Resource Generation: Inheriting-to-give, for systemic change 2019-10-15T02:43:48.126Z
Words for "in-vitro/fake/cultivated/lab meat" used in Russian 2019-10-06T22:58:56.671Z
Donation opportunity with The Modern Agriculture Foundation to reduce animal use for food 2018-11-30T02:26:27.410Z
Promoting EA in Russia: Barriers and opportunities 2016-08-20T15:30:15.208Z


Comment by jasonk on How should longtermists think about eating meat? · 2020-05-17T17:19:44.365Z · EA · GW

I worry that longtermism can be used to justify, or rationalize (depending on your view), too much. Imagine turning back the clock to when many of the things we consider morally wrong and abhorrent were more commonplace and were widely accepted: sexual harassment, marital rape, human slavery, etc., and sticking one's neck out in opposition to any of them would at least cost some social capital if not more.

Does the longtermist in any of these contexts really not have any obligation to engage in any costly opposition to the wrongs because it would detract from their longtermist projects? It seems it would require an awful lot of confidence in the longtermist's ability to affect the future to argue so. And it feels terribly convenient for the longtermist to argue they are in the moral right while making no effort to counteract or at least not participate in what they recognize as moral wrongs.

My view can be boiled down to this: First, we should be wary of arguments that tell us that doing things that we believe to be wrong are fine to do. Second, we should think hard about how much certainty we have about our ability to have longterm effects.

Comment by jasonk on A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained · 2020-03-28T14:01:47.866Z · EA · GW

This is interesting and I look forward to reading more.

A more negative reading of this information would suggest that the issue may not be lack of fundraising skill within the organizations but rather that many of the interviewed ACE selected charities don't get the funding they want because most people, or the donors the charities care about, don't agree with ACE's or the CEOs' self-assessments that the charities are worth funding. That is, these folks may not donate for reasons having to do with the organizations not because of lack of relationship building, marketing, etc.

It's a different sort of concern and suggests a different line of research inquiry, but may be worth keeping in the back of one's mind.

Comment by jasonk on Financial Planning Advice for Charitable Giving · 2020-01-20T23:49:06.727Z · EA · GW

In case it helps, in the US you should be able to deduct up to 60% of your AGI for cash donations.

Comment by jasonk on Is being vegan the most moral option when it comes to eating animal products? · 2019-12-30T00:55:23.317Z · EA · GW

You'll get a different answer if your moral system doesn't equate morality with minimization of animal suffering.

Regan's and Francione's rights-based theories are worth looking at as alternatives, for example.

Comment by jasonk on Resource Generation: Inheriting-to-give, for systemic change · 2019-10-16T01:27:21.051Z · EA · GW

I don't know but I sent their info@ email a message to ask. I'm curious as well. If I get a response, I'll post it.

And Giridharadas does argue that the wealthy have undue influence on policy and further that the kinds of philanthropy the wealthy engage in doesn't actually affect the unfair systems that helped make them wealthy to begin with and that perpetuate inequality.

Comment by jasonk on Is promoting veganism neglected and if so what is the most effective way of promoting it? · 2019-08-26T01:03:30.419Z · EA · GW

What do you think? What're your views on its neglectedness and the most effective ways of promoting it?

Comment by jasonk on The Moral Circle is not a Circle · 2019-08-14T23:18:14.533Z · EA · GW

On the subject of recognizing the moral worth of animals, Subhuman: The Moral Psychology of Human Attitudes to Animals by TJ Kasperbauer offers a good summary of issues. In particular, he argues that there are psychological processes at work that humans frequently use to distance themselves from animals that are different than what they apply to humans, though there are cases of overlap too.

Fwiw, I didn't find anything particularly actionable in the book. But I do think he argues well that different approaches to motivating people to morally care about animals (namely, welfarism and abolitionism) are both premised on moral psychological beliefs that we don't have very much empirical evidence to help adjudicate.

Comment by jasonk on The Happy Culture: A Theoretical, Meta-Analytic, and Empirical Review of the Relationship Between Culture and Wealth and Subjective Well-Being · 2019-07-16T17:08:31.231Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the link.

Did they have any suggestions for possible interventions based on these findings? Do you have any?

Comment by jasonk on "Moral Bias and Corrective Practices" and the possibility of an ongoing moral catastrophe · 2019-06-24T23:47:31.644Z · EA · GW

I'm not in a position to evaluate the strength of the argument of the paper you make versus any other scholarly work on the topic, but there is a book out there that makes the case that moral arguments have played a role in slavery abolition, though perhaps more so in other countries.

See 'Argument and Change in World Politics: Ethics, Decolonization, and Humanitarian Intervention' by Neta Crawford.

Comment by jasonk on Becoming the person who would start a project · 2019-06-22T15:21:44.652Z · EA · GW

Brian Tomasik.

Comment by jasonk on Projects I'd like to see · 2019-05-15T21:30:58.936Z · EA · GW

This advertisement for a Faculty Ethics Bowl on investment in the far future made me think of the anti-debate type concept. It's not exactly that, but they say: "But this won’t be your ordinary run-of-the-mill debate. Ethics Bowl is very different from traditional debate formats. The teams are docked for using rhetoric, spin, aggression, and clever rationalization. Instead, each team is judged on the basis of active listening, flexibility, collaboration, and analytical rigor—essential ingredients for a meaningful discussion on difficult topics."


Comment by jasonk on [Link] "Radical Consequence and Heretical Knots" – an ethnography of the London EA community · 2019-05-09T23:26:43.087Z · EA · GW

Since I just listened to it I can't help but see parallels to Mauricio Miller describing the certain visions the poor need to latch onto in order to be lifted from poverty:

I doubt there's a good way of manipulating EA culture to present the variety of visions people would need to jump on board. I suspect it will take a decent amount of time for EA to mature and develop before there are the multiplicity of alive paths that will attract a greater number of people.

