In a new paper called Facial recognition technology can expose political orientation from naturalistic facial image, researchers took a data set of roughly 1m pictures and were able to predict political orientation with an astonishing accuracy from just a single picture. The pictures were taken from Facebook and a dating site (I assume okcupid?). Using these images, authors were able to predict self-reported political orientation (conservative vs. liberal) … more
Republicans Should Become the Party of the Working Class
Scott Alexander just published a piece titled A Modest Proposal For Republicans: Use The Word “Class” and I really like it. It paints a proposal for the Republicans to become the party of the working class.
It could appeal to the white working class. Everyone agreed these people were Trump’s base, but the media insisted on emphasizing the “white”, as in “WHITE!!! working class”. Your job is to get people thinking “white WORKING CLASS!!!” instead. […]
Bottlenecks in the Covid Vaccine Supply Chains
If you are interested in how complicated the supply chain of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines are, this article by Jonas Neubert is what you might want to read. It is gives a quite in-depth overview of the manufacturing process and its bottlenecks.
One of the major problems seems to be the coating of mRNA in liquid nanoparticles (LNP). Producing these LNPs is one part, but apparently actually mixing them together with the mRNA is even harder.
One thing … more
Effects of Protestantism and Catholicism in Modern Germany
There is a very interesting episode of freakonomics on the protestant work ethic. In it, they claim that even today Protestants work longer hours than Catholics do. Germany doesn’t seem to be an especially religious country to me. While the majority is Christian on paper, hardly more then ten percent of people actually go to church regularly.
However: the protestant work ethic still seems to be real according to freakonomics:
SPENKUCH: I find three things. One: yes, Protestantism increases
Gamestop and Wallstreetbets
GME goes stonks – exciting times.
If you’re interested in a deep dive on what’s going on, I found Eliezer Yudkowsky’s post, /r/WallStreetBets is trying something unprecedented in history — and the media’s not reporting on it at all quite interesting.
The summary: The scheme can actually work. The question is whether people on reddit will be able to coordinate not to sell their stocks too quickly.
Assorted Links 27.01.2021
- Slate Star Codex, a fantastic blog, is back! Now under the name AstralCodexX
- Access the weather from your terminal by simply typing in curl wttr.in
- A Guide for Productivity
- Paper on Plitidepsin, a drug against different forms of cancer that proved to be highly effective against Covid-19 in mouse models. It did, however, fail to get Market Authorization in the EU twice for treatment against multiple myeloma (but is authorized as a last resort in Australia).
- German media Handelsblatt
You Should (Probably) Sell Your Cryptocurrencies
Yesterday, I sold almost all of my cryptocurrencies, securing a decent 20% margin for *checks notes* a net gain of 33 Euros and 78 cents. Time to pad my back for the savvy crypto investor that I am. But I pulled out for the sake of doing the right thing, even if the stakes were not particularly high.
The reason I sold my coins was this article: The Bit Short: Inside Crypto’s Doomsday Machine. The short story is this: … more
Anti-Aging – Overview of the State of the Art
On Lesswrong JackH posted a very interesting overview of aging and the scientific progress made to reverse it.
If we think about aging as a disease like any other, it does indeed pose a huge problem:
Aging is the biggest killer worldwide, and also the largest source of morbidity. Aging kills 100,000 people per day; more than twice the sum of all other causes of death. This equates to 37 million people – a population the size of
Assorted Links – January 14th 2021
Here is a short list of links that I found interesting, but where I don’t have the time to write more in-depth about:
- How random is the decision whether a paper will be accepted or not? Probably, pretty random: The NIPS experiment
- If you want Russian authorities to take care of snow lying around: Simply write Alexei Navalny’s name on it.
- The immense (and insane?) relevance of Horse Shoe Crab blood for the pharmaceutical industry
- Rivalry, the FDA and
2020 End of the Year Bets Resolved
With the beginning of the new year, quite a few of last year’s bets got resolved. Note these are only the bets that resolved on New Year’s Eve. For every one of these bets, the loser will donate a certain amount to effective charity.
If you would like to make similar bets with me, have a look at the some of the bets I offered in the past or write me a message.
- I bet a friend