Puggy

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Ben's Shortform

I would love to read this. What a great idea. Pursue it!!

Puggy's Shortform

Forecasters Bias

This may already be a bias, I haven’t really researched this. Excuse my ignorance. But perhaps there could be a new bias we could identify called forecasters bias.

This bias would be the phenomenon where forecasters have a tendency to place too much weight on the importance of or the effect of forecastable events versus events that are less forecastable. Thereby somewhat (or entirely) neglecting other improbable less forecastable events.

Example 1: Theres a new coronavirus variant called Omicron. It has not yet spread, but it will. We can track the spread of this virus going forward into the future. When forecasting Omicron’s effect we have a tendency to overemphasize its effect because this event is forecastable.

Another coronavirus example 2: Early in the coronavirus pandemic individuals tracked the spread of the virus, and the rate at which vaccines progressed. They predicted with a good degree of accuracy the amount of deaths. They did not predict, however, that the political whims of the populace would lead to an anti-vax movement. The less forecastable event (anti-vax sentiment) was under-predicted

Example 3: fictional market researchers notice dropping energy prices. They model this phenomenon and expect it to continue for 18 months. But in this fictional 18 months, major earthquakes destroy huge cities and the researchers systematically failed to consider the prospect of major earthquakes happening which raise energy prices.

Example 4: energy prices are rising drastically. Researchers expect this to continue for 18 months. Suddenly, commercially viable nuclear fusion becomes available and governments spread this throughout the world. Energy prices drop to “too cheap to meter”, researchers got this wrong because it was too hard to forecast the progress of nuclear fusion.

I don’t know if this idea is any good. Just a thought!

2-week summer course in "economic theory and global prioritization": LMK if interested!

Please make the curriculum open to everyone or, if possible, record the curriculum for us to see!

Puggy's Shortform

That could be a form of an incentive pledge

Puggy's Shortform

There’s a growing literature pointing to the myriad of government failures but the highlights are: government failures are in almost every scenario significantly worse than market failures, so let the market decide. Increasing liberty produces great outcomes (drug use goes down with liberal drug policy same with overdoses, increasing immigration increases everyone’s income, housing prices and homelessness go down when we reduce nimby policies and have a free market in housing, FDA and other bureaucratic agencies overspend (Mercatus Center estimates it costs 93 million to save a life through regulation and with the case of the FDA they actually actively kill 20,000+ people a year), education and healthcare costs would drop significantly if we had a free market in them (the strongest argument that shows why prices rise in these sectors is because of artificial inflation caused by government intervention), wars cost enormous sums of money to produce and their consequences are almost always worse than non-intervention (since 9/11 200K Iraqi civilians have died, while terrorism has increased 2,000%), there’s some historical evidence that free banking systems are less prone to the disastrous effects of the business cycle, there’s lots of more evidence.

These empirical facts are related to the idea that market based interventions outperform government interventions because the market does not have to act through a centralized hierarchy to make decisions. It’s difficult to make centralized decisions that are attentive to the concerns at the margins of the economy.

Puggy's Shortform

True yea. I have seen the neoliberalism movement. They are more market friendly than the median voter and they are motivated by consequentialist reasoning, but I think they advocate government intervention over what is required in some areas. But overall that’s a great movement.

Puggy's Shortform

Has anyone ever thought of doing incentive based pledges with their charitable giving?

Incentive pledge: I will live off of X amount of money, but this figure increases by Y for every $100,000 I donate or pledge to donate.

Example: I will live off of $30,000 in 2020 dollars for the rest of my life and the rest will be donated to charity, however this amount increases by $1000 for every $100,000 I donate (or I will donate at some future date).

Under this incentive pledge, for every $1 million in 2020 dollars that the pledger earns (and donates), $10,000 dollars will be added to their yearly allowance. Then if you’re feeling confident you could cap it at a certain level. For example, this could max out at $100,000 yearly allowance or $70,000 or something like that.

This is for someone who wants to essentially take the further pledge, but they aren’t entirely comfortable confining themselves to a fixed amount to live on (adjusted for inflation) forever. Or this is for the person who could see themselves incentivized to give more if they knew their yearly allowance would raise the more they earned.

Puggy's Shortform

Do you prefer libertarian policy ideas, but you aren’t too sold on the deontological or rights-based reasoning which many libertarians use to justify their policy preferences?

Perhaps this new political identifier could work for you: introducing…. Consequentarian! You’re pretty much a consequentialist through and through, you value good outcomes more than liberty or rights based claims to things however it just empirically turns out that all the best policy ideas which lead to the best outcomes are libertarian. You recognize open borders, drug legalization, limited (or no) government, very low regulation, and competitive enterprise produce more human flourishing than all the alternatives. But you don’t find strict rights arguments compelling (like if a car is driving at you, you can jump on your neighbors lawn even if it violates his property rights).

Pronounced: Consequen-tarian

Associated schools of thought:

  • Chicago school economics
  • University of Arizona Tucson School of liberalism
  • neoclassical liberalism
  • Michael Huemer and Bryan Caplan’s anarchism
Puggy's Shortform

That could be the case, but I think the emphasis is more on the idea that you have the same “birthdate” to be considered a giving sibling.

Like on February 15 you and a friend took the Giving Pledge together and then that date was the same day you became siblings. Then you celebrate that day every year or form a bond around this shared experience.

Puggy's Shortform

Great points. Thank you for them. Perhaps we could use a DALY/QALY measure. A charity could reach the highest status if, after randomized controlled studies, it was determined that $10 donated could give one QALY to a human (I’m making up numbers). Any charity that reached this hard to achieve threshold would be given the super-charity designation.

To make it official imagine that there’s a committee or governing body formed between charity navigator and GiveWell. 5 board members from each charity would come together and select the charities then announce the award once a year and the status would only be official for a certain amount of time or it could be removed if they dipped below a threshold.

What do you think

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