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80,000 Hours Podcast

Author: Rob, Luisa, Keiran, and the 80,000 Hours team

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Unusually in-depth conversations about the world's most pressing problems and what you can do to solve them.

Subscribe by searching for '80000 Hours' wherever you get podcasts.

Produced by Keiran Harris. Hosted by Rob Wiblin and Luisa Rodriguez.
240 Episodes
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"One of the most amazing things about planet Earth is that there are complex bags of mostly water — you and me – and we can look up at the stars, and look into our brains, and try to grapple with the most complex, difficult questions that there are. And even if we can’t make great progress on them and don’t come to completely satisfying solutions, just the fact of trying to grapple with these things is kind of the universe looking at itself and trying to understand itself. So we’re kind of this bright spot of reflectiveness in the cosmos, and I think we should celebrate that fact for its own intrinsic value and interestingness." —Eric SchwitzgebelIn today’s episode, host Luisa Rodriguez speaks to Eric Schwitzgebel — professor of philosophy at UC Riverside — about some of the most bizarre and unintuitive claims from his recent book, The Weirdness of the World.Links to learn more, highlights, and full transcript.They cover:Why our intuitions seem so unreliable for answering fundamental questions about reality.What the materialist view of consciousness is, and how it might imply some very weird things — like that the United States could be a conscious entity.Thought experiments that challenge our intuitions — like supersquids that think and act through detachable tentacles, and intelligent species whose brains are made up of a million bugs.Eric’s claim that consciousness and cosmology are universally bizarre and dubious.How to think about borderline states of consciousness, and whether consciousness is more like a spectrum or more like a light flicking on.The nontrivial possibility that we could be dreaming right now, and the ethical implications if that’s true.Why it’s worth it to grapple with the universe’s most complex questions, even if we can’t find completely satisfying solutions.And much more.Chapters:Cold open (00:00:00)Luisa’s intro (00:01:10)Bizarre and dubious philosophical theories (00:03:13)The materialist view of consciousness (00:13:55)What would it mean for the US to be conscious? (00:19:46)Supersquids and antheads thought experiments (00:22:37)Alternatives to the materialist perspective (00:35:19)Are our intuitions useless for thinking about these things? (00:42:55)Key ingredients for consciousness (00:46:46)Reasons to think the US isn’t conscious (01:01:15)Overlapping consciousnesses [01:09:32]Borderline cases of consciousness (01:13:22)Are we dreaming right now? (01:40:29)Will we ever have answers to these dubious and bizarre questions? (01:56:16)Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio engineering lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour, Milo McGuire, and Dominic ArmstrongAdditional content editing: Katy Moore and Luisa RodriguezTranscriptions: Katy Moore
"You can’t charge what something is worth during a pandemic. So we estimated that the value of one course of COVID vaccine in January 2021 was over $5,000. They were selling for between $6 and $40. So nothing like their social value. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that they should have charged $5,000 or $6,000. That’s not ethical. It’s also not economically efficient, because they didn’t cost $5,000 at the marginal cost. So you actually want low price, getting out to lots of people."But it shows you that the market is not going to reward people who do the investment in preparation for a pandemic — because when a pandemic hits, they’re not going to get the reward in line with the social value. They may even have to charge less than they would in a non-pandemic time. So prepping for a pandemic is not an efficient market strategy if I’m a firm, but it’s a very efficient strategy for society, and so we’ve got to bridge that gap." —Rachel GlennersterIn today’s episode, host Luisa Rodriguez speaks to Rachel Glennerster — associate professor of economics at the University of Chicago and a pioneer in the field of development economics — about how her team’s new Market Shaping Accelerator aims to leverage market forces to drive innovations that can solve pressing world problems.Links to learn more, highlights, and full transcript.They cover:How market failures and misaligned incentives stifle critical innovations for social goods like pandemic preparedness, climate change interventions, and vaccine development.How “pull mechanisms” like advance market commitments (AMCs) can help overcome these challenges — including concrete examples like how one AMC led to speeding up the development of three vaccines which saved around 700,000 lives in low-income countries.The challenges in designing effective pull mechanisms, from design to implementation.Why it’s important to tie innovation incentives to real-world impact and uptake, not just the invention of a new technology.The massive benefits of accelerating vaccine development, in some cases, even if it’s only by a few days or weeks.The case for a $6 billion advance market commitment to spur work on a universal COVID-19 vaccine.The shortlist of ideas from the Market Shaping Accelerator’s recent Innovation Challenge that use pull mechanisms to address market failures around improving indoor air quality, repurposing generic drugs for alternative uses, and developing eco-friendly air conditioners for a warming planet.“Best Buys” and “Bad Buys” for improving education systems in low- and middle-income countries, based on evidence from over 400 studies.Lessons from Rachel’s career at the forefront of global development, and how insights from economics can drive transformative change.And much more.Chapters:The Market Shaping Accelerator (00:03:33)Pull mechanisms for innovation (00:13:10)Accelerating the pneumococcal and COVID vaccines (00:19:05)Advance market commitments (00:41:46)Is this uncertainty hard for funders to plan around? (00:49:17)The story of the malaria vaccine that wasn’t (00:57:15)Challenges with designing and implementing AMCs and other pull mechanisms (01:01:40)Universal COVID vaccine (01:18:14)Climate-resilient crops (01:34:09)The Market Shaping Accelerator’s Innovation Challenge (01:45:40)Indoor air quality to reduce respiratory infections (01:49:09)Repurposing generic drugs (01:55:50)Clean air conditioning units (02:02:41)Broad-spectrum antivirals for pandemic prevention (02:09:11)Improving education in low- and middle-income countries (02:15:53)What’s still weird for Rachel about living in the US? (02:45:06)Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio Engineering Lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour, Milo McGuire, and Dominic ArmstrongAdditional content editing: Katy Moore and Luisa RodriguezTranscriptions: Katy Moore
"Suppose we make these grants, we do some of those experiments I talk about. We discover, for example — I’m just making this up — but we give people superforecasting tests when they’re doing peer review, and we find that you can identify people who are super good at picking science. And then we have this much better targeted science, and we’re making progress at a 10% faster rate than we normally would have. Over time, that aggregates up, and maybe after 10 years, we’re a year ahead of where we would have been if we hadn’t done this kind of stuff."Now, suppose in 10 years we’re going to discover a cheap new genetic engineering technology that anyone can use in the world if they order the right parts off of Amazon. That could be great, but could also allow bad actors to genetically engineer pandemics and basically try to do terrible things with this technology. And if we’ve brought that forward, and that happens at year nine instead of year 10 because of some of these interventions we did, now we start to think that if that’s really bad, if these people using this technology causes huge problems for humanity, it begins to sort of wash out the benefits of getting the science a little bit faster." —Matt ClancyIn today’s episode, host Luisa Rodriguez speaks to Matt Clancy — who oversees Open Philanthropy’s Innovation Policy programme — about his recent work modelling the risks and benefits of the increasing