Beeminder has a mode that lets you have a goal with no punishment. You have to pay for their highest-tier monthly subscription, though ($24/mo IIRC).
+1, I had a similar experience when living upstate in a place that was “an hour+”. I did visit the city a few times, but it was a pretty big hassle. Definitely try out the exact commute before drawing conclusions.
Welp. I lose points on this one https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-05/google-relaxes-work-from-home-rules-to-let-more-staff-be-remote
Wasn’t expecting them to bend but it seems they are after all.
Fair. I was also debating between 5-10%.
I have some inside information on this as an ex-Alphabet employee; I have a strong impression that execs do not want to do this. Employees were clamoring for a policy statement on this for months and they hemmed, hawed, dodged the question, delayed for months, and ultimately refused.
New strains could delay things more, but I would be surprised if they don’t ultimately make people go back to the office as soon as they reasonably can. Presence in Mountain View or occasionally other offices is one of the few places where employees really want something and Alphabet execs, historically, have drawn a fairly hard line that they can’t have it.
21. Google widely allows remote work, no questions asked: 20%I don’t know about the situation at Google but assuming they currently still do this I think it’s more likely than this that they keep doing it. If this is a blind prediction and Scott knows nothing I don’t know, I’d buy to 30%.
21. Google widely allows remote work, no questions asked: 20%
I don’t know about the situation at Google but assuming they currently still do this I think it’s more likely than this that they keep doing it. If this is a blind prediction and Scott knows nothing I don’t know, I’d buy to 30%.
Easy money. If this were a month ago I wouldn’t be quite as sure, but Google has outright said they will not do this: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/31/google-speeds-partial-office-reopening-and-puts-limits-on-remote-work.html
Our current house rules are:* Fully vaccinated people are “invisible”, at least in small groups—they can come over and you can interact with them indoors freely.* Gatherings where EVERY person is at least 2 weeks past the first dose, and it’s small enough to verify this, are fine.The rationale for rule #2 is: the numbers I’ve seen seem to roughly suggest that a fully vaccinated person interacting with an unvaccinated person has about the same transmission risk (~5%) as two people who are both two weeks past the first dose (20% * 20%).Sticking with outdoor socialization for now, especially with people you don’t know or can’t verify the vaccine status of, seems like a pretty good idea. I expect we’ll need to have more conversations about this once larger indoor gatherings seem like they might make sense.
I have a family member in the “wait and see” group. Why? I think: their main source of truth about the world comes from friends and family; they are generally skeptical of the medical establishment and authorities; and they won’t really believe the vaccine is OK until many people they know have had it and nothing bad has happened, and/or people they trust tell them it’s fine.
I told them I’m getting it as soon as I can, and I’m happy to be their guinea pig. I think it may help—once I’m actually able to get a vaccine, that is.
This post really bothered me. I think perhaps the best way to sum it up is this old post of Kelsey’s: https://theunitofcaring.tumblr.com/post/99440932816/saying-you-are-a-burden-on-society-is-just-such
Also… just because you’re dealing with a lot of fear, exhaustion, and trauma, and someone else isn’t, doesn’t mean you can trust them enough to outsource your decision-making process to them.
Also… it seems really unreasonable to say “if you can’t handle 10 hours of grueling negotiations about what COVID precautions to take, you’re weak and I need to cut you out of my life and/or take away decisionmaking power from you during times of stress.” I would guess that, uhh, most people are weak by that definition.
It seems you think that people weighting how much to believe something based on whether the author is a Big Name is a bad thing. I get that. But I don’t understand why you think weighted voting in particular makes this problem worse?
Also, I specifically want to say: Thank you for writing this post, even though it’s very vulnerable and suggests that both you and your housemates were wrong about a really important thing. Please accept this gift of hedons and social status in exchange.
This is an important conversation for all of us to have.
Thanks for posting this. A lot of relatable feels and useful takeaways here.
