Posts

Most harmful people in history? 2022-09-11T03:04:46.937Z
Why aren't EAs talking about the COVID lab leak hypothesis more? 2022-08-13T20:36:43.206Z
Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] 2022-08-11T13:52:55.229Z
How much do you (actually) work? 2021-05-20T20:04:14.296Z
SiebeRozendal's Shortform 2020-10-06T10:13:10.157Z
Four components of strategy research 2020-01-30T19:08:37.244Z
Eight high-level uncertainties about global catastrophic and existential risk 2019-11-28T14:47:31.695Z
A case for strategy research: what it is and why we need more of it 2019-06-20T20:18:09.025Z

Comments

Comment by SiebeRozendal on SiebeRozendal's Shortform · 2022-09-13T20:14:28.459Z · EA · GW

I'm predicting a 10-25% probability that Russia will use a weapon of mass destruction (likely nuclear) before 2024. This is based on only a few hours of thinking about it with little background knowledge.

Russian pro-war propagandists are hinting at use of nuclear weapons, according to the latest BBC podcast Ukrainecast episode. [Ukrainecast] What will Putin do next? #ukrainecast https://podcastaddict.com/episode/145068892 via @PodcastAddict

There's a general sense that, in light of recent losses, something needs to change. My limited understanding sees 4 options:

  1. Continue on the current course despite mounting criticism. Try to make the Ukrainians lives difficult by targeting their infrastructure, limit losses until winter, and try to reorganize during winter. This seems a pretty good option for now, even though I doubt Russia can really shore up its deeply set weaknesses. They can probably prepare to dig in, threaten and punish soldiers for fleeing. This wouldn't go well for either party long-term, but Russia might bet on outlasting/undermining Western support. Probability: 40%?

  2. Negotiation: I don't think Putin wants this seriously, as even the status quo could be construed as a loss. Ukraine will have a strong bargaining position and demand a lot. Undesirable option. Maybe 10%? 20%? (Metaculus predicts 8% before 2023: https://www.metaculus.com/questions/10046/ukraine--russia-peace-talks-2022/)

  3. Full-scale mobilisation of the population and the economy. This is risky for Putin: there's supposedly a large anti-war sentiment in Russian culture, a legacy of the enormous losses during the 2nd World War. People don't like to join a poorly-equipped poorly managed and losing army, even if it were a good cause.. This may be chosen, Putin may be misinformed and badly reading the public's sentiment. I have no idea how this would develop internally. I doubt it will make a big difference in the course of the war, except by prolonging the war a bit. Maybe 25%? Maybe 50% if Putin underestimates public resistance.

  4. Escalation by other means: I don't know how many options Russia has. Chemical weapons, electro magnetic pulse, a single tactical nuclear strike on the battlefield for deterrence, multiple nuclear strikes for strategic reasons, population strike for deterrence. In the mind of Putin, I can see this as preferable: it leads to a potential military advantage, has limited risk for destabilising his internal power base. I don't know how the international community would respond to this, nor how Putin thinks the international community would respond. In my (uninformed) view, only China can make a real difference here as the West already has stringent sanctions. I don't know how China would respond to this. They wouldn't like it, but I think the West won't really punish China for its support in the short term. I'd say on this inside view, 10-25% seems reasonable. I'm setting the point estimate at 15%.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Requesting feedback: proposal for a new nonprofit with potential to become highly effective · 2022-09-13T18:29:17.395Z · EA · GW

I like the post and your hands-on attitude!

May I suggest to change the title to something more descriptive?

Eg "Requesting feedback: funding proposal for remote training of healthcare workers in LMICs"

Also: it's generally considered bad form to claim your organisation is highly effective, especially in such an early stage.. better to use the phrase "potentially highly effective"

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Cause Exploration Prizes: Announcing our prizes · 2022-09-13T15:21:49.015Z · EA · GW

I briefly worked in a research consortium which worked on the EUs precautionary principle, which is under attack by industry: they're basically raising the bar for evidence and definitely push back against regulation a lot.