Comment by jasonk on Where I Am Donating in 2016 · 2016-11-01T16:05:12.626Z · EA · GW

Thanks, Michael. When you talked to GFI or researched them did you find anything indicating they would be able to meaningfully spend $2.6 million? Or are you taking it on faith given your positive interactions with you had with them and their strong evidence mindedness?

I ask because I'm similarly interested in donating to spur the development of animal product alternatives. To date, it's seemed like GFI has had no issue raising money.

New Harvest has also done pretty well in raising money, and one thing I've liked about them is that they continually find new projects to fund as they get money. They have a great track record for that and have a very nice plan to help make it easier for others to produce cultured products - through creating cell lines and promoting open research.

GFI being about a year old doesn't have the same track record and given their ability to raise substantial sums anyway, I've been more inclined to donate to New Harvest, though I'm watching GFI closely.

I'm curious for your thoughts.

Comment by jasonk on The need for convergence on an ethical theory · 2016-09-20T00:35:24.725Z · EA · GW

In contemporary ethics, Derek Parfit has tried to find convergence in his 'On What Matters' books.

Comment by jasonk on Why Animals Matter for Effective Altruism · 2016-08-22T18:18:53.074Z · EA · GW

This is a nice article. Thanks for writing it.

Regarding: "Consideration of the far future is the strongest factor in favor of prioritizing animal advocacy for many long-time EAs, including myself."

How do you see animal advocacy as a cause area stacking up against work on existential risks?

Comment by jasonk on Month-long EA movement building experiment: Effective Altruism: Grow · 2016-07-06T14:25:11.753Z · EA · GW

Please accept my apologies!

I learned the application was made using a different email address than I sent the invite to. Not the best customer experience but it makes sense why it happened.

Comment by jasonk on Month-long EA movement building experiment: Effective Altruism: Grow · 2016-06-29T00:33:20.560Z · EA · GW

It seems kind of obnoxious that this message was sent to people who were already explicitly rejected.

Hey NAME, quick update for folks that aren't going to be able to attend EA Global this year.

For the next few days, if you nominate five people who you think might want to go to EA Global we'll send each of them a free copy of Doing Good Better for applying and we'll give you a free EA t-shirt. We'll stop giving away tickets when we run out. Sound fair?

Did some mailing lists get mixed up?

Comment by jasonk on Scenarios for cellular agriculture · 2016-06-20T23:19:36.875Z · EA · GW

This is a very nice post. I very much agree with these statements:

  1. "This means that the relative value of donations to cellular agriculture research and animal activism at any given point will largely be constrained by how promising cellular agriculture appears at the time, and its need for funding."

  2. "This does not mean the mix of strategies which constitutes animal activism at present is optimal. For instance, the non-negligible possibility of cost-competitive cellular agriculture may imply the need for a greater balance of liberationist messaging, as this kind of approach will be strengthened if CAPs are available to replace factory farming."

I'm not sure I entirely agree about the second sentence here, if you're talking about the absolute number of funders: "As approaches to reducing animal suffering, cellular agriculture and animal activism compete to some extent for funding. There is some reason to believe overlap in potential funders is not too great." Though there's a lot of VC money that appears ready to fund private ventures, I believe a large amount of the funding going to research (e.g., what New Harvest recommends or to New Harvest) is coming from those individuals who are choosing between organizations and efforts to reduce animal suffering. My sense though is that the Dutch government's prior funding outweighs all of that in sum though.

Small correction: New Crop Capital has not invested $25 million yet. They've invested $5 million of $25 million and will invest the remaining $20 million over the next four years.

Comment by jasonk on Lessons from the history of animal rights · 2016-05-20T14:19:19.374Z · EA · GW

"So welfarism did not prevent European countries from eventually adopting rights-like reforms."

What do you have in mind when you mention rights-like reforms?

Comment by jasonk on Institutional Change in Animal Rights vs. Global Poverty · 2016-05-11T02:55:35.522Z · EA · GW

I'm also increasingly skeptical about persuasion on its own, so I'm interested in this line of thinking.

Can you say more about what you mean by "institutional change" in the context of animal rights? What are some examples of what would qualify?

Comment by jasonk on MFA Ad Study Targeting Former Vegetarians · 2016-05-10T03:08:48.625Z · EA · GW

"Given the extremely high recidivism rate, we reasoned that most of the people who had “liked” a vegetarian Facebook page in the past would have gone back to eating meat."

What reason do we have to believe that people don't curate their profiles? That is, is there evidence that people don't update their profiles as their beliefs and behaviors change?

"The average cost of getting a person in the former-vegetarian community to pledge to go veg (again) and order an MFA Vegetarian Starter Guide was about 2-3 times less ($2.65) than for the general population ($5-$8)."

An alternative hypothesis is that people who were already "veg" wanted to read the guides. Is there any way to rule this hypothesis out with the data you collect at the time people order the ads?

Comment by jasonk on Might wireheaders turn into paperclippers? · 2015-09-16T18:13:47.181Z · EA · GW

This is a thought-provoking post.

It makes me wonder how much Homo erectus or even early agriculturalists would find our values and projects desirable and worthy. Or have we already diverged too much for them?

There must be a literature on this at least. Maybe as it relates to moral progress?

Comment by jasonk on On Values Spreading · 2015-09-11T16:40:34.648Z · EA · GW

I'm curious under what circumstances we can judge thinking to be better or worse but can't make such judgments of "metamoral reasoning".