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Stefan_Schubert comments on Thoughts on the "Meta Trap" - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Stefan_Schubert 21 December 2016 12:50:04PM 1 point [-]

I would in fact count this as "meta" work -- it would fall under "promoting effective altruism in the abstract".

I don't think that to promote X-risk should be counted as "promoting effective altruism in the abstract".

My point is that an RCT proves to you that distributing bed nets in a certain situation causes a reduction in child mortality.

There are two kinds of issues here:

1) Does the intervention have the intended effect, or would that effect have occurred anyway? 2) Does the donation make the intervention occur, or would that intervention have occurred anyway (for replaceability reasons)?

Bednet RCTs help with the first question, but not with the second. For meta-work and X-risk both questions are very tricky.

Comment author: rohinmshah  (EA Profile) 21 December 2016 06:32:06PM 0 points [-]

Bednet RCTs help with the first question, but not with the second. For meta-work and X-risk both questions are very tricky.

Yes, I agree.