Larks

7629Joined Sep 2014

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Cause Area Proposal: Paperwork Reduction

Thanks for writing this interesting post on a novel cause area I've never seen presented in this way.

Another aspect perhaps worth mentioning is that the modern world seems to require an increasingly high minimum IQ/contentiousness level to navigate successfully. Reducing paperwork burdens, which can difficult for some people to fill out, could help with this.

Most Ivy-smart students aren't at Ivy-tier schools

Thanks very much for sharing this, and in particular the fascinating charts. I was pretty surprised at how large a fraction of successful applicants were, on these axis, strictly dominated by other rejected applicants, and how large the overlap was in the box and whiskers plots. Sometimes colleges argue they can't just look at SAT because they have more applicants with perfect SATs than they have spaces, but that doesn't explain why you would almost all your successful applicants (from this school) would have sub-perfect SATs.

I have have thoughts that could perhaps change the conclusion:

It's well known that colleges care a lot about extracurriculars. If these really are a good sign of flexibility, work ethics, initiative and so on, perhaps we should care about them also. If so, colleges might be correctly adjusting, the low correlations we observe in the charts are just because we can't directly observe those facts, and high quality people are more concentrated in top schools than this data would suggest.

Additionally, SCOTUS is due to hear Students For Fair Admissions vs Harvard later this year, and Metaculus currently gives them a 75% chance to successfully get racial discrimination in university admissions found unlawful. If so the correlation with SAT/GPA might improve a lot after this year, so the phenomena you're highlighting might be a relatively short-lived one.

[link post] The Case for Longtermism in The New York Times

Nice article, thanks for linking (and Will for writing).

Unfortunately some people I know thought this section was a little misleading, as they felt it was insinuating that Xrisk from nuclear was over 20% - a figure I think few EAs would endorse. Perhaps it was judged to be a low-cost concession to the prejudices of NYT readers?

We still live under the shadow of 9,000 nuclear warheads, each far more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some experts put the chances of a third world war by 2070 at over 20 percent. An all-out nuclear war could cause the collapse of civilization, and we might never recover.

Moral Progress Reading List

Are you aware of anyone in EA who has studied the problem of moral regress?

Somewhat related: Gwern on the Narrowing Circle.

The danger of nuclear war is greater than it has ever been. Why donating to and supporting Back from the Brink is an effective response to this threat

The danger of nuclear war is greater than it has ever been.

What is your argument for the risk now being higher than during the Cuban Missile Crisis, or similar incidents during the Cold War, or indeed than earlier this year?

Three common mistakes when naming an org or project

Preserve option value by giving yourself a vague name

Seems quite possible that your donors want you to do the project you said you'd do, and not some other random project. If this is the case project lock-in through name choice could be a feature rather than a bug.

Hiring Programmers in Academia

Sounds like part of the purpose of BERI?

GLO, a UBI-generating stablecoin that donates all yields to GiveDirectly

You could just invest in 3m Treasury bills directly, or invest in a conventional fund that buys bills, (or indeed whatever other investments you thought were most appropriate given your circumstances) and then donate the interest to charity.

Reducing nightmares as a cause area

Thanks for sharing this very original idea! I'm somewhat sceptical of the intervention you mention but it definitely seems like a large and neglected issue.

Marriage, the Giving What We Can Pledge, and the damage caused by vague public commitments

The only cost of breaking the GWWC commitment is that people who saw you make that commitment might lose a but of trust in you. I think this is a great balance

This seems like very little cost at all. Charitable donations and income are, by default, private, so no-one need know you stopped, and even when people are public about leaving the community, the main reaction I have seen is one of best-wishes and urging self-care. I'm not sure I've ever seen any EA leaders write a harsh word about people for leaving.

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