RyanCarey comments on The Hidden Cost of Shifting Away from Poverty - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: RyanCarey 10 October 2017 02:18:07AM 5 points [-]

Hey Zack,

I agree that we lose a bunch by moving our movement's centre of gravity away from poverty and development econ. But if we do the move properly, we gain a lot on the basis of the new areas we settle in. What rigor we lost, we should be able to patch up with Bayesian rationalist thinking. What institutional capital we might have lost from World Bank / Gates, we might be able to pick up with RAND/IARPA/Google/etc, a rather more diverse yet impressive group of possible contributors. For organization, yes a lot of experience, like that of Evidence Action, will be lost, but also much will be gained, for example, by working instead at technology think tanks, and elsewhere.

I don't think your conclusion that people should start in the arena of poverty is very well-supported either, if you're not comparing it to other arenas that people might be able to start out in. Do you think you might be privileging the hypothesis that people should start in the management of poverty just because that's salient to you, possibly because it's the status quo?

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 10 October 2017 05:02:03PM 6 points [-]

What rigor we lost, we should be able to patch up with Bayesian rationalist thinking

Can you elaborate more on this?

Comment author: zdgroff 10 October 2017 05:23:14PM 2 points [-]

There's definitely general intellectual rigor to be gained in the new areas the movement is drifting for, but it's not applied to doing good. That is, Google has great methods for maximizing efficiency, but thinking rigorously about doing good is different in significant ways, and the poverty world has been diligently working on that for a long time.