Brad West

990 karmaJoined Nov 2021


I'm a bit confused. If vegans were to leave false positive reviews personally or abstain from leaving negative reviews that they were otherwise inclined to leave, there will be artificially inflated reviews of bad vegan restaurants, with various knock-on effects that others have discussed in these comments.

I don't think I am pointing toward false, positive reviews. Rather, I'm endorsing honesty and candor as something that generally produces good consequences. I think this vegan restaurant situation would be part of the rule, for the reasons discussed throughout the comments.

Answer by Brad WestSep 25, 202320

Probably contributing to people being able to trust reviews for vegan restaurants is good from a consequentialist perspective as well.

Fostering a world of trust and honesty tends to produce the basis for happier lives. I bristle at how frequently people seem to imply utilitarianism implies dishonest actors.

I wrote another post about how the possibility of AGI making us immortal could screw up incentives from a selfish perspective. Your likelihood indicate a bet that some might be willing to take (even though delay for safety increases might be much higher EV from an altruistic perspective).

Currently many successful firms exist where large ownership stakes are separate from involvement in management.

Sure, incentives derived from high equity by founders/early employees is a factor in some contexts, like startups. It isn't clear that PFGs couldn't offer similar incentives, for instance by offering high money buyout provisions.

You refer to an ostensibly indispensable "fitness advantage" without considering that it isn't present in existing firms and similar incentives couldn't be replicated in a PFG context.

To be clear, the Patagonia method of a PFG coming to exist (the founder and vast majority shareholder donating stock to a charitable trust or foundation) would be excellent.

We would certainly encourage any very rich, philanthropic people to turn their businesses into PFGs. For instance, if @Dustin Moskovitz wanted to buy back sufficient Asana stock and put an amount above 90% into a philanthropic trust benefiting EA charities, that would be great.

Was this not argument #7? I think the giving by proxy research addresses it and I don't see much reason to believe the net effect on other giving would be negative rather than positive.

Please note that the arguments from the quick take are in the document under appropriate headings.

Think he was referring to "brigading", referred to in this thread

Generally, it is voting more out of allegiance or affinity to a particular person, rather than an assessment of the quality of the post/comment.

Is there a good article or post arguing comprehensively for the benefits of being transparent and candid about charitable contributions? I'd be interested in sharing it generally if there is.

To be fair to the OP, I don't think that he was saying you should not consider the views of Yudkowsky- in fact he admits that Yudkowsky has some great thoughts and that he is an innovator.

OP observes that he himself for a long time reflexively deferred to Yudkowksy. I think his objective with his post was to point out some questions on which he thought Yudkowsky was  pretty clearly wrong (although it is not clear that he accomplished this). His goal was not to urge people not to read or consider Yudkowsky, but rather to urge people not to reflexively defer to him.

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