Denise_Melchin

3842Joined Oct 2014

Bio

I try to take my moral obligations seriously.

Please chat with me about donation opportunities.

Comments
287

But overall, I find that younger kids are much more physically draining, and older kids require much more emotional labor.

This is my experience as well (oldest is 12).

I often say that while small children aren't easy, they are simple. While it seems it should be easier to fulfill the needs of older children if you know what they are, it's much harder to figure out what the right thing to do is in the first place. I have a lot more doubt whether I'm doing right by my oldest than when she was small.

I do agree with you that silence can hurt community epistemics.

In the past I also thought people worried about missing out on job and grant opportunities if they voiced criticisms on the EA Forum overestimated the risks. I am ashamed to say that I thought this was a mere result of their social anxiety and pretty irrational.

Then last year I applied to an explicitly identified longtermist (central) EA org. They rejected me straight away with the reason that I wasn't bought into longtermism (as written up here which is now featured in the EA Handbook as the critical piece on longtermism...). This was perfectly fine by me, my interactions with the org were kind and professional and I had applied on a whim anyway.

But only later I realised that this meant that the people who say they are afraid to be critical of longtermism and potentially other bits of EA because they are worried about losing out on opportunities were more correct than I previously thought.

I still think it's harmful not to voice disagreements. But evidently there is a more of a cost to individuals than I thought, especially to ones who are financially reliant on EA funding or EA jobs, and I was unreasonably dismissive of this possibility.

I am a bit reluctant to write this. I very much appreciated being told the reason for the rejection and I think it's great that the org invested time and effort to do so. I hope they'll continue doing this in the future, even if insufficient buy-in to longtermism is the reason for rejection.

Most of the time where an upper bound is mentioned in job ads (e.g. LinkedIn) it’s less than <1.5 times the lower bound. So I’m implicitly assuming the upper bound, though not mentioned, will be in the same ballpark.

Perhaps this is wrong and I’m supposed to interpret no upper bound as ‘very negotiable, potentially the sky is the limit’. But that possibility didn’t occur to me until you mentioned it.

I do interpret no range at all as a plausible ‘sky is the limit’ though.

I am a woman who could be very much interested in the role. But the lack of an upper bound for compensation is putting me off a bit, it might help to include that.

On average I'd expect more men to be put off by this than women though!

Some people may be psychologically cut out for being a dedicate, but not have a high level of personal fit for any jobs where being a dedicate even makes sense as a thing to do. Not all dedicates go to an Ivy League school, but jobs like technical AI safety researcher, startup founder, program officer at a major foundation, or farmed-animal welfare corporate relations specialist all require very particular sets of abilities. If your abilities point you more in the direction of being (say) a teacher, then being a dedicate is probably not for you.

Do you not consider EtG a way to be a dedicate?

If someone pushes towards maximizing their earnings, even if they don’t top out that high, I would consider them to be a dedicate. Being a teacher isn’t the best starting point for EtG, but there are highly paid adjacent options. Or someone who would make for a good teacher would probably also be able to find a different career.

If you think the moral concerns about abortion is more about the prevention of future people instead of the value of the lives of the embryos, you should probably try to optimise for women having more children in the near term. It is not clear to me why you think preventing abortions is the best way to do so.

Thank you, I agree with a lot of the underlying motive (once upon a time I wrote a research proposal about this, but never got into it). Where I disagree:

This is already mentioned in the comments, but my understanding was that improved contraceptive access is one of the best ways to lower abortions so moral concerns about abortions drive me towards supporting family planning charities.

Women will often not want to have children - so we should ensure they don't conceive in the first place instead of terminating their pregnancies.

What I would add: Something I find lacking in your description is how much more fetuses matter morally over time in my view at least. Merely terminating an unwanted pregnancy faster already has a lot of value. Many people seem to be oblivious to the drastic changes an embryo undergoes in the first trimester. Terminating at 4 weeks would mean aborting a being which is less than 1mm big and does not appear particularly human. At 12 weeks you have 5cm big little one (not counting the legs!) which very much looks like human baby.

My understanding was as well that improved contraceptive access in poor countries is one of the best things we can do to lower abortions.

Thank you so much for laying out this view. I completely agree, including every single subpoint (except the ones about the male perspective which I don't have much of an opinion on). CEA has a pretty high bar for banning people. I'm in favour of lowering this bar as well as communicating more clearly that the bar is really high and therefore someone being part of the community certainly isn't evidence they are safe.

Thank you in particular for point D. I've never been quite sure how to express the same point and I haven't seen it written up elsewhere.

It's a bit unfortunate that we don't seem to have agreevote on shortforms.

Will the results of this research project be published? I'd really like to have a better sense of biosecurity risk in numbers.

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