Another effect of altitude is the atmosphere, and there is evidence that the active ingredient in altitude decreasing weight is the thin atmosphere. For example, “One study on rats found that they ate 58% less one day after being transported to Pike’s Peak, and were still eating 16% less per day two weeks afterwards.” The immediate effect strongly suggests that it’s not caused by anything in the water source.
Adderall (and other similar stimulants) are known to suppress appetites. They’re not a great choice to prescribe as an appetite suppressant, due to their major other effects and since it doesn’t seem to affect everyone, but they do work.
Viliam’s description matches my understanding of the history. TV started out with free over-the-air broadcasting, with admittedly just a few offerings (only three channels originally). They were ad supported, but generally had much fewer ads than today. Between the 1960s and 1980s cable was introduced, and initially was ad-free but paid. Then they gradually introduced ads to the format once people were locked in and hooked to the shows available. Now the quantity of ads is greater than ever, plus it costs money. Today a few channels still offer that free over-the-air broadcasting, but it’s much fewer than there used to be at the peak. So now we’re in a state where you both need to pay and get a large quantity of ads.
Of course, streaming services have somewhat disrupted that model, but many streaming services both cost money and have ads. Plus to get all the same shows as on cable you need a large number of streaming services and they all add up to cost more than the cable package would!
You might say that the quality of the television shows has gone up, and you can definitely say that it’s worth the tradeoff, but it’s not obviously worth it to everyone.
One thing going against that is that the UK has focused on single-shot vaccination while the US has had much more double-shot vaccination, which seems to have an impact on the delta variant.
The US had 35k new reported cases yesterday, so we’d have to have a spike of 3x the current numbers. That’s not impossible (the rate two weeks ago was a third of the current rate!), but it doesn’t seem 99% certain to me, especially as the percent vaccinated continues to go up, albeit at a slower rate.
The last time the US hit 100k was at the beginning of February, five months ago, when it was a lot less vaccinated, and the peak of the spike in April was 85k (with a 7-day average of 73k), so we’d have to have a worse spike than in April with higher vaccination rates.
The elephant in the room is of course the delta variant, but having a confidence of 99% seems to be overstating it in my opinion.
One significant problem is that differential privacy requires trusting that the implementation is free from bugs, both intentional and unintentional ones. In some cases you can monitor the network packets (though who monitors all the network packets all the time?), but in many cases you can’t. That’s especially an issue with hardware devices that communicate using encryption.
I generally would trust that Firefox isn’t going to have an intentional bug in their telemetry, and I don’t think that Google would either (they have too much to lose from the bad publicity), but what about all of the miscellaneous ad companies? And anyone can have an unintentional bug in their implementation.
The companies involved have, as a general group, already shown that they will act maliciously, so I can’t trust them when they say they aren’t being malicious.
To rephrase that, “Yes” requires that at least one day has reported >100k cases while “No” requires that all days have reported <100k cases. So if there is variance it will increase the chance any given day will be reported wrongly and a single wrong reporting of >100k will make “Yes” inaccurately occur. Of course, if it only spikes >100k real cases on a few days, and those days also have variance, that will make “No” inaccurately occur, but I agree that that’s an unlikely situation.The real problem would be if the CDC has a consistent reporting error. For example if some states with high real case counts were to stop reporting data and the CDC then extrapolated from the remaining lower case count states, they could report an inaccurately low number of cases.
When comparing to other inventions like “the loom, the spinning wheel, the printing press”, it’s important to consider how much time/effort they save compared to the alternative. The threshing machine has a simple alternative and as a fraction of a farmer’s life, it’s relatively little time (as an overestimate, 1⁄20, so it can at best make farmers 5% more efficient).Looms are somewhat of a bad comparison since it’s essentially impossible to make cloth without one. Similarly, the printing press is necessary for books to be widely available. Both of them are necessary to allow their activity to even occur, so there will be a strong incentive to create one.However, the spinning wheel is more comparable to the threshing machine, since it’s not necessarily needed but is a time saver. The big difference between spinning and threshing though is that before the spinning wheel women would spend a huge fraction of their time making textiles and most of that was spent spinning. Keeping a family of six clothed in comfort would take about 22 labor hours each day (split across the women of the household), meaning that women would spend about half of their waking hours making textiles. About 85% of that time was spent in spinning alone. The spinning machine is 10x more effective than hand spinning, so it frees up perhaps 6 hours a day per woman. (source: https://acoup.blog/2021/03/19/collections-clothing-how-did-they-make-it-part-iii-spin-me-right-round/)Of course, making all farmers 5% more efficient is great, but since everything is decentralized no individual has the incentive. Meanwhile, freeing up that amount of time from spinning is absolutely life changing.
As a child, I was definitely (repeatedly) told that the crusts are healthier than the rest, with the reasoning being something like “the vitamins rise to the top.”
Note also that the FDA has already approved that shots for alternate strains would be able to have much more limited testing, just for safety, which would take about two months. Slower than ideal, but given that production and distribution takes a while anyway, it’s not too bad, and (judging by the response to the current vaccines) the additional testing will be important for getting people to actually take the vaccine.
Two months behind isn’t great, but it’s short enough that I’m not worried.
This concept of direct versus indirect value seems quite related to the concept of alienation from the product of labor. In both cases, although the worker does receive value from their work (a paycheck or feeling like they’re helping the world), the worker does not directly benefit from the actual labor that they are doing, making them feel unconnected with their work and lose motivation.
