Comment author: DonyChristie 15 March 2017 10:56:56PM *  0 points [-]

That's useful to know. What other online presence besides this forum would you recommend people use?

Comment author: LKor 20 March 2017 02:18:30PM 0 points [-]

I'd be happy to join a slack channel. (I'm already on the .impact slack).

I think there's some sort of RSS feed produced by FB groups. I'm going to look into subscribing to that, although I don't know if there's a way to write back to the group with that interface.

In response to Open Thread #36
Comment author: LKor 20 March 2017 01:24:56PM *  2 points [-]

Does EA need [a] reputation system[s]?

Reputation systems are typically used by on-line platforms to help enable higher levels of trust between users.

1) My sense is that within EA there is a norm that we Do Favors For Each Other; ie, EAs often seem to have the subgoal 'try to help other EAs, within reason'. This is both correct and lovely.

2) This norm may come under significant pressure as the community continues to scale. Will it be sustainable when the community has grown 10x? 100x? 1000x?

If both of these propositions are correct, then an EA reputation system may be worth thinking about. EA presents some interesting challenges as a big-tent social movement, spread across many different on- and off-line platforms. Some initial ideas of what a reputational system could look like:

  • Yet Another Webpage: eahub.org already supports profiles pages for EAs, with links to FB, this forum, lesswrong, etc. If most EAs have a page on eahub, with up-to-date links to their other on-line personas, maybe that's enough?

  • A Score: something like karma or the rep systems reddit/stack-exchange use, but able to deal with the multi-platform nature of EA. There are significant technical and social challenges with scoring systems even when they are only on a single platform.

  • A web of trust: something like the PGP web-of-trust, where EAs could essentially vouch for each other.

Comment author: the_jaded_one 08 March 2017 09:39:45PM *  12 points [-]

Facebook requires that you give your real name to post an opinion, be part of the group etc. That is certainly a serious limitation to open discussion, and this topic in particular exacerbates that problem.

Not everyone will necessarily want to comment on this issue under their real name.

Also, I presume this forum exists because someone decided that something other than Facebook is required. Are we questioning this logic in general? Or are we making a special case of this issue? Why?

But if you would be so kind as to post anything you see as particularly relevant, I would appreciate it.

Comment author: LKor 09 March 2017 07:03:05PM 4 points [-]

+1 this. Hate FB. EA is the only reason I semi-regularly think about returning.

Comment author: Richard_Batty 03 January 2017 12:20:00PM 2 points [-]

An EA stackexchange would be good for this. There is one being proposed: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/97583/effective-altruism

But it needs someone to take it on as a project to do all that's necessary to make it a success. Oli Habryka has been thinking about how to make it a success, but he needs someone to take on the project.

Comment author: LKor 06 January 2017 07:05:39PM 0 points [-]

@Richard_Batty, I'd be interested finding out more about what's needed for EA-SE proposal. I'll also shoot Oliver a email about this.

Comment author: LKor 03 January 2017 11:51:49PM *  0 points [-]

I've so far only looked at sections 5 and 6, because those were the most immediately interesting.

I think the critique of the Wild Animal Suffering research is very much on target. I've always thought that at best, WAS work should be relegated to basic questions that can be tackled in biology or ecology.

All of the WAS interventions I've seen discussed seem deeply wacky, misguided and likely to be radioactive for the movement.

In response to Lunar Colony
Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 20 December 2016 09:31:31PM *  13 points [-]

As far as I can tell there is zero serious basis for going to other planets in order to save humanity and it's an idea which stays alive merely because of science fiction fantasies and publicity statements from Elon Musk and the like. I've yet to see a likely catastrophic scenario where having a human space colony would be useful that would not be much more easily protected against with infrastructure on Earth.

-Can it help prevent x-risk events? Nope, there's nothing it can do for us except tourism and moon rocks.

-Is it good for keeping people safe against x-risks? Nope. In what scenario does having a lunar colony efficiently make humanity more resilient? If there's an asteroid, go somewhere safe on Earth. If there's cascading global warming, move to the Yukon. If there's a nuclear war, go to a fallout shelter. If there's a pandemic, build a biosphere.

-Can it bring people back to Earth after an extended period of isolation? Nope, the Moon has none of the resources required for sustaining a spacefaring civilization, except sunlight and water. Whatever resources you have will degrade with inefficiencies and damage. Your only hope is to just wait for however many years or millennia it takes for Earth to become habitable again and then jump back in a prepackaged spacecraft. But, as noted above, it's vastly easier to just do this in a shelter on Earth.

-It's physically impossible to terraform the Moon with conceivable technology, as it has month-long days, and far too little gravity to sustain an atmosphere.

-"But don't we need to leave the planet EVENTUALLY?" Maybe, but if we have multiple centuries or millennia then you should wait for better general technology and AI to be developed to make space travel easy, instead of funneling piles of money into it now.

I really fail to see the logic behind "Earth might become slightly less habitable in the future, so we need to go to an extremely isolated, totally barren wasteland that is absolutely inhospitable to all carbon-based life in order to survive." Whatever happens to Earth, it's still not going to have 200 degree temperature swings, a totally sterile geology, cancerous space radiation, unhealthy minimal gravity and a multibillion dollar week-long commute.

