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I think the 2nd place result for Carrick is quite good for a 1st-time candidate with 1st-time political action team behind. There were many mistakes obviously, but deciding to run was not one of them IMO. No political action will result in certainty, the goal is ~always to move the needle or take a bunch of swings.

Yep... this stuff is simultaneously fairly obvious and surprisingly neglected. I have been looking at TB programs in various developing countries and the best policy proposals all include these components - although the details differ in some places. Implementation is a challenge.

I've been paying special attention to household contacts screening for TB and preventative treatment (TPT; your policy #2). While TPT for household contacts is extraordinarily cost-effective, it is quite frustrating to make progress on this, because of the reasons the report cites: general lack of awareness of TB dangers, as well as that it is quite hard to convince people who are not visibly sick to travel with their family, possibly long distances, to hospitals to get screened and take 3-month courses (or longer!) of preventative antibiotics with sometimes-severe side effects.

Glad to see more people working on this.

Hmm, I'll take another stab at this point, which has some mathematical basis but in the end is a fairly intuitive point:

Consider the per-person utility of society X which has a generous margin of slack for each person. Compare it to the per-person utility of society Z which has no margin of slack for each person.

My claim is something like, the per-person utility curves (of actual societies, that could exist, given reasonable assumptions about resources) most likely look like a steep drop from "quite positive" to "quite negative" between X and Z, because of what Zvi describes in the slack post I linked -- as you take up slack, this first results in lack of individual potential, and then in the extreme, great suffering due to lack of choice. Let's call society Y the point where per-person utility hits zero.

Society Y has a total utility of zero (and adding more people beyond that is negative!) so the utility-maximizing optimal population lands somewhere between X and Y. Where exactly depends on how many people you can "fit" into the per-person slack, before it binds too severely.

My claim is that the (total-utilitarian) optimal population is closer to X than Y, still leaving a fairly generous margin for each person.

One of the things that seems intuitively repugnant is the idea of "lives barely worth living". The word barely is doing a lot of work in driving my intuition of repugnancy, since a life "barely" worth living seems to imply some level of fragility -- "if something goes even slightly wrong, then that life is no longer worth living".

I think this may simply be a marketing problem though. Could we use some variation of "middle class"? This is essentially the standard of living that developed-world politics accepts as both sustainable and achievable, and sounds a lot nicer than "lives barely worth living". In reality, even lives "barely worth living" will build in a margin of individual slack to avoid the problem of individual fragility which has huge negative societal consequences, so it will probably seem much closer to middle-class than our current impression of poverty anyway.

There are so many different bags and brands available that you should specify more constraints if you want more personalized recommendations. Vegan is not too hard to satisfy - most luggage that's vegan won't necessarily mention it, you just have to look in the description for animal products to avoid (leather / suede mostly).

For me personally, my main carry is a Tom Bihn Techonaut 30 - it's big enough to carry 5+ days of clothing and my laptop and other gear without needing another bag, but lightweight enough that when I need more space, I am happy to carry it as just a small backpack alongside my Travelpro Maxlite 5.

I also like the /r/onebag subreddit.

(My personal opinion, not EV's:)

EV is winding down and being on this board is quite a lot of work. This makes it very hard to recruit for! The positive flip side though of the fact of the wind-down means that the cultural leadership we are doing is a bit less impactful than it was say a year or two ago.

When we faced the decision of whether to keep searching or accept the candidates in front of us, I considered many factors but eventually agreed that it was ok to prioritize allowing the existing board members to leave (which they couldn't do until we found replacements), even if the new folks were not ideal in every conceivable way. I wished we had a better gender balance too, but ultimately since projects are spinning out, it's going to be much more on those individual projects and less on EV central to figure that out!

(I'm very excited about our new trustees despite this!)

I would like to point out that this is one of those things where n=1 is enough to improve people's lives (e.g., the placebo effect works in your favor), in the same way that I can improve my life by taking a weird supplement that isn't scientifically known to work but helps me when I take it.

For what it's worth, my life did seem to start going better (I started to feel more in touch with my emotional side) after becoming vegan.

While I broadly agree with Rocky's list I want to push back a little vs. your points:

Re your (2): I've found that small entities are in a constant struggle for survival, and must move fast and focus on the most important problems unique to their ability to make a difference in the world. Small-seeming requirements like "new hires have to find their own housing" can easily make the difference between being able to move quickly vs. slowly on some project that makes or breaks the company. I think for new entities the risks of incurring large costs before you have 'proven yourself' are quite high.

My experience also disagrees with your (1): As my company has grown, we have had many forces naturally pushing in the direction of "more professional": new hires tend to be much more worried about blame about doing things too quick-and-dirty rather than incurring costs on the business in order to do things the buttoned-up way; I've stepped in more often to accept a risk rather than to prevent one although I certainly do both!

(Side note: as a potential counterpoint to the above, I do note that Alameda/FTX was clearly well below professional standards at >200 employees - my assumption is that Sam/execs were constantly stepping in to keep the culture the way they wanted it. If I learned that somehow most of the 200 employees were pushing in the direction of less professionalism on their own, I would update to agree with you on (1).)

Answer by lincolnq1

You might want to check out some of Phil Trammell's reports, where he analyzes what he calls time preference (time discount rate) with respect to philanthropy: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NcfTgZsqT9k30ngeQbappYyn-UO4vltjkm64n4or5r4/edit

Congrats on having invented something exciting!

Usually, the best way to get innovative new technology into the hands of beneficiaries quickly is to get a for-profit company to invest with a promise of making money. This can happen via licensing a patent to an existing manufacturer, or creating a whole startup company and raising venture capital, etc.

One of the things such investors want to see is a 'moat': something that this company can do that no other company can easily copy. A patent/exclusive license is a good way to create a moat.

There are some domains like software where simply publishing 'open source' ideas causes those ideas to get used, but for most domains including manufacturing, my default expectation is that new tech is not used unless someone can make money off it. Pharma is a great example - there are tons of vaccines and niche treatments that we don't have manufacturing for, even though we know how, because nobody can make enough money doing it.

I'd be really interested to hear whether you are considering seeing this idea through yourself? It sounds like you're doing a Ph.D; but if you would consider dropping out to work on this as a startup, then I think doing so would be one of the best ways to maximize this idea's chances for success. (In large part because your brain probably contains tons of highly relevant info for making this product work at scale!)

You wrote: "most scientists do patent and keep everything secret within companies" -- but I wonder if this indicates confusion, since usually patents don't keep things secret, they are published. Patents just allow their owner a legal monopoly on technology for a limited time.

Can you get introduced to any food-manufacturing people (ideally folks at bigger companies, in charge of finding + investing in new food products), who you can talk to about your idea, even just to get advice? Or, founders of similar food tech companies who came up with a good idea and had to decide whether to patent it?

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