Posts

Negative screening and supervising environmental liabilities under IAS 37 2021-03-24T14:25:18.468Z
How does Amazon deforestation actually work? It's not about soy. 2021-01-26T03:06:01.764Z
[Linkpost] The Environment as an Obstacle 2020-08-31T17:15:07.273Z
[Linkpost] The Groundswell 2020-08-31T17:11:07.998Z
What is a pandemic compared to our sewer system? An example of how a society normalizes risks 2020-07-25T14:59:24.093Z
Is there anything like "green bonds" for x-risk mitigation? 2020-06-30T00:33:38.732Z
My amateur method for translations 2020-06-30T00:29:30.043Z
Indifference, racism and violence: what comes after justice for George Floyd? 2020-06-12T01:44:23.358Z
Who should / is going to win 2020 FLI award 2020? 2020-06-11T19:20:11.364Z
Is rapid diagnostic testing (RDT), such as for coronavirus, a neglected area in Global Health? 2020-03-17T22:24:05.915Z
Ramiro's Shortform 2019-10-17T13:16:14.822Z
Merging with AI would be suicide for the human mind - Susan Schneider 2019-10-03T17:55:07.789Z

Comments

Comment by Ramiro on Share your views on the scope of improving institutional decision-making as a cause area · 2021-04-15T12:30:14.649Z · EA · GW

Thanks! May I use the doc on definitions to talk about iidm with outsiders? For instance, in a group studies on Political Philosophy?

Comment by Ramiro on Ramiro's Shortform · 2021-04-11T21:57:50.985Z · EA · GW

Good point, thanks. However, even if EE and Wild animals welfare advocates do not conflict in their intermediary goals, their ultimate goals do collide, right? For the former, habitat destruction is an evil, and habitat restoration is good - even if it's not immediately effective.

Comment by Ramiro on Ramiro's Shortform · 2021-04-11T21:57:00.095Z · EA · GW

Good point, thanks. However, even if EE and Wild animals welfare advocates do not conflict in their intermediary goals, their ultimate goals do collide, right? For the former, habitat destruction is an evil, and habitat restoration is good - even if it's not immediately effective.

Comment by Ramiro on Would an EA have directed their career on fixing the subprime mortgage crisis of '07-'08 before it happened? · 2021-04-06T17:23:06.794Z · EA · GW

Well, if your EA were particularly well placed to tackle this problem, then the answer is likely yes: they would probably realize its scalable and (partially neglected). Plus, if God is reliable, then the Holy Advice would likely dominate other matters - AGI and x-risks are uncertain futures, and reducing present suffering would be greatly affected by the financial crisis. In addition, maybe this is not quite the answer you're looking for, but I believe personal features (like fit and comparative advantages) would likely trump other considerations when it comes to choosing a cause area to work on (but not to donate to).

Comment by Ramiro on Ramiro's Shortform · 2021-04-06T17:11:49.659Z · EA · GW

Obviously. But then, first, Effective Environmentalists are doing great harm, right? We should be arguing more about it. On the other hand, if your basic welfare theory is hedonistic (at least for animals), then one good long life compensates for thousands of short miserable ones - because what matters is qualia, not individuals. And though I don't deny animals suffer all the time, I guess their "default welfare setting" must be positive if their reward system (at least for vertebrates) is to function properly. So I guess it's more likely that we have some sort of instance of the "repugnant conclusion" here. Ofc, this doesn't imply we shouldn't intervene on wild environments to reduce suffering or increase happiness. What is at stake is: U(destroying habitats) > U(restoring habitats)

Comment by Ramiro on Ramiro's Shortform · 2021-04-06T15:19:45.647Z · EA · GW

Is there some tension between population ethics + hedonic utilitarianism and the premises people in wild animal suffering use (e.g., negative utilitarianism, or the negative welfare expectancy of wild animals) to argue against rewilding (and in favor of environment destruction)?

Comment by Ramiro on Announcing "Naming What We Can"! · 2021-04-06T01:05:17.321Z · EA · GW

Plus, "Julia the Wise" would evoke Saruman. Too risky.

