re: a trillion prices, I'm running through the data now, and while it's ugly and needs a lot of cleansing, and as a computer person who recently entered the healthcare system, I can confidently assert that EY is right: they don't have any idea what you can do with computers/data. The entire industry seems 25 years behind on that front. I worked in marketing previously, and they had amazing statistical models that could calculate the % of someone buying a branded mug to 3 decimal places, but I got introduced to a state of the art healthcare model for determining patient risk that ... adds up the # of major diagnoses they have. That's the model. Do you have COPD and diabetes? You're a 2.

There is a massive amount of $ in that dataset if you can make it intelligible (and you can, it just takes some work and some big hard drives). I emailed the guy at Dolt whose post inspired the Hanson and EY comments and he knows it - there are already tons of 3rd party companies who work in healthcare just turning messy data into stuff that backward hospitals, orgs, insurers, etc... can actually absorb. I wish I could dedicate a lot more time to working on it.

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Why didn't you at least get a home test for covid? They're pretty cheap! What was your logic for not wanting to know? Just curious. One disadvantage of the home tests is that people tend not to report the results, so the numbers the agencies report are most likely on the low side. My whole family just went through this ... first the daughter, then the wife, finally me ... all about 3 days apart according to the home tests. We had all gotten both shots and the booster for my wife and me. Chills, tired, slight headache, but the worst thing was the dizziness (brain fog?) ... move too fast and wow ... it's like getting off one of those roundabouts!

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Hello from the UK. As a near two-year-long reader of your lucid, detailed and thorough posts from across the pond, I am interested why you did not check for covid, given the symptoms of your ailment? Tight chest, cough, trouble breathing etc. Yes it may have been a few other respiratory infections or viruses, but given that tests (I assume) are still available at low/minimal cost in the US why did you not take test from an elimination point of view, given these test only take a couple of minutes? Also - any I know this question has often been a misused moral hammer - did you think at any time it may have indeed been covid, and thus transmittable to those less physically well than yourself?

Finally, you say your trainer assumed you had covid, in some ways it reads as though you assumed you did not. I hope your breathing is easier now and that you will be able to build up strength again soon.

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Another excellent post. These make my lunch on Thursdays interesting and informative. Thank you.

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Re: Dishwashers and their washing ability. Have you seen this youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rBO8neWw04) on dishwashers, how they work, and why detergent pods are bad? I adopted it's suggestions (the two most important being: include pre-wash soap and make sure your water is running hot before you start the dishwasher) and have found that there was a noticeable increase in dishwasher efficacy and that #4 from the less-wrong post works quite well for me. Not quite _perfectly_, and I still have to be cognizant of loading configuration to make sure that things don't block other things from the sprayer, but I definitely do not need to take any special pre-washing care unless the item has a considerably amount of nooks and crannies.

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State Senator Jabari Brisport update - it took him about 24 hours to look into the issue and reverse his position: https://twitter.com/JabariBrisport/status/1570486831229317120

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> My guess is that until we fix the completely broken the way we assign research grants and choose which efforts to back, and are able to try things capable of working, throwing more government money at cancer won’t have much effect.

Do you have any quantification on this effect? My (not an expert) model here is that NIH dollars are in general ROI-positive (something like 2x ROI from a quick search), some projects extremely-ROI-positive (the Human Genome Project claiming something crazy like ~175x ROI, implying many projects are not positive ROI), but I don't know how things look at the margin for the next dollar invested, or what the specific ROI is on similar projects in the field of cancer research.

I suppose the overarching question is whether that marginal dollar would have been more productive left untaxed? (i.e. left circulating in the economy at GDP% growth, or whatever the correct benchmark is). What's the ROI threshold here where you get excited about allocating government funds to research like this?

Agree that "moonshot" is probably a misnomer here, it's more likely to simply be investment in basic/applied research. I think this is mostly a result of the inevitable marketing that goes on with any policy initiative. Though I suppose it is possible that these funds would be invested in a "seed stage accelerator" style like DARPA / ARPA-E, which seems to be a model for success for high-risk/high-reward bets.

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Re: the social tax study, what exactly is a blocked savings account? Isn't that just a regular savings account? My friends and family don't learn about the savings accounts I've opened unless I tell them, and they don't know the balances either.

