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I do independent research on EA topics. I write about whatever seems important, tractable, and interesting (to me). Lately, I mainly write about EA investing strategy, but my attention span is too short to pick just one topic.

I have a website: https://mdickens.me/ Most of the content on my website gets cross-posted to the EA Forum.

My favorite things that I've written: https://mdickens.me/favorite-posts/

I used to work as a software developer at Affirm.


Quantitative Models for Cause Selection


At least part of the explanation is that vegan meat products spend a lot on R&D to make it taste good. Maybe another part is that home-made seitan is hard to do well (if you mess it up, it comes out really spongy and hard to eat), which drives up the willingness to pay for well-made store-bought seitan. I don't know if that's a sufficient explanation, though.

I still think this is hyperbole. Hanania isn't saying he things they/them pronouns are worse than genocide, he says he gets more upset about they/them pronouns than about genocide, just as (according to him) people on the left get more upset about racial slurs than about genocide:

I’m sure if you asked most liberals “which is worse, genocide or racial slurs?”, they would invoke System 2 and say genocide is worse. If forced to articulate their morality, they will admit murderers and rapists should go to jail longer than racists. Yet I’ve been in the room with liberals where the topic of conversation has been genocide, and they are always less emotional than when the topic is homophobia, sexual harassment, or cops pulling over a disproportionate number of black men.


When I arrived at my last academic conference at the American Political Science Association in 2019, I stopped at the check-in table and picked up this pin [with non-binary pronouns written on it]. [...] The pronoun pin represented everything I hated about leftists, “experts,” and intellectuals, and I keep it around where I work for motivation. I’m looking at it as I write this.

Of course, this is deranged. Of all the things that can motivate me, why did I pick a stupid gesture that has close to zero direct impact on human flourishing and wellbeing?

I think the answer goes something like this. Our System 2 morality works in a way such that if you put me and an SJW in a room, we would agree that society should punish murder more severely than either using racial slurs or announcing your pronouns. This is despite the fact that emotionally, neither of us has that strong of a reaction when it comes to murder. An exception for an SJW is when say a white racist or a cop murders a black person, while for me it might be mass murder committed by communists.

You could reasonably object that Hanania should be more accepting of nonbinary people (I would agree), but I think you're meaningfully misstating his position.

It would help if you said more about (1) why this is EA-relevant, (2) what you expect people to learn from this particular video, and (3) why that matters.

I would hypothetically use it, but I expect that on almost every issue there will be people both to the left and to the right of me who would rather bet with each other than bet with me, so I won't end up making any bets. I think a marketplace like this would be most useful for people with outlier beliefs.

(There might be some way of resolving this problem, I haven't really thought about it.)

I disagree, I believe people's fear of AGI is mostly a response to reasonable arguments that AGI poses a very real risk to humanity.

I believe it's because:

  1. you are really reaching by taking Altman's basically normal statement about "neighbors" and using this to infer that he has a psychological condition
  2. speculating that people you don't like must be mentally ill is kind of rude and not good epistemic practice (I think it's justified sometimes but there's a high bar)
  3. your comment doesn't have anything to do with the original post, except that it's about Sam Altman

(I think Sam Altman is deeply untrustworthy and should not be allowed anywhere near AGI development, but I don't think the quote in your post is evidence of this)

I think you're significantly misinterpreting what Geoffrey is trying to say and I don't like the chilling effect caused by trying to avoid making an analogy that could be offensive to anyone who misinterprets you.

The value of a statistical life is determined by governments, right? Governments of rich countries value their own citizens more than they value the citizens of poor countries, which makes sense from their perspective, but it's not morally correct so you shouldn't accept their VSLs.

This might not be exactly what OP meant but I think of "Bayesian" as distinguishing between the types of evidence Eliezer talked about in Scientific Evidence, Legal Evidence, Rational Evidence. There's a perspective that "blog posts aren't evidence" or "personal beliefs aren't evidence". This is clearly false in an obvious sense (people often update their beliefs based on blog posts or other people's beliefs) but it's true in another sense—in some contexts, people only accept "formal" evidence as evidence.

I would roughly define Bayesianism as the philosophy that anything that can change people's beliefs counts as evidence.

In some sense, this sort of Bayesianism is a trivial philosophy because everyone already behaves as if it's true, but I think it's useful as an explicit reminder.

Can you explain? I see why the implied vols for puts and calls should be identical, but empirically, they are not—right now calls at $450 have an implied vol of 215% and puts at $450 have an implied vol of 158%. Are you saying that the implied vol from one side isn't the proper implied vol, or something?

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