Thank you for writing this fantastic post!
I think understanding & growing more skillful in this territory is extremely important (from an impact-maximizing perspective and from other perspectives too).
I’m reminded of some of the practices I listed here, and of Jessica’s post On hiding the source of knowledge as well.
How do you think the professional and social spaces you were participating in during this time interacted with the hamster-wheel feeling?
Further elaboration of the rescaling hypothesis and Griffiths et al. 2006 here: https://enthea.net/founders-pledge-report-psychedelics-and-subjective-wellbeing.html
Thanks for this!
I’m curious about how these frameworks interact with Logarithmic Scales of Pleasure and Pain
Yes, I think the crux here is how good you think your judgment/taste is relative to that of all the others who are trying.
Right, so if you had good judgment and a reasonable network, I think you could find a lot of the promising opportunities.
Someone would be like “I have a device that produces bright light at a low cost, and I need funding to manufacture it on a massive scale.”
So you’d be like “Really? Let me see this device.”
You’d inspect the device, see that it does in fact do the thing the inventor says it does, and then after further diligence on the business plan & team you’d invest.
I think this is roughly how to go about separating the real opportunities from the snake oil.
Thanks for this! Super interesting.
A question I often have about the index-fund approach: if we were in a past historical moment, wouldn’t VC-style investment on moonshots perform better than index investing?
e.g. if we were in 1910, wouldn’t it be better to invest in a portfolio of moonshots that included Ford and Edison, rather than in a broad market index? (Most of the moonshots would fail but Ford and/or Edison would bring in massively outsized returns)
I’m reminded of Romeo’s comment about rationality attracting “the walking wounded” on a similar post from a couple years back.
I actually think rationality is doing pretty good all things considered, though I definitely resonate with Applied Divinity Studies’ viewpoint. Tsuyoku Naritai!
This is awesome!
Has Charity Entrepreneurship looked into Wren? https://projectwren.com
(Monthly subscription service for counterfactually-adjusted carbon offsets via reforestation etc.)
Agree that the Blues can’t cancel Trump. Note that being affiliated with Red Tribe isn’t sufficient to avoid cancellation (though it probably helps) – see Petraeus, see the Republicans on these lists: 1, 2
Jordan Peterson seems basically impossible to cancel due to a combination of his shamelessness & his virtue (he isn’t really Blue Tribe though). Same for Joe Rogan and Tyler Cowen.
Trump demonstrates that thoroughgoing shamelessness effectively wards off cancellation, at least in the short run.
Also of The Apology, though that’s obviously an extreme case.
I’m reminded of this.
I read this piece as proposing a stance towards a social dynamic (“how EA should orient to cancel culture”), rather than continuing litigation of anyone’s character.
I think something like 3a is right, especially given our cluelessness.
… if we could explain to an AGI what happiness is, then we could get it to create more happiness (or, at least, not create more unhappiness)?
I think this captures #1, #2, #4, #6, #8.
But not #3 and #5, and not really #7, not really #9, not really #10.
Some related material in this blog post: How understanding valence could help make future AIs safer
I don’t have a strong view on whether having children increases or decreases hedonistic well-being (though it seems likely to increase well-being in desire/preference terms).
Yes, I haven’t looked closely but it seems like a complicated topic.
Pollmann-Schult 2018 thinks that the having kids<>life satisfaction relationship depends a lot on the context:
There are, however, considerable cross-country variations in life satisfaction between parents and non-parents. Within Europe, parenthood is more positively associated with happiness in social democratic countries than in conservative, liberal, and Eastern European countries (Aassve et al. 2012).
Notably Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian parents are more satisfied with their lives than their childless counterparts (Kohler et al. 2005; Hansen et al. 2009; Daukantaite and Zukauskiene 2006). A positive association between parenthood and life satisfaction has also been found in Russia (Mikucka 2016).
Parents in the USA and continental European countries, in contrast, experience equal or lower levels of life satisfaction than childless individuals (Alesina et al. 2004; Umberson and Gove 1989; Keizer et al. 2010; Myrskylä and Margolis 2014; Pollmann-Schult 2014; Rizzi and Mikucka 2015).
I wonder which of hedonistic and preference utilitarianism you’re more sympathetic to, or which of hedonism and preference/desire theories of well-being you’re more sympathetic to. The former tend to go with experiential SWB and the latter with evaluative or eudaimonic SWB (see Michael Plant’s recent paper).
As far as I can tell, experiential and eudaimonic well-being converge in the limit, but it’s important to prioritize eudaimonic well-being along the way to avoid premature optimization.
e.g. Jhanic states are more hedonic than cocaine or Twitter, but also more difficult to access.