Brad West

636Joined Nov 2021


One potential issue with loaning versus giving is that loaning confers upon the recipient the additional burden of seeking out the lendor for return of the item. Further, some may be concerned they'll misplace the item. Thus, some conscientious people may abstain from borrowing even if the message might resonate with them. Lending may make more sense if you're confident (and the prospective lendee is confident) that you'll see them again in the near future.

It might make sense to minimize the concerns by just giving the book to someone who might be interested. You could request that they convey it to someone who might appreciate it after they've finished it.

It probably depends on whether one was given the choice in advance, while not being in the midst of the excruciating pain. The parent would probably precommit to enduring said pain for an hour to save their child. They may, however, choose differently if in the midst of the pain and offered the ability to kill their child to end that excruciating pain.

You are erroneously centering the cost to the giver instead of the value to the receiver.

Money enables a charity to obtain the resources it needs, including potentially, the time of someone who can serve its mission and do more good than you could with your time.

If you are very well-suited to help a charity-perhaps you have special skills it needs or the organization is new and needs help in absence of having funds for staff-giving of your time can be very helpful.

But money, given the huge variety of capacities that it can enable, is extremely valuable.

In any case, effective altruism is about centering the effect of one's activity, not the cost to the giver. Dear sacrifice is certainly appreciated, but one should try to leverage it toward achieving a better world.

There needs to be more willingness by grantwriters and other funders to bear search-costs for new ideas. It seems like there is a strong emphasis on skepticism within EA, which is great, but it usually translates to, we should not fund this because of perceived issues X, Y, and Z or uncertainty regarding the benefits of A, B, and C, when these issues and benefits are better addressed through empirical testing than a skeptic's intuitions. We need a community that will bear the discovery costs of promising interventions, but this seldom happens unless the proponent of the idea already has clout and/or connections within EA.

If we don't have the information to evaluate the effectiveness of a possible solution, the answer is not to discard a potential solution, but rather evaluate the information costs, and the potential value associated with the array of reasonably possible outcomes.

What would be helpful, if this doesn't exist, would be aggregating sets of potential solutions, listing the resources currently directed toward evaluating their EV, determining bottlenecks (often money) in assessing EV, and making reasonable estimates of potential exploitation values given various hypothesize EV. Then those with resources in EA could ensure that promising paths have the resources to be explored, and we can exploit the best solutions fully.

I am rather pessimistic about EA's prospects for this.

BTW, below is the silver bullet of funding effective charities (simply relies on premise that people would rather the money from their purchases go to fight malaria, for instance, rather than enrich shareholders).

Karma magnet was intended as a statement of its effect, not the author's intent.

I have no doubts as to the good motivations of its author.

I simply think such gratitude can be expressed without displacing potential object-level posts for days.

Strong downvote.

As much as I share appreciation for those helping with community health, this karma magnet post is displacing visibility of posts and doing little to advance the discourse.

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