Comment by Ramiro on Quadratic Payments: A Primer (Vitalik Buterin, 2019) · 2021-04-06T00:56:53.577Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the post. Are there concrete examples of organizations that use quadratic voting for collective decisions?

Comment by Ramiro on Ramiro's Shortform · 2021-03-29T13:07:29.982Z · EA · GW

What I miss when I read about the morality of discounting is a disanalogy that explains why hyperbolic or exponential discount rates might be reasonable for individuals with limited lifespans and such and such opportunity costs, but not for intertemporal collective decision-making. Then we could understand why pure discount is tempting, and maybe even realize there's something that temporal impartiality doesn't capture. If there's any literature about it, I'd like to know. Please, not the basic heuristics & bias stuff - I did my homework. For instance, if human welfare was something that could grow like compound interests, it'd make sense to talk about pure exponential discount. If you could guarantee that all of the dead in the battle of Marathon would have, in expectancy, added good to the overall happiness (or whatever you use as a goal function) in the world and transmitted it to their descendants, then you could say that those deaths are a greater evil than the millions of casualties in WW2; you could think of that welfare as "investment" instead of "consumption". But that's implausible. On the other hand, there's a small grain of truth here: a tragedy happening in the past will reverberate longer in the world historical trajectory. That's just causality + temporal asymmetry. This makes me think about cluelessness... I do have a tendency to think good facts have a tendency to lead to better consequences, in general; you don't have to be an opmitist about it: bad facts just tend to lead to worse consequences, too. The opposite thesis, that a good/bad fact is as likely to cause good as evil, seems quite implausible. So you might be able to think about goodness as investment a little bit; instead of pure discount, maybe we should have something like a proxy for "relative impact in world trajectories"?

Comment by Ramiro on Ramiro's Shortform · 2021-03-25T00:17:10.260Z · EA · GW

I was thinking about Urukagina, the first monarch ever mentioned for his benevolence instead of military prowess. Are there any common traces among them? Should we write something like that Forum post on dark trait rulers - but with opposite sign? I googled a bit about benevolent kings (I thought it'd provide more insight than looking to XXth century biographies), but, except maybe for enlightened despots, most of the guys (like Suleiman, the magnificent) in these lists are conquerors who just weren't brutal and were kind law-givers to their people - which you could also say about Napoleon. I was thinking more about guys like Ashoka and Marcus Aurelius, who seem to have despised the hunger for conquests in other people and were actually willing to improve human welfare for moral reasons

Comment by Ramiro on International Criminal Law and the Future of Humanity: A Theory of the Crime of Omnicide · 2021-03-22T17:18:24.644Z · EA · GW

I love the subject, and thanks for the post. I'd even include some sort of "manslaughter-like" humanicide - i.e., assuming a highrisk of destroying humanity.
But I don't even dream with anything like that before we criminalize nuclear (or WMD in general) first strike.

Comment by Ramiro on What do you make of the doomsday argument? · 2021-03-21T21:40:59.792Z · EA · GW

In the "voice of God" example, we're guaranteed to minimize error by applying this reasoning; i.e., if God asks this question to every possible human created, and they all answer this way, most of them will be right.
Now, I'm really unsure about the following, but imagine each new human predicts Doomsday through DA reasoning; in that case, I'm not sure it minimizes error the same way. We often assume human population will increase exponentially and then suddenly go extinct; but then it seems like most people will end up mistaken in their predictions. Maybe we're using the wrong priors?

Comment by Ramiro on What do you make of the doomsday argument? · 2021-03-21T21:23:43.182Z · EA · GW

As I see, the point is to estimate when extinction would occur by estimating the distribution of population accross time, right?  So we use a Rule of Succession-like reasoning... I'm ok with that, so far. N humans have lived, so we can expect more N humans to live, we can update our estimate each time a new one is born...
But then, why don't we use the time humnas have already lived on Earth as input instead? I mean, that's Toby Ord's Precipice argument, right? So 200k years without extinction lead you to a very different guesstimate. 

