353Joined May 2018


This seems like a very cool project, thanks for sharing! I agree that this type of project can be considered a "moonshot", which implies that most of the potential impact lies in the tail end of possible outcomes. Consequently the estimated become very tricky. If the EV is dominated by a few outlier scenarios, reality will most likely turn out to be underwhelming.

I'm not sure if one can really make a good case that working on such a game is worthwhile from an impact perspective. But looking at the state of things and the community as a whole, it does still seem preferable to me that somebody somewhere puts some significant effort into EA games (sorry for the pun).

Also, to add one possible path to impact this might enable: it might be yet another channel to deliberately nudge people into in order to expose them to the key EA ideas in an entertaining way (HPMOR being another such example). So your players might not all end up being "random people", but a ratio of them might be preselected in a way.

Lastly, it seems like at least 5-10 people (and probably considerably more) in EA are interested or involved in game development. I'm not familiar of any way in which this group is currently connected - would probably be worth doing so. Maybe something low on overhead such as a Signal group would work as a start?

Sometimes I think that this is the purpose of EA. To attempt to be the "few people" to believe consequentialism in a world where commonsense morality really does need to change due to a rapidly changing world. But we should help shift commonsense morality in a better direction, not spread utilitarianism.

Very interesting perspective and comment in general, thanks for sharing!

Very good argument imo! It shows there's a different explanation rather than "people don't really care about dying embryos" that can be derived from this comparison. People tend to differentiate between what happens "naturally" (or accidentally) vs deliberate human actions. When it comes to wild animal suffering, even if people believe it exists, many will think something along the lines of "it's not human-made suffering, so it's not our moral responsibility to do something about it" - which is weird to a consequentialist, but probably quite intuitive for most people.

It takes a few non-obvious steps in reasoning to get to the conclusion that we should care about wild animal suffering. And while fewer steps may be required in the embryo situation, it is still very conceivable that a person who actually cares a lot about embryos might not initially get to the conclusion that the scope of the problem exceeds abortion.

This seems very useful! Thank you for the summaries. Some thoughts:

  • having this available as a podcast (read by a human) would be cool
  • at one point you hinted at happenings in the comments (regarding GiveWell), this generally seems like a good idea. Maybe in select cases it would make sense to also summarize on a very high level what discussions are going on beneath a post.
  • this sentence is confusing to me: "Due to this, he concludes the cause area is one of the most important LT problems and primarily advises focusing on other risks due to neglectedness." - is it missing a "not"?
  • given this post has >40 upvotes now, I'm looking forward to reading the summary of it next week :)
  • Flow and distribution of information (inside EA, and in general)
  • how to structure and present information to make it as easily digestible as possible (e.g. in blog posts or talks/presentations)

A bit less pressing maybe, but I'd also be interested in seeing some (empirical) research on polyamory and how it affects people. It appears to be rather prevalent in rationality & EA, and I know many people who like it, and also people who find it very difficult and complicated. 

Sort of, so firstly I have a field next to each prediction that automatically computes its "bucket number" (which is just FLOOR(<prediction> * 10)). To then get the average probability of a certain bucket, I run the following: =AVERAGE(INDEX(FILTER(C$19:K, K$19:K=A14), , 1)) - note that this is google sheets though and I'm not sure to which degree this transfers to Excel. For context, column C contains my predicted probabilities, column K contains the computed bucket numbers, and A14 here is the bucket for which I'm computing this. Similarly I count the number of predictions of a given bucket with =ROWS(FILTER(K$19:K, K$19:K<>"", K$19:K=A14)) and the ratio of predictions in that bucket that ended up true with =COUNTIF(FILTER(D$19:K, K$19:K=A14), "=1") / D14 (D19 onwards contains 1 and 0 values depending on if the prediction happened or not; D14 is the aforementioned number of predictions in that bucket).

If this doesn't help, let me know and I can clear up one such spreadsheet, see if I can export it as xlsx file and send it to you.

Thanks for sharing! I've had the feeling for a while that it would be great if EA managed to make goals/projects/activities of people (/organizations) more transparent to each other. E.g. when I'm working on some EA project, it would be great if other EAs who might be interested in that topic would know about it. Yet there are no good ways that I'm aware of to even share such information. So I certainly like the direction you're taking here.

I guess one risk would be that, however easy to use the system is, it is still overhead for people to have their projects and goals reflected there. Unless it happens to be their primary/only project management system (which however would be very hard to achieve).

Another risk could be that people use it at first, but don't stick to it very long, leading to a lot of stale information in the system, making it hard to rely on even for highly engaged people.

I guess you could ask two related questions. Firstly, let's call it "easy mode": assuming  the network existed as imagined, and most people in EA were in fact using this system as intended - would an additional person that first learns of it start using it in the same productive way?

And secondly, in a more realistic situation where very few people are actively using it, would it then make sense for any single additional person to start using it, share their goals and projects, keep things up to date persistently, probably with quite a bit of overhead on their part because it would happen on top of their actual project management system?

I think it's great to come up with ideas about e.g. "the best possible version EA Hub" and just see what comes out, even though it's hard to come up with ideas that would answer both above questions positively. Which is why improving the EA Hub generally seems more promising to me than building any new type of network, as at least you'd be starting with a decent user base and would take away the hurdles of "signing up somewhere" and "being part of multiple EA related social networks". 

So long story short, I quite like your approach and the depth of your mock-up/prototype, and think it could work as inspiration for EA Hub to a degree. Have my doubts that it would be worthwhile actually building something new just to try the concept. Except maybe creating a rough interactive prototype (e.g. paper prototype or "click dummy"), and playing it through with a few EAs, which might be worthwhile to learn more about it.

I'd be up for the reading and comment writing part (will see if it works out time-wise), probably not so much for zoom. Nice idea and thanks for taking the initiative!

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