All of brunoparga's Comments + Replies

Single-winner meets proportional representation

Another solution that might be more palatable than allowing someone who just lost their own district to become PM is to normalize having PMs from either of the Houses of Parliament. I'm not sure how Canada elects its senators, but if you make that as province-wide PR then party leaders can be decently assured to get a Senate seat. (Actually, I checked and Senators are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister; constitutional convention might make for the leaders of any parties represented in the Commons to be guaranteed a Senate seat).

Single-winner meets proportional representation

It makes sense to me that you'd describe my proposal as easier than Fair Majority Voting - I understand the former, but not the latter!


As for "targeted killing", I think a threshold of, say, 5% of the nationwide vote prevents that. The Tories cannot tell their voters in Trudeau's riding to vote for the NaziLoons, because the NaziLoon vote is discarded as it doesn't reach 5% nationwide (hopefully!). So those Tories have wasted their vote and Trudeau still gets elected. Do you think that makes sense?

2Marcus_Ogren1moI think the 5% threshold makes "targetted killing" a lot less viable, but it doesn't eliminate the possibility altogether. It may still be possible to use a slightly-more-mainstream party in such a way; if a party gets 5% of the vote nationwide but 15% in Trudeau's district, that's still a relative vote share of 3, which should be far more than Trudeau achieves. Still, I think the combination of a threshold with a "you don't actually need to be electing to Parliament to hold a leadership position" rule should be sufficient to reduce the "targetted killed" problem to a tolerable level at least. The more I think about it though, the more I lean towards something closer to MMP over the 100% single-winner districts approaches. If a party's best showing in any one district is under 15%, I think it makes the most sense for that party to only have at-large seats; the remaining 85% of that district's voters will really feel like they drew the short straw otherwise. (Also, I imagine the possibility of losing one's seat to a third-party candidate with far less support within one's district would cause a lot of incumbents to oppose such a system.) Still, I think there is considerable middle ground between MMP and your system that allows for having substantially fewer at-large seats (as a fraction of all seats) than you get in Germany or New Zealand, and this middle group could easily be better than MMP. I confess that I don't understand the detailed working of Fair Majority Voting either; it's clear enough in the two-party case, but I'd have to study it in a lot more detail to learn how the algorithm works in general.
Single-winner meets proportional representation

The US already has primaries. And the votes someone sabotages away from a comrade might be the ones that mean they themselves do not get elected, while they would if they didn't sabotage.

I think the incentive for a unified messaging "vote for our party no matter who's on the ballot" is stronger than any sabotage incentives.


Edit: I think this deserves some more detail. Keep in mind that I've developed an 'ugh' field with regards to the article, so some of the below might repeat or contradict what I said there - we'll wing it if it happens.

First. Let's... (read more)

Growth and the case against randomista development

lucy, given Linch's admonition elsethread, I am taking a break from engaging with the content you present. I am not sure how best to phrase this, but I just wanted to say I empathize with your perception of being viewed as an outgroup/outcaste. I think that must feel quite bad. In spite of so far not agreeing a lot, I don't want to contribute to you feeling that way, quite the contrary; I want everyone to feel welcomed here and in all EA spaces, and I apologize if my actions unwittingly had the opposite effect.

1lucy.ea82yhey brunoparga, it is not one interaction that I find problematic. i am happy to be voted down when people respond back. it is those downvotes without a response that troubles me. i like to interact and try to see others point of view, so its totally ok if you d'ont agree with me, say so, and explain your reasons. we may not agree at the end, but atleast we can try to understand each other.
Growth and the case against randomista development

Thank you for your admonition, Linch. I'd point out I wouldn't like to be grouped together with people up- or downvoting lucy; I haven't voted on their comments except but one each way. As for the actual content of the conversation, this is not how I wanted it to be perceived; I wonder if you could help me identify what went wrong at a more detailed level, in private. I know about identifying clear cruxes and having a scout's mindset, I endorse collaborative truth-seeking, yet here I failed to implement these things and it is not clear to me why; I could use help with that.

(I talked more with brunoparga over PM).

For onlookers, I want to say I really appreciate bruno's top-level comment and that I have a lot of respect for bruno's contributions, both here and elsewhere. The comment I made two levels up was probably stronger than warranted and I really appreciate bruno taking it in stride, etc.

Growth and the case against randomista development

I was with you until the very end, then I got confused. Do you think it is fair to say that people don't know what's best for them when it comes to trade liberalization? (I do.)