Comment by Ramiro on Measuring Global Inequality: Median Income, GDP per Capita, and the Gini Index · 2021-03-21T18:18:25.203Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the post. I'm often very surprised that people ignore income distribution when arguing about economics and welfare. Which leads me to ask:
1) which one is the best (or more robust) estimate of inequality-adjusted income for welfare analysis: median income or Gini-adjusted average income? Or they are supposed to converge (which does not seem to be the case, according to this article)?
(I guess one advantage of Gini-adjustment is that it seems to be used in other welfare metrics, like HDI)

2) How relevant is wealth distribution - vis-à-vis income distribution? I can see how it's important for distribution of power in society (if you're comparing different groups, for instance), and I  suppose wealth is important for one's own life evaluation and as a hedge against uncertainty and economic shocks... but it's hard for me to "put a number" on that.

Comment by Ramiro on ESG investing isn’t high-impact, but it could be · 2021-03-19T22:17:04.899Z · EA · GW

Antitrust rules

Actually, this was the argument for OCC to threaten to strike down some banks’ blacklist policies against polluters last year.

Animal welfare has been an interesting case where pressure on corporations concerned with ESG policies has had some results. That’s an area where changes in antitrust law would be welcome; I think ESG regulations should make explicit reference to this area, lest regulators may proscribe some animal welfare policies as collusion.

Your post has inspired me to investigate if (and maybe later posting something about) EAs should contribute to public consultations issued by financial regulators on ESG standards to argue for explicitly inserting mentions to animal welfare. For instance, would EBA  include something like this in European Banking regulations? That's why Mercy for Animals (and others) have recently asked Brazilian SEC (CVM) to mention animal welfare in regulatory norms about financial disclosures (we could provide a translation if necessary).

Comment by Ramiro on Dutch anti-trust regulator bans pro-animal welfare chicken cartel · 2021-03-19T22:02:31.438Z · EA · GW

Sorry if this is a lame question, but do you think that regulations and standards on ESG that explicitly mentioned animal welfare - something more like soft law, or "comply or explain", e.g., "companies must disclose animal welfare policies", or "social and environmental risks include losses due to... animal cruelty" - could be enough to start a change in US antitrust law interpretation on blacklisting products out of animal welfare concerns?

Comment by Ramiro on ESG investing isn’t high-impact, but it could be · 2021-03-19T21:21:39.335Z · EA · GW

you may be willing to incur a loss of (say) 50% on the value of the bad egg in order to achieve a benefit of (say) 3% on all of the rest of the portfolio

Curiously, I saw the idea of "universal ownership” (without this name) mentioned in this post (courtesy of Scott Alexander’s March links) about how investments are super correlated lately and how diversified investment funds have a piece of each part of the whole economy. It's the closest I've seen to computing "how much will x lose if this company drops 50%, but everyone else increases by 3%".
That would explain why BlackRock (and the financial sector, since TCFD's creation)  has been so responsible lately.

Btw, could you link the Symposium you mentioned in the text relating universal ownership and fiduciary duty?

Comment by Ramiro on ESG investing isn’t high-impact, but it could be · 2021-03-19T19:07:52.976Z · EA · GW

Super thanks for this post. I've seen some people arguing over this subject, yet nothing so well articulated so far. I'll post my comments remarks separately. But I'd like to begin with a very simple question:
- Is there some sort of “EA ESG Group” or “EA Financial Ethics Group”? Would it be be interesting to have it? And to link it with other groups and areas (like IIDM? Legal Topics?)?

Comment by Ramiro on Why do EAs have children? · 2021-03-19T19:07:22.833Z · EA · GW

It reminds me (I'll have to share it) this weird sonnet (On fate & future) I drafted (sorry for any lousy rhyme or offense I may have caused to this beautiful language, but I'm not a native speaker) for some friends working with Generation Pledge:
 

Unhealing stains, sons to be slain / As it's written: jihad and submission / We let Samsara ourselves drain / While Lord Shiva stated a mission.

