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Comment author: B_For_Bandana 17 December 2014 09:03:17PM *  3 points [-]

When you go to GiveWell's Donate page, one of the questions is,

How should we use your gift? We may use unrestricted gifts to support our operations or to make grants, at our discretion:

And you can choose the options:

  • Grants to recommended charities

  • Unrestricted donation

I notice I'm reluctant to pick "Unrestricted," fearing my donation might be "wasted" on GiveWell's operations, instead of going right to the charity. But that seems kind of strange. Choosing "Unrestricted" gives GiveWell strictly more options than choosing "Grants to recommended charities" because "Unrestricted" allows them to use the money either for their own operations, or just send it to the charities anyway. So as long as I trust GiveWell's decision-making process, "Unrestricted" is the best choice. And I presumably do trust GiveWell's decision-making, since I'm giving away some money based on their say-so. But I'm nevertheless inclined to hit "Grants to recommended charities," despite, like, mathematical proof that that's not the best option.

Can we talk about this a little? How can I get less confused?

Comment author: VincentYu 20 December 2014 02:58:23PM *  1 point [-]

Holden has written about donation restrictions on the GiveWell blog back in 2009 (bold and italics in original):

  • We would guess that cases fitting the conditions for “meaningful restricted funding” are rare – i.e., when you give to a multiprogram organization, your donation usually will expand what they want to expand, regardless of how you restrict it.
  • We have a general aversion to restricting donations. It seems like “micromanaging” an organization in this way is asking for trouble: the charity may avoid your intentions using technicalities or spend the “extra money” allocated to a program badly, and in any case, you are creating an extra headache for the charity.

Thus, our current rule of thumb is to find an organization whose existing priorities you are comfortable with – and give unrestricted.

See also the following on the GiveWell blog:

Comment author: gwern 30 October 2014 03:23:54AM *  0 points [-]
  • Trowbridge, F.L. "Intellectual assessment in primitive societies, with a preliminary report of a study of the effects of early iodine supplementation on intelligence". In Stanbury, J.B .; Kroc, R.L., Eds. Human development and the thyroid gland. Relation to endemic cretinism, Plenum Press, New York; 137-150; 1972.

I think it might be available elsewhere: http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/4662265 identifies it as being in "Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology [1972, 30:137-149]", which doesn't seem to be this book.

EDIT: no response here, so trying https://www.reddit.com/r/Scholar/comments/2o4e7n/article_intellectual_assessment_in_primitive/

Comment author: VincentYu 20 December 2014 02:29:45AM 1 point [-]
Comment author: gwern 30 October 2014 03:23:54AM *  0 points [-]
  • Trowbridge, F.L. "Intellectual assessment in primitive societies, with a preliminary report of a study of the effects of early iodine supplementation on intelligence". In Stanbury, J.B .; Kroc, R.L., Eds. Human development and the thyroid gland. Relation to endemic cretinism, Plenum Press, New York; 137-150; 1972.

I think it might be available elsewhere: http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/4662265 identifies it as being in "Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology [1972, 30:137-149]", which doesn't seem to be this book.

EDIT: no response here, so trying https://www.reddit.com/r/Scholar/comments/2o4e7n/article_intellectual_assessment_in_primitive/

Comment author: VincentYu 19 December 2014 07:47:24AM 0 points [-]

Requested.

Comment author: ChaosMote 16 December 2014 01:25:37AM *  1 point [-]

I'm having trouble finding the original sequence post that mentions it, but a "fully general excuse" refers to an excuse that can be applied to anything, independently of the truth value of the thing. In this case, what I mean is that "this isn't really the important stuff" can sound reasonable even when applied to the stuff that actually is important (especially if you don't think about it too long). It follows that if you accept that as a valid excuse but don't keep an eye on your behavior, you may find yourself labeling whatever you don't want to do at the moment as "not really important" - which leads to important work not getting done.

Comment author: VincentYu 16 December 2014 01:02:04PM 5 points [-]

I'm having trouble finding the original sequence post that mentions it

The post is "Knowing About Biases Can Hurt People". See also the wiki page on fully general counterarguments.

