The OC43 Coronavirus might be a model for COVID-19


The OC43 coronavirus offers a model for where this pandemic might go. That virus also gives humans common colds, but genetic research from the University of Leuven in Belgium suggests that OC43 might have been a killer in the past11. That study indicates that OC43 spilled over to humans in around 1890 from cows, which got it from mice. The scientists suggest that OC43 was responsible for a pandemic that killed more than one million people worldwide in 1889–90 — an outbreak previously blamed on influenza. Today, OC43 continues to circulate widely and it might be that continual exposure to the virus keeps the great majority of people immune to it.

I think they mean we get it as children, develop a URI, and maintain resistance by re-posture.

Have to wonder what happens in one’s 80s though and what interesting long term problems might be due to OC43.

Polio was famous for being relatively harmless if acquired very early.

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‪IT paradox resolution

IT increases the productivity of elite individuals and corporations and decreases the productivity of average individuals and declining corporations.‬ The net effect is a modest boost but big outcome gap.

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Standard model

12 Fermions, 6 leptons and 6 quarks, make up matter. Fermions have half-integer spins. Every Fermion has an antimatter (anti-fermion) counterpart.

Bosons have integer spin. 4 Gauge bosons create forces. Higgs boson gives particles mass.

Chemistry uses electrons and photons (electromagnetic force). Nucleus is up/down quarks and gluon.

In diagram below the particles of the standard model are shown with masses (in MeV) in the upper right. The Fermions make up the left three columns (three generations); the bosons populate the right two columns.

Only first generation Fermions are stable.

PS. This was weirdly hard for me to assemble. Image is from fermilab I think.

More details:

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Could Apple’s butterfly keyboards have a cold aversion?

My modern Apple LiOn batteries only last 2-3 years. They used to last longer. I wonder if being cooled to -20F shortens their lifespan. Leaving them in the car in a MN winter will do that.

Which makes me wonder about Apple’s crummy new butterfly keyboards. Could they be cold intolerant? Something to do with condensation and moisture freezing? Might explain why Apple devs might not notice a big problem. (I also wonder if they do badly with second hand smoke.)

Fairness and dogs

I knew this was true of humans, but it seems to be true of at least one dog.

Kateva, our dog, is near the end of her life. She’s a decent age (14y4m) with liver disease, a lung mass, and arthritis. No more health food for her. Kibble with ice cream, white chicken over chicken broth flavored kibble warmed in the wave … she eats like a Queen. Alas, you can out-eat exercise, but you can’t out-eat cachexia.

Sam, a guest, is younger and healthier. He’s still on kibble. Which he normally eats — but not when Kateva is getting gourmet food. Then he goes on strike.

Add a bit of ice cream and he devours everything.

Dogs also value fairness.

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Remembering PalmPilot mania – pocket Electronic Health Record

Near the end of the .com bubble very smart but somewhat desperate people looked seriously at building a physician-centric electronic health record client on a PalmPilot (later Windows CE device).

This was madness … but if nothing else had ever come along I’m sure some lesser but still useful service would have emerged.

Mostly, I think, a lesson about bubbles.

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Campaign 2020

  1. Did anything sway WWCW from Trump in 2018? Did they ever vote for a female Dem? I’m looking for numbers. My suspicion is WWCW want a male presidential candidate (more than white, male). They are the deciders.
  2. We need to weaken Murdoch media. Ideally destroy it. That means Fox and WSJ. NEVER subscribe to WSJ and don’t tweet WSJ. Don’t stay at hotels that play Fox. Don’t go to the gyms. Complain at airports.
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Wrestling the AI

I pick the scenic route from Madison WI to the Dells. Old highway 51. 20% slower, 1000% more interesting.

Google Maps lets me do that. And five minutes later it reroutes to a faster way. The freeway.

The AI maximizes utility. Once my preference counted, but now only speed matters. The human makes too many low utility choices.

So I add a waypoint. It seems to pin the right route. Once I hit the waypoint though the route flips again. It needed more waypoints to keep on track.

Finally, frustrated, the AI sulks, rerouting endlessly.

This is the future.

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On that Wheeler quote

“The universe has created an observer and now, in an act of quantum measurement, the observer looks back and creates the universe.”
— Read on

Something like this I think. But not a full Boltzmann brain. More like the origins of life on earth. A small fluctuation of quantum foam that does a local measure. The Planck unit of measurement, or pmeasure. That propagates, and in no-time at all we have a slice of universe. Bit like every stone block holds every sculpture.

Maybe explains Fermi Paradox?

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iOS 12 trackpad feature without force touch

Gruber: “while editing text you can 3D Touch on the keyboard to turn it into a trackpad for moving the insertion point around. iOS 12 introduced a feature where you can get into this mode without 3D Touch by tapping and holding on the space bar

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Rupert Murdoch and the extortion industry

So now we know there is an industry in legal extortion; a market solution to the problem of power and Id.

Businesses collect damaging information about wealthy people. Then they negotiate between parties on the cost of suppression.

We have known this as the tabloid industry. I suppose that was a cover story.

Rupert Murdoch started in that industry.

It would be interesting to know mortality rates of the sellers.

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The Phosphoproteomic pocket watch – evolution and medicine

Derek Lowe

… as in all of molecular biology, closer inspection not only reveals a wealth of impressive detail, but huge numbers of things which do not so much appear to have been carefully crafted by a divine hand, as much as assembled by a blind lunatic with infinite time, infinite willingness to tinker (and a correspondingly infinite willingness to accept whatever works as soon as it does), and infinite supplies of duct tape, super glue, and baling wire. What’s more, the whole mechanism keeps falling apart over time in subtle (and not so subtle) ways, which just leads to casual repurposing of the altered pieces.

I learned how this happens by analyzing 19th century freight train breaking systems when I was 17.

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When will AI explore equivalent representations in math-space?

Wiles proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem borrowed from from algebraic geometry and number theory (Wikipedia). Presumably these are equivalent representations for some problems. I imagine this as the grown-up equivalent of switching from Cartesian to polar coordinates to solve a freshman physics problem.

I wonder when AI will start exploring math-space, searching for more of these unexpected alignments and concordances.

It feels like that might happen soon, but I have no idea how it would work.

Update: from the Wikipedia article on Wiles proof, a much better example of what I’m trying to describe:

Japanese mathematician Goro Shimura, drawing on ideas posed by Yutaka Taniyama, conjectured that a connection might exist between two different mathematical objects then being studied, known as elliptic curves and modular forms.

Taniyama and Shimura posed the question whether, unknown to mathematicians, the two kinds of object were actually identical mathematical objects, just seen in different ways.

What I’m describing is an automated search for “identical mathematical objects … seen in different ways”.

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I like post titles

DeLong’s feed is largely subject free now:This annoys. If a post is more than a few sentences it needs a title. I scan hundreds of posts a day, only read tens of them.

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June 5 2018: Google has no hits comparing Apple Swift Playgrounds to Google Grasshopper

Apple’s iPad-only Swift Playgrounds (learn Swift) has been out for months.

Google’s smartphone-only Grasshopper (learn JavaScript) has been out since April.

Today my Google search found zero comparisons of the two approaches. (Ok, it found one webspam algorithmically generated page. That actually counts as -1.

Even five years ago Google would have found many by now.

The web is dead.

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Using the found phone alert to find special needs person

We rely on Find Friends to support independent life for our special needs kids. Sometimes location tracking doesn’t work though — particularly on buses.

Find has a great feature for phones in a family group. If the phone can’t be found it offers to notify when found.

Works great.

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Alas, no Flickr support for Aperture

With Flickr’s acquisition by Smugmug I thought It’d try Aperture’s Flickr export again.

Alas, it no longer works. I guess the API changed.

You can still sort of export to iCloud photostreams as long as you don’t try simultaneously using I don’t recommend this though, I think it’s crashy under Sierra. I’ve seen photostreams obliterated and thousands of thumbnails scattered across an Aperture database.

Probably the only ‘safe/sane’ photo sharing from Aperture now is export images/video to the file system then use an uploader This is semi-automatic with a Google Drive folder that supports Google Photos. (Though I quite dislike Google Photos because you can’t specify an album destination during upload.)

I do miss the glory days of photo sharing.

I’m mildly curious to see if Apple will introduce shared Libraries and Library Management for What a disappointment that product has been.

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Treat your arthritic knees with …

Weight lifting.

