Max_Carpendale

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[Linkpost] Taking on the World's Largest Food Companies | Vicky Bond from The Humane League

This is a topical discussion topic in the movement. See this discussion for example: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/djQSjAQwXAcxMbFqQ/what-s-the-theory-of-change-theory-of-victory-for-farmed

Introducing Effective Self-Help

Really looking forward to your articles!

It seems like you have a good strategy for producing high-quality articles (and particularly happy you'll be ordering by effect size).

Have you considered switching countries to save money?

It must be gorgeous, and definitely appealing, but isn't it in the top ten for murder rate per captita?

World's First Octopus Farm - Linkpost

Really unfortunate development. Compassion In World Farming recently released a report on the subject and why it's a terrible idea.

I want to make a couple of points here:

1) Since octopuses are carnivorous, a much larger number of fishes will be used to feed them

2) Since this is such a new development, it's an important time to oppose this and try to nip it in the bud

Countering imposter syndrome

I get quite bad imposter syndrome, and I can take a stab at this.

Here are some general points I'd make here.

1) My imposter syndrome seems to come from a quite separate psychological process. So I could have my rational assessment of the situation (including some beliefs that work against imposter syndrome) but still feel the imposter syndrome quite strongly. Obviously they aren't completely unrelated, but they often do seem quite separate.

2) Imposter syndrome for me isn't just the belief that I am the least competent person in the room/org, it is the belief that I am uniquely  awful at the work or task. The part of me that feels like an imposter might sometimes acknowledge that I can maintain a veneer of competence, but that I have critical faults that undermine any ability to contribute in the end. That appearance of competence feels utterly hollow.

3) It has been valuable for me to imagine (in sober moments) if my worst fears are true and how bad that would really be. But when I am in the grips of imposter syndrome I'm liable to catastrophize and think that it would be absolutely awful and think that those worst fears are true.

When to get off the train to crazy town?

I had a similar journey. I still think that utilitarian is a good description for me, since it seems basically right to me in all non-sci-fi scenarios, but I don't have any confidence in the extreme edge cases.  

New Intuitions for Cultured Meat

Adam Shriver has a few papers on breeding animals with the pain genes knocked out. See this paper for example.

Sentience Institute 2021 End of Year Summary

This Awesome! I'm a big fan of your work. There really aren't any other organizations like Sentience Institute, so it's a pity you're not getting more funding .

I'm curious about your reasoning for the greater focus specifically on artificial sentience? Does it seem like the right time now?

Animal Welfare Fund: Ask us anything!

Congrats on being the new fund chair, Kieran!

I notice you've made a huge grant to Wild Animal Initiative. That's great! 

With work on this subject, I'm curious how you would prioritize between research to inform future interventions, advocacy to raise concern about the subject, and current interventions to improve wild animal welfare? 

Killing the ants

Thanks for writing this. While doing research on invertebrate sentience I've wondered about this kind of thing. I don't deliberately harm arthropods, but I haven't stopped hiking (where I'll probably step on many arthropods), and I definitely haven't stopped washing. It's true that you could give a means ends justification that help more animals by continuing to work I'm doing without disrupting my lifestyle by worrying about these things, but I'd be horrified if my normal life involved harming even a fraction as many large animals - I just don't feel the same way about arthropods I guess.

It would be convenient if mites happen to have minuscule moral weight to justify our everyday behaviour, but I don't think the arguments are good enough to be confident enough in that. People just seem to feel very definitely about these cases, whether or not there exist any good moral justification for it.

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