Mystics, and yet, we don’t believe / For no told miracles anticipate / What brought us luck, skill and fate / The true great wonder we might live:

In a century – in History, just a moment – / The length of happiness has grown six-fold / And more than doubled the expected life /

Now, let it be your faith and my omen / As their fears and promises grow old / No more be bound to ancestors’ strife.

Comment by Ramiro on Why do EAs have children? · 2021-03-16T16:56:54.658Z · EA · GW

Nuka zaria: longtermist parenting? I'm not totally kidding (ok, no more puns). Maybe reproduction could be seen as a credible commitment with the future - at least for rational people that actually ponder on having children. (That's something that weighs against me having children: do I want the people I care about most to live in the future? hmmm... maybe I'll think again in a few years) I wonder if there's going to be a similar question on adoption

Comment by Ramiro on Dutch anti-trust regulator bans pro-animal welfare chicken cartel · 2021-03-16T16:10:30.552Z · EA · GW

True, this resonates with arguments presented in the In Re Processed Eggs... case: https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca3/19-1088/19-1088-2020-06-22.html

Comment by Ramiro on Why Hasn't Effective Altruism Grown Since 2015? · 2021-03-10T02:54:41.950Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this post. It made me think a lot about how EA could evolve. But I'm still puzzled about what sort of metrics we could use to measure growth or interest. I'll just add that, besides (as mentioned in the text) being hard to make sense of Google Trends data, I made a brief comparison with other terms related to EA, such as "doing good better" &"giving what we can" &"the life you can save", and it shows very different trends: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=effective altruism,giving what we can,doing good better,the life you can save,less wrong

Comment by Ramiro on Missing Market: Sustainable African ETF · 2021-03-04T01:55:06.626Z · EA · GW

I guess we could have a little bit more posts about the "world's most pressing low hanging fruits" like this

Comment by Ramiro on Dutch anti-trust regulator bans pro-animal welfare chicken cartel · 2021-03-03T12:19:00.309Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the post. 
It reminds O'Keefe mentioning that a Windfall Clause for AI might incur antitrust problems.

Couldn't supermarkets invoke CSR arguments for exemption?

Comment by Ramiro on Some EA Forum Posts I'd like to write · 2021-02-25T16:27:56.463Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this. I'd rate the ideas on Moral Circle Expansion & Good Humanities Research first, because I'm quite uncertain about them.

I liked the idea about Forecasting, too - I'd like to see what comes from this.

Though I would like to see some ITN assessment of After the Apocalipse & Shelter MVP, my priors are that these are not very cost-effective - at least for individuals.  It seems usually better to invest my resources in my health and sanity than in acquiring survivalist skills or equipment; maybe some "cheap survivalist tips" are cost-effective ("you can't have too much canned food"), but even so it'd likely be more cost effective to invest in a group that can survive a catastrophe and restart civilization (and then have contact with EA ideas) than in myself - afterall, this is a commons problem.

Comment by Ramiro on Some EA Forum Posts I'd like to write · 2021-02-25T16:06:59.854Z · EA · GW

It would be great to have more people posting lists of blog posts ideas - people could coordinate, maybe even collaborate. 

Comment by Ramiro on MichaelA's Shortform · 2021-02-10T12:25:11.953Z · EA · GW

oh, please, do post this type of stuff, specially in shortform... but, unfortunately, you can't expect a lot of karma - attention is a scarce resource, right?
I'd totally like to see you blog or send a newsletter with this.

Comment by Ramiro on Killing the ants · 2021-02-09T18:30:08.296Z · EA · GW

Feral cats certainly receive more attention than other areas, but the question is if that's done effectively (or if it can be leveraged with new efforts); I have never seen a charity that efficiently tries to optimize for neutering them (though I admit I didn't investigate the matter deeply).

