Comment author: Alex_Barry 28 July 2017 10:42:09AM 1 point [-]

I cannot see the inconsistency there either, the whole section seems a bit strange as his "no death" example starts also containing death again about half way through.

(Note your first line seems to be missing some *'s)

Comment author: Larks 29 July 2017 04:13:24PM 1 point [-]

(Note your first line seems to be missing some *'s)

Fixed, thanks.

Comment author: Larks 27 July 2017 11:27:31PM 7 points [-]

It might be objected that the problem is imagining how the benefits of sparing few days of malaria to 1 billion people are aggregated, and that our feeling or repugnance derives from our failure to see that this aggregated benefit is immensely larger than the benefit of increased educational opportunities for few people. But this begs the question. The problem with ARC is exactly that to many of us the benefit of giving better education to 100 people seems worthy of giving up the tiny aggregated benefit of sparing few days of non-fatal malaria to 1 billion people.

I think he fails to do justice to this objection. It not mere question-begging to suggest that people's intuitions fail to deal with the large numbers correctly; it is a well-known fact that people's intuitions struggle to deal with such cases! This is commonly referred to as Scope Insensitivity - it occurs even in cases where the outcome 'should' be obvious.

Comment author: Larks 27 July 2017 11:19:51PM *  2 points [-]
  1. C^^ is better than C^, which is better than C;
  2. C^^ is better than B;
  3. B is better than C and C^.

But these three rankings are inconsistent, and one of them should go. To endorse all of them means to breach transitivity. Is EA committed to rejecting transitivity? This view is very controversial, and if EA required it, this would need serious inquiry and defence.

These rankings do not seem inconsistent to me? C^^ > B > C^ > C

edit: substituted with '^' due to formatting issues.

Comment author: Larks 17 June 2017 06:13:36AM 1 point [-]

One issue is that the party demanding the concessions usually attemtos to frame the issue in such a way as to obscure the fact that they are concessions.

In response to Red teaming GiveWell
Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 30 May 2017 02:06:53AM 3 points [-]

“GiveDirectly households reported a ... increase … on an index measuring psychological well-being. This improvement was largely driven by increases in happiness and life satisfaction, and reductions in stress and depression.”

However, "increases in neighbours' wealth strongly decrease life satisfaction and moderately decrease consumption and asset holdings''. Giving What We can also describe how neighbors of cash transfers recipients are less happy after their neighbors enrichment. This should come as no surprise: Participants in many foreign aid programs are better off but at the cost of those who aren't involved in the program.

The evidence for this is minor, but it has been enough that GiveDirectly now gives on the village and not the individual level. So this should no longer be a large concern. This is also an area of active RCT study and GiveDirectly also experiments with different targeting techniques.

Comment author: Larks 30 May 2017 11:14:03PM 1 point [-]

GiveDirectly now gives on the village and not the individual level.

Do you have a source for that? The linked webpage suggests otherwise:

In Kenya, we incorporate a range of factors into our eligibility criteria, including housing (e.g. house size), assets (e.g. presence of a latrine), vulnerable recipient status (e.g. homelessness), and other criteria.

In Uganda, we enroll families in homes that have thatched roofs and those who are homeless. People who live in homes with thatched roofs have been shown to be substantially poorer than their neighbors.

Comment author: Larks 06 May 2017 01:22:10PM 2 points [-]

However, the limited evidence may suggest that most recipients would not in fact buy deworming drugs or bednets even if they were available at the price at which deworming and anti-malaria charities can get them.

I think this suggests another argument from anti-paternalism that you do not address, namely that people choosing not to buy the drugs or bednets when available suggests they're not as valuable as you might think.

Comment author: Larks 05 May 2017 01:07:04AM 2 points [-]

Thanks for writing this, I thought it did a good job of addressing the concerns.

Comment author: [deleted] 30 April 2017 07:51:09PM *  1 point [-]

What do you think is the best counterargument? That is, what's the best reason to think that maybe this isn't as tractable/neglected/important as you think?

Studies didn't much control confounders. Twin/adoption studies will be able to control genetic confounders, but there are still many confounders (adoptive parents' education, SES, etc..)

Comment author: Larks 01 May 2017 01:30:10AM 1 point [-]

I responded on the neglected number 11.: ""Correlation does not imply causation": (1) difficult child may get physical punishment more; (2) physical punishment negatively correlates with parental education or socioeconomic status; (3) physical punishment strongly correlates with parental violentness (indeed, physical punishment itself is a paradigmatic example of parental violentness). However, randomized controlled trial to find harmfulness of physical punishment of children will be very unethical, and therefore, such research is not ethically possible. However, it seems prima facie true that physical punishment, especially on high frequency (3-18 times/week) will be profoundly harmful."

So basically your argument for this being causal rather than merely correlational is just "it is prima facie plausible" ?

Comment author: Larks 21 April 2017 02:16:58AM 15 points [-]

I'm worried that this impairs our ability to credibly signal that we are not a scam. Originally we could say that we didn't want any money ourselves - we were just asking for donations to third parties. Then we started asking for money directly, but the main focus was still on recommending donations to third parties. But now the main advice is to give us money, which we will then spend wisely (trust us!). It seems that outsiders could (justifiably) find this much less persuasive.

In response to Open Thread #36
Comment author: Larks 20 March 2017 02:21:42AM 6 points [-]

Meta: If you want to make an open-thread and seed it with topics, you should make a top-level comment about that topic to collect the discussion. Otherwise the discussion ends up scattered over many top-level comments, which makes it hard to discuss other topics - even though that is surely the point of an open thread!

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