speed of scientific progress.Links to learn more, highlights, and full transcript.They cover:Whether scientific progress is actually net positive for humanity.Scenarios where accelerating science could lead to existential risks, such as advanced biotechnology being used by bad actors.Why Matt thinks metascience research and targeted funding could improve the scientific process and better incentivise outcomes that are good for humanity.Whether Matt trusts domain experts or superforecasters more when estimating how the future will turn out.Why Matt is sceptical that AGI could really cause explosive economic growth.And much more.Chapters:Is scientific progress net positive for humanity? (00:03:00)The time of biological perils (00:17:50)Modelling the benefits of science (00:25:48)Income and health gains from scientific progress (00:32:49)Discount rates (00:42:14)How big are the returns to science? (00:51:08)Forecasting global catastrophic biological risks from scientific progress (01:05:20)What’s the value of scientific progress, given the risks? (01:15:09)Factoring in extinction risk (01:21:56)How science could reduce extinction risk (01:30:18)Are we already too late to delay the time of perils? (01:42:38)Domain experts vs superforecasters (01:46:03)What Open Philanthropy’s Innovation Policy programme settled on (01:53:47)Explosive economic growth (02:06:28)Matt’s favourite thought experiment (02:34:57)Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio engineering lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour, Milo McGuire, and Dominic ArmstrongAdditional content editing: Katy Moore and Luisa RodriguezTranscriptions: Katy Moore
"Earth economists, when they measure how bad the potential for exploitation is, they look at things like, how is labour mobility? How much possibility do labourers have otherwise to go somewhere else? Well, if you are on the one company town on Mars, your labour mobility is zero, which has never existed on Earth. Even in your stereotypical West Virginian company town run by immigrant labour, there’s still, by definition, a train out. On Mars, you might not even be in the launch window. And even if there are five other company towns or five other settlements, they’re not necessarily rated to take more humans. They have their own oxygen budget, right? "And so economists use numbers like these, like labour mobility, as a way to put an equation and estimate the ability of a company to set noncompetitive wages or to set noncompetitive work conditions. And essentially, on Mars you’re setting it to infinity." — Zach WeinersmithIn today’s episode, host Luisa Rodriguez speaks to Zach Weinersmith — the cartoonist behind Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal — about the latest book he wrote with his wife Kelly: A City on Mars: Can We Settle Space, Should We Settle Space, and Have We Really Thought This Through?Links to learn more, highlights, and full transcript.They cover:Why space travel is suddenly getting a lot cheaper and re-igniting enthusiasm around space settlement.What Zach thinks are the best and worst arguments for settling space.Zach’s journey from optimistic about space settlement to a self-proclaimed “space bastard” (pessimist).How little we know about how microgravity and radiation affects even adults, much less the children potentially born in a space settlement.A rundown of where we could settle in the solar system, and the major drawbacks of even the most promising candidates.Why digging bunkers or underwater cities on Earth would beat fleeing to Mars in a catastrophe.How new space settlements could look a lot like old company towns — and whether or not that’s a bad thing.The current state of space law and how it might set us up for international conflict.How space cannibalism legal loopholes might work on the International Space Station.And much more.Chapters:Space optimism and space bastards (00:03:04)Bad arguments for why we should settle space (00:14:01)Superficially plausible arguments for why we should settle space (00:28:54)Is settling space even biologically feasible? (00:32:43)Sex, pregnancy, and child development in space (00:41:41)Where’s the best space place to settle? (00:55:02)Creating self-sustaining habitats (01:15:32)What about AI advances? (01:26:23)A roadmap for settling space (01:33:45)Space law (01:37:22)Space signalling and propaganda (01:51:28) Space war (02:00:40)Mining asteroids (02:06:29)Company towns and communes in space (02:10:55)Sending digital minds into space (02:26:37)The most promising space governance models (02:29:07)The tragedy of the commons (02:35:02)The tampon bandolier and other bodily functions in space (02:40:14)Is space cannibalism legal? (02:47:09)The pregnadrome and other bizarre proposals (02:50:02)Space sexism (02:58:38)What excites Zach about the future (03:02:57)Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio engineering lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour, Milo McGuire, and Dominic ArmstrongAdditional content editing: Katy Moore and Luisa RodriguezTranscriptions: Katy Moore
"I work in a place called Uttar Pradesh, which is a state in India with 240 million people. One in every 33 people in the whole world lives in Uttar Pradesh. It would be the fifth largest country if it were its own country. And if it were its own country, you’d probably know about its human development challenges, because it would have the highest neonatal mortality rate of any country except for South Sudan and Pakistan. Forty percent of children there are stunted. Only two-thirds of women are literate. So Uttar Pradesh is a place where there are lots of health challenges."And then even within that, we’re working in a district called Bahraich, where about 4 million people live. So even that district of Uttar Pradesh is the size of a country, and if it were its own country, it would have a higher neonatal mortality rate than any other country. In other words, babies born in Bahraich district are more likely to die in their first month of life than babies born in any country around the world." — Dean SpearsIn today’s episode, host Luisa Rodriguez speaks to Dean Spears — associate professor of economics at the University of Texas at Austin and founding director of r.i.c.e. — about his experience implementing a surprisingly low-tech but highly cost-effective kangaroo mother care programme in Uttar Pradesh, India to save the lives of vulnerable newborn infants.Links to learn more, highlights, and full transcript.They cover:The shockingly high neonatal mortality rates in Uttar Pradesh, India, and how social inequality and gender dynamics contribute to poor health outcomes for both mothers and babies.The remarkable benefits for vulnerable newborns that come from skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding support.The challenges and opportunities that come with working with a government hospital to implement new, evidence-based programmes.How the currently small programme might be scaled up to save more newborns’ lives in other regions of Uttar Pradesh and beyond.How targeted health interventions stack up against direct cash transfers.Plus, a sneak peak into Dean’s new book, which explores the looming global population peak that’s expected around 2080, and the consequences of global depopulation.And much more.Chapters:Why is low birthweight a major problem in Uttar Pradesh? (00:02:45)Neonatal mortality and maternal health in Uttar Pradesh (00:06:10)Kangaroo mother care (00:12:08)What would happen without this intervention? (00:16:07)Evidence of KMC’s effectiveness (00:18:15)Longer-term outcomes (00:32:14)GiveWell’s support and implementation challenges (00:41:13)How can KMC be so cost effective? (00:52:38)Programme evaluation (00:57:21)Is KMC is better than direct cash transfers? (00:59:12)Expanding the programme and what skills are needed (01:01:29)Fertility and population decline (01:07:28)What advice Dean would give his younger self (01:16:09)Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio engineering lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour, Milo McGuire, and Dominic ArmstrongAdditional content editing: Katy Moore and Luisa RodriguezTranscriptions: Katy Moore
