Comment author: Denkenberger 08 December 2017 01:51:50AM *  1 point [-]

One problem is that with current technology, it is quite expensive to prevent extreme climate change. With emissions reductions, it is trillions of dollars. Even with solar radiation management (a type of geoengineering), it is tens of billions of dollars. Depending on the type of solar radiation management, it could result in rapid warming if turned off by another catastrophe, causing a double catastrophe. But there are adaptation techniques that are cheaper (~$100 million). And since these techniques protect against many other catastrophes, I'm pretty sure they are far more cost effective than preventing extreme climate change. But it would be interesting to compare quantitatively different interventions in your model.

Comment author: Denkenberger 26 November 2017 07:15:05PM 4 points [-]

Thanks for letting us know about this great opportunity! While I'm waiting to be approved for the Facebook group, is there any way to find out how much money is going to be chasing the $2 million match? Since this is not just EAs and there appear to be hundreds of charities listed, it could easily be $100 million, so then do you think we will have something like 3 minutes or 3 seconds to do the donation before the $2 million match limit is reached?

In response to What consequences?
Comment author: Denkenberger 25 November 2017 09:21:42PM *  1 point [-]

I'd be curious how much you think previous attempts at calculating multiple impacts address cluelessness, such as Causal Networks Model, saving lives in the present generation and reducing X risk for AI and alternate foods, and cause area comparison.

Comment author: Alex_Barry 24 November 2017 05:58:45PM 1 point [-]

Ah good point on the researcher salary, it was definitely just eyeballed and should be higher.

I think a reason I was happy to leave it low was as a fudge to take into account that the marginal impact of a researcher now is likely to be far greater than the average impact if there were 10,000 working on x-risk, but I should have clarified that as a separate factor.

In any case, even adjusting the cost of a researcher up to $500,000 a year and leaving the rest unchanged does not significantly change the conclusion, with the very rough calculation still giving ~$10 per QALY (but obviously leaves less wiggle room for skepticism about the efficacy of research etc.)

Comment author: Denkenberger 24 November 2017 07:06:15PM 1 point [-]

Indeed, the Oxford Prioritisation Project found cost-effectiveness about an order of magnitude lower than yours for AI. But still it was more cost-effective than global poverty interventions even in the present generation. And alternate foods for agricultural catastrophes are even more cost effective for the present generation.

Comment author: RobBensinger 09 November 2017 02:21:17AM *  1 point [-]

I'm not an expert in this area and haven't seen that study, but I believe Eliezer generally defers to Bryan Caplan's analysis on this topic. Caplan's view, discussed in The Case Against Education (which is scheduled to come out in two months), is that something like 80% of the time students spend in school is signaling, and something like 80% of the financial reward students enjoy from school is due to signaling. So the claim isn't that school does nothing to build human capital, just that a very large chunk of schooling is destroying value.

Comment author: Denkenberger 18 November 2017 06:42:38PM 0 points [-]

Wow - is there a paper to this effect? I would be surprised if it is that high for the technical fields.

Comment author: Denkenberger 18 November 2017 05:23:51PM 2 points [-]

A lot of us are part of the global '99 percent', so to speak.

Did you mean to say 1 percent?

Comment author: DCM 08 November 2017 06:29:04PM *  1 point [-]

Could you speak a little to the adversarial nature of nuclear war adaptation? (Apologies if it’s already discussed and I missed it, I’m quite bad at tracking the maths often used in the EA community.)

As far as I know, a full-scale nuclear exchange is still understood strategically as mutually assured destruction. If agricultural adaptation becomes a confounding factor for MAD, then would this not just increase pressure to increase stockpile sizes/yields, or encourage the use of deadlier alternatives (e.g. cobalt-60 weapons, or the effective equivalent thereof), until MAD is achieved again? It strikes me as a situation somewhat analogous to ICBM shields - in a vacuum it’s a countermeasure to the status quo, but there’s an obvious counter-countermeasure available.

