Meetup : LessWrong Montreal - Social Resilience

by Paul_G1 min read16th Jan 20135 comments


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Discussion article for the meetup : LessWrong Montreal - Social Resilience

WHEN: 21 January 2013 06:30:00PM (-0500)

WHERE: 655 Ave. Du President-Kennedy, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The next weekly meeting of the Montreal LessWrong group, we're going to be working on improving our Social Resilience.

We will be upstairs at the Cheesecake Factory.

See you then!

Discussion article for the meetup : LessWrong Montreal - Social Resilience

5 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 2:03 PM
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I'm curious, what do you mean by Social Resilience?

It's basically the THINK-promoted concept seen here.

In short, resisting to social pressure and dampening the effect of anticipated social pressure on personal decision-making.

Interesting link, thanks. Some very good points in there.

Or consider the idea that you can have a larger impact by seeking a higher-paying job, and then donating the additional money to highly effective charities. This is obviously one way to have a larger impact. A bunch of effective altruits, including those connected with 80,000 Hours promote this idea. Yet this idea has also already upset a lot of people.

It is debatable whether spending your life working to obtain a better job to help others is much better than simply spending that time helping others. I can certainly think of many cases where it is not true. And even if the high-paying job is achieved, what if you have had a huge negative impact on society that cancels out your future positive impact? For example, you might succeed in becoming rich and setting up a huge charity foundation, but on your way to becoming rich you might have set up a huge global monopoly that unfairly destroyed competitors and halted innovation.

Of course there might be some cases where this statement is true but it is not obviously true.

It certainly is debatable. The 80,000 Hours folks have put a lot of thought into the debate. Yes, we can think of cases where it's better to use your career to help directly (e.g. I'm glad Jonas Salk was working on vaccine development and not, say, banking). But for most people, I suspect earning to give is a more helpful option than whatever they could contribute directly.

I assume you're referring to Gates. He may well have done more harm than good, since I understand the intellectual property laws pushed for software have been applied to medicines. But Gates seems to have had the initial goal of financial profit and only later turned to altruism. If your goal is altruism all along, you could run a company so as to foster good regardless of profit. Google seems to be a company that's financially successful but runs many side projects that are altruistic rather than profitable.

I may be suffering under the Illusion of Transparency but if you work under this assumption; Most ways of getting rich involve providing people with a good or service that they want more than the money that they pay for it, then it will be true for most cases.

Also, utilitarianism. If you are an outrageously successful monopolist and extract $100 from the billion richest people in the world, what could an effective altruist do with that kind of money? Attempting to make money off of poor people is a bad idea if you can get it off of rich people instead; they have more, and they're freeer with it.