All of Zian's Comments + Replies

Concrete Biosecurity Projects (some of which could be big)

>what do you want?

Mostly wanted to describe what has been tried before so that maybe someone else can try something smarter in the future. There's so many misaligned incentives and problems that it's hard to know where to start and it's nice to have a place to put these thoughts down in a productive manner.

I guess I was looking for emotional support and got it; thank you. I imagine that my emotions have similarities to that of people who work on friendly AI.

There's not much else to say that isn't said better elsewhere (woes of American healthcare, coord... (read more)

2Charles He2mo
Thank you for sharing! (I don't really know how to operationalize this, I'm not connected to the people working on pandemic prevention) but I hope your experience and interests find use where it's helpful, and you find it satisfying and rewarding to contribute.
Concrete Biosecurity Projects (some of which could be big)

without this funding

The original post by the two authors talked about getting effective monitoring/surveillance.

The status quo is what the planet has with the current funding, etc. If you want something better, then as you inferred, it's going to take additional changes and resources.

In the Less Wrong sequences, there are essays about utilions and warm fuzzies. In the healthcare world, that distinction is always present.

If I spend $80,000 hiring someone to slog through medical records looking for a pandemic, then I have given up the chance to spend $80,000... (read more)

2Charles He2mo
Everything you said makes sense to me and seems wise. Please continue if you have more wisdom to share. Just so you know, I'm basically a random person on the internet, but I want to point you in any directions if I can help. As a random person, are you looking for funding or support? What are the best outcomes you want from your presence on the forum?
Concrete Biosecurity Projects (some of which could be big)

You're correct except that we receive money from other types of organizations too, including non-profit organizations who give money in the form of grants (hi there, American Heart Association!). You'll see why later in this comment.

The firm has international ambitions but it is an American company with an office in California.

>buy data at a loss?

Not quite that cheap. You can think of it as 'Insert coins. Get a table of data about people in trouble.' More specifically, we charge people for each data source they want us to look at.

 The most common t... (read more)

2Charles He2mo
Thanks for laying this out, it's very interesting and shows a lot of depth of knowledge. Each of those steps is important. My sense is that you're providing support and accounting for these entities for billing essentially. What you wrote also gives a sense why there's not much "ownership" or attention to pandemic safety or genomic sampling. Honestly, it looks like things are barely held together ("Almost Bankrupt Ambulance Company"). I think you're saying that without this funding, there would be pretty much no support for any social goods that you can provide.
Concrete Biosecurity Projects (some of which could be big)

I'm quite fascinated by this post because I work for a company that spent a chunk of its startup years trying to implement the "Early Detection Center" part using 911 calls and call-related data.

From listening to the early folks, I got the impression that "terrorism! biosurveillance!" made for nice press conferences. But, people are mostly interested only if we help their highly-visible and much more obvious key performance indicators improve (e.g. increasing revenue). Even after getting certified (?) by the US Department of Homeland Security as a syndromi... (read more)

2Charles He3mo
This is fascinating. I find it easy to slot this into my worldview that for profit mixes very poorly with altruism (or just out-replicates virtuous ideas in internal environments mundanely). But also this just seems a good pivot? I’m confused about one thing: it seems like you present a service for government customers on your website. But these customers don’t maximize revenue, right? Maybe what you’re saying is that dealing with these public entities is just one facet of the business—or you even buy data or operate at a loss from them even. The data you collect in that service is used to support a business with customers who are private entities? I’m sorry that the altruistic and virtuous mission of identifying major risks isn’t interesting in the actual business and day to day. This seems like a sign it is neglected. EDIT: I read a bit more and I think the customers you’re talking about is EMS and hospitals. Which would maximize revenue (which isn’t obvious to non Americans).