62 karmaJoined Jun 2021


I've seen this paper: The effects of communicating uncertainty around statistics, on public trust. I thought its findings may be extensible for communicating uncertainty around not-statistics, so potentially useful for the community.

I just read an interview with Roberto Saviano (author of the book Gomorrah in which he denounced the organised crime in Italy) in which he says that his quest against the mafia has destroyed his life, not only he needs protection 24/7, he feels very alone. In his new book he explains the problems that the judge Giovanni Falcone run into because of his fight against the mafia, that led to his death. So, Salviano is now in "selling mode" in precisely this topic, but still, it made me think that making the life of whistle blowers and the like (like him or even the judge) may be an effective way to do good. Protection may not be neglected —although it may depend case by case— but in general making their life more livable and easier to navigate may help them focus better in their reporting work and help fight injustice. I don't think this has been checked, so I just wanted to leave this comment here in case anyone wants to make a preliminary research to assess whether it is doable and effective.

I write only as user, I don't have any further knowledge but I have never seen it. There are the hair dressers that collaborate with "whip organisations" but as far as I know, they only collect the hair of the people who want to donate it. 

In general, I don't think it is very common that people want to cut >20cm of hair in one go, and it makes the hair dresser's work somehow less natural, as they usually don't cut all hair at once (i.e. make a ponytail and cut it). Maybe those collaborating hair dresses would ask a customer who wants to cut their hair in one go if they may donate it?

I forgot to ask you who are those "degrowthers" that you refer to. I never came across them. Could you please give me a couple of names?

GDP contraction (=somebody's income contraction)

This is obvious. And, again, the point is that the relationship between GDP and social outcomes after some point breaks down or becomes irrelevant.

Many things can lead to degrowth, and some could be necesary. What I point out is that degrowth is allwayws a negative side consequence. You do not plan for it, you suffer it (the less, the better).

It seems strange to argue in favour of not planning for a negative consequence of something that may be necessary.

Has anyone, to your knowledge, assessed the chances that an energy descent ("Most Underrated EA Forum Post in 2022") poses a significant global catastrophic risk? If not, who should look into that? If yes, what were the outcomes and how do/should they change EA's priorities?

One thing I forgot to mention: a substantial carbon tax that accounts for its externalities would be a policy like the ones you describe and would most likely lead to, at least temporary, degrowth.

It looks that income matters in the US, but then it does not matter across countries…

Well, this is the whole point. Some ways to organise countries achieve better social outcomes without the need of better GDP. You don't have Bulgaria and Denmark in each US city in this sense, which is the sense that counts in this conversation.

But you cannot separate material and non material prosperity.

This is not what degrowthers claim and it is not what I claimed: "*Past a certain point*, the relationship between GDP and social outcomes breaks down *or becomes irrelevant*, at least for many indicators." Logarithmic plots show pretty straight lines. This basically means exactly that past a certain point the relationship becomes irrelevant.


In any case, this all shows my point. Saying "Growth is good" is like saying "Intelligence is good". Precisely the point of the post. All this is irrelevant if the ecological collapse degrowthers fear is a big enough thing. This would mean something leading to a pretty bad humanity's state, far worse than stark degrowth. If you want to argue with a degrowther, you have to argue about that, not say growth is good. Same that advocates for AI development have to argue (and mostly don't do) that developing AI is not dangerous, not saying how wonderful AI could be.

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