This reminds me—have you read about some of the connections between covid outcomes and cytomegalovirus? It’s pretty fascinating.
Yup. High stakes free rider problem, in which we are comparing individual risk to collective benefit. And the moral calculus is a moving target.
That’s why I got a vasectomy
Enforcement of vaccine passports (or whatever—the Excelsior pass includes the possibility of recent negative test results, but it does display which “bucket” someone falls in) would be a whole lot easier if they took your photo when you got your vaccine, and then whoever’s scanning it could pull it up automatically from a database. Adding photo ID’s to electronic health records is a really good idea anyway. So is making it easier for people to share pieces of their EHR. There’s also a strong case to be made for including GPS to avoid duplication and forgery (e.g. randomly “polling” passport holders and having them report their locations). Another thing that would probably help would be to keep track of statistics. E.g., if it appears that a mathematically impossible percentage of vaccinated individuals are out on the town, that could trigger a second look at specific sites.2. Verification of vaccine status should occur off-site, when you buy your “ticket”. At that point, a second picture should be taken during that transaction. This step should be done by a disinterested third party (e.g. a licensed security guard, a private investigator, a licensed ticket reseller, a non-profit entity, etc). The “bouncer” at the door can then verify that you belong with the ticket—saving you the trouble of having to carry the passport around with you. Walk-ins can be offered a rapid self-test, of the sort that’s becoming more widely available (should be easy enough if there’s a bathroom on-site). 3. Not to beat a dead horse, but the Biden administration is absolutely correct in insisting that any such vaccine certification solutions be open source. The relevant API’s can then be shared with private sector apps (use your imagination) and other government agencies. Verification of immune status should be something that’s done continuously and discreetly in a way that’s indistinguishable from magic. 4. As silly as this might sound, it would also make sense for the “passports” to have a “self attestation” option if people want to indicate that they don’t have symptoms, haven’t traveled out of the country, etc. It would incur heavy penalties if you blow off a contact tracer (for example). This would also be great for contact tracing, scheduling vaccination and testing appointments, contact tracing, equity, future-proofing, and quickly levying penalties for violations od public health mandates (for the win!)
If you’re not concerned about enforcement why bother with the security theater? Might as well just trust people when they say they’re vaccinated. The marginal benefits of the apps is negligible, compared to the cards. Anyone with the chutzpah and resources to forge a CDC card isn’t going to have a hard time forging a QR code and a driver’s license.
To clarify—the most humane, least risky use case that would satisfy these desiderata would be have a modular system where we
Verify off-site that DanArmak is vaccinated (or has allergies, or a heart condition, or is immunocompromised)
Verify on-site that you’re DanArmak
Give the user the option of sharing information with the state or local health department so they can contact you or your physician about virus exposure (not just covid), food poisoning, whatever.
This could be widely adapted to a variety of situations, depending on how rigorous one wants to be about verifying someone’s ID.
If we DO stick with apps, the best approach might be to give everyone a QR code (including those who haven’t gotten vaccinated or tested). Separately, provide multiple options for verifying the codes (strict verification of ID, census of how many people are vaccinated once capacity is exceeded, etc)
Looks like some people may already be moving in this direction.
Again, easier to implement if the software is open source.
Interestingly in New York State it appears aren’t allowed to store anything about the verification per GBL 899-aa and 899-bb. That’s about as close to a “no warranty” statement as it gets.
Same here. Fretting about how to convince, threaten, or cajole people into getting vaccinated is a solution in search of a problem, for now.
I also believe that you should take civil service exams, for your own edification and to help ensure that government workers like me are at least as qualified as you. Think of it as a civic duty, on par with voting, paying taxes, and serving on a jury.
Privacy concerns could be addressed by periodically deleting data more than ten days old.
I’m not sure Bayes’ Rule dictates anything beyond its plain mathematical content, which isn’t terribly controversial:P(A|B)=P(B|A)⋅P(A)P(B)
When people speak of Bayesian inference, they are talking about a mode of reasoning that uses Bayes’ Rule a lot, but it’s mainly motivated by a different “ontology” of probability. As to whether Bayesian inference and Popperian falsificationism are in conflict—I’d imagine that depends very much on the subject of investigation (does it involve a need to make immediate decisions based on limited information?) and the temperaments of the human beings trying to reach a consensus.
I appreciate the explanation of the downvote (no harm no foul) and I’ll try to tweak it if I get a chance. I probably do have experiential information that’s hard to unpack (without starting to break confidentiality, based on my line of work—which is annoying, because I absolutely never wanted to play the “I could tell you, but then I’d have to wipe your memory tomorrow” card, but here we are). I do think the potential for escalation of conflict is a real concern; and that’s another reason for keeping the implementation as discreet as possible. For a restaurant, I could imagine a combined vaccine status/capacity logging/contact tracing app that has the same look and feel to everyone involved as a handy way of making reservations in 30 minute increments once the capacity reaches a certain level. This would involve giving everyone a QR code, and I believe this would probably be easier to enforce because it’s a lot easier to catch “two people being in the same place at the same time” My main “meta-points” in all of this are:a) Keeping the code open source, like Jeffrey Zients suggests, is incredibly important.b) We should try to come up with a set of guidelines of what it would mean for vaccine passports to be a failure (e.g., no measurable effect on case rates, evidence of rampant forgery, etc)
So I guess another approach that would make vaccine passports palatable to everyone would be if we just went ahead and gave everybody something similar to the Excelsior pass (either on their phone or printed), where we’d attempt to implement that underlying logic of “x% vaccinated or y% capacity” in real time. The venue would stop allowing new people in when neither of those conditions are met, and nobody would see anybody’s personal information. And it would take away any motive for the prospective attendee to cheat. This could also be leveraged for contact tracing, and perhaps the expectation would be that you get a test if you don’t feel well, or if a contact tracer tracks you down. I don’t think it would be too difficult to deploy something like this (all-in-one contact tracing/vaccination tracking/compliance app)
Yeah, so I guess my point is that in the spirit of “less wrong”, making a beeline for aggregate statistics appears to me to be the “least wrong”.
There’s also somewhat promising evidence that there’s going to be enough self selection that Bayes’ Theorem will have our backs even without incentives. Kinda like how there are a lot of uh, people like me in movie theaters on December 25th.
I haven’t read every other comment, but has anyone else brought up Clarke’s Third Law?
Especially when there’s a case to be made for quarantines as a way to stop the next pandemic.
I feel like there’s some sort of yet-to-be-articulated “impossibility theorem” here. Some sort of mash-up of the project management trilemma and Shannon’s theorem
Even if we made fakes easy to spot, and the gatekeepers were able to spot them and report them every time—it’s worth considering that the first link in the chain of events leading to the death of George Floyd involved somebody spotting and reporting a forgery. Is this REALLY the path we want to go down?
Thanks. That means a lot to me. I feel like a lot of things depend on “who’s in the room” when decisions are made, and all too often it’s the people who are stuck with implementing things that are left out.