Comment author: Denkenberger 18 November 2017 02:48:10AM 0 points [-]

I didn't mention this issue in this point, but here is an excerpt from a paper:

"Moral hazard in this context refers to the possibility that awareness of a food backup plan will result in less effort to prevent these catastrophes. Nuclear winter is the catastrophe over which humanity has the most technical control and poses the most serious threat. Mikhail Gorbachev explicitly stated that a motivating factor for reducing the nuclear arsenal of the USSR was the studies predicting nuclear winter and therefore destruction outside of the target countries [48]. However, despite the knowledge of the possibility of nuclear winter, the nuclear arsenals remain large enough to potentially cause nuclear winter. Similarly, though there is a clear and present threat of anthropogenic abrupt climate change, little has been done to effectively prevent global climate change [49]. Furthermore, the backup plan presented here could reduce the damages associated catastrophes over which humanity currently has no or very little control (e.g. supervolcanic eruptions). The only cases for which moral hazard appears to be important are the super organisms. Therefore, despite the relatively small moral hazard dilemma, we believe humanity would be much better off with a viable back up plan."

We are addressing more the TAD (total assured destruction) in the quote above. Your question was on the mutual assured destruction, or basically deterrence. In this case, I would argue that despite food backup plans, being able to kill half of your enemies' population is sufficient deterrence (and indeed just having 100 nukes and being able to kill as many people as died in WWII would be enough deterrence in my opinion, and far less nuclear winter risk). ICBM shields have the potential to eliminate deterrence and could make a first strike attractive, so they are more problematic.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 17 November 2017 04:27:35AM *  1 point [-]

Academia and the media do have a high level of ideological conformity

As far as I can tell this is pretty much false. I've seen lots of ideological diversity in both. Do you have any evidence for your position?

I am not the first person to make this kind of criticism

No, but among people who are actually informed and make this criticism, they don't blindly wave it as a bludgeon against the mass of evidence which doesn't suit their opinions.

Feminism has greatly influenced the present-day understanding of sexual assault and sexual harassment

That would make sense, since feminists are people whose job it is to understand these sorts of things.

If you look at the careers of central feminist legal scholars and researchers, like Catharine MacKinnon and Mary Koss, you will find that they have been incredibly influential

Yes, it seems like they are regarded as experts by large, competent, nonpartisan institutions.

While EAs are working hard to save lives and struggling for mainstream acceptance

EA has very good mainstream acceptance given how new it is.

How come? What has Koss accomplished?

She has done research and advocacy which was regarded as excellent by large, competent organizations.

The work of Koss, MacKinnon, and all the other feminist figures, influences policy from the university, to the workplace, to high schools, to global bodies like the UN and the Hague.

Yes. That's because they thought it was very good. I'm still not sure what your argument is.

Everything you think you know about sexual assault, sexual violence, and sexual harassment actually comes from the tireless influence of feminist legal activism

What? Where did that come from? Mary Koss is an academic psychiatrist. Do you not know the difference between psychiatric research and legal activism?

Regardless of whether you think this perspective is correct or not, it's important to understand the history of where your foundational moral concepts come from

"Our knowledge of gender violence come from a world-renowned psychiatrist." I'm kind of sad that this is the best argument you can give.

Comment author: Denkenberger 17 November 2017 06:04:59PM 4 points [-]

This shows that psychology professors in the US are ~10:1 liberal to conservative, almost as extreme as EA. So I think there are data to show that there is little ideological diversity in academia, especially the humanities, social sciences, and arts.

Comment author: Denkenberger 14 November 2017 10:44:21PM 2 points [-]

Thanks! I would also add that I find it useful to delay reading that is not too difficult to times when I would be less productive, like when I am tired.

Comment author: Denkenberger 08 November 2017 10:57:45PM 2 points [-]

As for the value of college for non-doctors, what about the study of GI bill recipients that were randomly chosen that found that college did have significant causal benefits (it was not just correlation that colleges were just choosing better qualified people)?

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