calculation that started effective altruism in the first place. Like that a person who wants to cure as much disease as possible would be better off becoming a hedge fund manager than a doctor. There is much to challenge in it, and some has already been challenged by people like Ryan Carey. He intuitively thinks that x-risk charities cant be that great compared to fighting global poverty or whatever other good cause. This is a modest claim, but no more modest than Wittgensteins view of philosophy, which was that it was a useful thing to know in order to protect yourself from taking philosophers too seriously.) But one more point. If youre allowed to just add on as many zeroes as it takes to justify your original intuition, you miss out on the entire movement. Which is actually kind of funny, because he just won the same lottery last week. Givewell, that kind of money could save 300 qalys per year. There he is struck by a meteorite hurtling through the upper atmosphere, which knocks him onto the rooftop of a nearby building. The chance of the next election being. His argument is that sure, it looks like fighting existential risk and saving 1054 people is important. Existential risk isnt the most useful public face for effective altruism everyone incuding Eliezer Yudkowsky agrees about that.
But for now I want to discuss a specific argument of Matthews. Or by only. (some people argue that LW-style rationality is a bad idea, because you cant really think with probabilities.
Its probably not the 10-66 one, because nothing is ever 10-66 and you should never use that number. Suppose Matthews intuition is indeed that the chance of AI risk charities working out is precisely ten times less than his per-second chance of getting In that case, I offer him the following is: we can not lowering drinking age essays predict pretty precisely the yearly chance of a giant. I dont have any faith that we understand these risks with enough precision to tell if an AI risk charity can cut our odds of doom. I respect those who give more. Because this isnt just about defending the particular proposition.
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