All of ab's Comments + Replies

We're announcing a $100,000 blog prize

Hello there, and welcome to the forum! I understand how the number can seem surprising, but here is a little more background from Nick that might have gotten buried below: "Yes, this is a serious amount of money. That said, writing a good blog takes a lot of time, and note that the expected value for any particular blogger will be relatively low. If 100 bloggers apply (which we expect to be a lower bound given the traction), it's $5k for the work of a part-time job over a year. Obviously, Cowen using the same number makes it a bit of a Shelling Point ... (read more)

Democratising Risk - or how EA deals with critics

Hey Zoe and Luke, thank you for posting this and for writing the paper! I just finished reading it and found it thoughtful, detailed, and it gave me a lot to think about. It is the best piece of criticism I have read, and will recommend it to others looking for that going forward. I can see the care, time, and revisions that went into the piece. I am very sorry to hear about your experience of writing it. I think you contributed something important, and wish you had been met with more support. I hope the community can read this post and learn from it so we can get a little closer to that ideal of how to handle, incorporate, and respond to criticism. 

Note: I discuss Open Phil to some degree in this comment. I also start work there on January 3rd. These are my personal views, and do not represent my employer.

Epistemic status: Written late at night, in a rush, I'll probably regret some of this in the morning but (a) if I don't publish now, it won't happen, and (b) I did promise extra spice after I retired.

I think you contributed something important, and wish you had been met with more support. 

It seems valuable to separate "support for the action of writing the paper" from "support for the arguments... (read more)

Response to Recent Criticisms of Longtermism

Phil Torres wrote a response to my piece and as he is not currently on the forum, I offered to post a link to it. Here it is: I am not endorsing it, but I think it is important to give people a chance to respond! If you are curious what he thought of this piece, I encourage you to read it. 

The link isn't working for me.
Response to Recent Criticisms of Longtermism

Thank you Coleman! Looking forward to reading it 

Response to Recent Criticisms of Longtermism

Hello Linch, Sean and Marisa capture the reasons well. I have had several people outside EA/LT ask about the Torres essays and I didn't have a great response to point them to so this response is written for them. I also posted it here in case others have a similar use for it. 

Thanks for the response, from you and others! I think I had a large illusion of transparency about how obviously wrong Torres' critiques are to common-sense reason and morality. Naively I'd have thought that they'd come across as clearly dumb to target audiences the way (e.g.) the 2013 Charity Navigator critique of EA did. But I agree that if you and others think that many people who could potentially do useful work in EA (e.g., promising members of local groups, or academic collaborators at Cambridge) would otherwise have read Torres' article and been per... (read more)