Dean Abele

135 karmaJoined


What are the costs of full transparency? I am under the impression that this would be good by encouraging competition between non-profits and, therefore, promoting efficiency. This is a weakly held belief. Not necessarily putting a lot of time into transparency, but releasing most internal accounts to the public. 

I didn't think about my question that deeply. I didn't mean to offend anyone. The bid-ask spread does seem equally relevant to the estate agent fees. It seems interesting whether the answer is reputation management, mistaken initial calculation, or CEA having less money. If they have less money, I am more inclined to donate to CEA than if the answer is reputation management or making a large error.

Are financial statements going to be released? In particular, how much was spent on estate agent fees, maintaince and bills? And the value of the events hosted. Is the reason for the change that EA has less money or that there was an error in the initial reasoning for buying it?

What is the argument on why an LLM is much more useful than a book/ instruction manual on how to make a bio-weapon? 

One thing I've noticed about getting a lot of perks is, for some reason, it makes me feel "safe"; in a way that a high salary doesn't. Probably because I would just save most of the high salary, but perks force me to live like a rich person. And therefore, make me feel like a rich person. This, therefore, makes me feel that my job security/life is better/safer than it actually is. I would always prefer cash compensation. Cash doesn't distort my thinking (as much), and it helps me weather possible unemployment. Therefore, I would be much sadder to lose a highly-paid job than a high-perk job. However, feeling rich does have its benefits. It makes me more willing to take risks in my work and behaviour. Another problem with perks is the psychological confusion of seeing so much money being spent by a charity. This wouldn't apply to a for-profit. Also, some perks, like a PA, are a much clearer signal that "we value your time". Other perks, like a super fancy resort, seem morally weird coming from an "EA non-profit". 

Tee is charging people $750 a month to be a "coach in training". That doesn't seem to be in the spirit of effective altruism. Wouldn't it be less scammy to make it a traditional job and take a cut of their revenue? 

In general, I thought economic studies say the damage of fraud is much bigger than the distributional effect due to loss of trust, etc. I can try to find sources if anyone is interested.

Thank you, Cornelis. Yes, I'm a big fan of Lars Doucet. One of my goals was to try to make Georgism an EA cause area. YIMBYism is already a minor EA cause area. However, I don't want to distract from AI safety, particularly if EA is now more funding contained. So I might just do earning to give.

Hi Sam, thanks for writing this. I'm not sure why I got so many disagree votes. I don't think crypto is a scam because criminals use it. I think they don't have the properties of a good currency. Maybe some of the stablecoins have some of them. But many of them seem to have crashed, and the transaction costs don't seem much better than traditional money transfers. It's possible that the traceability of Blockchain is an advantage over government fiat currencies. But many businesses don't want everything to be traceable. So this only seems like an advantage to the police. 

Nor do they seem like a real investment because they don't generate cash flow. They are just a sort of faith-based store in value like Gold. Is that wrong?

There are also many things in Web 3 that look like literal scams.

I listed: Ponzi Schemes (yield farming); Pump and Dump (most new cryptocurrencies);  Pyramid Schemes (Web 3 "jobs"), and taking risky bets with deposits (FTX).

Yes, I agree with you regarding the Bloomberg interview. I linked this as evidence that he didn't think he was helping his customers. It was quite a viral interview which is why I'm surprised more people in EA weren't talking about it.

I can't claim to be a crypto expert, but the whole thing looks pretty unethical to me when you see ordinary people regularly losing all of their money. I wish EA was less associated with what I see as a scam industry.

That's true. Crypto seems to have evolved from a convenient currency for criminals to a way for "entrepreneurs" to scam ordinary people.

None of them have the properties of a good currency. Nor do they generate cash flow, so they aren't real investments. So in the best case, they are pure bubbles. 

It is surprisingly easy to scam people into buying these economically worthless lines of code by simply repeating "DeFi", "The Federal Reserve is evil" (for some unexplained reason), "You would have been a billionaire if you bought BitCoin in 2010", "Don't miss out", "It's the future", "Don't be a FUDer". 

This isn't enough for these greedy "entrepreneurs", so they have resorted to well-known financial scams. Ponzi Schemes (yield farming); Pump and Dump (most new cryptocurrencies);  Pyramid Schemes (Web 3 "jobs"), and taking risky bets with deposits (FTX).

The result of all of this is that people waste their lives in an industry that can't produce anything economically valuable, huge amounts of energy are wasted, and financial resources that could be invested in productive businesses sit in worthless lines of code.

And of course, many ordinary hard-working people lose their life savings.

Banks, P2P platforms, listed corporations, Private Equity Firms and VCs all invest in potentially economically valuable enterprises that could generate cash flow. Mainstream finance isn't perfect, but crypto isn't the answer. The loss in economic growth from the underinvestment caused by crypto is potentially considerable.

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