Hmm, so here are my thoughts on this:
1) I think you’re right that the idea of going meta from the object level is an idea that’s known to many EAs. I’d argue though that the categorisations in the diagram are valuable though because I don’t know of any previous article where they’ve all been put together. For veteran EAs, they’ll probably be obvious but I still think it’s useful for them to make the implicit explicit.
2) The idea of construal levels is useful here because of how thinking in far vs. near mode affects psychology. E.g. when people think in far mode they
have to ignore details, and tend to be less aware that those nuances actually exist
tend to associate other far-mode things with whatever they think of. E.g. Robin Hanson’s point that many sci-fi/futurism books (except, of course, Age of Em) focus on values and broad populations of beings that all look similar, and have blue book covers (i.e. sky, far away)
So this is why I think referring to construal levels adds value. Come to think of it, I should have mentioned this in the post somewhere. Also my understanding of construal level theory is shoddy so would love to hear opinions of someone who’s read more into it.
BTW, my sister mentioned that I could have made the post a lot more understandable for her if I just started with ‘Some considerations like X are more concrete and other considerations like Y are more abstract. Here are some considerations in between those.’
Judging by, that I could have definitely written it more clearly.
I’ve added some interesting links to the post on near vs. far mode thinking, which I found on LessWrong and Overcoming Bias.