(Reposting some of this from a lower-level comment)
From this post and my own experience, I’m getting the sense that living in a large group house was actually a pretty big detriment for many folks during COVID. You’d think it would be a good thing, because you can get your social bar filled just socializing with each other. And maybe that’s true. But it increases the amount of negotiation about risks literally exponentially, which makes it much easier to lapse into a default of “nothing is allowed and no one does anything.” Even though that’s actually very costly.
It was much easier for me and my spouse to handle negotiation about e.g. “I want to go on bike rides because my sanity is at critical levels,” because that was basically just one negotiation we had to have, instead of having 8 similarly-sized negotiations for each risky thing each person wanted to do and every objection brought up by every other person.
Also, we’re married and have been together for almost 10 years, so we’ve had a lot more practice at this kind of thing with the two of us. I also enjoyed your earlier post about how being in a group house together doesn’t mean you’re ready to be, basically, married to all the people you live with, meaning you aren’t ready to have these huge life-changing negotiations about collective decisions that you need to make together. Whereas in marriage that sort of thing is par for the course.
We were like this for about a month, then my sanity dropped to critical levels, forcing us to have a conversation about what we were ok with in terms of like, going outside. This resulted in me going on bike rides very frequently all summer, which helped A LOT.
Then in late summer, we had another “figure out what probabilities we are OK with” session and decided that we were going to categorically allow hanging out masked and outside, because the sanity/risk tradeoff seemed very good.
(Then we moved to DC and a whole lot of things happened that we would otherwise not have been OK with risk-wise, but were necessary for moving, which we felt was very beneficial overall.)
At this point we’re still at “don’t go indoors at a place with other people” (we grocery shop only via delivery/pickup), “categorically allow masked outdoor hangouts.” Also, we will go indoors with a P100/N95/KN95 if it’s a rare and necessary event such as medical treatment.
Feels to me from reading the post that A) Having these conversations was MUCH more difficult for OP, because she lives in a house with many other people, whereas Roger and I mostly had these conversations with just the two of us and to a lesser extent our two roommates who mostly just cooperated, B) We actually had much fewer of these conversations early on? We tried to keep it to just what we needed to make a couple very specific decisions (“is it OK for me to go on bike rides”), which I guess was also easier because there were fewer people and so fewer variables that needed to be tracked.
I guess a takeaway I have here is that it seems like 2020 was a good year to live with exactly one partner who you are very close with. Enough other-human for sanity, not so much other-human to increase the negotiation burden drastically. Seems like the difficulty of allowing people to do more things increases exponentially the more people you live with, which makes it hard for things not to lapse into “by default no one does anything even slightly risky despite the massive sanity damage.”
I think your symptoms are substantially worse than average. I’ve only spoken to or heard of one other person with symptoms that bad—Julia Wise, actually, who has written about it on her blog. https://thewholesky.wordpress.com/2016/12/23/you-dont-need-to-have-a-period/
Mine are also probably worse than average, but not as bad as you describe. I’m usually unable to work or do much other than read or some other low-key activity because of pain, for about half a day to a full day at a time. I’ve never experienced vomiting due to pain.
I got an IUD ~7 years ago that basically made the problem go away completely. I’ve had a couple instances of extremely severe pain with the IUD that were so bad I went to the ER, but since it mostly deleted my menstrual cycle and there were only a few bad days in many years, I feel it was a good deal on net.
I would +1 all the commenters here saying you should investigate more birth control options that could mitigate the severity—and probably try to find better doctors, if you can. I think it’s a common experience for period pain to be dismissed as unimportant or not worth spending effort to fix, but that’s utter bullshit.
I’ve gotten a lot of mental mileage out of thinking of it as “This is a minor physical disability that I have,” and try to think how I would want to work around it if it were a Real DisabilityTM. For example, I used to feel guilt about taking time off work because I was in so much pain that I couldn’t concentrate, because “periods are normal, if I can’t work during this normal thing, then that means I’m a bad employee.” Instead, I changed my thinking around it to be more like “This is a disability I have, and so my employer can accommodate it. If it’s a problem for them that I have to take off half a day here and there, we can discuss it and negotiate it, but I’m not actually able to work right now, so there’s no point staying here and pretending.”
