All of Srdjan Miletic's Comments + Replies

Consider Not Changing Your Forum Username to Your Real Name

The core idea here seems to be that certain political groups do or may one day dislike EA and people who associate with EA may be hunted down and blacklisted/social harmed => we shouldn't publicly identify with EA. I don't find this reasoning too persuasive for a few reasons:

  • I think it's unlikely that being an EA is or becomes taboo to a level that would carry substantial personal risk of cancelling. I also think being cancelled on twitter is low-impact and not something you should overly care  unless you're being cancelled in a way that will mean
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2Larks25d
I think this is very overconfident. Cancellation can come for anyone, no matter how minor their supposed transgression. Emmanuel Cafferty was literally fired for reciprocating after someone made the 'ok' sign with their fingers at a traffic light! Employers aren't concerned about the truth or defensibility of your views, they just want the social media storm to go away.

Takes a lot less than public cancellation to harm your career. I know powerful people who enthusiastically support my work now who would've been hesitant to work with me if they knew I was an EA because they've had bad experiences with other EAs.  I think I could survive that now bc they've known me long enough to forgive me for it (keeping in mind that I have merely been silent, not lied about it), but if they'd googled me and learned it the day they met me,  I'd be significantly less effective. 

 

As for the collective action problem, &... (read more)

7Khorton1mo
Yes, I agree this story sounds pretty implausible to me. I think it's more likely that EA becomes controversial or unpopular in certain circles and being associated with it becomes a mark against you - certain people become less likely to want to mentor you or work with you, for example. It's certainly true that some people today are suspicious of EAs! Could become true more widely.
What are your favourite ways to buy time?
  • Minimising travel time by
    • living closer to work
    • working from home
    • taking more expensive but faster/nearer to you flights
  • Minimising years I need to spend working by "buying" perpetual income/lower living costs by putting money in index funds or a mortgage
  • Paying for faster services instead of using cheaper free alternatives. e.g: getting a video appointment with a private GP instead of waiting weeks and hours on  the day for an NHS (UK public health) appointment
  • Choosing to work at a lower paying but lower time commitment job (40hr vs 55hr work weeks are a
... (read more)
Digital People Would Be An Even Bigger Deal

Thanks for the post.

One of my issues with arguments about digital people is that I think that at the point at which we have EM's, we've essentially hit the singularity and civilization will look so completely different to what it is now that it's hard to speculate or meaningfully impact what will happen. To coin a concept label, its beyond the technological event horizon.

A world with EM's is a world where a small sect with a sufficient desire for expansion could conceivably increase it's population a thousand fold every hour. It's a world where you can run... (read more)

9Holden Karnofsky10mo
I broadly agree with this. The point of my post was to convey intuitions for why "a world of [digital people] will be so different from modern nations states just as modern states are from chimps," not to claim that the long-run future will be just as described in Age of Em. I do think despite the likely radical unfamiliarity of such a world, there are properties we can say today it's pretty likely to have, such as the potential for lock-in and space colonization.
Part 2: The advantages of agencies

Thanks for the writeup! One comment is that there are a few downsides of agencies which are worth exploring. Some of those are:

  • Less embedded in the org = typically less likely to suggest projects/software solutions to business problems than an in-house dev would be
  • Slightly less reliable for situations where high priority work can come up. An in house dev is always available to jump on an issue. That may well not be the case with an agency. E.g: Your website crashes in the middle of a busy weekend. Your agency project finished months ago. You now need to ge
... (read more)
3Arepo10mo
I think those are all true, but the goal is to maximise good done, not to maximise the on-paper efficiency of any particular organisation. Through that lens, there's a counterpoint to each of these: * More embedded in the movement overall = more likely to suggest projects/software solutions to movement problems than an in-house dev would be * Capable of triaging across the movement. If your website goes down and something comparably urgent is going on elsewhere, the agency can prioritise whichever is the most important issue (much more true of a donor-funded agency - a low-bono one will be bound to honour its contracts to the best of its ability even in the face of new data) * There's reduced overhead in managing demand across the movement vs an uncoordinated approach (though the third bullet in both our cases is arguably a restatement of the first two)
Long-Term Influence and Movement Growth: Two Historical Case Studies

This is really interesting, both as a topic and as just general history geek stuff. Have you considered the intolerance hypothesis for the spread of christianity (and islam after it)? I vaguely remember reading about it while in undergrad and it essentially says that christianity managed to dominate because it was exclusive, meaning required you only believe in the christian god, unlike other roman pagan religions.

I vaguely remember the last pagan generation being a good source on early christendom as well: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Final-Generation-Transformation-Classical-Heritage/dp/0520283708

How Effective Altruists Can Be Welcoming To Conservatives

Most of your advice focuses on behaviours. This is resonable, but I worry that the problem with that approach is that it deals with the symptom of partisanship rather than the root cause. If you think conservatives and their beliefs are fundamentally immoral and alien, you are likely to behave in ways that make conservatives feel unwelcome. Conscious attempts to moderate these behaviours, while good, will always be imperfect. I think one thing people can do is to read higher quality conservative media sources just to see some of the argumentation on the other side. It's much harder to hate people when you realise they have reasons for their beliefs. Then again, maybe that would just have a radicalising effect.

An Exploration of Sexual Violence Reduction for Effective Altruism Potential

As I understand it, there are two arguments in this article:

  • Sexual violence is bad for individuals.
  • Reducing sexual violence substantially is unlikely to be too difficult/costly.
  • Conclusion: We should generally look to evaluating/fund/spend time on solutions to sexual violence.

and

  • Sexual violence reduces EA's impact
  • Preventing sexual violence in EA is unlikely to be too difficult/costly
  • Conclusion: We should spend more effort on reducing sexual violence in EA because it will increase our effectiveness.

###Sexual Violence in the world### On funding/sp... (read more)

1Chris Leong5y
"Let's adjust that figure for the suffering rape causes even when non-fatal and say that 100 rapes are as bad as 1 death." - that seems like an unrealistically low figure given that rape can lead to trauma that takes years to get over or derail someone's life.
1Kathy_Forth5y
An outrageously crude estimate of life saving potential: 7,600,000,000 (world population) 3,800,000,000 (females, approximately half, because the suicide figure I have is for females) 760,000,000 (females raped, based on figures from just one country because I don't have all ~200 figures) 36,53,846 (suicide deaths related to rape, phrased in past tense because the research isn't about the future) 6,211,538,200 (cost of saving 36,53,846 people through deworming) Point: If 6.2 billion dollars is enough to find a cure for rapists, and rapists pay for their own prescriptions so that nobody has to use charity money for their treatment, then funding research for a cure for rapists would have as much life-saving potential as deworming. Of course, I have no idea how much research funding is needed to cure rapists and it would take a lot of time to investigate that. This is why my global scope section says more research is needed. So basically all you have to do to see why I'm curious about this is to think about it on the right level of scale. The rest of your comment contains so many egregious straw men of what I actually wrote that I have decided not to address it. There might be some valid concerns in there, but I don't have the time to tease them apart from the straw men.