We truly do live in interesting times

kbog's Comments

Candidate Scoring System recommendations for the Democratic presidential primaries

I previously included wild animal suffering in the long run weight of animal welfare. Having looked at some of these links and reconsidering, I think I was over-weighting animal welfare's impact on wild animal suffering.

One objection here is that improving socioeconomic conditions can also broadly improve people's values. Generally speaking, increasing wealth and security promotes self-expression values, which correspond decently well to having a wide moral circle. So there's less general reason to single out moral issues like animal welfare as being a comparatively higher priority.

However, improving socioeconomic conditions also accelerates the date at which technological s-risks will present themselves. So in some cases, we are looking for differential moral progress. So this tells me to increase the weight of animal welfare for the long run. (It's overall slightly higher now than before.)

Another objection: a lot of what we perceive as pure moral concern vs apathy in governance could really be understood as a different tradeoff of freedom versus government control. It's straightforward in the case of animal farming or climate change that the people who believe in a powerful regulatory state are doing good whereas the small-government libertarians are doing harm. But I'm not sure that this will apply generally in the future.

Emerging tech is treated as an x-risk here, so s-risks from tech should be considered separately. In terms of determining weights and priorities I would sooner lump s-risks into growth and progress than into x-risks.

I don't see climate change policy as promoting better moral values. Sure, better moral values can imply better climate change policy, but that doesn't mean there's a link the other way. One of the reasons animal welfare uniquely matters here is that we think there is a specific phenomenon where people care less about animals in order to justify their meat consumption.

At the moment I can't think of other specific changes to make but I will keep it in mind and maybe hit upon something else.

Responding to the Progressive Platform of “Foreign Policy Generation”
Migration and Development: Dissecting the Anatomy of the Mobility Transition
The Hypothesis of the Mobility Transition by Wilbur Zelinsky (1971)

Mexico's GDP per capita and Gini coefficient have been about constant for the past decade. I can't find evidence on changes in college education attainment. So it's not apparent that they are pushing forward along this transition. Moreover, Mexico only constitutes ~half of illegal immigration, and many Latin American countries are poorer (in fact they are behind the $6k transition peak).

All the data+papers presented before and in this post.

None of them asked Mexican people how content they are to stay or immigrate.

The obvious, the number of kids being born in Mexico peaked in 1994 at 2.9 million and has fallen to 2.16 million births in 2018. If emigration rates remain same we can expect lower number of Mexicans trying to emigrate.

Mexico's population is still growing. So if the emigration rate per 1000 people remains constant, the number of annual emigres will grow year over year, just at a lower rate than it would grow if fertility were higher.

When fertility rates fall, the pulls of home country are greater for emigres as parents age, + parents are less enthusiastic about kids emigrating in the first place.

Please provide a source. It may be the case that people with aging families to support desire to emigrate in order to send remittances.

Mexican emigration has gone down similar to Ireland, Japan, UK etc

It is still a vastly different country.

Around 5% of those wishing to move to US actually moved.

And many more tried to move but were apprehended at the border, or chose not to move because they were afraid of being apprehended at the border or otherwise policed.

The number of Mexicans attempting to cross the border illegally has crashed from a high of 1.615 million in 2000 to 152,257 in 2018

You're confusing apprehensions with crossing attempts and neglecting to mention the increase in apprehensions of non-Mexican migrants.

However neither FPGen or Democrats are advocating open borders, I doubt that even under the least restrictive proposals US net immigration will exceed 1 million average over the next 20 years

Whether or not a country has open borders is not a question of the quantity of immigrants who enter the country.

I just ignore them.

Fine, but don't then tell me I'm wrong when I'm not.

Second of all, the American right-wing is correct when they perceive that America fails to reliably control the southern border or police the undocumented migrant population.

I look for universal definitions, open borders means that anyone can come and live in USA

That's probably what would happen here: assuming that you make it to the border, then CBP will not have the power to detain you, ICE will not exist, you will be "legally protected," you will not have a criminal record, and you will have a "pathway to citizenship."

Candidate Scoring System recommendations for the Democratic presidential primaries

These seem like small impacts on the national level. My comment on this dimension of wealth taxation is simply:

"Wealth taxes would also encourage more rapid spending on luxury consumption, political contributions, and philanthropy. It’s not clear if this is generally good or bad. Of course the tax would also reduce the amount of money that is ultimately available for the rich to use on these things, although the cap on political contributions means that it probably wouldn’t make much difference there."

Candidate Scoring System recommendations for the Democratic presidential primaries

Good point. Increasing the weight by 40% until I or someone else does a better calculation.

An Informal Review of Space Exploration

OK, I plan to look at some of this in tandem with Deudney's book, due to the similar themes.

Candidate Scoring System recommendations for the Democratic presidential primaries

Hm, I thought that 'air pollution' would be readily interpreted as including climate change.

I called it air pollution rather than climate change because I think it's perceived as a more convincing and less partisan term. And it's more correct, given that we're also addressing other consequences besides climate change.

