Theology, philosophy, math, science, and random other things

A book review: The Generations of Heaven and Earth

But Jon Garvey goes far above and beyond that - and explores many topics related to GAE from many different angles. Some of these were very new to me: that's what made this a much harder read than I anticipated, in a good way. I learned a lot. In this book he covers topics as varied as the possible locations for Eden, comparative ANE mythology, primeval 'monotheism' all over the world, theories of salvation, the meta-narrative of the Bible, the all-important "image of God", and more.

Probably the last Frozen II post - this time a meme:

For real though, as I explain in these posts:A systematic mythology of the "Frozen" universeThe Gospel according to Frozen II (or, why Elsa is Jesus) You may next want to read: A systematic mythology of the "Frozen" universeThe Gospel according to Frozen II (or, why Elsa is Jesus)Another post, from the table of contents

Many places can reopen now, but "how" matters more than "when"

Remember, we need to keep R0 under 1. We need enough social distancing, personal protection, disinfecting, and other such measures, so that each infected person causes less than one additional infection. That's the "how". The question of "when" almost doesn't matter in comparison. If we really get the "how" right, much of the country can open now, or very soon. If we get it really wrong, then it won't matter how long we wait - we'll never be able to safely lift the lockdowns. That's why we must reopen very carefully and deliberately.

Re-analyzing the Stanford COVID-19 antibody study

Stanford's antibody study in Santa Clara County [...] reported a population prevalence of 2.5% to 4.2% for COVID-19 antibodies, and a corresponding infection fatality rate of 0.12% to 0.2%. This result, if true, would have huge implications, as the lower fatality rate would dramatically change the calculus on important policy decisions [...]. However, this study has also received numerous criticisms, most notably for the results being inconsistent with the false positive rate of the antibody test. Here, I attempt to derive what the results ought to have been, under a better methodology.

Keeping score: my coronavirus predictions

There's two reasons for me to do this. The first is for self-improvement. Making predictions and evaluating the results helps me refine my thinking. The second one is to "flex". And yeah, there's probably some element of vanity in there. But even apart from that, I do think that it's important to display my predictions and their results publicly, so that people know that they can trust my works.

Quick takes on the plan to re-open the country

It's not bad. It has many key features from my plan, and while it does have some deficiencies, the fact that it's quite flexible means that state and local leaders can fill in those gaps as necessary. In fact, that responsibility goes all the way down to the individual - to you. As we start re-opening parts of the country in a few weeks, please do your part: take all the standard measures, and do anything else you can that will reduce R0 below 1.

Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection (Easter 2020)

This was the state of the "Bayesian evaluation for the likelihood of Christ's resurrection" post, as of Easter 2020. This post will remain unchanged, while the linked post above will have further edits. I also put up a Facebook post on that date, which is essentially the same as the 2019 Facebook post. The offer […]

Coronavirus endgame: how we get back to normal

Where do we go from here? And how do we get things back to normal, as quickly as possible? Some people are fantasizing an apocalyptic future, where we stay locked in for months and venture into the virus-infected outside world only to fight over food and toilet paper. Is that what lies ahead? It's clear that our current level of suppression cannot persist indefinitely, but how will it end, and what will life look like when it does?

The coronavirus pandemic: status report on the United States

But we're all wondering whether we've done enough, and how things will turn out in the future. After all, it's the future that's scary: people often report and comment on the current numbers, but I think this is a mistake. The current numbers, of themselves, are insignificant. It's what they portend for the future, under the assumptions of exponential growth, that's the cause for alarm. That's why it's so important to break the exponential, through our efforts of social distancing and better personal hygiene.

On the coronavirus

This doesn't mean that anyone should panic, of course. You wouldn't panic over someone not wearing their seat belt, or lighting up a cigarette. But you'd clearly agree that these are bad ideas. And, again, the risks here increase exponentially with time. Soon enough it will be like getting in a car with a drunk driver. Without a seat belt. On a stormy night. For a drag race.
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