All of anon_account's Comments + Replies

Promising ways to improve the lives of urban rats in South Africa

Interesting! Potentially ignorant question, from someone who loves rats and humans: Do urban rats spread disease and/or bite people? I was surprised that those potential risks didn't figure into the survey or people’s responses and attitudes. What are the risks to the humans of letting rats live among them? If there are real health risks to people from having a large rat population around, I would expect a culture would be wise to use stories of witchcraft to spread the wisdom that rats are “bad news” to human health. It’s sad when one mammal’s welfare (hu... (read more)

4Charles He2moI think your comment was intended for the original posters, Gabriele James or Andrew Fisher, either of whom know way more than me, since my knowledge of this is from reading this post. You might want to directly reply to their post so they can see your thoughts. Uh, some quick thoughts anyways: I think your premise is that there has to be a trade off between rats or humans, but I don’t think this is the premise of likely interventions or the view of the original posters. Importantly, I think one intervention is the reasonable reduction of urban rat populations, e.g. removing garbage and food sources, so we don’t have a lot of rats who suffer. (Note that there’s a little micro-history in wild animal welfare where some people got the sense that the outcome of the whole idea was removing animal populations in general, but this is basically too simplistic. As far as I can tell, wild animal welfare people like animals and nature, you know, like normal people do). Well, South Africa has a really vibrant culture and I can’t imagine how to characterize it, but well, my guess is that there is strong sentiment against rats among some. As the OP said, there was “pro-suffering”, people wanted to see rats suffer (despite the fact rats have no control and literally just want to eat to survive).
The humbling art of catching golden fish

Thanks for posting and competing! I’m excited to see creative writing on the Forum. I enjoyed the setting of the lake, the kindness and camaraderie between neighbors, and watching the young person grow enthusiasm for a project.

I think it’s fine (maybe good) to explore activities in fiction that I wouldn’t do in real life or would find cruel in real life. So while I don’t fish anymore because I find it cruel, I think it’s fully possible to learn lessons from fiction about things I would find disturbing in real life. So I disagree with the other comment , ... (read more)

2Simon Holm1moDear anonymous person - thank you for reading my story and sharing your thoughts! I really appreciate your encouragements - it is thrilling for a newbie writer to see what images it brought to mind for you. And thank you for providing an alternative opinion to Peterslattery's comment. I will see whether or not I will try to edit this story to more clearly convey the "evidence-and-reasoning" part, or if I will just have a shot at a new one...!
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This is my favorite part:"While I understand the concern, I must emphasize that the Forum exists on the Internet, a system of interconnected computer networks where space is effectively unlimited."

I think this is in fact a very useful reminder. And it made me laugh, and read it again and laugh again. Thank you :)

How have you become more (or less) engaged with EA in the last year?

I also experienced the hesitation to contribute. The more involved I've gotten, the more inspired I've been by the many people I've met who are creating ideas and solutions to problems they care about. I have started doing more of that in my own EA circle, being less afraid of 'being wrong'. It's been very satisfying.

Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident

Interesting, and thanks, Denise for a different take. When I read Ozzie's comment, I thought he meant that the people leaping to Robin's defense should consider that they might be over-emotion, chill out a bit, and practice their rationality skills. Which, I would agree with. I don't think there's *no* concern that reasonable people could have here. I can think of several concerns, some of which have been pointed out in the comments on this post. But I think people who are freaked out by this one decision seem just as likely to be re... (read more)

Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident

Personally, I feel the same. I can engage with Robin's ideas online. I think he produces some interesting content. Also, some dumb content. I can choose to learn from either. I can notice if he 'offends' me and then decide I'm still interested in whether what he has to say might be useful somehow. ...That doesn't mean I have to invite the guy over to my house to talk with me about his ideas, because I realize that I wouldn't enjoy being around him in person. I think this is more common than people realize among people who know Robin. If Munich wanted to read and discuss his stuff, but not invite him to 'hang out,' I get it.