RomeoStevens

Comments

Improving the future by influencing actors' benevolence, intelligence, and power

Thank you for the work put into this.

I can imagine a world in which the idea of a peace summit that doesn't involve leaders taking mdma together is seen as an 'are you even trying' type thing.

Geographic diversity in EA

Great points. I feel like there's a rule of thumb somewhere in here like 'marginal dollars tend to be low information dollars' that feels helpful.

EA considerations regarding increasing political polarization

This portion of the PBS documentary A Century of Revolution covers the cultural revolution:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJyoX_vrlns (Around the 1 hour mark)

Recommended. One interesting bit for me is that I think foreign dictators often appear clownish because the translations don't capture what they were speaking to, either literally in terms of them being a good speech writer, or contextually in terms of not really being familiar with the cultural context that animates a particular popular political reaction. I think this applies even if you speak nominally the same language as the dictator but don't share their culture.

How to Measure Capacity for Welfare and Moral Status

Appreciate the care taken, especially in the atomistic section. One thing is that it seems to assume that best we can do with such a research agenda is analyze correlates, where what we really want is a causal model.

Some thoughts on deference and inside-view models

I really enjoyed this. A related thing is about a possible reason why more debate doesn't happen. I think when rationalist style thinkers debate, especially in public, it feels a bit high stakes. There is pressure to demonstrate good epistemic standards, even though no one can define a good basis set for that. This goes doubly so for anyone who feels like they have a respectable position or are well regarded. There is a lot of downside risk to them engaging in debate and little upside. I think the thing that breaks this is actually pretty simple and is helped out by the 'sorry' command concept. If it's a free move socially to choose whether or not to debate (which avoids the thing where a person mostly wants to debate only if they're in the mood and about the thing they are interested in but don't want to defend a position against arbitrary objections that they may have answered lots of times before etc.) and also a free move to say 'actually, some of my beliefs in this area are cached sorries, so I reserve the right to not have perfect epistemics here already, and we also recognize that even if we refute specific parts of the argument, we might disagree on whether it is a smoking gun, so I can go away and think about it and I don't have to publicly update on it' then it derisks engaging in a friendly, yet still adversarial form debate.

If we believe that people doing a lot of this play fighting will on average increase the volume and quality of EA output both through direct discovery of more bugs in arguments and in providing more training opportunity, then maybe it should be a named thing like Crocker's rules? Like people can say 'I'm open to debating X, but I declare Kid Gloves' or something. (What might be a good name for this?)

How should longtermists think about eating meat?

> Costs of being vegan are in fact trivial, despite all the complaining that meat-eaters do about it. For almost everyone there is a net health benefit and the food is probably more enjoyable than the amount of enjoyment one would have derived from sticking with one's non-vegan diet, or at the very least certainly not less so. No expenditure of will-power is required once one is accustomed to the new diet. It is simply a matter of changing one's mind-set.

Appreciate some of the points, but this part seems totally disconnected from what people report along several dimensions.

What's the big deal about hypersonic missiles?

Potential EA career: go in to defense R&D specifically for 'stabilizing' weapons tech i.e. doing research on things that would favor defense over offense. In 3d space, this is very hard.

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