*1969, degrees in business administration and more recently in psychology, 20 years work in hospital management, currently teaching/tutoring statistics
News corporations provably have an imperative to reduce panic during a recession, although I don’t know the specifics of where the momentum for this comes from.
Do they, provably? Or, to put it differently: Is having an imperative to reduce panic the only plausible explanation for headlines like this?
My primary model of news organizations’ goals is that they are trying to maximize attention, ideally (but not always) without being factually wrong. I think the WSJ headline is compatible with those goals.
For me the reporting about daily fluctuations in the financial press is mostly a source for amusement, not to be taking seriously (on 99% of the days, of course).
The most helpful thing my physiotherapist did when he treated me for chronic back trouble: making the observation that there was a considerable amount of avoidance behavior on my part. Stopping that and becoming more active has greatly reduced my back problems.
CFAR’s focus on AI research (as opposed to raising the rationality water line in general) leads me to two questions:
Given the long feedback loops involved with AI alignment: Wouldn’t it be better to concentrate at first on other target populations (not AI research) to validate rationality techniques (even if, in the end, the aim is to deploy those techniques/attitudes in the context of alignement)?
Even if it were possible to increase the rationality in parts of the AI research area, in democracies wouldn’t it still be very important to target other parts of society as well with interventions to increase collective rationality? Because, I think, in the end there has to be some sort of regulation even after AI alignment were theoretically solved to solve it in practice.
Based on that: Shouldn’t it be an important goal to test and popularize rationality techniques outside of subcultures in AI research if one wants to solve the alignment problem in practice? (Whether that is a job for CFAR or someone else is a different question, of course).
When it comes to men who have sex with men (MSM) and Monkeypox in Europe and North America I think a crucial bit of information would be this:Is the proportion of infected MSM with AIDS (compared to all infected MSM) about the same as in the MSM population or is it much higher?
If the proportion were about the same then the high number of MSM with Monkeypox would make this more or less an STD (not completely an STD, as AIDS isn’t completely an STD as well). The health impact of that should be limited. And that would lead me to strongly believe that there is (almost) no airborne transmission because that would not target primarily MSM.
If, however, there were primarily MSM with AIDS that suffer from Monkeypox in our countries, then the reason for that could be their immunocompromised status. That would lead me to suspect that there was a considerable asymptomatic spread of Monkeypox. And that could be quite dangerous for other immunocompromised populations.
I try to budget some time/energy for new ideas, new projects, etc. So that I can satisfy my unsatiable hunger for “new” without feeling guilty about it, but at the same time can make progress on some longer term project with the majority of my time/energy.
What’s scares me a little is this: If (or maybe better “When”) this containment policy has to be abandoned, how will the Chinese government deflect blame? How will it try to distract the public? That could prove to be quite dangerous.
Regarding “Reminder that we should be very grateful here in America that we have the right of free speech, for Europeans enjoy no such right.” and Germany:
The basis for the claim made by the German embassy is the following section of the German criminal code (§ 140 StGB—translation by me):
“If one of the unlawful acts specified in section 138 (1) numbers 2 to 4 and 5 last alternative or in section 126 (1) or an unlawful act pursuant to section 176 (1) or to sections 176c and 176d
is rewarded after it has been committed or attempted in a punishable manner, or
is approved in a manner likely to disturb the public peace, publicly, in a meeting or by disseminating a content (Section 11 (3)),
that is punishable by imprisonment for not more than three years or by a fine.”
The acts in section 138 are, e.g., murder, high treason, and relevant here, conducting a war of aggression.
In Germany, the government does not have the right to decide what you can say. But it is true that there are some very specific things that are by law forbidden to say in public (mostly as a result of the crimes committed by Nazi Germany).
If Putin used nukes, I would think he would do it with two objectives:1. Force Ukraine to surrender (or give in to peace conditions in favour of Russia).2. Stop or reduce foreign weapons supply for Ukraine.
For that, the most likely targets for Russian (tactical) nukes would be traffic hubs near the Polish-Ukrainian border (but of course far enough on the Ukrainian side of the border so that it can’t be seen as an attack on a NATO country).
I don’t think it it likely that this would escelate into a US-Russia nuclear exchange (but of course the probability is a bit higher than zero).
About the 70:1 odds at the start of the calculation: Shouldn’t we include our knowledge from other potential conflicts as well to get to our prior?
