Ramiro

Brazilian legal philosopher and financial supervisor

Comments

Share your views on the scope of improving institutional decision-making as a cause area

Thanks! May I use the doc on definitions to talk about iidm with outsiders? For instance, in a group studies on Political Philosophy?

Ramiro's Shortform

Good point, thanks. However, even if EE and Wild animals welfare advocates do not conflict in their intermediary goals, their ultimate goals do collide, right? For the former, habitat destruction is an evil, and habitat restoration is good - even if it's not immediately effective.

Ramiro's Shortform

Good point, thanks. However, even if EE and Wild animals welfare advocates do not conflict in their intermediary goals, their ultimate goals do collide, right? For the former, habitat destruction is an evil, and habitat restoration is good - even if it's not immediately effective.

Would an EA have directed their career on fixing the subprime mortgage crisis of '07-'08 before it happened?

Well, if your EA were particularly well placed to tackle this problem, then the answer is likely yes: they would probably realize its scalable and (partially neglected). Plus, if God is reliable, then the Holy Advice would likely dominate other matters - AGI and x-risks are uncertain futures, and reducing present suffering would be greatly affected by the financial crisis. In addition, maybe this is not quite the answer you're looking for, but I believe personal features (like fit and comparative advantages) would likely trump other considerations when it comes to choosing a cause area to work on (but not to donate to).

Ramiro's Shortform

Obviously. But then, first, Effective Environmentalists are doing great harm, right? We should be arguing more about it. On the other hand, if your basic welfare theory is hedonistic (at least for animals), then one good long life compensates for thousands of short miserable ones - because what matters is qualia, not individuals. And though I don't deny animals suffer all the time, I guess their "default welfare setting" must be positive if their reward system (at least for vertebrates) is to function properly. So I guess it's more likely that we have some sort of instance of the "repugnant conclusion" here. Ofc, this doesn't imply we shouldn't intervene on wild environments to reduce suffering or increase happiness. What is at stake is: U(destroying habitats) > U(restoring habitats)

Ramiro's Shortform

Is there some tension between population ethics + hedonic utilitarianism and the premises people in wild animal suffering use (e.g., negative utilitarianism, or the negative welfare expectancy of wild animals) to argue against rewilding (and in favor of environment destruction)?

Announcing "Naming What We Can"!

Plus, "Julia the Wise" would evoke Saruman. Too risky.

Quadratic Payments: A Primer (Vitalik Buterin, 2019)

Thanks for the post. Are there concrete examples of organizations that use quadratic voting for collective decisions?

Ramiro's Shortform

What I miss when I read about the morality of discounting is a disanalogy that explains why hyperbolic or exponential discount rates might be reasonable for individuals with limited lifespans and such and such opportunity costs, but not for intertemporal collective decision-making. Then we could understand why pure discount is tempting, and maybe even realize there's something that temporal impartiality doesn't capture. If there's any literature about it, I'd like to know. Please, not the basic heuristics & bias stuff - I did my homework. For instance, if human welfare was something that could grow like compound interests, it'd make sense to talk about pure exponential discount. If you could guarantee that all of the dead in the battle of Marathon would have, in expectancy, added good to the overall happiness (or whatever you use as a goal function) in the world and transmitted it to their descendants, then you could say that those deaths are a greater evil than the millions of casualties in WW2; you could think of that welfare as "investment" instead of "consumption". But that's implausible. On the other hand, there's a small grain of truth here: a tragedy happening in the past will reverberate longer in the world historical trajectory. That's just causality + temporal asymmetry. This makes me think about cluelessness... I do have a tendency to think good facts have a tendency to lead to better consequences, in general; you don't have to be an opmitist about it: bad facts just tend to lead to worse consequences, too. The opposite thesis, that a good/bad fact is as likely to cause good as evil, seems quite implausible. So you might be able to think about goodness as investment a little bit; instead of pure discount, maybe we should have something like a proxy for "relative impact in world trajectories"?

Ramiro's Shortform

I was thinking about Urukagina, the first monarch ever mentioned for his benevolence instead of military prowess. Are there any common traces among them? Should we write something like that Forum post on dark trait rulers - but with opposite sign? I googled a bit about benevolent kings (I thought it'd provide more insight than looking to XXth century biographies), but, except maybe for enlightened despots, most of the guys (like Suleiman, the magnificent) in these lists are conquerors who just weren't brutal and were kind law-givers to their people - which you could also say about Napoleon. I was thinking more about guys like Ashoka and Marcus Aurelius, who seem to have despised the hunger for conquests in other people and were actually willing to improve human welfare for moral reasons

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