"The constraint right now on factory farming is how far can you push the biology of these animals? But AI could remove that constraint. It could say, 'Actually, we can push them further in these ways and these ways, and they still stay alive. And we’ve modelled out every possibility and we’ve found that it works.' I think another possibility, which I don’t understand as well, is that AI could lock in current moral values. And I think in particular there’s a risk that if AI is learning from what we do as humans today, the lesson it’s going to learn is that it’s OK to tolerate mass cruelty, so long as it occurs behind closed doors. I think there’s a risk that if it learns that, then it perpetuates that value, and perhaps slows human moral progress on this issue." —Lewis BollardIn today’s episode, host Luisa Rodriguez speaks to Lewis Bollard — director of the Farm Animal Welfare programme at Open Philanthropy — about the promising progress and future interventions to end the worst factory farming practices still around today.Links to learn more, highlights, and full transcript.They cover:The staggering scale of animal suffering in factory farms, and how it will only get worse without intervention.Work to improve farmed animal welfare that Open Philanthropy is excited about funding.The amazing recent progress made in farm animal welfare — including regulatory attention in the EU and a big win at the US Supreme Court — and the work that still needs to be done.The occasional tension between ending factory farming and curbing climate changeHow AI could transform factory farming for better or worse — and Lewis’s fears that the technology will just help us maximise cruelty in the name of profit.How Lewis has updated his opinions or grantmaking as a result of new research on the “moral weights” of different species.Lewis’s personal journey working on farm animal welfare, and how he copes with the emotional toll of confronting the scale of animal suffering.How listeners can get involved in the growing movement to end factory farming — from career and volunteer opportunities to impactful donations.And much more.Chapters:Common objections to ending factory farming (00:13:21)Potential solutions (00:30:55)Cage-free reforms (00:34:25)Broiler chicken welfare (00:46:48)Do companies follow through on these commitments? (01:00:21)Fish welfare (01:05:02)Alternatives to animal proteins (01:16:36)Farm animal welfare in Asia (01:26:00)Farm animal welfare in Europe (01:30:45)Animal welfare science (01:42:09)Approaches Lewis is less excited about (01:52:10)Will we end factory farming in our lifetimes? (01:56:36)Effect of AI (01:57:59)Recent big wins for farm animals (02:07:38)How animal advocacy has changed since Lewis first got involved (02:15:57)Response to the Moral Weight Project (02:19:52)How to help (02:28:14)Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio engineering lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour, Milo McGuire, and Dominic ArmstrongAdditional content editing: Katy Moore and Luisa RodriguezTranscriptions: Katy Moore
Many of you will have heard of Zvi Mowshowitz as a superhuman information-absorbing-and-processing machine — which he definitely is. As the author of the Substack Don’t Worry About the Vase, Zvi has spent as much time as literally anyone in the world over the last two years tracking in detail how the explosion of AI has been playing out — and he has strong opinions about almost every aspect of it. Links to learn more, summary, and full transcript.In today’s episode, host Rob Wiblin asks Zvi for his takes on:US-China negotiationsWhether AI progress has stalledThe biggest wins and losses for alignment in 2023EU and White House AI regulationsWhich major AI lab has the best safety strategyThe pros and cons of the Pause AI movementRecent breakthroughs in capabilitiesIn what situations it’s morally acceptable to work at AI labsWhether you agree or disagree with his views, Zvi is super informed and brimming with concrete details.Zvi and Rob also talk about:The risk of AI labs fooling themselves into believing their alignment plans are working when they may not be.The “sleeper agent” issue uncovered in a recent Anthropic paper, and how it shows us how hard alignment actually is.Why Zvi disagrees with 80,000 Hours’ advice about gaining career capital to have a positive impact.Zvi’s project to identify the most strikingly horrible and neglected policy failures in the US, and how Zvi founded a new think tank (Balsa Research) to identify innovative solutions to overthrow the horrible status quo in areas like domestic shipping, environmental reviews, and housing supply.Why Zvi thinks that improving people’s prosperity and housing can make them care more about existential risks like AI.An idea from the online rationality community that Zvi thinks is really underrated and more people should have heard of: simulacra levels.And plenty more.Chapters:Zvi’s AI-related worldview (00:03:41)Sleeper agents (00:05:55)Safety plans of the three major labs (00:21:47)Misalignment vs misuse vs structural issues (00:50:00)Should concerned people work at AI labs? (00:55:45)Pause AI campaign (01:30:16)Has progress on useful AI products stalled? (01:38:03)White House executive order and US politics (01:42:09)Reasons for AI policy optimism (01:56:38)Zvi’s day-to-day (02:09:47)Big wins and losses on safety and alignment in 2023 (02:12:29)Other unappreciated technical breakthroughs (02:17:54)Concrete things we can do to mitigate risks (02:31:19)Balsa Research and the Jones Act (02:34:40)The National Environmental Policy Act (02:50:36)Housing policy (02:59:59)Underrated rationalist worldviews (03:16:22)Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio Engineering Lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour, Milo McGuire, and Dominic ArmstrongTranscriptions and additional content editing: Katy Moore
Today’s release is a reading of our career review of AI governance and policy, written and narrated by Cody Fenwick.Advanced AI systems could have massive impacts on humanity and potentially pose global catastrophic risks, and there are opportunities in the broad field of AI governance to positively shape how society responds to and prepares for the challenges posed by the technology.Given the high stakes, pursuing this career path could be many people’s highest-impact option. But they should be very careful not to accidentally exacerbate the threats rather than mitigate them.If you want to check out the links, footnotes and figures in today’s article, you can find those here.Editing and audio proofing: Ben Cordell and Simon MonsourNarration: Cody Fenwick
"When a friend comes to me with a decision, and they want my thoughts on it, very rarely am I trying to give them a really specific answer, like, 'I solved your problem.' What I’m trying to do often is give them other ways of thinking about what they’re doing, or giving different framings. A classic example of this would be someone who’s been working on a project for a long time and they feel really trapped by it. And someone says, 'Let’s suppose you currently weren’t working on the project, but you could join it. And if you joined, it would be exactly the state it is now. Would you join?' And they’d be like, 'Hell no!' It’s a reframe. It doesn’t mean you definitely shouldn’t join, but it’s a reframe that gives you a new way of looking at it." —Spencer GreenbergIn today’s episode, host Rob Wiblin speaks for a fourth time with listener favourite Spencer Greenberg — serial entrepreneur and host of the Clearer Thinking podcast — about a grab-bag of topics that Spencer has explored since his last appearance on the show a year ago.Links to learn more, summary, and full transcript.They cover:How much money makes you happy — and the tricky methodological issues that come up trying to answer that question.The importance of hype in making valuable things happen.How to recognise warning signs that someone is untrustworthy or likely to hurt you.Whether Registered Reports are successfully solving reproducibility issues in science.The personal principles Spencer lives by, and whether or not we should all establish our own list of life principles.The biggest and most harmful systemic mistakes we commit when making decisions, both individually and as groups.The potential harms of lightgassing, which is the opposite of gaslighting.How Spencer’s team used non-statistical methods to test whether astrology works.Whether there’s any social value in retaliation.And much more.Chapters:Does money make you happy? (00:05:54)Hype vs value (00:31:27)Warning signs that someone is bad news (00:41:25)Integrity and reproducibility in social science research (00:57:54)Personal principles (01:16:22)Decision-making errors (01:25:56)Lightgassing (01:49:23)Astrology (02:02:26)Game theory, tit for tat, and retaliation (02:20:51)Parenting (02:30:00)Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio Engineering Lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour, Milo McGuire, and Dominic ArmstrongTranscriptions: Katy Moore
