emre kaplan

333Joined Mar 2022


Hi Hazelfire! Thank you for your question. The result you have gotten(625m) is hen life-years. You should divide it by 5(ie. how many years of cage-suffering these campaigns prevent) to find the number of hens affected per annum.

I weak downvoted this comment because of the following sentence:

"I hope you're right, otherwise you might be doing a lot of harm."

I agree that technically, a person who's very successful at advocating for a low impact intervention might do harm. But I think we should assume that most contributions to public discourse about cost-effectiveness are beneficial even if they are false. 

Accusing people of doing harm makes it more difficult to discuss the issue in a distanced and calm way. It also makes it more difficult to get people contribute to those discussions. 

Epistemic adjectives such as "unfounded", "weak", "false", "misleading" are still available, and these are less likely to provoke guilt and stifle discussion. Unless there are egregious violations of honesty, I don't think people should be accused of doing harm for defending their beliefs on cause-prioritisation.

I don't want to get into debates around object-level criticisms this early but I keep being puzzled by this assertion:
"This resulted in a community and organizations inspired by his ideas -- not  -- governed by him. It's a handful of organizations with distinct leaders and a handful of individuals with their own interpretations of his and other people's work."

There was also a similar quote elsewhere:
"But Will is not the CEO of EA! He's a philosopher who writes books about EA and has received a bunch of funding to do PR stuff."

I don't think this conception of "people loosely connected together in various ways" really captures the correct level of accountability here. There is a legal entity named Effective Ventures, which is the umbrella organisation of CEA, 80000 Hours, GWWC etc. and Will is the president of Effective Ventures as well as CEA. The people in the community volunteer their time and credibility by referring these organisations(and their literature) to their social circles. Many also do donate money to these organisations.

I refuse to have a verdict on FTX related criticisms until the dust settles, and most of the non-FTX related criticisms seem unreasonable to me, but this argument of "no one is the leader of EA really" strikes me as quite odd. I suspect CEA might even be the official copyright owner for "Effective Altruism" brand as I don't see any organisation that has "Effective Altruism" in its name despite not being approved by CEA. Please inform me on this if I'm wrong. EA is much more centralised than  "Socialism" or "Feminism".

I guess it also depends on where the funding is going. If a bloody dictator gives a lot money to GiveDirectly or another charity that spends the money on physical goods(anti-malaria nets) which are obviously good, then it's still debatable but there's less concern. But if the money is used in an outreach project to spread ideas then it's a terrible outcome. It's similarly dangerous for research institutions.

I think the comment was edited after this reply and the sentence referred was deleted.

I absolutely love this. The data visualisation is beautiful, the collection of cognitive and hedonic proxies is comprehensive and there is a source link for every cell where the response isn't "unknown".

"The main reason why I think this isn’t being worked on more is because it is even "weirder" than most EA causes, despite making a good deal of sense."

I don't think that is true. This was previously discussed here. It's very hard to argue that preserving existing lives through cryonics is more cost-effective than creating new lives if you have a totalist view of population ethics. And even if you have a person-affecting view of population ethics it's not clear how cryonics is more cost-effective than AI safety.

I really enjoyed reading this and it has strong implications for the allocation of resources in EA. With MEC framework, totalist theories dominate all the decision-making. I can't say that I am convinced by PRT but I hope it gets discussed more widely.

I am glad to learn that applications for EAG London will open much earlier, that wasn't clear to me from the text. For me that solves much of the problem.

I understand that there must be operational costs of opening admissions much earlier and you have to balance many trade-offs. I just wanted to signal this issue so that it can be taken into account in your decision-making. I think you are doing a great job, thank you for everything!

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