121 karmaJoined Pursuing an undergraduate degree


Student at the University of Utah studying math.


That's true! Maybe the potential human would have been born to poorer than average parents (because those are the people who need help accessing contraception), thus being poorer on average (and so consuming less meat).

Or maybe the potential human would be born to more educated on average parents (since those are the people who'd be interested in using contraception?)? Thus being richer on average and eating more meat.

Honestly, I only know of a few organizations here. MSI, PSI, and planned parenthood international are the ones coming to mind. I think there are more. There's one newer organization that is buying radio ads to encourage usage of contraception which might be cheaper than supply-side provision of contraception. It might be Development Media International (https://www.developmentmedia.net/what-we-do/focus-areas/) that I'm thinking of.

That's a good question. Some other organizations I've seen in this scene do things other than family planning (the one that comes to mind is population service international (PSI)), so using the numbers from a more "pure" family planning org like MSI probably gets a better cost per life prevented than say using the numbers from PSI? But other than that, I haven't done much comparative work here and don't have solid recommendations. 

Yeah, I think this is a huge source of uncertainty that could push in the opposite direction. Additionally, I think that maybe more people being born than the counterfactual could increase the chances of space colonization? And that might massively expand suffering (spread wild animals throughout space, digital minds maybe, ...) but that has even more uncertainty to go along with its larger magnitude.

B12 deficiency is common among people who don't eat meat, eggs, or diary and has some nasty potential results: fatigue, nerve damage, anemia, higher risk of strokes, etc.

Supplementing b12 either through pills or fortified foods seems pretty important for anyone not eating many animal products.

To explain why I retracted: I re-read your original post and noticed that you were talking about salience, and I think you're probably right that this isn't a very salient aspect of the process. At first, I thought you were saying something like 'the steps occur sequentially, so the suggestion of the post can't be implemented' which seems wrong. But 'the steps occur sequentially, so it might not occur to someone to back-track in their thinking and revise the result they got in the first step afterwards' seems probably right, although I have no idea how big of an explanation that is compared to other reasons the OP's suggestion isn't very common.

I'm confused why the process being sequential is a reason that this isn't occurring. Suppose someone was writing a RCT grant proposal and knew in advance how expensive the treatment was compared to the control. They find the optimal ratio of treatment to control, based on the post above. Then, they ask for however much money they need to get a certain amount of power (which would be less money than they would have needed to ask for not doing this).

Or alternatively, run the sample size calculation as you suggest. Convert that into a $ figure, then use the information in the post above to get more power for that same amount of money and show the grant-maker the second version of one's power calculations.

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I feel like, if we write here to communicate, accessibility is pretty important, maybe more important than the other two (or at least, not clearly less important than them). Why do you think otherwise?

What does "blow it up" mean for an EA who decides the culture is beyond fixing, but who doesn't have significant power within the community? Is it leaving the community in search for a better one to do good in?

I think my above reply missed the mark here.

Sticking with the cow example, I agree with you that if we removed their pain at being separated while leaving the desire to be together intact, this seems like a Pareto improvement over not removing their pain.


A preferentist would insist here that the removal of pain is not what makes that situation better, but rather that pain is (probably) dis-prefered by the cows, so removing it gives them something they want.


But the negative hedonist (pain is bad, pleasure is neutral) is stuck with saying that the "drugged into happiness" image is as good as the "cows happily reunited" image. A preferentist by contrast can (I think intuitively) assert that reuniting the cows is better than just removing their pain, because reunification fulfills (1) the cows desire to be free of pain and (2) their desire to be together.

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