See eg this: https://corporateeurope.org/en/environment/2018/12/innovation-principle-trap

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Cause Exploration Prizes: Announcing our prizes · 2022-09-13T15:16:49.556Z · EA · GW

Thank you Chris, that's understandable.

How about public feedback on just the top 4 though? Or even just the #1. I find it odd that, in a competition of this scale, no specific reasons are provided for why you picked these winners.

A lot of people put a lot of effort into these reports. Providing reasons why you pick certain winners seems to be like a basic aspect of running a competition in a way that's respectful to participants. This helps participants to compare their own submissions and learn from that. (I think the reward for good faith submissions is a nice contribution to that, and I'm grateful for it, but I don't think it's a replacement)

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Most harmful people in history? · 2022-09-12T12:58:16.972Z · EA · GW

Same as for Columbus, I doubt that individual contributions played a large counterfactual role in factory farming. I'd guess it's largely due to systemic factors, except maybe in China where it was a more conscious decision.

I'm confused by your wild animal welfare argument. If their welfare is net negative, then killing them reduces overall suffering, unless cruel methods are used?

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Most harmful people in history? · 2022-09-12T12:51:07.376Z · EA · GW

I'm not sure how counterfactual the actions of Columbus were. It seems to me there was a strong of push towards colonization from many West European nations?

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Most harmful people in history? · 2022-09-11T09:55:34.242Z · EA · GW

Drawing attention to harmful actions that are easy to replicate, but not obvious to think of.

I think this applies more strongly to current harm, where there's also attention for people who really shouldn't get attention.

There's also a trickier case with current harm: drawing the attention of the harmful actor/supporters of the harmful actor could be dangerous.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-09-10T09:42:56.877Z · EA · GW

Hey, thanks for the engagement.

The 1bn is not being spent very well by the NIH. A lot of it went to organisations without the necessary infrastructure or expertise. They're not conducting the necessary research to determine viral persistence.

The planned trials by the NIH are not very exciting, and are going slow.

The "private venture" is the organisation I'm affiliated with. It has a funding gap of ~80 million at the moment and is primarily funding constrained. I'll write more about LCRI in a new post soon :)

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Cause Exploration Prizes: Announcing our prizes · 2022-09-09T15:39:17.157Z · EA · GW

Could you elaborate what made the top 4 stand out specifically?

Is there any chance that I could get feedback on my submission, which hasn't received a prize? https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/njgRDx5cKtSM8JubL/long-covid-mass-disability-and-broad-societal-consequences

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-17T09:38:25.643Z · EA · GW

I'll post it there in a bit then!

Comment by SiebeRozendal on A Quick Qualitative Analysis of Laypeople’s Critiques of Longtermism · 2022-08-16T12:00:31.440Z · EA · GW

Yes it's saddening. I also saw that the person being quoted (Paris Marx) interviewed Phil Torres, which I find concerning because I'm sure it's full of misinformation. Not sure what we should do about that. Maybe not driving any attention is the best approach at this point

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Altruism is systems change, so why isn’t EA? Constructive criticism. · 2022-08-15T20:01:55.856Z · EA · GW

Quick feedback: I stopped reading after the summary because I find the writing style exhausting. There's a lot of complicated words that require the reader to do a lot of active thinking and interpretation

Comment by SiebeRozendal on A Quick Qualitative Analysis of Laypeople’s Critiques of Longtermism · 2022-08-15T16:16:01.904Z · EA · GW

Thank you for doing this! I recently saw comments to another leftist intellectual about EA& What We Owe The Future (https://mobile.twitter.com/rcbregman/status/1558546645247311873) and was somewhat astonished by just HOW OFF-MARK the comments were.

Also interesting that one type of comment is "you can't predict the future" while another is "I'm really certain [X] will happen in the future"

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Historical EA funding data · 2022-08-15T15:49:21.957Z · EA · GW

Me too, same for other areas as well!

