Yeah, I agree. I don't have anything in mind as such. I think only Ben can answer this :P
I think this excerpt from the Ben Todd on the core of effective altruism (80k podcast) sort of answers your question:
Ben Todd: Well yeah, just quickly on the definition, my definition didn’t have “Using evidence and reason” actually as part of the fundamental definition. I’m just saying we should seek the best ways of helping others through whatever means are best to find those things. And obviously, I’m pretty keen on using evidence and reason, but I wouldn’t foreground it.Arden Koehler: If it turns out that we should consult a crystal ball in order to fi
Ben Todd: Well yeah, just quickly on the definition, my definition didn’t have “Using evidence and reason” actually as part of the fundamental definition. I’m just saying we should seek the best ways of helping others through whatever means are best to find those things. And obviously, I’m pretty keen on using evidence and reason, but I wouldn’t foreground it.
Arden Koehler: If it turns out that we should consult a crystal ball in order to fi
Task Y candidate: Fellowship facilitator for EA Virtual Programs
EA Virtual Programs runs intro fellowships, in-depth fellowships, and The Precipice reading groups (plus occasional other programs). The time commitment for facilitators is generally 2-5 hours per week (depending on the particular program).
EA intro fellowships (and similar programs) have been successful at minting engaged EAs. There are large diminishing returns even in selecting applicants with a not-so-strong application since the application process does not predict future engagement well (... (read more)
Thanks for explaining your views further! This seems about right to me, and I think this is an interesting direction that should be explored further.
I think rationality should not be considered as a seperate cause area, but perhaps deserves to be a sub-cause area of EA movement building and AI safety.
Also, the post... (read more)
Strong upvote. This post caused me to deprioritize longtermism and shift my focus to presently alive beings.
The hyperlink is incorrect :P
Do you have a preference on whether to contact you or contact JP Addison (the programmer of the EA Forum) for technical bugs?
What is the minimum threshold of expected attendees required for GWWC/OFTW to be interested in collaborating?
What, if anything, changes in this mechanism/strategy post-COVID?
I was looking for books on rationality. My top 4 shortlist was:
I ended up going with Rationality: From AI to Zombies.
Hey I know this post is very old. But in case someone stumbles across this post, the best presentation for introducing EA in my opinion is:
Yep, that's what comes to my mind atleast :P
Task Y candidate: Writing (from scratch) and editing Wikipedia articles.
Apparently existential risk does not have its own Wikipedia article.
Some related concepts like human extinction, global catastrophic risks, existential risk from AGI, biotechnology risk do have their own Wikipedia articles. On closer inspection, hyperlinks for "existential risk" on Wikipedia redirect to the global catastrophic risk Wiki page. A lot of Wiki articles have started using the term "existential risk". Should there be a seperate article for existential risk?
Another awesome (and low-effort for organizers) way to socialise is the EA Fellowship Weekend (which probably didn't exist when Kuhan wrote this post).
BTW Jessica, the $75K figure from Kahneman's paper that you mentioned is from 2010. After adjusting for inflation, that's ~$90K in 2021 dollars (exact number depends on the inflation calculator you used).
Socrates makes the following argument:
A cause candidate suggestion: atomically precise manufacturing / molecular nanotechnology. Relevant EA Forum posts on this topic:
Sorry, you're right; the link I provided earlier isn't very relevant (that was the only EA Forum article on WBE I could find). I was thinking something along the lines of what Hanson wrote. Especially the economic and legal issues (this and the last 3 paragraphs in this; there are other issues raised in the same Wiki article as well). Also Bostrom raised significant concerns in Superintelligence, Ch. 2 that if WBE was the path to the first AGI invented, there is significant risk that unfriendly AGI will be created (see the last set of bullet points in this... (read more)
Hey Brian, this might be of relevance to you!
A cause candidate: risks from whole brain emulation
A film titled "Superintelligence" has released in November 2020. Could it raise risks?
Epistemic status: There's a good chance I'm overthinking this, and overestimating the risk.
Superintelligence [Wiki] [Movie trailer]. When you Google "Superintelligence", the top results are no longer those relating to Nick Bostrom's book but rather this movie. A summary of the movie:
When a powerful superintelligence chooses to study Carol, the most average person on Earth, the fate of the world hangs in the balance. As the AI decides whether to enslave, save or destroy hu
Thanks, this was helpful!
Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell is a popular YouTube channel. A lot of its content is EA-adjacent. The most viewed videos in a bunch of EA topics are ones posted by Kurzgesagt. The videos are also of very high quality. Has anyone tried collaborating with them or supporting them? I think it could be high impact (although careful evaluation is probably required).
Most of their EA-adjacent videos:
Thanks for this! RationalNewsletter is the only rationality-related newsletter I could find.
Cause prioritisation for negative utilitarians and other downside-focused value systems: It is interesting to note that reduction of extinction risk is not very high-impact in downside-focussed value systems.
Promoting effective altruism promotes rationality in certain domains. And, improving institutional decision making is related to improving rationality. But yeah, these don't cover everything in improving rationality.
Thanks Nathan, this was helpful!
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 c... (read more)
Hey Jack, thanks for the reply. Yeah, I agree that it's not obvious which among among the two is more promising.
Thanks! After so long I finally understood moral uncertainity :P
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?
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?
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?
Thanks! This was helpful!
Does a vaccine/treatment for malaria exist? If yes, why are bednets more cost-effective than providing the vaccine/treatment?
I just googled your question.
Here are the top 3 links.
Is it high impact to work in AI policy roles at Google, Facebook, etc? If so, why is it discussed so rarely in EA?
Hmm interesting ideas. I have one disagreement though, my best guess is that there are more rationalist people than altruistic people.
I think around 50% of the people who study some quantitative/tech subject and have good IQ qualify as rationalist (is this an okay proxy for rationalist people?). And my definition for altruistic people is someone who makes career decisions primarily due to altruistic people.
Based on these definitions, I think there are more rationalist people than altruistic people. Though, this might be biased since I study at a tech college (i.e. more rationalists) and live in India (i.e. less altruistic people, presumably because people tend to become altruistic when their basic needs are met).
Among rationalist people and altruistic people, on average, which of them are more likely to be attracted to effective altruism?
This has uses. If one type of people are significantly more likely to be attracted to EA, on average, then it makes sense to target them for outreach efforts. (e.g. at university fairs)
I understand that this is a general question, and I'm only looking for a general answer :P (but specifics are welcome if you can provide them!)
Hmm this is interesting. I think I broadly agree with you. I think a key consideration is that humans have a good-ish track record of living/surviving in deserts, and I would expect this to continue.
Thanks Ryan for your comment!
It seems like we've identified a crux here: what will be the total number of people living in Greenland in 2100 / world with 4 degrees warming?
I have disagreements with some of your estimates.
The total drylands population is 35% of the world population
Large populations currently reside in places like India, China and Brazil. These currently non-drylands could be converted to drylands in the future (and also possibly desertified). Thus, the 35% figure could increase in the future.
So less than 10% of those from drylands hav
EDIT: Comments give a good counter-argument against my views!
Climate change could get really bad. Let's imagine a world with 4 degrees warming. This would probably mean mass migration of billions of people to Canada, Russia, Antartica and Greenland.
Out of these, Canada and Russia will probably have fewer decisions to make since they already have large populations and will likely see a smooth transition into a billion+ people country. Antarctica could be promising to influence,... (read more)
Another approach that targets high-schoolers that I can think of is promoting philosophy education in schools. How does EA outreach in schools compare with this?
I'd be curious to discuss if there's a case for Moscow. 80,000 Hours's lists being a Russia or India specialist under "Other paths we're excited about". The case would probably revolve around Russia's huge nuclear arsenal and efforts to build AI. If climate change were to become really bad (say 4 degrees+ warming), Russia (along with Canada and New Zealand) would become the new hub for immigration given it's geography -- and this alone could make it one of the most influential countries in the world.
Some good, interesting critiques to effective altruism.
Short version: read https://bostonreview.net/forum/logic-effective-altruism/peter-singer-reply-effective-altruism-responses (5-10 mins)
Longer version: start reading from https://bostonreview.net/forum/peter-singer-logic-effective-altruism (~ 1 hour)
I think these critiques are fairly comprehensive. They probably cover like 80-90% of all possible critiques.
Glad to hear this!
Yep, that's what I meant by "open source"! Awesome to hear you're taking this forward!
Hey, thanks for putting this together. I think it would be quite valuable to have these lists be put up on Effective Thesis's research agenda page. My reasoning for this is that Effective Thesis's research agenda page probably has more viewers than this EA Forum post or the Google Doc version of this post.
Additionally, if you agree with the above, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on how we could make Effective Thesis's research agenda page open source?