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Peter_Hurford comments on Announcing PriorityWiki: A Cause Prioritization Wiki - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 19 June 2018 02:46:10AM 3 points [-]

it might also be nice if there was a repository of info on why some common cause areas are not generally recommended by EA

Good idea. I had been experimenting by adding summaries at the top of some articles (for example this one on aging) and was trying to figure out how opinionated the Wiki should be. Right now I was trying to err on the side of being less opinionated. If you have any thoughts on this issue, I'd definitely be curious to hear them.

I'm unsure how one would incentivize such info being added though.

We're hoping to eventually and slowly create a volunteer pool to do this kind of work. This seems like the kind of tasks volunteers have done well on in my past experience. Furthermore, given funding, we'd even be able to pay for the assistance.

Comment author: RomeoStevens 19 June 2018 04:02:08PM *  2 points [-]

Maybe also a prize for best new wiki entry periodically?

How opinionated it is probably comes down to tone more than content. Less 'and this is why everyone who supports education is stupid' and more 'this is the story on education studies so far. We hope this can be of assistance to someone trying to develop new educational interventions so they don't go down the same blind alleys as previously' that could help. It could also harm in the sense that controversy engenders engagement and a more confrontational approach would get people to actually argue.

Also I'd like to note that I'm bullish on this idea overall as I think it might allow for genuine philosophical progress. Part of the lack of progress comes from the fragmentary nature of all the various arguments, making people very hesitant to offer critiques since a likely outcome is 'that has already been addressed in 3 places.' We tend towards a community of correctors, which shuts down generative creative thought.

Comment author: Yannick_Muehlhaeuser 20 June 2018 05:37:59AM 1 point [-]

was trying to figure out how opinionated the Wiki should be

Certainly an important question. 80k certainly explains why they don't recommend certain careers and it's important for them to continue to do so. In my opinion we should make our reasons for considering a cause effective very clear, so they can be challenged. In practice, of course, how such an entry depends strongly on the wording. I would prefer to word it like "Cause X has traditionally been considered not neglected enough/not tractabe/too small by EA organisations. ... According to that reasoning you'd have to show Y to establish X as an effective cause. ..." instead of "X is not effective, because ...".