All of [deleted]'s Comments + Replies

Wirehead your Chickens

Effective altruism does not imply utilitarianism. Utilitarianism (on most definitions) does not imply hedonism. I would guess less than 10% of EAs (or of animal-focused EAs) would consider themselves thoroughgoing hedonists, of the kind that would endorse e.g. injecting a substance that would numb humans to physical pain or amputating human body parts, if this reduced suffering even a little bit. So on the contrary, I think the objection is relevant.

Wirehead your Chickens

Thanks for the post. I agree that this is an important question. I do, however, have many disagreements.

  1. Many of us value things other than pleasure and the avoidance of pain when it comes to humans. Perhaps we ought to value these things also when it comes to non-human animals. It seems difficult to defend hedonism for non-human animals while rejecting it for humans. What is the relevant difference?
  2. The obvious alternative is to take animals out of the equation altogether with cultured meat. Lewis Bollard makes this point explicitly: "I think when p
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2 objects to the OP using an example from science fiction, and immediately goes on to propose a science fiction intervention.

1 seems like an irrelevant objection. Animal welfare interventions are marketed as Effective Altruist or utilitarian interventions because of the amount of suffering we can avert by improving conditions in factory farms or reducing the amount of food produced that way. This doesn't imply that other people don't have other reasons to care about animals. The OP's argument is that the specifically utilitarian, aggregativist argument for animal welfare interventions favors wireheading chickens over other interventions pushed more frequently.

Re point 2: I agree that vat-grown meat would eventually be a viable approach, and the least controversial one. I am less optimistic about the timeframe, the taste. the acceptance rate and the costs.

Re point 1: See my reply to Ozy and others.

Re point 3: While I disagree with your assessment of "major flaws" (talk about being dismissive!), I accept the critique of the tone of the post sounding dismissive. If I were writing a formal report or a presentation at an EA event, I would take a lot more time and a lot more care to sound appropriately professional. I will endeavor to spend more time on polishing the presentation next time I write a controversial LW post.

Monopoly: A Manifesto and Fact Post

Hundreds of economists study this topic. Why not just read some books or papers?

April Fools: Announcing: Karma 2.0

This Berkeley Dad TRIPLED His Karma With One Weird Trick (Mods HATE Him!):

  1. Go To Your Profile
  2. Press 'Ctrl' And '+' At The Same Time
  3. Repeat Until Attain Desired Karma Level
2Luke A Somers3yInstructions unclear, comment stuck in ceiling fan?
April Fools: Announcing: Karma 2.0

This is a good start but you really need to implement differential kerning. Lofty words like 'Behoove' and 'Splendiferous' must be given the full horizontal space commanded by their dignity.

Modesty and diversity: a concrete suggestion

I've updated the style to work at the new URL

A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy

I strongly agree. Despite appearances, I wouldn't say someone with 10 bitcoin today has "won" at all. Winning means getting more of what you ultimately care about, like goods and services. You only win if you convert your bitcoin into goods or dollars at the right time. I am reminded of "buy low, sell high": an empty phrase that can sound deceptively like good investment advice.

Announcement: AI alignment prize winners and next round

Okay, this project overshot my expectations. Congratulations to the winners!

The expected value of the long-term future

Ord (2014) is all I'm aware of and it's unpublished.

The expected value of the long-term future

Your editor chokes on URLs with underscores. I had to go to a URL shortener!

In defence of epistemic modesty

This paper contains some interesting results regarding how exactly one should aggregate credences.


How should a group with different opinions (but the same values) make decisions? In a Bayesian setting, the natural question is how to aggregate credences: how to use a single credence function to naturally represent a collection of different credence functions. An extension of the standard Dutch-book arguments that apply to individual decision-makers recommends that group credences should be updated by conditionalization. This imposes a natural const
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In defence of epistemic modesty

I'm curious why you chose Thrasymachus as your username. Do you agree with him, as portrayed in the Republic?

No. I chose him as a mark of self-effacement. When I was younger I went around discussion forums about philosophy, and people commonly named themselves after ancient greats like Socrates, Hume, etc. Given Thrasymachus's claim to fame is being rude, making some not great arguments, and getting spanked by Socrates before the real discussion started (although I think most experts think Socrates's techne based reply was pretty weak), I thought he would be a more accurate pseudonym,

Inadequacy and Modesty

Your comment is a little bit confusing.

The key claim is that it's perfectly feasible for a lay-person to confidently know a better monetary policy than the BoJ. This generalises such that

I assume you mean "the key claim" to apply to the second sentence as well. As in:

The key claim is that this generalises such that when you read someone making such a passing claim that BoJ's monetary policy is insane, this is basically zero evidence regarding whether the speaker is overconfident or not, because given the world we live in they could to
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2Ben Pace4yThis seems correct, oops. I was intending to describe it. Regarding M - I am making that 'weak' claim, but I'm trying to emphasise that I was surprised by that. Often when I talk about modesty epistemology, people come to me with arguments of the sort "You should model yourself as a black box outputting claims and others as the same, and average based on your weighting over expertise", and I respond with questions about this theoretical claim. But I now want to say "But let's talk about whether the BoJ is insane". What I thought was a theoretical disagreement is in fact largely empirical.
Inadequacy and Modesty

Even if we believed that central bankers are purely selfish, and don't care at all about the mandate they have nominally taken on, they still have some incentive to produce higher employment (inflation being equal). Politicians encourage them to do so, and they get prestige among macroeconomists (e.g. "wow FED chairperson X presided over the longest period of peacetime growth since 1900."). To paraphrase evolution-is-just-a-theorem: what incentive do central bankers have not to puruse adequately loose monteray policy?