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Saturday, December 14th 2019
Sat, Dec 14th 2019

No posts for December 14th 2019

Friday, December 13th 2019
Fri, Dec 13th 2019

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20Max_Daniel19h What's the right narrative about global poverty and progress? Link dump of a recent debate. The two opposing views are: (a) "New optimism:" [1] This is broadly the view that, over the last couple of hundred years, the world has been getting significantly better, and that's great . [2] In particular, extreme poverty has declined dramatically, and most other welfare-relevant indicators have improved a lot. Often, these effects are largely attributed to economic growth. * Proponents in this debate were originally Bill Gates, Steven Pinker, and Max Roser. But my loose impression is that the view is shared much more widely. * In particular, it seems to be the orthodox view in EA; cf. e.g. Muehlhauser listing one of Pinker's books in his My worldview in 5 books [https://lukemuehlhauser.com/my-worldview-in-5-books/] post, saying that "Almost everything has gotten dramatically better for humans over the past few centuries, likely substantially due to the spread and application of reason, science, and humanism." (b) Hickel's critique: Anthropologist Jason Hickel has criticized new optimism on two grounds: * 1. Hickel has questioned the validity of some of the core data used by new optimists, claiming e.g. that "real data on poverty has only been collected since 1981. Anything before that is extremely sketchy, and to go back as far as 1820 is meaningless." * 2. Hickel prefers to look at different indicators than the new optimists. For example, he has argued for different operationalizations of extreme poverty or inequality. Link dump (not necessarily comprehensive) If you only read two things, I'd recommend (1) Hasell's and Roser's article [https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-history-methods] explaining where the data on historic poverty comes from and (2) the take by economic historian Branko Milanovic [https://www.globalpolicyjournal.com/blog/11/02/2019/global-poverty-over-long-term-legitimate-issues] . By Hickel (i.e. against "

Wednesday, December 11th 2019
Wed, Dec 11th 2019

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15Wei_Dai2d A post that I wrote on LW that is also relevant to EA: What determines the balance between intelligence signaling and virtue signaling? [ https://www.greaterwrong.com/posts/vA2Gd2PQjNk68ngFu/what-determines-the-balance-between-intelligence-signaling ]
5Tetraspace Grouping3d The sum of the grants made by the Long Term Future fund in August 2019 [https://app.effectivealtruism.org/funds/far-future/payouts/4UBI3Q0TBGbWcIZWCh4EQV] is $415,697. Listed below these grants is the "total distributed" figure $439,197, and listed above these grants is the "payout amount" figure $445,697. Huh?

Friday, December 6th 2019
Fri, Dec 6th 2019

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6vaidehi_agarwalla7d COULD REGULAR SMALL DONATIONS TO FACEBOOK FUNDRAISERS INCREASE DONATIONS FROM NON-EAS? The day before Giving Tuesday, I made a donation to a EA Facebook charity that had seen no donations in a few weeks. After I donated to about 3 other people donated within the next 2 hours (well before the Giving Tuesday start time). From what I remember, the total amount increased by more than the minimum amount and the individuals appeared not to be affiliated with EA, so it seems possible that this fundraiser might have somehow been raised to their attention. (Of course it's possible that with Giving Tuesday approaching they would have donated anyway.) However, it made think that regularly donating to fundraisers could keep them on people's feeds inspire them to donate, and that this could be a pretty low-cost experiment to run. Since you can't see amounts, you could donate the minimum amount on a regular basis (say every month or so - about $60 USD per year). The actual design of the experiment would be fairly straight forward as well: use the previous year as a baseline of activity for a group of EA organisations and then experiment with who donates, when they donate, and different donation amounts. If you want to get more in-depth you could also look at other factors of the individual who donates (i.e. how many FB friends they have). EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN Using EA Giving Tuesday's had 28 charities that people could donate to. Of that, you could select 10 charities as your controls, and 10 similar charities (i.e. similar cause, intervention, size) as your experimental group, and recruit 5 volunteer donors per charity to donate once a month on a randomly selected day. They would make the donation without adding any explanation or endorsement. Then you could use both the previous year's data and the current year's controlled charities to compare the effects. You would want to track whether non-volunteer donations or traffic was gained after the volunteer donations. Caveats: T
4KevinO8d You can now vote in Project 4 Awesome to help EA charities win grants of, judging by past years, $25,000 USD. You can vote for each video for each charity, and each vote counts. Click on the thumbnail to access the voting page for each video. GFI: http://projectforawesome.com/?charity=r0qlq6nE [http://projectforawesome.com/?charity=r0qlq6nE] AMF: http://projectforawesome.com/?charity=IFzDtIVb [http://projectforawesome.com/?charity=IFzDtIVb] Give Directly: http://projectforawesome.com/?charity=2rRk4r7S [http://projectforawesome.com/?charity=2rRk4r7S] Clean Air Taskforce: http://www.projectforawesome.com/?charity=YBH2SiFJ [http://www.projectforawesome.com/?charity=YBH2SiFJ] It's probably best to open one tab, do the CAPTCHA, and then open the rest of the tabs so you don't have to repeat the CAPTCHA. (Credit to Michael; I have no idea how to link to users.)

Thursday, December 5th 2019
Thu, Dec 5th 2019

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1Mati_Roy9d x-post with https://causeprioritization.org/Democracy [https://causeprioritization.org/Democracy] (see wiki for latest version) Epistemic status: intuition; tentative | Quality: quick write-up | Created: 2019-12-05 | Acknowledgement: Nicolas Lacombe for discussions on tracking political promises Assumption: more democracy is valuable; related: The rules for rulers [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rStL7niR7gs], 10% Less Democracy [https://www.overcomingbias.com/2019/09/10-less-democracy.html] NON-DENOMINATIONAL VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES IN POLITICS Tracking political promises Polimeter [https://www.polimeter.org/] is a platform that allows to track how well politicians keep their promises. This likely increases the incentive for politicians to be honest. This is useful because if citizens don’t know how their vote will translate in policies, it’s harder for them to vote meaningfully. Plus, citizens are likely to prefer more honest politicians all else equal. The platform allows to create new trackers as well as contributing to existing ones. Voting reform The Center for Election Science [https://electology.org/] is working to implement an approval voting mechanism in more jurisdictions in the US. They work with volunteers with various expertise; see: https://www.electionscience.org/take-action/volunteer/ [https://www.electionscience.org/take-action/volunteer/]. National Popular Vote Interstate Compact National Popular Vote [https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/] is promoting the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact] which aims to make the electoral vote reflect the popular vote. They are looking for volunteers; see https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/volunteer. [https://www.nationalpopularvote.com/volunteer.]

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