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
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
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
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
EDIT 2020/03/03: Original video deleted - here's another one. I try to avoid cheap jokes about Ukraine is like Africa. But I do sometimes wonder. This is how doctors and nurses at a Lvov hospital reacted to finding out that they wouldn't be hosting potential coronavirus infectees evacuated from China. By singing the ще не... 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
Many big headlines since the last time we talked about it, but the two biggest ones in my opinion are: 1. In my Feb 24 post, I suggested there are already numerous Corona clusters all over the US, Europe, and elsewhere, due to the disease's ease of spread and its having a long incubation period.... Read More
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
At least according to something called the "2019 Global Health Security Index", which claims that: The US, which had, until recently, tested 100x fewer people per capita than Italy. The UK, whose game plan - at least until a couple of days ago - was to let most of its population get infected to make... Read More
Russia's still quite low, though now rapidly expanding, number of cases has predictably provoked the Western media into a slew of headlines about how the Putler regime is supposedly suppressing information on what must, by now, be a raging epidemic: Russia's coronavirus count under scrutiny as Putin government denies hiding cases Russia Says It Has... Read More
Robert Stark talks to me about the coronavirus pandemic, as well as my old article on effective altruism, animal IQ, and animal rights. LINK → Robert Stark talks to Anatoly Karlin about the Coronavirus Pandemic & Animal Rights Here are the topics we discuss: Anatoly’s initial predictions Corona & the Cost of Doing Nothing The... Read More
The stream of articles suggesting that Russia is covering up its Corona numbers has increased from a stream to a veritable flood: CBC: Russia’s coronavirus count under scrutiny as Putin government denies hiding cases Moscow Times: Russia Says It Has Very Few Coronavirus Cases. The Numbers Don’t Tell the Full Story. Reuters: Sharp increase in... Read More
Here's what a smart Trump would have done: Two months of hard containment in NYC, Washington, parts of Florida, and other hotspots to knock the epidemic back down to manageable levels. This is not going to be easy; the Chinese closed off Wuhan when it was at just 400 official cases, and the total number... 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
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
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
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
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
There are at least many views on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of lockdowns. The balance of the evidence suggests that they do work, though the effect is confounded in complex ways by people spontaneously engaging in risk-reducing (but GDP-lowering) behavior. Be that as it may, the point is becoming moot, since they are ending across... Read More
This post sums up the coronavirus epidemic in Russia in 2020. There will subsequently be a larger post surveying the world at large and prospects for its containment before the New Year. The observation that Russia is massive understating its COVID-19 mortality rate was first noticed by bloggers around May, when they noticed that... Read More
Why is Israel vaccinating its population so fast relative to everyone else? I am seeing some smol brain takes on this. Sure, Israel might be a "small" country, but so is Belgium. Or US states like Massachusetts. But in the US it is those famous dense metropolitan centers of the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Alaska that... Read More
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.