All of throwaway_account_1's Comments + Replies

Is it appropriate to spam Less Wrong with at least four articles on the same topic, especially one already well-known to the majority of the readership?

0Kevin13y
Can't we just declare it a sequence and be done with it?
1Kevin13y
Is it appropriate? I don't see the problem, if people aren't interested, they can not read them or even downvote them. You're asking a loaded question though. Louie will get a positive karma bias by being the first good optimal philanthropy article in a while. I think your article is probably better than his but might not rank as high, and it is even less likely to rank as high if submitted simultaneously with three other optimal philanthropy articles. Waitingforgodel's article is good, but isn't written for a LW front page audience so it won't do well in terms of karma. Yours similarly doesn't do the intensive linkback to LW thing popularized by Eliezer. Of course it doesn't really matter, since it doesn't sound like Roko will be judging based solely on LW karma score.
1Louie13y
I hope that my article's promotion doesn't overshadow other articles or prevent yours from finding the readership it deserves. It's a great narrative and I love how the metaphors put things in perspective. I especially like how you build up and then knock down the idea of judging charities by their overhead alone. I'm not coordinating with Eliezer so we'll have to see what editorial decision he makes in terms of promoting these articles or trying to prevent an "optimal philanthropy overload". I'm in the process of removing less relevant links from my article, but with your permission, I'd like to cross-link to the final version of your article in some above the fold place once it's been posted. So you'd be front-paged by proxy at the very least.
0Roko13y
I think yours is especially good. Low quality ones might just not get promoted. Unpromoted articles generally only get seen by people with time on their hands.

continued from above

What about just comparing charities on overhead costs, the one easy-to-find statistic that's universally applicable across all organizations? This solution is simple, elegant, and wrong. High overhead costs are only one possible failure mode for a charity. Consider again the Arctic explorer, trying to decide between a $200 parka and a $200 digital camera. Perhaps a parka only cost $100 to make and the manufacturer takes $100 profit, but the camera cost $200 to make and the manufacturer is selling it at cost. This speaks in favor of the ... (read more)

3jmmcd13y
If the law firm is sleazy, then he might be actively doing harm to people while working there, and this could justify a decision to quit, or to avoid law school in the first place. For example, he might be an ambulance-chaser whose cases clog up the courts and drive up insurance premiums, to the point that some poor people decide to drive without insurance, go to jail, and can't feed their families. It's hard to shut up and multiply when we haven't looked at the numbers. I see this as a flaw in the argument that might well be repairable. Otherwise, it's a great article -- upvoted twice.
4Roko13y
Excellent. I was beginning to despair that we wouldn't have a submission at all. Can you add some links to further reading on LW to it? E.g. all the articles cited in the OP?

Using a throwaway account to keep judging unbiased

Imagine you are setting out on a dangerous expedition through the Arctic on a limited budget. The grizzled old prospector at the general store shakes his head sadly: you can't afford everything you need; you'll just have to purchase the bare essentials and hope you get lucky. But what is essential? Should you buy the warmest parka, if it means you can't afford a sleeping bag? Should you bring an extra week's food, just in case, even if it means going without a rifle? Or can you buy the rifle, leave the food... (read more)

5FAWS13y
On the positive side that allows us to up-vote this twice.

If you consider the lives of other people to be as valuable as your own life

This seems like massively too strong an assumption to make. Practically no-one actually values the lives of random strangers equally to their own. And you don't need to assume it anyway.

continued from above

What about just comparing charities on overhead costs, the one easy-to-find statistic that's universally applicable across all organizations? This solution is simple, elegant, and wrong. High overhead costs are only one possible failure mode for a charity. Consider again the Arctic explorer, trying to decide between a $200 parka and a $200 digital camera. Perhaps a parka only cost $100 to make and the manufacturer takes $100 profit, but the camera cost $200 to make and the manufacturer is selling it at cost. This speaks in favor of the ... (read more)