Comment by Ramiro on Ramiro's Shortform · 2021-02-08T13:55:18.120Z · EA · GW

IMF Blogpost: Social Repercussions of Pandemics - By Philip Barrett, Sophia Chen, and Nan Li

Or something Peter Turchin would agree with:

But looking beyond the immediate aftermath, the risk of social unrest spikes in the longer term. Using information on the types of unrest, the IMF staff study focuses on the form that unrest typically takes after an epidemic. This analysis shows that, over time, the risk of riots and anti-government demonstrations rises. Furthermore, the study finds evidence of heightened risk of a major government crisis—an event that threatens to bring down the government and that typically occurs in the two years following a severe epidemic.

If history is a predictor, unrest may reemerge as the pandemic eases. The threats may be bigger where the crisis exposes or exacerbates pre-existing problems such as a lack of trust in institutions, poor governance, poverty, or inequality.

Comment by Ramiro on Killing the ants · 2021-02-08T13:39:26.694Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the post. I know that's not your sole point, but it made wonder about the possibility that "urban wild animals" suffering might be relatively neglected - think about feral cats, rodents, birds, bugs, etc.

Comment by Ramiro on A brief explanation of the Myanmar coup · 2021-02-04T19:21:03.827Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the post! I think more people should address this democratic recession with case studies (about Turkey, Hong Kong, Thailand... and maybe democratic regimes which are becoming increasingly mor eunstable, such as Brazil and Philippines), focusing on the peculiarites of each country and on international relations. That's something I often miss when reading more "high-level" material - such as Acemoglu's models about institutions. I wonder if there are effective interventions here.

Comment by Ramiro on How does Amazon deforestation actually work? It's not about soy. · 2021-01-31T21:18:04.676Z · EA · GW

That's a good point, thanks for your comment. It'll take me a little while to get a guesstimate for that - with a proper disctinction between abandoned land and places that get to some sort of equilibrium of low productivity. I'm not sure if replacing nutrients would significantly change things for the Amazon production, as it would still be impacted by the equatorial climate, and the lack of infrastructure (away from the main ports, with terrible roads) and of human capital.

Comment by Ramiro on Ranking animal foods based on suffering and GHG emissions · 2021-01-23T15:37:52.882Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the tool, this post and these explanations. Perhaps, given how counter-intuitive the problem of shrimp suffering is for non-EAs, it’d be better to have a paragraph with some remarks about it on the front page, linking to the methodology section and to CE’s report on this area. Also, you could explicit that it does not account for by-catch in wild shrimp fishing (which is also a major source of harm).
I notice that shrimp is usually consumed as a delicacy;  unlike beef, it’s not going to be the main source of nutrients in the corresponding dish, and people will not consider the weight of the product necessary for 2000kcal. Thus, I wonder if it wouldn’t be interesting to have the option of disregarding the refweight parameter for computing the suffering score.

Comment by Ramiro on Is GDP the right metric? · 2021-01-22T13:42:21.106Z · EA · GW

Thanks for your answer. I think we mostly agree - I'd welcome metrics on stability and sustainability; and I guess we'd also agree that weighting welfare metrics by some inequality index might yield a useful proxy to capture things like hedonic adaptation and decreasing marginal utility of consumption.

Since you asked for feedback, I'll try to briefly add some thoughts:

a) People often value equality per se (well, we're comparing ourselves to others all the time); that's likely explained by our evolutionary past in egalitarian hunter-gatherer tribes.
b) This doesn't mean equality is a moral good in itself (though some will advocate it is), but it does mean it's quite relevant for social stability.

c) I'd be particularly worried about how things like elite overproduction might jeopardize stability ( I don't endorse Turchin's dismal predictions, though).

Comment by Ramiro on Global Risks Report 2021 - World Economic Forum · 2021-01-21T10:33:00.980Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the post. I'm not sure if it's relevant, but Open Philanthropy gave WEF a $50k donation regarding AI risks last year, and there's a position about AI in WEF on the 80kh job board. My answers: yes, it's helpful - even if their assessment is not "according to EA standards," which is not a problem (we can't use only info from EA community). I think EAs should want to influence the report, because it seems to be influential and sort of aligned.

Comment by Ramiro on Hilary Greaves: The collectivist critique of the EA movement · 2021-01-20T18:55:10.843Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the post, Aaron. It's a good lecture and a very interesting subject.