I don't call it environment because we don't have evaluations regarding ground and water pollution but I could change it, if more people feel the same way.

Responding to the Progressive Platform of “Foreign Policy Generation”
I would not use it for FPGen but would use it in context when discussing "Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration Paperback – October 29, 2019 by Bryan Caplan" here authors themselves choose to describe their views as "open borders"

This is the book that many more people around here (including myself) are familiar with.

I already gave you data about undocumented mexican immigrant numbers falling,

The number in the US is affected by many factors including border security, so it is not a good way of discussing the number of potential people who might migrate depending on different policies for border security.

I also gave you specific reasons of why this is happening

They are not reliable evidence. I was hoping for solid specific analysis predicting immigration trends.

repeating myself "Mexico is an upper middle income country

The income gap between the US and Mexico is has been growing over the last few decades, no one knows quite what the future holds for these economies, and I'm not sure what the income-immigration connection really is.

with fertility rate is 2.2,

How does a fertility rate of 2.2 imply that demand to emigrate to the US will decrease?

in addition women aged 15-24 are finishing 11.3 years of schooling.

I'm not sure what the education-immigration connection really is. Or what is even different about this from the past.

Mexicans are relatively content to stay in Mexico.

According to...?

This is similar to immigration trajectories of Ireland, UK, Japan etc.. etc.."

Mexico will not be like these countries anytime soon.

I prefer to see numbers, not just words.

150 million is the number of people who would like to emigrate to the US. 5 million of them are in Mexico.

And note that Mexicans are not even half of the US illegal immigrant population.

Total number of undocumented immigrants went down in the last 10 years https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/12/how-pew-research-center-counts-unauthorized-immigrants-in-us/

Does not change the fact that the number of those who wish to emigrate (and who may attempt it illegally) exceed the capacity that is allocated through legal mechanisms.

So overall immigration is solidly under control in USA,

It's very odd that you say this right after presenting evidence that the status quo is being perceived and discussed by people on the American right as a condition of open borders.

I don't think you've properly recognized the fact that I am discussing political perceptions and responses to the state of the border rather than making a moral claim about whether I want more immigration.

its pointless to discuss "open borders" because such a policy is not being advocated by anyone with even a remote chance of coming to power.

Most of FPGen's immigration recommendations are being advocated by some major Democratic politicians, including presidential candidates.

Candidate Scoring System recommendations for the Democratic presidential primaries

Hard to say but I think at this point we have to take note of why Clinton and her emails were perceived so badly. The idea was that there was real corruption in the government. Sexist remarks in the workplace are a known quantity, whereas a private unsecured email server is a kind of rabbit hole.

I definitely don't deny that it could hurt him, my view is just that trying to aggregate and compare these concerns across all the candidates with their respective foibles doesn't lead one to any substantive conclusions.

But now you are making me worry more that perhaps a woman will accuse him of sexual assault. With Mike's locker room talk, and him being an old oligarch, there is cause for worry about him in particular. These accusations often follow people who are rising in the public conscience. Bloomberg was already famous before now and subject to sexism controversy, but not as much as he will be if he gets nominated, and his political career had apparently stopped by the time the #MeToo campaign started. You would expect a victim to come forward earlier while he was initially rising in the primary polls, but since he's a late entrant who has been absent from debates, I wouldn't be too confident about that. Bernie and Biden have been top political figures for a long time, so there is no appreciable risk with them. Pete's gay and young. Warren's a woman.

Adding a 1% probability of sexual assault accusations after the nomination causing Mike to lose against Trump, his campaign score drops from 8 to 6, putting him close to Pete. So I'm less enthusiastic about him now, but I don't think this is yet enough to change the recommendations. (I will think more about it though.)

Candidate Scoring System recommendations for the Democratic presidential primaries

I generally don't.

There are some reasons to think scandals will be as or more consequential in 2020 as they were in 2016: The executive branch under Trump could seize upon them to manipulate the election, and the mainstream media doesn't seem to recognize that they had central role in damaging Hillary. OTOH, most American elections in history have not been decided by scandals. The Comey letter that probably cost Hillary the election made for a somewhat unusual perfect storm. Swing voters will probably go into this knowing that Trump is more corrupt/scandalous - it's not like 2016 when Trump was a kind of unknown alternative. And the mainstream media might behave better this time, despite not publicly blaming themselves for 2016. For one thing, they won't assume that Trump will lose, which is likely what motivated the disproportionate coverage of the email scandal.

Anyway, scandals can happen to anyone and it's hard to differentiate stronger/weaker candidates without descending into tea-leaves divination.

I was previously worried about Biden-Ukraine, but as Vox pointed out, the coverage surrounding the Trump-Ukraine scandal doesn't seem to have hurt Biden either in the Dem primaries or in head-to-head polling against Trump.

There is Warren's deception about her ancestry. But that is kind of well known and internalized by now.

There have been other controversies turning up in the Dem primaries, most notably against Pete, and then we have the story that Bernie is a millionaire, but these are mostly things that bother highly politically engaged left wing voters, who are unrepresentative and likely to turn out for the Dems anyway.

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