Kind of bad we didn't have this overview before. Seems very basic to have! So thanks for doing it

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Why aren't EAs talking about the COVID lab leak hypothesis more? · 2022-08-14T02:59:37.907Z · EA · GW

I think there are a lot of good reasons:

  • I think many newer EAs will not be tuned in to insiders' credences. The absence of discussion creates the impression that credences are low. (My credence is pretty high, maybe >50%)
  • Good analysis of whether this was a lab leak could move the needle for stakeholders who aren't convinced lab leaks are a serious concern
  • Public discussion around methodology to assess whether something was a lab leak can be very educational
  • Perhaps most interestingly is how various big stakeholders are dealing with the lab leak hypothesis: e.g. China didn't cooperate (expected), but Chinese scientists also published an article stating they don't believe the Wuhan wet market was the source. Many players in the NIH played an obfuscating role, which was surprising to me. There's also a lot of insights into the incentive structures that lead to this kind of dangerous research being conducted. It's very helpful to see how those structures play out in reality
Comment by SiebeRozendal on Why aren't EAs talking about the COVID lab leak hypothesis more? · 2022-08-14T02:48:48.682Z · EA · GW

I think this is problematic, because it makes it very hard for new people to engage and learn

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-12T16:27:41.158Z · EA · GW

I went through the Airtable more systematically and found 7 English football players that had heart issues/collapsed on the field in 2021/2022. None were explicitly linked to covid, but only 1 had rumours of an underlying condition. 2 out of 7 players were in League 7 though. I think it's still pro, not sure.

Analysis here.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-12T15:27:32.686Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the clarity John!

It's actually higher than 0.25%. More like 1 in 5 out of ~1.8% (avg. prevalence among 17-34, with shootings >3 months), so 0.36%.

Some of those will be recent though, so those we shouldn't expect to be reported in the news even if the news was taking everyone. 30%?

Some will retire not knowing it's actually Long Covid and state other reasons. 50%?

That leaves like 6 people, which to me is sufficiently small that it can be missed by chance (eg. no top level players have gotten severe Long Covid).

I'm also wondering if heart failure is another outcome rather than Long Covid and disability. ME/CFS is a really strange disease where people can push through a lot, and only get the bill later. It's not that people literally can't run.

Regarding the studies: I agree that there's a lot to be desired regarding symptom measurement (I think we'll see better measurement in the future). But even the vague symptom descriptions are significantly higher in PCR-confirmed covid cases, so I don't understand your worry.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-12T15:10:49.524Z · EA · GW

(wasn't me!)

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-12T13:48:41.416Z · EA · GW

We've gotten a bit into the weeds in the other comments, and in this one I'd like to zoom out a bit to see what argument you're actually making. I'll make an attempt to (re)construct your argument, and you can tell me where I'm misrepresenting it.

  1. The health burden claimed in this post is extraordinarily high, so we should see the signal even in noisy data like news reports about athletes and celebrities
  2. We're not seeing those reports as much as we would expect
  3. Conclusion: something in the report is wrong

I've already argued against 2 with the Airtable containing >100 athlete sudden deaths/collapses + a few news articles of arguably below-top-level.

Re: 1

I do think that it should be taken into account that the information ecosystem around COVID and Long Covid is really, really bad. Patients typically get misdiagnosed a lot before biological abnormalities are found, public health authorities spread a lot of misinformation, and most media outlets have pretty bad coverage. In this ecosystem, I don't think it's easy to spot athlete retirements due to confirmed Long Covid, or any other signals. 

 

Re: 3

More importantly, I'm of the opinion that the evidence I offer in the post is of sufficiently higher quality than a google search for news reports: i.e. cohorts with controls, population samples, disability data, and biological data (e.g. seems like at least 50% of LC patients have COVID-specific markers). In my opinion, if you want to assert that the main claim in the report is wrong, you have to additionally argue that at least one of the following is wrong (If not, I think you're only justified to claim 'something here doesn't make sense, but it's not clear what').

