Risk assessment is not intuitive. “There were fewer cars on the road last spring during the height of the pandemic, but traffic fatality rates increased 30% in the second quarter as evidence suggests drivers engaged in more risky behavior, federal officials say. A second NHTSA study of trauma centers found seriously injured or fatal crash victims took risks during the pandemic that included speeding, driving impaired, and not using their seat belts. For example, the study revealed a higher prevalence of alcohol, cannabinoids, and opioids in crash victims during the quarter compared to the months prior to the pandemic.” (link)
“It is believed to be one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks at any fitness centre in Canada. More than 50 cases, all identified within a single week, all connected to a small, niche spinning studio in downtown Hamilton.” (link)
Violence in New York is up….In the last 28 days (through July 12), compared to last year, shootings have more than tripled (318 vs. 97). (link)
How to Tell GPT-3 from a human? “The lesson here is that if you’re a judge in a Turing test, make sure you ask some nonsense questions, and see if the interviewee responds the way a human would.” (link) [not so fast, gwern shows how to circumvent this nonsense (link), also “Tempering Expectations…(link)”
TV and radio could command our attention the way the speaker in a classroom would, through people paying attention to what others were attending to. But we use 21st-century media in isolation. (link)
The human sperm flagellum rotates the cell to beat equally on all sides in 3D, not an eel-like, side to side motion. (link)
Warlords of the air, Sergey Brin’s Revolutionary $19 Airship. (link)
Economic growth: The persistence of poverty Mellisa Dell, recent winner of the John Bates Clark Award, shares her fascinating research about how decisions made over 400 years ago can affect economic outcomes today.
Price ceilings and floors: English Bread RegulationsFresh bread is clearly better than stale bread, but you might not think to ban FRESH bread during a wheat shortage. However, it’s been tried: The English prohibited the sale of fresh bread in order to suppress demand during a bad wheat harvest around 1800, and the UK tried the same trick during WWI.