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3DanielFilan1dSounds like if you could cheaply get rid of anti-money-laundering laws, this would be pretty effective altruism: > Necessarily applying a broad brush, the current anti-money laundering policy prescription helps authorities intercept about $3 billion of an estimated$3 trillion in criminal funds generated annually (0.1 percent success rate), and costs banks and other businesses more than $300 billion in compliance costs, more than a hundred times the amounts recovered from criminals. Found at this Marginal Revolution post. [https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/01/the-anti-money-laundering-fraud.html] 1Prabhat Soni1dSOCRATES' CASE AGAINST DEMOCRACY https://bigthink.com/scotty-hendricks/why-socrates-hated-democracy-and-what-we-can-do-about-it [https://bigthink.com/scotty-hendricks/why-socrates-hated-democracy-and-what-we-can-do-about-it] Socrates makes the following argument: 1. Just like we only allow skilled pilots to fly airplanes, licensed doctors to operate on patients or trained firefighters to use fire enignes, similarly we should only allow informed voters to vote in elections. 2. "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter". Half of American adults don’t know that each state gets two senators and two thirds don’t know what the FDA does [http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-oe-goldberg31jul31-column.html] . 3. (Whether a voter is informed can be evaluated by a short test on the basics of elections, for example.) Pros: better quality of candidates elected, would give uninformed voters a strong incentive to learn aout elections. Cons: would be crazy unpopular, possibility of the small group of informed voters acting acting in self-interest -- which would worsen inequality. (I did a shallow search and couldn't find something like this on the EA Forum or Center for Election Science [https://electionscience.org/].) # Thursday, January 21st 2021Thu, Jan 21st 2021 Personal Blogposts Shortform 7Chi3dI just wondered whether there is systematic bias in how much advice there is in EA for people who tend to be underconfident and people who tend to be appropriately or overconfident. Anecdotally, when I think of Memes/norms in effective altruism that I feel at least conflicted about, that's mostly because they seem to be harmful for underconfident people to hear. Way in which this could be true and bad: people tend to post advice that would be helpful to themselves, and underconfident people tend to not post advice/things in general. Way in which this could be true but unclear in sign: people tend to post advice that would be helpful to themselves, and they are more appropriately or overconfident people in the community than underconfident ones. Way in which this could be true but appropriate: advice that would be harmful when overconfident people internalize it tends to be more harmful than advice that's harmful to underconfident people. Hence, people post proportionally less of the first. (I don't think the vast space of possible advice just has more advice that's harmful for underconfident people to hear than advice that's harmful for overconfident people to hear.) Maybe memes/norms that might be helpful for underconfident for people to hear or their properties that could be harmful for underconfident people are also just more salient to me. 5WilliamKiely3d#DonationRegret #Mistakes Something it occurred to me it might be useful to tell others about that I haven't yet said anywhere: The only donation I've really regretted making was one of the first significant donations I made: On May 23, 2017, I donated$3,181.00 to Against Malaria Foundation. It was my largest donation to date and my first donation after taking the GWWC pledge (in December 2016). I primarily regretted and regret making this donation not because I later updated my view toward realizing/believing that I could have done more good by donating the money elsewhere (although that too is a genuine reason to feel regret about making a donation, and I have indeed since updated my view toward thinking other donation opportunities are better). Rather, I primarily regretted making the donation because six months after donating the money I learned that if I had saved that money and donated it instead on Giving Tuesday 2017, I could have gotten the money counter-factually matched by Facebook [https://www.eagivingtuesday.org/#h.md45fep1oihk], thereby directing twice as much money toward the effective charity of my choice and doing almost twice as much good. (I say 'almost' as much good because I think a smaller but nontrivial amount of good would have been done by Facebook's money had it gone to other nonprofits instead). (I in fact donated \$4,000 on Giving Tuesday 2017 and got it all matched. I got all my donations matched in 2018 and 2019 too, and probably most of my donations in 2020, though matches have yet to be announced by Facebook. Other mistakes around this will go in a separate comment sometime.) Reflecting on this more: Since I think marginal donations to some organizations do more than twice as much good as donations to other organizations (including AMF) in expectation, there is a sense in which missing a counterfactual matching opportunity was not as significant of a mistake as giving to the wrong giving opportunity / cause area. Yet on the other
2flowo2dI can also highly recommend Deep Work by Cal Newport, his main thesis is that 'real' work only happens/productivity is high when you're doing it for a few hours at a time instead of 15min blocks with constant interruptions. Edit: should have read the linked post first haha, so see this as another vote for Cal Newport
1antimonyanthony2dCrosspost: "Tranquilism Respects Individual Desires [https://tobeanythingatallblog.wordpress.com/2021/01/10/tranquilism-respects-individual-desires/] " I wrote a defense of an axiology [https://longtermrisk.org/tranquilism/] on which an experience is perfectly good to the extent that it is absent of craving for change. This defense follows in part from a reductionist view of personal identity, which is usually considered in EA circles to be in support of total symmetric utilitarianism, but I argue that this view lends support to a form of negative utilitarianism.