A. The controlled cohort studies & disability data is wrong

B. The controlled cohort studies & disability data are do not justify the high amounts in the UK population sample

C. The population sample is right, but professional athletes have significantly lower rates of Long Covid

D. The numbers are right, but a signifcant fraction  are not attributable to COVID, but something else

E. Something else, or a combination of weaker versions of the above claims

 

I agree with you that C is unlikely.

Also, the rate would need to be substantially lower for my claim that 'this is a major problem' to be invalid (although you're not explicitly claiming it's invalid). E.g. at 60million/year, it's still enormous. At 30million, arguably still big. 

Comment by SiebeRozendal on To WELLBY or not to WELLBY? Measuring non-health, non-pecuniary benefits using subjective wellbeing · 2022-08-12T09:58:23.795Z · EA · GW

Does HLI have a strategy to a) get more research done using SWB scales?, and b) get more policy making based on SWB effectiveness?

I suppose it's a bit of a chicken and egg problem?

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-12T07:23:51.312Z · EA · GW

That's a useful article. Makes it much less likely to be COVID related, because there's a plausible alternative explanation (but his doctor could be wrong. Doctors have been wrong about Long Covid a lot).

I found the Air table list surprisingly big, and would love to see a year by year comparison.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-12T07:16:33.356Z · EA · GW

But people who have had COVID do have more Long Covid, if actually use an accurate measure (PCR testing). I report multiple studies in the post with control groups.

In the study, people with positive serology HAD more of 10 specific symptoms, even though serology is very inaccurate. Only when controlled for belief did that disappear. But belief in having had COVID has strong confounding effects:

  • if you have lasting effects, of course you're more likely to identify a prior infection
  • if you had more clear acute symptoms, you're more likely to have both belief you've had COVID, as well as that you're more likely to develop Long Covid
  • they say that belief and serology were not correlated, but I'm confused by that. In the belief+ group, half had positive serology. In the belief- group, it's like 2%?

If you control a weak predictor by a strong predictor correlated with the weak predictor, I'm not surprised that significant effects disappear.

The study also had data on PCR testing but didn't use that in any way, which seems suspicious to me.

Also, in 2020 the base rate for other communicable diseases dropped a lot (flu dropped by factor 50x)

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-12T06:30:01.421Z · EA · GW

Fair enough re: significance and effect size. I don't think it's an artefact though

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-11T20:13:38.120Z · EA · GW

Okay so a person on the org's team sent me the following:

He also sent these news articles:

A lot of these aren't directly getting attributed to COVID, but it's highly suspicious to have medically unexplained symptoms during a pandemic. Personally, I feel like this passes your sense check ;)

Comment by SiebeRozendal on New Cause Area: Demographic Collapse · 2022-08-11T17:11:09.693Z · EA · GW

Productivity per person is still growing a lot, which would mean that a smaller percentage of productive population could sustain a larger amount of reliant population? (I don't like the term parasitic)

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-11T16:24:06.004Z · EA · GW

And here's an Economist article analysing footballer performance after COVID infection: https://archive.ph/qGWKs

Average performance measures definitely dropped significantly long-term. But it doesn't have data on all-out disability.

