With regards to mandates, something that happened this week is that big federal contractors, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, formally announced their plans to comply with the contractor mandate.
Minor note: it looks like you misspelled Merck as “Merrick”in the second sentence and executive summary, and as “Merrik” later in the text.
Hmm I think you’re right that digital voice protocols aren’t allowed on in 462-467 MHz FRS band. But there are a couple regions of the 900-1000 MHz portion of the spectrum that are allocated to commercial two-way radio, which allows digital and might be usable for this application if you were trying to actually manufacture and sell this kind of product.
If one were trying to do this as a homebrew project, either the 902-928 MHz ISM band used by the XBEEs or the 420-450 MHz band used for ham radio could work (with a ham radio license).
I don’t think it’s an impossible idea! XBEE radios in the form factor of a large watch can give you 200 kbps at 1000 ft in an indoor/urban environment, drawing 229 mA at 3.3 V. That seems to be about twice the data rate needed for clear voice communication. A 400 mAh li-ion battery is about 1x1.5 inch, so in the right ballpark. Add a 1⁄4 watt for a mini speaker and you’d get you about 25 minutes of talk time, and if you halved the data rate, you’d get 1500 ft of range. It would be pretty unwieldy and probably not quite the performance you’d hope for if you tried to hack it together from hobbyist parts, but a proper manufacturer just might be able to make it work.
The only part I’m not too sure about is antenna design. The 970 MHz XBEEs are usually run with bulky duck antennas, which wouldn’t work in a watch form factor. There are definitely designs out there for embedding antennas in wrist straps, but I don’t know much about what kind of pattern you’d get.
Wow, I’ve read a decent amount of GPT-3 content, but this still surprised me with how good it was. I spent the whole time reading it half-expecting that there would be some kind of twist at the end about how you generated it. Very impressive!
Unfortunately for this explanation, COVID cases in the UK appear to be rising once again. At this point I’m at a loss for potential explanations of what could have caused the rapid rise, fall, and rise again in cases.
Ah I see, thanks for the info
It’s possible that seasonality is a factor, but temperature doesn’t seem like it would be it. July and August are very similar temperatures in London, and both are slightly hotter than June.
I actually don’t think the high level of antibodies should be such a surprise. I updated my original comment to clarify, but much of that is from vaccination, not from natural infection. Between high rates of vaccination plus historical infections, it’s not surprising to me that such a high fraction of adults in the UK have antibodies.
Sure, the UK had high vaccination rates going into this wave, but the emergence of the delta variant (plus loosening of restrictions) greatly increased COVID transmission. So you’d expect a growth in case numbers. But if there aren’t that many fully susceptible people to infect, the case counts wouldn’t peak at a high number before turning around because of population immunity.
However, I want to be clear that I think this is just one factor, not the only thing going on. If you play around with SIR model parameters, you can see that you can’t get quite as steep a drop in cases as there appears to be in the UK data just by inputting some reasonable values for delta. Changes in the number of tests, weather, behavior, etc. are all potentially playing a role as well, but I don’t think we should discount the basic role of immunity.
Okay I see what you’re saying here. But do you think that that a substantial number of negative utilitarians would agree with that argument? I don’t think they would, because I think integral to many conceptions of negative utilitarianism is the idea that there’s a qualitative difference between suffering and lack of pleasure.
One factor I’ve heard discussed is the UK’s very high rate of prior immunity (from both infection and vaccination). About 90% of adults in the UK have COVID antibodies (either from vaccination or infection), meaning the fully susceptible population is very small. Obviously breakthrough cases are possible in people with antibodies, especially if they’ve only got one dose of the AZ vaccine, but R in that population will be much lower. Given the high initial rates of prior immunity, it would be expected that R will drop pretty quickly as COVID “buns though” the remaining susceptible population.
You might be correct, but I’m not convinced that all negative utilitarians would agree with you. I think that some formulations (e.g. potentially NHU as described here) would describe the person not getting tortured as producing a reduction in pleasure for the sadists, and thus not ascribe any moral value to the sadists’ preferences not getting fulfilled.
I’d be curious to read more about your comment that “Positive and negative utilitarianism are equivalent whenever UFs are bounded and there are no births or deaths as a result of the decision.” Do you have some resources you could link for me to read?
Ah you’re right, sorry. Edited.
I think negative utilitarianism is the most common ethical framework that would cause someone to choose the torture in the specks vs. torture case and no torture in this case. That’s because in the specks vs. torture case involves people being harmed in both cases, whereas this case involves people gaining positive utility vs. someone being harmed. Some formulations of negative utilitarianism, like that advocated for by Brian Tomasik, would say that avoiding extreme suffering is the most important moral principle and would therefore argue in favor of avoiding torture in both cases. But a very simple negative utilitarian calculus might favor torture in the first case but not in the second.
I would guess that few people in the rationalist/EA community (and perhaps in the broader world as well) are likely to think that kind of simplistic negative utilitarian calculation is the morally correct one. My guess is that most people would either think that preventing extreme suffering is the most important or that a more standard utilitarian calculus is correct. For a well-reasoned argument against the negative utilitarian formulation, Toby Ord has a discussion of his point of view that’s worth checking out.
I broadly agree with your point here about controlled burning, but I have two comments that I think add worthwhile context to the issue.
First, PG&E has an extremely poor track record when it comes to maintenance on transmission lines. Even with more controlled burning, it’s not a good idea to be shooting off sparks in the middle of the dry season. So an optimal balance probably involves both PG&E spending more money on its infrastructure and doing more controlled burning.
Second, a lot of the deaths and injuries related to fires are the result of California’s housing crisis pushing more people into urban-wilderness boundary areas. As development pushes out into more areas of chaparral (which as the Pew article you linked noted, consists of fast-growing shrubs that like to burn and can’t really be cleared out over the long-run by controlled burning), you’re pretty much guaranteed to have more damage from fire. Removing barriers to housing construction in existing urban areas is a key piece of the puzzle in protecting people from fire.
I had two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. I experienced a sore arm that went away after ~1 day after the first dose and moderate aches and chills that went away after ~12 hours after the second dose.
I know around 10 people in my age group (20-35 years old) that have gotten one of the MRNA vaccines and none of them had a significantly more severe reaction than I did.
To expand on this a bit, I think that people with working partners would be the group most likely to be deterred from working at MIRI if it was in either Bellingham or Peekskill. The two-body problem can be a serious constraint, and large metro areas tend to be much easier to find two jobs in. That may be getting better with the rise of remote work, but I do think it’s worth keeping in mind.
My experience with elementary and middle school was that small numbers of snow days were not made up at the end of the year, but if more than a week or so was lost due to snow days, then the year would be extended. This appears to be the case in at least some other parts of the country as well. From a quick search: in Michigan “schools can be closed for up to six days before they must make up time to receive full funding from the state.”
In defense of the position df fd took, you’re playing a very asymmetric game here. Advertisers are investing very large sums of money and lots of person-hours of work to figure out how to change people’s preferences with those 15-second ads. There’s not a comparable degree of investment in developing techniques for making sure your desires aren’t manipulated. I think it’s hard to be totally sure that ads aren’t subtly creating new associations or preferences that are intended to benefit the advertiser (potentially at the reader’s expense).
Taking a bigger look, I think most people would agree that the average person in the United States makes at least a few irrational consumption decisions (such as buying a large expensive car, eating an unhealthy diet, or spending money on mobile games). There are lots of things one could point to in order to try and explain why that is, but I think it’s potentially good evidence that people overall are susceptible to having their desires changed by advertising.