432 karmaJoined


Debating societies - for instance an initiative to debunk conspiracies.

When it comes to debunking conspiracy theories, the right way to do it is by looking at the evidence. 

Debating societies are inherently about making clever arguments without looking at the evidence. That's not helpful for getting people to deal better with conspiracy theories. 

What rules? Those need to be more clear if there is going to be community policing.

This is a good chance for people to write posts about what the rules should be. 

You get there by having more discourse not less. 

It seems that a major problem of a competitor to CEA Community Health is that it's harder for someone outside of the US to have the connection to get the necessary information. 

The Wikileaks strategy against defamation suits was to have the spokesperson of the organization be a digital nomad, so there's no address to which you can easily serve papers for lawsuits. 

Otherwise, maybe Scandinavian countries or some Eastern European ones could have a good combination of low legal costs of lawsuits and strong free speech laws.

Maybe you can do all the money movement for the org in crypto and have no clear country to which the org belongs. 

Though I have less faith in Ben than before after seeing him publish without waiting a week

It seems to me like by publishing it when he did, he acted according to Alice and Chloe's interested who were protected by an earlier publication at a cost to other parties.

If I were in the position of someone like Alice or Chloe and think about whether or not to talk to Ben, that would make me more likely to talk to Ben not less. 

One way might be to replace monoculture fields with more complex farming while everything gets managed by AI. 

Are you sure that virologists didn't write such OPs?

Pretty much, when I googled about the fact that they took down the database I found no such OPeds. If you have any evidence to the contrary I would love to see it.

If you talk about that it's wrong that they took down the database that points to the fact that the early lab leak denial was bullshit and the virologists cared nobody finding out that the arguments they made were bullshit.  

Jeremy Farrar describes in his book that one of the key arguments they used to reject the lab leak theory as the huge distance from the openly published sequences to the COVID-19 sequence. That argument becomes a lot weaker when you factor in that the military overtook the lab in September 2019 and at that month they took down their database.

The virologists cared more about keeping the public uninformed about what happened at the Wuhan Institute for Virology than they cared about the database being available to help for fighting the pandemic. 

My understanding is that in the US, they actually studied these questions hard and knew about things like airborn transmission and asymptomatic spread pretty early on, but were suppressed by the Trump administration.

Knowing that airborne transmission matters has consequences about what actions you want to take. 

When the Japanese health authorities advice at the beginning of the pandemic to avoid closed spaces with poor ventilation US and EU authorities didn't give that advice. 

I find it pretty unlikely that Fauci et al didn't give the same advice of avoiding closed spaces that the Japanese authorities gave out because the Trump administration didn't want them to tell people to avoid closed spaces but the Trump administration preferred the advice of telling people to wash their hands. 

One of the corollaries of "avoid closed spaces with poor ventilation" is that forbidding people from meeting each other outside is bad policy. 

The 1.5 meter distance recommendation makes little sense with airborne spread but was quite central for pandemic guidance. 

There's some research that suggests that flu transmission can be reduced in school by controlling the humidity level. There's a good chance that you can also reduce COVID-19 transmission by controlling indoor humidity but the virologists didn't care enough about doing the basic research to establish that to get a policy in place that all public buildings get humidity controlled. 

There was no ramp-up of indoor ventilation production at the start of the pandemic but it would have been the reasonable step if the problem would have been seen as one of airborne transmission. 

The WHO took two years to acknowledge airborne transmission. If the virologist community would have done their job, they would have explained to the WHO early on that it has to acknowledge airborne transmission or be branded by the virologists as science deniers. 

The international community funded a database of Coronaviruses that was held by the lab in Wuhan. In September 2019, the month when the Chinese military overtook the lab, that database was taken offline.

If that database would have been important for pandemic prevention and vaccine development, I would have expected the virologists to write OPs publically calling on China to release the data. That they didn't is a clear statement about what they think for how useful that data is for pandemic prevention and how afraid they are that people look critically at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

I'm curious to know whether and to what extent we've considered ways to reward basic science researchers for making pandemic-mitigating discoveries in a public health context. 

The virologists seemed to ignore the basic science questions such as "How do these viruses spread?" and "Are they airborne?" that actually mattered. 

Asking those questions would mean doing more biomedical research that isn't gain of function and loss of function.

have to explain how they'd motivate already-beleaguered scientists to do GoF research when their proposal is "even more stick, still no carrot."

That assumes that it's important to motivate them to do GoF research. It seems that research served for them as a distraction from doing the relevant research. 

My impression is that one of the key defenses that the Fauci/NIH/EcoHealth/etc. offered for their research in Wuhan was that it was technically not Gain of Function, even if some parts of it might sound like Gain of Function to the layperson, which seems in tension with this claim.

It not only sounds that way to a lay-person. The NIH stopped the EcoHealth grant that was partly paying for the research in Wuhan for a short time in 2016. When they renewed the grant Peter Dasek from EcoHealth wrote back:

"This is terrific! We are very happy to hear that our Gain of Function research funding pause has been lifted."

Fauci himself wrote on the 1st February 2020 and email that had one of the study in the attachment with the file name "Baric, Shi et al - Nature medicine - SARS Gain of function".

What Fauci/NIH/EcoHealth is saying seems to be something like "when people say 'gain of function' they really mean ePPP and the research they funded in Wuhan wasn't ePPP because we never put it through the P3O process that could have decided that it was an ePPP".

The other alternative was that there was some coordination about releasing LLM. Plenty of people argue that they somehow should coordinate, so it would not be surprising if they actually did it. 

There's the claim that GPT-4 is better at not going off the guardrails and that Bing runs on GPT-4. How does that fit together with Bing's behavior?

Load more