And this article lists a few names, but also mentions what you write: that surprisingly few athletes had Long Covid at the time of writing: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/04/19/athletes-long-haul-covid-justin-foster/

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-11T16:14:47.808Z · EA · GW

Regarding public samples, I had been thinking of a political body like a parliament, but as this Senator with Long Covid says: many people are not public about their disability. https://twitter.com/wsbgnl/status/1505814009722798081?s=20&t=iLBZn1qk_BUJQcJx8kIQEg

(Not clear from the quote whether he refers to other senators, or colleagues in different positions)

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-11T16:07:29.799Z · EA · GW

Here's the long Covid prevalence per age group per the ONS UK data, per May 1st 2022

2 to 11 0.45%

12 to 16 1.44%

17 to 24 1.50%

25 to 34 2.14%

35 to 49 3.23%

50 to 69 3.10%

70+ 1.53%

Average 2.21%

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Long Covid: mass disability and broad societal consequences [Cause Exploration Prizes] · 2022-08-11T16:01:59.147Z · EA · GW

Hi John,

I've considered checking samples of public figures, but dismissed it because it's really hard to get a good sense of who has Long Covid:

  1. not everyone knows they have Long Covid
  2. people don't like to say they have it. I expect this to be especially the case for professional athletes whose career depends on it

I'm not sure how much top performance is affected in mild cases. I think in early stages it's possible to push through a lot. The main symptom is fatigue post exertion. We would still expect to observe reduced performance though, but that's harder to observe.

Retirement is a drastic decision and people would generally postpone that.

Due to these issues, I feel like disability data is a much more reliable sense check, and I think it fits the ONS UK numbers.

The article you link to isn't good, because they probably had a lot of Long Covid cases in their control group. They used antibodies as sole diagnostic criterion of prior infection. But about 1 in 3 people do not create detectable amounts of antibodies (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/27/9/21-1042_article), antibodies fade over time, and there's some rumors that Long Covid patients are now likely to not have antibodies but I haven't checked that. The fact that there's no easily accessible diagnostic tool makes it hard for all these prevalence studies.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on EA Forum feature suggestion thread · 2022-08-11T11:28:43.361Z · EA · GW

Apparently, this is possible via a workaround explained here: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/Y8gkABpa9R6ktkhYt/forum-user-manual#Footnotes

Comment by SiebeRozendal on SiebeRozendal's Shortform · 2022-06-21T14:16:23.017Z · EA · GW

Large study: Every reinfection with COVID increases risk of death, acquiring other diseases, and long covid.

https://twitter.com/dgurdasani1/status/1539237795226689539?s=20&t=eM_x9l1_lFKqQNFexS6FEA

We are going to see a lot more issues with COVID still, including massive amounts of long COVID.

This will affect economies worldwide, as well as EAs personally.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Some potential lessons from Carrick’s Congressional bid · 2022-05-18T06:35:11.421Z · EA · GW

I do agree that this provided quite some useful information. However, there may also be a big downside if the criticism of SBF is sticky and will carry to future EAs being funded in politics by him.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Some potential lessons from Carrick’s Congressional bid · 2022-05-18T06:32:09.329Z · EA · GW

Did Carrick anywhere address the 'crypto-shill' claim directly?

I have not followed this campaign closely, but I can totally see why Carrick came across as being inauthentic - because he sort of was. He was downplaying his EA side and presenting himself as a normal local politician.

I think the bold move here would have been openness: talking more deeply about his true motivations and those of SBF. Obviously, that brings EA much more in the scope of opponents, with major risks.

The lesson I'm (tentatively) drawing is that an "EA insider" cannot easily enter politics because it's hard to be authentic without exposing EA to political attacks.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Results from the First Decade Review · 2022-05-14T19:19:54.421Z · EA · GW

Maybe we should send a book to all singers named Peter?

https://www.gemtracks.com/guides/view.php?title=most-famous-singers-celebrities-named-peter&id=4861

Comment by SiebeRozendal on EA is more than longtermism · 2022-05-12T03:08:35.142Z · EA · GW

Reading this post after going through funding options, I notice that:

There are many more avenues for funding long-termism projects than neartermism ones. GiveWell holds almost a monopoly and is not set up to fund the full spectrum of opportunities. For example:

  • no funding for neartermism-specific community building
  • no funding for alternative paradigms (economic growth, scientific research, improving institutional decision making, subjective well-being)
  • no career support
  • no support for smaller projects that aren't explicitly aiming to become a charity

As a result, I think many junior EAs really drift towards long-termism because that's where the funding is.

