I’ve also been following COVID-19 for investment reasons. Every study I’ve read of the disease indicates it is extremely contagious relative to the flu. This recent retrospective study indicates that prior to Feb 5th, R0 in China were between 4.7 and 6.6. Time to double was 2.4 days:
However since then China has made herculean efforts to stop the spread of the disease. R0 has certainly plummeted. So I’m not sure what to think. I would imagine officially reported numbers from any country are going to be limited by testing. How many people going to the doctor with flu-like symptoms get a COVID-2019 test? It sounds like no one except Korea and maybe China are testing for community acquired CoV.
What I believe is that if other countries do not take similar measures to China, this thing is going to rapidly spread. From an investment perspective this has created the perfect setup for a short: if a sizable portion of the world’s population gets infected, the global economy will greatly suffer. If countries take China-esque measures, the global economy will also suffer.
The rosiest outcome I can imagine is warm weather halts the spread of the disease, and then we get a vaccine ready by the time fall rolls around. It’s worth noting I’ve been the “chicken little” among my investing peers.
One point of optimism is everyone on the Diamond Princess was tested, and “only” 5% of passengers required serious medical care. This number is quite a bit lower than the 10-15% figure I often see thrown around.
Can you link to your source on cremation houses not being able to keep up? That’s something I hadn’t heard before. Thanks.
It looks like other blockchain technologies (altcoins) have been the victim of 51% attacks, so I’m going to read up on their repercussions. I wonder if they were carried out by bitcoiners who don’t like competition?
It occurs to me that little can probably be done to stop attacks on distributed systems by large actors with non-monetary goals. If people are willing to throw a lot of resources into destroying a fledgling technology, they will probably succeed.
I do have an idea for a distributed public ledger in which attacks are possible but always negative-sum. I have little experience with cryptography so its probably rubbish. If it looks to not be terrible I will probably post it here for comment.
Thanks, I did not know about https://blockchain.info/pools.
On the 51% attacks, I was specifically thinking of state actors. However, mightn’t any eventuality which leads to a lot of Bitcoiners who aren’t enthusiasts or have ulterior motives (Bond villains?) be an issue? The current state of the BC community is probably mostly BC enthusiasts, i.e. people who aren’t just in it for the money.
You’re right that “wasted” was a poor term; “inefficient” would be better.
Why does anyone think BitCoin is going to work when its users aren’t mostly BitCoin enthusiasts?
I’m specifically referring to incentives of 51% attacks. The returns on mining seem to increase as computing power eclipses 50%, creating an economy of scale in mining and incentivicing attacks.
The information in a science textbook is (or should be) considered scientific because of the processes used to vet it. Absent of this process its just conjecture.
I often wonder if this position is unpopular because of its implications for economics and climatology.
Macroeconomics? Sure, its highly politicized so in many cases I’ll agree with that. But microeconomics is in many ways the study of how to rationally deal with scarcity. IMO, traditional micro assuming homo-economicus is actually more interesting (and useful, outside of politics) than the behavioral stuff for this reason.
Is there overwhelming evidence on the safety (not efficacy) of vaccines somewhere, and I’ve just missed it?
I used to just trust the word of the experts, because I am not an expert and had no incentive to become one. I didn’t have a lot of faith in such a politicized science, but reasoned it was probably better than anything I could come up with. I trusted the IPCC reports, but after reading about Climategate thought they were exaggerated a bit as a means to gain political power.
Recently I’ve started to consider investing in alternative energy. Given that most alternative energy (especially with the fracking and shale oil revolutions) is based on AGW being a serious problem, I thought it deserved a real look.
I was appalled to see a non-experimental science call something as complex as the Earth’s climate to be “settled”, and how even the scientists seemed to degenerate into name-calling (“deniers” and “alarmists”). The issue was even more politicized than I first thought. I was unable to find real public debate between skeptics and supporters, but did come to understand that the disagreement is over feedbacks, specifically the change in water vapor, which respond to an increase in temperature from CO2 emissions.
I was most appalled at the lack of reporting of the global warming pause. I did not find a single supporting scientist seriously reconsider his views in light of the pause. One would think admissions such as “our models were clearly wrong, but AGW may still be a problem because the heat is probably going into the oceans/arctic/whatever” would be commonplace.
