Halstead comments on Empirical data on value drift - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: MichaelPlant 24 April 2018 06:33:40PM 3 points [-]

Ah, that's great. Thanks very much for that. I think "dating a non-EA" is a particularly dangerous(/negative impact?) phenomenon we should probably be talking about more. I also know someone, A, whose non-EA-inclined partner, B, was really unhappy that A wasn't aiming to get a high-paying professional job and it really wrenched A from focusing on trying do the most useful stuff. Part of the problem was B's family wanted B's partner to be dating a high earner.

Comment author: Halstead 24 April 2018 06:46:46PM 12 points [-]

This comment comes across as a tad cult-y.

Comment author: MichaelPlant 24 April 2018 07:28:02PM 6 points [-]

I did think that while writing it, and it worried me too. Despite that, the thought doesn't strike me as totally stupid. If we think it's reasonable to talk about commitment devices in general, it seems one we ought to talk about in particular in one's choice of partner. If you want to do X, finding someone that supports you to towards you goal of achieving X seems rather helpful, whereas finding a partner that will discourage you from achieving X seems unhelpful. Nevertheless, I accept one of the obvious warning signs of being in a cult is the cult leaders tell you to date only people inside the cult lest you get 'corrupted'...

Comment author: itaibn 25 April 2018 12:07:57AM 7 points [-]

A particular word choice that put me at unease is calling "dating a non-EA" "dangerous" without qualifying this word properly. It is more precise to say that something is "good" or "bad" for a particular purpose than to just call it "good" or "bad"; just the same with "dangerous". If you call something "dangerous" without qualification or other context, this leaves an implicit assumption that the underlying purpose is universal and unquestioned, or almost so, in the community you're speaking to. In many cases it's fine to assume EA values in these sorts of statements -- this is an EA forum, after all. Doing so for statements about value drift appears to support the norm that people here should want to stay with EA values forever, a norm which I oppose.

Comment author: Halstead 24 April 2018 07:35:08PM 2 points [-]

haha yeah that was my take. I think the best norm to propagate is "go out with whoever makes you happy"

Comment author: saulius  (EA Profile) 30 April 2018 11:24:54PM 4 points [-]

I think that there should be no norm here and we should simply consider the fact that dating a non-EA may cause a value drift before making decisions. Being altruistic sometimes means making sacrifices to your happiness. If having less money, less time and no children can be amongst the possible sacrifices, I see no reason why limiting the set of possible romantic partners could not be one of possible sacrifices as well. People are diverse. Maybe someone would rather donate less money but abstain from dating non-EAs, or even abstain from dating at all. One good piece of writing related to the subject is http://briantomasik.com/personal-thoughts-on-romance/