Bob Jacobs

284Gent, BelgiëJoined Dec 2019


I'm a student of moral sciences at the university of Ghent. I've also started an EA group in Ghent.


Invertebrate Welfare
The Ethics Of Giving
Moral Economics
Consequentialist Cluelessness
The Meta Trap
AI Forecasting Infrastructure
High Time For Drug Policy Reform


Topic Contributions

A physical abuse tag. I've already written something that could be used as the article:


The physical abuse tag covers posts that discuss the prevention of physical abuse as a cause area.

For posts about animal abuse see: Animal Welfare
For posts about the abuse of statistics see: Statistical methods
For posts about the effects of abuse see: Pain and suffering and Mental health

Further reading

Macpherson, Michael Colin  (1985) The psychology of abuse, R & E Publishers.

McCluskey, Una; Hooper, Carol-Ann (2000) Psychodynamic Perspectives on Abuse: The Cost of Fear, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Related entries

Pain and suffering | Mental health


Posts it could potentially apply to:

The problem of harassment is what the section 'Banning, flagging and blocking' is about. You can substitute the word "malignant actor" with "harasser". As stated, there are some mechanisms to minimize this, but more suggestions are always appreciated.
The option to self-accuse was pointed out in 'banning, flagging and blocking' ("people who pretend to be someone they’re not") and 'tagging' ("Let’s say Barry MacBadguy only assaulted one person and now uses this site to pretend to be his own victim"). The self-accuser can see that someone else accused them, but if the victim opts to stay completely anonymous the self-accuser can't see who accused them. The flagging and blocking mechanisms are there to punish pretenders, though without a third party verification system pretenders will still get in. Third party verification is possible, but does hamper anonymity and makes the project less scalable.

EDIT: You can't stay completely anonymous if you use the chatroom to share experiences, but you can stay anonymous if you use it to coordinate actions (e.g. On January 6th 13:00 we post our stories to our facebook pages). Obviously after you've come forward you can't stay completely anonymous, but you can't do that with any other method either. This project will not completely protect victims, merely improve upon the current situation.

Hey Julian, great initiative!

There are some that are focussed more on pollution, such as lead exposure:

Polluted water:

And air pollution:

GWWC uses bednets, medice and healthspan to show how much your donation could do. Some people might like concrete numbers on what they can buy. E.g a 1000 dollar could do:

If you really want to hammer home how much more your donation could do overseas you can show graphs such as:



As much as I think considering new ideas is important, I recommend you don't include things like the value of potential people and geo-engineering in the graphs, since these concepts may be controversial/distracting for people.

The site used to upload beautiful hopeful graphs everyday, and while they have stopped it might be worth checking out their archives.

If you need help with the graphic design of these graphs, feel free to reach out to me.

Hi Vaidehi,

I saw that this sequence didn't have a banner image yet, and since I made those for other sequences I decided to make one for this sequence too.

As card image you have a network over the United States:

I'm guessing this is a flight network?
In any case, this is a good idea to visualize the idea of sociology and network science. But the colors contain red and purple, while the EA logo is purely blue. And more importantly, this image only depicts the USA, while EA is a global movement.

So I decided to look for images of flight networks that were in the creative commons. I found a flightpath visualizer that depicted the whole world, but didn't show the borders, just like in your image (which may or may not be a philosophical statement about borders). I began photoshopping the visualizations to include the exact shade of blue the EA logo uses, but that isn't always aesthetically pleasing. I made a couple of images that you can use as banner and card image, but if you have specific wishes about how you want them to look, or if you have a totally different idea about how you want your card and banner images to look, please let me know and I'll make one to your liking.

The forum compresses the images, so if you like any of these, let me know and I'll send you the high quality version of them.

EDIT: I was looking through all the sequences and messaging everyone who's missing a banner with the offer to make one for them.  I saw that your "AI Alignment Literature Review and Charity Comparison" sequence doesn't have one either. You could use your card image as banner, or I can make one for you, if you want.

I too would like to know whether this is resolved and who the winner is. Also, I see that since I submitted my entry you've edited your post to talk about symbols instead of flags and added the phrase: "Avoid mathematical symbols since these are less suitable for broader outreach". But I had already submitted my flag with a mathematical symbol on it. Does this mean that my work is now retroactively made ineligible?

Nice post and nice sequence, although I think you forgot to put this post in the sequence itself? I don't see it in there:

I already worked on a project like this previously:

Flag utilitarianism

Yellow stands for happiness, that which utilitarianism pursues

White stands for morality, that which utilitarianism is

The symbol is a sigma, since utilitarians care about the sum of all utility

The symbol is also an hourglass, since utilitarians care about the (longterm) future consequences


If you don't like the rounded design I can also make it more angular:

The size of the symbol, the angles, the proportions of the flags etc can all be changed if you have specific preferences. The main idea is the sigma that also functions as an hourglass.

I do however worry whether it's wise to make symbols for philosophical ideas. I like designing these things, but you run the risk that these symbols can be used to make people strongly identify themselves with these ideas, instead of them being things that people can dispassionately examine and perhaps reject. I would advise everyone to say things like: "I like utilitarianism" or "I believe in utilitarianism", instead of "I am a utilitarian". Let's make sure ethical ideas don't become as rigidly polarized as political ideas.

EDIT: If you want to redesign this flag, go right ahead! I'm planning to donate the prize money if I win, so if you improve on my design and also donate the prize money, that would actually make me very happy.

Do you know similar voting methods that worked on a small scale?

I haven't seen the use of categories and columns before, but the voting systems I used have already seen a bunch of analysis and real world use (the electo-wiki I linked to is a good starting point if you want to look into it). If with "small scale" you mean "you and a bunch of friends need to find a place to eat" I wouldn't use columns and categories (takes too long), but would instead use a simple Approval Vote. If you have a specific scenario in mind, feel free to message me and maybe I can help you out.

What are the next steps in terms of research / action?

I'm not a professional voting theorist, so I'm going to wait and see if someone finds a flaw in the idea of using columns, categories or departments. If not, I might be able to publish it in a couple years if my university/a journal is interested. I think from an activism perspective we should first focus on introducing a better voting system. Something like Approval Voting would be easier to explain/get the public on board with than this more complex electoral reform. If I run into some people that are passionate about voting reform I will certainly share this idea with them, but for now I don't really have an audience for it beyond this forum. If you have a project in mind, feel free to message me.

No problem!

Good question! I asked the mods if they could put Lukas' name underneath the sequence, since he wrote it. The sequence does show up on the sequences-page, so I'm guessing that when they changed my name they simultaneously removed it from my page, but forgot to subsequently add it to Lukas' page. That's just a guess though. Should I message the mods about it?

Load More