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This reminds me of the 'fine-grained permissions' vs. 'broad permissions' security models. The former is more expressive, more powerful, etc. It also is technical, complicated and confusing. The latter is less powerful and less expressive, but people actually use it, because it's simple and easy to understand.

Expressing effects using monad transformer stacks might be more expressive and allow finer-grained distinctions, or whatever (please elaborate what you mean, I'm interested), but it's syntactically ugly (lift), it's confusing, and it's not clear that the expressiveness you get is practically useful.

In contrast, algebraic effects might 'only handle effects that trivially commute' (again, going to need more detail on this), but they're easy to understand and easy to use. They're much more likely to be a practically usable effect system that real programmers can really use in the real world in a way that doesn't convolute code with details of how you compose effects unduly.

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