I'm looking for statistics on how doable it is to solve all the problems we care about. For example, I came across this: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Goal-1.pdf from the UN which says extreme poverty could be sorted out in 20 years for $175 billion a year. That is actually very doable, in light of the fact of how much money can go into war (in 1945, the US spent 40% of its GDP into the war). I'm looking for more numbers like that, e.g. how much money it takes to solve X problem.
I intend to use them for a post on how there is no particular reason we can't declare total war on suffering. We can totally organize massively to do great things, and we have done it many times before. We should have a wartime mobilization for the goal of ending suffering.
The core insight of Buddhism, that everything arises and passes away, is helpful here. Low hope is also something that arises and passes away if you let it. There's no need to cling to it. Just let it go and keep plugging away.
If there's anything useful to meditation, it is realizing at a deep level how everything arises and passes away, though I think you need to sit for an hour a day for some time before it really sinks in.
Hi Felix, thanks for the recs! What I mean by giving to charity not being exactly rational, is that giving to charity doesn't help one in any way. I think it makes more sense to be selfish than charitable, though there is a case where charity that improves ones community can be reasonable, since an improved community will impact your life.
And sure, one could argue the world is one big community, but I just don't see how the money I give to Africa will help me in any way.
Which is perfectly fine, since I don't think reason has a monopoly on truth. There are such things as moral facts, and morality is in many ways orthogonal to reason. For example, Josef Mengele's problem was not a lack of reason, his was a sickness of the heart, which is a separate faculty that also discerns the truth.
Nice to meet you! Also a new guy. Good to see you're a witch, I'm a mystic! A burn event is a copy of Burning Man? Definitely would like to go to one of those.
Hello everyone! My name is Carlos. I recently realized I should be leading a life of service, instead of one where I only care about myself, and that has taken me here, to the place that is all about doing the most good.
I'm an odd guy, in that I have read some LessWrong and have been reading Slate Star Codex/Astral Codex Ten for years, but am for all intents and purposes a mystic. That shouldn't put me at odds here too much, since rationality is definitely a powerful and much needed tool in certain contexts (such as this one), it's just that it cannot do all things.
I wonder if there are others like me here, since after all, the decision to give to charity, particularly to far-off places, is not exactly rational.
Hoping to learn a lot, and to figure out a way to make my career (been a software developer for 11 years) high impact, or at least, actually helpful.
You guys are the Rebel Alliance from Star Wars, and I am ready to be an X-Wing pilot in it!
You might want to read this is as a counter to AI doomerism: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/LDRQ5Zfqwi8GjzPYG/counterarguments-to-the-basic-ai-x-risk-case
This for a way to contribute to solving this problem without getting into alignment:
and this for the case that we should stop using neural networks: