Posts

[Link] Reframing Superintelligence: Comprehensive AI Services as General Intelligence 2019-04-26T11:16:58.457Z · score: 8 (5 votes)

Comments

Comment by olliebase on Projects tackling nuclear risk? · 2020-06-01T08:25:44.768Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I don't know much about them but I believe the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) support these policies in the UK (INF, hair-trigger).

Comment by olliebase on What is a good donor advised fund for small UK donors? · 2020-04-29T13:00:58.146Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I don't know whether they can do all of those things but could be worth asking Prism.

Comment by olliebase on What are the key ongoing debates in EA? · 2020-03-11T10:11:58.929Z · score: 8 (7 votes) · EA · GW

Could you spell out what this means? I'd guess that most people (myself included) aren't familiar with ossification and organizational ontologies.

Comment by olliebase on EA Philippines' Strong Progress and Learnings in 2019 · 2020-02-05T18:49:06.997Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for posting, I really enjoyed reading this. Great work!

Comment by olliebase on In praise of unhistoric heroism · 2020-01-08T12:29:52.050Z · score: 32 (16 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for this piece, I really enjoyed it.

I want to hold out that Eli sweeping the offices is more truly heroic than Eli chasing after the biggest project or the most prestigious role or the highest status research area.

I also admire this orientation, props to Eli.

I note that you think the orientation is more important than the action but I do think that doing some marginally helpful task for an EA org is now slightly overrated by the community. I'd want to make salient the much larger class of unheroic yet valuable actions which one can take outside of the professional EA community, such as:

  • Making progress on some unexciting but helpful research question (like this post on coal seam fires).
  • Building the EA community where they are, especially if it's outside of the US or the UK.
  • Pursuing a career in a more niche or risky cause area, even if it proves not to pay off.

I have a lot of respect for people who do/are doing the above, especially when they know it probably won't secure them a place in the history books.

Comment by olliebase on Introducing Foretold.io: A New Open-Source Prediction Registry · 2019-10-17T11:08:25.538Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Great work Ozzie!

Some differences are apparent but could you spell out how you intend to differentiate Foretold from Metaculus?

Comment by olliebase on Effective Altruism London Strategy 2019 · 2019-08-23T08:33:56.460Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Just want to second Richard's point about the vision feeling 'off'. Having an ambitious vision makes sense and I'm somewhat more sympathetic about CEA having this vision but the scope seems disproportionate to the organisation. I would have expected the vision to at least be limited in scope to what can be achieved in London.

Comment by olliebase on 'Longtermism' · 2019-07-26T10:34:53.782Z · score: 30 (22 votes) · EA · GW

I downvoted this comment because:

i) The hyphenation segment clearly isn't the central argument of the post. This is a straw man.

ii) It's generally a bit dismissive and unkind.

ii) If you don't think something's important to stay up-to-date on, you don't have to read it or engage with it.


Comment by olliebase on 'Longtermism' · 2019-07-26T10:19:37.296Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for writing this, Will!

I’ve been firmly in the no-hyphen nohyphen camp since I came across the term but haven’t been able to articulate my reasons. These arguments make a lot of sense to me.

Those who live at future times matter just as much, morally, as those who live today

This could be interpreted as “the sum value of present generations = the sum value of future generations”. I’d have thought something like “Those who live at future times matter morally” leaves room for the implication that our impact on the long-term future is of overwhelming importance. I haven’t thought about this much though, just a reaction.

Comment by olliebase on Drowning children are rare · 2019-05-31T14:13:55.032Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

(views my own)

I'd be very interested to know if there are posts that both criticize something EA in a cogent way as this post does and don't receive large numbers of downvotes.

To add to Ben's example, one of the most upvoted posts of all time was critical of discrepancy between the message that working at EA org is a promising career path and the fact that it's extremely hard to get a job at an EA org. There was probably an element of people empathising with the story but I still think it 'criticised something EA in a cogent way'.

FWIW, I think the EA community is unusually good at engaging with critical commentary and updating accordingly.

Comment by olliebase on Effective Altruism London Landscape in 2019 · 2019-05-20T08:59:42.249Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Despite living in London and being fairly involved with EAL, I found this interesting and will probably refer people to this in future. Thanks for writing it up!

Comment by olliebase on Will splashy philanthropy cause the biosecurity field to focus on the wrong risks? · 2019-05-01T08:17:59.322Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

OP = original poster?

Perhaps this is why Open Phil are called Open Phil and not OP...

