I'm going to agree with the observation that "make food production more efficient by making only one type of food" isn't a likely winner for restaurants.
If you're really trying to optimize for the economic efficiency with which food is produced, you don't make hot fresh-cooked food in the first place; you make food on assembly lines and package it. At which point the incremental cost of using preservation techniques and selling it on supermarket shelves is minimal- and all you're sacrificing is flavor and the health of the food... and people who... (read more)
Speculatively, people who have never suffered a serious setback at the hands of others may be biased in favor of thinking they are the only ones who exercise control over their own outcomes. That might well explain why they self-report as happier- they're less likely to be inconvenienced!
It sounds like a virtually impossible task to disentangle internal and external factors to see which plays a bigger role, honestly. Any given incident may have causes that come from both camps, and any given event can easily be interpreted either way. As in, were you turne... (read more)
It occurred to me to add something to my previous comments about the idea of harm being nonlinear, or something that we compute in multiple dimensions that are not commensurate.
One is that any deontological system of ethics automatically has at least two dimensions. One for general-purpose "utilons," and one for... call them "red flags." As soon as you accumulate even one red flag you are doing something capital-w Wrong in that system of ethics, regardless of the number of utilons you've accumulated.
The main argument justifying this is... (read more)
There's the question of linearity- but if you use big enough numbers you can brute force any nonlinear relationship, as Yudkowsky correctly pointed out some years ago. Take Kindly's statement:
"There is some pair (N,T) such that (N people tortured for T seconds) is worse than (10^100 N people tortured for T-1 seconds), but I don't know the exact values of N and T"
We can imagine a world where this statement is true (probably for a value of T really close to 1). And we can imagine knowing the correct values of N and T in that world. But even then, i... (read more)