software developer | abolitionist transhumanist | My life goal is make an effective contribution to abolishing extreme and unnecessary suffering.


AMA: Tobias Baumann, Center for Reducing Suffering

David Pearce, a negative utilitarian, is the founding figure for [suffering abolition].

It might be of interest for some that Pearce is/was skeptical about possibility or probability of s-risks related to digital sentience and space colonization: see his reply to What does David Pearce think about S-risks (suffering risks)? on Quora (where he also mentions the moral hazard of "understanding the biological basis of unpleasant experience in order to make suffering physically impossible").

Notes on EA-related research, writing, testing fit, learning, and the Forum

Thanks for sharing, Michael!

I think the Center for Reducing Suffering's Open Research Questions may be a helpful addition to Research ideas. (Do let me know if you think otherwise!)

Relatedly, CRS has an internship opportunity.

Also, perhaps this is intentional but "Readings and notes on how to do high-impact research" is repeated twice in the list.

AMA: JP Addison and Sam Deere on software engineering at CEA

I saw only this old repo and assumed the Forum wasn't open source any more. Sorry for not looking further.

AMA: JP Addison and Sam Deere on software engineering at CEA

Has the team considered making the Forum open-source* and accepting code contributions from the community and others? What are the reasons for keeping the code repository private? Thank you!

* As far as I know, the EA Forum is not open-source, although it is based on Less Wrong platform, which is open-source.

Important Between-Cause Considerations: things every EA should know about

Thanks for doing this work!

Are we living in a simulation?

For IMO a cogent argument against the possibility that we live in a (digitally) simulated universe, please consider adding Gordon McCabe's paper "Universe creation on a computer".

What are some potential coordination failures in our community?

There's a new free open-source alternative called Logseq ("inspired by Roam Research, Org Mode, Tiddlywiki, Workflowy and Cuekeeper").

edoarad's Shortform

For those who won't read the paper, the phenomenon is called pluralistic ignorance (Wikipedia):

... is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but go along with it because they assume, incorrectly, that most others accept it.

Ask Rethink Priorities Anything (AMA)
  • If one is only concerned w/ preventing needless suffering, prioritising the most extreme suffering, would donating to Rethink Priorities be a good investment for them, and if so, how so?
  • What new charities do you want to be created by EAs?
  • What are the biggest mistakes Rethink Priorities did?

Thank you!

What quotes do you find most inspire you to use your resources (effectively) to help others?
Answer by nilNov 18, 20203

In the real world, maybe we're alone. The skies look empty. Cynics might point to the mess on Earth and echo C.S. Lewis: "Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere." Yet our ethical responsibility is to discover whether other suffering sentients exist within our cosmological horizon; establish the theoretical upper bounds of rational agency; and assume responsible stewardship of our Hubble volume. Cosmic responsibility entails full-spectrum superintelligence: to be blissful but not "blissed out" - high-tech Jainism on a cosmological scale. We don't yet know whether the story of life has a happy ending.

-- David Pearce, "High-Tech Jainism"

What quotes do you find most inspire you to use your resources (effectively) to help others?
Answer by nilNov 18, 202010

There’s ongoing sickening cruelty: violent child pornography, chickens are boiled alive, and so on. We should help these victims and prevent such suffering, rather than focus on ensuring that many individuals come into existence in the future. When spending resources on increasing the number of beings instead of preventing extreme suffering, one is essentially saying to the victims: “I could have helped you, but I didn’t, because I think it’s more important that individuals are brought into existence. Sorry.”

-- Simon Knutsson, "The One-Paragraph Case for Suffering-Focused Ethics"

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