Rational Animations' owner and scriptwriter: https://www.youtube.com/c/RationalAnimations

Wiki Contributions


An animated introduction to longtermism (feat. Robert Miles)

Update: as a result of feedback here and in other comments (and some independent thinking), we made a few updates to the channel.

  • Made new thumbnails without the clickbaity feel that the previous ones had.
  • Changed titles (I did that already weeks ago, but it's worth mentioning again).
  • Removed the arm from the cover photo.
  • Removed mentions of EA from the channel description. For now, I will associate the channel with EA and LW the least I can. I will mention names of specific EA topics (e.g. Longtermism) only when I think it's really necessary. And it will be probably never necessary to mention the EA movement itself. In this way, I can focus on improving with a  lighter heart since the probability of causing PR damage is now lower. Obviously, I'll have to relax these constraints in the future if I want to increase impact.
  • Hidden the weakest of the two "digital circuits in Minecraft" videos.

I have also read CEA's models of community building, which were suggested in some comments.

The future direction the channel will take is more important than previous videos, but still, I wanted to let people know that I made these changes. I wanted to make a post to explain both these changes and future directions in detail, but I don't know if I'll manage to finish it, so in the meanwhile, I figured that it would probably be helpful to comment here. 

A lateral way of thinking about Cause X: barely visible but potentially enormous categories of value

I'm trying to write a script that integrates the concept of my article here, and I read yours attentively only a few minutes ago to see if there were ideas to integrate. I found it beautiful so thank you for linking it. 

I also got a similar experience as the one you describe getting while listening to Popcorn. Mine was with World of Warcraft when I was 12. I remember thinking "imagine how sad would it be if I was born in a world without World of Warcraft".  Obviously there would have been way sadder things about being born, say, two centuries earlier, but it's still true that I would have missed out on something irreplaceable .

What would an entity with GiveWell's decision-making process have recommended in the past?

This looks super interesting to me. We can, in a sense, simulate a longer history of Effective Altruism and see what patterns there are.

An animated introduction to longtermism (feat. Robert Miles)

Oh sure, without a doubt, if there is a better video to be made with little additional effort, making that video is obviously better, no denying that. 

I asked that question because you said:

I don't think the video is high enough quality for it to be a good thing for more people to see it

And that's way more worrying than "this video could be significantly improved with little effort". At least I would like to start with a "do no harm" policy. Like, if the channel does harm then the channel ought to be nuked if the harm is large enough. If the channel has just room for improvement that's a different kettle of fish entirely.

An animated introduction to longtermism (feat. Robert Miles)

I refrained from liking the video on YouTube and don't expect to share it with people not famililar with longtermism as a means of introducing them to it because I don't think the video is high enough quality for it to be a good thing for more people to see it

I think your feedback in the other comment is mostly correct, but... aren't those relatively minor concerns? Do you think the video actually has net negative impact in its present form? Some of your criticism is actually about Bostrom's paper, and that seems like it had a fairly positive impact.

Introducing Rational Animations

Oh yeah I'm already talking with Jeroen :)

An animated introduction to longtermism (feat. Robert Miles)

I feel like this is the most central criticism I had so far. Which means it is also the most useful. I think it's very likely that what you said is also the sentiments of other people here. 

I think you're right about what you say and that I botched the presentation of the first videos. I'll defend them a little bit here on a couple of points, but not more. I will not say much in this comment other than this, but know that I'm listening and updating.

1. The halo effect video argues in part that the evolution of that meme has been caused by the halo effect. It is certainly not an endorsement.

2. The truth is cringe video is not rigorous and was not meant to be rigorous. It was mostly stuff from my my intuitions and pre-existing knowledge. The example I used made total sense to me (and I considered it interesting because it was somewhat original), but heh apparently only to me.

Note: I'm not going to do only core EA content (edit: not even close actually). I'm trying to also do rationality and some rationality-adjacent and science stuff. Yes, currently the previous thumbnails are wrong. I fixed the titles more recently. I'm not fond of modifying previous content too hard, but I might make more edits. 

Edit to your edit: yes.

An animated introduction to longtermism (feat. Robert Miles)
  1. I don't really get this feedback. Does reality say that people are actually more negative about Longtermism if it is introduced in this way? I'm a big fan of technological advancement and I expect my audience to be sort of similar. Also, what about engagement? I'm ok getting more criticism if it means more engagement (provided correctness of the content, and still all within reason). Does this make sense? In a previous version of the script there were also emulations in the mix! My experience says that on YT you ought to optimize for being the least boring you can be (in a good way, without causing drama etc.), not the opposite (without sacrificing correctness etc etc). And also enhance your personality BIG TIME, not suppress it. I think, in general, it is emerging that there are two goals here that are more or less in conflict: safety and engagement (safety and capability? :O). I need to take time to think how to actually blend them.
  2. Yes, Animator has already taken note from previous feedback, and she is integrating it in the new animations. Same for gender parity (although you'll probably see that later).
An animated introduction to longtermism (feat. Robert Miles)

Thanks a lot! This is definitely going to be helpful :)

An animated introduction to longtermism (feat. Robert Miles)

This is very very helpful feedback, thank you for taking the time to give it (here and on the other post). Also, I'm way less anxious getting feedback like this than trying to hopelessly gauge things by upvotes and downvotes. I think I need to talk more to individual EAs and engage more with comments/express my doubts more like I'm doing now. My initial instinct was to run away (post/interact less), but this feels much better other than being more helpful.

Load More