269Joined Aug 2020


Do you use reddit? Every city has a subreddit, though there isn't a ton of discussion about zoning laws. More specifically,  r/neoliberalism is YIMBY adjacent and has local meetups for most cities. There is also YIMBY subreddit. There are also websites like Chicago and new york yimby. Twitter probably has the most vigorous discussion about day to day local issues but it can be a bit hard to settle into following the relevant people.It is possible you can find a group that meets in person via Meetup but it's unlikely.

If you are asking why a separate forum/website doesn't exist, I guess:

  • It might exist and just no one uses it
    • strong agglomeration effects in the forum space. Many of us use hundreds of subforums but only a few forums (or a single meta-forum like feedly)
    • Very little demand
  • It is in fact a good idea but no one has felt incentivized to make it. 

Grant-making as we currently do it seems pretty analogous to a command economy.  

Interesting. I think there are still some alarm bells ringing in my head. 

  • To the extent that giving a specific project idea is for "information about your reasoning and execution skills", I worry that this seems like some sort of status quo bias. It seems like the most obvious weeding out question to give for getting a grant to work on an issue but I'm not sure why it's clearly the best. It seems like the equivalent of picking PHD students primarily based on what they said they want to research. Leaves a lot of room open for copycat signaling. 
  • To the extent that it is to "identify the area the kind of problem you are trying to solve", again is this the best way? It might be, but there are other plausible alternatives. Did you write about some problem or class of problems or solution or class of solutions? Did you attend talks about this thing? What did you study, etc. Also, there are tons of people who actually don't care that much within a range of things what they are solving. It seems like you are sneaking in an implicit assumption that it is important to line people up with the problem they are trying to solve but from my own experience my passions are not that robust. 

Basically, it seems almost too perfect that writing a grant proposal is actually the best signaling mechanism for who is best served to work on such a problem/solution. I'm interested in how grant makers came to this conclusion and definitely have a sense that many just assumed this is how you do it. 

So I agree that this is a good point and selection will definitely apply but I feel like I still don't quite agree with the phrasing (though it is sort of nitpicky). 

>For them to make it to us

The original reason I asked op the question was that I don't understand why there is a higher chance they make it to us vs we make it to them. We should start by taking a prior something like 50/50 of us discovering/reaching a civ vs them discovering us. Then, If we are early, we are much more likely to encounter than be encountered. 

Any thoughts on how many ICs we expect a civ that makes it to us to have encountered before us?


I think op is correct in their point but missing half the argument. 

>(e.g. the difference between now and 1 AD on earth is cosmologically very small, but technologically pretty big)

This is basically correct but it goes both ways. If we hit aliens, or  they hit us, and we have not both maxed out all of our stats and are in the late game, then almost certainly one civ will be way more advanced than the other, and so prepratory war planning just isn't going to cut it. However if we think we are super likely to get wiped by aliens we can try to increase economic growth rates and that would make a difference. 

Awesome, I'll definitely check out out the links.

Re CE library, it seems like you aren't valuing the creation of the idea but the vetting of the idea. Or are you saying that if you propose and idea and it makes it through the vetting process and gets picked up then you should be valued for that?

I would generally agree with the notion that ideas are cheap. Part of the reason I asked the question actually is because I feel like that notion is at odds with the way grant making is done. Like, if ideas are essentially a worthless part of the process, grant makers should just be buying out organizations or individuals, rather than buying them w/their ideas (I know this post is about impact certificates not mainstream grant making but I thought this was relevant). 

I might not be thinking through this clearly but if your decision to fund someone is highly contingent on the idea they propose, it seems to imply that you are giving a significant value to the idea part. 

Didn't read Ben's post so sorry if this was in it - How do you go about valuing the person who came up with the idea/valuing the creation of an idea? 

In this case It's not clear if you two developed this idea in tandem or one of you came up with it, but I'd be interested to hear how you would think through that. 

Wait I'm not sure I understand what you are saying. There is credible recent evidence of UFO's? 

Otherwise it seems like you are conditioning away the question. 

You can just frame uncertainty about your  values as putting less weight on your values relative to all other possible values. 

on one end if you have no certainty that you are correct about any of your moral values (whatever correct means to you) you still "maximize". The difference is that under your framework all states are equally good so maximization requires nothing from you.  

That's why I said what I said. Either op is explicitly rejecting EV or op is basically calling out the community for having poorly thought through values and so it would be higher EV to not totally use them. But it seems simpler to just emphasize thinking things through more, or to recommend  we consider that we are over confident about our values being "correct".

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