On a cellular level, what stimulates your chondrocytes, the stem cells that grow new cartilage, is cyclical loading. It’s a pattern of force that’s associated with things like running, jumping or weight lifting. These cells aren’t stimulated in the same way by lower-impact activities like using an elliptical machine or cycling.

For cartilage to remain healthy and regenerate in the way that it does for someone who is in their teens or 20s, the preponderance of evidence suggests that cyclical loading in the form of running or weight lifting is a really effective way to do that.

To a physician of my age this is like treating asthma with smoking.

It does match my experience though. When my familial arthritis kicked in I thought my CrossFit days were done. Instead my knees feel better when I’m doing my wall balls and back squats…

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I don’t think I should expect a refund.

I liked it for offline use, especially when traveling in areas with poor cell reception or where I had no data plan.

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This is how bad my Facebook ads are now …

This is how bad my Facebook ads are now … If I see an ad that’s close to my interests I click on it. Excluding those that I know, from past experience, go to unreadable sites.

That’s unusual. Mostly I get featured articles from sites a friend supposedly likes. If I click on them I get a flurry of ads. Basically, garbage.

We buy a lot of stuff. I have the credit card statements. My interests are easy to find, Facebook knows my Groups and Page Likes. AI need not apply, this is stone simple stuff.

And yet … crap ads.

Is anyone shorting Facebook yet?

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Facebook’s other ad problem: they aren’t any good

For some time I’ve been hiding or blocking irrelevant, uninteresting, misplaced or repulsive Facebook ads. All done with Facebook’s tools. I’ve even directly modified my ad interests.

The result?

My ads are getting less relevant and less interesting.

This is nuts. My family does a lot of stuff. Our Amazon spend is scary. There should be useful ads. Something is broken.

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Pigouvian taxation of the ad-click – it’s just me

As of April 2018 Google has no hits on the concept of Pigouvian taxation of ad-clicks as a core mitigation of the Facebook-Google problem.

My posts don’t show either of course; once Google would have found them. So there may be others like me, but nobody with an audience.

I’m disappointed Krugman or DeLong haven’t brought this up.

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Apple and me

I’ve lived through several OS transitions. Microsoft did them best. Their transitions had the lowest expenses and the least data loss. Apple did the biggest transition. OS/2 and GEOS died.

We all expect another transition from Apple; some mixture of macOS and CPU transition. This follows on years of Apple macOS disappointments — for me, above all, the way Apple ended Aperture.

I expect this transition to go badly for me. So my Apple relationship is officially cold. Not divorce yet, but the lawyer is in Contacts.

I’m not buying anything from Apple unless there is very clear immediate value and a clear exit strategy. I’ve ended our family Apple Music subscription. I’ll look for an alternative to iTunes movies. No earPods, no Apple Watch.

I’m staying on Sierra and Aperture through 2019.

Divorce will be painful, but Apple is likely past redemption. Its path lies elsewhere.

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The world is hard for the ungifted – bugs.

Google Maps wouldn’t let me switch from bike to drive directions. App state was confused, the left most icon inaccessible.

So I switched from bike to walk. That reset the app state and made drive accessible.

A routine bug workaround. In the iOS 11 era we run into this sort of thing a few times a day. Barely notice them any more.

There are so many bugs. Apple has the most now, but they are everywhere. The bike share I used this morning has a 15 sec delay in releasing a bike, if you don’t know that then you think the transaction failed. A bug equivalent.

If you are a global genius you may not notice these. If you merely have a knack, and are not yet too old, they are a minor annoyance. If you are an Old, as I am, they are ticks of the reapers clock, they take a bit longer to solve from year to year.

Ahh, but if you don’t have a knack … you didn’t get the academic gene, didn’t go to college, didn’t get the orthogonal geek gene … then this might be Hell. A regular reminder that you are not Elite. That the world has moved on and left you behind. That what you have, what you can do, what you have done … it doesn’t count any more.

Imagine what that feels like. Who do you vote for?

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Siri did something weird and disturbing

I said “Hey Siri, remind me to fix Kateva”. (Shorthand for fix

Siri created a reminder “Fix Kateva thunder desensitization”.

That isn’t a random error. I believe I had that as a task name in – years ago. Spotlight can’t find it on my iPhone now though. ToDo can’t find it either.

So where did Siri get that from?

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