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Today I have been granted the GREAT OPPORTUNITY and PRIVILEGE of serving Russia and President PUTIN as guinea pig for Gam-COVID-Vac, that is, the SPUTNIK V vaccine. Accounting for Phase I-II participants, I calculated I'm the 503rd person in the world (officially) testing it, out of perhaps hundreds of millions to come. Assuming, that is,... Read More
Alesina, Alberto F., Marlon Seror, David Y. Yang, Yang You, and Weihong Zeng. 2020. “Persistence through Revolutions.” Working Paper Series. National Bureau of Economic Research. The descendants of former Chinese landlords and rich peasants earn 16% more than average - despite them being barred from inheriting land or other asse
Greaves, Jane S., Anita M. S. Richards, William Bains, Paul B. Rimmer, Hideo Sagawa, David L. Clements, Sara Seager, et al. 2020. “Phosphine Gas in the Cloud Decks of Venus.” Nature Astronomy, September. In reality, as Nick Bostrom
At any rate, the paper in question was published in The Lancet, which isn't exactly the most obscure medical journal. Logunov, Denis Y., Inna V. Dolzhikova, Olga V. Zubkova, Amir I. Tukhvatullin, Dmitry V. Shcheblyakov, Alina S. Dzharullaeva, Daria M. Grousova, et al. 2020. “Safety and Immunogenicity of an rAd26 and rAd5 Vector-Based Heterologous Prime-Boost... Read More
I haven't been following the topic closely. My own impression with playing around with it is that it just the most sophisticated chatbot to date, though that should already make it economically competitive in areas such as customer support. There is still clearly no deep "semantic" understanding (extract from AI Dungeon, which now runs on... Read More
This is apparently the hottest temperature ever registered in the Arctic (100F ~= 38 Celsius). There's a good chance that 2020, an already very powerful year, will also become the hottest year on record (PredictIt now puts it at 50/50). And it's not even getting boosted by an El Nino, with very low levels of... Read More
I unironically support #ShutDownSTEM, technological dominance is a dangerous thing in the hands of woke millenarian regimes, at this point it'd sooner be safer even with explicit theocracies like Iran.
Huge meta-study (n=172) concludes chance of transmission falls from 17.4% to 3.1% when wearing face masks: Physical distancing was also very important. Eye protection, less so. Chu, Derek K., Elie A. Akl, Stephanie Duda, Karla Solo, Sally Yaacoub, Holger J. Schünemann, and COVID-19 Systematic Urgent Review Group Effort (SURGE) study authors. 2020. “Physical Distancing, Face... Read More
At the outset, I want to set out what this post is NOT about: It is not, per se, either an endorsement or a refutation of "coronapilling" or "coronaskepticism." (Though yes, obviously, I am personally closer to the former position). It is not a judgment on how we should manage the tradeoff between lives and... Read More
This is actually fine. It seems like almost all, or all, of the major "superspreader" events have occurred indoors. E.g., in South Korea, the first and second waves were launched through a cult's churches and gay bars, respectively. A month ago, a Chinese study reported that in 318 analyzed outbreaks in China, just two out... Read More
Am I a so-called "COVID merchant" peddling fear and BS, as several conspiracy-minded people from both the Left and the Right have alleged? Or have most of my predictions, such as they were, actually (and unfortunately) panned out? As such, I think it would be useful to have a "tallying up" reference sheet that I... Read More
As data has crept in over the past few months, it has become incontrovertibly clear what we already kind of knew since the Princess Diamond days - that IFR is ~1%. Consequently, unless Corona mortality "hotspots" were a figment of our collective imaginations, the percentage of people who have been infected with the novel coronavirus... Read More
Map of QNW+SAS+GEO (IQ tests, international standardized test, and geographic imputation) national IQ on the basis of David Becker's National IQ dataset v1.3.3. David Becker has done yeoman work validating Richard Lynn's datasets to produce the world's most comprehensive national IQ database (James Thompson has written about this at UR). Sole purpose of this post... Read More
UPDATE - Emil Kirkegaard has kindly graphed all these trends at his RPubs blog. Has been released. Here is the updated "state of the noosphere" (percentage of global high-quality scientific research produced by country, as proxied by the Nature Index FC). Country 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 pc12/19 1 USA 37.15% 36.49%... Read More
So, "powerful" as Trump's latest ideas on coronavirus treatment are, there is a surprising nugget of wisdom to the following: Back in March 18, rationalist thinkers Roko Mijic (yes, he of the Basilisk) and Alexey Turchin explored the idea of using "ubiquitous far-ultraviolet light" to "control the spread of COVID-19 and other pandemics" at LessWrong.... Read More
Just like the theory that everybody has already been infected so IFR must be really low, and/or not too dissimilar theory that there had already been a wide round of coronavirus infections as early as Dec/Jan, I think this is most likely just another "cope" (wishful thinking). Bloomberg: Nations with Mandatory TB Vaccines Show Fewer... Read More
Conventional wisdom was that smoking would be a major risk factor for dying from the new coronavirus. But so far data from China and now the US shows the opposite (h/t Wael): Obviously, this is not a valid reason to light up. But this would be good news for countries where smoking rates are high.
