Ben_Todd comments on How can we best coordinate as a community? - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Ben_Todd 09 July 2017 03:42:20AM 0 points [-]

Hi Michael,

I'm writing a much more detailed piece on replaceability.

But in short, simple replaceability could still be wrong in that the doctor wouldn't be replaced. In general, a greater supply of doctors should mean that more doctors get hired, even if it's less than 1.

But yes you're right that if the person you'd replace isn't value-aligned with you, then the displacement effects seem much less significant, and can probably often be ignored.

If you think replacability is sometimes true and other times not, it would be really helpful to specify that. My guess is motivation and ability to be an EA play the big role.

We did state this in our most recent writing about it from 2015: https://80000hours.org/2015/07/replaceability-isnt-as-important-as-you-might-think-or-weve-suggested/ It's pretty complex to specify the exact conditions under which it does and doesn't matter, and I'm still working on that.