17 karmaJoined Bremen, Deutschland


My contributions to this forum are low return, low variance and low frequency.


Also do administrators profit from more crimes in a public system? It of course increases the demand for administrators, but I don't see how it would increase the salary of a significant number of them.

Not really, but that's besides the point.

Actually, I was referring to a point you made in an earlier comment:

So a lobbying prison (1) benefits from more inmates in the future, [...]. Points 1 and 2 are the same under the current prison system.

So do we both agree that (1) does not hold in the current system?

I would assume that for a private prison that has become good at its business the benefits of more inmates would outweigh the liabilities and that at some point it would (in principle, ignoring the free rider problem for a moment) become easier to increase the profits by increasing the revenue by making more things illegal than trying to reduce the reoffending rate. Also do administrators profit from more crimes in a public system? It of course increases the demand for administrators, but I don't see how it would increase the salary of a significant number of them.

But, in the contract, this person could ensure the prison pays for compensation for any lobbying that damages them.

Does insurance contracts typically contain clauses for future "products"? I would have assumed that the insurance of the prison would only cover the damage of the point in time the contract was firmed.

a lot of german students seem to not take their studies very seriously, so the percentage of students registered at the university that would invest significant time in a local group is reduced before even looking at things like value alignment and stuff.

That does not seem to be a problem for all the uni politics groups? Also, maybe we could turn this into a selling point? I personally find EA stuff so much more interesting than my studies.

I think of federalism and further European integration as opposite ideas. More integration means moving towards having a single point of failure where we currently have 27. For instance, the commission bungled the acquisition of vaccines in 2020. Consequently, vaccination rates in the European Union lagged behind those in Britain by about one month (see this graph).

Neither do I think that joint investments in AI and climate joint require further integration, but I guess it would strengthen the European position wrt foreign policy.

Also I would like to point out that although catheters are still bad, they are much better that what we used to have, which proves improvements possible and this is more important to tractability than today's dire situation.

I checked the numbers thinking that a 1 to 100 ratio in your example should be much larger, that actually the trade-off should be more like 1 to 10000. Turns out that is not the case. If 9% of the world's population is over 65 (I assume you wanted to compare a person's possible impact on aging with their possible impact on the bladder), the ratio is more like 1 to 11. So I have to retract my statement that peeing is on the same scale as aging and poverty. That being said, I still think this is a very important issue and while the most effective people should work on something else, someone whose applications to jobs in other fields got rejected still just consider improving catheter technology as a way to do a tremendous amount of good. The same holds true for advocacy. While catheters are maybe not something Peter Singer should write books about, I for my part am very happy to raise awareness of this topic. And that is more tractable than you seem to think. While people might think fighting poverty is more important, they do not act according to their believes, see the drowning-child thought experiment. While people would prefer having to pee and poop to poverty, that is not a choice most people in rich countries face.

Honestly, I can't blame them in either case. I suppose the joke is not funny if you don't know the original and the EA community is open enough to new, unusual ideas that it might attract the sort of crazy people who actually think removing the bladder is a good idea. Also, I told everybody who prove-read the post that it was intended as a parody. Maybe otherwise that is entirely non-obvious. And obviously compared to the normal content on the forum it might be seen as a waste of time to read this.

Thank you for your comment. I agree that poverty, animal welfare and aging are more intense forms of suffering and they should definetely addressed by the EA community and in fact they already are (aging maybe not as much as the others). When I wrote that the bladder is a large-scale problem, I literally meant scale in a narrow sense: every of all 7.8 billion has to pee say 7 times a day. That means that we, as a species, have to undergo this annoying thing almost 20 trillion times a year. That is why is think that, even multiplying with the low intensity, you get easily to the same scales as with poverty and aging.

With respect to scientific aspect of tractability, I do not actually think an operation is a plausible way to achieve the goal. That is merely an element of the fable, to make it more dramatic. However, I think that a solution might be possible with advances in catheter technology. Catheters now still are horrible, but they already do the job. I am confident that with increasing demand, new breakthroughs will happen quickly. On the cultural side, I agree that it does not seem plausible that major parts of the society will engage in a discussion on bladder removal soon, but so many conventions and taboos have been toppled in the past hundred years, that it is very much probable that it will happen. Again, it will help that everybody is affected directly multiple times a day, which is not true for the other problems you mention.

The payoffs for the prison don't exist, but that might be fixed - at least to some extent - by introducing premiums and there are payoffs for the state. Although states are not as constrainted for funding as private companies, the costs of imprisonments have not gone unnoticed.

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