The original paper argued for axiological strong longtermism (AL), providing examples of interventions that avoided the “washing out hypothesis”. It claimed that AL was robust to plausible deviations from popular axiological and decision-theoretic assumptions, considered which decision situations fall within the scope of AL, and argued for deontic strong longtermism on account of very large axiological stakes.
The new paper strengthens existing points and introduces some new content. I briefly summarise (what I see as) some of the most interesting/important differences between the new and old paper below, with a focus on what is new rather than what is...
This post summarizes the way I currently think about career choice for longtermists. I have put much less time into thinking about this than 80,000 Hours, but I think it's valuable for there to be multiple perspectives on this topic out there.
Edited to add: see below for why I chose to focus on longtermism in this post.
While the jobs I list overlap heavily with the jobs 80,000 Hours lists, I organize them and conceptualize them differently. 80,000 Hours tends to emphasize "paths" to particular roles working on particular causes; by contrast, I emphasize "aptitudes" one can build in a wide variety of roles and causes (including non-effective-altruist organizations) and then apply to a wide variety of longtermist-relevant jobs (often with options working on more than one cause)....
Mark Lutter of the Charter Cities Institute has compiled a list of examples of social change.
The list is wide-ranging, and there's no requirement that changes be positive — merely that a group of people tried to change a system and succeeded.
I'll post the current entries here for easy skimming:
What are some examples Mark should add?
Personally, I'm most interested in examples that:
In this post I will make the case that digital marketing is under-utilized by EA orgs as well as provide some example use cases.
My hope is that this post leads to EA orgs testing the below or similar strategies.
A large part of what Effective Altruism is trying to do is to change people’s beliefs and behaviors. Digital advertising is one tool for achieving this goal. The fact that corporations, governments, and nonprofits repeatedly invest millions of dollars in digital marketing programs is evidence of their efficacy.
A couple notes:
This is the first in what might become a bunch of posts picking out issues from statistics and probability of relevance to EA. The format will be informal and fairly bite-size. None of this will be original, hopefully.
Expectations are not outcomes
Here we attempt to trim back the intuition that an expected value can be safely thought of as a representative value of the random variable.
A Rademacher random variable X takes the value 1 with probability 1/2 and otherwise -1. Its expectation is zero. We will almost surely never see any value other than -1 or 1.
This means that the expected value might not even be a number the distribution could produce. We might not even be able to get arbitrarily close to it.
Imagine walking up to...
I think many people should be writing for or posting on the EA Forum more! And when giving career advice or talking to people with interesting ideas, one of the most common things I say is “Maybe you should start posting?”
But of course, not everyone should be posting to the Forum, and not all the time. So how can people decide?
This post discusses reasons for and against writing for / posting on the Forum, which readers can consider in light of their specific situation in order to make decisions that are right for them.
Feel free to skim or jump around this post; each section should make sense by itself.
This post doesn’t necessarily represent the views of my employers.
An inducement prize contest (IPC) is a competition that awards a cash prize for the accomplishment of a feat, usually of engineering. IPCs are typically designed to extend the limits of human ability. Some of the most famous IPCs include the Longitude prize (1714–1765), the Orteig Prize (1919–1927) and the prizes from the X Prize Foundation.
IPCs are distinct from recognition prizes, such as the Nobel Prize, in that IPCs have prospectively defined criteria for what feat is to be achieved for winning the prize, while recognition prizes may be based on the beneficial effects of the feat.