Long-time readers will know that I am a fan of The Nature Index for tracking global scientometrics. Unlike raw numbers of articles published, it automatically adjusts for quality, since only submissions to elite journals are counted. In my previous longread on the subject, I presented a per capita map of the Nature Index FC (fractional... Read More
We now have the first hard data from regions that achieved "herd immunity" the hard way - that is, by having Corona burn through most of the population. 70% of blood donors from Castiglione d'Adda, in the 50,000 population region of Lodi, the epicenter of Italy's outbreak, tested positive for SARS-2 antibodies. There's just one... Read More
For most of the past two months, Russian disinformation agents respectable Western Establishment voices such as the Surgeon-General of the US, the CDC, and the MSM (e.g. CNN, Vox) have churned out propaganda that masks are ineffective against containing the spread of the coronavirus. In perhaps the most "powerful" take, Forbes even claimed that they... Read More
This is a reference list of recommendations for avoiding the warm and welcoming if overly suffocating embrace of Corona-chan. Disclaimer: NOT MEDICAL ADVICE! *** Note that I compiled a list of resources for tracking the pandemic. If your country/region is conscientious about testing, and there are no cases in your city/region, there's no need to... Read More
This post is a reference list of COVID-19 resources to optimize your monitoring. See also: COVID-19 Survival Guide Corona-chan Didn't Care Until I Put on The Mask *** WorldoMeter Coronavirus has timely updates on new cases and deaths, as well as historical data for countries with major epidemics. Wikipedia: 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic Articles on regional/national... Read More
According to an analysis by Luca Dellanna in Italy, a huge number of Italian deaths have been going unregistered. Comparing death rates in Corona-afflicted towns in North Italy this March with the statistics from March during previous years, he estimates that the differential could be as high as a factor of 5. If this can... Read More
The novel coronavirus is a long disease. That's one of the things that makes it so problematic. Apart from having being at least 10x as lethal as the standard flu, and people having no herd immunity against it (so potentially up to 5x as many infectees as during a typical flu season), the average hospital... Read More
There is a study going round arguing that most people are already infected with the new coronavirus, and that the CFR is thus very, very low. The implication is that "hotspots" (e.g. Wuhan, Lombardy, NYC) were figments of our collective imagination. Or, perhaps more plausibly, it's just a cope.
Steve Sailer has been banging the drums on how skiers seem to be extremely overrepresented amongst the ranks of early COVID-19 victims: Why Skiers Instead of Golfers? Once Again, the Skier Menace Rich Skiers Step Up to Say: Let's Get the Data Black Ski Group Hit Hard by Virus Commenting on the rise in Moscow's... Read More
Permanent 2.5 Year Drop in US Life Expectancy - It's Just Like the Flu, Brah!
There is a three in a million chance that a Boeing 737 MAX won't arrive at its destination in one piece. At the end of the day, this isn't that big of a deal - as late as the 1980s, this was the average for the commercial airline industry, and risks were twice as high... Read More
So even after Corona is done genociding the boomers, we might still have a lingering problem. Here's one English language paper about this: Fan, Caibin, Kai Li, Yanhong Ding, Wei Lu Lu, and Jianqing Wang. 2020. “ACE2 Expression in Kidney and Testis May Cause Kidney and Testis Damage After 2019-nCoV Infection.” Urology. medRxiv. In December... Read More
Hyperbolic much? At this point, the burden of proof surely now has to be on the optimists, who've been alternately barraging us with "iTs JuSt LiKe ThE fLu", and/or "it's not going to kill non-East Asians anyway" (not that CNN's Sanjay Gupta will admit it). But with epidemics, it's usually a case of go big... Read More
This January has been Moscow's warmest by a significant margin since records began, clocking in at stunning +0.1C; in all likelihood, it is the first time it has slipped above zero since at least the Medieval Warm Period. The previous maximum was -1.6C just a bit more than a decade ago, in 2007. Saint-Petersburg likewise... Read More
Estimates of r0 are converging to ~3.0: It looks like Corona is becoming a full-fledged pandemic in geographic terms, with multiple cases of human to human transmission confirmed in Germany yesterday. This has also been observed in Japan and Taiwan. If that happened there, then surely it must have happened in other countries with close... Read More
On the surface, quarantining the population of Spain looks impressive and decisive. But it conceals that there were many decisions that are unlikely to happen in advanced country democracies: (1) The lax regulations or biosafety standards that resulted in this zoonosis event in the first place. (2) The Wuhan local government keeping the whole thing... Read More
Martin Rees is a British astronomer and existential risks philosopher with a decidedly gloomy outlook, predicting that humanity only has a 50/50 chance of surviving the 21st century. Steven Pinker hardly needs an introduction, but in short, he is an evangelist of the idea that the world is getting better - richer, nicer, safer -... Read More
This Wuhan coronavirus (Corona) is very contagious: The WHO gives an estimate of r0 = 1.4 to 2.5 (this means that control measures must prevent 29%-60% of transmissions to stop the epidemic from growing further). There are 41 deaths / 1,287 confirmed cases as of right now (i.e. 3% mortality like 2 days ago). Hopefully,... Read More
