Sam Enright

182 karmaJoined


This is excellent work. I certainly think you should have included more detail!

Forgive my ignorance, but what is an international development professor? Are they political scientists who specialise in international development? Are they economists? Are they a separate track? What were their PhDs in? [Edit: I retract this, you already answered it in a different comment]

I think the simplest explanation for these results is that most university professors are staggeringly innumerate. This is analogous to the surveys that show that if you ask the average person what share of the government's budget is spent on different areas, it adds up to like 400% or something. 

But if the sample contains economists or other highly quantitative fields, the results are particularly shocking. It would be interesting to compare STEM and non-STEM professors.

From the 80,000 Hours page, it seems many people cannot parse what Q2 means. When you ask what the minimum cost of doing something is, people seem to imagine scenarios in which they are in the right place at the right time to save a life. For example, in the 80k survey, some people answered that it would take $10 to save a child's life, because, if the child were dying right in front of them, that's how much it would cost for a day's worth of food and water. This is not necessarily the wrong answer; it is a valid answer to a totally different question.

The website looks great! It is worth noting that the applications are only open to people with the legal right to work in the US, as I understand it? 

Thanks for the comment. 


I agree that not eating meat is a small part of one's potential impact. However, we had fellows in our fellowship who thought eating meat was ok. It seems quite important to argue against this to improve their moral reasoning and get them to take arguments seriously. 


I am not sure which curricula include Animal Liberation, but I would think any context in which that is appropriate, this is also. 

Cutting that out now, I thought it might have been used in some of the dialogues because it was popular around the time of the first translation into English, which is presumably where we get the turns of phrase from.

To be clear, this is a heavily fictionalised account so I'm not trying to accurately depict anyone's views (except Caplan's). What I was going for there was, in a sense, making Caplan's point for him: that there are major limitations on the extent to which philosophy makes you a better person. 

I don't at all understand point #7. Are you saying that people who unsuccessfully try to escape NK get sterilised?

The net effect is: there are fewer North Koreans within the country, but more North Korean diaspora? It seems very likely to me that having escaped North Koreans would do much more to damage the regime than having the average rebelliousness of the population go slightly down, since advocacy is driven by escapees (e.g. Yeonmi Park). 

What is the relevance of population ethics? That slightly more future people will exist under this intervention?