In response to comment by kbog  (EA Profile) on Lunar Colony
Comment author: LKor 22 December 2016 05:28:12AM 2 points [-]

Nope, the Moon has none of the resources required for sustaining a spacefaring civilization, except sunlight and water.

Well. This might be a bit of an over-statement -- we don't really have a good idea of what's up there. There is good evidence for Titanium and there may be Platnium Group metals up there. Who knows what else?

The moon, mars, or colonies inside hollowed out asteroids certainly doesn't make sense as x-risk mitigation in the near or medium term, but at some point they're going to be necessary.

Comment author: rowborg 15 November 2016 11:16:57PM *  0 points [-]

In this election cycle, Trump voters weren't primarily motivated by the economy, they were motivated by immigration and culture issues.

I think we need to see more data on this one. I'd put forth the idea that in fact the underlying issues were in fact economic, and that the cultural and immigration issues were mostly just utilized by Trump as things to blame for the underlying economic woes.

Here's an article I found instructive on the perspective and here's a relevant passage:

The terminology here can be confusing. When progressives talk about the working class, typically they mean the poor. But the poor, in the bottom 30% of American families, are very different from Americans who are literally in the middle: the middle 50% of families whose median income was $64,000 in 2008. That is the true “middle class,” and they call themselves either “middle class” or “working class.”

“The thing that really gets me is that Democrats try to offer policies (paid sick leave! minimum wage!) that would help the working class,” a friend just wrote me. A few days’ paid leave ain’t gonna support a family. Neither is minimum wage. WWC men aren’t interested in working at McDonald’s for $15 per hour instead of $9.50. What they want is what my father-in-law had: steady, stable, full-time jobs that deliver a solid middle-class life to the 75% of Americans who don’t have a college degree. Trump promises that. I doubt he’ll deliver, but at least he understands what they need.

I thought this analysis was interesting.

I said that it shows that unemployed people aren't likely to start a revolution or anything just because they're unemployed.

Ah, I understand your point now. Sure, that's true, but I'm imagining what happens if the lower-middle class gets squeezed out, as mentioned above. I need to go learn more about economic trends of the middle class in American history before I can make this case, though.

If you take a broad view then half of all things will increase x risk in the long run and half of them will decrease it.

Wait, I'm new to x-risk analysis and TDT... but is that true? Why would the distribution of the space of all possible actions split 50/50 towards increasing or decreasing x-risks? That doesn't seem right. Am I missing something?

Comment author: LKor 26 November 2016 04:49:29PM 0 points [-]

“The thing that really gets me is that Democrats try to offer policies (paid sick leave! minimum wage!) that would help the working class,” a friend just wrote me. A few days’ paid leave ain’t gonna support a family. Neither is minimum wage. WWC men aren’t interested in working at McDonald’s for $15 per hour instead of $9.50. What they want is what my father-in-law had: steady, stable, full-time jobs that deliver a solid middle-class life to the 75% of Americans who don’t have a college degree. Trump promises that. I doubt he’ll deliver, but at least he understands what they need.

@rowborg/@kbog, this is a great thread, and I'm only going to dip my toe in, here, minimally, to +1 this point that rowborg has made. Employment isn't just about exchanging labour for a wage, it's a major source of meaning in people's lives. The assertion that standards of living in the US have risen is probably correct, even for people at the bottom of the income distribution. But this standard of living increase can't explain the incredibly sour mood of a huge chunk of people. Obviously it's going to take a lot of time for researchers to unpack that, but the meaningless-employment story seems like a pretty plausible component: if people feel what they do doesn't have any meaning, and particularly if they feel their children don't have prospects for meaning-ful employment then despair and anger seem like totally to-be-expected reactions.

Comment author: LKor 08 May 2016 08:51:34PM *  3 points [-]

Normally I would not double-post an item, but I'd like to increase the chance people see this, and I don't know if it warrants a front-page posting.

EA Toronto

I just created the Effective Altruism Toronto meetup. I'm already in touch with the organizers of LW Toronto. My goal is to reach a monthly meeting tempo over the next 3 - 6 months with a small core of regulars, and then reach a twice-monthly tempo.

Please spread the word to anyone who might be in the GTA!

Promotion help

If anybody has suggestions about how to best promote/spread the word, that would be super-great. I'm one of those tin-foil hat Facebook holdouts, but I'm willing to blow the dust off my account to do some promo for this. Pointers to FB groups/highly-connected-individuals/whatever, as well as non-FB related ideas would be really appreciated.

Comment author: LKor 08 May 2016 08:47:54PM 2 points [-]

Inspired by this, I just created the Effective Altruism Toronto meetup. I'm already in touch with the organizers of LW Toronto. Please spread the word to anyone who might be in the GTA!

Comment author: Tom_Ash  (EA Profile) 28 January 2016 10:34:48PM 1 point [-]

With 75% confidence I’d say that by February 10th at least 15 people will have expressed interest in predictions about effective altruism.

I hereby express interest. Others can do so in a comment under this!

Comment author: LKor 04 February 2016 11:01:10PM 0 points [-]

Also interested, would prefer something not facebook-based. If something needed to be setup/maintained/whatnot, I'd be happy to help.

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