If you’re interested in making a follow-up post, I’d enjoy an analysis of the possibilities when the coin is not fair but is also not double sided. For example, if a coin has a 75% chance of turning up heads, how does the probability look? If a coin turns up heads 50 times in a row, it’s probably neither fair nor a 75⁄25 coin, but if it turns up heads 10 times in a row I might guess it to be 75⁄25.
To some extent the dichotomy is weak. For example, in the US at least, the political appointees, especially for relatively lower positions, tend to be people who first rose to the top as technocrats and then were politically selected. Even at the top, the process in which a person becomes a president or a senator requires passing a test of skill, albeit a very different one. This contrasts with a monarchy where the ruler has to pass no test other than not being revolted against.
From the other direction, I presume that in countries where you have to be part of the party to have any role in government, you at least also have some level of qualification, and they don’t just choose randomly from the party ranks.
That’s a bad plan unless you’re fine with a decent risk of foreclosure—the market can (and in the past, has) go down and stay down for 10+ years. If that happens, you now have lost much of your equity in your house and have payments to make. If that coincides with losing your job (which is of course correlated with the market) then you’re at high risk of being foreclosed on.
If you really want to have higher returns with higher risk, another strategy is to buy stocks on margin. You can’t have the extreme multiples of the 1920′s, but you can still get much higher returns. The tradeoff is the potential to also lose it all.
Of course, you might think that that risk is worthwhile for the extra returns, but they definitely are not for me.
The GPU company increase is notable because the reason Nvidia and AMD have done well has little to do with AI. It’s almost entirely about crypto, with some portion about video gaming. So while you would have done well if you had invested in GPU companies in 2015 because of AI, your results wouldn’t have actually been causally connected with your reasoning. If you take out Nvidia and AMD then your results are not nearly as much better compared to SPY. And I’m not really convinced that most of the rest of the tech increase has much to do with AI either, perhaps other than Tesla, although their increase seems more akin to Gamestop than to a company more based on fundamentals.
Of course, you could also have done better than the economy than by just investing in tech stocks, but that’s not nearly as much of an exciting conclusion (though still a bit of an exciting one).
However, that’s missing that the EMH is fundamentally based on risk—it’s easy to get better returns than the market, even over a five year time period, by investing leveraged. But then if the market goes down, it’s easy to lose everything. I haven’t calculated the numbers, but I suspect that someone who invested leveraged from 2015 to 2020 would have been looking great in January 2020 and then be bankrupt in April 2020. Tech has a different risk model than investing leveraged, but it definitely is higher risk than the overall US economy..
You can beat the market by investing in a high risk market, but that’s literally what the EMH tells you, so it’s a boring conclusion.
SRS for muscle memory
I don’t know how they were thinking of it, but theoretically you can put any action into an Anki card:
do a problem from chapter 1.5 of the linear algebra textbook
play through X specific piano piece
do five pushups
(though I doubt that the spaced repetition algorithm will really help with that last one)
I can further imagine that a skill which operates largely on muscle memory, like a martial art, could be done similar. “Do five kicks” could help you get the muscle memory behind that specific kick into your head, as long as you can be an accurate judge of how well you performed the kick.
The app concept would be difficult for a startup since you need to both introduce the truck and the app at the same time—it’s a two-sided market. An existing coffee company would have an easier time, since their customers already have the app; they just need to add the feature to the app and start sending out the trucks.
Notably, Rasputin really was threatening the empire—many historians consider him a significant contributor to the revolution. The suggestion here is that trying to change the working system from the inside—being a Donald Trump—can lead to a completely different system replacing it. The replacing system might be worse in a completely different way, or it might be better, but either way it’s going to cause a lot of pain in the mean time. Be careful what you try—destroying the FDA or the CDC may just lead to more people refusing to get vaccinated or wear masks, while simultaneously leading to snake oil or to a resurgence of other diseases. A gain in one area leads to being much worse off in others.
A Chinese restaurant near me built a plastic enclosure at their doorway, with an airlock that they place the food into, before closing the door and letting you open the opposite door. It works great, although it was definitely non-trivial to construct.
I suspect that there’s a bimodal distribution with COVID concern. In one group is the people who aren’t concerned, or are only a little concerned. They might not eat or drink inside, but they have no problem going to a grocery story or buying a coffee inside. For them, ordering outside has no benefit but some downside (lack of normalcy and the normal reasons that ordering isn’t done outside, like inclement weather). Obviously there is the real downside of COVID risk, but they’re either not very concerned or don’t believe in it.
In the other group are people who are quite concerned. They would never eat or drink inside, and going to the grocery story would be a stretch, as would ordering a coffee from Starbucks. But generally, they’d consider the pros and cons and not buy a coffee, likely whether it is indoors or outdoors, since they probably aren’t doing the math and are just judging the activity by the general “safe” versus “unsafe” buckets. These type of people are likely not going to be going to Starbucks, regardless. This is doubly the case since people often go to a cafe as part of another activity, which this second group of people is less likely to be doing.
Because the second group isn’t going to be buying coffee, Starbucks isn’t going to be particularly worried about catering to them. Thus Starbucks is likely only considering the effects on their business from the first group of people, and that first group would rather be indoors than outside.
Obviously this is a massive generalization, and it’s really more of a spectrum, but I think the analysis still holds when stretched out over the average group. They’ll cater the most to the people who buy coffee at Starbucks the most, and those are the people who are going to be the least concerned about it being outdoors.