"[One] thing is just to spend time thinking about the kinds of things animals can do and what their lives are like. Just how hard a chicken will work to get to a nest box before she lays an egg, the amount of labour she’s willing to go through to do that, to think about how important that is to her. And to realise that we can quantify that, and see how much they care, or to see that they get stressed out when fellow chickens are threatened and that they seem to have some sympathy for conspecifics."Those kinds of things make me say there is something in there that is recognisable to me as another individual, with desires and preferences and a vantage point on the world, who wants things to go a certain way and is frustrated and upset when they don’t. And recognising the individuality, the perspective of nonhuman animals, for me, really challenges my tendency to not take them as seriously as I think I ought to, all things considered." — Bob FischerIn today’s episode, host Luisa Rodriguez speaks to Bob Fischer — senior research manager at Rethink Priorities and the director of the Society for the Study of Ethics and Animals — about Rethink Priorities’s Moral Weight Project.Links to learn more, summary, and full transcript.They cover:The methods used to assess the welfare ranges and capacities for pleasure and pain of chickens, pigs, octopuses, bees, and other animals — and the limitations of that approach.Concrete examples of how someone might use the estimated moral weights to compare the benefits of animal vs human interventions.The results that most surprised Bob.Why the team used a hedonic theory of welfare to inform the project, and what non-hedonic theories of welfare might bring to the table.Thought experiments like Tortured Tim that test different philosophical assumptions about welfare.Confronting our own biases when estimating animal mental capacities and moral worth.The limitations of using neuron counts as a proxy for moral weights.How different types of risk aversion, like avoiding worst-case scenarios, could impact cause prioritisation.And plenty more.Chapters:Welfare ranges (00:10:19)Historical assessments (00:16:47)Method (00:24:02)The present / absent approach (00:27:39)Results (00:31:42)Chickens (00:32:42)Bees (00:50:00)Salmon and limits of methodology (00:56:18)Octopuses (01:00:31)Pigs (01:27:50)Surprises about the project (01:30:19)Objections to the project (01:34:25)Alternative decision theories and risk aversion (01:39:14)Hedonism assumption (02:00:54)Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio Engineering Lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour and Milo McGuireAdditional content editing: Katy Moore and Luisa RodriguezTranscriptions: Katy Moore
"The question I care about is: What do I want to do? Like, when I'm 80, how strong do I want to be? OK, and then if I want to be that strong, how well do my muscles have to work? OK, and then if that's true, what would they have to look like at the cellular level for that to be true? Then what do we have to do to make that happen? In my head, it's much more about agency and what choice do I have over my health. And even if I live the same number of years, can I live as an 80-year-old running every day happily with my grandkids?" — Laura DemingIn today’s episode, host Luisa Rodriguez speaks to Laura Deming — founder of The Longevity Fund — about the challenge of ending ageing.Links to learn more, summary, and full transcript.They cover:How lifespan is surprisingly easy to manipulate in animals, which suggests human longevity could be increased too.Why we irrationally accept age-related health decline as inevitable.The engineering mindset Laura takes to solving the problem of ageing.Laura’s thoughts on how ending ageing is primarily a social challenge, not a scientific one.The recent exciting regulatory breakthrough for an anti-ageing drug for dogs.Laura’s vision for how increased longevity could positively transform society by giving humans agency over when and how they age.Why this decade may be the most important decade ever for making progress on anti-ageing research.The beauty and fascination of biology, which makes it such a compelling field to work in.And plenty more.Chapters:The case for ending ageing (00:04:00)What might the world look like if this all goes well? (00:21:57)Reasons not to work on ageing research (00:27:25)Things that make mice live longer (00:44:12)Parabiosis, changing the brain, and organ replacement can increase lifespan (00:54:25)Big wins the field of ageing research (01:11:40)Talent shortages and other bottlenecks for ageing research (01:17:36)Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio Engineering Lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour and Milo McGuireAdditional content editing: Katy Moore and Luisa RodriguezTranscriptions: Katy Moore
The World Economic Forum’s global risks survey of 1,400 experts, policymakers, and industry leaders ranked misinformation and disinformation as the number one global risk over the next two years — ranking it ahead of war, environmental problems, and other threats from AI.And the discussion around misinformation and disinformation has shifted to focus on how generative AI or a future super-persuasive AI might change the game and make it extremely hard to figure out what was going on in the world — or alternatively, extremely easy to mislead people into believing convenient lies.But this week’s guest, cognitive scientist Hugo Mercier, has a very different view on how people form beliefs and figure out who to trust — one in which misinformation really is barely a problem today, and is unlikely to be a problem anytime soon. As he explains in his book Not Born Yesterday, Hugo believes we seriously underrate the perceptiveness and judgement of ordinary people.Links to learn more, summary, and full transcript.In this interview, host Rob Wiblin and Hugo discuss:How our reasoning mechanisms evolved to facilitate beneficial communication, not blind gullibility.How Hugo makes sense of our apparent gullibility in many cases — like falling for financial scams, astrology, or bogus medical treatments, and voting for policies that aren’t actually beneficial for us.Rob and Hugo’s ideas about whether AI might make misinformation radically worse, and which mass persuasion approaches we should be most worried about.Why Hugo thinks our intuitions about who to trust are generally quite sound, even in today’s complex information environment.The distinction between intuitive beliefs that guide our actions versus reflective beliefs that don’t.Why fake news and conspiracy theories actually have less impact than most people assume.False beliefs that have persisted across cultures and generations — like bloodletting and vaccine hesitancy — and theories about why.And plenty more.Chapters:The view that humans are really gullible (00:04:26)The evolutionary argument against humans being gullible (00:07:46) Open vigilance (00:18:56)Intuitive and reflective beliefs (00:32:25)How people decide who to trust (00:41:15)Redefining beliefs (00:51:57)Bloodletting (01:00:38)Vaccine hesitancy and creationism (01:06:38)False beliefs without skin in the game (01:12:36)One consistent weakness in human judgement (01:22:57)Trying to explain harmful financial decisions (01:27:15)Astrology (01:40:40)Medical treatments that don’t work (01:45:47)Generative AI, LLMs, and persuasion (01:54:50)Ways AI could improve the information environment (02:29:59)Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio Engineering Lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour and Milo McGuireTranscriptions: Katy Moore
