Martijn Klop

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Could nets be made such that their mesh size increases when they get soaking wet?

PS: Are the insecticides also a problem? Are there biodegradable insecticides?

Can the reading times be updated for linkposts? Our previous fellowship participants said this would have helped them schedule and anticipate reading preparation.

Couldn't make it this time, but will join next time! Thanks for the article and hosting this event!!

If you want we can write it together here

Nice! Feel free to share the request to collab on a review elsewhere around! Btw, thanks for contributing to the forum :)

I just downloaded the e-book. It's quite lengthy and consists of separate papers. Perhaps the people who are interested to review it are interested in collaborating on a google-doc where, according to some good epistemic norms, we identify the best critiques, correct or improve the worst ones and provide context and factual information where it is necessary? It seems unlikely that one person can do this all, since the book goes into GH&D, Animal Welfare, Longtermism, Moral Philosophy etc. Perhaps someone can then write a good book review based on that Doc.

Big thumbs up to MichaelB for steelmanning. We should do as much as that as possible! Although it must be said, I just read some pages and I feel very frustrated now for constantly being called out for my whiteness, being called a supporter of fascist structures, being naïve, glorifying whiteness, disrespecting social movements in the past etc. It's going to take a lot of goodwill to review this pretty hostile book in the best way possible, but we should be able to conjure up that goodwill together :)

Here you can access request access to the Google Doc! You'll have to request access, because the book can be accessed through there (I bought it) and I don't want to be accused of piracy. 

Thanks for the post! It's a wonderful source of good reflections and references and you've put a lot of time and effort into making it for which I am very grateful!

These questions are big, though, and I generally want to warn for some reasoning-shortcuts. I think your article is a huge and quite unique improvement over the conversations I normally have with vegans who are sceptical of meat-substitutes more out of aesthetics rather than thinking things through, but some points are still somewhat sloppy to my liking. 

For example, how can the way factory farming ends realistically set a precedent to future global developments? Do we currently make diet-decisions on a large scale based on the historical phase-out of whale oil or transatlantic slave trade? Do politicians make decisions based on these historical precedents? The concept of 'precedent' might sound intuitive when we treat humanity as one person or one court of law,  but I doubt if that makes sense on the large scale.

On a slightly different note, I am also a bit wary that the rubber-banding graphs might be more of an exercise to let our map of reality fit our models, rather than making our models fit reality.  The idea that 'total value' and 'value change' can be meaningfully mapped to a single number or derivative respectively, seems to me to be an attempt to do aesthetic, intuitive, reasoning that might distract from some essential details. I would keep in mind that these graphs are thinking tools at best (in which case, they are quite nice, so thanks), not models with any predictive power. 

I really like the scope of your further research questions, but I'd advice you to make them a bit more concrete, closed and falsifiable. For example, rephrase the 'how much does it matter...' into something that can actually be tested, as in 'how much effect does X have on Y'? Also, where possible, try and abstain from questions that make sense if and only if you turn moral value into a single number (because these questions risk being limited in their strategic value and predictive power) .

Also, bonus reflection: As you briefly touched upon, Leenaert's point about how the technological and social progress might be much more intertwined than we think is very important. What even is the divide between the social and the technological, in this information age? You could say: any time people do things out of convenience or self-interest, we speak of technological change, any time people do things out of altruistic motives, we call it social change. But what if people are influenced by both? How much trust can we even put on people's reports of their motives? Can these motives evolve over time? Also, is my ability to browse to and decide to donate to the world's poorest people based on what I see there a social or a technological change?

Hey Gideon,

I'm sad that I missed your talk in Rotterdam. I want to briefly flag a concern I have with advocating 'systems thinking' or 'a complex systems approach'.  While the promise is always nice,  I think you need to deliver on the promise right away, since otherwise you risk just making a point that is unfalsifiable or somewhat of an applause light (no one will exclaim "we don't need complexity to describe complex phenomena!") . 

- Use a model from complexity science and show that it explains something otherwise left unexplained or show that it outperforms some other model on a relevant feature. 
-You'll probably want to make use of (1) Agent Based Modelling, (2) Network Models, (3) Statistical Physics and common models like Ising, Hard Spheres, Lennard Jones potentials etc, (4) Dynamical System Analysis (5) Bifurcation Analysis or (6) Cellular Automata.
-You can find a good introduction to most of these here
-Using these methods also demystifies the whole concept of "complexity" a little bit, and makes it more mundane (though you can never get enough of the Ising Model :D) 

So yeah, endorse your message, but please make it testable and quantitative soon!

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