Comment author: AmyLabenz 28 February 2017 04:14:33PM 1 point [-]

So sorry for the delay!

Yes, they are different events. That is the EAGx Boston from last year. This year we will hold one of the three main EAG events in the Boston area. I expect the contract today so I will be able to announce dates shortly.

Comment author: HaydnBelfield 28 February 2017 06:03:50PM 0 points [-]


Comment author: HaydnBelfield 24 February 2017 01:27:49PM 21 points [-]

Thanks for this! Its mentioned in the post and James and Fluttershy have made the point, but I just wanted to emphasise the benefits to others of Open Philanthropy continuing to engage in public discourse. Especially as this article seems to focus mostly on the cost/benefits to Open Philanthropy itself (rather than to others) of Open Philanthropy engaging in public discourse.

The analogy of academia was used. One of the reasons academics publish is to get feedback, improve their reputation and to clarify their thinking. But another, perhaps more important, reason academics publish academic papers and popular articles is to spread knowledge.

As an organisation/individual becomes more expert and established, I agree that the benefits to itself decrease and the costs increase. But the benefit to others of their work increases. It might be argued that when one is starting out the benefits of public discourse go mostly to oneself, and when one is established the benefits go mostly to others.

So in Open Philanthropy’s case it seems clear that the benefits to itself (feedback, reputation, clarifying ideas) have decreased and the costs (time and risk) have increased. But the benefits to others of sharing knowledge have increased, as it has become more expert and better at communicating.

For example, speaking personally, I have found Open Philanthropy’s shallow investigations on Global Catastrophic Risks a very valuable resource in getting people up to speed – posts like Potential Risks from Advanced Artificial Intelligence: The Philanthropic Opportunity have also been very informative and useful. I’m sure people working on global poverty would agree.

Again, just wanted to emphasise that others get a lot of benefit from Open Philanthropy continuing to engage in public discourse (in the quantity and quality at which it does so now).


New Vacancy: Policy & AI at Cambridge University

Research Associate: Policy, Responsible Innovation & the future of AI The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) is currently recruiting for a postdoctoral Research Associate to join the project 'Policy, Responsible Innovation and the Future of AI' . The appointment will be for 3 years, and is based... Read More
Comment author: HaydnBelfield 09 February 2017 06:22:44PM 7 points [-]

Very interesting idea, and potentially really useful for the community (and me personally!).

What's the timeline for this?

I'm presuming that the Funds would be transparent about how much money is in them, how much has been given and why - is that the case? Also as a starter, has Nick written about how much is/was in his Fund and how its been spent?

Comment author: Owen_Cotton-Barratt 30 November 2016 12:59:21PM 4 points [-]

Wow, thanks. It was supposed to represent National Insurance, but it was based on a remembered figure. I think I must have worked out an average rate and assumed it was marginal at some point; perhaps this was also just on employee contributions.

Anyhow, I think that makes it 22.5% lost to taxes (so +29% on your donation) if you're a basic rate taxpayer, and 13% lost (+15% on donation) if you're a higher rate taxpayer.

Adding another mark in the "Look factual information up even when you think you know the answer" ledger.

Comment author: HaydnBelfield 05 December 2016 12:13:05PM 2 points [-]

Were I working for an EA org this would be the decisive factor that would swing me, so it would be really good if we could work this out. Giving to another org adds Gift Aid to your donation. +20% Forgoing salary saves you and your employer National Insurance. +29%

So if you're basic rate, is giving to your employer better value?

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 18 November 2016 07:08:59PM *  1 point [-]

The most worrying situation is a Cuban Missile-style crisis with Russia. I’ve discussed Trump’s possible relations with Putin, but for now all we need to do is accept that such a stand-off could happen.

The Cuban Missile Crisis happened because of heavy distrust between the US and USSR, and no similar nuclear crisis has ever occurred. There were two contributing issues to the crisis: a fear of a Soviet first strike and a fear of a US invasion of a Soviet ally. These two issues have been absent from relations between the US and other major nuclear powers. It's all dependent upon the idea of a major heightening in foreign aggression.

