Moritz von Knebel

117Joined Jul 2022


I want to push back against the question itself - I think it might be a false dichotomy. I understand we like to put people into boxes, but it is likely things are more complex than that. For example, being a naive utilitarian and being a sociopath is not mutually exclusive, or he could be neither. I would like an honest discussion about what happened to consider these possibilities, too.

After receiving more applications than expected, we have decided to open our application form for 6 more days - the new deadline is November 7th. (Applications that have been submitted by the original deadline will be notified of the outcome of their application within the next few days.)

Hi! Thanks for this. The links to the jobs @ Forethought don't seem to work (for me on my phone, at least.)

Out of curiosity: The phrase "Past performance is not indicative of future results" is often brought up when doing the kind of historic analysis you are presenting.

How much do you think this applies here? Would things look different if we had an Effective Altruism Movement centuries ago?

Re Cleopatra:

The argument is not that Cleopatra's action is the beginning of a causal chain. In fact, the present and the future need not be linked causally at all for Parfit's argument to make sense.

Instead, what he employs is a "reductio ad absurdum" - he takes the non-longtermist position to an extreme where it has counterintuitive implications.

If discounting WAS true, then any of Cleopatra's actions (even something insignificant as eating dessert) would've mattered so much more than anything that happens today (including curing cancer). This seems counterintuitive to most of us. Therefore, something is wrong with this kind of discounting.

I am a little concerned about the tone of this comment (and a little less so about the post overall). If what this contest represents is a (free and fair) election, I don't think we should tell people "you SHOULD vote for A" or "you SHOULDN'T vote for B". I would feel equally uncomfortable if we did this for any other type of election, especially without giving any rationale for our recommendations. Rather, people should vote based on their preferences (and ideally, these would be informed by more than just in-group recommendations) - if this is Will, great, if it's someone else you feel deserves this more than him, more power to you.

Hi Olivia! As a former teacher with a degree in Education from a very low-ranking German university, I understand how you feel. I've been there! I am 100% confident there is an impactful way you can contribute to the EA community. Please reach out to me if you'd like to chat about those options, talk through potential career moves or volunteering opportunities!

P. S. : Your post has inspired me to finally create an account here and start commenting and posting - who knows what impact you have created down the line... ;-)