This post is inspired by question 1 (source).

A participant’s share of impact on a project is the product of the percentage contributions of the project’s influence line (motivational and additive impact considered separately). Combining multiple entities' estimates can increase shares' allocation accuracy.

C1-1 inspires 20% of B1’s action. This action motivates A’s project by 5%. Thus, C1-1’s impact share on A’s project is 20%×5%=1%.

The % share of contributions of all considered influencers does not need to total 100%, since some may be unspecified and actions may be taken by free will. The % share of any influence line segment is the extent to which the nodal entity made it so that the next participant took the step with further impact. These shares should be estimated by multiple individuals in order to increase accuracy. Influence nodes can be any physical and juridical persons and other entities or their groups and networks.

Influence can be both positive and negative, but negative-value certificates would likely be rejected by participants. Negative influence can increase the need for positive influence and so increase the value of other nodes’ contributions. A positive influence can be mistaken for a negative one if a negatively interpreted action, such as a false post, inspires a positive action, such as writing an accurate post. Counterfactual impact should always be considered.

The quality of actions and projects, in addition to their existence, can be influenced. This should be accounted for separately, since the percentage calculations differ. For example, if B1 improves A’s project by 5% (but does not motivate it), B1’s (additive) share of impact is 100%/105×5=4.76%. Total impact is the sum of motivational and additive impact of all influence lines from the considered node to the project.

As of 2022-06-22, the certificate of this article is owned by brb243 (70%).

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5 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 7:28 PM

Thank you for engaging with this question as well!

So, to terribly oversimplify, your idea is to form an independent committee of sorts that has some sort of voting procedure (and maybe a veto period?) and all sorts of useful features like that and that votes or otherwise agrees on how impact in a project should be allocated?

That seems feasible for really big impacts. Dony imagines Stanislav Petrov’s impact certificate for saving the world from WW3. It seems sensible to form a committee that is trusted by everyone who was around Stanislav Petrov at the time and might’ve also had an influence and that then allocates the impact among all these “participants.”

In many other cases it’s going to be both easier and harder: A archetypal case may be that of a workshop. There is no strong cultural norm around how impact should be allocated among organizers, funders, and maybe some pro-bono instructors, but still the set of people who need to be considered is fairly limited. Typically, for example, the parents of an instructor won’t make a claim. In that sense it’s easier, but it’s also harder in that a single workshop (well, the median workshop) won’t be significant enough that we can assemble a trusted committee to make the decision.

Also, typically, the reason for the autonomous allocation is that the person who wants to know their shared doesn’t want to impose on the time of the others to settle the matter. So if otherwise they would’ve had a 30-minute call with the other n-1 participants, and scheduling the call takes 5 minutes for each of them, then you get a time cost of 35*(n-1) minutes for everyone else. So an alternative method needs to be cheaper than 35*(n-1) minutes to be worth it. (I’ll assume for simplicity that the person’s own time doesn’t matter because they’re probably ready to invest > 10x the amount of time, but of course there are hypothetical methods that are so complex that even that person would not deem them to be worth their time.)

Hence why I was thinking that there may be some norms that we could set that will establish for some subset of projects (say, all since the norm was established) that impact can be assumed to be allocated according to some simple rule unless otherwise specified… But I haven’t thought of anything.

I’d be delighted to know if you have any more ideas that could help us here! :-D

form an independent committee of sorts that has some sort of voting procedure (and maybe a veto period?) and all sorts of useful features like that and that votes or otherwise agrees on how impact in a project should be allocated

Yes, have not extensively thought about the way in which agreement is approximated efficiently and except the committee can include the concerned people.

form a committee that is trusted by everyone who was around Stanislav Petrov at the time and might’ve also had an influence and that then allocates the impact among all these “participants.”

Yes, like that. Some could allocate some shares to themselves and each other. For example the person who taught Petrov that "any U.S. first strike would be massive" (Wiki) could attribute about 20%, the people who showed the data can attribute each 1% for not appealing for escalation, the superiors can attribute 10% for sound management and suggest that the radar people should attribute nothing because blindly following orders is the standard, etc.  

There is no strong cultural norm around how impact should be allocated among organizers, funders, and maybe some pro-bono instructors, but still the set of people who need to be considered is fairly limited. 

Maybe, for the multiplicative impact, funders attribute everything net of anything which is done by the good will of others. For example, if funders hire a part-time teacher to develop a curriculum, then they attribute 100% of the development. If the teacher does it in their free time, they get 100%. If they take a 50% cut, each gets 50% (only considering two participants). For additive impact, the additional effort compared to the pay grade of the person can be considered. For example, an instructor paid $20/hour doubles the impact compared to an average instructor paid that rate, then they get 50%. Workshop participants should also be considered? They should get the share of multiplicative impact similarly based on to what extent this is compulsory or optional and additive based on the premium participation quality compared to the average participants.

even that person would not deem them to be worth their time

Yes, maybe if they can have the participants with short descriptions what they did on a board and they can just click to add a connection with a percentage, or a person or a description.

some norms that we could set that will establish for some subset of projects (say, all since the norm was established) that impact can be assumed to be allocated according to some simple rule unless otherwise specified…

The claimant gets all and should distribute it according to their best knowledge (recipients must be able to decline all or a part of the share). Non-claimants can see the list of certificates and contact the claimant for the share of impact they consider fair with a brief justification. Anyone can suggest a non-claimant, who then can choose to be notified.

For example, if funders hire a part-time teacher to develop a curriculum, then they attribute 100% of the development.

 

Do you mean that if someone is already hired and paid to do a job, that job should not, by default, be considered additionally rewarded through an impact allocation? Or at least if someone is paid at market rate?

Anyone can suggest a non-claimant, who then can choose to be notified.

That seems useful. I would like to err on the side of making sure that more rather than fewer people need  to be explicitly asked for their consent for this. Otherwise it’s too easy for someone to miss the call. That’s sort of the opening pages of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. xD

OPP has posted about counterfactuals related to giving. The organization meets (or did at the time of writing of the post) unmet needs but does not seek to fund more than 50% of an organization's budget. "Does it lead to a situation in which some of the organization’s donors should “wait us out” to make the organization’s funding gap appear larger than it otherwise would, while others should “front-run us” to make our room for matching other donors seem larger?" Do you have some example calculation or a sheet that could relate to this problematic? I think that OPP is currently seeking to improve their metrics.