Pandemic Diary #85 – hi covid

well this time i caught COVID for realsies

thanks to extensive availability of tests as well as our fairly paranoid way of interacting with other people (fairly spaced out risks), we can make some interesting conclusions on how this ran through my roommates and then the people I interacted with

(in particular — thanks US government for giving us free tests via USPS, there’s no way we would’ve caught so early without a glut of free tests)

roommate A -> does risky stuff on Saturday, nothing else for days (they actually go out the least of all of us) — tests positive Thursday evening (antigen)

roommate B -> (that’s me) PCR negative on Friday morning, Cue positive on Saturday morning

Symptoms are not super obvious, but they are kind of persistent. Friday at most was paranoia levels of “did i just not sleep well.” Saturday morning was still not super obvious (“did i not drink enough water / air kind of dry cough”) and it was really not until saturday afternoon that it was more unmistakeable

friend A -> (interacted on Thursday afternoon) Cue negative sat and sun, positive on Monday (that’s today)

So, it seems like an estimate could be E+0 days exposure -> E+4 days, PCR comes back positive. Perhaps it’s like E+0

Pandemic Diary #84 – misc. thoughts (so much has happened)

content warning: guns and gun violence (section at bottom)

Went to see the dragon boat festival ! i only caught a glimpse of it, but since i got to share it with friends, i really enjoyed it. (what is chinese culture to me? the feeling of childhood summers spent there, eating foods, a world away from the US)

Thoughts on: luck of being born in the US. vs. being born in a poorer country. In latter, no matter how hard work, likelihood becoming millionaire ~= zero. So for me, becoming a millionaire may be hard work, but also incredible luck being born where I was.

Research: the anxiety of no longer believing that hard work pays off while knowing that i should believe the fiction, or else it becomes a self-defeating circle

i suppose i still feel a bit of terror in my heart at not following the path others do — applying for internships, grants, and fellowships — things i could add to my resume even, easily prove my worth to Others (who?) — and instead relying on contract work (how can I push further on that?)

while at the same time admiring people who just take off at 20 and go to … sail around the world or somesuch. technically there is nothing stopping me from doing so !! On twitch. There are streamers who did that, went to eg kung fu academy for two years

attending a startup class — to be honest, given the low commitment (2-3 hrs a week) and that i don’t intend to full-time a startup right after graduating / haven’t done due diligence, i didn’t expect much out of it (expected kind of a desultory reading group feeling)

(though maybe that’s also good in a way — i’m not tied to a particular idea, and can “quit” easily if desired)

the speaker was expert on decision theory — thinking in bets

  • Quitting can be getting to where we want to go faster
  • Can promise – science says we will *always* quit too late (missing out on opportunity cost)
  • resultism fallacy — NOT the case that good decision = good outcome, bad decision = bad outcome
  • eg at investing firm: usually there isn’t a meeting if an outcome is much *better* than forecast, even if the amount / of error is the same as for bad outcome
  • As leader (Of whatever level): Talk about outcomes when they are good, not just bad, or else: people set low targets (now you have to estimate fudge factor or else misallocate resources) to lower career risk, or only make decisions through consensus (here’s 50 pages of analysis, agreement for entire group and contractors). Both are anthit
  • A lot of stress from decision making is worrying get decision wrong, to lower it:
  • Consider: Impact of decision? And is it reversible?
  • e.g. Deciding food at restaurant, impact low: even if terrible, will have another meal ~4 hrs later
  • If this is the only option I have, would I be fine with it?
  • She quit due to health issues as all-but-dissertation – while about to give job talks —> poker, asked by investment co. To give talk on decision making, wrote book, now decided go back to grad school — often doors not actually closed — will not improve money but will improve happiness

Other thoughts;

  • Avoiding chores due to negative emotional energy: solution may not be (distract by calling friends / podcast) but rather, (optimal ordering for unpleasant tasks — consider that it doesn’t really matter. Replace the emotions by visualizing the energy I spend picking what socks to wear: just wear whatever is in drawer). Might be faster in the end


begin content warning: guns, blood, violence

forefront of my mind is still the shootings

the idea of being a kid and calling for 911 and getting shot

or as a kid smearing yourself in your friend’s blood to avoid getting shot yourself

just a tinge of weird feeling being out in public, especially in a crowd of people or the crowded aisles of a supermarket

Hope on the local level: gun control laws at state level have had measurable impact on reducing gun violence

after listening to npr podcast (vegetarian learning to hunt deer) — value hunters, as hunting licenses and permits are a big part of park conservation funding, and they often appreciate nature much more than average person — different than military weapons for war

hear so little about Ukraine war now. Mostly hear about inflation, gas prices.