Siao Si

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If we are correct about the risk of AI, history will look kindly upon us (assuming we survive).

Perhaps not. It could be more like Y2K, where some believe problems were averted only by a great deal of effort and others believe there would have been minimal problems anyway.

I sometimes downvote comments and posts mostly because I think they have "too much" karma - comments and posts I might upvote or not vote on if they had less karma. As I look at the comment now it has 2 karma with 11 votes - maybe at some point it had more and people voted it back to 2?

I would have downvoted this comment if it had more karma because I think Deborah's comment can be read as antagonistic: "utterly blind", "dire state", "for heaven's sake!", calling people ignorant. In this context I didn't read it this way, but I often vote based on "what would the forum be like if all comments were more like this" rather than "what intentions do I think this person has".

Hi Deborah, I also disagree with this comment (and have disagree voted but not downvoted it). Here are some of my reasons:

  • Without getting too much into it, I think the concerns with the population growth/technological change trend are somewhat distinct from problems relating to the current population size of the earth. One can be concerned that the population replacement rate is dropping too fast while also thinking that the current global population is too large.
  • I think that, while the summarised breakdown you have under the overpopulation project link you have can be understood as broadly true (the specific link is broken), its imprecise, and the real picture is much more complicated. My understanding is that many estimate the carrying capacity of the earth to be 10 billion. If this estimate is true, then "large population, ecological sustainability and high human development" is possible if we define "large population" to be "8-10 billion people" and the other two factors in the same way that those who made the estimates defined them. I also think this picture does not consider the micro effects of aging populations, and papers over the important fact that the welfare of people in the least developed areas is not bottlenecked by planetary boundaries but the distribution of resources. Many effective altruists (myself included) also take a longtermist view which looks to expand sentient life beyond the earth.
  • You present biodiversity and "balance" as ultimate goals, while I primarily think of the former as an instrumental goal and the latter as often ill-defined.
  • I'm concerned about the long-run effects of the people most concerned with these issues collectively choosing to not have children. See discussion here.
  • It's not clear that human incursion into animal habitats is net-negative for wild animal welfare. See discussion here.

I also think it is unfair to call the post 'utterly blind to the dire state of the biosphere and the existential risks we are creating for our species by pushing beyond the planetary boundaries'. Rather I think these concerns are outside the scope of this post. 

I think having a separate section for community posts has greatly improved my experience of the forum. However I think there are still quite a lot of posts that stay on the front page for a long time for similar reasons to why community posts did - because they '[interest] everyone at least a little bit' and/or are 'accessible to everyone, or on topics where everyone has an opinion'

I want to see posts that do things like present the results of significant work get more attention, and to a lesser extent posts that are topical - i.e. announcements about recent news, events, and achievements also get more attention. I think these posts suffer from not having either of the above properties.

Could have filters/tags that promote these posts? 

I imagine there could be a useful office in a city with ~20 people using it regularly and ~100 people interested enough in EA to come to some events, and I wouldn't think of that city as an "EA hub".

I also think eg. a London office has much more value than an eg. an Oxford or Cambridge office (although I understand all three to be hubs), even though Oxford and Cambridge have a higher EA-density.

located in an existing hub so that program participants have plenty of people outside the program to interact with

I don't understand this consideration. It seems to me that people located in a place with a more robust existing community are the people that would counterfactually benefit the least from a place to interact with other EAs, because they have plenty of opportunities to do so already.

I'm assuming by "hub" you mean "EA hub", but if by "hub" you mean "a place with high population density/otherwise a lot of people to talk to", then this makes sense.

(Full disclosure: I was a grantee of CEEALAR last year; but I'm thinking about this in the context of non-residential office/co-working spaces like Meridian Office).

Can you say more precisely what it means for a fund to be recommended? For instance, how should a donor compare giving to one of the "recommended funds" to giving to a specific charity or project directly? (and by extension one of GWWC's new funds over a specific charity)

How did you choose the set of evaluators to evaluate -- for instance, why evaluate LTFF and LLF over FP's GCR fund? Were there other evaluators considered for the process but not evaluated?

It's kind of jarring to read that someone has been banned for "violating a norm" - that word to me implies that they're informal agreements between the community. Why not call them "rules"?

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