Re: syringes: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/01/22/pfizer-vaccine-doses-syringes/
President Biden highlighted the urgent need to produce more of the specialty syringes — called low dead space syringes, because they are more efficient — in his pandemic response plan unveiled this week. His administration said it plans to use the Defense Production Act to procure more of the specialty syringes.The Biden administration and Pfizer finalized a deal Friday that will allow the government to track which shipments are accompanied by low dead space syringes and which are not, according to an individual close to the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the details.Vials accompanied by regular syringes will be counted as five doses against Pfizer’s contract for 200 million shots, and those accompanied by special syringes will count as six shots toward contract fulfillment.
President Biden highlighted the urgent need to produce more of the specialty syringes — called low dead space syringes, because they are more efficient — in his pandemic response plan unveiled this week. His administration said it plans to use the Defense Production Act to procure more of the specialty syringes.
The Biden administration and Pfizer finalized a deal Friday that will allow the government to track which shipments are accompanied by low dead space syringes and which are not, according to an individual close to the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the details.
Vials accompanied by regular syringes will be counted as five doses against Pfizer’s contract for 200 million shots, and those accompanied by special syringes will count as six shots toward contract fulfillment.
Mostly! Do you plan to do any posts on the other funding options, e.g. a trust? I generally prefer to pay for things as one-time expenses rather than recurring expenses due to my financial situation, and paying a large amount all at once is not an obstacle. I’m mainly concerned with total lifetime cost.
(edit to add) If that’s not something you’ve looked into much since it’s not relevant to many people, I’d also be interested in any sources or other folks you could point to about this.
As far as I can calculate, this option is never cheaper than using life insurance, so you should only do it if you are uninsurable (e.g. if you have already been diagnosed with a terminal illness) or if you’re in a huge hurry (e.g. you have less than six months left to live)...
Would you mind showing your work on this?
Still reading through the rest of the post, but this jumped out at me. Your dad said:
convalescent sera from some patients recovered from infection with the predominant strain, while effective in neutralizing the same strain, were not effective in neutralizing the South African variant.
But you then said:
it seems highly unlikely the new strain can do much reinfection of previously infected individuals
which seems to me to be the opposite. If convalescent sera from patients who recovered from infection with the predominant strain were NOT effective in neutralizing the South African variant… doesn’t that suggest that having had the predominant COVID variant might NOT give you immunity to the South African variant?
Trying to nail this down because this point is SUPER IMPORTANT actually.
Depends on what you mean by “pessimistic,” I guess. I think my model back in March was that basically everyone would dismiss COVID as being “like the flu”; tons of people would die; but no one would really pay much attention to it.
Instead, people actually freaked out about it and lots of people actually got overly into enforcing quarantine restrictions on each other. I was expecting that people would fail to even parse the small chance of death by COVID as sufficiently important to be worth worrying about, and that didn’t turn out to be true.
I agree that the real outcome is much worse than we could have done overall, with e.g. mass testing or challenge trials—though I don’t agree that this is clearly worse than runaway herd immunity. Back-of-the-envelope calculation: if 1% of the US population died of COVID, that’s around 3 million deaths, which in VSL terms is around $30T. The US’s GDP for one year is around $20T. My error bars on the validity of VSL at that scale are pretty large, as is my uncertainty about comparing GDP to VSL, and other non-GDP considerations of lockdown… but the two certainly seem comparable in magnitude, and I weakly think that lockdown is better in terms of total social utility.
(edit: of course we’re at ~300k deaths now, which changes the analysis by 10% or so; still seems like the calculation comes out about the same as of right now. The effect of another huge wave could change this calculation substantially.)
Zvi and many others on LW (including myself in this) totally failed to predict how people in the US would react to this virus. From this, I’ve updated that we’re bad at predicting how politics and humans will respond to novel unexpected events, and probably a bit overly pessimistic about other humans’ ability to be persuaded by rational argument and Real Bad Stuff happening.
I think that predicting the course of the disease or predicting whether a certain variant is more infectious is mostly a different kind of prediction from predicting people’s behavior.
Unfortunately, people’s behavior in response to the new strain is also really important for how bad it will get, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