Diminishing returns. Giving $100M to a $10M problem because of information lag doesn't actually allocate money nearly as efficiently as you might hope.

You get similar results by each individual giving to a different charity. As-is, there's a few charities that are far above the rest, but if everyone thought like an effective altruist, that wouldn't be the case. Consider the idea: if everyone bought the best TV then the factory that makes that model of TV would be inundated with orders.

3Capla5yDo we have any evidence about the severity of that information lag? I can't imagine it would be much more than a year. I don't know if this is a legitimatize concern. It may very well be worth a little waste value from info-lag for the benefit of overall efficiency.
1JoshuaZ5yThat's true but for now most of the problems are so large that even if almost everyone started thinking this way it would take a while before any high priority problem hit the point that it was no longer the best to donate to. Enough time for people to switch over to the next most important.

Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014

by Gondolinian 1 min read15th Dec 2014309 comments

2


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.

Previous Open Thread

Next Open Thread


Notes for future OT posters:

1. Please add the 'open_thread' tag.

2. Check if there is an active Open Thread before posting a new one. (Immediately before; refresh the list-of-threads page before posting.)

3. Open Threads should be posted in Discussion, and not Main.

4. Open Threads should start on Monday, and end on Sunday.