Comment author: Gondolinian 31 January 2018 05:50:49PM 5 points [-]

Is the money held invested at all?

Comment author: MetricSulfateFive 19 January 2018 06:35:27PM 2 points [-]

Isn't this an example of the unilateralist's curse? If every EA independently decides whether to slide into his DMs, the people who decide to do so will be those who are overconfident in their persuasion abilities.

The risk here is that someone will give him a negative first impression of EA. People don't change their minds nearly as much as they should, so first impressions matter a lot. Any below-99th-percentile attempt to reach out to multimillionaires could have very negative expected utility.

That said, I'm not sure this argument is correct, so I'd appreciate criticism.

Comment author: Gondolinian 19 January 2018 07:55:37PM 0 points [-]

I share this concern. See my comment here:

I've edited the OP again to clarify.

Comment author: Milan_Griffes 17 January 2018 07:10:44PM *  4 points [-]

That seems like not a bad idea, though probably not very tractable.

A couple things stand out here as special:

  • Missler suddenly came into a windfall, so probably is under a house money effect.
  • He's very young, so probably doesn't yet have a calcified theory about how to do good.
  • He's easy to contact (you can just shoot him a DM on facebook), which isn't true for most ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
Comment author: Gondolinian 18 January 2018 03:04:11PM 1 point [-]

Yes, the first two points in combination with his publicly stated desire to benefit humanity are a large part of why I considered this an unusual opportunity.

Comment author: Milan_Griffes 17 January 2018 03:45:53PM *  3 points [-]

A more proactive stance seems appropriate here. Missler didn't say "please don't contact me," and has been open about his win on social media, so inquiries to see if he's aware of EA seem worth it. (It takes about 3 minutes to find & message them on facebook; payoff is a small chance of creating another value-aligned multimillionaire funder.)

Comment author: Gondolinian 18 January 2018 03:01:56PM 0 points [-]

I think there's a case to be made for only positively recommending highly robust organizations like GiveDirectly to start with in situations like this if doing anything at all. EA reasoning can be implicitly included in the case for such organizations' value, but just trying to get very powerful and poorly understood agents "aware of EA" seems unnecessarily risky both for PR and delicate cause areas like AI.

If someone seems "on the same wavelength" (roughly, "an analytical thinker with altruistic motivations" as it is often put), then they could of course be introduced to EA theory and community. But I think EAs tend to typical-mind and overestimate how many people are inclined to think analytically, which is especially relevant in this case, as lottery winners are much less filtered than e.g. successful business leaders.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 13 January 2018 12:47:49AM 3 points [-]

Far be it for me to rain on the parade of someone who wants to do good with their windfall -- I do admire that -- but I downvoted this post because it does not have any direct EA relevance.

Comment author: Gondolinian 13 January 2018 01:23:12AM 3 points [-]

See edit.


[link] "20-year-old claims $451 million jackpot, hopes to 'do some good for humanity'" "Missler plans on plunking down some of the lottery loot for a new home in Tampa and then pursuing a 'variety of passions,' according to the Florida Lottery , as well as helping others. 'I intend to take care of my family, have some fun along the way, and... Read More
Comment author: Gondolinian 02 December 2017 03:00:12PM 2 points [-]

Hmm. I wonder how to reconcile this post with this TED talk:

Basically, the TED talk argues that more bureaucracy is very important for economic development because it allows people to invest in various ways with higher confidence that they will actually see the returns. However, as this post describes, bureaucracy can also fall into various rent-seeking traps that waste resources without any real benefit.

Perhaps one way of reconciling is holding that meta-bureaucracy is important, such as standardized testing, performance evaluations, etc.?

Comment author: Gondolinian 30 November 2017 01:07:49AM *  4 points [-]

I am pleased to find that there is (now?) a direct donation option to CSH. I had previously only known that I could donate to Charity Science through the EA Funds interface. US donors may still prefer to give through EA Funds for convenient tax deductibility.