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Genius Billionaire Playboy Economist. "The Arch Cheem" - Anya Martin
7 Apr
Sorry capitalism solved this problem in 2016 with cheap desalination. Israel government has been trying to become a water exporter since the sixties for geo political reasons and they finally cracked cheap desalination.
Its been a public-private partnership to keep researching this for decades, and Israel is now a major water exporter to the middle east. scientificamerican.com/article/israel…
Just capitalism solving another scarcity constraint as soon as it became relevant. Nothing to see here. Business as usual, optimists right again, etc.
Read 5 tweets
30 Mar
This is terrible behaviour really. Real world data shows us closer to 85% reduction in hospitalisations in actual usage in both Israel and UK. Another Noble Lie that will burn down institutional credibility.
The clinical trials end points were typically around 150 cases. That really isn't enough to judge these numbers reliable. You would have expected only 0-1 hospitalisations in the vaccinated group even if it was ineffective.
Also... the NIH literally put out a statement that AZ reporting a lower number in a press release for effectiveness was potentially misleading, so, hypocrisy too.
Read 4 tweets
15 Jan
I regret to inform you that what is happening in Manaus should scare everyone witless. theguardian.com/world/2021/jan…
It looks from the reports like all cause mortality is currently running ~6x normal in a population that is 90% under fifty. But worse, Manaus already achieved herd immunity, and certainly a high level of infections.
Levin et all applied their age specific mortality to a sero-study of 66% and got similar expectations to actual fatalities give the age structure. Good conditional evidence the sero study was ~accurate despite some sampling flaws.
Read 7 tweets
9 Jan
What’s so weird about this article is that in the middle he basically admits that the YIMBY argument is correct.
Here he says that if a new development lures new rich people to the city it puts upwards pressure on all housing! This is the YIMBY argument! If you build more luxury housing and it increases the per capita stock it puts downwards pressure on all housing!
Even in this concocted argument where inwards migration causes prices to rise, it must by the same argument be putting downwards pressure on the city they left.
Read 6 tweets
22 Dec 20
This is a terrible idea. The reason it’s a terrible idea is that it’s virtually impossible. People who have worked with real data for years are often still abjectly terrible at it. As evidenced by the number of well credentialed experts who were revealed as charlatans by Covid.
See also the number of people who think that supply and demand do not apply to housing.
The number of criminologists who refuse to accept that almost all of the two massive crime waves in America were driven by lead poisoning. And probably also teen pregnancy rates.
Read 11 tweets
22 Nov 20
They also attend properly to the effects of reporting lags in death:
This leaves them with the following sample:
And they find the following:
Read 17 tweets
3 Sep 20
So there seems to be a myth taking hold among the twitter commentariat that a lot of housing economists think that the rise in house prices in the UK is well explained by interest rates alone. This.... is not the expert consensus. Here is a thread of papers (in no partic order).
Nice recent paper using a planning dataset from the uk:
cpb.nl/sites/default/…
Starts with a nice little literature review:
Read 18 tweets
12 May 20
ONS now recorded 46380 excess deaths by May first. Deaths are coming off but there are still going to have been many thousands since May first, we are certainly over 50k already, and it seems doubtful death rates will fully normalise before we reach 60k.
60000 deaths is 0.1% of the population. This means a sero-prevalence at 10% would lead to an IFR of 1%. In the last ten days we have had three pieces of information that make it likely the total attack rate closer to 5% than 10% in the UK, and consequently an IFR near 2%.
Firstly Patrick Vallence gave a preview of the UK ongoing serology study (due May 14th I believe): parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/78… look around 10:20-10:20. 10% in London 3-4% UK wide.
Read 7 tweets
24 Apr 20
So I was reading this excellent analysis of how GRR Martin's books differ from the medieval world, and it brought together a few thoughts I have been having for a while: acoup.blog/2019/06/12/new…
One of the reasons I find history so fascinating, is that it somehow reveals how our modern world is anomalous, and I think one way in which our world is particularly unusual, is the lack of real constraints on elite behaviour.
And by elite here I do not just mean billionaires, I mean university professors, and small bushiness owners and journalists. The top 10% on some ranking of financial power and prestige.
Read 21 tweets
25 Mar 20
Absolutely mad to me how many people are credulously reporting the FT headline that ‘up to half of U.K. may have been infected’ when the paper plots a variety of results and to get that one you have to assume an IFR 100x smaller than consensus.
No wonder the researchers ‘weren’t keen to criticise the government’. They probably know perfectly well the IFR is likely around 1%.
Their paper points out the path of deaths can be consistent with higher prevalence/lower severity. But people have been estimating those numbers and despite uncertainty exactly no one thinks it’s a tenth as deadly as the common flu. Which is what is needed for 50% exposure.
Read 4 tweets
24 Mar 20
So on the oxford paper, the two main findings are this graph, where rho characterises the percentage of severe cases. (0.01 = 1%). Image
But the key is to characterise rho in terms of the more common IFR - the death rate among all infections, we see from the rhs here that deaths are only 0.12-0.016 of rho. Image
This means that rho=0.001, generating the FT headlines, corresponds to a true IFR aroudn 0.00014, or 0.014%, which is deeply implausible. Using the same IFR as the imperial paper (1%), rho would be 0.06, and only a small fraction are infected. Hard to read but maybe 10%.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jun 19
Saw a new paper on the lead-crime hypothesis, and it is pretty much the perfect randomised intervention. Notes to follow.

aeaweb.org/articles?id=10…
In this paper they explicitly measured he blood lead levels of children, and then took a group of hose with the highest lead exposure and intervened to lower the blood lead level of some of those with the highest lead levels.
If lead in the blood stream causally causes crime then you would expect that crime rates should be correlated with measured lead except for the intervention group who should have lower crime than their high lead comparators.
Read 7 tweets