Nathan Young

I don't know what I intend to do over the next year, but I'm trying to find how best to improve the wellbeing of conscious creatures. My top focus for the first 25 years was being a conservative Evangelical Christian. I'm now not one, which is a big change. I have a maths masters and run a small web design company (, but am looking at all the options for the future.

I livestream improvised parody rap:

Nathan Young's Comments

Joan Gass: How to Build a High-Impact Career in International Development

Hi I'm struggling to understand the threshold analysis. Can anyone help?

It seems like ln(GDP) is the rate of change of GDP. If so, why isn't this compounding? ie why isn't the rate of change of GDP of after 5 years (1+.105*.96)^5 = 1.65 not .48. This would mean it would only need a 2% success chance to be the most effective intervention. I guess I'm missing something, please could someone help.

What is ln(GDP)? What does the ln mean in this context. I don't think it can be natural log. Most naturally it seems to be the rate of change but I'm confused as to why they chose ln().

Why is a 4% discounting rate the right one to choose?

Thank you for your time.

Concerning the Recent 2019-Novel Coronavirus Outbreak


I suggest the question you've linked has an artificially low upper bound. Please could you update the link with this Metaculus question which, without the upper bound, provides a better prediction.

All metaculus questions are about cases, not deaths. Currently the most up to date community prediction is a 7% chance of over a billion cases this year. I am not sure where you found the claim you cite. Apologies if I've made some mistake.

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Nathan Young's Shortform

Does anyone know people working on reforming the academic publishing process?

Coronavirus has caused journalists to look for scientific sources. There are no journal articles because of the lag time. So they have gone to preprint servers like bioRxiv (pronounced bio-archive). These servers are not peer reviewed so some articles are of low quality. So people have gone to twitter asking for experts to review the papers.

This is effectively a new academic publishing paradigm. If there were support for good papers (somehow) you would have the key elements of a new, perhaps better system.

Some thoughts here too:

With Coronavirus providing a lot of impetus for change, those working in this area could find this an important time to increase visibility of their work.

Concerning the Recent 2019-Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Any thoughts on why the estimates here are so much higher than metaculus? Here they seem to range between 10 - 100 million, whilst the current metaculus median is 100k.

Maybe I've missed something.

EA Handbook 3.0: What content should I include?

I'd like a bit on being positive and welcoming. "EA is a really good way to help people" rather than"other charities are bad and your bad for supporting them"

AMA: We are Jon and Kathryn. We work with The Life You Can Save. Ask us anything!

What are some things that everyone at TLYCS knows that typical EAs might not?

What book(s) would you want a gifted teenager to come across?

Stories of people with very different experiences to theirs. I think people can usually do with more empathy. Stories are a great way to open ourselves to the lives of others.

For me, I was moved by The Diving Bell and the Butterfly which is written by person with locked in syndrome (like Stephen Hawking had).

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