I don't know how much of OpenPhil's neartermism funding is informed by GiveWell, or how OpenPhil decides on neartermism funding outside of GiveWell.

Writing this all up, makes me tentatively believe it's a mistake to delegate the Global Health & Well-being fund to GiveWell, and that the neartermism funding space needs development.

It's also possible that I'm wrong about the above. In that case, I still expect many people to share my perception of the neartermism space. This perception probably contributes to the view that 'EA is currently primarily about long-termism'.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on EA is more than longtermism · 2022-05-12T02:55:48.288Z · EA · GW

I strongly welcome the critiques you'll hopefully write, Michael!

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Free-spending EA might be a big problem for optics and epistemics · 2022-04-15T07:08:44.079Z · EA · GW

Great point! I think each spending strategy has its pitfalls related to signalling.

I think this correlates somewhat with people's knowledge/engagement with economics, and political lean. The "frugal altruism" will probably attract more left leaning people, while "spending altruism" probably attracts more right leaning people

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Why 80 000 hours should recommend more people become drug lords · 2022-04-03T15:23:06.505Z · EA · GW

I'm glad we're increasing diversity. Utilitarian psychopaths who are bad at math have long been underserved in this community.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on “Should you use EA in your group name?” An update on PISE’s naming experiment · 2022-03-30T10:36:46.168Z · EA · GW

Great job on both experimenting, reviewing, and sharing the information! Looking forward to reading your next write up.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on What psychological traits predict interest in effective altruism? · 2022-03-24T14:52:58.962Z · EA · GW

This is great. Having a summary or abstract would make it even better :)

Comment by SiebeRozendal on How we failed · 2022-03-24T10:11:39.737Z · EA · GW

Yes, long COVID is currently badly defined. This is because it's a heterogenous multisystem disease; different patients have different pathologies, and it's a continuum. In addition, it's hard to include/exclude long COVID, because not every case is noticed, and antibodies are not a reliable indicator.

Fwiw, I think the data of SARS-1 is consistent with SARS COV 2: we generally see 20-30% with persistent symptoms and/or organ dysfunction in smaller studies, and lower numbers in controlled cohort studies.

In that 1-15%, this includes different severities. I'd say a big portion is simply more fatigued than usual, so that's like 0.1 or 0.2 DALY per year?

However, I think 1-3% develops the ME/CFS sub type, which has, according to one study, "When the YLL of 0.226M is combined with the YLD of 0.488M, we get a DALY of 0.714M."

(https://oatext.com/Estimating-the-disease-burden-of-MECFS-in-the-United-States-and-its-relation-to-research-funding.php) ,

I think the quality of life loss is accurate. I have severe long COVID and would gladly trade it for losing both my legs, HIV (not full blown AIDS maybe), and probably severe burns (don't know the details of that though).

I haven't evaluated the rigor of the years of life lost, but it does fit a multisystem disease.

Also just to note, I think this all looks even worse if you take into account that subjective wellbeing is actually unbounded, not a 0 to 1 scale, as well as the potential altruistic loss due to loss of productivity.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on How we failed · 2022-03-23T17:49:40.966Z · EA · GW

What makes you believe people are overestimating the risk of long covid? Or does this only apply to 2021?

I believe EAs are currently underestimating it, and the cost of getting covid. I try to correct some misconceptions here: https://www.facebook.com/1220718092/posts/10221201147517854/?app=fbl

(I'm not saying all EAs have these misconceptions; it's aimed at a wide audience)

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Bryan Caplan on EA groups · 2022-01-16T07:55:45.041Z · EA · GW

The karma of this post is quite disproportional to its value.. It doesn't have that much information, or am I missing something?

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Rowing and Steering the Effective Altruism Movement · 2022-01-10T10:01:31.341Z · EA · GW

Good post!

