Thursday, 30.04.2020 – Forecasting CoVid-19 Cases

Link of the day: Forecasts of cases and the effective reproduction number globally

For the last weeks I’ve been working with a team at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to produce forecasts of cases and the effective reproduction number in various countries. The short-term forecasts the team makes are now published together with the Rt estimates and they look really cool!

A regional breakdown for Germany can be found here.

The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant

Link of the day: The fable of the dragon tyrant

Related to my post about cryonics, here is Nick Bostrom‘s somewhat famous fable of the dragon. I wouldn’t call it high class literature, but it is an interesting read nonetheless as it gives an unusual perspective about death. Most people consider death to be an integral part of life, something that gives meaning to the world and is ultimately something positive. Few people would prefer a world in … more

Saturday, 25.04.2020 – How Much Platinum Is There In The World?

Link of the day: How Much Platinum is in the World?

Surprisingly little. The entire platinum mined so far in human existence seems to fit in a cube with a side length of 8 meters. For gold, that would be a cube with about 20m on all side (a surprisingly large portion of that gold is estimated to be owned by small Indian household and was traditionally part of dowry). Platinum on the other hand is more wildly used in … more

Wednesday, 22.04.2020 – Why Cryonics Isn’t Crazy

Link of the day: Why Cryonics Makes Sense

How do you define death? There are quite a number of ways to answer that. Centuries ago, you were considered dead once your heart stopped pounding. With CPR, catecholamins and defibrillators widely available, this is not necessarily true anymore. How about defining death as the moment when brain activity has seized? Brain activity is not easily defined (is the cells falling apart in a dead brain a form of brain activity?). And … more

Real Heroes Wear Masks

Together with a friend we started a cool new website, Real Heroes Wear Masks, to increase the number of masks available. On the site you can buy some of our home-sewn masks as well as find tutorials for making them yourselves and information about why and how to wear masks. Have a look and share it!

If you like to get involved and sew a couple of masks or if you have any feedback, please contact me.

Circulatory Migration – Or Why Tighter Border control May Have Led To More Mexican Immigrants To The US

In Episode 5 of the third season of Revisionist History, Malcom Gladwell makes the case that tightening the border control between the United States and Mexico led to more instead of less immigration to the US. I find that a fascinating and compelling argument. With open borders and low costs associated to crossing, there is lots of seasonal going in and out, but very little net migration. Workers who can earn a good wage in the US mostly still … more

Saturday, 18.04.2020 – What The West Cannot Learn From South Korea

Link of the day: What Europe Cannot Learn from South Korea (German)

South Korea’s track record in fighting the corona pandemic is impressive. Countless newspaper articles praise them as a model for the rest of the world to follow. The article argues that much of what South Korea’s response to the crisis so effective simply cannot be replicated in the West: The South Korean state acts as a nanny to its citizens in a way that Western societies would never … more

Thursday, 16.04.2020 – Are Ventilators Overused?

Link of the day: With ventilators running out, doctors say the machines are overused for Covid-19

There is some evidence suggesting that too many patients are put on ventilators earlier than would be optimal for them. Ventilation means that the patient has to be sedated the entire time and the pressure applied by the ventilator machine can cause long term damage to the lung. Alternatives include various forms of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) like giving the patient a constant high flow … more