24 karmaJoined Working (0-5 years)


I care a lot about AI safety and animal welfare.


Yes EAs are especially altruistic. Although especially altruistic people exist across all economic classes and races, you'd still expect to see more privileged people in EA because they have the means (alongside other factors like the cycle of low diversity).

And so, EA is not a good measure of who is altruistic because it incidentally filters out people who are less wealthy, have less spare time, are more risk-averse, or don't want to be in spaces that don't represent them. If you have more privilege, you can (not want to, but have the means to) do more altruism. It's important for people to have self-serving motivations if they don't have much time or money: they know the best way to spend it.

That leads to my next point, which is that the vast majority of elite white rich people (needlessly) have selfish motivations, and can't exactly be expected to altruistically set up co-ops or start a business with no expectation of high returns in the world where it works out. This makes your point irrelevant, because it shows that even when people have the means they are still mostly not altruistic.

EA is possible because of a small minority of people having the sufficient means (time or money) and a weird altruism. Anyone who feels this weird altruism is welcome. If you know how to make people more altruistic, that would be fantastic information. Note there would be many things with a higher priority on the to-do list than 'socialism'.

I think one of the reasons why socialism is so unfalsifiable is because it's incredibly easy for socialists to shift the goalposts rapidly to another form of 'socialism' upon critique, so thank you for your definition. 

You say "it's just the reduction the private capital" or this relatively benign form of anti-imperialism, but the post above outlines the USSR's space program or China's economic growth as examples of socialist successes, so it must be to do with the 'socialism' in those economies. Your definition sounds like capitalism to me: you can pay rent to a landlord, have your surplus labour taken, the only condition is that 'private capital' is being 'reduced' (something like the railways are being nationalised or corporations are being taxed).

On your institutional point, being intergovernmental organisations, I don't believe IMF and World Bank are 'private capital'. Furthermore, the Belt & Road initiative is run by China, which is listed as a socialist country in the post. 

On your intervention point, would I prefer US intervention done in the name of anti-communism across the late 20th century wasn't so brutal and destructive. Does that make me any less of a liberal? I think you can be pro-capitalism and anti-imperialism, in the same way you can be pro-socialism and pro-imperialism (China, Venezuela, USSR). In other words the attributes pro-imperialism and pro-capitalism are independent.

It's important not to feel as if you are "wasting" your life because people tell you that you are smart. It seems like a pretty good rule of thumb to prioritise the sustainability of your EA actions - making sure you are happy and comfortable in your job, and putting yourself first.

If you are truly intrisically interested in a career change towards something particularly effective, I wouldn't be super concerned about test scores, they probably aren't the best metric for how you'd do in grad study or fair in your career. Your GPA is great, and being from an "unremarkable" university won't matter. 

It seems like you may not be so comfortable in more quantitative fields, but 80k recommends heaps of areas that sound like a great fit: Philosophy and Psychology seem like particularly important areas for EAs!

A quick once over on their career reviews section reveals:

  • Population ethics researcher / policy analyst
  • Journalism
  • Research management
  • Non-technical roles in technical AI or biorisk research
  • Startup employee
  • Startup founding
  • Community building

Just to gauge more closely, it could be worth expanding that list, and running through this article.

80k has a lot of reflecting to do if what you say about them being not useful to most people is true. In my opinion though that they do try and frame things in a way that appeals to the average competent person!

Answer by adnhw4

It would seem counterproductive, at least to policymakers who think AI is helpful, to place any kind of widespread ban on essay-writing AI, or to somehow regulate ChatGPT and others to ensure students don't use their platforms nefariously. Regulations won't keep with the times, and won't be understood well by lawmakers and enforcers.

As a student, ChatGPT has made me vastly more productive (especially as a student researcher in a field I don't know much about). It seems like this sort of technology is here to stay, so it seems useful for students to learn to incorporate the tool in their lives. I wasn't old enough to remember, but I assume a similar debate may have taken place with search engines.

There are probably a myriad of ways education institutions can pick up on cheating. If not used to analyse text as AI generated itself, institutions could possibly use AI to perform linguistic analysis on irregularities and writing patterns, like those used against the unabomber in his trial. Children especially, I assume, would have these writing patterns, though I am not qualified to speak on any of this. Cheaters tend to (in a self reinforcing cycle) not be so smart, so I would expect schools to find a way around them using AI.

Overall it seems more plausible and productive for schools to regulate this themselves. Where there is worry about academic misconduct, there will be market based solutions as there already exist for plagiarism checking.