I have way fewer qualms about saying that voters don't know what's best for them. Take, for example, South Africa. They use a pretty darn good voting system - single-ballot closed-list proportional representation with half the seats coming from province-level lists and the other half from nationwide lists - and I think the conduct of the elections themselves is d... (read more)

Growth and the case against randomista development
The nation with highest life expectancy is Japan at 84 years, Chile, USA and every "developed" country is 75+ I would say all of them are on par

If pretty much all developed countries have a similar life expectancy (apart from Japan), and the USA is quite significantly richer, than yes, it is the US that's the outlier, not Chile.

I'm just going by India's self-identification.

I was going by India's *socialist* self-identification. There's reason to dispute e.g. North Korea's democratic credentials. India said it was soc... (read more)

-4lucy.ea82yregarding one child policy of china Feng, Wang; Yong, Cai; Gu, Baochang (2012). "Population, Policy, and Politics: How Will History Judge China's One-Child Policy?" (PDF). Population and Development Review. 38: 115–29. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2013.00555.x. Whyte, Martin K.; Wang, Feng; Cai, Yong (2015). "Challenging Myths about China's One-Child Policy" (PDF). The China Journal. + read demographic research from []
Growth and the case against randomista development

I'm not sure I get what the core of the disagreement is. Perhaps you could try expressing to me what your understanding of my view is, to clarify the comparison with yours? In general I think I agree with most of your comment.

Growth and the case against randomista development

Thank you, Linch. My question was more focused on the education part than the health part, although I agree I should have made that clearer. The information you provided is still good to know, though - and impressive indeed.

On a meta-level, in general I think your conversation with lucy is overly acrimonious, and it would be helpful to identify clear cruxes, have more of a scout's mindset, etc.

My read of the situation is that you (and other EAs upvoting or downvoting content) have better global priors, but lucy has more domain knowledge in the specific areas they chose to talk about.

I do understand that it's very frustrating for you to be in a developing country and constantly see people vote against their economic best interests, so I understand a need to vent, ... (read more)

4Linch2yApologies for the delayed response. I was surprised at not finding a single source (after several minutes of searching) that plotted literacy rates across time, however: [] [] At least naively, this suggests a ~60% absolute change in literacy rates from 1949-~1980, which is higher than in the next 40 years (since you cannot go above 100%). I think the change here actually understates the impact of the first 30 years, since there's an obvious delay between the implementation of a schooling system and the adult literacy rate (plus at least naively, we would expect the Cultural Revolution to have wiped out some of the progress). One thing to flag with cobbling sources together is that there's a risk of using different (implicit or explicit) operationalizations, so the exact number can't be relied upon as much. However, I think it's significantly more likely than not that under most reasonable operationalizations of adult literacy, the first 30 years of China under CCP rule was more influential than the next 40.
Growth and the case against randomista development
life expectancy in Chile is on par with US, my interest about Chile would be more around how they have same life expectancy as US with less money.

I think the outlier there is the US, not Chile.

Sure you can call them socialist, although I don't like labels.

I'm just going by India's self-identification.

Under Nehru basic education was neglected, as was basic healthcare.

I don't know enough to comment on this.

I don't want to argue or think about labels, it is just a waste of time.

I find this particular label useful because it seems to ... (read more)

4lucy.ea82yThe nation with highest life expectancy is Japan at 84 years, Chile, USA and every "developed" country is 75+ I would say all of them are on par Not useful. North Korea is Democratic People's Republic of Korea, I guess republicans and democrats in USA should be thrilled. China is communist etc.. British were bringing civilization to the world etc... Ouch. My mistake. I should have written clearer. China outshined India in both education and healthcare. Given its history pre-independence it did very well in terms of health and education w.r.t. to "developed" countries. It did not cross rich nations, but did MUCH better than expected for a poor country. My observation was simply that "developed" countries had free public schooling (socialist schooling) Yes I am fully aware of China. I will simply quote Sen a really sad thought for 2 reasons. very few people know about the tragedy in India. Secondly the deaths are continuing today preventable deaths are around 4 million a year worldwide. Partly people really had no idea. They thought Import substitution industrialization was the answer. Secondly after capitalist Britain ruled (and ruined India) for 200 years would any country want to follow the system of Britain? Which economists should be followed? British ones? How about Dr. Ambedkar's policies? he is an economist. One child policy had no effect on China's population size. It was their widespread education pre-1979 than reduced fertility. The riots are a non-issue in the big scheme of things. Yes education is the fundamental factor for human well being. I have no idea about north korean education, cuban is very ideological I assume, no idea about Costa Rica, I assume it is similar to say Mexico. Anyway it's not what is taught in school that is important. It is the quantum jump that comes with being able to read, write, reason, interpret, understand the world that is important. As compared to a totally illiterate person.
8Linch2yThe life expectancy of China has consistently gone up since 1960[1] (where the World Bank data starts). There is a larger change, in absolute terms, from 1960 to 1980 (roughly when the reforms seriously started) than from 1980 to 2017. The increase is from 44.3 in 1960 to 66.4 in 1979, which is much larger than the rest of the world(52.6 to 62.6). To put it in perspective, if you're an average[2] Chinese person, it means that your life expectancy rose ~ as rapidly as your age for 20 full years, so if the curve continued you'd never die. Of course, this is partially because the low-hanging fruits are plucked first because they are easier to pluck, but nonetheless it's substantive evidence that public health before the reforms must have done something right. [1] [] [2] Somewhat misleading to use the average since some of the advances came from infant mortality, but still.
Growth and the case against randomista development

