Wiki Contributions


Scenarios for cellular agriculture

Thanks for the analysis.

A point of disagreement: "if cultured meat is at least as expensive as farmed animal meat, it is doubtful that a substantial fraction of consumers would substitute, given the current unwillingness to replace animal products with similar vegan substitutes."

Not at all comparable. I have yet to find plant-based meat substitutes that I want to eat. They either taste disappointing compared to meat, leave me with pains in the gut, fail to meet my nutritional expectations, or a combination of the three. I actually prefer tofu or beans.

If cultured meat were available, even at twice the price of regular meat and in restricted varieties (e.g. only beef mince), I would buy it.

As Denkenberger says in their comment:

if meat substitutes actually tasted better or were more healthful, this could be a scenario with strong spontaneous adoption.

Concerns with Intentional Insights

Thanks – helpful feedback (and from Owen also). In hindsight I would probably have kept the word "cultish" while being much more explicit about not completely endorsing the feeling.

Concerns with Intentional Insights

I read "active" to mean actually involved in things, whether socially, online, finding, or campaigning.

The word "activist" has a stronger connotation in spite of the same root.

Concerns with Intentional Insights

That's an important distinction, and acting against that (trying to act as the EA community's representative) doesn't automatically mean banning from the movement.

Concerns with Intentional Insights

I deliberately said "My System 1 doesn't like this." and "that feels cultish" – on an intuitive level, I feel uncomfortable, and I'm trying to work out why. I do see value in having effective gatekeepers.

I'm not even sure what it means to be "banned" from a movement consisting of multiple organisations and many individuals. It may be that if the process is clearly defined, and we know who is making the decision, on whose behalf, I'd be more comfortable with it.

Concerns with Intentional Insights

I'd suggest that we should be more trusting that when someone in the community criticises someone else not in the community, they're doing it for good reasons. However, writing that out is almost self-refuting - that's what all insular communities are doing.

Yes, insofar communities do that, but typically in emotive and highly biased ways. EA at least has more constructive norms for how these things are discussed. It's not perfect, and it's not fast, but here I see people taking pains to be as fair-minded as they can be. (We achieve that to different degrees, but the effort is expected.)

Perhaps appointing a small group of moderators for the community to whom we trust.

My System 1 doesn't like this. Giving this power to a group of people and suggesting that we accept their guidance... that feels cultish, and not very compatible with a community of critical thinkers.

Accomplishments Open Thread - August 2016

I played a small part in helping EAGx Melbourne to happen two weeks ago, by volunteering for the weekend. The team and the speakers and facilitators did a great job, there were lots of interesting and engaged people, and it was definitely a case of doing good while having fun.

Also at the conference, I facilitated a discussion group on Effective Environmentalism. It went fairly well - I'm still learning to facilitate and there are things I will do differently next time, but the discussion raised a bunch of important issues, and we got to meet others who are concerned about this.

Accomplishments Open Thread - August 2016

At first I assumed that "risks" was autocorrected to "foods", but then I got to the part at the end on "Feeding Everyone No Matter What" by you and Joshua Pearce. I know Joshua and I love that you've done this. For anyone interested, there's some more about it on Appropedia.

Great article.

Why don't many effective altruists work on natural resource scarcity?

"We are running out of uranium" – we have 200 years supply at current rates, and if we started using a lot more and prices went up then that would make breeder reactors, for example more financially viable. These use less than 1 % of the uranium needed for current LWRs.

Financially viable thorium reactors would be awesome, but we don't have to wait for that. Uranium is not running out – at least not in the simple and obvious meaning of "running out".

Against segregating EAs

I'm against segregating EAs, and if we ever have separate water fountains or bus seats for different classes of EA, I will protest. (EDIT: Looking back on this, I was using something of a strawman here. I apologise. My intent was to distinguish between segregation and categorisation.)

Categorisation, however, is something that we inevitably do and which is sometimes useful to do.

If categorisation makes people feel minimised or relegated to second class status, it's a problem. In line with some other comments here, I'm in favour of a term such as hardcore or dedicated where it applies, but no term for others, apart from "EA". When the strategists at CEA are hashing out their strategies, they can easily use a term such as "non-hardcore". "Non-hardcore" has the advantage that it's awkward and not likely to enter common usage.

"Non-dedicated" would bother me more than "non-hardcore" – suggesting that the person is not dedicated enough. For that reason, I prefer "hardcore" to "dedicated".

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