# Wednesday, January 20th 2021Wed, Jan 20th 2021

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18Chi3dShould we interview people with high status in the effective altruism community (or make other content) featuring their (personal) story, how they have overcome challenges, and live into their values? Background: I think it's no secret that effective altruism has some problems with community health. (This is not to belittle the great work that is done in this space.) Posts that talk about personal struggles, for example related to self-esteem and impact, usually get highly upvoted. While many people agree that we should reward dedication and that the thing that really matters is to try your best given your resources, I think that, within EA, the main thing that gives you status, that many people admire, desire, and tie their self-esteem to is being smart. Other altruistic communities seem to do a better job at making people feel included. I think this has already been discussed a lot, and there seem to be some reasons for why this is just inherently harder for effective altruism to do. But one specific thing I noticed is what I associate with leaders of different altruistic communities. When I think of most high status people in effective altruism, I don't think of their altruistic (or other personal) virtues, I think 'Wow, they're smart.' Not because of a lack of altruistic virtues - I assume -, but because smartness is just more salient to me. On the other hand, when I think of other people, for example Michelle Obama or Melinda Gates or even Alicia Keys for that matter, I do think "Wow, these people are so badass. They really live into their values." I wouldn't want to use them as role models for how to have impact, but I do use them as role models for what kind of person I would like to be. I admire them as people, and they inspire me to work on myself to become like them in relevant respects, and they make me think it's possible. I am worried that people look at high status people in effective altruism for what kind of person they would like to be, but the
4vaidehi_agarwalla4dReasons for/against Facebook & plans to migrate the community out of there Epistemitc Status: My very rough thoughts. I am confident of the reasons for/against, but the last section is mostly speculation so I won't attempt to clarify my certainty levels Reasons for moving away from Facebook * Facebook promotes bad discussion norms (see Point 4 here [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/p7EWkqa8TogNskXu5/suggestions-for-online-ea-discussion-norms#Being_an_active_bystander_] ) * Poor movement knowledge retention * Irritating to navigate: It's easy to not be aware that certain groups exist (since there are dozens) and it's annoying to filter through all the other stuff in Facebook to get to them Reasons against * Extremely high switching costs * start-up costs (see Neels' comment) * harder to pay attention to new platform * easier to integrate with existing scoial media * Offputting/intimidating to newer members * Past attempts haven't taken off (e.g. the EA London Discussion Board [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/H3nmq4M46W4k7qwDY/ea-directory-and-groups-discussion-board-1] , but that was also not promoted super hard) * Existing online space (the Forum) is a bit too formal/initimidating How would we make the switch?In order of increasing speculativeness * One subcommunity at a time. It seems like most EA groups are already more active in their spaces other than Facebook, but it would be interesting to see this replicated on the cause area level by understanding what the community members' needs are and seeing if there's a way to have alternatives. * Moving certain services found on Facebook to other sites: having a good opportunities board so people go to another place for ea jobs & volunteer opportunities, moving the editing & review group to the forum (?), making it easier for people to reach out to each other (e.g. EA Hub Community directory). Then it may be easier to mov

# Tuesday, January 19th 2021Tue, Jan 19th 2021

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