get to collect the spread on every economic trade forever, and quite a big one.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/8: Delta Takes Over · 2021-07-09T13:07:09.870Z · LW · GW

Blind I can see being an issue, yes. And I can totally see paying rent on the space. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/1: Don’t Panic · 2021-07-04T14:26:46.227Z · LW · GW

I think that is worse and that no one thinks this means 0.6% of previous total.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/1: Don’t Panic · 2021-07-01T20:57:58.179Z · LW · GW

My presumption is that UK has a bunch of AZ vaccinations in its mix that aren't that good at stopping Delta from spreading (but are very good at preventing hospitalization/death) and so it's not as vaccinated as the numbers suggest. But yeah, it's gotta be frustrating since it means UK won't be able to go back to normal for a while unless they can up their vaccination numbers. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 7/1: Don’t Panic · 2021-07-01T20:55:21.413Z · LW · GW

Yep, fixed in original quickly, but hadn't bothered to fix it here yet. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 6/17: One Last Scare · 2021-06-17T23:28:32.085Z · LW · GW

Ah, I used 40% first, then used 60% in the later calculations as I gathered more data, and forgot to go back and update. But I used 60% (57% or so actually, but close enough) in my base calculation.

I've edited to reflect this.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 6/17: One Last Scare · 2021-06-17T23:26:35.092Z · LW · GW

No seems like the right side. That requires 3 additional 50% drops within 75 days. Not impossible it happens, but if I had easy liquidity there putting in 2k-3k seems reasonable here. After that the odds get distorted a lot. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 6/17: One Last Scare · 2021-06-17T21:53:20.169Z · LW · GW

I think you're not factoring in that a lot of UK vaccinations are AZ, which is a lot less effective at stopping spread?

Comment by Zvi on The Apprentice Experiment · 2021-06-12T11:30:17.041Z · LW · GW

The first experimental results are in, and 'asking for what you want' soundly defeats the null hypothesis. Yay!

This is awesome. My one full attempt at an apprentice went quite well in the past, in a completely different field, albeit with a stronger selection filter, and the person in question ended up world-class and now is running a successful start-up for which I'm a small angel. 

There was an aborted attempt to take on a rationalist at one point, alas that did not work out as at the time the thing I was doing didn't go well and the operation ended before they could get good, as the opportunity costs to continuing were too high. It did look promising in terms of the apprentice developing good skills, and if I'd had more capital at the time I think it would have gone well.

I also hired someone who will start Monday who will kind of be an apprentice, but they are rather uniquely high human capital in many related ways, so it doesn't count. 

Matches like this seem highly valuable, and I think it would be good to provide some resources to make this easier. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 6/10: Somebody Else’s Problem · 2021-06-12T11:19:07.519Z · LW · GW

Fixed in original for clarity along with several other minor things, mods can reimport. 

I don't think this is unclear to anyone who reads the posts (to the extent that I'm not going to clarify within this comment), but in isolation it is indeed unclear. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 6/10: Somebody Else’s Problem · 2021-06-12T11:17:53.509Z · LW · GW

I think that if you are attempting to model the physical world, the hypothesis 'covering your face is not helpful unless you do it exactly right, and backfires often enough we shouldn't tell people to do it' simply does not make any sense, as your MIL correctly figured out. I don't get how someone who knows how viruses spread could think this wasn't true. In particular, the idea that masks were actively dangerous strikes me as completely absurd. And it's not like we didn't have the example of a billion Asian people in several countries wearing masks on a regular basis already.

I do think it's reasonable to think surfaces are far more important than they are, or make several other mistakes, or to think the big lie was net positive at the time.

The alternative hypothesis is something like 'these people are so twisted by Science(TM) and No Evidence and a general complete contempt for people's ability to do anything or think anything' that they are incapable of modeling the physical world at all. At which point, it's a philosophy question whether this is a genuine mistake. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 6/10: Somebody Else’s Problem · 2021-06-12T11:10:47.037Z · LW · GW

I've always understood it to mean something stronger than that, at least in the 75% range, which is thy I worded the quiz the way I did; if I was doing it over again category one would be 50% or less - it indicates (in my internal language anyway) broad agreement, and that when one encounters disagreement one should be surprised. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 6/10: Somebody Else’s Problem · 2021-06-12T11:07:11.841Z · LW · GW

I encourage others who are interested to look into the biology, I have chosen not to do so myself due to limited time budget and lack of comparative advantage. I do know that the people I talked to who are better at biology/immunology than I am don't think the biological facts are conclusive about the origin.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 6/10: Somebody Else’s Problem · 2021-06-10T20:34:51.314Z · LW · GW

Yep, that message means it's not broken, it got deleted. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 6/3: No News is Good News · 2021-06-04T15:31:31.059Z · LW · GW

I don't put the 'from the perspective of the USA' caveat on my statements as much as I likely should, and I agree that the question of how the endgame plays out elsewhere is something I haven't paid enough attention to. I've noted the links here and will incorporate the question into next week.

