# My values

**Table of contents**

I’ll briefly summarize my beliefs accordingly:

- Agnostic atheist
- Effective altruist
- The importance of far-future outcomes

## Open {Source, Science, Data}

When you have a new idea-

— Elizabeth Seiver (@tweetotaler) July 10, 2017

Academia: "I hope no one scoops me"#opensource: "thank goodness someone already thought of this!"

## The proposition of a universal value function

I once has a discussion with a friend where I proposed a, currently unknown, universal value function which would sum up all good and bad in the world. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he did not like the idea, mainly on the basis that it would be impossible. Today I find this idea pretty silly, but I still find the proposition interesting.

To continue this search for a universal value function, one approach might be to start off with formulating our individual value functions and then weight them. This gets interesting when you take into account synergies in this combined function.

This might not be a very appealing idea to people not interested in effective altruism, but to me it’s of great interest to speculate in what such a universal value function would look like, regardless if it actually ends up being a reasonable proposition. To calm concerns along the lines of “but this could impossibly lead to a fair outcome!”: I don’t think it needs to be perfect to be useful, as the saying goes “All models are wrong, but some are useful”.