MaxCarpendale

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How should we run the EA Forum Prize?

In my case at least, I can say that both the money and the reputation for winning was extremely valuable. Thanks for that!

Is it suffering or involuntary suffering that's bad, and when is it (involuntary) suffering?

I'm a hedonistic utilitarian, and I think that even voluntary suffering is be intrinsically bad, as long as it's still suffering at that point. Here the reasons I explain the phenomena that you note in your question. My answers are partially overlapping but some of the solutions you suggest.


- I personally mostly listen/watch/read media that deals with negative emotions. When I do this I sometimes have a twinge of the negative emotion, but I don't think I would really describe it is negatively valenced. Sometimes it may involve a bit of negative valence, which may be outweighed from the aesthetic appreciation that I get from it.

It seems like 'negative emotions' can sometimes not have negative valence in this way even though they retain their other features. I think this is similar to how 'pain' from exercise can sometimes have a neutral or even positive valence (at least that's how I characterize it). It seems like the secondary resistance to emotions can be generating some or all of the negative valence associated with them.


- Similarly, for an emotion like grief, I think it's either the case that I don't experience it as really negatively valenced or I'm getting immediate counterbalancing positive emotions from it (like a sense of meaning and connection).


- Sometimes negative events can be cathartic, meaning that they provide relief from the negative emotion. I often find crying to do this and crying sort of feels good for this reason (or at least it feels much less bad than the alternative in that situation).


- I think sometimes I also irrationally pursue negatively balanced emotions. For example, by ruminating. Not sure that I have anything insightful to say about why this happens.

It seems to be hard to figure out exactly which of these is happening in a given situation.

COVID-19 brief for friends and family

I get frequent muscle pain in my head and face and I normally believe that by massaging them. I've started to use use a part of my shirt or maybe another object as a barrier to let me do this without touching my hands to my face, but I guess my shirt could also pick up some of the virus, and I could be infected that way. Not sure what my other options are.

Who should give sperm/eggs?

I think you can travel to another country to donate eggs there. I think in general you get paid more in other countries if you are of certain demographics.

In praise of unhistoric heroism

There's is a trap that consequentialists can easily fall into that the author describes beautifully in this post. I think the solution solution within consequentialism is to see that consequentialism doesn't recommend that we we only praise the highest achievers. Praise and blame are only justified within consequentialism when they produce good consequences, and it's beneficial to praise a wide variety of people, most especially people who are trying their hardest to improve the world.

For a fuller spectrum account of what it is to live a moral life, you can add 'virtue consequentialism' to your consequentialism. This position is just the observation that within consequentialism, virtues can be defined as character traits that lead to good consequences, and it's useful to cultivate these.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5489019-uneasy-virtue

Doing good is as good as it ever was

I've been in the community since about 2011, and I've also noticed this happening in myself and quite a few others who have been in the community for a long time. I'm not aware of any data on the subject. Denise's explanation of this and this post sounds right to me.

EA Hotel Fundraiser 7: Pitch focusing on case studies with counterfactuals

I came to the hotel as I was finishing a contract for Rethink Prioritites, worked for them there for one month, then did indepenent research. Now I am employed at an EA org again, and I am paying cost price.

Opinion: Estimating Invertebrate Sentience
I agree that sentience, at least as we've defined it, is an all-or-nothing phenomenon (which is a common view in philosophy but not as common in neuroscience).

What do you think of the argument that there may be cases where it's unclear if the term is appropriate or not. So there would be a grey area where there is a "sort of" sentience. I've talked to some people who think that this grey area might be taxonomically large, including most invertebrates.


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