Denise_Melchin comments on The Values-to-Actions Decision Chain: a lens for improving coordination - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Denise_Melchin 04 July 2018 02:53:37PM 4 points [-]

I think you're making some valuable points here (e.g. making sure information is properly implemented into the 'higher levels') but I think your posts would have been a lot better if had skipped all the complicated modelling and difficult language. It strikes me as superfluous and the main result seems to me that it makes your post harder to read without adding any content.

Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 04 July 2018 03:54:25PM 1 point [-]

Hi Denise, can you give some examples of superfluous language? I tried to explain it as simply as possible (though sometimes jargon and links are needed to avoid having to explain concepts in long paragraphs) but I’m sure I still made it too complicated in places.

Comment author: Denise_Melchin 08 July 2018 07:55:31PM 2 points [-]

It is still not clear to me how your model is different to what EAs usually call different levels of meta. What is it adding? Using words like 'construal level' complicates the matter further.

I'm happy to elaborate more via PM if you like.

Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 08 July 2018 09:36:32PM *  0 points [-]

Hmm, so here are my thoughts on this:

1) I think you’re right that the idea of going meta from the object level is an idea that’s known to many EAs. I’d argue though that the categorisations in the diagram are valuable though because I don’t know of any previous article where they’ve all been put together. For veteran EAs, they’ll probably be obvious but I still think it’s useful for them to make the implicit explicit.

2) The idea of construal levels is useful here because of how thinking in far vs. near mode affects psychology. E.g. when people think in far mode they

  • have to ignore details, and tend to be less aware that those nuances actually exist

  • tend to associate other far-mode things with whatever they think of. E.g. Robin Hanson’s point that many sci-fi/futurism books (except, of course, Age of Em) focus on values and broad populations of beings that all look similar, and have blue book covers (i.e. sky, far away)

So this is why I think referring to construal levels adds value. Come to think of it, I should have mentioned this in the post somewhere. Also my understanding of construal level theory is shoddy so would love to hear opinions of someone who’s read more into it.

BTW, my sister mentioned that I could have made the post a lot more understandable for her if I just started with ‘Some considerations like X are more concrete and other considerations like Y are more abstract. Here are some considerations in between those.’ Judging by, that I could have definitely written it more clearly.

Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 09 July 2018 06:27:31AM 0 points [-]

I've added some interesting links to the post on near vs. far mode thinking, which I found on LessWrong and Overcoming Bias.

Comment author: [deleted] 04 July 2018 03:51:24PM 1 point [-]

Or add a tl;dr

Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 04 July 2018 08:33:05PM *  1 point [-]

Hmm, I personally value say five people deeply understanding the model to be able to explore and criticise it over say a hundred people skimming through a tl;dr. This is why I didn’t write one (besides it being hard to summarise anything more than ‘construal levels matter – you should consider them in the interactions you have with others’, which I basically do in the first two paragraphs). I might be wrong of course because you’re the second person who suggested this.

This post might seem deceptively obvious. However, I put a lot of thinking into both refining categories and the connections between them and explaining them in a way that hopefully enables someone to master them intuitively if they take the time to actively engage with the text and diagrams. I probably did make a mistake by outlining both the model and its implications in the same post because it makes it unclear what it’s about and causes discussions here in the comment section to be more diffuse (Owen Cotton-Barratt mentioned this to me).

If someone prefers to not read the entire post, that’s fine. :-)

Comment author: ZeitPolizei 12 July 2018 06:22:26PM 1 point [-]

For me tl;dr is mainly useful for two things: * to let me evaluate whether I think the post is interesting enough, or contains enough new information for me to be worth reading * to jog my memory when I come back to a post a while after I have read it, and am no longer sure what it is about/what its main points are