Lucy, thank you for your comment, even though I disagree with most of it :)

Chile was ahead of much of South America in 1950

AFAIK, Chile crumbled in the 1970s. Electing Socialist Salvador Allende is an example of what I mean by "choosing anti-growth policies"; the first half of the Pinochet dictatorship didn't help with growth (and, obviously, was a disaster for human rights).

I would not put Singapore in the same bucket as China

I agree they're quite different, but the point is that in both countries the leadership can just outright decid... (read more)

7Ramiro2yI do agree math & science are really wanting in the 3rd world, that they're more fundamental for growth, and that we should focus on them. However, I disagree with the diagnosis; I believe the reason students are comparatively worse in hard sciences is, well, that they're relatively harder - they require training and competence, from students AND teachers. If the problem were that we implemented leftist pro-culture policies, instead of improve hard sciences learning, we should at least observe improvements in some other capabilities - e.g., they should be able to read, interpret, and expose arguments on why, e.g., everything bad was caused by colonialism, patriarchy, etc. I think we have a more complex inadequate equilibria: bad teachers in unions defending their interests, students from terrible backgrounds, talented people avoiding teaching (if you know calculus, why would you want to try to teach poor kids for a low salary?), and, of course, governments focused on whatever will win votes in the next election. I do agree that any proposal on changing educational policies will meet a backlash, espacially from humanities, and that it will often carry a leftist taste - but we shouldn't focus on this backlash, that's not the cause of illiteracy, nor innumeracy. When we frame the issue as "the problem is that education is dominated by marxist thinking", we're just unnecessarily politicising it.
4lucy.ea82yRegarding Chile, Amartya Sen in his book Hunger and Public Action writes about it [] [] life expectancy in Chile is on par with US, my interest about Chile would be more around how they have same life expectancy as US with less money. Sure you can call them socialist, although I don't like labels. Under Nehru basic education was neglected, as was basic healthcare. So does the label fit? I don't want to argue or think about labels, it is just a waste of time. I am for universal basic education, and universal basic healthcare both of which were done better by China than India, or any "developed" country for that matter with their universal free public schooling systems. Among countries that you gave as examples (South Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore) had universal basic education provided by the government, I am not sure of Chile. Education is a necessary but not sufficient condition for economic growth. My point about Nehru and industrialization was that there was a desire for economic growth, whether the right policies were followed is a different question. It is not just the policies of Singh that made the difference, India had a large number of educated people by the year 1990 (along with enormous illiteracy). India and China opened up 10 years from each other, but India is 20-30 years behind China. This distance is mirrored in the education levels of China vs India, with China being ahead of India pre-1980 by 20-30 years. Regarding Brazil, it is less educated than Chile or US, and its life expectancy is roughly 4 years behind both countries. Even today 18% of brazil's
Growth and the case against randomista development

I am ridiculously late to the party, and I must confess that I have not read the entire article.

My comment is about what I would expect to happen if EA decided to shift towards encouraging pro-growth policies. What I have to say is perhaps a refining of objection 5.4, politicization. It is how I perceive this would be instantiated. My perceptions are informed by being from a middle-income country (Brazil) and living in another (Chile), while having lived in the developed world (America) to know what it's like.

The authors correctly acknowledge that thi... (read more)

But should we make people want pro-growth policies? I'm rather sceptic that there is a positive expected outcome from influencing certain politics. In the end, founding a think tank that lobbies in favor of development policies is, in a way, to believe we know better than development country voters themselves what is best for them (assuming we're talking about functional democracies).

Although that line of argument may be attractive for a few reasons already mentioned on the forum (because people don't trust institutions, because they lack b... (read more)

You should first find out how to make people (justifiably) trust those policies.

