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How do you reconcile the lack of choice that children have in being born?
Answer by RiverApr 07, 202115

If in expectation a life involves more suffering than happiness, then it is immoral to create such a life. I think that that is not the case, for most people, there is more happiness than suffering. We justify making the choice for an as-yet-non-existent person the same way we justify making all choices for very small children, and gradually fewer choices as the child gets older: until they are able to make a decision for themselves, somebody else has to make it for them, and all we can do is give the decision to someone we think will act in the child's best interests.

Preventing overcharging by prosecutors

That's not a bug, that's a feature! The prosecutor knows what evidence the prosecutor has, but the defendant knows whether he did the crime. We want the defendant to make the plea decision blind to the strength of the prosecutor's evidence, because guilty defendants will guess that the prosecutor has strong evidence and plead guilty (even if that guess is wrong), and innocent defendants will guess that the prosecutor has weak evidence and proceed to trial. This is how we want the system to work. 

Preventing overcharging by prosecutors

Another idea: as things stand today, prosecutors are only allowed to file charges when they have "probable cause". Courts won't put a number on what that means, but you might reasonably approximate it as 25% certainty that the defendant did it. We could insist on a higher standard - preponderance of the evidence (which courts do define as > 50% certainty) or clear and convincing evidence (which courts won't put a number on but you could reasonably approximate as 75% certainty).

Preventing overcharging by prosecutors

I think you are forgetting a major player in the criminal justice system: the defense attorney. The defense attorney already has both the expertise and the incentive to accurately advise the defendant as to the likelihood of a conviction on each charge.

What do you think would be the best investment policy for a cryonics trust?

I think the general strategy should be extreme diversification across asset classes. It might be that the stock market itself goes out of business, and stocks themselves cease to exist, on average once every thousand years. How would we know? There haven't been stock markets that long. And for a non-cryonicist who expects to have money in the market for maybe 50 years tops, that's not a problem. For a cryonicist who expects to have money in the market for a thousand years, that is actually a huge problem. So I would say put some money in the stock market. Put some money in REITs. Put some money in cryptocurrency. Put some money into artwork and coin collecting. Put some money in things that have a record of holding value for a thousand years - precious metals and gems, plots of land, water rights. Anything else you can think of that seems not stupid. This way, if any particular class of stuff goes bust, you've still got most of your capitol. If it all goes bust, well, probably nobody will be left to revive you anyway so it won't matter.

As a separate strategy, also put some money into biotech and AI specifically, both because that might lead to people figuring out how to revive you, and because if people do figure out how to revive you, it will probably be because biotech and AI have been successful.

A dashboard for progress

I like the idea of a dashboard, but I'm not at all sold on using consumption as a proxy for progress. To take an obvious example, the computer I am on now uses fewer watts than the computer I was on a decade ago, and will therefor show up as a decrease in energy use. Yet it is superior by every metric that we judge computers by. A Tesla will get more miles for the same amount of energy compared to a traditional gas car. In general, I think we may be at a point in history where progress takes the form of producing better quality products with fewer inputs, and a dashboard that focuses on consumption will incorrectly show that as regression. 

This may be more difficult to actually get numbers for, but I think a better sort of metric might be output over input - number of watt-hours divided by number of hours of human labor used to produce those watt-hours.

Sharing a Car

Second this. The lawyer part of my brain says to draw up a written contract to make sure you get your share of the cars value back at the end, which just adds to the complexity and tension of the situation. But not drawing up that contract is placing a lot of trust in the housemate. A simple per-mile rate seems much simpler and easy to get out of, and the IRS provides a standard rate for that.

Car Thoughts

If you plan on taking long trips in the car, or if you plan to have it for ten or fifteen years, or if there is any possibility of a fourth child, you might want to consider a minivan. As the kids get bigger / trips get longer, putting three of them in the back seat of a car, with one uncomfortably in the middle, will get less and less comfortable.

Limits of Giving

I'm curious how far you go in the other direction. If your Wave stock turned into an extra $50M, would you donate an extra $50M, or an extra $49M, or an extra $40M, or what? As your lifetime earnings go to infinity, is your personal leisure spending bounded?

We should not raise awareness

I think the breakdown is good. I find it more natural to call your level 1 "education" than "raising awareness", but I guess both terms are used. 

I think the changes on sexual assault have been a mixed bag and that in at least some circles the pendulum has already swung too far. Reconceptualizing sex between spouses without consent as rape was a good move, reconceptualizing stupid drunk sex where both parties consented at the time as rape was a bad move, and both have definitely happened as a result of this raising awareness.

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