It's remarkable that 14% of people would opt for one of these strange public accounts when they could open a normal bank account instead.

Re: overproductive employee, this person should not be fed discrete tasks. They should be given ownership over a problem or a product and allowed to define the work. You can give them direction on what metrics to improve at first. If they're stellar at that then let them figure out their own definition of success.

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RE dishwashers There are some good videos regarding using dishwashers to get them to wash your dishes. Main video https://youtu.be/_rBO8neWw04 Followup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll6-eGDpimU the main trick is to put detergent in both the pre-wash and main wash sections, then run the dishwasher.

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Re: not bothering to test; I'm sympathetic, despite (not because of) similarly-aligned priors. My workplace used to send out near-daily notifications of positive cases, sometimes multiples a day. HIPAA only served as a thin veneer of paper shield, in a place rife with gossip and only around 150 employees...it's obvious from day to day who's missing, and why, and for how long. People picked up A Reputation for being out sick a lot; hawks got super-judgey about coworker behaviour outside of work ("how dare you attend this outdoor BBQ without masks and distancing!" was a huge dramafest during summer 2020). And of course, being in SF, people actually followed the quarantine guidelines of staying home for weeks. This was very painful during panic-buying surges, where those of us who did show up to work had to pick up unprecedented levels of slack with no extra Slack given in recompense. Given this scrutiny and pressure, better to never get sick in the first place. Officially, at least.

Then Omicron happened, and after the initual massive Jan-March wave...suspiciously very little. Some weeks there are no emails at all, often just one or two. (It's not the same 150 people getting reinfected, turnover's been extremely high.) But we've all seen the wastewater data here, we all know cases are undercounted by $LARGE_PERCENTAGE. People are absolutely getting sick without officially reporting it to work, and possibly still clocking in anyway. Even if they won't admit it explicitly, revealed preferences are that most of my coworkers now...simply don't bother to test. Not unless they're *really* sick, in a strong pattern-matches-covid way. Because when you're poor enough to consider bagging groceries a sane economic career choice, it really sucks having to miss at least 5 days of work for no pay, or face the potential guilt of lying and killing Grandma.

It's difficult to be the only altruist when everyone around you is declining to do the same. What profit? No profit, only pain - my own immisseration, and work losing one of their critical irreplaceable employees for a week. Nationwide booster uptake is poor, but in SF it's pretty high, even/especially among the most vulnerable...so to whatever extent I might theoretically be marginally threatening a $RISK_FACTOR, this is one of the "safest" places to do so. The cost-benefit just doesn't pencil out. (Yes, I do stay home if actually-sick, no such instances in last 3 years have resembled covid at all though.)

I also notice that this drop-off just happened to coincide with the official cessation of company- and government-provided covid sick pay, much more cleanly than any actual lull in cases/deaths. Funny how that works. Incentives matter. (For a good long while, employees were forced to quarantine even while waiting for test results, symptomatic or not, regardless of exposure level...you know, the good old days of Only PCR Tests Are Legal.)


Re: Overproductive employees anxiously fearful of getting fired when not constantly working; I'm one of those. It feels like some sort of gross violation of the Laws of Capital to get paid for standing around, not adding any value. I truly envy my coworkers who can internalize the "get paid by the hour" mindset, or even ruthlessly Defect on it for personal profit at collective expense. (Oversight is quite lax, accountability for not "killing tasks" is...spotty at best. Everybody Knows who abuses this, but no one wants to be a fink for management.)

Though in fairness, this is because I actually have gotten fired/threatened with discipline for not appearing busy enough in the past. Am sadly not clever enough to generate The Symbolic Representation Of The Thing instead of The Thing. Hence, excessive uncompensated productivity.

I have attempted to implement the suggested ideal solutions, of advocating for more tasks, or getting side projects to fill up free time. This routinely gets denied. Management insists it's very important to encourage idleness, that times of no work are relaxation opportunities. They do not understand why this is not reassuring. Continuous ratcheting-down of job responsibilities, in a high-turnover constant-hiring environment: how can it *not* come across as gently nudging costly veterans (who willingly undersell their talents) out the door?

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Always my most informative and thought provoking read of the week.

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