Chris Applegate Profile picture
Freelance CTO & Tech Strategist (ex @wearesocial @buzzfeed). From the UK, now in Denmark
Feb 4, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
It still staggers me how many people don't take ventilation & airborne transmission seriously, despite what we now know, while overstating the very low, if any, risk of surface transmission

The other week a friend who works in (non-Covid related) healthcare talked a lot about the precautions - screens, alcohol rub stations, visors - they now have to take, and was dumbfounded when I told them there hasn't been a single documented case of surface-only transmission
Oct 5, 2020 9 tweets 2 min read
Feel a clarification is needed to this mildly viral tweet: the original article doesn't say if the number of columns in the file was too many, or the file itself was too large in size The original article refers to size, and the solution - batching the files - is consistent with a filesize limit somewhere in the system (note: not necessarily Excel) being the issue Image
Sep 29, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
Trainspotters foiled by a modern train getting in the way is my absolute favourite genre of video See also
Sep 9, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
When I get old and senile enough to set up a Facebook nostalgia group about growing up in the late 90s/early 00s, every post will be basically: "Remember Winamp?" Ah, found my old skin Image
Sep 3, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
With the line about leaving early for an afternoon in the sun, this is an ad clearly aimed at bosses, not workers In fact that entire ad could be flipped to be from the workers' point of view:

"Hearing an alarm" ⇔ "You're disciplined if you're a minute late"
"Watercooler conversations" ⇔ "Everyone is a malicious gossip"
"Proper bants" ⇔ "He's a harrassment lawsuit waiting to happen"
Aug 28, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
The stark difference between under- and over-65s - is this a classic case of skin in the game, or do boomers just think turning up to a workplace is all that matters?
Another datapoint for the latter argument - the boomer trope that it's your fault if you're unemployed. All you have to do is pound the pavement, turn up at your future boss's office and hand over your CV with a firm handshake and the job is yours
Aug 14, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
It's all very well trying to do a "fair and balanced summary thread" on the A-level fiasco. But what if the assumptions & priors that set the system up are so flawed, they lead to outcomes like this?

ffteducationdatalab.org.uk/2020/08/a-leve… Being "fair and balanced" about a system that has such inherently flawed assumptions leads you to not examining or questioning them. It makes you either a chump or a patsy
Aug 4, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
This is an extraordinary video, and as a bonus it's a great insight into how to lie & mislead with graphics

Trump earnestly proffers this graph, which shows (I think) the US being lowest in terms of deaths per recorded cases - which is probably true, but not a relevant stat. It's a great insight into how his own team are presenting data to him Image
Jul 30, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
This thread is compulsory reading. Turns out the Nudge Unit's fingerprints were all over the contentious "lockdown fatigue" hypothesis

Two missing bits of context: Till at least March 12th, many in govt (incl. Sage) thought not locking down - even if the pandemic raged - was considered to be manageable; it would lead to "herd immunity" without great cost (wrong)
Jul 14, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
Been thinking about this Tweet a bit. No doubt some of the downplaying of masks was because in March, PPE provision was a shitshow, and stoking private demand for medical masks would have caused further meltdown

It's not hard to imagine a minister or civil servant looking at TV coverage of people ransacking shelves for toilet paper and thinking they didn't further problems with the public panic-buying PPE
May 28, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
A sobering and devastating thread - particularly the graph on the correlation between lockdown delay and excess deaths A reminder that the UK had tacitly adopted a policy of “herd immunity”, until the Imperial report, which modelled excess deaths at 250,000, was published to Cabinet on March 12. It took another 11 days for lockdown to be enforced
May 23, 2020 7 tweets 1 min read
Imagine a man. Despite not training as a scientist himself, he is in thrall to science, particularly data science He despises what he sees as the foibles of the humanities-educated elites (despite being one himself). Politics makes them all too easy to bias, and blind spots, and political debate hinders true progress
May 15, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
Interesting seeing facemask sales online progress from the likes of small traders on Etsy, to the we'll-print-anything mass automation of Spreadshirt Image I'd get one of these, but these days you can be arrested simply for wearing one, at least that's what some bloke on Whatsapp told me Image
May 7, 2020 5 tweets 1 min read
Lots of people circulating a "code review" that is nothing of the sort. It's a rant. For heaven's sake, this is in the conclusion Image The two main critiques seem to be "the code is a poorly-documented ugly monolith" (probably true, so what?) and "it's non-deterministic!", which you'd... kinda expect from a Monte Carlo simulation
May 5, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
What’s really interesting is how these behavioural scientists are referred to as geniuses with special knowledge of the human mind. But the only references they use are a Guardian article, and two out of date opinion polls It’s also worth noting just how bad some of the logic is in this paper. Here, the author conflates cancelling a sporting event with playing it behind closed doors, as an argument against doing so Image
Apr 18, 2020 8 tweets 2 min read
Lots of people sharing this FT piece, with reference to the Government bungling the drive to build or procure more ventilators. One thing that isn't mentioned in the piece is the dates... ft.com/content/5f393d… The basic thesis of the piece is that the Govt opted to try new, unproven, "basic" designs of ventilator rather than scale up production of existing designs as they were complex to build, would require additional licensing and/or there would be supply chain issues
Apr 2, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
This is a very ugly bit of sleight of hand from the BBC - to quote the number of deaths due to Covid with the specific numbers, but then refer to the number who’d have died of other causes as “many” The article is no better - freely admitting that nobody has any idea what the numbers are but dressing it up with lots of maybes and suggested a Image
Mar 22, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
ImageImage The Tweet that alerted me to this poem misspelt his name as "Alain de Bottom", so I initially thought it was a parody. But no, it's actually the real one who wrote it.
Mar 22, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
One grim story I had not foreseen till now is urban dwellers acting as an infection vector as they head for their holiday homes in remote areas, and then overwhelming the local healthcare system Also theguardian.com/world/2020/mar…
Mar 14, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
turning a big dial taht says "COVID-19" on it and constantly looking back at the NHS's capacity for treatment like a contestant on the price is right All week we've had galaxy brain takes saying you can't force people to socially distance or they'll get fatigue. But repeatedly opening & closing schools to use the nation's kids as a deliberate infection vector, no-one's gonna mind. Right.
Mar 13, 2020 8 tweets 2 min read
This bit from a panel of experts reviewing current UK policy stands out: Govt comms has been very insistent on The Science leading policy decisions, but there's still many unknowns, and it's at that point human judgement has had to step in Image There's been quite a few people on here saying we shouldn't doubt The Science and that The Experts in the government need to be trusted without even considering that they're also operating on partial information and having to make judgement calls