I think it's almost all over. I had a draft version of this comment that I saved about 60 hours ago; it was rather adroitly hedged but the gist of it was that the central front along the A2 highway may have stalled, or at least that the Ethiopians are putting up a quite credible delaying action there, to judge by the TDF's average advance rate of 3,000 metres a day. Compare roughly 300 metres for a Western Front-style slog and 30,000 metres for a headlong pursuit by a fast-marching army. Well, since I wrote that the TDF seems to have advanced down the ...
@(Jgalt) Note that Elon is not being totally forthright when he claims Starship is intended to "reach orbit" on its next flight. Officially they are calling it an "orbital" flight, which they are justifying on the grounds that its perigee is above sea level, and tacitly on the grounds that "suborbital" might confuse people into thinking of a typical sounding-rocket-type trajectory, which is vastly easier than orbit. But a *true* orbital profile requires restarting the main engine to deorbit in any kind of timely and controlled fashion, and they have cho...
@(Maze) There is also the question of some kind of commando raid. It's materially quite different if (say) 30 guys infiltrate Belgorod, blow up a railyard, and then disappear vs if 3,000 guys attack to seize and hold Russian territory in the direction of Belgorod. Just tossing this out without a lot of consideration, but one possible standard might be something like: * at least 100 guys * occupying at least 1 square kilometer of Russian territory * while in regular supply & communication with the Ukrainian logistics system (ie, not a detached patrol or...
European Journal of Human Genetics: [The use of polygenic risk scores in pre-implantation genetic testing: an unproven, unethical practice](https://www.nature.com/articles/s41431-021-01000-x) > When PRS assessments are provided as direct-to-consumer tests, their evaluation of a patient’s risk may be dangerously incomplete and can lead to grave misunderstandings. Extrapolating the results from predictive assessments in adult cohorts to use them as a factor for embryo screening would be improper. No clinical research protocol has been performed so far to ...

There's a great deal of dispute about what exactly constitutes "gain of function" research. I think it's unlikely to be fully banned under that name, but it's possible there might be bans or restrictions on some activities classifiable as GoF research.

Ryan Matsumoto on Twitter:


Trump +195,953 votes

6,277,135 votes reporting

~88% estimated vote reporting

~855,973 votes remaining

Biden must win remaining votes 525,963 to 330,010.

Biden must win remaining ballots 61% - 39%.

Biden is favored. Mail ballots are HEAVILY D.

Politico reports that "The Newsom recall just got real. The campaign to oust Newsom went from unlikely to unavoidable this week." Not sure why they thought it was unlikely, perhaps they should have been checking Metaculus!

@(SimonM) Compare the IPCC system: | | | |----|----| | 99% | Virtually certain | | 90% | Very likely | | 66% | Likely | | 33 to 66% | About as likely as not | | 33% | Unlikely | | 10% | Very unlikely | | 1% | Exceptionally unlikely | and the Sherman Kent system: | | | |----|----| | 100% | Certain | 93% | Almost certain | 75% | Probable | 50% | Chances about even | 30% | Probably not | 7% | Almost certainly not | 0% | Impossible If I were designing one of my own for Metaculus, I'd perhaps try: | Point | Description | Range | |----|----|-...

I'd be interested in a short fuze question about pardons or commutations for one or more Capitol stormers over the next week-and-a-half.

Seems like the successful incumbent one-term President who is currently rearranging the primary calendar to his personal liking is more than 55% to be the next nominee, yeah? Even if it's Biden?

Related questions: * [Will NASA's SLS launch a person to the Moon before 2024?](https://www.metaculus.com/questions/2795/will-nasas-sls-launch-a-person-to-the-moon-before-2024/)     (Currently **4%**) * [When will NASA's SLS first launch a person to the Moon?](https://www.metaculus.com/questions/2818/when-will-nasas-sls-first-launch-a-person-to-the-moon/)     (Currently **Oct 21, 2028**, with a 35% chance of not before 2030) * [Will China land the next person on the Moon?](https://www.metaculus.com/questions...
@(fianxu) @Mr_H When I tried my hand writing "city takeover" questions for Kandahar and Addis Ababa, I just picked out single [Schelling point](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focal_point_%28game_theory%29) locations, on the theory that it would be much easier to find clear information about single prominent objectives than find out exactly where the front lines are and argue what counts as control. For both the choices were obvious; in Kandahar the Shrine of the Cloak and the Governor's palace are the two best candidates and they're right next to each oth...
  • Will at least 20,000 troops of the NATO Response Force be deployed to the Baltics, Poland, Romania or Slovakia in 2022?

  • Will Turkey abrogate the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the [Turkish] Straits in 2022?

  • Will any US forces go to DEFCON 2 in 2022? To DEFCON 1? (Sound off anyone if you know the Russian equivalent.)

  • Will Finland's government announce a goal of NATO accession in 2022? Will Sweden's?

  • How many National Guards will be on European deployment on 31 December 2022?

Kaitlan Collins on Twitter:

Wow. Biden at a Dem fundraiser tonight: “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis.” He says Putin is “not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical,” nuclear or biological weapons because his military is underperforming.

Not looking great for the 97% Metaculus prediction here.

@(Jgalt) The exact phrasing of the questions is maybe not so great: * Is Joe Biden mentally fit to serve as President of the United States or do you have doubts about his fitness for office? * Do you think Joe Biden is showing he is too old to be President or do you think he is showing he is fit to be President? IMO neither does a very good job of isolating the concept of Biden's vitality and cognitive soundness from the concept of how good he is at being President. These probably should have been "which comes closer to your view" questions opposing t...

I have come around to fully agreeing with Dr. Slantchev that a precipitous Russian collapse before Christmas is looking increasingly plausible and that this makes a high-variance, double-down-to-save-the-hand play by Mr. Putin frighteningly likely. I don't think he's going to kill thousands of people with it, but I think that Putin's maybe going to set off a non-test nuke. The good guys are winning and we deserve to, but at this point it's starting to push things into an insanely dangerous regime.