1174Joined Jan 2017



I feel like the power differential between community builders and new members decreases over time as the new member "graduates" from being a new member and becomes a longer-term members, so perhaps the policy could apply for the first few months of the member's involvement?

This assumes that the only benefit of public perception is that it brings in more people. In many instances, better perceptions could also mean various interventions working better (such as if an intervention depends on societal buy-in).

Responding just to the comment about StrongMinds – I think mental health is an incredibly complicated issue, and mental illness is very multi-factored, so even if some people in sub-Saharan Africa are depressed due to bad governance, others may be depressed due to reasons that mental health services would alleviate. In any event, the fact that depression in sub-Saharan Africa is not even remotely close to 100% means the statement "I'd also be quite depressed if my government was as dreadful as most governments are in sub-Saharan Africa" is basically a non sequitur. 

Yeah, my point is that it's (basically) disjunctive.

I notice that some of these forecasts imply different paths to TAI than others (most obviously, WBE assumes a different path than the others). In that case, does taking a linear average make sense? Consider if you think WBE is likely moderately far away, versus other paths are more uncertain and may be very near or very far. In that case, a constant weight on the WBE probability wouldn't match your actual views.

Can you describe a little bit how the novel promotes EA? For instance, is it that the morals of the novel are EA morals, and if so, what morals are they?

Should the forum limit the number of strong (up/down) votes per person (say, per week)? Right now, people can use as many strong votes as they want, which somewhat decreases the signal they're intended to send (and also creates a bias in favor of those who "strategically" choose to overuse strong votes). Not sure if this is influencing the discourse at all but seems plausible.

Answer by Daniel_EthJan 13, 202397

Sometimes it is, but I think more often the road to hell is paved with bad and/or selfish intentions. For instance, the Nazis weren't sober-minded radical altruists who begrudgingly came to the conclusion that they had to do what they did for the greater good – they were instead following an ideology which was racist and evil, through and through. I'm also pretty sure that most people who participated in the slave trade weren't doing so with "good intentions", but instead simply to make a profit.

OTOH, I think the claim does apply, more-or-less, specifically to socialist movements, and I think it's important that other consequentialist ideologies maintain significantly better epistemic hygiene and course-correction mechanisms than socialist movements typically have. But I'd also point out that global movements for democracy, slavery abolition, and anti-colonialism have also been done with good intentions, so "doing things with good intentions" has a track record of doing some really good things as well, and I think on net is a lot better than alternatives.

My intuition is that having more people does mean more potential fires could be started (since each person could start a fire), but it also means each fire is less damaging in expectation as it's diluted over more people (so to speak). For instance, the environmentalist movement has at times engaged in ecoterrorism, which is (I think pretty clearly) much worse than anything anyone in EA has ever done, but the environmentalist movement as a whole has generally weathered those instances pretty well as most people (reasonably imho) recognize that ecoterrorists are a fringe within environmentalism. I think one major reason for this is that the environmentalist movement is quite large, and this acts as a bulwark against the entire movement being tarred by the actions of a few.

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