500+ confirmed cases and closing on 20 deaths as of today. It seems to be highly virulent, much more so than SARS, which took 4 months to spread out of China vs. a couple of weeks with the Wuhan coronavirus. It's already in the US, and, from today, in Russia. Live updates here. The nice... Read More
The Chinese describe the concerted campaigns to identify and shame various malefactors as a "human flesh search engine." In China itself, it has been used to identify corruptioneers, sadists, or merely people who have been too outspoken about their dislike for China. In the West, it seems that this role is largely played by the... Read More
Rindermann, Heiner, David Becker, and Thomas R. Coyle. 2020. “Survey of Expert Opinion on Intelligence: Intelligence Research, Experts’ Background, Controversial Issues, and the Media.” Intelligence 78 (January): 101406. Experts (N max = 102 answering) on intelligence completed a survey about IQ research, controversies, and the media. The survey was conducted in 2013 and 2014 using... Read More
That Which Withholds Eschaton: The Katechon Hypothesis for Resolving the Fermi Paradox
I have been mulling over the ideas in this article since early 2016, when they crystallized in more or less their current form. I am not quite sure whether these ideas are rather important, or the ravings of a lunatic. But I am certainly glad to be able to finally unload them from the confines... Read More
"Intelligence researcher" doesn't exactly have a reputation as a safe, uncontroversial profession. There are perhaps 200 people in the world who do that full-time. Despite this small population, we seem to get a story - often multiple stories - of them getting denounced, defamed, deplatformed, threatened, and even physically attacked every single year. Thanks to... Read More
Is now ready for 2018. As I wrote last year: The data for this year is attached below. Main observations: 1. As I wrote in The Geography of the Noosphere, China continues gaining ground on the rest of the world. It now produces 56% as much elite level science as the United States. I would... Read More
Kodyleva, T. A., A. O. Kirillova, E. A. Tyschik, V. V. Makarov, A. V. Khromov, V. A. Guschin, A. N. Abybakirov, D. V. Rebrikov, and G. T. Sukhikh. 2018. “Эффективность создания делеции CCR5Ddelta32 методом CRISPR-Cas9 в эмбрионах человека.” Научный Медицинский Журнал РНИМУ имени Н.И. Пирогова 4. This makes Russia the world's fourth country to have... Read More
I called the coming bifurcation of the world economy last November. Could this also extend to science? IEEE, a major science publisher, bans Huawei scientists from reviewing papers: During the Cold War, there developed essentially two different scientific systems (citations databases, journals, language) in the West (dominated by English by the 1970s) and the socialist... Read More
Since the end of the Malthusian era, science-based technological growth has been the source of almost all long-term economic growth. However, we also know that it didn't accrue in all regions evenly. For instance, Charles Murray in Human Accomplishment showed that the vast majority of "eminent" figures in science and the arts hailed from Europe,... Read More
All the cool biopunk stuff seems to be happening in China these days: Chinese scientists have put human brain genes in monkeys—and yes, they may be smarter Here is the paper in question: Shi, Lei, Xin Luo, Jin Jiang, Yongchang Chen, Cirong Liu, Ting Hu, Min Li, et al. 2019. “Transgenic Rhesus Monkeys Carrying the... Read More
The drones from Wolf Warrior 2. To date the world's most successful (non-state) terrorists have only been getting about ~100 kills / death (or capture). The 9/11 hijackers each killed 2,996/19 = 158 people. Anders Breivik methodically killed 77 people. Brenton Tarrant got 50 while livestreaming it like a video game. Aircraft bombings can take... Read More
I am not one of those people who mock Ukraine as Africa with snow. It's amusing, but not really accurate. But goddamn they do they sometimes give cause for it! Not only do they have the highest measles rate in Europe, they have the highest measles rate in the entire world. 53,000 cases in 2018!... Read More
For a long time, the world's most recognizable proponent of radical life extension - not to mention significant scientist in his own right, and not just in gerontology - kept refraining from giving any quantitative predictions of when we would reach "longevity escape velocity." However, I notice that he has been getting a great deal... Read More
Quantifying An Ethics of Animal Rights, or: Why I Avoid Pork For Non-Islamic, Non-Jewish Reasons
Most normal, civilized people living today would agree that reducing animal suffering is a worthy goal. But how do we to go about it? We can at least all agree, at a minimum, that plants don't have sentience, so veganism is one philosophically and logically consistent option. The problem is that while there are some... Read More
There are 10^23 to 10^24 neurons on the planet. The human brain has around 86 billion neurons. World population * human neurons = 10^~10*11^~10 = 10^~21 (slightly less, but let's round up). This means the human population can "safely" increase by at least two more orders of magnitude to 1 to 10 trillion, so the... Read More
Since surrounding yourself with a healthy radioactive glow is not practical for most people, there's fortunately another solution - settle down higher up. That way, presumably, you get to soak up more beneficent, hormetic cosmic rays. *** Voss, J. D., P. Masuoka, B. J. Webber, A. I. Scher, and R. L. Atkinson. 2013. “Association of... Read More
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.