AK

Aleks_K

560 karmaJoined Aug 2021

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72

In the UK, doing this would probably be counted as 'trading' and be subject to corporation tax, there is a common workaround, though, by creating a trading subsidiary that donates to the charity (allowing them to reduce their corporate tax burden). This setup might or might not be suitable for this specific occasion, and there are of course additional efforts involved in creating such a setup that might or might not be worth it.

Yeah, that makes sense. I guess the main conclusion of this is: You can run an event much cheaper of you find an organisation that has a good event space and collaborates with you, so they charge the 'internal' rather than the commercial rate.

Is this just a guess or do you have information on the actual costs of the event? (Just from their website, they seem to have various sponsors who are likely covering a substantial amount of the costs, and yes, their venue costs might be very low (or even close to zero) because Harvard/MIT are likely not charging them commercial rates, but that doesn't give any info of the actual costs and why they would be lower than EAG costs.)

These academic conferences likely take place at universities which likely won't have any minimum spend requirements (at least for internal events).

Sure, I'm not objecting to policing language in general (there are certainly types of language that are inappropriate) or you making a specific suggestion of (gentle) language policying. (I just disagree with your specific suggestion on this - and I assume others do as well - and my point is that connecting it with you other suggestion - that I think more people will agree with - is suboptimal.)

This post somehow connects two  things for (in my opinion) no good reason:

  • Trying to get people to actually bet (which I think is probably a good thing)
  • Trying to police people's language by asking them to not use 'I bet' in a non-literal sense (which I think is a bad thing)

I don't really understand why you think the latter is necessary to achieve the former.

As an affiliate, though, not as an employee. (And they seem to have lots of affiliates, so not clear what this actually means.)

While this is a data point that shows that in principle it's currently possible to currently work with the University, GPI has quite a different strategy compared to FHI that aligns significantly more with traditional academia, so it doesn't necessarily prove that it would be currently possible for FHI. 

However, I think a stronger existence proof for it being possible to work with the University is that FHI managed to do that in some way reasonably for at least 10+ years. (They were established in 2005) - for comparison, GPI is only 5 years old. 

Thanks for pointing out the FHI/GPI mistake, I've corrected that.

I also thought Drexler was still at FHI, but I checked and this doesn't seem to be the case: He's not mentioned  on the team page and his website at FHI has been taken down.

It seems that your comment is mainly about successes  by Bostrom in the (medium to more distant) past, while the post is about experience in the more recent past and expectations for the future. I would say that the expectations for the future are what is relevant to evaluate whether it's a good thing or not for Bostrom to step down as Director (?)

Just mentioning some examples:

Bostrom has succeeded at this, and the group of people (especially the early FHI cast including Anders Sandberg, Eric Drexler, Andrew Snyder Beattie, Owain Evans, and Stuart Armstrong) he has assembled under the core FHI research team have made great contributions to many really important questions that I care about, and I cannot think of any other individual who would have been able to do the same

All of the people mentioned joined a long time ago and all but Sandberg have left FHI. Is there anyone of a comparable quality that joined in the last 5 years?

For core FHI work, like "Eternity in Six Hours" (one of the papers that's been most influential on my world view) I see what seems to me genuine interest in figuring out the truth and to answer the big questions, instead of secretly trying to trick me into supporting them, or get me to buy into their ideology, or support their favorite political cause or social movement, or to suspiciously shy away from a conclusion whenever that conclusion would be too hard to defend publicly to people who only want to spend 5 minutes on this question.

The paper you mentioned was written 10 years ago. Are there any comparable more recent examples?

I think it would be bad to let it fall in the hands of someone interested in making FHI into just another talent funnel, or another machine for producing prestige for Effective Altruism or AI Alignment or the people running FHI, while using up the credibility and intellectual integrity of Bostrom and many other core researchers who have created one of the highest integrity research institutions in the world. 

It's not clear to me why this is a point in favour of Bostrom rather than against: In  the last five years (until the hiring freeze started) it seems that is roughly what FHI (minus the macro strategy group) started to become under his leadership.

 

Overall, it looks to me that even if one agrees with all your statements about past successes and value of Bostrom as a leader of FHI, it doesn't really make a case for Bostrom staying on as FHI Director now . (Though I guess it still makes the case for shutting down FHI rather than having it continue under new leadership.)

EDIT: Corrected a GPI/FHI typo.

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