I'm a recent Cognitive Science graduate from UC Berkeley.
My primary focus is fleshing out an early stage research project funded by Emergent Ventures India aiming to leverage neurotechnology and machine learning to augment canine disease detection and complement machine olfaction development.
My family has been running a non-profit for almost a decade - Rajalakshmi Children Foundation - in Northern Karnataka that works on improving the health and education floor of underprivileged children. We recently started a talent search program that I've described in a post. While I'm not actively involved in operations, I'm keyed into the work and would love to spark beneficial collaborations.
Substack - https://akashkulgod.substack.com/
Rajalakshmi Children Foundation- rajalakshmifoundation.in
I've come across advice similar to this (David Perell for instance) and something that comes to mind is - What if Proust followed this advice? Or William James. Erik Davis. Or hell even Haruki Marukami. They're a whole bunch of authors whose writing I love that go pretty hard against -"Streamline your message. Be as clear, simple, and easy to understand as you possibly can."
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the general thrust of this post and clear writing is usually great and something to aspire to. I also like the quote on non-fiction as fiction. I think the main problem I have with any 'rules' on how to write is that to me, the best authors break the language.
Thanks for the video, I found it very helpful. If you don't mind me asking, what does the 'psychedelic' in your description point towards? I don't think you mention it in the video and I'm curious as I was part of some "psychedelic communities" and wonder what dynamics I may not have been paying attention to.
No concrete useful feedback, just a note that I thought both posts were artfully tailored to your purpose and medium, nicely done!
Glad someone posted this, it's an excellent read and I highly recommend it.
An interesting points that isn't highlighted above - Delhi's air quality is worse than what population/economic factors should lead to and can be traced back to a major blunder by the Supreme Court over-regulating buses + low-state capacity that resulted in a massive shortage of buses + perverse incentives for politicians to prioritise building roads over improving public transit.
I always thought stubble burning + some industrialisation was the main culprit so this was a useful prior update.
Thank you for providing such an in-depth response to my posts Brendan. I really appreciate the sentiment and tone, constructive dialogue like this is what drew me towards EA and motivates me (and other folks I bet) to write on the forum.
Just about to start the Annapurna Circuit so it'll be a few weeks before I can continue the conversation. I look forward to the unfolding of a spontaneous adversarial collaboration and the advancement of interventions that raise the physical and cognitive floor potential of the people of India. Do hope more voices join and flesh out the many threads at play already.
Surprised to see no Indian languages mentioned in the language list. I realize it's non-exhaustive but would have expected Hindi to make such a list over other languages, given the number of speakers.
I really appreciate your comment Karthik as I was wrestling with the same feelings myself - the majority of streeties I've met at home and during travels have seemed to live happy, agentic lives. I'd go so far as to say some of them lived better lives than many companion dogs — they had complete freedom (to many housed dogs live the majority of their lives tied in the same place), had rich social lives and were allowed to live out their natural impulses. I'm hesitant to know how much to trust this experience, the happy/friendly dogs are far more likely to be the ones I've interacted with, and it seems undeniable that the high early mortality, short lifespans, and general insecurity of basic needs suggests a less than desirable state of being. But, I take back how strongly I worded the sentence you quote.
I also realized while writing the tension between highlighting WALYs lost by premature pup deaths and suggesting birth control as an intervention. It seems to boil down to - does the average streetie live a happy life? It's a seemingly impossible question and I don't know yet what my answer is. For what it's worth, on an IG poll I just ran 16 ppl voted No and 4 voted Yes.
About the DALY-WALY conversion, honestly I don't find comparing cortical neurons to assess degrees of suffering meaningful but I'll admit to not knowing a better way. I think this is where EA's forcing apples to be oranges so we can crunch them together breaks down. However, note that DALY-WALY is not the same as dog life - human life, because humans live 8x longer lives. So the 30:1 ratio is implying you should save a human baby over saving 240 puppies. Curious to know if you think that's too high based off your 1/100th, which would imply the 30:1 ratio is actually too conservative.
Thanks for writing this. I've been wondering whether it's ethical for me to have a ChatGPT plus subscription and it's useful to see other folks thinking along similar lines + providing 'solutions'.