# All of bwest's Comments + Replies

Why everything might have taken so long

1. People’s brains were actually biologically less functional fifty thousand years ago.

2habryka3yhttps://www.wikiwand.com/en/Flynn_effect [https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Flynn_effect]

Thanks for the response. EDIT: Adam pointed out to me that LDU does not suffer from dictatorship of the present as I originally stated below and as you argued above. What you are saying is true for a fixed discount factor, but in this case we take the limit as .

The property you describe is known as "dictatorship of the present", and you can read more about it here. In order to get rid of this "dictatorship" you end up having to do things like reject stationary, which are plausibly just as counterintuitive.

> I'm surprised that... (read more)

FYI, I was still confused about this so I posted on math .se. Someone responded that the above proof is incorrect, but they gave their own proof that there is no computable ordering over which respects Pareto.

Thanks! But is that correct? I notice that your argument seems to work for finite sequences as well (or even single rational numbers), but clearly we can order the rational numbers.

2Vaniver3yI think the issue here is whether you're comparing functions (which allow self-reference in a way that can break ordering) or numbers (which don't); for ordering arbitrary computable sequences, you need to have a way to avoid the sort of diagonalization that makes your choices affect the sequences you have to sort.

Thanks! Someone (maybe it was you?) pointed me to Chen and Rubio's stuff before, and it sounds interesting.

I don't fully understand the informal write up you have above, but I'm looking forward to seeing the final thing!

Thanks! Your idea is interesting – I put a comment on that post.

Something you are probably aware of is that accepting "anonymity" (allowing the sequence to be reordered arbitrarily) requires us to reject seemingly intuitive principles like Pareto (if you can make someone better off and no one worse off, then you should).

Personally, I would rather keep Pareto than anonymity, but I think it's cool to explore what anonymous orderings can do.

The canonical problem in infinite ethics is to create a preference relation over which is in some sense "reasonable". That's what this approach does.

For more background you can see this background article or my overview of the field.

11/07/2017 Development Update: LaTeX!

Thanks Oliver and Ben!

I believe it is working now; I posted it here: https://www.lesserwrong.com/posts/tW37uofzXd7ngW8Np/big-advance-in-infinite-ethics

11/07/2017 Development Update: LaTeX!

Does latex work in posts? I wrote up a draft post and I'm pretty sure that I used the correct syntax, but I don't see the formulas being formatted.

Maybe it does not work unless the post is fully submitted instead of just a draft? I didn't want to submit the post just to test that out though.

3Ben Pace3yI just tried to make you a new draft with the LaTex fixed. Unfortunately (a) ~20% of it didn't quite work, and (b) now that it's saved it has the same 'refresh to render LaTex' error people in other comments had. Alas, it looked so delightful in my editor! The dev team should get to this in the next week (a few frontpage changes are top priority right now, but if it's a quick fix we'll jump to it). P.S. As a rule, once you enter something in our editor and then hit spacebar, you will see the final copy - it's very much a 'What you see is what you get', and LaTex should look like LaTex as you edit.
2Ben Pace3yPretty sure it should work regardless of draft-nature. Oliver should be awake in ~9 hours to reply.
Moloch's Toolbox (1/2)

That's a great question and yes, there is generally some amount of risk adjustment performed. To take the example Eliezer used early in this post: you can find much more information then you probably wanted about the risk adjustment for central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) here .

Moloch's Toolbox (1/2)
No hospital would benefit from being the first to publish statistics, so none of them do.

Hospital statistics have been published for several years now on Hospital compare. Similar programs exist for outpatient and nursing home quality metrics. This is largely due to effort by the Obama administration.

(Of course, this might just shift the "inadequate equilibrium" question to: if these statistics are published, how come so few people use them?)

Do you know if they normalize for case difficulty? If a hospital patients seems like it will get worse outcomes.

6MakerOfErrors4yIt just occurred to me that your link is likely to be an Incredibly Important (tm) tool for the weird sort of person who might actually be interested in themselves/friends/family not dying during a procedure. (In opposed to just being interested in signaling how caring we are [http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/03/showing-that-yo.html], or seeking medicine to feel cared for.)
Against EA PR

Approximately 10% of respondents to the EA survey said the animal welfare was the most important cause: http://effective-altruism.com/ea/1e5/ea_survey_2017_series_cause_area_preferences/

Against EA PR

Thanks for the interesting post!

It seems to me that there are two types of simplification:

1. Simplification for pedagogical purposes (e.g. "imagine this as a point mass moving on a frictionless plane…")

2. Simplification for no good reason (e.g. "balls rolling on a surface will eventually stop because of their natural motion")

I agree that overhead ratios are simplification of the second form: they are not much more complex than things like QALY/dollar yet are much less informative.

I disagree though that QALY/dollar is pointless simplific