Darius_Meissner

Having been involved with EA since 2015, I have taken the GWWC pledge in 2016 and have founded and led a German EA student group in 2016/17.

In 2017, I began a BA degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford, where I got actively involved in the EA Oxford university group, which I lead as Co-President for two years.

In the past, I have completed EA community building internships with EAF (2017), CEA (2018) and Charity Entrepreneurship (2019)

In 2019/2020, William MacAskill, James Aung and I have created Utilitarianism.net, an introductory online textbook on utilitarianism.

Comments

Moral circle expansion

Suggestion to change this tag's URL from "/moral-circle-expansion-1/" to "/moral-circle-expansion/".

Effective Altruism and Utilitarianism

Here are several more recent resources addressing the differences between effective altruism and utilitarianism/consequentialism:

Act utilitarianism: criterion of rightness vs. decision procedure

To learn more about the difference between criteria of rightness and decision procedures, and how this difference entails a distinction between "single-level utilitarianism" and "multi-level utilitarianism", please see the section Chapter 3: Elements and Types of Utilitarianism: Multi-level Utilitarianism Versus Single-level Utilitarianism on utilitarianism.net.

On the longtermist case for working on farmed animals [Uncertainties & research ideas]

Another way to approach this is to ensure that people who are already interested in learning about utilitarianism are able to find high-quality resources that explicitly cover topics like the idea of the expanding moral circle, sentiocentrism/pathocentrism, and the implications for considering the welfare of geographically distant people, other species, and future generations. 

Improving educational opportunities of this kind was one motivation for writing this section on utilitarianism.net: Chapter 3: Utilitarianism and Practical Ethics: The Expanding Moral Circle.

Why Hasn't Effective Altruism Grown Since 2015?

Another indicator: Wikipedia pageviews show fairly stable interest in articles on EA and related topics over the last five years.

Utilitarianism

Hi Pablo, I have only just seen your comments. Yes, of course, I am more than happy with all the changes you have made and trust your sense for how this Wiki should be designed/structured! Thank you and keep up the good work.

How many hits do the hits of different EA sites get each year?

Wikipedia pageviews could serve as a useful indicator that I expect is strongly correlated with website views.

E.g. see the following comparison of the pageviews of several EA-related Wikipedia pages in 2020. As it turns out, Peter Singer gets about 2x the number of views of Nick Bostrom, 2.5x of effective altruism, and 12x FHI or GiveWell.

Notes on "Bioterror and Biowarfare" (2006)

A somewhat related thought I had while reading this post:  Several of the nuclear-weapon states (including the US for all I remember) retain the right to retaliate with nuclear weapons against an attack with bioweapons, chemical weapons, and even cyber weapons. On the one hand, this might make the overall situation more stable because hostile actors (at least states, probably not so much terrorist groups) are deterred from using these other weapons types. On the other hand, it may be destabilising since many more actors (including non-state ones) may trigger a nuclear conflict.

Books / book reviews on nuclear risk, WMDs, great power war?

On the topic of nuclear warfare, I have also read and can recommend The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War by Fred Kaplan. The book provides a deep dive into the development of the US nuclear doctrine over time , covering all administrations across 70 years and outlining in great detail many issues and arguments around nuclear policy.

If you're also interested in books on biological weapons, I particularly recommend (HT Chris Bakerlee):

 1. Bioterror and Biowarfare: A Beginner's Guide by Malcolm Dando

2. Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker

On the rise of China (relevant to Great Power Competition), I have found it interesting to read Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World by Michael Schuman. However, I am not too excited to recommend it, because the great majority of the book covers developments in ancient China for which the level of "insights per page" was fairly low for me.

All of the above books are also available as audio books on Audible.

AMA: Jason Crawford, The Roots of Progress

What are your thoughts on the desirability and feasibility of differential technological development (DTD) as a governance strategy for emerging technologies? 

For instance, Toby Ord briefly touches on DTD in The Precipice, writing that "While it may be too difficult to prevent the development of a risky technology, we may be able to reduce existential risk by speeding up the development of protective technologies relative to dangerous ones."

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