Policy
Policy

Quick takes

102
5mo
3
The Belgian senate votes to add animal welfare to the constitution. It's been a journey. I work for GAIA, a Belgian animal advocacy group that for years has tried to get animal welfare added to the constitution. Today we were present as a supermajority of the senate came out in favor of our proposed constitutional amendment. The relevant section reads: It's a very good day for Belgian animals but I do want to note that: 1. This does not mean an effective shutdown of the meat industry, merely that all future pro-animal welfare laws and lawsuits will have an easier time.  And, 2. It still needs to pass the Chamber of Representatives. If there's interest I will make a full post about it if once it passes the Chamber. EDIT: Translated the linked article on our site into English.
3
9d
https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/events/cJnwCKtkNs6hc2MRp/panel-discussion-how-can-the-space-sector-overcome  This event is now open to virtual attendees! It is happening today at 6:30PM BST. The discussion will focus on how the space sector can overcome international conflicts, inspired by the great power conflict and space governance 80K problem profiles. 
16
3mo
As someone predisposed to like modeling, the key takeaway I got from Justin Sandefur's Asterisk essay PEPFAR and the Costs of Cost-Benefit Analysis was this corrective reminder – emphasis mine, focusing on what changed my mind: More detail: Tangentially, I suspect this sort of attitude (Iraq invasion notwithstanding) would naturally arise out of a definite optimism mindset (that essay by Dan Wang is incidentally a great read; his follow-up is more comprehensive and clearly argued, but I prefer the original for inspiration). It seems to me that Justin has this mindset as well, cf. his analogy to climate change in comparing economists' carbon taxes and cap-and-trade schemes vs progressive activists pushing for green tech investment to bend the cost curve. He concludes:  Aside from his climate change example above, I'd be curious to know what other domains economists are making analytical mistakes in w.r.t. cost-benefit modeling, since I'm probably predisposed to making the same kinds of mistakes. 
28
7mo
Radar speed signs currently seem like one of the more cost effective traffic calming measures since they don't require roadwork, but they still surprisingly cost thousands of dollars. Mass producing cheaper radar speed signs seems like a tractable public health initiative
9
2mo
I find the Biden chip export controls a step in the right direction, and it also made me update my world model of compute governance being an impactful lever. However, I am concerned that our goals aren't aligned with theirs; US policymakers' incentive right now is to curb China's tech growth and fun trade war reasons, not pause AI. This optimization for different incentives is probably going to create some split between US policymakers and AI safety folks as time goes on. It also makes China more likely to treat this as a tech race which sets up interesting competitive race dynamics between the US and China which I don't see talked about enough. 
2
18d
Communicating by keeping human rights at the centre of AI Policy discussion is extremely underappreciated. For e.g., the UN Human Rights chief in 2021 called for a moratorium on the sale and use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems until adequate safeguards are put in place. Respect for human rights is a well-established central norm; leverage it  
21
7mo
The OECD are currently hiring for a few potentially high-impact roles in the tax policy space: The Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA) * Executive Assistant to the Director and Office Manager (closes 6th October) * Senior programme officer (closes 28th September) * Head of Division - Tax Administration and VAT (closes 5th October) * Head of Division - Tax Policy and Statistics (closes 5th October) * Head of Division - Cross-Border and International Tax (closes 5th October) * Team Leader - Tax Inspectors Without Borders (closes 28th September)  I know less about the impact of these other areas but these look good: Trade and Agriculture Directorate (TAD) * Head of Section, Codes and Schemes - Trade and Agriculture Directorate (closes 25th September) * Programme Co-ordinator (closes 25th September) International Energy Agency (IEA) * Clean Energy Technology Analysts (closes 24th September) * Modeller and Analyst – Clean Shipping & Aviation (closes 24th September) * Analyst & Modeller – Clean Energy Technology Trade (closes 24th September) * Data Analyst - Temporary (closes 28-09-2023) Financial Action Task Force  * Policy Analyst(s), Anti-Money Laundering & Combatting Terrorist Financing
8
2mo
2
After talking and working for some time with non-EA organisations in the AI Policy space, I believe that we need to give more credence to the here-and-now of AI safety policy as well to get the attention of policymakers and get our foot in the door. That also gives us space to collaborate with other think tanks and organisations outside of the x-risk space that are proactive and committed to AI policy. Right now, a lot of those people also see X-risks as being fringe and radical(and these are people who are supposed to be on our side). Governments tend to move slowly, with due process, and in small increments(think, "We are going to first maybe do some risk monitoring, only then auditing"). Policymakers are only visionaries with horizons until the end of their terms(hmm, no surprise). Usually, broad strokes in policy require precedents of a similar size for it to be feasible within a policymakers' agenda and the Overton window.  Every group that comes to a policy meeting thinks that their agenda item is the most pressing because, by definition, most of the time, contacting and getting meetings with policymakers means that you are proactive and have done your homework. I want to see more EAs respond to Public Voice Opportunities, for instance- something I rarely hear on the EA forum or via EA channels/material. 
Load more (8/37)