Comment author: gwern 18 October 2014 04:02:48PM 0 points [-]

"The construction of the paranormal: Nothing unscientific is happening", Harry M. Collins & Trevor J. Pinch; In Roy Wallis (ed.), On the Margins of Science: The Social Construction of Rejected Knowledge. University of Keele. 27--237 (1979) (linked in http://rationalconspiracy.com/2014/10/10/robin-hanson-on-cold-fusion/ )

Comment author: VincentYu 09 December 2014 09:54:39AM 1 point [-]
Comment author: Yvain 12 October 2014 03:34:04AM 4 points [-]

Any particular implementation details on OCEAN? Exact same as last time?

Comment author: VincentYu 13 October 2014 01:05:33PM *  6 points [-]

I suggest including the Big Five Inventory (BFI) in the survey itself. I've created an example of this on Google Forms. (I've reordered the inventory such that the first 11 items constitute the BFI-10, so that respondents can choose between the 44-item and 11-item versions).

The BFI is the inventory that was used in the online test to which the 2012 LW census linked. See also my comment about this in the 2012 LW census thread.

Comment author: Morendil 28 August 2014 11:02:03PM 0 points [-]

Haga, William J. "Perils of professionalism." Management Quarterly (1974): 3-10.

Comment author: VincentYu 19 September 2014 01:46:21PM 4 points [-]

Unfortunately, my university library reports that they have exhausted all possible sources and no library was able to supply this paper.

Comment author: VincentYu 18 September 2014 06:53:16AM *  7 points [-]

First, let me point out that the "behavioral changes" that the authors described were investigated over only three posts subsequent to each positive/negative evaluation, so it is unclear whether these effects remain over the long term.

Second, I find questionable the authors' conclusion that negative evaluations cause the subsequent decline in post quality and increase in post frequency, since they did not control the positive/negative evaluations. They model the positive/negative evaluations as random acts of chance (which is what we want for an RCT) and justify this by reporting that their bigram classifier assigns no difference in quality between the positively- and negatively-evaluated posts (across two posts by a pair of matched subjects). However, I find it likely that their classifier makes sufficiently many misclassifications to call into question their conclusion.

For instance, if bad posts have a tendency to occur in streaks of frequent posts (as is the case in flame wars), then we can explain their observations without assigning causal potency to negative evaluations: once in a while the classifier will erroneously assign a high quality to a bad post near the start of a flame war, but on average it will correctly assign low qualities to the subsequent three posts by the same poster in the flame war, and thus we see the effects that the authors described (without assigning any causal effect to the negative evaluation given by other users to the post near the start of the flame war). To test this explanation, the authors can ask the Crowdflower workers (p. 4) to label each b_0 (described on p. 5) to check whether their classifier is indeed misclassifying b_0 by assigning it too high a quality.

Since the authors did not conduct an RCT, we can come up with many alternative explanations, and I find them plausible. (Is it feasible to conduct an RCT on a site featuring upvotes and downvotes? Yes, it's been done before.)

Despite my criticisms, I think the paper is not bad. I just don't think the authors' methods provide sufficient evidence to warrant their seemingly strong confidence in their conclusions.

Comment author: gwern 12 September 2014 11:33:35PM *  2 points [-]

A scan/photograph/transcription of page 415 of Hays 1973, Statistics for the social sciences. (2nd ed.) New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston; or heck the whole book if anyone can find it.

(Meehl in his 1990 "Why summaries of research on psychological theories are often uninterpretable" claims Hays agrees with him about the null hypothesis always being false, but I'm interested in exactly what Hays said and how he said it - albeit not enough to buy the book just to look at one page, and Google Books won't show me the relevant part regardless of how I try to chain my search queries.)

Comment author: VincentYu 16 September 2014 01:54:22AM 2 points [-]
Comment author: gwern 12 September 2014 11:33:35PM *  2 points [-]

A scan/photograph/transcription of page 415 of Hays 1973, Statistics for the social sciences. (2nd ed.) New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston; or heck the whole book if anyone can find it.

(Meehl in his 1990 "Why summaries of research on psychological theories are often uninterpretable" claims Hays agrees with him about the null hypothesis always being false, but I'm interested in exactly what Hays said and how he said it - albeit not enough to buy the book just to look at one page, and Google Books won't show me the relevant part regardless of how I try to chain my search queries.)

Comment author: VincentYu 13 September 2014 01:36:34AM 3 points [-]

Requested.

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