Brazilian legal philosopher and financial supervisor


Two Nice Experiments on Democracy and Altruism

And if you allow me a conjecture, I wonder if the observed increase in altruistic behavior in collective decision making could be explained by voters applying some non-causal decision theory (either EDT or FDT or whatever) when it comes to elections and social norms.

Two Nice Experiments on Democracy and Altruism

Btw, what really caught my attention in this reference, more than the "success of democracies relative to autocracies" (which seems sort of assumed by the model), was that other factors (such as income inequality and education) may have an impact, too.

Two Nice Experiments on Democracy and Altruism

Thanks for this great post. I really appreciated both papers. However, they made me think about the anti-populist literature in economics (some technocratic checks on majority rule are usually well accepted for fiscal and monetary policies), political science and philosophy - like the Federalist Papers, or, more recently, Garrett Jones's 10% Less Democracy. Of course, I'm pretty sure democracy is better for the unrepresented than individual decisions made in a market, even if you have some altruistic actors advocating for selfless considerations... but I'm still quite puzzled about under what conditions does collective deliberation bend towards (or away from) altruistic or long-term reasoning.

Who should / is going to win 2020 FLI award 2020?

Allow me to brag a little bit: I got this one half-right - Willaim Foege and Viktor Zhdanov will both win this year's prize.

Ramiro's Shortform

'Good' news: as expected, as real interest rates fall, so do SDR, increasing the social cost of carbon. (not novelty, ok, but monetary policy-makers explicitly acknowledging it seems to be good)
Bad news: of course, it still seems to be higher than a normative SDR based on time-neutrality.

nickmatt's Shortform

You nailed it - Aasimov's and Cixin Liu's classics should be almost compulsory reading. However, it caught my eye you call Cixin Liu's trilogy the Dark Forest Trilogy, instead of referring to it as something likeThe 3-body problem books or Trisolarian Trilogy or Remembrances of Earth's Past.
What I enjoy most in these books is the challenge of maintaining something like long-term cooperation. To such a list I'd add something like The Ministry for the Future (someone should add a good review to this forum); but though it has wonderful passages, sometimes it's irrealistic optimistic (or even simplistic, along the lines "capitalism is evil") and takes a lot for granted.

DonyChristie's Shortform

Add to (3) new explanations or additions to methodologies - e.g., I still haven't found anything substantial about the idea of adding something like 'urgence' to the ITN framework.

The end of the Bronze Age as an example of a sudden collapse of civilization

Guys, great post and discussion. I was taking a look at the discussion about Hekla's role... even if the eruption succeeded the breakdown of those civilizations by half a century, it'd likely have an effect concerning their prospects for recovery.

List of EA-related organisations

Thanks a million for that!

It would be so cool if someone put this on a map...

Can my self-worth compare to my instrumental value?

First, of course, thanks, C Tilli, for the post, and thanks willbradshaw for these comments.
This pierced my mind:

As you say, I'm not sure EA will ever be as comforting as religion – it's optimising for very different things. But over time I hope we will generate community structures and wisdom literature to help manage this tension, care for each other, and create the emotional (as well as intellectual) conditions we need to survive and flourish.

I think my background is the opposite of C Tilli's: I have been an atheist for many years (and still am - well, maybe more of an agnostic, since we might be in a simulation...), but since I found out about EA, I think I became a little bit more understanding towards not only the need for comfort, but also the idea of valuing something that goes way beyond one's own personal value and social circle, that is sought by religious people (on the other hand, I also became a little bit supicious of some cult-like traits we might be tempted to mimic).

I am sort of surprised we wrote so much, so far, without talking about death and mortality. I know I have intrinsic value, but it's fragile and perishable (cryonics aside); and yet, the set of things I can value extends way beyond my perishable self - actually, my own self-worth depends a little bit on that (as Scheffer argues, it'd be hard not to be nihilistic if we knew humanity was going to end after us), and there's no necessary upper bound for what I can value. I reckon that, as much as I fear humanity falling into the precipice, I feel joy by thinking it may continue for eons, and that I may play a role, contribute and add my own personal experience to this narrative.

I guess that's the 'trick' played by religion that might be missing here: religion 'grants' me some sort of intrinsic value through some metaphysical cosmic privilege (or the love of God) - and this provides us some comfort. But then, without it, all that is left, despite enjoyable and worthy, is perishable - transient love, fading joy, endured pain, limited virtue, pleasure... Like Dworkin (who considered this to be a religious conviction - though non-theistic), we can say that a life well-lived is an achievement in itself, and stands for itself even after we die, like a work of art - but art itself will be meaningless when humanity is gone. Maybe altruism is just another way to trick (the fear of) death: when one realizes that "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die" one might see it not as realizing some external value, but as an important part of one's own self-worth. (if Bladerunner is too melodramatic, one can use the bureaucrat in Ikiru as an example of this reasoning)

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