Davidmanheim

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Announcing "Naming What We Can"!

Seems tractable to me; how much money would you need to add an initial?

Non-pharmaceutical interventions in pandemic preparedness and response

Key thought on vector control: vector control is tricky. 
Mostly, we care about mosquitoes, where there is tons of work, and on mammalian carriers, where we know that people like farming / hunting, then eating the animals, so vector control is a bit different. There's lot of work on this, and a literature review for the forum might be a good thing for someone to write.

Non-pharmaceutical interventions in pandemic preparedness and response

Strongly agree about many of these points. I think it's worth looking at our earlier post, and the paper we wrote on almost exactly this topic which we worked on in 2019 - which obviously aren't focused on post-COVID-19 ideas. 

On objections to trials, there is a large literature about the difficulty of assessing the impact of interventions, from Pearl's fundamental argument, here (pdf), to the entire corpus of work on generalizability and transferability in practice.

I think that further development of the suggested potential projects would be valuable - if you agree,  I'd be happy to discuss how to turn them into more concrete proposals. Though in fact, many of  these have already been done - a literature review (post is strongly recommended reading!) would probably find many pieces like this one that address many of your points.

The TUILS Framework for Improving Pro-Con Analysis

Strongly agree that the focus on Implementation is critical, and can easily be missed by those only superficially acquainted with I/N/T analyses. It's also good to focus on linkage - see Pearl's amusing  / correct paper on why applying scientific knowledge to actual decisions is useless. Overall, 9/10 on content.

At the same time, I think this post would be greatly improved with editing and simplifying the arguments. (I tend to need help with the same things; structure, leaving things out, making a clear case in the introduction, etc. So I very, very often ask for editing help.) I would give the post itself an unfortunate 3/10 on clarity of presentation, which is unfortunate given what I think is the usefulness of the argument.

All that said, I upvoted this, but am unsurprised, and nonetheless disappointed, to see that someone / other people have downvoted this without saying why. 

Announcing "Naming What We Can"!

Alternatively, repurposing the IIDM working group to focus on improving Ian David Moss.

Announcing "Naming What We Can"!

"Ian David Moss" -> "Ian I. David Moss", to reduce the incidence of accidentally not confusing him with IIDM.

Why do so few EAs and Rationalists have children?

Mostly agree - based on the post, I was thinking of "so few" as "basically none," but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it were less than average for the comparable group.

And I don't think SSC is anything like a perfect proxy, and I assume it somewhat over-represents people who are less involved in rationality/EA, and are more likely to have kids, but it's the closest proxy I could easily find.

Why do EAs have children?

As a parent with older kids, I'll point out that the demands differ, but (when there isn't COVID,) you get back to having "work time" when kids are away, without the sleep deprivation that happens in the first year. (Mostly. There are still the occasional night waking, but these are sporadic and get fairly rare, instead of being chronic and making you horrible sleep deprived overall.) And yes, kids will dominate your free time while they are you, but in an enjoyable way (Mostly enjoyable. How much depends on the kids, and the age.) 

And as they get older, the problems become much more like ones that you'd talk to a (younger, less mature) friend about, rather than being physical issues. Also, around the same time, they start to get more interesting to talk to, and you can teach them cool things, which is awesome. (And yes, I'm sure this changes again once they get to be teenagers. But I'm taking things a year at a time.)

Why do so few EAs and Rationalists have children?

Maybe you're wrong, a two-part answer.

First, rich westerners have kids late, and EA is young - people having a child in their mid-to-late 30s isn't uncommon.

Second, the EAs I know with kids don't necessarily talk about them, especially in EA circles. so your sample that implies there are very few EAs with kids is probably skewed. (Edit to add: 6% of SSC survey respondents have more than 2 kids. Another 10% have 2, and a further 7.5% have 1. And the average age of respondents is 33 - per the survey, more than half of people over 40 have a kid, and 10% of those in their 30s do.)

 

Why do EAs have children?

Group Rationality and Long-term Investment

Children are important for the future. But who should have them?

First, I imagine a world filled with people like myself. If they have children, these children will be raised by people like myself, who are mostly good and do a decent job. Alternatively, if most or all decided not to have kids, humanity would be far poorer (or extinct) in the future. In game-theoretic terms, the cooperate action is to have children. 

Moreover, if we imagine a world with two classes of people, which I'll call rational altruists and ineffective egoists. In this world, the ineffective egoists have children, due to different values, neglect of the long term, or even carelessness. Those children are unlikely to embrace rational altruist values. Because of this, the rational altruists have a choice about whether to have children to raise with their values, and in the long term, investing in children leads to a better long term world. 

Of course, given the second argument, the reasonable alternative is to propagate values via education and similar. This is perhaps more limited, since education has a limited scope to influence children, but also plausibly more scalable and effective. However, if the world begins to resemble the first proposed world, this counterargument no longer applies. (This is one of several answers.)
 

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