217 karmaJoined Dec 2020



I think it's very plausible the reputational damage to EA from this - if it's as bad as it's looking to be  - will outweigh the good the Future Fund has done tbh

Agreed lots of kudos to the Future Fund people though

Thanks for writing this, really great post. 

I don't think this is super important, but when it comes to things like FTX I think it's also worth keeping in mind that besides the crypto volatility and stuff there's also the fact that a lot of what we're marking EA funding to aren't publicly-traded assets, and so numbers should probably be taken with an even bigger pinch of salt than usual. 

For example, the numbers for  FTX here are presumably backed out of the implied valuation from its last equity raise, but AFAIK this was at the end of January this year. Since then Coinbase (probably the best publicly traded comparator) stock has fallen ~62% in value, whereas FTX's nominal valuation hasn't changed in the interim since there hasn't been a capital raise. But presumably, were FTX to raise money today the implied valuation would reflect a somewhat similar move

Not a huge point, and in any case these kinds of numbers are always very rough proxies anyway since things aren't liquid, but I think maybe worth keeping in mind when doing BOTECs for EA funding

This looks wonderful, congrats. Dumb question on my end - there seems to be a lot of overlap in some areas with causes that Openphil target. My impression was Openphil wasn’t funding constrained in these areas and had more money to deploy than projects to put it into (maybe that’s not accurate though)

If it is - what do you see the marginal add of the Future fund being? E.g will it have a different set of criteria from Openphil such that it funds thing Openphil has seen but wouldn’t fund, or are you expecting a different pool of candidate projects that Openphil wouldn’t be seeing?

I know you allude to it briefly and dismiss it but it does seem like semantic externalism is maybe a better basis for a lot of the intuitions Indexical Dogmatism is getting at. It seems like you’re saying the Putnam BIV-style externalism argument is too strong because actual BIVs will use it and be wrong to do so, so if we use it to dismiss the problem there’s a chance we’re making a mistake too? But the fact that we laugh at them doesn’t mean they’re not stating something True in BIV-English right, I’m not sure if flows from something like that that it is a possibility we have to consider.

If the point is more: “We could wake up the BIV after he (it?) said that and it’d immediately do whatever the brain version of blushing is and admit the error of its ways”

or maybe

“We could start start talking to the BIVs through their simulated environment and convince them of their situation and give them an existential crisis”

Then that’s true but not really inconsistent with their earlier utterances, since presumably whatever kind of theory you’re working with that gives you semantic externalism would also tell you that the Brain-out-of-a-Vat is now speaking a different language.