effectively diverting attention and funding from more effective risk-reduction measures
Yeah, if you count “may distract from an even better intervention” as a reason why something is “not obviously good”, then I think that basically nothing is obviously good. (Which might be true, just pointing out that this criticism seems pretty general.)
ALLFED and related projects like seed banks seem pretty uncontroversially likely to reduce the risk of human extinction.
Thanks for writing this up! I’m really excited to see more investigation into previous social movements and why they were or were not successful.
Here are some examples of communities and institutions that I think used fiction very centrally in their function
Ender’s Game is often on military reading lists (e.g. here). A metric which strikes me as challenging but exciting would be to create a book which gets on one of these lists. (Or on the list of some influential person, e.g. Bill Gates list.)
This would also help me understand the theory of change. I agree with your assessment that some fiction has had a significant impact on the world, but would also guess that most fiction has approximately zero impact on the world, so I would be curious to better understand the “success conditions” for this grant.
This is a really cool idea – thanks for posting!
Thanks for posting this question! It seems pretty tricky to figure out the connections between short-term animal welfare and long-term value, and I’m glad you sparked more discussion on the subject.
Thanks for writing this! It’s a challenging topic, and I am impressed that you have so many actionable suggestions.
If you communicate with an English speaker in English, it usually means that your English is much better than their level in your mother tongue.
This is definitely true for me and most other English speakers I know.
I like this quote from the beginning of Strangers Drowning:
There is one circumstance in which the extremity of do-gooders looks normal, and that is war. In wartime — or in a crisis so devastating that it resembles war, such as an earthquake or a hurricane — duty expands far beyond its peacetime boundaries… In wartime, the line between family and strangers grows faint, as the duty to one’s own enlarges to encompass all the people who are on the same side. It’s usually assumed that the reason do-gooders are so rare is that it’s human nature to care only for your own. There’s some truth to this, of course. But it’s also true that many people care only for their own because they believe it’s human nature to do so. When expectations change, as they do in wartime, behavior changes, too.In war, what in ordinary times would be thought weirdly zealous becomes expected… People respond to this new moral regime in different ways: some suffer under the tension of moral extremity and long for the forgiving looseness of ordinary life; others feel it was the time when they were most vividly alive, in comparison with which the rest of life seems dull and lacking purpose.In peacetime, selflessness can seem soft — a matter of too much empathy and too little self-respect. In war, selflessness looks like valor. In peacetime, a person who ignores all obligations, who isn’t civilized, who does exactly as he pleases — an artist who abandons duty for his art; even a criminal — can seem glamorous because he’s amoral and free. But in wartime, duty takes on the glamour of freedom, because duty becomes more exciting than ordinary liberty…This is the difference between do-gooders and ordinary people: for do-gooders, it is always wartime. They always feel themselves responsible for strangers — they always feel that strangers, like compatriots in war, are their own people. They know that there are always those as urgently in need as the victims of battle, and they consider themselves conscripted by duty.
Is there a non paywall version or a summary you could share? I’m guessing this is the tool you are talking about? https://www.amazon.com/TheraBand-Tendonitis-Strength-Resistance-Tendinitis/dp/B07NX7JXXH
That sounds right to me
Thanks for the clarification! I agree that there are lots of ways that spending money on yourself can make you more productive, and a gym membership seems plausibly like one of those for you. I’m just pointing out that not all ways of spending money on yourself improve your productivity (which is a claim you might not endorse, but seems to have gotten some traction in EA).
This is great. Much more eloquent than my post.
Arguments 2 and 3 mostly seem like arguments against having a life outside of work—am I reading that right?
Yes, if you want to maintain flexibility to jump on new projects if exciting opportunities arise, you probably shouldn’t have much of a life outside of work. (Note: I personally do have a fairly involved life outside of work, and am fine with that trade-off. I’m just pushing back against the claim that no trade-off exists.)
Thanks Claire and Luke for writing this!I have hired security consultants a couple of times, and found that it was challenging, but within the normal limits of how challenging hiring always is. If you want someone to tell you the best practices for encrypting AWS servers, or even how to protect some unusual configuration of AWS services, my guess is that you can probably find someone (although maybe you will be paying them $200+/hour).My assumption is that the challenge you are pointing to is more about finding people who can e.g. come up with novel cryptographic methods or translate game theoretic international relations results into security protocols, which seems different from (and substantially harder than) the work that most “information security” people do.Is that accurate? The way you described this as a “seller’s market” etc. makes me unsure if you think it’s challenging to find even “normal”/junior info sec staff.
Thanks for writing this up! I’m really excited to see such a detailed model of nuclear winter risk. As Kit mentioned, the guesstimate model is easy to understand and play with.
I’d be very interested to know if there are posts that both criticize something EA in a cogent way as this post does and don’t receive large numbers of downvotes.
Hallstead’s criticism of ACE seems like one example.
Most of the comments in the EA forum are pointing out serious factual errors in the post (or linking to such explanations). The LW comments are more positive. The simpler explanation to me seems like the issues with his posts were hard-to-find, and unsurprisingly people on the EA forum are better at finding them because they have thought more about EA.