All of rmoehn's Comments + Replies

What's wrong with the EA-aligned research pipeline?

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/HDXLTFnSndhpLj2XZ/i-m-leaving-ai-alignment-you-better-stay is relevant to how independent research attempts could be improved. I describe my attempt at independent AI alignment research and how I could have done better. It applies to other fields, too.

Request for Feedback: Draft of a COI policy for the Long Term Future Fund

It's better if potential donors are persuaded by content, not by form, ie. choice of words.

Request for Feedback: Draft of a COI policy for the Long Term Future Fund

Regarding the lawyer: Perhaps I have a wrong idea both about the legal nature of the document and about what a lawyer does. But yes, in my imagination a lawyer is able to advise you on how to formulate a policy clearly and remove vagueness. So I might go to the lawyer and ask: ‘If this were to be legally binding, how would we have to write it?’

My imagination might be wrong, though – I haven't dealt with lawyers much.

4Habryka2yMy model suggests that a lawyer would say: "Very little of this is legally enforceable, I could help you write something legally enforceable, but it would be a much smaller subset of this document, and I don't know how to help with the rest". Would be curious if people disagree. I also don't have a ton of experience in dealing with lawyers.
Request for Feedback: Draft of a COI policy for the Long Term Future Fund

Some suggestions:

  • Go over this with a lawyer and let them formulate it right.
  • Replace ‘romantic and/or sexual’ with ‘intimate’.
  • Right now those terms are at the top level of the bullets. One could make them stand out less by turning the hierarchy around. Example:
Sufficient causes for recusal of a fund member: Applicant is a close family member, or is/was a romantic/sexual partner within the last year.
Not sufficient for recusal, but should be made public: Intimate relationship that lasted longer than two weeks and ended more than a
... (read more)
2Habryka2yHuh, I am a bit confused. This is not intended to be a legally binding document, so I am not sure how much a lawyer would help. Do you have any specific questions you would ask a lawyer? Or is it just because lawyers have a lot of experience writing clear documents like this? Yeah, I could see that, though it feels a bunch less clear to me, and maybe too broad? I don't have a great model of what qualifies as an "intimate" relationship, but do feel pretty comfortable judging a romantic and/or sexual relationship. I do like all of your edit suggestions, and will incorporate them sometime today.
Request for Feedback: Draft of a COI policy for the Long Term Future Fund

Who would get to see this policy statement? If I imagine myself in the shoes of a more conservative potential donor, who is checking the fine print as part of their due diligence, I would be put off by phrases like ‘metamour’, ‘consumption of drugs’ and the repeated mentioning of sexual relationships.

If I imagine myself in the shoes of a more conservative potential donor, who is checking the fine print as part of their due diligence, I would be put off by phrases like ‘metamour’, ‘consumption of drugs’ and the repeated mentioning of sexual relationships.

The purpose of disclosure is to provide potential donors with information they consider relevant to their decision process. That some of donors will be persuaded not to donate by the information is a feature, not a bug.

Wanted to +1 this in general although I haven't thought through exactly where I think the tradeoff should be.

My best guess is that the official policy should be a bit closer to the level of detail GiveWell uses to describe their policy than to the level of detail you're currently using. If you wanted to elaborate, one possibility might be to give some examples of how you might respond to different situations in an EA Forum post separate from the official policy.

4Habryka2yYeah, I was also unsure about this. In the original Google Doc, I had the comment: Highlighting the word metamour. If someone has a better word for that, or a good alternative explanation, that would be good. I think I would eventually want this policy to be public and linked from our funds page, though it should probably go through at least one more round of editing before that. Overall, I think if you want a good conflict of interest policy, you have to be concrete about things, which includes talking about things that in reality are often the sources of conflict of interest, which are pretty often messy romantic and sexual relationships and sharing weird intense experiences together. I don't know of a way to both be concrete here, and not be off-putting, while also actually addressing many of these potential sources for COIs.
My recommendations for RSI treatment

Thanks for your comment on my article! I appreciate your thoughts and have left a lengthy answer.

My recommendations for RSI treatment

I've written on LessWrong about a fairly airtight approach to psychosomatic wrist pain: A cognitive intervention for wrist pain

And I think it's important that every article writing about physical causes and interventions also contain a section about psychosomatics. Because the people prone to psychosomatic wrist pain might read the warnings of permanent physical damage and disability, and enter a vicious circle of worrying leading to pain leading to more worrying. This is how it was for me, as I describe in the article.

2Max_Carpendale2yThanks for your comment! I read your article and left a comment on it here. I'll try to think more about psychosomatics and add a section on it when I have time.