I think its clearer then if you say sound institutions rather than the West?
"I'll take your word that many EAs also think this way, but I don't really see it effecting the main charitable recommendations. Followed to its logical conclusion, this outlook would result in a lot more concern about the West."
Can you elaborate please? From my perspective, just because a western citizen is more rich / powerful doesn't mean that helping to satisfy their preferences is more valuable in terms of indirect effects? Or are you talking about who to persuade because I don't see many EA orgs asking Dalit groups for their cash or time yet.
Interesting that the solutions you're jumping to are about defending the 'west' and beating the south / east rather than working with the south/east to make sure the best of both is shared?
So I think most EAs have come to the point where they realise that small trade offs and agonising over them displace other good things, so they try and find a way of setting a limit by year or whatever. But you know many people agonise and make trade offs, its just that often it isn't giving to the poor that's the counterfactual, it's saving or paying the mortgage, or buying a better holiday or school for their children or whatever. If you don't think like that, then you have everything you need?? http://www.givinggladly.com/ and http://www.jefftk.com/index have documented going on this journey of living well with generosity. Sounds like it might be worth a read :)
edit: Soz Ben, I think I put this comment in the wrong place!
Leverage the insight from above, don't rule out all food some of the time, rule out some food all of the time. In other cultures outside the States, at least in many sections of society, these kinds of rules are followed. 1). No sweets, cakes, donuts, any mixes of fat and sugar (or at least never eat these on your own or when not celebrating something) 2). stick to meal times. ... then if that still doesn't work you can do things like buy smaller plates, rule out meat or dairy... there's always a rule that will fit.
Over-eating is probably more difficult for other reasons like image and identity, ideas of physical permanence, the brain chemistry.
My hunch is that encouraging people that have to manage an unpredictable or tricky health condition to predict and note their prediction of how good or bad an activity will be for their pain / energy / / mood / whatever else would be a very useful habit that both frees people up to do things and prevents them from doing too much of what hurts. Julia, have you or anyone from CFAR looked at partnering with a pain management or other type of disease management team or setting to see how many of the rationality skills would be helpful?
Welcome! There are loads of articles, so if it gets confusing, this is a decent place to start.
living in pain sent my carometer from below average to full. Seeing squalor definitely did something. I think it probably depends how you see it - did you talk to people as equals or see them as different types of people you couldn't relate to / didn't fit a certain criteria? Being surrounded by suffering from a young age doesn't seem to make people care - its being shocked by suffering after not having had much of it around that is occasionally very powerful - Like the story about the Buddha growing up in the palace then seeing sickness, death and age for the first time?
My feeling is that situations like being caught for doing something horrendous might or might not be subject to psychological adjustment - that many situations of suffering are subject to psychological adjustment and so might actually be not as bad as we though. But chronic intense pain, is literally unadjustable to some degree - you can adjust to being in intense suffering but that doesn't make the intense suffering go away. That's why I think its a special class of states of being - one that invokes action. What do people think?
Only when the opponent has a brain.