Misha_Yagudin's Shortform

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Seems like EA Munich canceled a meetup with Hanson; here is their reasoning.

I noticed that Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues is available at Library Genesis.

Estimates from The Precipice.

| Stellar explosion             | 1 in 1,000,000,000 |
| Asteroid or comet impact | 1 in 1,000,000 |
| Supervolcanic eruption | 1 in 10,000 |
| “Naturally” arising pandemics | 1 in 10,000 |
| Total natural risk | 1 in 10,000 |

| Nuclear war | 1 in 1,000 |
| Climate change | 1 in 1,000 |
| Other environmental damage | 1 in 1,000 |
| Engineered pandemics | 1 in 30 |
| Unaligned artificial intelligence | 1 in 10 |
| Unforeseen anthropogenic risks | 1 in 30 |
| Other anthropogenic risks | 1 in 50 |
| Total anthropogenic risk | 1 in 6 |

| Total existential risk | 1 in 6 |

Previously, I was wondering what rather high rates of mental health issues imply about philosophical positions EA's are attracted to. Now I know that according to The psychology of philosophy: Associating philosophical views with psychological traits in professional philosophers "lower levels of well-being and higher levels of mental illness predicted hard determinism." I am highly uncertain but it doesn't seem that significant to me.

h/t Gavin

Morgan Kelly, The Standard Errors of Persistence

A large literature on persistence finds that many modern outcomes strongly reflect characteristics of the same places in the distant past. However, alongside unusually high t statistics, these regressions display severe spatial autocorrelation in residuals, and the purpose of this paper is to examine whether these two properties might be connected. We start by running artificial regressions where both variables are spatial noise and find that, even for modest ranges of spatial correlation between points, t statistics become severely inflated leading to significance levels that are in error by several orders of magnitude. We analyse 27 persistence studies in leading journals and find that in most cases if we replace the main explanatory variable with spatial noise the fit of the regression commonly improves; and if we replace the dependent variable with spatial noise, the persistence variable can still explain it at high significance levels. We can predict in advance which persistence results might be the outcome of fitting spatial noise from the degree of spatial autocorrelation in their residuals measured by a standard Moran statistic. Our findings suggest that the results of persistence studies, and of spatial regressions more generally, might be treated with some caution in the absence of reported Moran statistics and noise simulations.

Any reference on the economic history of moral development? Seems like a potentially important topic for research on moral circle expansion.

The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce by Deirdre N. McCloskey

McCloskey’s sweeping, charming, and even humorous survey of ethical thought and economic realities—from Plato to Barbara Ehrenreich—overturns every assumption we have about being bourgeois. Can you be virtuous and bourgeois? Do markets improve ethics? Has capitalism made us better as well as richer? Yes, yes, and yes, argues McCloskey, who takes on centuries of capitalism’s critics with her erudition and sheer scope of knowledge. Applying a new tradition of “virtue ethics” to our lives in modern economies, she affirms American capitalism without ignoring its faults and celebrates the bourgeois lives we actually live, without supposing that they must be lives without ethical foundations.

h/t Gavin

Fwiw, I started reading this book but found it long-winded and not carefully argued so put it aside.

The three subscales of the Light Triad Scale are conceptualized as follows:

Faith in Humanityㅡor the belief that, generally speaking, humans are good.

Sample item: I think people are mostly good.

Humanismㅡor the belief that humans across all backgrounds are deserving of respect and appreciation.

Sample Item: I enjoy listening to people from all walks of life.

Kantianismㅡor the belief that others should be treated as ends in and of themselves, and not as pawns in one’s own game.

Sample item: When I talk to people, I am rarely thinking about what I want from them.


via https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/darwins-subterranean-world/201903/the-light-triad-personality

Karma of EA Survey Series as of today:

29 EA Survey 2019 Series: Geographic Distribution of EAs
43 EA Survey 2019 Series: Careers and Skills
74 EA Survey 2019 Series: Cause Prioritization
64 EA Survey 2019 Series: Community Demographics & Characteristics

38 EA Survey 2018 Series: Community Demographics & Characteristics
15 EA Survey 2018 Series: Distribution & Analysis Methodology
50 EA Survey 2018 Series: How do people get involved in EA?
30 EA Survey 2018 Series: Subscribers and Identifiers
82 EA Survey 2018 Series: Donation Data
68 EA Survey 2018 Series: Cause Selection
34 EA Survey 2018 Series: EA Group Membership
34 EA Survey 2018 Series: Where People First Hear About EA and Higher Levels of Involvement
68 EA Survey 2018 Series: Geographic Differences in EA
50 EA Survey 2018 Series: How Welcoming is EA?
50 EA Survey 2018 Series: How Long Do EAs Stay in EA?
75 EA Survey 2018 Series: Do EA Survey Takers Keep Their GWWC Pledge?