(Note that my time this week was highly limited, which was also why I pushed to next week all leak-related issues, especially the question of Gain of Function research)

Comment by Zvi on Why has no one compared Covid-19 and Vaccine Risks? · 2021-06-04T15:27:17.074Z · LW · GW

This is my confident understanding as well. All who say 'long term effects' are purely basing this on the 'we don't know there aren't such effects' style of argument and nothing more, when there's every reason to believe that if there were such effects we would see signs of them by now and no plausible mechanism for long term effects. 

Whereas Covid-19 definitely does have substantial long term negative effects reasonably often for those who don't die - as OP notes, the estimates are loose, but Long Covid is definitely a thing. 

I would rate 'possibility of unknown long term side effects we have no reason to expect whatsoever' to be much less of a reason to not get vaccinated than 'you might feel bad for a day after getting it' even with a long term orientation. It's that small.  

Comment by Zvi on Covid 5/27: The Final Countdown · 2021-05-28T18:42:38.727Z · LW · GW

Confirmed that I misunderstood this. I didn't think they wanted to ban that stuff or anything, but the EU heavily regulates cinnamon, so I honestly don't know what to expect anymore. Still, this week was hectic and I didn't give this the time it needed, got it wrong, and screwed up, so sorry about that. It's been edited to reflect that. 

Comment by Zvi on New Magic Post: The Pro Tour Was Magic · 2021-05-23T13:31:15.926Z · LW · GW

I don't think people do the thing you're describing, where a team watches a match together and analyzes - either in public or in private. Closest thing would be some coverage teams doing it, but it's just not a thing and never was. 

The good streamers explain what they're thinking and how to a large extent (Jorbs is very good at this) but tag teams are rare, as are people doing explicit thinking practice. 

Sam Black is doing something along related lines at least some of the time.

There's definitely room for big improvements in these ways, dunno if it would be popular. I'd be curious to try but the startup costs of streaming, and the need for a full commitment, make it prohibitive unless an existing streamer wanted to experiment with me. I'd be down for that.

Comment by Zvi on New Magic Post: The Pro Tour Was Magic · 2021-05-22T01:50:05.504Z · LW · GW

Individuals do train in the open now reasonably often via streaming, the issue is that it is ephemeral. A few small teams did it in the MPL era at times, but it wasn't something one could properly follow reasonably.

Comment by Zvi on New Magic Post: The Pro Tour Was Magic · 2021-05-22T01:47:25.925Z · LW · GW

Paulo is great but his approach isn't that unique. A reasonable number of people (myself included) include large amounts of content about thinking and process. The problem is that such content typically doesn't get as many hits as other content, and also it's much harder to do well.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 5/20: The Great Unmasking · 2021-05-21T14:29:51.911Z · LW · GW

Fixed in original, will be fixed on reimport. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 5/20: The Great Unmasking · 2021-05-21T11:51:08.993Z · LW · GW

Please reimport; the section on India was missing and has now been put in, along with some minor other edits.

Comment by Zvi on Are PS5 scalpers actually bad? · 2021-05-19T10:35:03.924Z · LW · GW

PS5 scalpers are good for net welfare and selling PS5s below market rate is bad, but if you are unwilling to pay the premium then (1) you are worse off because your cost in time to find one goes up and finding one is like winning a lottery, or means you can bid with time instead of money which you clearly prefer, and (2) you were unwilling to pay the market price so you shouldn't have one yet.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 5/6: Vaccine Patent Suspension · 2021-05-10T23:45:25.973Z · LW · GW

I am a strong believer in reading a short-term reaction to news as the stock market's true opinion about a development, whether or not one believes the underlying price was reasonable.

Comment by Zvi on MIRI location optimization (and related topics) discussion · 2021-05-09T11:17:06.257Z · LW · GW

Agreed. I'm quite bullish on NYC and its culture but 1% seems too low.

Comment by Zvi on MIRI location optimization (and related topics) discussion · 2021-05-09T11:15:52.522Z · LW · GW

I've been traveling into the city for social reasons and have found good hotels at under $150 / night reliably. You'd want a hotel rather than AirBnB because cleaning fees make AirBnBs bad for one night stays.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 5/6: Vaccine Patent Suspension · 2021-05-06T23:48:26.575Z · LW · GW

Yep, good catch, updated original. Mods, please reimport.