I also think Trump would be less hesitant to use or develop biological weapons.

What purpose could they serve? If pandemic bio weapons were useful then we would expect other nations to already have serious development in that domain. There are other countries which are noncompliant with international norms and they don't develop pandemic bioweapons. It's not much of a useful asset to have in any plausible scenario.

The post-war liberal order has kept us safe. The liberal global order set up by the West following the end of WWII rests on three pillars: trade, security alliances and liberal democratic values – all backed up by American military power.

It's actually not clear that trade does anything to make us safer. Empirical analysis of wars and trade relations has shown that trade partners are overall not less likely to fight than non trading partners, and in some contexts they are more likely (Edit for source: Katherine Barbieri 1996, "Economic Interdependence: A path to Peace or a Source of Interstate Conflict?"). I think there are a few scholars who still make the case for trade reducing conflict but I'm not sure what the evidence is.

Democratic peace occurs between liberal democracies, but there's not much of a case to be made for it reducing the probability of a war with any country which is not a liberal democracy.

Comment author: HaydnBelfield 21 November 2016 12:16:02PM *  2 points [-]

Thanks for commenting! I'll try to answer your points in turn.

  1. Nuclear weapons I was using the Cuban Missile Crisis as an example of a nuclear stand-off. I'm not saying a very similar crisis will occur, but that other stand-offs are possible in the future. Other examples of stand-offs include Nixon and the Yom Kippur War, or Reagan and Able Archer. There have many 'close calls' and stand-offs over the years, and there could be one in the future e.g. over the Baltics. Trump's character seems particularly ill-suited to nuclear stand-offs, so increases risk.

  2. Pandemics Many countries have had biological weapons programs: for example the US, UK, USSR, Japan, Germany, Iraq and South Africa. I agree that they're difficult to control and would likely hurt the country that used them as well as the target - but that hasn't stopped those countries. The development and use of biological weapons has been constrained by the Convention and surrounding norms. I think Trump threatens those norms, and so increases risk.

  3. Liberal global order Very interesting fact about trade and war there, although she is looking at the period 1870-1938 and I'm talking about post-1945. And yes I agree with you about democratic peace theory. My point is more general, that the liberal global order has kept us safe - to take one example we haven't had a serious great power war. Trump threatens that order, and so increases risk.


President Trump as a Global Catastrophic Risk

President Trump as a Global Catastrophic Risk   A Global Catastrophic Risk (GCR) is one that kills 10% of the global population or causes similar damage. Previous events at this scale include the Black Death and some very large wars. These events are very unlikely to happen, but since they... Read More
Comment author: HaydnBelfield 17 March 2015 06:55:32PM 5 points [-]
Comment author: HaydnBelfield 17 March 2015 06:49:09PM *  5 points [-]

How many people work full-time and part-time on GPP? What are sustainable growth predictions?

Do you model yourself as a think-tank?

What think-tanks have you looked at, spoken to, or modelled yourself upon?

Have you reached out to e.g. RUSI, BASIC, etc? Do you plan to?

What are your plans for the next a) 6 months b) year c) 5 years?

In what ways are you experimenting and iterating?

How many people have read your most popular content?

What are your next few marginal hires?

If a reader wants to work for GPP, what should they do/study/write/etc?

If a reader wants to help GPP, what should they do?

What would you do with a) £2,000 b) £10,000 c) £20,000?

What do you think your room-for-more-funding is?

You're based in the UK - there's about to be an election, then five years of a new government. How does that affect your plans?

When do you aim to influence debate, and policy - i.e. over what timescale? Are you trying to influence policy in 10 years, 20?

Who are the key decision-makers/stakeholders in your area? Have you mapped them out - how they relate, what their responsibilities are?

What Government Departments are you mainly interested in? Which are you monitoring? Are there any consultations open at the moment that you are submitting to? Same question for Parliamentary Committees.

Comment author: HaydnBelfield 15 October 2014 10:54:57AM 7 points [-]

Hi everyone, I'm Haydn. I used to work at the Centre for Effective Altruism, now I work for a Member of the UK Parliament. Message me if you're interested in politics and EA.

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