We have arrived at the point in the plague where the sheer number of confounders makes it nearly impossible for even the highly numerate to intuitively predict what their individual risk for COVID is, this is important.
Individual COVID risk is now highly dependent on:

1. Vaccine status.
2. Pre-existing condition status.
3. Local public safety regulations.
4. Average, local vaccination rates.
5. Delta variant prevalence.
6. Activity type and duration.
7. Prevalence of masking.

I might be perfectly safe walking maskless into a Whole Foods in Kings County, Washington (71% vax rate), but that might be a less great idea in Alexander County, Illinois (~15% rate).
If I'm a 25 year old, fully vaccinated person in a high-vax state it might be pretty OK for me to go to a small-scale indoor sporting event. Whereas if you're in a lot of States in the South, the calculus becomes a little trickier and you should probably at least wear a mask.
The math gets even weirder because often no-vax individuals tend to herd, resulting in high-vax areas with extremely risky clusters. Some activities tend to attract people with higher-risk tolerance, which is another consideration.
Then add to this all the FUD, misinformation, and ambiguous bits of data floating around.

1. How rare are breakthrough infections?
2. Are breakthrough infections equally contagious?
3. How rare are vaccine side-effects?
4. How much worse is Delta / Lambda etc?
I'm no epidemiologist so take EVERYTHING I SAY WITH A PILLAR OF SALT, but my reading is that we just don't have super clear, closed-form answers to these questions beyond the obvious, "vaccinated people are *significantly* better off than the unvaccinated."
So we are left in a world where even well-meaning people have a hard time parsing what they should be doing and when, and where what constitutes pro-social behavior might be VERY different depending on who you are and where you live.
So what's a well meaning person to do in this sort of risk environment? For my money, I'd say that all you can do is:

1. Get vaccinated! (ask me why in DMs)
2. Keep track of local COVID conditions. and select activities that make sense.
3. Mask up if you are at high risk.
Most importantly though, don't be too hard on yourself if you mess up. No one will get this perfect, no one can be perfect at all times and under all conditions. Risk mitigation isn't risk elimination, it's about doing the best you can with the cards you're dealt.

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More from @sbspalding

9 Jun
Fun facts:

1. $15 an hour is approximately $28k a year.

2. The poverty line for a family of four in the U.S. is $26k.

3. The average yearly rent payment in the U.S. is about $1,000 a month.

4. Federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 and states average about $10 ($19.2k)
5. Federal minimum wage earners ($7.25) represent about 2.3% of the total workforce, and state minimum wage workers (~$10) represent about 1% of the market.


6. The average worker who would benefit from an increase in minimum wage is about 35 years old and female. About a quarter of them have at least one child.

Read 6 tweets
7 Jun
I think it's weird that "freedom" has gone from meaning something like, "the capacity to make choices" to "the ability to take on risk without responsibility."
"Freedom" has become as a kind of branding or aesthetic, rather than a means of achieving goals. One is "free" not when one makes hard, sometimes painful choices to achieve something of value, but when one ignores consequence in favor of a kind of naïve hedonism.
It's the "freedom" of the child, rather than the freedom that just about every group of people throughout history have struggled to win for themselves. It's all very strange.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jun
Hot Take: No human being, no matter how talented, is capable of consistently creating art that will appeal to Internet-scale audiences. The fact that creatives are forced to keep trying in order to make ends meet is a tragedy.
We expect people to create art that will somehow integrate the perspectives of billions of people at once, and keep doing this for years at a time while juggling both commercial and personal constraints. This is an impossible standard.
I don't have a solution here, but I do have two thoughts.

1. We need better systems to allow niche art to be able to support artists. You shouldn't need an audience of millions to survive.

2. We need to expect less of creatives, and better recognize constraints (HAHAhA10).
Read 4 tweets
29 Jan
After reading a bajillion articles on GameSpot, and spending more time than I usually do puttering around WSB and FinTwit, I think a lot of journos are seriously mischaracterizing this event.
My complaint is premised on three assertions:

1. MANY of the people playing this game understand this pump will not last forever.

2. MANY of the people playing this game understand hedgies are playing too.

3. This isn't about money for many of them.
I think the reflex instinct to believe that these folks are naïve children futzing around with stuff they don't understand borders on condescending. While there are clearly some people riding the wave, most have decided to participate in this campaign for deeper reasons.
Read 19 tweets
28 Jan
I think my biggest frustration with this whole GME is that I’m a *giant* defender of broad market participation. I think everyone owning a small piece of the economy leads to a better, fairer world. (1/2)
Moments like this not only convince normal that it’s not worth investing, but also provides proof that some investing professionals have no interest at all in free and fair markets that offer the same opportunities to all.
Is the GME/AMC/BB/KOSS trade big dumb? Sure, but people have the right to put their chips on the table, and shouldn't be hamstrung and cheated out of potential gains in order to protect hedge funds.
Read 5 tweets
28 Jan
If you ever wonder why I believe that a large chunk of the hedge fund industry is an elaborate grift designed to enrich mediocrity, extract wealth, and inflate the egos of those who, when put to any rigorous scrutiny, turn out to be bad at their jobs -- this is why.
Hedge funds have been getting actively WORSE at their jobs over the last decade. papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf…
Read 7 tweets

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