Whether you’re wondering about your immunity in the first few days after your vaccine, if you’re past infection gives you immunity, or whether we’ll reach herd immunity, I put together 5 plots to give simple, visual, and memorable answers to these questions.

When am I immune?

Q: I just got my vaccine. Am I immune?

For Johnson and Johnson, here are the reported vaccine efficacy percentages over time since the dose (interpret these as the percent reduction in risk, from your baseline risk of getting COVID). [1]

Source: Overview of Janssen’s Single-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S, February 2021 [2]

The JnJ vaccine takes a couple of weeks before immunity really starts kicking in, although see the…

College admissions aren’t fair, but that’s not the point

I was surprised to learn this week that 73% of Americans don’t believe race should be a factor in college admissions. How can a policy so widespread be so unpopular?

The disconnect lies in a confusion with the ideas of fairness and merit.

Americans like to strive towards a meritocracy, an ideal where power and privilege are awarded purely on the basis of talent. Want a job? Be good at it. Soccer teams find the best goal-scorers for their team, and medical practices find the best doctors to perform surgeries. …

How Spotify‘s API can be used to track global mood, research well-being, increase sales, and more

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

I always find myself spying on my friends’ listening feeds on Spotify. It’s a nice, spontaneous vibe check. I feel like I know what it means when I see Graham listening to Kanye West, or Nick listening to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. I know that classical music means work and that classical music at 2 A.M. means WORK. I love seeing a friend jamming with ABBA and feel bad catching a friend in their feels listening to Billie Eilish. I imagine Jack Johnson at 10 A.M. as a peppy breakfast, T-Pain at 2 P.M. as a post-gym shower…

This is Newcomb’s Paradox:

“There is a 100% accurate mind reader and two boxes labeled A and B. You are given a choice between taking only box B, or taking both boxes A and B. You know:

  • Box A is clear and contains $1,000.
  • Box B is cardboard, and its content has already been set by the mind reader
  • If the mind reader predicted the player would take both boxes A and B, there is nothing in box B
  • But, if the mind reader predicted that the player would take only box B, there is $1,000,000 in box B.


2 Senate runoffs in Georgia this January will decide the composition of the Senate. Wins in both are needed to reach a blue 50–50 + Kamala Harris Democratic split, and avoid 4 years of gridlock at the hands of Mitch McConnell and the rest of his Senate. A coordinated House, Senate and Presidency is a tantalizing prospect for our democracy (for Democrats, also).

It would make it possible — and Joe Biden has expressed interest in each of these ideas — to abolish the filibuster, add Washington DC and Puerto Rico to the union, add justices to balance the Supreme…

When I stumbled across Sam Harris’ book “Free Will” 2 years ago at a local bookstore, I was excited to read it. The cover, featuring the titular letters suspended from marionette strings, looked elegant and provocative. At the time, I was a run-of-the-mill educated devotee of the physical sciences. The idea that free will was an illusion had always been intuitive to me. How could I freely do anything if I’m really just a bundle of atoms and electric fields? It was also less than 100 pages, and I’m always looking to pad my Goodreads.

I read the book and…

Will Mcconnell

I study Math and History at Harvard. I’m interested in philosophy, politics, math, data science, and finding my ikigai.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store