I think about those working at MIRI or x-risk, in which they may see little to no benefit in their lifetime, and potentially only their grandchildren will reap the benefits.
I'm pursuing a somewhat longtermist project, but I'm having trouble staying motivated through obstacles and navigating through the "grind" right now. I was wondering what others have done to get through this or how they've stayed motivated when success can seem so far away? Especially if what they're doing is really only going to help in the far future.
How concerned should we be about replaceability? One reason some people don't seem that concerned is that the leaders of EA organizations reported very high estimates for the value of their new hires. About twenty-five organizations answered the following question:
For a typical recent Senior/Junior hire, how much financial compensation would you need to receive today, to make you indifferent about that person having to stop working for you or anyone for the next 3 years?
The same survey showed that organizations reported feeling more talent constrained than funding constrained.
On a scale o... (Read more)
Payout date: August 7, 2020
Payout amount: $838,000.00
Grant author(s): Luke Ding, Alex Foster, Denise Melchin, Matt Wage, Peter McIntyre
The EA Meta Fund made the following grant recommendations in the July 2020 round:
With this post I want to encourage an examination of value-alignment between members of the EA community. I lay out reasons to believe strong value-alignment between EAs can be harmful in the long-run.
The EA mission is to bring more value into the world. This is a rather uncertain endeavour and many questions about the nature of value remain unanswered. Errors are thus unavoidable, which means the success of EA depends on having good feedback mechanisms in place to ensure mistakes can be noticed and learned from. Strong value-alignment can weaken feedback mechanisms.
EAs prefer to work with p... (Read more)
We'd like to share an update on our recent progress.
In a previous post, we set out five goals for 2020:
Over the past 15 years, major international donor agencies shifted their approach to local politics in fragile states. In order to build stable state-society relations in conflict-affected societies, they committed to studying popular expectations on states, which may differ greatly from international norms like competitive elections and service provision. This blog post examines donor interventions to improve service provision in refugee-crisis-affected communities in Lebanon and Jordan from 2011 to 2019. Donor states hoped that imp... (Read more)
(I have no association with the EA Forum team or CEA, and this idea comes with no official mandate. I'm open to suggestions of totally different ways of doing this.)
Update: Aaron here. This has our official mandate now, and I'm subscribed to the post so that I'll be notified of every comment. Please suggest tags!
But I find it hard to decide whether some tag ideas are worth including, vs being too fine-grained or too similar to existing tags. I also feel some h... (Read more)
I've had interesting conversations with people based on this question, so I thought I'd ask it here. I'll follow up with some of my thoughts later to avoid priming.
By novel insights, I mean insights that were found for the first time. This excludes the diffusion of earlier insights throughout the community.
To gesture at the threshold I have in mind for major insights, here are some examples from the pre-2015 period:
I’m interested in people’s thoughts on:
Metaculus is an online platform where users make and comment on forecasts, which has recently been particularly notable for its forecasting of various aspects of the pandemic, on a dedicated subdomain. As well as displaying summary statistics of the community prediction, Metaculus also uses a custom algorithm to produce an aggregated "Metaculus prediction". More information on forecasting can be found in this interview with Philip Tetlock on the 80,000 hours podcast.
Questions on Metaculus are submitted by users, and a thread exists on the platform where people can suggest questions t... (Read more)
I suspect that cell-based meat research and development could be the most important strategy to protect animal rights and improve animal welfare (with a possible exception of research in welfare biology to improve wild animal welfare), and could strongly reduce climate change.
This post describes my very rough back-of-the-envelope Fermi-estimate calculation of the cost-effectiveness of cell-based meat R&D, and compares it with traditional animal rights and vegan advocacy campaigns. I only estimate the orders of magnitude, in powers of ten. The results are presented in the table here.
The t... (Read more)
This post is mainly targeted at EAs in the early stages of their career, such as those in university.
In my experience, many aspiring EAs don’t start career planning until fairly late in their undergraduate degree, and many don’t start until they’ve completely finished their studies. Despite the obvious claim that procrastination is to be avoided, I think there are some other, more subtle reasons why people should start career planning as early as possible. A lot of first and second year undergraduates feel like their graduation is far away and that they can worry about the... (Read more)
Hello all, i am just curious and wanting to have feedback from EA community on how group organizer from LMIC and Africa can tailor effective altruism movement in their regions and have the most impact from doing so and move forward the effective altruism movement in their region. what should we be focusing on? are we going to focus on
1. Promoting effective giving
2. higher impact career
4. community building and advancement of education through online and in-person event
5. Raising the profile of EA cause area or promotion and improvement of efficiency and effectiveness of ch... (Read more)
Epistemic status: magpie showing off shiny goods she doesn’t understand, young child enthusiastically sharing trivia he learned from a bathroom reader
Being a fledgling Effective Altruist without a philosophy background, I decided to read Jeremy Bentham to understand more about how modern Utilitarianism started. Bentham’s definitive treatise on the subject is An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. I didn’t read that. I’m a good EA who knows “if you want success, seek Neglectedness”. So I read Bentham’s other book on ethics: Deontology (volume 1, volume 2).
Warn... (Read more)
As we pandemic grinds on and the initial panic is replaced with grim endurance increasingly many people are turning their minds to the future: what will we do differently after COVID?
From the start I (and others) have been worried about how this could go wrong: how an ill-calibrated response to this most recent catastrophe could end up doing more harm than good. I'm interested in hearing other Forum users' thoughts on what we should be particularly worried about, and try particularly hard to prevent. I'll write my own (very speculative) answer in a couple of days.
I'm particularly interested in... (Read more)
A somewhat common goal in EA (more common elsewhere) is to accelerate the human trajectory, by promoting things such as economic growth, tech R&D, or general population growth. One could presume that doing this could accelerate exponential economic growth throughout the very long-run future, which could easily accumulate to huge improvements in welfare.
But the returns to economic growth have historically been super-exponential, so our global economic trend points clearly towards a theoretical economic singularity within the 21st century. This is not contradicted by the... (Read more)
Seth Baum of GCRI has published an excellent new paper. Here's the abstract:
... (Read more)
A recent article by Beard, Rowe, and Fox (BRF) evaluates ten methodologies for quantifying the probability of existential catastrophe. This article builds on BRF’s valuable contribution. First, this article describes the conceptual and mathematical relationship between the probability of existential catastrophe and the severity of events that could result in existential catastrophe. It discusses complications in this relationship arising from catastrophes occurring at different speeds and from multiple concurrent catas