Milan_Griffes's Comments

HLI’s Mental Health Programme Evaluation Project - Update on the First Round of Evaluation
Note they are mostly to do with insurance issues.

fwiw I don't think most of this problem is due to insurance issues, though I agree that the US healthcare system is very weird and falls short in a lot of ways.

This also isn't specific to mental health: one might retort to donors to AMF that they should be funding improvements in (say) health treatment in general or malaria treatment in particular.

I don't think this analogy holds up: we've eradicated malaria in many developed countries, but we haven't figured out mental health to the same degree (e.g. 1 in 5 Americans have a mental illness).

I suspect that if there were a really strong 'pull' for goods/services to be provided, then we would already have 'solved' world poverty, which makes me think distribution is weakly related to innovation.

World poverty has been decreasing a lot since 1990 – some good charts here & here.

M-Pesa and the broad penetration of smartphones are examples of innovations that were quickly distributed. The path from innovation to distribution is probably harder for services.

[Link] "Will He Go?" book review (Scott Aaronson)

I usually do link posts to improve the community's situational awareness.

This is upstream of advocating for specific actions, though it's definitely part of that causal chain.

HLI’s Mental Health Programme Evaluation Project - Update on the First Round of Evaluation
I'm not sure what you mean by going from 0 to 1 vs 1 to n. Can you elaborate?

The link in my top-level comment elaborates the concept.

how much better MH treatment could be than the current best practice

Quick reply: probably a lot better. See ecstatic meditative states, confirmed by fMRI & EEG.

See also Slate Star Codex on the weirdness of Western mental healthcare: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

how easy it would be to get it there

Quick reply: not sure about how easy it would be to achieve the platonic ideal of mental healthcare – QRI is probably more opinionated about this.

Given how much of an improvement SSRIs and CBT were over the preexisting standard-of-care, and how much of an improvement psychedelic, ketamine, and somatic therapies seem to be over the current standard-of-care, I'd guess that we're nowhere close to hitting diminishing marginal returns.

how fast this would spread

Quick reply: if globalization continues, the best practices of the globalized society will propagate "naturally" (i.e. as a result of the incentives stakeholders face). From this perspective, we're more limited by getting the globalized best practices right than we are by distributing our current best practices.

[Link] "Will He Go?" book review (Scott Aaronson)

From the part I excerpted:

"You should read it right now (or at least read this Vox interview), if you want to think through the contours of a civilizational Singularity that seems at least as plausible to me as the AI Singularity, but whose fixed date of November 3, 2020 we’re now hurtling toward."

The EA implications of the 2020 US presidential election seem obvious?

See also Dustin & Cari's $20m grant to the 2016 Clinton campaign.

MathiasKirkBonde's Shortform
My guess is that it's more efficient to study full time while living in the country. I think living there increases motivation, means you learn what you actually need, means you learn a bunch 'passively', and lets you practice conversation a lot, which is better than most book learning, and you learn more of the culture.


Being there definitely increased my motivation to learn the language, even though I didn't know any Chinese beforehand and wasn't intending to learn any.

HLI’s Mental Health Programme Evaluation Project - Update on the First Round of Evaluation
We appreciated the focus on LMICs because the treatment gap for mental health conditions is especially high in these countries (WHO Mental Health Atlas, 2017), particularly in low-resource (e.g. rural) settings.

What do you make of the argument that it's more important to go from 0 to 1 on mental health, rather than from 1 to n ?

Could imagine that mental health in developing countries will resemble mental health in developed countries more and more as a result of economic growth. Developing countries become more similar to developed countries overall, and adopt the best mental healthcare practices of developed countries as part of this.

If mental health in developed countries currently misses out on a lot of upside, it would be way more leveraged to focus on realizing that upside (0 to 1), rather than propagating current best practices (1 to n), because the best practices will propagate regardless so long as the developing world continues to develop.

EA Survey: Sexual Harassment Questions - Feedback Requested

Posting these links here for cross-reference:

An Exploration of Sexual Violence Reduction for Effective Altruism Potential

Posting these links here for cross-reference:

Reducing long-term risks from malevolent actors
Overall, my sense is that MDMA and psychedelics might have a chance to substantially decrease malevolent traits if these substances are taken with the right intentions and in a good setting—ideally in a therapeutic setting with an experienced guide. The biggest problem I see is that most malevolent people likely won’t be interested in taking MDMA and psychedelics in this way.

Our estimates of the likelihood of malevolent people being interested probably hinge on our theory of where malevolence comes from.

e.g. if we think malevolence mostly arises as a maladaptive coping response to early trauma, you could imagine interventions that resolve the trauma and replace the maladaptive response with a more prosocial & equally fit response (and malevolent people being interested in those interventions).

But if we think malevolence is mostly a genetically-mediated trait, it's probably harder to change.

I haven't poked the literature on this yet.

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