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Hi everyone! My name is Ulf Graf. I am a 33 year old lecturer in public health at Halmstad University, Sweden. My main interest now is "Effective Altruism Systemic Change", so if anyone else is interested, please contact me! I think that green basic income (basic income funded by green taxation) has most potential for systemic change.

So now I am looking more into taxes that can change the world (at least a little). Because with taxes, it may be possible to tackle poverty, climate change, animal suffering, health problems and premature death and also fund basic income. Environmental taxes like carbon taxes, energy taxes, deforestation taxes, meat taxes, aviation fuel taxes, shipping-fuel taxes, green land value tax and the polluter pays principle may be helpful in that case. Charity Entrepreneurship has suggested charities that try to reduce alcohol, tobacco and sodium consumption. So health taxes are also interesting because alcohol, tobacco, unhealthy food and air pollution accounts for 29,4 million deaths and 819 million DALY annually.

I became interested in effective altruism because I had made my bachelor's thesis about buddhist views of altruism and was looking for articles about altruism. In 2019, I clicked on the Happier Lives Institute's research agenda and thought it was really interesting. So I replied to everything in that agenda in an email and said that I wanted to volunteer there. Since then I jave been helping out there in periods. I also have been a board member of the Swedish Netwok for Global Mental Health. I am also trying to start a research project that is "dance on prescription", since I have been dancing a lot. But I am interested in global health, mental health, happiness, climate change, public health and other things as well.

Fun fact 1: I was at a hilarious job interview once. A 65-year-old professor and her 45-year-old secretary interviewed me for a job as a research assistant.
"What do you do on your leisure time?" the professor asked.
"I am doing pole dancing," I said because I was going on a pole fitness course.
"I don't know what it is. Can you please explain that for me?"
"Well..."
"It is when you are dancing around a pole," the secretary said and tried to change topic for the conversation.
"That sounds great! My husband never wants to dance with me so I should put up a pole in my bedroom so we can dance."
She was thinking pole dancing was dancing around a small maypole. When the interview was over, the secretary told her what pole dancing was and they laughed so they bursted out in tears. I got the job.

Fun fact 2: Ulf means wolf and Graf means grave in old norse. It may sound cool but it is a dorky name and only popular among people who are over 80-years-old.

References:
Global Burden of Disease Collaborators & Ärnlöv, J. (2020). Global burden of 87 risk factors in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The Lancet396(10258), 1223-1249.

Murray, C. J. (2019). Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet393(10184), 1958-72.

Sumaila, U. R., Wabnitz, C. C., Teh, L. S., Teh, L. C., Lam, V. W., Sumaila, H., ... & Polasky, S. (2024). Utilizing basic income to create a sustainable, poverty-free tomorrow. Cell Reports Sustainability.

All the best,
Ulf Graf



 

Hi Ulf! Welcome to the Forum, and thanks for the anecdote :) If you have any questions about using the Forum/ customising it to suit your interests, feel free to message me (click on my profile and click message).
Cheers, 
Toby (Content Manager for the EA Forum)

Thank you very much, Toby! I think everything is clear, but thanks for the opportunity! It is very kind of you to welcome all new people to the forum, I think it is very important. :)

Cheers,
Ulf

Your profile sounds really cool ! Buddhism and altruism might be a good combination.

EA Germany are doing a project on systemic change (they have a slack for that), maybe you could check it ?

Thank you very much CB! It might be a very good combination.

Wow! I would really like to join that Slack! Can you please send me a link? :)

Hello! 

My name is Timothy Motte and I write https://www.realisticoptimist.io/ , a paid newsletter publishing in-depth interviews with startup founders around the world. 

Tech startups used to be a Silicon Valley-only phenomenon. That isn't the case anymore. You now have tech startups in Colombia, Iraq and Indonesia. Even Somaliland. 

Startups solve problems and create jobs. Startups propping up globally is an incredible catalyst for global socio-economic progress. 

This potential can only be achieved with quality information informing the founders, VCs and operators working in this new globalized sphere. That's why I started the Realistic Optimist.

Would love to chat about all things startups related, especially the hidden, negative effects they can have on economies. I rarely read pragmatic, contrarian takes on these topics. 

Previous to this, I founded a startup connecting Palestinian startup founders to mentors/investors in the Palestinian diaspora. 

I'm interested in arguments surrounding energy-efficiency (and maximum intensity, if they're not the same thing) of pain and pleasure. I'm looking for any considerations or links regarding (1) the suitability of "H=D" (equal efficiency and possibly intensity) as a prior; (2) whether, given this prior, we have good a posteriori reasons to expect a skew in either the positive or negative direction; and (3) the conceivability of modifying human minds' faculties to experience "super-bliss" commensurate with the badness of the worst-possible outcome, such that the possible intensities of human experience hinge on these considerations.

 

Picturing extreme torture - or even reading accounts of much less extreme suffering - pushes me towards suffering-focused ethics. But I don't hold a particularly strong normative intuition here and I feel that it stems primarily from the differences in perceived intensities, which of course I have to be careful with.

 

Stuff I've read so far:

Are pain and pleasure equally energy-efficient?

Simon Knutsson's reply

Hedonic Asymmetries

 


 

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