Mental health problems like depression and anxiety affect enormous numbers of people and severely interfere with their lives. By contrast, we don’t see similar levels of physical ill health in young people. At any point in time, something like 20% of young people are working through anxiety or depression that’s seriously interfering with their lives — but nowhere near 20% of people in their 20s have severe heart disease or cancer or a similar failure in a key organ of the body other than the brain.From an evolutionary perspective, that’s to be expected, right? If your heart or lungs or legs or skin stop working properly while you’re a teenager, you’re less likely to reproduce, and the genes that cause that malfunction get weeded out of the gene pool.So why is it that these evolutionary selective pressures seemingly fixed our bodies so that they work pretty smoothly for young people most of the time, but it feels like evolution fell asleep on the job when it comes to the brain? Why did evolution never get around to patching the most basic problems, like social anxiety, panic attacks, debilitating pessimism, or inappropriate mood swings? For that matter, why did evolution go out of its way to give us the capacity for low mood or chronic anxiety or extreme mood swings at all?Today’s guest, Randy Nesse — a leader in the field of evolutionary psychiatry — wrote the book Good Reasons for Bad Feelings, in which he sets out to try to resolve this paradox.Links to learn more, video, highlights, and full transcript.In the interview, host Rob Wiblin and Randy discuss the key points of the book, as well as:How the evolutionary psychiatry perspective can help people appreciate that their mental health problems are often the result of a useful and important system.How evolutionary pressures and dynamics lead to a wide range of different personalities, behaviours, strategies, and tradeoffs.The missing intellectual foundations of psychiatry, and how an evolutionary lens could revolutionise the field.How working as both an academic and a practicing psychiatrist shaped Randy’s understanding of treating mental health problems.The “smoke detector principle” of why we experience so many false alarms along with true threats.The origins of morality and capacity for genuine love, and why Randy thinks it’s a mistake to try to explain these from a selfish gene perspective.Evolutionary theories on why we age and die.And much more.Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio Engineering Lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Dominic ArmstrongTranscriptions: Katy Moore
"I think at various times — before you have the kid, after you have the kid — it's useful to sit down and think about: What do I want the shape of this to look like? What time do I want to be spending? Which hours? How do I want the weekends to look? The things that are going to shape the way your day-to-day goes, and the time you spend with your kids, and what you're doing in that time with your kids, and all of those things: you have an opportunity to deliberately plan them. And you can then feel like, 'I've thought about this, and this is a life that I want. This is a life that we're trying to craft for our family, for our kids.' And that is distinct from thinking you're doing a good job in every moment — which you can't achieve. But you can achieve, 'I'm doing this the way that I think works for my family.'" — Emily OsterIn today’s episode, host Luisa Rodriguez speaks to Emily Oster — economist at Brown University, host of the ParentData podcast, and the author of three hugely popular books that provide evidence-based insights into pregnancy and early childhood.Links to learn more, summary, and full transcript.They cover:Common pregnancy myths and advice that Emily disagrees with — and why you should probably get a doula.Whether it’s fine to continue with antidepressants and coffee during pregnancy.What the data says — and doesn’t say — about outcomes from parenting decisions around breastfeeding, sleep training, childcare, and more.Which factors really matter for kids to thrive — and why that means parents shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.How to reduce parental guilt and anxiety with facts, and reject judgemental “Mommy Wars” attitudes when making decisions that are best for your family.The effects of having kids on career ambitions, pay, and productivity — and how the effects are different for men and women.Practical advice around managing the tradeoffs between career and family.What to consider when deciding whether and when to have kids.Relationship challenges after having kids, and the protective factors that help.And plenty more.Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio Engineering Lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour and Milo McGuireAdditional content editing: Katy Moore and Luisa RodriguezTranscriptions: Katy Moore
Back in December we spoke with Nathan Labenz — AI entrepreneur and host of The Cognitive Revolution Podcast — about the speed of progress towards AGI and OpenAI's leadership drama, drawing on Nathan's alarming experience red-teaming an early version of GPT-4 and resulting conversations with OpenAI staff and board members.Links to learn more, video, highlights, and full transcript.Today we go deeper, diving into:What AI now actually can and can’t do, across language and visual models, medicine, scientific research, self-driving cars, robotics, weapons — and what the next big breakthrough might be.Why most people, including most listeners, probably don’t know and can’t keep up with the new capabilities and wild results coming out across so many AI applications — and what we should do about that.How we need to learn to talk about AI more productively, particularly addressing the growing chasm between those concerned about AI risks and those who want to see progress accelerate, which may be counterproductive for everyone.Where Nathan agrees with and departs from the views of ‘AI scaling accelerationists.’The chances that anti-regulation rhetoric from some AI entrepreneurs backfires.How governments could (and already do) abuse AI tools like facial recognition, and how militarisation of AI is progressing.Preparing for coming societal impacts and potential disruption from AI.Practical ways that curious listeners can try to stay abreast of everything that’s going on.And plenty more.Producer and editor: Keiran HarrisAudio Engineering Lead: Ben CordellTechnical editing: Simon Monsour and Milo McGuireTranscriptions: Katy Moore
Rebroadcast: this episode was originally released in January 2021.You wake up in a mysterious box, and hear the booming voice of God: “I just flipped a coin. If it came up heads, I made ten boxes, labeled 1 through 10 — each of which has a human in it. If it came up tails, I made ten billion boxes, labeled 1 through 10 billion — also with one human in each box. To get into heaven, you have to answer this correctly: Which way did the coin land?”You think briefly, and decide you should bet your eternal soul on tails. The fact that you woke up at all seems like pretty good evidence that you’re in the big world — if the coin landed tails, way more people should be having an experience just like yours.But then you get up, walk outside, and look at the number on your box.‘3’. Huh. Now you don’t know what to believe.If God made 10 billion boxes, surely it’s much more likely that you would have seen a number like 7,346,678,928?In today’s interview, Ajeya Cotra — a senior research analyst at Open Philanthropy — explains why this thought experiment from the niche of philosophy known as ‘anthropic reasoning’ could be relevant for figuring out where we should direct our charitable giving.Links to learn more, summary, and full transcript.Some thinkers both inside and outside Open Philanthropy believe that philanthropic giving should be guided by ‘longtermism’ — the idea that we can do the most good if we focus primarily on the impact our actions will have on the long-term future.Ajeya thinks that for that notion to make sense, there needs to be a good chance we can settle other planets and solar systems and build a society that’s both very large relative to what’s possible on Earth and, by virtue of being so spread out, able to protect itself from extinction for a very long time.But imagine that humanity has two possible futures ahead of it: Either we’re going to have a huge future like that, in which trillions of people ultimately exist, or we’re going to wipe ourselves out quite soon, thereby ensuring that only around 100 billion people ever get to live.If there are eventually going to be 1,000 trillion humans, what should we think of the fact that we seemingly find ourselves so early in history? Being among the first 100 billion humans, as we are, is equivalent to walking outside and seeing a three on your box. Suspicious! If the future will have many trillions of people, the odds of us appearing so strangely early are very low indeed.If we accept the analogy, maybe we can be confident that humanity is at a high risk of extinction based on this so-called ‘doomsday argument‘ alone.If that’s true, maybe we should put more of our resources into avoiding apparent extinction threats like nuclear war and pandemics. But on the other hand, maybe the argument shows we’re incredibly unlikely to achieve a long and stable future no matter what we do, and we should forget the long term and just focus on the here and now instead.There are many critics of this theoretical ‘doomsday argument’, and it may be the case that it logically doesn’t work. This is why Ajeya spent time investigating it, with the goal of ultimately making better philanthropic grants.In this conversation, Ajeya and Rob discuss both the doomsday argument and the challenge Open Phil faces striking a balance between taking big ideas seriously, and not going all in on philosophical arguments that may turn out to be barking up the wrong tree entirely.They also discuss:Which worldviews Open Phil finds most plausible, and how it balances themWhich worldviews Ajeya doesn’t embrace but almost doesHow hard it is to get to other solar systemsThe famous ‘simulation argument’When transformative AI might actually arriveThe biggest challenges involved in working on big research reportsWhat it’s like working at Open PhilAnd much moreProducer: Keiran HarrisAudio mastering: Ben CordellTranscriptions: Sofia Davis-Fogel
Rebroadcast: this episode was originally released in October 2021.Preventing the apocalypse may sound like an idiosyncratic activity, and it sometimes is justified on exotic grounds, such as the potential for humanity to become a galaxy-spanning civilisation.But the policy of US government agencies is already to spend up to $4 million to save the life of a citizen, making the death of all Americans a $1,300,000,000,000,000 disaster.According to Carl Shulman, research associate at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, that means you don’t need any fancy philosophical arguments about the value or size of the future to justify working to reduce existential risk — it passes a mundane cost-benefit analysis whether or not you place any value on the long-term future.Links to learn more, summary, and full transcript.The key reason to make it a top priority is factual, not philosophical. That is, the risk of a disaster that kills billions of people alive today is alarmingly high, and it can be reduced at a reasonable cost. A back-of-the-envelope version of the argument runs:The US government is willing to pay up to $4 million (depending on the agency) to save the life of an American.So saving all US citizens at any given point in time would be worth $1,300 trillion.If you believe that the risk of human extinction over the next century is something like one in six (as Toby Ord suggests is a reasonable figure in his book The Precipice), then it would be worth the US government spending up to $2.2 trillion to reduce that risk by just 1%, in terms of American lives saved alone.Carl thinks it would cost a lot less than that to achieve a 1% risk reduction if the money were spent intelligently. So it easily passes a government cost-benefit test, with a very big benefit-to-cost ratio — likely over 1000:1 today.This argument helped NASA get funding to scan the sky for any asteroids that might be on a collision course with Earth, and it was directly promoted by famous economists like Richard Posner, Larry Summers, and Cass Sunstein.If the case is clear enough, why hasn’t it already motivated a lot more spending or regulations to limit existential risks — enough to drive down what any additional efforts would achieve?Carl thinks that one key barrier is that infrequent disasters are rarely politically salient. Research indicates that extra money is spent on flood defences in the years immediately following a massive flood — but as memories fade, that spending quickly dries up. Of course the annual probability of a disaster was the same the whole time; all that changed is what voters had on their minds.Carl suspects another reason is that it’s difficult for the average voter to estimate and understand how large these respective risks are, and what responses would be appropriate rather than self-serving. If the public doesn’t know what good performance looks like, politicians can’t be given incentives to do the right thing.It’s reasonable to assume that if we found out a giant asteroid were going to crash into the Earth one year from now, most of our resources would be quickly diverted into figuring out how to avert catastrophe.But even in the case of COVID-19, an event that massively disrupted the lives of everyone on Earth, we’ve still seen a substantial lack of investment in vaccine manufacturing capacity and other ways of controlling the spread of the virus, relative to what economists recommended.Carl expects that all the reasons we didn’t adequately prepare for or respond to COVID-19 — with excess mortality over 15 million and costs well over $10 trillion — bite even harder when it comes to threats we’ve never faced before, such as engineered pandemics, risks from advanced artificial intelligence, and so on.Today’s episode is in part our way of trying to improve this situation. In today’s wide-ranging conversation, Carl and Rob also cover:A few reasons Carl isn’t excited by ‘strong longtermism’How x-risk reduction compares to GiveWell recommendationsSolutions for asteroids, comets, supervolcanoes, nuclear war, pandemics, and climate changeThe history of bioweaponsWhether gain-of-function research is justifiableSuccesses and failures around COVID-19The history of existential riskAnd much moreProducer: Keiran HarrisAudio mastering: Ben CordellTranscriptions: Katy Moore
Rebroadcast: this episode was originally released in September 2021.If you’re living in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, your best bet at a high-paying career is probably ‘artisanal refining’ — or, in plain language, stealing oil from pipelines.The resulting oil spills damage the environment and cause severe health problems, but the Nigerian government has continually failed in their attempts to stop this theft.They send in the army, and the army gets corrupted. They send in enforcement agencies, and the enforcement agencies get corrupted. What’s happening here?According to Mushtaq Khan, economics professor at SOAS University of London, this is a classic example of ‘networked corruption’. Everyone in the community is benefiting from the criminal enterprise — so much so that the locals would prefer civil war to following the law. It pays vastly better than other local jobs, hotels and restaurants have formed around it, and houses are even powered by the electricity generated from the oil.Links to learn more, summary, and full transcript.In today’s episode, Mushtaq elaborates on the models he uses to understand these problems and make predictions he can test in the real world.Some of the most important factors shaping the fate of nations are their structures of power: who is powerful, how they are organized, which interest groups can pull in favours with the government, and the constant push and pull between the country’s rulers and its ruled. While traditional economic theory has relatively little to say about these topics, institutional economists like Mushtaq have a lot to say, and participate in lively debates about which of their competing ideas best explain the world around us.The issues at stake are nothing less than why some countries are rich and others are poor, why some countries are mostly law abiding while others are not, and why some government programmes improve public welfare while others just enrich the well connected.Mushtaq’s specialties are anti-corruption and industrial policy, where he believes mainstream theory and practice are largely misguided. To root out fraud, aid agencies try to impose institutions and laws that work in countries like the U.K. today. Everyone nods their heads and appears to go along, but years later they find nothing has changed, or worse — the new anti-corruption laws are mostly just used to persecute anyone who challenges the country’s rulers.As Mushtaq explains, to people who specialise in understanding why corruption is ubiquitous in some countries but not others, this is entirely predictable. Western agencies imagine a situation where most people are law abiding, but a handful of selfish fat cats are engaging in large-scale graft. In fact in the countries they’re trying to change everyone is breaking some rule or other, or participating in so-called ‘corruption’, because it’s the only