How many times has a laboratory release caused a large-scale epidemic in humans?
I'm going to define "large-scale epidemic" as outbreaks with over 10,000 cases – just to reiterate, specifically in humans.
Sources used as a jumping-off point:
- [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists article written by a medical historian](https://thebulletin.org/2014/03/threatened-pandemics-and-laboratory-escapes-self-fulfilling-prophecies/)
- [Front Public Health article](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4128296/) that cites the above and, in retrospect, seem...
I quite firmly believe that anybody who takes the "Biden has dementia" claims seriously is a victim of culture war.
He's *much* [healthier than average for his age](https://www.metaculus.com/questions/4354/will-joe-biden-be-the-democratic-party-nominee-for-president-of-the-united-states-on-election-day-2020/#comment-30596). He gave [what I evaluate as an objectively good half hour–long acceptance speech](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6s6qpzqMxE) at the DNC. He easily reels off detailed COVID stats in interviews I've seen. And the verbal slips: He's b...
About a year and a half ago, I wrote up a [couple](https://www.metaculus.com/questions/1607/will-genetic-data-from-a-new-denisova-hominin-be-published-in-the-first-6-months-of-2019/) of [questions](https://www.metaculus.com/questions/1610/will-ancestrydna-have-20-million-people-in-their-database-before-july-1st-2019/) related to the field in which I work in, human genetics. Now, when I typically make predictions on here, I try to make it so my own hunches and intuitions do as little of the work as possible – I aim towards that classic stuff of taking the...
@(randallburns) I find it very unlikely that Trump is a habitual user of stimulants, as it seems you're implying here. (For the purposes of this comment, read "stimulants" as "stimulants aside from caffeine or tobacco".)
My prior for presidents doing this is low. While several presidents have acknowledged illicit drug use prior to their political careers ([low-quality source here](https://www.projectknow.com/blog/a-complete-guide-to-the-us-presidents-and-their-drug-and-alcohol-use/) but is an effective summary and can be externally verified), the only (...
As a result of what I've observed on here over the past few days, I've become more confident that there would be reasonably large benefits to restricting the ability to comment to users who have demonstrated some minimum threshold of competence, *à la* StackExchange. I'm not sure how this would best be operationalised -- perhaps commenters would have to have won at least *x* points on at least one question. To be clear, I think there's a pretty good chance that this would **not** be a net positive after taking into account the community being occasionall...
@(shibboleth) This is great, and a much better-researched version of a comment I was considering writing.
There's another thing I'd point out, which is that the people who are best placed to credibly refute any wild rumours are actually unlikely to do so. The first entity who could is the NK government, but they are constitutively enormously secretive, probably care much less about false outside speculation than other states, and may actually perceive some benefits to the rumour mill going crazy. There's also the caveat that, for many outside the count...
Since his inauguration, Donald Trump has sent tweets containing the word:
* ["communist" four times](https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3ArealDonaldTrump%20communist&src=typed_query&f=live)
* ["communism" once](https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3ArealDonaldTrump%20communism&src=typed_query&f=live)
* ["commie" zero times](https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3ArealDonaldTrump%20commie&src=typed_query&f=live)
[No tweets from the POTUS handle](https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3Apotus%20communist%20OR%20communism%20OR%20commie&src=typed_query) have containe...
Here in [Iceland](https://www.covid.is/data), where pretty likely over 10% of the population has been tested, case fatality rate is around 0.55%.
("Pretty likely" because I'm assuming that the average number of tests per person who's had a test is not much over one. My uncle who had 5 tests – he kept coming up positive for weeks – represents an extreme case.)
I *suspect* that the testing here has a false positive rate of something like 0.5% (I assign maybe 1/3 probability it's as high as this), because consistently a minimum of around 0.5% of the gener...
Firstly, I want to correct the description of the question here. In their summary, the question poser has confused a ["motion of no confidence"](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motions_of_no_confidence_in_the_United_Kingdom), which is a vote among the *entire House of Commons* as to whether they are confident in the *current ruling Government*, with a 'confidence vote' that, according to the internal rules of the Conservative Party, can be triggered among *Conservative MPs* to determine whether they are confident in the *current leader of their party*.
@(PabloStafforini) By comparing his released medical records and general appearance to population-level health statistics, I've been concluding that Biden is very likely to be healthier than the average male American of his age.
The main things I'm going off are:
* While [something like 20% of US men](https://www.ontheissues.org/Book_of_Joe.htm) in his age bracket were obese in 2012,
Biden clearly isn't
* (In a fit of obsessiveness I actually downloaded some data tables from the [National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey](https://wwwn.cdc....
Assigning ≤ 1% to the summed probabilities of the following (accounting for necessary time-frames and unwritten requisites):
- Musk dying from any cause
- Musk becoming sufficiently ill from any cause that he can't go
- Musk heeding advice saying that it's not a good idea for him to go
- Musk secretly being too scared to want to go despite public statements
- Musk changing his mind for some other reason
- Musk trying but not surviving "to a height of at least 100 km" (resolution criteria)
- Musk deciding to try for a different celestial body instead
Musk and Grimes are based in California. It's very likely that the child was born and had to be registered there. California's naming laws are unusually restrictive and only allow names composed of the 26 characters in the English alphabet (no diacritics), apostrophes, and hyphens.
@(gbear605) The likelihood of death isn't uniformly distributed across remaining lifespan! According to [US actuarial life tables](https://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4c6.html), the average 77 year old has a 4.3% chance of dying at that age, which implies a ~2% chance of dying in the next six months.
But I would be very willing to bet that Biden's base rate of death is lower than this. Firstly, because he seems to be healthier than the average 77 year old; bear in mind that the 4.3% chance calculated above includes the roughly [quarter of people that a...
@gjm Yes, it was childish of me. I suppose that the only justification I have is that by responding in a silly manner, I was trying to provide a signal – other than pointedly ignoring it, as everyone else did – that I find comments like kimbob14's to be similarly silly. I could have submitted a more sober passage of prose with the same message, but I suppose that it's difficult for me to maintain formality all the time. Apologies for dumbing down the discourse.
edit: I also want to tell anyone reading this that authoring questions is fun, and not very difficult, and vital for increasing the utility that Metaculus offers to the world.
@Jgalt Let's keep it to 50 states + DC. A sex doll brothel opening in 50+DC will probably garner enough media coverage that it'll be clear whether or not it meets the resolution criteria, but this might not be true for such an establishment in American Samoa or some military base in Japan.