To me the “science” of climatology seems very similar to economics: experiments are impossible and it is very politicized. I enjoy and respect economics greatly, but recognized that progress in it has been very slow relative to the harder, experimental sciences.
As a result my faith in climatologists is at an all-time low. If I had to guess, I’d take a shot in the dark and say the feedbacks are being exaggerated by the IPCC, and warming will continue at about 0.10 degrees C per decade. Actually I’d say this whole experience has lowered my faith in politics and made me more libertarian as a result. I am used to people doing and believing disgusting things for power, but something about perverting science especially offends.
So I came here to read some (hopefully) more rational reports on AGW.
I would really like to see a study of the Earth’s energy budget—can’t we measure radiation lost to space with satellites? Everything else seems rather immaterial (unless the nuclear energy output of the Earth’s core varies significantly).
I just read the OP’s articles. There is a supporting argument in them which makes me think my sensitivity estimates are too low: the idea that sensitivity can be estimated from any source of forcing (of which there are many), and not just CO2. This would seem to suggest that we have more evidence on climate sensitivity (even if its all proxy records) than I’d of first guessed. However, unless proxy records can cover all significant forcings, I would doubt their usefulness. Do we have a proxy record of cloud cover, for example?
Agreed. Powerful people (especially politicians) seem to hold plenty of irrational beliefs. Of course we can’t really tell the difference between lying about irrational beliefs and hypocrisy, if there’s a meaningful difference for the outside observer at all.
The quote refers to the (end) market and users, not the internal workings of a software development firm.
Networking protocols face similar challenges. I wonder if there’s a rationality of conversation hidden somewhere in here?
This has always been my experience shopping at Florida Walmarts: the employees are horrible. Perhaps they could be making more money with a higher minimum wage, better unionizing or what have you, but I have always viewed Walmart’s ability to make their employees productive as some sort of miracle of capitalism.
I can’t think of another chain business I’ve experienced with the same or lower caliber of employee.
I haven’t found that to be the case with personal gifts either. I spend a lot of time trying to pick out good gifts, and generally seem to fail. It just seems so very much easier for someone to pick out something they enjoy for themselves than it is for someone else to do it. I find most gifts given to me undesirable, but still have to look happy and grateful to receive them. The majority of the time I’d rather not have gotten or given any gifts at all.
I keep trying to get friends and family to forgo the normal gift-giving holidays in favor of giving to charity, with limited success.
True. Some sources indicate that some Japanese cities were left intact precisely so the American military could test the effects of a nuke!
That is no reason to drop the bomb on a city though; there are plenty of non-living targets that can be blown up to demonstrate destructive power. I suppose doing so wouldn’t signal the will to use the atomic bomb, but in a time when hundreds of thousands died in air raids I would think such a thing would be assumed.
I suppose this highlights the fundamental problem of the era: the assumption that targeting civilians with bombs was the best course of action.
If the bombing of Nagasaki contributed more to the end of the war than the bombing of Tokyo, then we could easily say it was morally superior. That is not to say there weren’t better options of course.
Consider what “the cold war” might have been like if we hadn’t of had nuclear weapons. It probably would have been less cold. Come to think of it, cold wars are the best kind of wars. We could use more of them.
Yes nukes have done terrible things, could have done far worse, and still might. However since their invention conventional weapons have still killed far, far more people. We’ve seen plenty of chances for countries to use nukes where they’ve not, so I think its safe to say the existence of nukes isn’t on average more dangerous than the existence of other weapons. The danger in them seems to come from the existential risk which is not present when using conventional weapons.
True, but its not clear morals have saved us from this. Many of our morals emphasize loyalty to our own groups (e.g. the USA) over our out groups (e.g. the USSR), with less than ideal results. I think if I replaced “morality” with “benevolence” I’d find the quote more correct. I likely read it too literally.
Though the rest of it still doesn’t make any sense to me.
These (nebulous) assertions seem unlikely on many levels. Psychopaths have few morals but continue to exist. I have no idea what “inner balance” even is.
He may be asserting that morals are necessary for the existence of humanity as a whole, in which case I’d point to many animals with few morals who continue to exist just fine.