Comment by Zvi on When's the best time to get the 2nd dose of Pfizer Vaccine? · 2021-04-30T13:57:28.379Z · LW · GW

The vaccine is sufficiently effective 3 weeks later that you should get it 3 weeks later and resume your life as quickly as possible, at least in USA where there's enough to go around.

It is possible that 6 weeks is slightly better, but there's no way you'd give up those 3 weeks in between to get that effect even if it's true.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 4/29: Vaccination Slowdown · 2021-04-29T21:06:54.117Z · LW · GW

Yeah, I could more clear that we've made good changes, probably should. The change on ingredients is highly welcome but mostly us no longer stopping this from happening - we've stopped interfering. Which, yay?

Comment by Zvi on Covid 4/29: Vaccination Slowdown · 2021-04-29T21:04:50.755Z · LW · GW

He's kinda being wrong on the internet and highlighting it didn't seem like it would be helping?

Comment by Zvi on Covid 4/29: Vaccination Slowdown · 2021-04-29T21:04:09.051Z · LW · GW

Yeah, typo.

Comment by Zvi on Scott Alexander 2021 Predictions: Buy/Sell/Hold · 2021-04-29T10:38:35.770Z · LW · GW

Would be happy if this happened but definitely don't have the bandwidth to do it myself.

Comment by Zvi on Scott Alexander 2021 Predictions: Buy/Sell/Hold · 2021-04-27T12:28:16.183Z · LW · GW

On reflection I decided I'm still at 10%, because a new strain might disrupt things and force Google to delay that policy. 

[Mods: I've edited the original for this and for the Vitamin D question, please re-input.]

Comment by Zvi on Scott Alexander 2021 Predictions: Buy/Sell/Hold · 2021-04-27T10:28:55.116Z · LW · GW

See latest Covid post, it's already much higher.

Comment by Zvi on Scott Alexander 2021 Predictions: Buy/Sell/Hold · 2021-04-27T10:28:27.852Z · LW · GW

Not easy money because there's no way to bet. Scott presumably didn't know, but that doesn't make this 0%. I'd still be at 5% here.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 4/9: Another Vaccine Passport Objection · 2021-04-13T14:55:52.977Z · LW · GW

Covid 4/15: Are We Seriously Doing This Again is in my drafts folder. Don't worry.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports · 2021-04-03T14:37:25.077Z · LW · GW

I would encourage you to make this a top-level post, I think there's a lot of very useful content here and I'd like to be able to comment / refer back to it. I'm especially interested in exploring why these particular areas have so much fraud relative to other areas slash whether this is true - one question is whether these are areas where we call people who lie or misrepresent out as committing fraud, whereas in other places maybe we don't as much do so. 

The solutions on the other hand don't seem viable to me. E.g. having a system where it will tell you how many out of X or more people are vaccinated, but won't tell you if 1 particular person is vaccinated, sounds like something you do in math team practice or when nerd sniping at a party to figure out how to figure out exactly who is vaccinated, and/or a way to start a lot of fights and have a lot of really bad free rider problems and game theory experiments that mostly don't end so well. Fascinating stuff, though. I'm curious how you think this functions in practice if there's a bar on directly checking individuals, under your proposals. 

Incentives are great and would certainly help with the 'fuzzy math' of having groups contain more vaccinated people, slash getting more people vaccinated, but I don't think there's any political/social ability to notice that going from 30% to 70% vaccinated in groups is 'good enough' in some sense and we should be OK with it, I think it needs to be effectively 100% or things won't actually happen. And yes, you can say 'but fraud!' but in some sense that serves the function of letting everyone pretend it's 100% slash not feel responsible for the fact that it's not 100% or for the people still vulnerable. 

Comment by Zvi on Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports · 2021-04-02T10:16:43.425Z · LW · GW

Very cool! This is an interesting example because it shows the system protecting the information in at least one case, but also shows that yes the government damn well tried to get the information, despite it being an information source that was deeply important to protect - if census info leaked and it got out our ability to do a census would be crippled.

Comment by Zvi on Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports · 2021-04-02T10:14:12.662Z · LW · GW

I think this assumes that the system needs to be more robust than the current system, by a lot, plus also gain privacy. What I'm saying is that (1) yes we could do both if we cared enough, in theory, because we have proof by example but also (2) we don't need that level of robustness. We need something harder to fake than a Fake ID, where the QR code doesn't reveal who you are, so you can't be tracked beyond the existing ability to track cell phones. 

There's a trade-off of security vs. privacy for sure, but right now the existing systems are lousy at best on both.