Realpolitik from the man who, my epi friends, wants to know your salary and GRE scores.…
Why yes indeed, guys. It *is* time for some game theory.
To be fair, in college I was rather obsessed with reading about the cold war development and applications of game theory. By those standards, this is very mild stuff.

Read those RAND papers and Dr. Strangelove wasn't satire in the vein of Swift—it was practically greenwashing.
I suppose I should have pointed out WHY it is that I think this is such a silly take. Here you go:

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More from @CT_Bergstrom

20 Nov
A lovely thread about a conversation with @paulmromer that I remember very well. Paul had been thinking about how different sets of norms, rules, or meta-rules in different charter cities could allow different forms of innovation in economic activity and other spheres of life.
People could then vote with their feet, so to speak, by moving to charter cities with appealing and successful governance models.

(@paulmromer, please correct me if my memory is faulty or I have the details wrong).…
At the time I had been thinking a lot about Maynard Smith and Szathmary's book The Major Transitions in Evolution.

(This important book is quite technical and now a bit out of date. Most readers will do better reading the short The Origins of Life by the same authors instead.)
Read 10 tweets
20 Nov
It was a delight to share the virtual stage with @ProfPCDoherty at the Cell-Beijing Covid-19 conference. I've always admired his way to getting right to the heart of complex issues and then expressing that in a clear and non-nonsense way.…
Talking about where we go from here, Peter brought up an issue that I perhaps hadn't given enough consideration: namely that in future pandemics we could might greatly improve the global response by stopping international travel very early in the outbreak.…
I'm not talking about banning flights from China after the virus is already circulating broadly in the US and most incoming strains are arriving from europe. That was an instance of closing the chicken coop door after the horse left the bar.
Read 10 tweets
19 Nov
Michigander here to translate.

Seattle friends, this the equivalent of “specifically Antifa from Medina”

Bay Area friends, “specifically Antifa from Atherton”

LA friends, “specifically Antifa from Brentwood”

Atlanta friends, “specifically Antifa from Buckhead”
And I didn’t have room to help out my Boston friends, but while you might say “specifically Antifa from Back Bay”, I think I prefer “specifically Antifa from the Vineyard”.
I don’t speak New Yorker, but as an outsider I would probably translate this is something like “Antifa from Greenwich (CT).”
Read 5 tweets
18 Nov
1. A short thread on Goodhart's Law and Campbell's law.

When natural scientists take measurements of a macroscopic physical system, the system does not respond by changing its behavior in ways that undermine the value of the measurements.
2. The central insight of both Goodhart's law and Campbell's law is that social systems are different.

When a social scientist quantifies a social process or phenomena, the act of collecting and sharing data can alter behavior in ways that undermine the measurements' value.
Campbell's law states:

"The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor."…
Read 9 tweets
18 Nov
#Crows are noble birds.
And very good pandemic-time friends.
Good fliers, as well.
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov
I'm sorry to see some stress and unhappiness playing out around the use of COVID sequence data from Danish mink farms in a recent preprint.

I understand the importance of publications based on that data to the careers of those involved in generating them...
...and I hope that the parties involved can find a solution that is beneficial to all.

We as a community need to find ways to enable rapid data sharing AND analysis at all cost, precisely for crisis situations such as the pandemic we are facing.
Ultimately it doesn't make sense to draw a line between doing public health and publishing papers, because publishing analyses—particularly where their conclusions deviate from previous ones—is a critical part of a public health response.
Read 5 tweets

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