Prabhat Soni

I'm an undergrad studying CS, applied math and economics at IIIT Delhi, India. Don't hesitate to PM me!


How much does a vote matter?

Thanks Nathan, this was helpful!

Are we neglecting education? Philosophy in schools as a longtermist area

Hi Jack, thanks for writing this. I read this post when it was published a few months ago, so I may not remember everything written in this post.

I have another related proposal: moral science (~ ethics) education for primary and middle school students. Moral science is often taught to students till 8th grade (atleast it was taught in my school). So, moral science education in schools is already tractable.

I would classify this under broadly promoting positive moral values. The current set of moral values are far from ideal, and EAs could have an impact by changing the curriculum used in moral science education in primary and middle school. In particular some moral values like concern for animals, consequentialism, caring for future generations, cosmopolitanism and liberalism seem particularly neglected and important (source: 33:33 of this video by Will MacASkill).

One of the biggest reasons to work on "broadly promoting positive moral values" would be that it isn't very tractable to influence society's moral values (the other being that it might be undesirable). But, as I've argued above, this intervention seems somewhat tractable.

For an idea of what 8th grade moral science looks like see this, this and this.

Some thoughts on EA outreach to high schoolers

Hey Jack, thanks for the reply. Yeah, I agree that it's not obvious which among among the two is more promising.

Practical ethics given moral uncertainty

Thanks! After so long I finally understood moral uncertainity :P

Institutions for Future Generations

Hey, thanks for writing this. There are some age/time-related reforms that you have mentioned: Longer Election Cycles, Legislative Youth Quotas, Age Limits on Electorate, Age-weighted Voting, Enfranchisement of the Young, and Guardianship Voting for the Very Young.

These reforms would only promote "short longtermism" (i.e. next 50-100 years) while what we actually care about is "cosmic longtermism" (i.e. next ~1 billion years). What are your thoughts on this?

Prabhat Soni's Shortform

Hey, thanks for your reply. By the Pareto Principle, I meant something like "80% of the good is achieved by solving 20% of the problem areas". If this is easy to misinterpret (like you did), then it might not be a great idea :P  The idea of fat-tailed distribution of impact of interventions might be a better alternative to this maybe?

Prabhat Soni's Shortform

I've never seen anyone explain EA using the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule). The cause prioritisation / effectiveness part of EA is basically the Pareto principle applied to doing good. I'd guess 25-50% of the public knows of the Pareto principle. So, I think this might be a good approach. Thoughts?

Prabhat Soni's Shortform

Does a vaccine/treatment for malaria exist? If yes, why are bednets more cost-effective than providing the vaccine/treatment?

Prabhat Soni's Shortform

Is it high impact to work in AI policy roles at Google, Facebook, etc? If so, why is it discussed so rarely in EA?

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