I wonder if you have any other suggested reading on US regulatory analysis processes?
Specifically: Having read circular A-4 I am somewhat confused by US regulatory analysis. Circular A-4 only covers various forms of cost benefit assessment. But where is all the rest of the regulatory analysis? Is that it? Like where is the assessment of quality of evidence, or the assessment of how easy it is to review and change, or the assessment of risk? Surely A-4 is not the complete regulatory analysis process? There must be something else right?
For example in the UK policy makers have access to guidance on a range of topics that A-4 doesn't even touch on such as:
Does anything similar exist in the US?
What about US citizens who are not current residents?
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At least from a personal perspective, if I see an EA job with a super high salary, I sometimes catch myself thinking: the salary is so high, they will definitely find someone for that job, so I would rather work at a less established org that can only offer a lower salary. So my brain sees lower salaries as a signal of higher counterfactual impact. Not sure this is a great way to think (I don’t think folk should judge impact based on salary, and I might just be confabulating to justify my past decision making). But if a fair amount of other folk do think like that then orgs that compete for altruism with high salaries might be shooting themselves in the foot.
True. But not useful. Salary is a very very very weak signal of impact and a high salary could mean many many other things.
For example here are some things a high salary could also be a signal of, many of which might suggest that following a high salary is NOT a good idea. A high salary might be a sign that:
Salary is an extremely messy signal, with many factors affecting it. I would recommend folk in EA do not overly update for or against a job based on its salary.
See also other related work:
Nice videos. Well done.I thought the first one was really good – very impressive!!
Going to type and think at the same time – lets see where this goes (sorry if it ends up with a long reply).
Well firstly, as long as you still have a non zero chance of the universe not being infinite, then I think you will avoid most of the paradoxes mentioned above (zones of happiness and suffering, locating value and rankings of individuals, etc), But it sounds like you are claiming you still get the "infinite fanatics" problems.
I am not sure how true this is. I find it hard to think through what you are saying without a concrete moral dilemma in my head. I don’t on a daily basis face situations where I get to create universes with different types of physics. Here are some (not very original) stories that might capture what you are suggestion could happen.
1. Lets imagine a pascals mugging situation
2. A rats on heroin type situation. Imagine we are in a world where:
Feel free to suggest a better story if you have one.
These do look like problems for utilitarianism that involve infinites.
But I am not convinced that they are problems to do with infinite ethics. They both seem to still arise if you replace the "infinite" with "Graham’s number" or "10^100" etc.
But I already think that standard total utilitarianism breaks down quite often, especially in situations of uncertainty or hard to quantify credences. Utilitarian philosophers don’t even agree on if preventing extinction risks should be a priority (for, against), even using finite numbers.
Now I might be wrong, I am not a professional philosopher with a degree in making interesting thought experiments, but I guess I would say that all of the problems in the post above EITHER make no more sense than saying, oh look utiltarinaism doesn’t work if you add in time travel paradoxes, or something like that OR are reduceable to problems with large finites or high uncertainties. So considering "infinitities" does not itself break utilitarianism (which is already broken).
I would disagree.
Let me try to explain why by reversing your argument in on itself. Imagine with me for a minute we live in a world where the vast majority of physicists believe in a big bounce and/or infinite time etc.
Ok got that, now consider:
The infinite ethics problems still do not arise as long as you have any non-trivial credence in time being finite. For more recent consequences always dominate later ones as long as the later have any probability above 0 of not happeneing.Moreover, you should have such a non-trivial credence. For example, although we have pretty good evidence that the universe is not going to suddenly end in a false vacuum decay scenario, it’s certainly not totally ruled out (definitely not to the point where you should have credence of 1 that it doesn’t happen). Plenty of cosmologists are still kicking around that and other universe ending cosmologies, which do theoretically allow for literally finite effects from individual actions, even if they’re in the minority.
The infinite ethics problems still do not arise as long as you have any non-trivial credence in time being finite. For more recent consequences always dominate later ones as long as the later have any probability above 0 of not happeneing.
Moreover, you should have such a non-trivial credence. For example, although we have pretty good evidence that the universe is not going to suddenly end in a false vacuum decay scenario, it’s certainly not totally ruled out (definitely not to the point where you should have credence of 1 that it doesn’t happen). Plenty of cosmologists are still kicking around that and other universe ending cosmologies, which do theoretically allow for literally finite effects from individual actions, even if they’re in the minority.
Basically even if time went on forever as long as we have a >0 credence that it would stop at some point then we would prefer w1 to w2 where:Time t1 t2 t3 t4 t5 t6 t7 ….w 1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 ….w 2 +1 +1 +1 +1 ….
So no infinite ethics paradoxes!!YAY we can stop worrying.
[I should add this is not the most thorough explanation it mostly amused me to reverse your argument. I would also see: djbinder comment and my reply to that comment for a slightly better explanation of why (in my view) physics does not allow infinite paradoxes (any more than it allows time travel paradoxes).]
Hi. I have a bunch of notes on how to start a UK registered charity that I can share on request if useful to people. Message me if needed.