2357Joined Apr 2021


My ethics are closest to asymmetric, person-affecting prioritarianism, and I don’t think the expected value of the future is as high as longtermists do because of potential bad futures. Politically I'm closest to internationalist libertarian socialism. 


Some reasons I disagree:

I think internal criticism in EA is motivated by aiming for perfection, and is not motivated by aiming to be as good as other movements / ideologies. I think internal criticism with this motivation is entirely compatible with a self-image of exceptionalism.

While I think many EAs view the movement as exceptional and I agree with them, I think too many EAs assume individual EAs will be exceptional too, which I think is an unjustified expectation. In particular, I think EAs assume that individual EAs will be exceptionally good at being virtuous and following good social rules, which is a bad assumption.

I think EA also relies too heavily on personal networks, and especially given the adjacency to the rationalist community, EA is bad at mitigating against the cognitive biases this can cause in grantmaking. I expect that people overestimate how good their friends are at being virtuous and following good social rules, and given that so many EAs are friends with each other at a personal level, this exacerbates the exceptionalism problem.

Thanks for sharing. I think  EAs are only ethically better than other people under consequentialist ethics, but are just as bad as anyone else when it comes to virtues and obeying good social rules, which is sad, because we can and should do better.

As a community we should have easily accessible, respectful and good-faith responses to all prominent articles criticising EA.

Worth pointing out that some socialists will also find this neo-colonialist.

To be fair, I'm not sure I've presented EA fairly there - EA initiatives do involve locals and benefit from local information and tacit knowledge (but maybe not sufficiently). Might be more appropriate to say "EAs use distant resources to solve local problems via collaboration between distant actors and local actors, but usually with the distant resource-holders setting priorities based on what they believe will benefit locals the most using evidence and reasoning." Will edit to make this correction.

Didn't know this about GiveWell - will read about it but at face value seems pretty awful to me!

SBF's donations. Just going off the size of the donation and the closeness of the result here.

I'm thinking of liberal progressivism as a narrower category than liberalism generally.

I do think that liberal progressivism is popular amongst internationalists, but that is because the other major political force in America is conservatism which is even less internationalist than liberal progressivism.

I think internationalism is more popular amongst socialists and liberals than amongst liberal progressives.  I think that socialists and liberals are a lot more internationalist than liberal progressives, who are a bit more internationalist than conservatives.

Love this fusion and mostly agree with it.

Agree that healthcare is a priority, but I think given trade-offs between improving healthcare for the world's poorest and the poor in Western countries, socialists are generally better than liberal progressives at prioritising the world's poorest (but not as good as EAs imo)

I think winning here = maximising EV, and “ethical talk” is the deontological constraints on utilitarianism

This is where I think your politics is relevant.

If you’re on the political left, you will probably have a stronger prior expectation that the excessive influence of individual billionaires like Moskovitz and SBF will move some funding away from what is optimal towards what they find exciting or interesting.

If you are on the political right, I think this prior expectation will be much weaker.

FWIW, I think funding from Moskovitz practically hasn’t moved away from what is optimal, and the only funding from SBF which I thought was spent suboptimally was most of the political stuff.

I’m on the political left, and going forward I think a good approach with billionaires would be to ask them to give their money to Open Phil or not be too personally involved with how their money is spent.

Strong upvote for “EA still has small movement mentality”.

The appropriateness of diverting lots of resources from object level impact to good governance structures depends on how much resources a movement has overall, and I don’t think EA has appropriately adapted to the scale of its size, wealth and influence.

With great power comes great responsibility.

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