Some thoughts I had:

  1. I noticed that part of me feels defensive of EA when there are criticisms. That part says something like "but EA is doing massively better than most social movements regarding steering". But of course, that can be true while at the same time being true that "EA needs to become better at steering and invest marginal efforts into it rather than rowing".

  2. An interesting question is "how sensitive are outcomes to steering vs. rowing?" (Are we navigating towards a continent over open sea, or towards a treasure hidden between treacherous cliffs?) because that informs how obsessed we should be with either.

  3. the absolute value of an outcome isn't necessarily in proportion to the amount of power: it can be the case that if we don't achieve a certain amount of power, key decision will go uninfluenced/wrong (e.g. if AGI decisions will be made centrally, we need A LOT of power to influence that)

  4. I'd be curious to hear examples of movements/institutions that are/have been really good at steering, and how EA compares

  5. I'm very interested in seeing more work and debate around what the optimal distribution of power in EA should be. I can see arguments both for narrow concentration and wide concentration being better for steering.

  6. If I can expand the metaphor, I think EA is better thought of as a fleet than a single boat. This allows better for concepts such as chain of command, localized decision making, spreading out vs. staying together. One failure mode this could identify is "spreading out so much that inevitably some boats will do tremendous harm"

Comment by SiebeRozendal on CGP Grey: The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant · 2021-11-11T13:27:18.456Z · EA · GW

I find exurb1a a bit too nihilistic.. the creator has also been accused of highly abusive behavior, so I feel iffy about the channel. (Sorry, no time to search the link for you)

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Bounty to disclose new x-risks · 2021-11-11T13:21:01.967Z · EA · GW

" I think the EA Forum needs to up its game in terms of how it handles infohazards and provides guidance on their thinking in this area."

+1 to this

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Stanley the Uncertain [Creative Writing Contest] · 2021-11-02T08:42:05.626Z · EA · GW

Maybe the correct way to promote EA is clickbait?

7 Things To Do To Make A Man Fall In Love With You

  1. Incorporate base rates
  2. Etc.
Comment by SiebeRozendal on Remove An Omnivore's Statue? Debate Ensues Over The Legacy Of Factory Farming · 2021-10-27T13:09:30.432Z · EA · GW

I'm not sure if you're implying this: 'the neutral point of welfare is close to the point at which someone commits suicide'

If so, I'd argue that these points are often very far apart: there's tremendous evolutionary and social pressure against suicide, as well as that people can suffer immensely but hope the future will be better.

Therefore, I don't expect suicide rate to be very predictive of quality of life.

Comment by SiebeRozendal on Donating money, buying happiness: new meta-analyses comparing the cost-effectiveness of cash transfers and psychotherapy in terms of subjective well-being · 2021-10-26T13:17:11.522Z · EA · GW

Great work! :) Very happy to see the increase in rigour over earlier estimates. If your research is correct (and, in my casual reading of it, I can find no reason why it wouldn't be) this opens up a whole new area of funding opportunities in the global health & wellbeing space!

I'm also excited about the rest of your research agenda. It seems very ambitious ;)

Some things I find interesting:

"we found evidence that group psychotherapy is more effective than psychotherapy delivered to individuals which is in line with other meta-analyses (Barkowski et al., 2020; Cuijpers et al., 2019). One explanation for the superiority is that the peer relationships formed in a group provide an additional source of value beyond the patient-therapist relationship." --> I did not expect group therapy to be more effective. Instead I expected it to be less effective per person, but more cost effective in total. This is great news.

I am also surprised by the extremely low cost of lay therapy. Is there any correlation between the effectiveness of lay therapy and its cost? I can imagine training costing money but increasing effectiveness.

Most charities not responding/willing to share their costs is .. maybe not so surprising? Let's hope that changes if/when StrongMinds gets a bunch of funding, and you develop your reputation!

Last question: what's HLI's current funding situation? (Current funding, room for funding in different growth scenarios)