I wonder if there’s a more general problem of “tipping points” here. And though I think there’s no real necessary conflict between individual & collective action for EAs, there’s a relevant issue when it comes to analyzing how neglected a cause area is – i.e., deciding if an additional contribution increases the probability of effective change.

I should remark that I’m not sure that the “expected badness amount of buying one chicken” is roughly equivalent to one-chicken death marginally, because markets take a while to adjust to someone’s shift in preferences. So if you forgo eating chicken only for today, the market still expects you might do it tomorrow; but if you become a vegetarian, the industry will eventually realize a drop in demand. Thus there’s a number n > 1 of chickens, a tipping point, below which your consumption makes no difference for the amount of chicken killed. Similarly, a realistic instance of Drops of Water could be framed as a matter of achieving the (unknown) threshold below which people would dehydrate and die – it’d not make any difference to contribute to the pool below that threshold.

Comment by Ramiro on What is going on in the world? · 2021-01-20T15:14:16.678Z · EA · GW

Really, thanks for the post. I think it's quite important to have such a list.

  • If we take anthropic reasoning and our observations about space seriously, we appear very likely to be in a ‘Great Filter’, which appears likely to kill us (and unlikely to be AI).

I’m not sure if we could say “very likely,” though the odds are surely relevant. I'm no expert, but I guess the case about the solution to the Fermi Paradox is still open, ranging from what prob distribution one uses to model the problem, to our location in the Milky Way. For instance, being “close” to its boarder might make it easier for us to survive extreme events happening in more central (and crowded) regions, but also harder to spot activity in the other side of the galaxy.

And, if there’s a Great Filter ahead, I think one can say “it’s unlikely to be AI” only in the same sense we can say “Team A is the favorite, but it’s unlikely to be the winner – too many other competitors.” I don’t see, right now, better candidates for a Great Filter than some surprising technological innovation.

Comment by Ramiro on What is going on in the world? · 2021-01-20T15:08:06.067Z · EA · GW

>Nothing we do matters for any of several reasons (moral non-realism, infinite ethics, living in a simulation, being a Boltzmann brain, ..?)

I wonder if, in this context, metaethical discussions are overrated. Even if philosophical debates that open the door to nihilism and are endemic in the rationalist community - like Pascal’s mugging, infinite utility, Boltzmann brain (or any simulation / Platonic cave-like reasoning) etc. - are  serious philosophical conundrums, they don't seem (at least from a pragmatic perspective, taking normative uncertainty analysis into account) to entail any relevant change of course in the foreseeable future. I mean, nihilism might be true, but unless you’re certain about it, it doesn’t seem to be practically relevant for decision-making.

Comment by Ramiro on What is going on in the world? · 2021-01-20T14:58:05.856Z · EA · GW

>There is massive global inequality...

One could add: "and disparities in power might increase and lead us to some sort of techno-feudalism."

Comment by Ramiro on What is going on in the world? · 2021-01-20T14:49:34.927Z · EA · GW

>with more material prosperity and better physical health* than ever before

I agree. But you see, in some population dynamics, variation is correlated with increased risk of extinction.

>my consumption is maybe 2 orders of magnitude higher than that of my grandparents  at my age

That might be precisely part of the problem. We are just starting to be seriously concerned about the externalities of this increase in consumption, and a good deal of it is conspicuous or with things people often regret (over)consuming (like soft drinks, addictive stuff, or just time spent in social media) - while a lot of people still starve.

Comment by Ramiro on What is going on in the world? · 2021-01-20T14:42:05.445Z · EA · GW

Worse: most of the members of that species don't realize this responsibility, and indeed consistently act against it, either to satisfy self-regarding or parochial preferences

Comment by Ramiro on Is GDP the right metric? · 2021-01-20T13:42:05.607Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the post! I'd add just one remark:

>it'll just increase inequality
According to Pikkety's (an egalitarian) inequality, if the rate of return on capital r is greater than economic growth g, then wealth inequality tends to increase (though some scholars contend that this is not an adequate explanation for our recent increase in inequality). Thus, I don't think (consistent) egalitarians would be against growth per se.

