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wedrifid comments on SIAI - An Examination - Less Wrong

143 Post author: BrandonReinhart 02 May 2011 07:08AM

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Comment author: wedrifid 04 May 2011 05:56:44AM 2 points [-]

Given that Eliezer earns more than me (or at least did while $AUD wasn't as strong) I am a little curious as to how much he donates to charity? I mean, if he is going to call other to donate...

It's a little trite to say it but there is an underlying topic there of some interest. A balance between conflicting signalling incentives as well as the real practical question of how actual caring works in practice at the extreme end.

Comment author: multifoliaterose 04 May 2011 06:14:07AM 4 points [-]

One relevant note: cost of living is quite high in the San Francisco Bay Area where Eliezer lives.

Comment author: Pavitra 04 May 2011 01:30:07PM 3 points [-]

One obvious workaround might be to live elsewhere. (What are the advantages of living there in particular? Better networking opportunities, maybe? That would certainly be worth the cost -- but might it be more efficient to instead have someone whose full-time job was networking to be the one living there, as opposed to someone mostly focused on theoretical research.)

Comment author: Carwajalca 04 May 2011 01:40:06PM *  4 points [-]

Splitting SIAI to separate geographic locations (polymaths in Cheapistan and some people doing networking in the Bay Area) would create costs in the sense that communication is more tedious with e-mails than face-to-face. I wouldn't want to split the working community either if I was working there (assuming that the community is good which I believe it is).

Your question about what the Bay Area benefits are, is a good one. Are there other benefits besides networking?

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 04 May 2011 01:50:52PM *  2 points [-]

communication is more tedious with e-mails than face-to-face

Skype is your third alternative. (I disagree with this argument, but agree with conclusion for other reasons.)

Comment author: khafra 04 May 2011 04:56:15PM 8 points [-]

I am a little curious as to how much he donates to charity? I mean, if he is going to call other to donate...

His call takes the form "work where you have a comparitive advantage, and donate the money where it will do the most expected good." In his case, his comparative advantage lines up exactly with his expectation of maximum good, so the only rational way for him to give money to charity is to reduce his salary until further reductions would reduce his efficacy at saving the world.

Which is what he's said he does.

Comment author: wedrifid 05 May 2011 03:56:08AM *  2 points [-]

so the only rational way for him to give money to charity is to reduce his salary until further reductions would reduce his efficacy at saving the world.

Obviously. The interesting question is regarding where the line is where keeping money for yourself is to be preferred to redirecting those resources to world saving. This is a question that anyone who is altruistically minded (or who merely wants to live in the long term) must consider. In Eliezer's case it seems like the line is at about $100k. That line will vary somewhat from person to person but the data point is still of interest.