All of Lars Mennen's Comments + Replies

Healthy Competition

Great point on lowering the bar for coaching. fwiw, I think multiple local EA groups are now offering career coaching. I don't know to what extent these are designed from scratch or following 80K, but they should lower the bar. I think having a separate organization (perhaps allowing local groups to offer the programs) could help this though.

Ending a news habit

Thanks for sharing! Glad this is working for you. I'm seeing similar results: reading more and spending more time thinking.

Is GDP the right metric?

Thanks for your comment! I agree with your point on how egalitarians can be in favour of growth.

True, but wealth inequality implies stark differences in power.

Good point, but I'm not sure that justifies a large number of policies that might lead to lower sustainable growth in the long run in favour of more equality. There's definitely a balance to strike here I think between making sure power does not get too unequally distributed and growth; it's not black and white. In particular, you also want to maintain a stable economy and democracy (necessary for gr... (read more)

Thanks for your answer. I think we mostly agree - I'd welcome metrics on stability and sustainability; and I guess we'd also agree that weighting welfare metrics by some inequality index might yield a useful proxy to capture things like hedonic adaptation and decreasing marginal utility of consumption. Since you asked for feedback, I'll try to briefly add some thoughts: a) People often value equality per se (well, we're comparing ourselves to others all the time); that's likely explained by our evolutionary past in egalitarian hunter-gatherer tribes. b) This doesn't mean equality is a moral good in itself (though some will advocate it is), but it does mean it's quite relevant for social stability. c) I'd be particularly worried about how things like elite overproduction [] might jeopardize stability ( I don't endorse Turchin's dismal predictions, though).
Is GDP the right metric?

Thanks for the comment, that's a very fair point! There are certainly some issues on how such services are represented in these metrics. I think if we can find a better way to measure the state of the economy that accurately includes this, I would be in favour. This article for example has a proposal to do that.

I don't think it changes the main argument for focusing on the sustainable economic growth (in that case measured by a more accurate metric) instead of focusing on metrics like happiness or life expectancy (or other metrics not directly measuring economic growth) though. What do you think?

Thanks for the article link. The proposed GDP-B indicator does seem like a step in the right direction. The European Commission is also working on developing a new indicator that does a better job at modelling the digital economy ( feasibility study [] ). Yes, I'm not convinced that well-being metrics alone would do a good job either and your argument for emphasising sustainable economic growth seems quite convincing to me.