saulius comments on Open Thread #40 - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: saulius  (EA Profile) 15 July 2018 11:15:37AM 0 points [-]

I wanted to ask what kind of conclusions this line of reasoning leads you to make. But am I right to think that this is a very short summary of your series of posts exploring consequentialist cluelessness (http://effective-altruism.com/ea/1hh/what_consequences/)? In that case the answer is in the last post of the series, right?

Comment author: Milan_Griffes 15 July 2018 04:33:10PM *  2 points [-]

Yeah, my conclusions here definitely overlap with the cluelessness stuff. Here I'm thinking specifically about cost-effectiveness.

My main takeaway so far: cost-effect estimates should be weighted less & theoretical models of change should be weighted more when deciding what interventions have the most impact.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 16 July 2018 01:02:38AM 0 points [-]

Do you think you're in significant disagreement with this Givewell blog post?

Comment author: Milan_Griffes 16 July 2018 05:39:54AM 0 points [-]

I basically agree with that post, though GiveWell cost-effectiveness is about comparing different interventions within the domain of improving global health & development in the next 20-50 years.

As far as I know, GiveWell hasn't used cost-effectiveness analysis to determine that global health & development is a domain worth focusing on (perhaps they did some of this early on, before far-future considerations were salient).

The complication I'm pointing at arises when cost-effectiveness is used to compare across very different domains.