4296 karmaJoined


In 2020, we at SoGive were excited about funding nuclear work for similar reasons. We thought that the departure of the MacArthur foundation might have destructive effects which could potentially be countered with an injection of fresh philanthropy.

We spoke to several relevant experts. Several of these were with (unsurprisingly) philanthropically funded organisations tackling the risks of nuclear weapons. Also unsurprisingly, they tended to agree that donors could have a great opportunity to do good by stepping in to fill gaps left by MacArthur. 

There was a minority view that this was not as good an idea as it seemed. This counterargument was MacArthur had left for (arguably) good reasons. Namely that after throwing a lot of good money after bad, they had not seen strong enough impact for the money invested. I understood these comments to be the perspectives of commentators external to MacArthur (i.e. I don't think anyone was saying that MacArthur themselves believed this, and we didn't try to work out whether MacArthur themselves believed this).

Under this line of thinking, some "creative destruction" might be a positive. On the one hand, we risk losing some valuable institutional momentum, and perhaps some talented people. On the other hand, it allows for fresh ideas and approaches. 

Thanks Larks, I definitely agree with your characterisation of Kevin Esvelt as the bio guy. An error crept into our notes but is now corrected. 

Could someone please explain how much extra value this adds given that we already have the Cambridge declaration?

If the authors of this post haven't indicated what their star signs are, how do I know if I believe what they say?

Can you say any more about what you plan to do?

At the time, the comment was "it's not obvious, more rationale needed" -- i.e. I expressed sympathies for the proposal of transparency, but erred towards not doing it. 

I think the main thing which has changed is that it's a slightly more academic question now -- we no longer have the resource to run something like this. 

If, hypothetically, we did have the resource to run this again, would we default to asking funders to be transparent (rather than our previous default choice of not making this request)? I'm not sure -- as I say, it's a rather more academic question now.

Thanks very much for this, much appreciated. Your best guess of vaccines being less cost-effective than bednets and SMC, but not by an order of magnitude, sounds sensible.

Thanks very much for the comment, this is really interesting. The idea of explicitly adding in suicide risk is an interesting direction for the analysis, it sounds like good work. When you publish your paper, I'll be interested to consider whether the underlying estimates of the badness of depression (perhaps implicitly) already reflect the suicide angle.

At some point it might be useful to do a more careful compare and contrast between your method (using Pyne et al's paper) and our method (using the Sanderson paper). Given that the methods are quite different, if anything, I think it's actually quite striking that the methods ended up with numbers that are actually fairly similar (0.145 DALYs per SD-year vs 0.18 DALYs per SD-year).

I certainly would like to equip my toddler with more maths (and preferably computer science) skills than we see in schools. I was planning to remedy this by taking more time on teaching her the content myself (assuming she's willing!) I appreciate this won't work for everyone -- it's time-consuming and not every parent has great maths.

I'm hoping that I will be able to get into a routine of regular maths fun with Daddy. At first this will be the basics (my daughter can't talk yet, so she still has a lot to learn!), and then over time moving on to more advanced things. At the moment she loves it and eagerly asks for maths, so I'm hoping that will last.

  • We play maths games on the computer. She's enthusiastic about them, but I'm far from confident that it's improving her numerical capabilities. Some evidence in favour of it is that she can now say the number "two" -- this doesn't impressive, but she has very few words at the moment. At least it's more likely to help than harm (I suspect) and at worst it's daddy-daughter bonding time. 
  • Similarly dice seem to be entertaining for her, so I got hold of educational ten-sided dice, and I'm still experimenting how best to use them. 

I have ideas for fun things to do together when she's older, which I'm currently keeping track of in this document.

I said this in another comment, but in case it gets missed, I just want to highlight that 1Day Sooner has shown an excellent attitude. When we reached out to them, they were consistently welcoming of the criticism and had constructive useful comments. I've found these virtues to be more common in the EA community than elsewhere, but I still like to call them out when I see it.

Load more