Friday assorted links

1. Shruti Ideas of India podcast with Viral Acharya.

2. Is stupidity expanding, or just becoming more visible?

3. “The world’s largest chess play website has closed more than 85,000 accounts for cheating since March.

4. Teachers’ unions aren’t about education: the war against microschools and Prenda in particular (WSJ).

5. Flat results for remdesivir and interferon from a new study.  Interferon is the big news here, noting that timing may well be the issue (more likely that it works when administered early, which is not what this study measured — another reason testing matters!).  And note this:

The silver lining may be that the trial itself, unprecedented in several ways, succeeded. Set up in a short time in March as the pandemic engulfed the world, it used a simple protocol that allowed doctors in overstretched hospitals anywhere to randomize their patients to whatever study drug was available or to standard care.

And this:

The biggest hurdle was the long time it took to get regulatory approval for the study in some countries, says WHO’s Marie-Pierre Preziosi. “Regulators, as well as the ethics committees for that matter, need to rethink their approaches in pandemics and need to be much more ready to cope with this because sometimes the duration for authorization is really not appropriate.”

Doing things “by the book” is not really appropriate in the current moment.  We need a better book!

6. Various pandemic updates from Karl Friston.  And a good albeit imperfect thread on GBD.

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