Sometimes I wonder if we’re in some sort of stalemate here. A can say: “economics show that, unless you adopt pro-business policies – e.g., lower your taxes, slash labor and consumer regulations – investors will avoid this country.” And B replies: “social science shows that, unless you adopt redistributive policies – e.g., tax the rich, protect workers and consumers – people won’t support the government.” Of ... (read more)

Thanks for this, I think you make a lot of good points here that anyone carrying out this research would need to think about carefully.

9lucy.ea82yChile was ahead of much of South America in 1950, I wouldn’t give credit solely to the last 40 years of policies. Data for Education [$state$time$value=2015;▮select@$country=chn&trailStartTime=1970&labelOffset@:0.555&:-0.915;;&$country=jpn&trailStartTime=1970&labelOffset@:0.507&:-0.915;;&$country=mus&trailStartTime=1970&labelOffset@:0.558&:-0.855;;&$country=chl&trailStartTime=1970&labelOffset@:0.553&:-0.84;;&$country=lka&trailStartTime=1970&labelOffset@:0.556&:-0.915;;&$country=cub&trailStartTime=1970&labelOffset@:0.555&:-0.915;;&$country=bra&trailStartTime=1970&labelOffset@:0.504&:-0.915;;;&opacitySelectDim:0.18&axis_x$which=mean_years_in_school_women_15_to_24_years&domainMin:null&domainMax:null&zoomedMin:3&zoomedMax:15.5&scaleType=linear&spaceRef:null;&axis_y$which=time&domainMin:null&domainMax:null&zoomedMin:null&zoomedMax:null&scaleType=time&spaceRef:null;&size$which=median_age_years&domainMin:null&domainMax:null&extent@:0&:0.12;&spaceRef:null;;;&chart-type=bubbles] , Income [$state$time$value=2019;▮select@$country=chn&trailStartTime=1950&labelOffset@:0.426&:-0.915;;&$country=jpn&trailStartTime=1950&labelOffset@:0.909&:-0.915;;&$country=mus&trailStartTime=1950&labelOffset@:0.518&:-0.915;;&$country=chl&trailStartTime=1950&labelOffset@:0.474&:-0.848;;&$country=lka&trailStartTime=1950&labelOffset@:0.307&:-0.915;;&$country=cub&trailStartTime=1950&labelOffset@:0.301&:-0.849;;&$country=bra&trailStartTime=1950&labelOffset@:0.307&:-0.846;;;&opacitySelectDim:0.18&axis_x$domainMin:null&domainMax:null&zoomedMin:null&zoomedMax:40000&scaleType=linear&spaceRef:null;&axis_y$which=time&domainMin:null&domainMax:null&zoomedMin:null&zoomedMax:null&scaleType=time&spaceRef:null;&size$which=median_age_years&domainMin:null&domainMax:null&extent@:0&:0.12;&spaceRef:null;;;&chart-type=bubbles] , Life Expectancy [$state$time$value=2018;▮select@$country=chn&trailStartTime=1950&labelOffset@:0.
6evelynciara2yI agree with your concerns. It's hard enough as an American citizen to fix America's broken immigration citizen, and like you said, it would be harder still to lobby these foreign countries for exactly the kinds of pro-growth policies that they are distancing themselves from. I'm half-Taiwanese, but I can barely speak Mandarin and have 1% of the cultural context I'd need to be an effective political advocate there. But there's a lot we can do from the vantage point of rich countries to benefit citizens of poor countries, like lobbying for more immigration. In terms of benefits to the global poor, open borders would probably trump any policy that developing countries could enact on their own. And it's probably more tractable if we focus on the countries whose political climates already favor immigration.
Growth and the case against randomista development

I'm gonna write a slightly more detailed top-level comment about this, but the gist of it is: policies that can reasonably be expected to produce growth are *strongly opposed* in the countries that need them.

Announcing the 2017 donor lottery

This isn't a commitment, but, just as a curiosity: does the CEA take cryptocurrency?

1SamDeere4yAn update on this: Cryptocurrency donations are now live on the site, so you can now enter the lottery (or make a regular donation to EA Funds) using BTC, ETH and LTC
2SamDeere4yYes, we can take donations in cryptocurrency (it's worth noting that donating appreciated assets can have tax advantages over converting and donating in fiat). We're in the process of figuring out a solution that allows you to do this directly via the website, but for now if you want to donate in crypto please email lottery[at]effectivealtruism[dot]org and we can discuss
We Could Move $80 Million to Effective Charities, Pineapples Included

I messaged Nate Soares of MIRI for them to apply, in case they hadn't done it yet. If they do, the post should probably be updated to reflect that (same for other EA charities).

Edit: they've already applied.

2vaniver4yThanks! Also, for future opportunities like this, probably the fastest person to respond will be Colm [].