robm_73@hotmail.com

I am a Giving What We Can member who supports Buddhist ethics, veganism, minimalism and organ donation.

Topic Contributions

Comments

Cash prizes for the best arguments against psychedelics being an EA cause area

Strong upvoted this one.

A prominent Buddhist monk in the Thai Forest Tradition (Ajahn Jayasaro) said the following, which I feel is highly relevant here:

Someone had asked (llama) Kohima, "What do you think of expanding minds through chemical means?" He said, if you have an ignorant mind then you just get expanded ignorance. I thought he was just on the spot. It is all within the sphere of darkness, isn’t it? You are still playing around with different modes of ignorance. You are not actually going beyond. You are not transcending. You are transcending one particular state of ignorance, but you are still in the same building, you haven’t got out of the building, you still haven’t got out of prison. So this sobriety is that whole turning away from all the strange and unusual experiences and visions, physiological, mental states that are available through chemical means and taking a delight in the simple down to earth clarity of awareness."

Minimalism and Effective Altruism

Hi Julia, thanks for your comment!

I hadn't thought so much about the time saving aspects of having fewer clothes and would also be interested in seeing the effects minimalism can have on this.

Definitely understand your point about smaller living spaces and sleep quality. There are people who can take minimalism too far in a well meaning way and end up ultimately reducing their well-being and having the many negative spill-over effects of this. So I feel the minimalist actions someone takes on should net them an improvement to their well-being in some way if they are indeed good ideas.

I like one example from 'The Minimalists' documentary where they told someone that he really should keep his huge number of books in his home because they were a genuine source of joy for him and it would be worse for his well-being to remove them.

Meditation and Effective Altruism

Hi Siebe!

Love these ideas. I think I saw a mediation session in an EA Global Event schedule once but can't remember which one, I'm afraid. Leading a session like that would be a dream come true.

I'd also be interested in getting funding to test out the effects more fully for the good of all EAs. :)

Stories and altruism

Hi Ben, sorry for the double-reply.

It just occurred to me that I could make a survey in something like SurveyMonkey and link to it in the post, then periodically update the rankings in here if a decent number of people have voted.

Any thoughts?

Stories and altruism

Hi Ben, thanks for your comment.

I love your idea of aggregate recommendations and would be very interested in doing a version where that kind of functionality is possible. Off the top of my head, I can only think of posting each item in the list as an individual comment in here so people can upvote their favourites. I'm sure there must be a less clunky way to do this, though. Can I check if you have any ideas, please?

Meditation and Effective Altruism

Hi Siebe,

Hopefully the former, haha! I really like this idea, as metta meditation is something I often neglect in favour of "concentration meditation" on the breath. I really like something Matthieu Ricard suggested, which is just a few times a day for a few moments wishing all beings well with the effects of this well-wishing staying with you throughout your day.

Meditation and Effective Altruism

Hi Milan, thanks for the comment. Yeah, I guess this is similar to the idea of the second arrow https://www.wildmind.org/texts/the-arrow. So often the lion's share of our discomfort in doing something can come from the thoughts we have about it.

Meditation and Effective Altruism

Hi Moses, thanks for the comment. Totally agree with you here. There's a certain amount of thinking that is useful to consider things and make good decisions but the mind has a tendency to carry on thinking for a long time after that threshold of usefulness has been reached. After that, it can easily turn into over-analysing, doubt, worry and all sorts of other productivity-sapping stuff.