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Another effect I'm very concerned about is the unseen effect on the funding landscape. For all EVF organisations are said to be financially independent, none of them seem to have had any issue getting funding, primarily from Open Phil (generally offering market rate or better salaries and in some cases getting millions of dollars on marketing alone), while many other EA orgs - and, contra the OP, there many more* outside the EVF/RP net than within - have struggled to get enough money to pay a couple of staff a living wage.

* That list excludes regional EA subgroups, of which there are dozens, and would no doubt be more if a small amount of funding was available.


It doesn't matter whether you'd have been hypothetically willing to do something for them. As I said on the Facebook thread, you did not consult with them. You merely informed them they were in a game, which, given the social criticism Chris has received, had real world consequences if they misplayed. In other words, you put them in harm's way without their consent. That is not a good way to build trust.


The downvotes on this comment seem ridiculous to me. If I email 270 people to tell them I've carefully selected them for some process, I cannot seriously presume they will give up >0 of their time to take part in it. 

Any such sacrifice they make is a bonus, so if they do give up >0 time, it's absurd to ask that they give up even more time to research the issue.

Any negative consequences are on the person who set up the game. Adding the justification that 'I trust you' does not suddenly make the recipient more obligated to the spammer.


My impression is that many similar projects are share houses or other flat hierarchies. IMO a big advantage of the model here is a top-down approach, where the trustees/manager view it as a major part of our job to limit and mitigate interpersonal conflicts, zero sum status games etc.


Whatever you call it, they've got to identify some alternative, even if only tacitly by following some approximation of it in their daily life.


I would like to write an essay about that eventually, but I figured persuading PUs of the merits of HU was lower hanging fruit.

For what it's worth, I have a lot of sympathy with your scepticism - I would rather (and believe it possible to) build a system resembling ethics up without reference to normativity, 'oughts', or any of their associated baggage. I think the trick will be to properly understand the overlap of ethics and epistemology, both of which are subject to similar questions (how do we non question-beggingly 'ground' 'factual' questions?), but the former of whose questions people disproportionately emphasise.

[ETA] It's also hard to pin down what the null hypothesis would be. Calling it 'nihilism' of any kind is just defining the problem away. For eg, if you just decide you want to do something nice for your friend - in the sense of something beneficial for her, rather than just picking an act that will give you warm fuzzies - then your presumption of what category of things would be 'nice for her' implicitly judges how to group states of the world. If you also feel like some things you might do would be nicer for her than others, then you're judging how to order states of the world.

This already has the makings of a 'moral system', even though there's not a 'thou shalt' in sight. If you further think that how she'll react to whatever you do for her can corroborate/refute your judgement of what things are nice(r than others) for her, your system seems to have, if not a 'realist' element, at least a non purely antirealist/subjectivist one. It's not utilitarianism (yet), but it seems to be heading in that sort of direction.


How do we know EY isn't doing the same?


‘A charity that very efficiently promoted beauty and justice’ would still be a utilitarian charity (where the form of util defined utility as beauty and justice), so if that’s not EA, then EA does not = utilitarianism, QED.

Also, as Ben Todd and others have frequently pointed out, many non-utilitarian ethics subsume the value of happiness. A deontologist might want more happiness and less suffering, but feel that he also had a personal injunction against violating certain moral rules. So long as he didn’t violate those codes, he might well want to maximise efficient use of welfare.


I'd guess these effects are largely not causation, but correlation caused by conscientiousness/ambition causing both double majors and higher earnings.

Unless you're certain of this or have some reason to suspect a factor pulling in the other direction, this still seems to suggest higher expectation from doing a double major.


Written a full response to your comments on Felicifia (I'm not going to discuss this in three different venues), but...

your opponent's true rejection seems to be "cryonics does not work"

This sort of groundless speculation about my beliefs (and its subsequent upvoting success), a) in a thread where I’ve said nothing about them, b) where I’ve made no arguments to whose soundness the eventual success/failure of cryo would be at all relevant, and c) where the speculator has made remarks that demonstrate he hasn’t even read the arguments he’s dismissing (among other things a reductio ad absurdum to an ‘absurd’ conclusion which I’ve already shown I hold), does not make me more confident that the atmosphere on this site supports proper scepticism.

Ie you're projecting.

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