Innovating Institutions: Robin Hanson Arguing for Conducting Field Trials on New Institutions

2019-03-31T20:33:06.581Z · score: 8 (4 votes)

China's Z-Machine, a test facility for nuclear weapons

2018-12-13T07:03:22.910Z · score: 12 (6 votes)
Comment by edoarad on Which World Gets Saved · 2018-11-09T19:43:11.327Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Very interesting and well written, thank you for this important idea!

Playing around with toy examples, I noticed another version of this consideration. The success of some actions might imply that there is a higher likelihood of a dangerous world (for which there might be better alternative actions).

For example, consider allocating resources for handling bio-terrorism. One important question is how likely is it that there will be individuals that want to cause massive harm and are able to. If this resource allocation does indeed stop a global extinction, this means that we should update our estimated likelihood for such an individual. In this world, there may better alternatives than focusing on something specific to current biological techniques and instead to put effort into methods which can help against any individual that wants to cause massive harm by any technology.

Comment by edoarad on Why the EA Forum? · 2018-11-08T11:47:02.418Z · score: 12 (7 votes) · EA · GW

One thing which causes me and probably many others to avoid writing more on the forum, is the feeling of writing posts which "spams" or lowers the standards of the forum. This is not mentioned here as a reason not to post. I guess that the voting system and the option of writing on the personal blog solves most of this issue, and that we prefer to encourage more people to write more instead of focusing on quality for now?

Comment by edoarad on On Becoming World-Class · 2018-11-02T15:10:29.021Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA · GW

My main takeaway from this post is that people who are on a clear path to becoming world-class (or already are) can be great advocates for EA or for effective giving among their (fringe/prestigious) peer group, and that the EA community should be welcoming and encouraging them to be active members of the community. I do think that the concerns raised and the framing of the conclusion are apt.

Engaging with the prompt, I am considering an academic career. This may not lead to me being world class (say, win a Nobel Prize), but this is a likely path to becoming high status which has similar merits. I guess that in the technical or research oriented world, it is easier to have both high status and to do EA-aligned work, so I do not think of this as a major consideration.

I find it interesting that the three arguments given also apply somewhat to the value of high social skills:

1. Better social skills lead to stronger connections. People with exceptional social skills can also be more likely to connect with high status individuals.

2. Being more charismatic helps one be more persuasive (in a different manner than written above).

3. Having more people with high social skills in the community can help newcomers feel more at ease and engaged with EA.