>In the end, it's more important that everyone is better off

True, but wealth inequality implies stark differences in power. Workers often see statements about how distributive policies might entail lower growth as a threat (of deinvestment) from capitalist classes - and that's quite plausible, at least when it comes to negotiations about sovereign debt. If you think about social issues as sets of bargaining games, it's quite understandable that some people will commit to egalitarian policies, even if they threaten to yield a lower pay-off - that's basically how strikes happen (workers don't directly benefit when factories shut down, but they use it to pressure for higher pay-offs). I don't fully agree with Gerald Cohen, but I'd recommend it as the best moral analysis I've read (in ethics and political philosophy) on distributive justice as a bargaining game.

Comment by Ramiro on Keynesian Altruism · 2021-01-17T23:36:24.464Z · EA · GW

Stanford Social Innovation Review issued a similar debate - Should Foundations Increase Their Payouts During Big Crises? Most respondents were favorable to foundations increasing their spending, for reasons analogous to the ones discussed in this post - against Larry Kramer's keystone article on this series. Palfrey's answer has been cited in Vox's Future Perfect.

Comment by Ramiro on Two Nice Experiments on Democracy and Altruism · 2021-01-06T13:18:35.583Z · EA · GW

And if you allow me a conjecture, I wonder if the observed increase in altruistic behavior in collective decision making could be explained by voters applying some non-causal decision theory (either EDT or FDT or whatever) when it comes to elections and social norms.

Comment by Ramiro on Two Nice Experiments on Democracy and Altruism · 2021-01-04T02:55:57.953Z · EA · GW

Btw, what really caught my attention in this reference, more than the "success of democracies relative to autocracies" (which seems sort of assumed by the model), was that other factors (such as income inequality and education) may have an impact, too.

Comment by Ramiro on Two Nice Experiments on Democracy and Altruism · 2021-01-03T18:46:42.019Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this great post. I really appreciated both papers. However, they made me think about the anti-populist literature in economics (some technocratic checks on majority rule are usually well accepted for fiscal and monetary policies), political science and philosophy - like the Federalist Papers, or, more recently, Garrett Jones's 10% Less Democracy. Of course, I'm pretty sure democracy is better for the unrepresented than individual decisions made in a market, even if you have some altruistic actors advocating for selfless considerations... but I'm still quite puzzled about under what conditions does collective deliberation bend towards (or away from) altruistic or long-term reasoning.

Comment by Ramiro on Who should / is going to win 2020 FLI award 2020? · 2020-12-09T18:47:44.252Z · EA · GW

Allow me to brag a little bit: I got this one half-right - Willaim Foege and Viktor Zhdanov will both win this year's prize.

Comment by Ramiro on Ramiro's Shortform · 2020-11-20T15:36:55.005Z · EA · GW

'Good' news: as expected, as real interest rates fall, so do SDR, increasing the social cost of carbon. (not novelty, ok, but monetary policy-makers explicitly acknowledging it seems to be good)
Bad news: of course, it still seems to be higher than a normative SDR based on time-neutrality.

Comment by Ramiro on nickmatt's Shortform · 2020-11-20T15:23:54.894Z · EA · GW

You nailed it - Aasimov's and Cixin Liu's classics should be almost compulsory reading. However, it caught my eye you call Cixin Liu's trilogy the Dark Forest Trilogy, instead of referring to it as something likeThe 3-body problem books or Trisolarian Trilogy or Remembrances of Earth's Past.
What I enjoy most in these books is the challenge of maintaining something like long-term cooperation. To such a list I'd add something like The Ministry for the Future (someone should add a good review to this forum); but though it has wonderful passages, sometimes it's irrealistic optimistic (or even simplistic, along the lines "capitalism is evil") and takes a lot for granted.

Comment by Ramiro on DonyChristie's Shortform · 2020-11-20T15:13:55.980Z · EA · GW

Add to (3) new explanations or additions to methodologies - e.g., I still haven't found anything substantial about the idea of adding something like 'urgence' to the ITN framework.