I.e. India—Pakistan, US—China, Russia/SU—China?
Sadly I don’t know how to do that computation myself, so please tell us if you can explain it step by step.
Here is an IMF working paper explaining the process (there is not one single formula for that, so we don’t know exactly how Bloomberg has calculated it). Market-Based Estimation of Default Probabilities and its Application to Financial Market Surveillance
Basically, you need at least two pieces of information:- The price spread of the CDS- The expected recovery rate (RR) - how much money will the creditors get back (which in most cases is more than zero).
However, in the case of Russia it seems to be a bit complicated:Dislocation in Russian debt prices suggests CDS won’t work (The article is a few days old; I don’t know if the current prices still show this problem).
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I would be very surprised if there will not be some players in the financial markets killed by a Russian default. There are always people who are “picking up nickels in front of a steam roller”. But I have no prediction whether there will be one or more systemically relevant institutions being hit by this.
That is a very important point. We don’t know how stable or instable the (first) Cold War would have been with social media. How would have been the West’s reaction to Budapest 1956 or Prague 1968 with Twitter and Facebook?
Second, this is the start of a new cold war.
The current cold war didn’t start with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Maybe with the invasion of Georgia or of the Crimean peninsula or with the constant threats against the Baltic states.
But now the West has clearly realized it, and my point is that this has some potential to reduce the threat.
He threatened us when he invaded Ukraine, and threatened us again when there was the proposal of establishing a no-fly zone in Ukraine (“the consequences would be catastrophic for the entire world”).
During the Cold War nobody would have come up with a proposal like a no-fly zone during a regional war of one of both sides. The US didn’t even dream of proposing a no-fly zone over Afghanistan when the Russians invaded. The Soviet Union didn’t think of a no-fly zone over North Vietnam, either, I believe. Because both sides understood perfectly well the implications of such an act. It wasn’t necessary to make an explicit threat.
And I don’t think the Ukraine really thought it could get a no-fly zone. I see this more as a negotiation tool in the sense of requesting something huge that the other side is probably not willing to give in order to then get something smaller, which is a very effective tactic.
I don’t have memory of any other leader of a big nuclear power threatening the world with nuclear war if we meddle with their business, i.e. willing the risk world anihilation to accomplish his objectives.
Nixon comes to mind, Operation Giant Lance. It is hard to tell to what extent Putin is irrational and to what extent Putin projects irrationality as a tool, as in Nixon’s Madman Theory of foreign diplomacy.
And furthermore, there is a distinction to be made between different levels of change in the risk for nuclear war:a) How likely was a nuclear war before Russia’s invasion? How likely is it now? That is what I have tried to adress.b) As how likely was a nuclear war perceived before the invasion and as how likely is it perceived now?
It is quite possible that the risk for a nuclear war has been stable or even decreased, and that, at the same time, the widespread perception of a hightened risk is correct in the sense that on average the current risk assessment is more realistic than the risk assessment was before the war.
What is, based on your understanding, the Russian perspective on what “Nazi” stands for?
I think that is an important distinction you are making. Russia’s (and Putin’s) motivations for aggression seem to be primarily defensive, made from a position of weakness, of vulnerability (which can make them extremely dangerous). That wasn’t the case with the SU.
Yes, two NATO members were involved on different sides in a civil war in a third (independent & non-NATO) country. I think that lies outside the scope of NATO’s Article 5.
If Russia were part of NATO, then something like that could have happened, too, e.g.:Romanian and Russian troops fighting each other in a civil war in the Republic of Moldova.
I believe their last war ended 1922. But there were times when a next war between them seemed quiet likely and NATO spend a lot of energy discouraging both sides from open hostilities, if I remember correctly.
Yes, according to the NATO treaty there is only support for a victim of an attack. Here is the relevant Article 5 of the NATO treaty:
“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.” (NATO)[emphasis by me]
I am not so sure whether it makes sense to put Russia and the SU in the same category when it comes to being missionary. The ideology of the SU was basically universal—an ideal end state would have been the conversion of every country in the world to communism. For Russia I don’t see that. Getting the former parts of the Russian empire back, yes, maybe being the leading slavonic country (especially an important motivation until 1917). But would Russia care how, e.g., Spain was governed? I don’t think so (SU or USA would care).
I was thinking about short term consequences. What do you think could be longer term consequences against which one should prepare now?