NicholasKross

CS student, blogging and editing at https://www.thinkingmuchbetter.com/. PM me your fluid-g-increasing ideas

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The Many Faces of Effective Altruism

Not sure how relevant, but this reminds me of stories from inside Valve, the noted semi-anarchistly-organized game developer. People can move to any project they want, and there are few/no formal position titles. However, some employees have basically said that, because decision-making is sorta by consensus and some people have seniority and people can organize informally anyway, the result is a "shadow clique/cabal" that has disproportionate power. Which, come to think of it, would probably happen in the average anarchist commune of sufficient size.

TLDR just because the cliques don't exist formally, doesn't mean they don't exist.

The Many Faces of Effective Altruism

Oh yeah, there's clustering networks showing mutual followers of e.g. Twitch streamers, it shouldn't be too hard to make this for the EA sphere on twitter.

Flimsy Pet Theories, Enormous Initiatives

Somebody ought to start an independent organization specifically dedicated to red-teaming other people and groups' ideas.

I could start this after I graduate in the Fall, or potentially during the summer.

DM me if you want to discuss organization / funding.

Flimsy Pet Theories, Enormous Initiatives

The Gates documentary was part of what pushed me towards "okay, earning-to-give is unlikely to be my best path, because there seems to be a shortage in people smart enough to run massive (or even midsized) projects well." I guess the lack of red-teaming is a subset of constrainedness (although is it more cognitive bias on the funders, vs lack of "people / orgs who can independently red-team ideas"? Prolly both).

Flimsy Pet Theories, Enormous Initiatives

FWIW, Elon Musk famously kiiiiiiinda had a theory-of-change/impact before starting SpaceX. In the biography (and the WaitButWhy posts about him), it notes how he thought about funding a smaller mission of sending mice to Mars, and used a material cost spreadsheet to estimate the adequacy of existing space travel technology. He also aggressively reached out to experts in the field to look for the "catch", or whether he was missing something.

This is still nowhere near good red-teaming/proving-his-hunch-wrong, though. He also didn't seem to do nearly as much talking-to-experts knowledge-base-building for his other projects (e.g. Neuralink).

And most groups don't even do that.

Why 80 000 hours should recommend more people become drug lords

Find your old student's house, catch them escaping out a window during a drug bust, recruit them into your RV.

Brief Thoughts on "Justice Creep" and Effective Altruism

Related thought: people having different definitions of "justice", where that word points to overlapping-but-not-identical clusters of moral intuitions.

Animal welfare maps best on a cluster like "concern for the least-well-off" or "power for the powerless" or "the Rawls thing where if you imagined it happening to you, you'd hate it and want to escape it" or "ending suffering caused by the whims of other agents." That last one is particularly noticeable, since we usually have a moral intuition that suffering caused by other agents is basically preventable-thus-more-tragic.

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