way to get things done and always has been.Mushtaq’s rule of thumb is that when the locals most concerned with a specific issue are invested in preserving a status quo they’re participating in, they almost always win out.To actually reduce corruption, countries like his native Bangladesh have to follow the same gradual path the U.K. once did: find organizations that benefit from rule-abiding behaviour and are selfishly motivated to promote it, and help them police their peers.Trying to impose a new way of doing things from the top down wasn’t how Europe modernised, and it won’t work elsewhere either.In cases like oil theft in Nigeria, where no one wants to follow the rules, Mushtaq says corruption may be impossible to solve directly. Instead you have to play a long game, bringing in other employment opportunities, improving health services, and deploying alternative forms of energy — in the hope that one day this will give people a viable alternative to corruption.In this extensive interview Rob and Mushtaq cover this and much more, including:How does one test theories like this?Why are companies in some poor countries so much less productive than their peers in rich countries?Have rich countries just legalized the corruption in their societies?What are the big live debates in institutional economics?Should poor countries protect their industries from foreign competition?Where has industrial policy worked, and why?How can listeners use these theories to predict which policies will work in their own countries?Producer: Keiran HarrisAudio mastering: Ben CordellTranscriptions: Sofia Davis-Fogel
Happy new year! We've got a different kind of holiday release for you today. Rather than a 'classic episode,' we've put together one of our favourite highlights from each episode of the show that came out in 2023. That's 32 of our favourite ideas packed into one episode that's so bursting with substance it might be more than the human mind can safely handle.There's something for everyone here:Ezra Klein on punctuated equilibriumTom Davidson on why AI takeoff might be shockingly fastJohannes Ackva on political action versus lifestyle changesHannah Ritchie on how buying environmentally friendly technology helps low-income countries Bryan Caplan on rational irrationality on the part of votersJan Leike on whether the release of ChatGPT increased or reduced AI extinction risksAthena Aktipis on why elephants get deadly cancers less often than humansAnders Sandberg on the lifespan of civilisationsNita Farahany on hacking neural interfaces...plus another 23 such gems. And they're in an order that our audio engineer Simon Monsour described as having an "eight-dimensional-tetris-like rationale."I don't know what the hell that means either, but I'm curious to find out.And remember: if you like these highlights, note that we release 20-minute highlights reels for every new episode over on our sister feed, which is called 80k After Hours. So even if you're struggling to make time to listen to every single one, you can always get some of the best bits of our episodes.We hope for all the best things to happen for you in 2024, and we'll be back with a traditional classic episode soon.This Mega-highlights Extravaganza was brought to you by Ben Cordell, Simon Monsour, Milo McGuire, and Dominic Armstrong
Rebroadcast: this episode was originally released in May 2021.Today’s episode is one of the most remarkable and really, unique, pieces of content we’ve ever produced (and I can say that because I had almost nothing to do with making it!).The producer of this show, Keiran Harris, interviewed our mutual colleague Howie about the major ways that mental illness has affected his life and career. While depression, anxiety, ADHD and other problems are extremely common, it’s rare for people to offer detailed insight into their thoughts and struggles — and even rarer for someone as perceptive as Howie to do so.Links to learn more, summary, and full transcript.The first half of this conversation is a searingly honest account of Howie’s story, including losing a job he loved due to a depressed episode, what it was like to be basically out of commission for over a year, how he got back on his feet, and the things he still finds difficult today.The second half covers Howie’s advice. Conventional wisdom on mental health can be really focused on cultivating willpower — telling depressed people that the virtuous thing to do is to start exercising, improve their diet, get their sleep in check, and generally fix all their problems before turning to therapy and medication as some sort of last resort.Howie tries his best to be a corrective to this misguided attitude and pragmatically focus on what actually matters — doing whatever will help you get better.Mental illness is one of the things that most often trips up people who could otherwise enjoy flourishing careers and have a large social impact, so we think this could plausibly be one of our more valuable episodes. If you’re in a hurry, we’ve extracted the key advice that Howie has to share in a section below.Howie and Keiran basically treated it like a private conversation, with the understanding that it may be too sensitive to release. But, after getting some really positive feedback, they’ve decided to share it with the world.Here are a few quotes from early reviewers:"I think there’s a big difference between admitting you have depression/seeing a psych and giving a warts-and-all account of a major depressive episode like Howie does in this episode… His description was relatable and really inspiring."Someone who works on mental health issues said:"This episode is perhaps the most vivid and tangible example of what it is like to experience psychological distress that I’ve ever encountered. Even though the content of Howie and Keiran’s discussion was serious, I thought they both managed to converse about it in an approachable and not-overly-somber way."And another reviewer said:"I found Howie’s reflections on what is actually going on in his head when he engages in negative self-talk to be considerably more illuminating than anything I’ve heard from my therapist."We also hope that the episode will:Help people realise that they have a shot at making a difference in the future, even if they’re experiencing (or have experienced in the past) mental illness, self doubt, imposter syndrome, or other personal obstacles.Give insight into what it’s like in the head of one person with depression, anxiety, and imposter syndrome, including the specific thought patterns they experience on typical days and more extreme days. In addition to being interesting for its own sake, this might make it easier for people to understand the experiences of family members, friends, and colleagues — and know how to react more helpfully.Several early listeners have even made specific behavioral changes due to listening to the episode — including people who generally have good mental health but were convinced it’s well worth the low cost of setting up a plan in case they have problems in the future.So we think this episode will be valuable for:People who have experienced mental health problems or might in future;People who have had troubles with stress, anxiety, low mood, low self esteem, imposter syndrome and similar issues, even if their experience isn’t well described as ‘mental illness’;People who have never experienced these problems but want to learn about what it’s like, so they can better relate to and assist family, friends or colleagues who do.In other words, we think this episode could be worthwhile for almost everybody.Just a heads up that this conversation gets pretty intense at times, and includes references to self-harm and suicidal thoughts.If you don’t want to hear or read the most intense section, you can skip the chapter called ‘Disaster’. And if you’d rather avoid almost all of these references, you could skip straight to the chapter called ‘80,000 Hours’.We’ve collected a large list of high quality resources for overcoming mental health problems in our links section.If you’re feeling suicidal or have thoughts of harming yourself right now, there are suicide hotlines at National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the US (800-273-8255) and Samaritans in the UK (116 123). You may also want to find and save a number for a local service where possible.Producer: Keiran HarrisAudio mastering: Ben CordellTranscriptions: Sofia Davis-Fogel
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Comments (14)