Comment by olliebase on Will splashy philanthropy cause the biosecurity field to focus on the wrong risks? · 2019-05-01T08:14:47.636Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW
Talking to biosecurity researchers has made me significantly update as to how much a single funder (in this case Open Phil) can influence the direction and focus of a research field.

I'm assuming you mean here that you updated towards the view that a single funder can quite strongly influence the direction and focus of a research field - is that right? What, generally, did you learn from these conversations and how do they compare to Lentzos' view?

Comment by olliebase on Unsolicited Career Advice · 2019-03-04T17:42:44.305Z · score: 49 (20 votes) · EA · GW

I agree with the thrust of the argument here but I think your estimate for the size of the EA-aligned graduate pool is far too large.

I helped run the group at Warwick (top 10 uni) for a couple of years. For each year I was on the committee, I would be surprised and very happy if more than 5 graduates identified as 'committed EAs'. I would also say that Warwick has one of the more active groups outside of Oxbridge. My fermi for the size of the EA grad pool each year would therefore be something more like:

Oxford and Cambridge: 200 (this strikes me as high but I'll defer to you)

~10 other unis with active groups: 50

~10 other unis with small groups: 20 (most uncertain about this number)

10-20% of those graduates actually applying for non-technical EA roles seems about right so I think the number is more like 25-50. The resultant ratio is still undesirable so I've no doubt that there are many grads out there having difficulty getting hired which is saddening and made all the more visceral by the recent post.

Comment by olliebase on Introducing EA Resources by LEAN · 2018-12-05T13:32:50.224Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks!

In which case, could you possibly add this note somewhere: "I'm not sure it's something I'd want promoted as an activity local groups should try anymore, since their comparative advantage is community building and not fundraising. I think I frame that kind of campaign in too positive a light and don't offer reasons for why a group might not want to do it, implying that I think groups should run a Big Match campaign". Feel free to write in the third person (i.e. "the author is not sure that this campaign is something they would want promoted etc.")

I think you more thoroughly address my concern in your reply to mingyuan. I'm not sure I agree with your strategy of providing an interconnected network instead of deferring to CEA or LW but I appreciate that you've considered this carefully and provide justification :)

Comment by olliebase on Non-Consequentialist Considerations For Cause-Prioritzation Part 2 · 2018-12-05T10:22:10.829Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for these write-ups! A really broad and informative overview of non-cons literature.

For your interest and perhaps to build on section 5, you might find these papers by Sapontzis (1984) and Fink (2005) interesting. They consider non-consequentialist and vaguely deontological reasons to reject the reductio of the Predation argument (briefly, if vegetarianism is an obligation, we ought also to intervene to prevent predation, which is absurd).

Sapontzis argues that:

Where we can prevent predation without occasioning as much or more suffering than we would prevent, we are obligated to do so by the principle that we are obligated to alleviate avoidable animal suffering.

Fink dissects a few versions of the reductio and challenges Singer for not accepting that we ought to intervene to prevent predation. He also makes this interesting argument:

Consider what our reaction would be if a human being were attacked by a wild animal. No one could reasonably argue that because a wild animal is not a moral agent and cannot, therefore, violate anyone’s rights, this releases us from any obligation to come to that person’s assistance. We have a moral obligation to protect all members of the moral community from harm, whenever possible, whether or not this harm comes from moral agents. If sheep are members of the moral community, therefore, it would certainly seem to follow that there is an obligation to protect them from wolves, whether or not wolves violate their rights.
Comment by olliebase on Introducing EA Resources by LEAN · 2018-12-01T10:27:41.921Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Great job! The website design looks really slick and certain sections, like 'Guides and Tips' are really clear and helpful :)

I was somewhat surprised to see a report I wrote* over a year ago (Big Match Warwick 2016 Review) on the 'Evaluation and Strategy' page. I'm not sure it's something I'd want promoted as an activity local groups should try anymore, since their comparative advantage is community building and not fundraising. I think I frame that kind of campaign in too positive a light and don't offer reasons for why a group might not want to do it, implying that I think groups should run a Big Match campaign. I won't request that it be taken down, I just wanted to give those updated thoughts :)

On a more general note, I'm a little concerned that this site overlaps quite a bit with CEA's Resources and Support and Effective Altruism Community Building pages. Do you intend for this site to compliment these pages and CEA's approach? Or offer something different? I don't speak for CEA, by the way, I just know that those pages exist.

*James Aung only added comments in a late stage of editing which is why it might have been mistakenly attributed to him.