emre kaplan

1287 karmaJoined


You should be familiar with this from activism, people use "like"s and mass comments in social media to make bystanders more likely to believe in an idea or have certain attitudes just through social proof effect. I feel a similar vibe with discussions under heated posts.

I find it emotionally draining when heated topics become battlegrounds for social proofing through mass use of agreement vote/karma. It makes me feel like people are trying to manipulate me by illegitimate means and I'm a target of aggression. I don't have any good solutions here but I wanted to offer feedback on my experience.

How is HBD action-relevant for EA in a pre-AGI world? Do you think getting people accept HBD is one of the top 50 interventions for making progress on AI safety and governance?

"there have been a bunch of radical-leftist animal rights people at various conferences that have been cited to me many times as something that made very promising young people substantially less likely to attend (I don't want to dox the relevant attendees here, but would be happy to DM you some names if you want)."

I'm curious about the type of behaviour rather than the names of the people.

I have seen popular uses of the term "effective altruist" in a way that doesn't require self-identification. In this example Peter Singer refers to Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates and Warren Buffet as the most effective altruists in history.

My two cents:

I shortly looked into where wealthy Muslims in Türkiye donate to for their zakat. A few people mentioned that one common way businesspeople pay their zakat is through paying bonuses to their employees. I saw quite a lot discussion of this in Islamic jurisprudence websites but I couldn't identify someone explicitly doing that as people are discouraged from talking about their donations.

"constraint on warranted hostility: the target must be ill-willed and/or unreasonable." 

Trying to apply this constraint seems to contradict with non-violent communication norms on not assuming intent and keeping the discussion focused on harms/benefits/specific behaviours.

Very interesting and exciting. Looking forward to learning from this.

Does requiring ex-ante Pareto superiority incentivise information suppression?


Assume I emit x kg of carbon dioxide. Later on, I donate to offset 2x kg of carbon dioxide emissions. The combination of these two actions seems to make everyone better off in expectation. It’s ex-ante Pareto superior. Even though we know that my act of emitting carbon and offsetting it will cause the deaths of different individuals due to different extreme weather events compared to not emitting at all, climate scientists report that higher carbon emissions will make the severity of climate change worse overall. Since our forecasts are not granular enough and nobody is made foreseeably worse off by reducing emissions, it’s morally permissible to reduce the total amount of emissions.

This position seems to incentivise information suppression.

Assume a climate scientist creates a reliable and sophisticated climate model that can forecast specific weather events caused by different levels of carbon emissions. Such a model would allow us to infer that reducing emissions by a specific amount  would make a specific village in Argentina worse off. The villagers from there could complain to a politician that “your offsetting/reduction policy foreseeably causes severe drought in my region, therefore it makes us foreseeably worse off”.

Policy makers who want to act permissibly would have incentives to prevent such a detailed climate model if ex-ante Pareto superiority were a sound condition for permissibility.

Many grantee organisations report the lessons they learnt to their donors. Open Philanthropy must have accumulated a lot of information on the best practices for animal welfare organisations. As far as I understand, grant makers are wary of giving object level advice and micromanaging grantees. On the other hand, many organisations already spend a lot of time trying to learn about the best (and worst) practices in other organisations. Could Open Phil animal welfare team prepare an anonymised write up about what their grantees report as the reasons for their successes and failures?

Load more