(Haven't read this article yet). Have you looked into Wave? They're an EA-affliated startup that's trying to expand mobile money into more locations. (My understanding is that it's the same team that created Sendwave)michael_wiebe on Leopold Aschenbrenner returns to X-risk and growth
That graph represents the comparison of increased growth (gray line) to some baseline (black).
Instead, I'm talking about the case where the dot is at the far left side of the graph: we're currently at a low level of risk, and continuing at the baseline growth rate means 'climbing the risk mountain' before we get to the other side with lower risk. If the peak is very high (relative to the dot), then it's not clear that continued (or accelerated) growth is optimal; stagnation might be better.cienna on Evaluating a crowdfunding campaign to test an oral anthrax vaccine for wildlife
Update: I now think it's a problem with the first impression. A title with shorter words that stirred the imagination might perform better. I remember feeling the draw of effort to understand what the title meant.
"Growing edible algae on the Moon"
- title was partly misleading
- raise was overfunded with plenty of time to spare
- Might have been "Assessing fresh spirulina as a space food at HI-SEAS"
"What is the ethanol resistance of lignin biocoating?"
- accurate title
- raise failed at 1/3
- Might have been "Can lignin keep cardboard from getting soggy when I soak it in beer?"
If too many syllables and not enough imagery in the first impression is why the raise failed to gather interest, then I made the same mistake when titling this post! Maybe it should have been "Why isn't this project to vaccinate deer against anthrax getting funded?"pagw on Hedging against deep and moral uncertainty
Thanks for your thoughts and the links. I agree that more consideration of long-term effects and population ethics seems important (also, I would have thought, for the impact of accelerating animal welfare improvements). I don't know anything to go on for quantitative estimates of long-term effects myself, though.
Regarding the possibility of cage-free campaigns as being net negative, I agree this sounds like a risk, so perhaps I was loose in saying donating a certain amount to THL could be "robustly better". I'm not sure it's going to be possible to be 100% sure that any set of interventions won't have a negative impact, though - I was basically going for being able to feel "quite confident" that the impact on farmed animals wouldn't be negative (edit: given the assumptions I've made - all things considered I'm not as confident as that), and haven't been able yet to be precise about what that means.
Thinking about it, in general, it seems to me that the ranges of possible effects of interventions could be unbounded, so then you'd have to accept some chance of having a negative impact in the corresponding cause areas. Perhaps this is something your general framework could be augmented to take into account e.g. could one set a maximum allowed probability of having a negative effect in one cause area, or would it be sufficient to have a positive expected effect in each area?sanjay on The Vegan Value Asymmetry and its Consequences
Sorry if I misunderstood, but does this rest on the assumption that farmed animal welfare is net negative? More on this here: http://interestingthingsiveread.blogspot.com/2018/12/veganism-may-be-net-negative-but-we.htmljason-schukraft on Research Summary: The Subjective Experience of Time
Cool, thanks Michael, I hadn't seen that. (And thanks to Antonia as well for writing the summary!)jonas-vollmer on Donor-Advised Funds vs. Taxable Accounts for Patient Donors
(I don't understand how you arrived at 2.45:1 optimal leverage with log utility. I get 5%/(.16^2*1)= 1.95, and the Samuelson formula in leverage.py seems to be the same. Same for the other values.)jonas-vollmer on Donor-Advised Funds vs. Taxable Accounts for Patient Donors
Thanks! The above calculation compares an un-leveraged portfolio to a leveraged one, but at least under log utility and assuming a low risk of value drift, the relevant comparison is probably between a leveraged (tax-free) DAF and a leveraged taxable account? Presumably, that would be lower than 2.7%.
Also, do you happen to know how effortful and feasible tax loss harvesting might be for leveraged portfolios in taxable accounts?willbradshaw on EA's abstract moral epistemology
If something is broadly convincing – that is, convincing to altruistic donors with a range of different values and priorities – that is a pretty good sign that it is, in fact, solid. In the case of animal welfare, if a lot of non-EA donors have shifted their funding towards priorities that were originally pushed mainly by EAs, that seems like good evidence that shifting towards those priorities is good for animal welfare across a wide range of value systems, and hence (under moral uncertainty) more likely to be in fact a good thing. In that case,
There are certainly ways this could not be true, but I do think the above is the most likely / default case, and that the ways it could not be true are more complex stories requiring additional evidence. You need some mechanism by which EA funders influenced non-EA funders to change their priorities in a way that went against their values, or alternatively some mechanism by which EA funding "deprived [activists] of significant funding [etc]" despite the pre-existing non-EA funders still being around. And you need to provide evidence for that mechanism operating in this case, as opposed to (IMO the much more likely case of) people just being sad that other people think that their preferred approach is less good for animals.weeatquince_duplicate0-37104097316182916 on Longtermist reasons to work for innovative governments
Hi Alexis, thank you for the post. I roughly agree with the case made here.
I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the "diffusion of institutional innovations":
* I worked in government for a while. When there is incentive to make genuine policy improvements and a motivation to do so this matters. One of the key things that would be asked of a major new policy would be, what do other countries do? (Of course a lot of policy making is not political so the motivation to actually make good policy may be lacking).
* Global shocks also force governments to learn. There stuff done in the UK after Fukishima to make sure our nuclear is safe. I expect after the Beirut explosions countries are learning about fertiliser storage.
* On the other hand I have also worked outside government trying to get new policies adopted, such as polices other countries already do, and it is hard, so this does not happen easily.
* I would tentatively speculate that it is easier for innovations to diffuse when the evidence for the usefulness of the policy is concrete. This might be a factor against some of the longtermist institution reforms that Tyler and I have written about. For example “policing style x helped cut crime significantly”is more likely to diffuse than “longtermism policy y looks like it might lead to a better future in 100 years”. That said I could imagine diffusing happing also where there are large public movement and very minimal costs, for example tokenistic polices like “declare a climate emergency”. This could work in favour of longtermist ideas as making a policy now to have an effect in many years time, if the cost now is low enough, might match this pattern.
I also think that senior government positions even in smaller countries can have a longterm impact on the world in other ways:
* Technological innovation. A new technological development in one country can spread globally. * Politics. Countries can have a big impact on each other. A simple example, the EU is made up of many member states who influence each other.
* Spending. Especially for rich countries like in Scandinavia they can impact others with spending, eg climate financing.
* Preparation for disasters. Firstly building global resilience -- Eg Norway has the seed bank -- innovations like that don’t need to spread to make the world more resilient to shocks, they just need to exist. Secondly countries copy each other a lot is in disaster response -- Eg look at how uniform the response to COVID has been -- having good disaster plans can help everyone else when a disaster actually hits.
I think it matters not forget the direct impact on citizens of that country. Even a small country will have $10-$100m annual budgets. Having a small effect on that can have a truly large scale positive direct impact