Nathan Young

Project manager/Director @ Frostwork (web app agency)
16931 karmaJoined Working (6-15 years)London, UK



Builds web apps (eg and makes forecasts. Currently I have spare capacity. 

How others can help me

Talking to those in forecasting to improve my forecasting question generation tool

Writing forecasting questions on EA topics.

Meeting EAs I become lifelong friends with.

How I can help others

Connecting them to other EAs.

Writing forecasting questions on metaculus.

Talking to them about forecasting.


Moving In Step With One Another


Topic contributions

Interesting take. I don't like it. 

Perhaps because I like saying overrated/underrated.

But also because overrated/underrated is a quick way to provide information. "Forecasting is underrated by the population at large" is much easier to think of than "forecasting is probably rated 4/10 by the population at large and should be rated 6/10"

Over/underrated requires about 3 mental queries, "Is it better or worse than my ingroup thinks" "Is it better or worse than my ingroup thinks?" "Am I gonna have to be clear about what I mean?"

Scoring the current and desired status of something requires about 20 queries "Is 4 fair?" "Is 5 fair" "What axis am I rating on?" "Popularity?" "If I score it a 4 will people think I'm crazy?"...

Like in some sense your right that % forecasts are more useful than "More likely/less likely" and sizes are better than "bigger smaller" but when dealing with intangibles like status I think it's pretty costly to calculate some status number, so I do the cheaper thing.


Also would you prefer people used over/underrated less or would you prefer the people who use over/underrated spoke less? Because I would guess that some chunk of those 50ish karma are from people who don't like the vibe rather than some epistemic thing. And if that's the case, I think we should have a different discussion.

I guess I think that might come from a frustration around jargon or rationalists in general. And I'm pretty happy to try and broaden my answer from over/underrated - just as I would if someone asked me how big a star was and I said "bigger than an elephant". But it's worth noting it's a bandwidth thing and often used because giving exact sizes in status is hard. Perhaps we shouldn't have numbers and words for it, but we don't.

My handwavey argument around this would be something like "it's very hard to stay caring about the main thing".

I would like more non-EAs who care about the main thing - maximising doing good - but not just more really talented people. If this is just a cluster of really talented people, I am not sure that we are different to universities or top companies - many of which don't achieve our aims.

Can the answers from the video be posted as answers to the questions so that those we can see each answer next to its context?

Can I suggest that Jimmy and Mark Rober work on another fundraising campaign to raise a million dollars for GiveDirectly, perhaps after Team Trees and Team Seas you could call it Teem Fees? 

Thank you for your work and for Jimmy's willingness to take hits for giving people resources directly. It feels like outside of EA, helping poorer people isn't seen as that much more effective than helping people in the US and many philanthropists stick to supporting US people. Thanks to Jimmy for sticking his neck out here, it does feel like it makes a difference to the Discourse.

Currently Beast Philanthropy's approach is pretty scattershot - mainly focused on helping people directly in a manner that can be turned into videos. This makes sense, given your context.

Is there a plan to scale previous interventions up?

If so, how will you decide which?

Would you consider doing work with @GiveWell to deliver bednets or give vitamin A supplementation?

edited to correct an error, thanks @Jason 

I think that being there at the start of a discussion is a great way to shift it. Look at AI safety (for good and ill)

I think given a big enough GPU, yes, it seems plausible to me. Our mids are memory stores and performing calculations. What is missing in terms of a GPU?

I think bacteria are unlikely to be conscious due to a lack of processing power. 

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