Mr.Robot

به چنل ما سر بزنیدhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD7J9avsFbw

Nov 18th
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ncooty

More croaky neophytes who think they're the first people to set foot on every idea they have... then rush on to a podcast to preen.

May 7th
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ncooty

@28:00: It's always impressive to hear how proud people are to rediscover things that have been researched, discussed, and known for centuries. Here, the guest stumbles through a case for ends justifying means. What could go wrong? This is like listening to intelligent but ignorant 8th graders... or perhaps 1st-yr grad students, who love to claim that a topic has never been studied before, especially if the old concept is wearing a new name.

Apr 17th
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ncooty

@15:30: The guest is greatly over-stating binary processing and signalling in neural networks. This is not at all a good explanation.

Apr 17th
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ncooty

Ezra Klein's voice is a mix of nasal congestion, lisp, up-talk, vocal fry, New York, and inflated ego.

Apr 17th
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ncooty

Rob's suggestion on price-gouging seems pretty poorly considered. There are plenty of historical examples of harmful price-gouging and I can't think of any that were beneficial, particularly not after a disaster. This approach seems wrong economically and morally. Price-gouging after a disaster is almost always a pure windfall. It's economically infeasible to stockpile for very low-probability events, especially if transporting/ delivering the good is difficult. Even if the good can be mass-produced and delivered quickly in response to a demand spike, Rob would be advocating for a moral approach that runs against the grain of human moral intuitions in post-disaster settings. In such contexts, we prefer need-driven distributive justice and, secondarily, equality-based distributive justice. Conversely, Rob is suggesting an equity-based approach wherein the input-output ratio of equity is based on someone's socio-economic status, which is not just irrelevant to their actions in the em

Apr 17th
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ncooty

@18:02: Oh really, Rob? Does correlation now imply causation or was journalistic coverage randomly selected and randomly assigned? Good grief.

Apr 16th
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ncooty

She seems to be just a self-promoting aggregator. I didn't hear her say anything insightful. Even when pressed multiple times about how her interests pertain to the mission of 80,000 Hours, she just blathered out a few platitudes about the need for people think about things (or worse, thinking "around" issues).

Apr 15th
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ncooty

@1:18:38: Lots of very sloppy thinking and careless wording. Many lazy false equivalences--e.g., @1:18:38: equating (a) democrats' fact-based complaints in 2016 (e.g., about foreign interference, the Electoral College), when Clinton conceded the following day and democrats reconciled themselves to Trump's presidency, with (b) republicans spreading bald-faced lies about stolen elections (only the ones they lost, of course) and actively trying to over-throw the election, including through force. If this was her effort to seem apolitical with a ham-handed "both sides do it... or probably will" comment, then she she isn't intelligent enough to have public platforms.

Apr 15th
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ncooty

Is Rob's voice being played back at 1.5x? Is he hyped up on coke?

Apr 15th
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ncooty

I'm sure Dr Ord is well-intentioned, but I find his arguments here exceptionally weak and thin. (Also, the uhs and ums are rather annoying after a while.)

Nov 12th
Reply

ncooty

So much vocal fry

Nov 12th
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Ina Iśka

Thank you, that was very inspirational!

Jul 18th
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Sam McMahon

A thought provoking, refreshing podcast

Oct 26th
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