In a building somewhere, tucked away in a forgotten corner, there are four clocks. Each is marked with a symbol: the first with a paperclip, the second with a double helix, the third with a trefoil, and the fourth with a stormcloud.
As you might expect from genre convention, these are not ordinary clocks. In fact, they started ticking when the first human was born, and when they strike midnight, a catastrophe occurs. The type depends on the clock, but what is always true is the disaster kills at least one in ten.
The times currently remaining on the clocks a... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post
One of the vague ideas spinning around in my head is that maybe in addition to EA which is a fairly open, loosely co-ordinated, big-tent movement with several different cause areas, there would also in value in a more selective, tightly co-ordinated, narrow movement focusing just on the long term future. Interestingly, this would be an accurate description of some EA orgs, with the key difference being that these orgs tend to rely on paid staff rather than volunteers. I don't have a solid idea of how this would work, but just thought I'd put this... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post
On Paths and Problems
Abstract: "Using reasoning and evidence to do the most good"; the fundamental idea of Effective Altruism. But how does one accomplish that? In this article I'll discuss why I believe the focus of EA so far has been largely misplaced, and how we can tackle the subject better.
Disclaimer: My knowledge of how things actually get done by the people who read this forum is rather limited. The points made in this article were based on reading what the site recommends, and skimming the forum.
Let's call the point in time we... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post
One way that x-risk outreach is done outside of EA is by evoking the image of some sort of countdown to doom. There are 12 years until climate catastrophe. There are two minutes on the Doomsday clock, etc.However, in reality, instead of doomsday being some fixed point of time on the horizon that we know about, all the best-calibrated experts have is probability distribution smeared over a wide range of times, mostly sitting on “never” simply for the purposes of just taking the median time not working.And yet! The doomsday clock, so evocative! And I would l... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post
What is the global burden of menopause?
Symptoms include hot flushes, difficulty sleeping, vaginal irritation or pain, headaches, and low mood or anxiety. These symptoms normally last around five years, although 10% of women experience them for up to 12 years.
I couldn't see a Disability-Adjusted Life Years rating for menopause. I'd imagine that it might have a similar impact to mild depression, which in 2004 was rated as 0.140.
Currently, about 200 million people are going through menopause, 80% of whom are experiencing symptoms. I'd expect this to increase
In 2017, 80k estimated that $10M of extra funding could solve 1% of AI xrisk (todo: see if I can find a better stock estimate for the back of my envelope than this). Taking these numbers literally, this means that anyone who wants to buy AI offsets should, today, pay $1G*(their share of the responsibility).
There are 20,000 AI researchers in the world, so if they're taken as being solely responsible for the totality of AI xrisk the appropriate pigouvian AI offset tax fine is $45,000 per researcher hired per year. This is large but not overwhelmingly so... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post
Summary: academia has a lot of problems and it could work much better. However, these problems are not as catastrophic as an outside perspective would suggest. My (contrarian, I guess) intuition is that scientific progress in biology is not slowing down. Specific parts of academia that seem to be problematic: rigid, punishing for deviation, career progression; peer review; need to constantly fundraise for professors. Parts that seem to be less of a problem than I initially thought: short-termism; lack of
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