Links (Jan 2022)

Part Of: Links sequence

Current Events

  1. Ukraine government suffers from cyberattack, US alleges Russia planning a false flag operation. Metaculus estimate for invasion climbs from 25% to 50% in less than a week. Most useful analyses I’ve seen: historical context, tactical overview
  2. Analysis on how Russia perceives the CIA (or NED) as actively causing the unrest in Kazakhstan, increasing willingness to act in Ukraine.
  3. CPI inflation in US reaches 7%. Consensus amongst top economists: this is not about greed, and cannot be solved with antitrust. 
  1. A deep dive into China’s slow moving real estate crisis. 
  2. NYT Story: US bombed a Syrian dam and could have have killed tens of thousands. To prevent that from happening, the Syrian government, ISIS and the US stopped fighting to allow repairs. 

Health

  1. Bottled water contains endocrine disruptors. Sixteen of the chemicals inhibited estrogen and androgen receptors up to 90%.
  2. Bariatric surgery not only increases life expectancy for the obese by 5 years; it also halves COVID mortality risk. 
  3. Somatic evolution and Peto’s paradox
  4. Children who live in homes with gas cooking have a 42% increased risk of developing respiratory illnesses (eg asthma). 
  5. The maddening saga of how an Alzheimer’s ‘cabal’ thwarted progress toward a cure for decades
  6. Viral infection as an NAD+ battlefield 
  7. When plasma collected from mice that run a lot is transfused into sedentary rodents, the recipients show enhanced learning & memory, and dampened inflammation in the brain. This appears to be mediated by clusterin, a protein boosted by physical activity.

Pathogens

  1. Vaccination substantially reduces long Covid risk.
  2. US CDC reports that risk of fomite transmission is roughly 1 in 10,000. 
  3. Long Covid people are missing naive T cells. Long Influenza increases Parkinson’s risk by 73%. Long Measles disrupts immune system memory.
  4. “Long Mono” found to cause most if not all cases of multiple sclerosis. “When the original studies were done with cigarette smoking and lung cancer, they found a 25-fold risk factor for people who smoked more than 25 cigarettes a day. This is even higher.”Here’s hoping an EBV/MS vaccine will arrive soon.
  5. EBV doesn’t only cause multiple sclerosis. It also causes rheumatoid arthritis, and an astonishing 1.5% of all cancer deaths. Germ Theory 2.0 advocates claim that most so-called chronic diseases (incl cancer and heart disease) are not “environment-gene interactions” nor “evolutionary mismatch” but are in fact long-term repercussions from viral infection. 
  6. Germ Theory 2.0 attributes most cancer ailments to sexually transmitted pathogens. Consider a virus under strong selective pressure to persist in the body. The immune system operates outside the cell. If a virus can figure out how to spread under the cloak of the cell wall, it can persist. Imagine a virus hacking the cell a) to make more infected cells, b) to prevent cellular suicide, c) to move to other parts of the body… sounds a lot like cancer, right?
  1. Germ Theory 2.0 approach of cardiovascular disease (CVD): Chlamydia pneumonia (Cpn) kills 600,000 Americans every year via CVD. The deadliest germ known to the human race. Most people catch it in grade school, and their immune systems never get rid of it.  People with CVD are much more likely to have Cpn than controls, Cpn pathogens are preferentially located in atherosclerotic plaques, Cpn explains why traditional risk factors matter, and infecting animals with Cpn has been shown to accelerate the development of CVD.

Progress

  1. Jet packs are becoming real
  2. Punctuated equilibrium in the large-scale evolution of programming languages.

AI

  1. Maximizing differential entropy to solve wordle.
  2. Upgraded version of Conway’s Game of Life. 
  3. AI art (one, two, three). 

Biology

  1. When humans were hunting whales, the whales were sharing tips about avoiding hunters. “Our analysis provides substantial support for rapid (less than 20% generation time, so much too fast for genetic evolution) social learning over large spatial scales.”
  2. Synchronization of 32 metronomes. If you put dozens of out-of-phase metronomes on a movable surface, they will synchronize themselves according to what is called a Kuramoto model of synchronization. Relevant to how the brain entrains its resident oscillators.
  3. Sex differences while smelling a baby’s scalp. The scent of hexadecanal (HEX) causes women to become more, and men to become less, aggressive. 

Misc

  1. A national map of land value in the US. 
  2. Meet your blind spot
  3. The color of films.
  1. Billions of single-cell bioluminescent organisms known as sea sparkles
  2. What is happening on the Channel Islands?
  3. A dismembered scripture scribal mechanism proposed to underlie the Documentary Hypothesis. 
  4. Unsure of a decision? Pretend to resolve with a coin flip, and then consider which way you hoped it would land.

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