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Open thread, Oct. 26 - Nov. 01, 2015

I'm not sure whether this is worth a whole post on its own or not, but I've been wondering about X-risk, particularly the utilitarian/EA justification of donating to charities dedicated to reducing its risk, and how it seems similar to Pascal's mugging. Perhaps I'm just rationalising my unwillingness to donate to charities with hazier benefits than mosquito nets, but I'd like to discuss it with the community.

As I understand it, in Pascal's mugging, Pascal is walking down the street when a mugger comes up to him and says "Give me £100 or I'll torture 3^^^3 consciousnesses in the simulation I have in my pocket". However unlikely Pascal thinks it is that the mugger has such a pocket simulation, the amount of suffering is high enough that it swamps the doubt and Pascal is morally compelled (whatever that means) to hand over the money.

I'm aware that many people reject this in some way. But many people also donate to x-risk charities, and I don't see how you can consistently tell Pascal not to give the mugger his money and simultaneously allow yourself to be "mugged" by the x-risk charities.

Meetup : Reading First Meetup!

I'm the other person planning to be there! Will probably be arriving around 6:15 and staying for as long as people are still around. Feel free to PM me for a phone number or Telegram @jshholland if you get lost or need directions!

Predict - "Log your predictions" app

It's a Moto X (2nd gen) with Android 5.1, so not particularly low-end. It is most obvious if I slide only just fast enough for the inertia to take it between tabs, then it appears to get confused as to which one is highlighted at the crossover point.

Predict - "Log your predictions" app

I like it! Thoughts from 30 seconds of playing around:

  • There's some flickering in the text of the tabs while swiping between them.
  • What is the difference between a "Yes" and a "No" prediction?
  • Long presses are not particularly discoverable; perhaps there should be some buttons when you tap a prediction to expand it in the list view.

Design-wise, it's great apart from that. Both of your proposed features would be worthwhile too.