Jason Schukraft

Dr. Jason Schukraft is a Senior Research Manager at Rethink Priorities. He earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.

Sequences

Invertebrate Sentience

Wiki Contributions

Comments

saulius's Shortform

Someone could say that they will torture animals unless vegans give them money, I guess. I think this doesn't happen for multiple reasons.

Interestingly, there is at least one instance where this apparently has happened. (It's possible it was just a joke, though.) There was even a law review article about the incident.

Money Can't (Easily) Buy Talent

I do think we have been able to acquire talent that would not have been otherwise counterfactually acquired by other organizations.

As an additional data point, I can report that I think it's very unlikely that I would currently be employed by an EA organization if Rethink Priorities didn't exist. I applied to Rethink Priorities more or less on a whim, and the extent of my involvement with the EA community in 2018 (when I was hired) was that I was subscribed to the EA newsletter (where I heard about the job) and I donated to GiveWell top charities. At the time, I had completely different career plans.

Why "cause area" as the unit of analysis?

A lot depends on what constitutes a cause area and what counts as analysis. My own rough and tentative view is that at some level of generality (which could plausibly be called "cause area"), we can use heuristics to compare broad categories of interventions. But in terms of actual rigorous analysis, cause area is certainly not the right unit, and, furthermore, as a matter of empirical fact, there aren't really any research organizations (including Rethink Priorities, where I work) that take cause area to be the appropriate unit of analysis.

Very curious to hear the thoughts of others, as I think this is a super important question!

Meat substitutes: outside view

If you haven't seen it yet, you might find this report on the viability of cultured meat helpful. Open Philanthropy commissioned the report.

Notes: Stubble Burning in India

Hi David,

Thanks for the suggestions! Anyone who works on this topic in the future should probably investigate them further. My current rough impression is that, even if there were a market for the stubble, the process of baling the stubble for transport and sale would either be time-and-labor intensive or require equipment that the average farmer in the region can't afford. Because of the nature of the crop cycle, farmers are under intense pressure to clear the stubble quickly, hence the appeal of stubble burning.

Notes: Stubble Burning in India

Hey Harrison, I think the short answer is that it's just a really messy situation and any potential solution that has a shot at improving on the status quo has to take political reality into account.

Notes: Stubble Burning in India

Hey Harrison,

I'm also not knowledgeable about Indian politics, but it seems pretty clear that Indian farmers wield considerable political influence. (See the reaction to the introduction of three market-friendly farm laws for the most recent demonstration of this power.) I'd like to think political compromise is possible, but it's hard to know which compromises are feasible.

Fortunately, it appears that many of the potential solutions to stubble burning are essentially win-win. Although stubble burning is an effective way to deal with crop residue in the short term, the practice is pretty bad for the soil. Many of the alternatives to stubble burning would probably raise yields in the long-run.

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