Recent Discussion

Thanks to Alexander Gordon-Brown, Amy Labenz, Ben Todd, Jenna Peters, Joan Gass, Julia Wise, Rob Wiblin, Sky Mayhew, and Will MacAskill for assisting in various parts of this project, from finalizing survey questions to providing feedback on the final post.


Clarification on pronouns: “We” refers to the group of people who worked on the survey and helped with the writeup. “I” refers to me; I use it to note some specific decisions I made about presenting the data and my observations from attending the event.


This post is the second in a series of posts where we aim to share summaries of the

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Ultimately the operationalising needs to be done by the organisations & community leaders themselves, when they do their own planning, given the details of how they interact with the community, and while balancing the considerations raised at the leaders forum against their other priorities.

15aarongertler13h I'm not sure what you mean, Peter, but I'll try to be more clear. Of the seven organizations listed in the comment to which I replied, three of them had people invited, according to the list of people who were recorded as having been sent the invite email. How did you interpret the word "some"? Is there another sense in which you saw the comment as misleading?
9Peter_Hurford11h I’m sorry. I was reading uncharitably and wrote too quickly. Your latest response sounds clear and fair to me. Thanks for providing the numbers and I’m sorry for misjudging the situation.

[Epistemic status: Pretty confident. But also, enthusiasm on the verge of partisanship]

One intuitive function which assigns impact to agents is the counterfactual, which has the form:

CounterfactualImpact(Agent) = Value(World) - Value(World/Agent)

which reads "The impact of an agent is the difference between the value of the world with the agent and the value of the world without the agent".

It has been discussed in the effective altruism community that this function leads to pitfalls, paradoxes, or to unintuitive results when considering scenarios with multiple stakeholders. See:

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This is the best explanation I could find: Notes on a comment on 2-efficiency and the Banzhaf value.

It describes two different kinds of 2-efficiency:

The {ij}-merged game [...] considers that a pair of players merge or unite in a new player p which lies outside the original set of players. [...] In the {i ▹ j}-amalgamation game, player j delegates his/her role to player i, who belongs to the original set of players.

These lead to the corresponding properties:

A value, f , satisfies 2-merging efficiency if, for every and ,

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1cole_haus4h Unless I'm very confused, yes. Unfortunately, it does seem that almost all of the discussion of it is pretty theoretical and about various axiomatic characterizations. Here's an interesting application paper I found though: The Shapley and Banzhaf values in microarray games [] . They have a short description of their use of the Banzhaf value (equation 2)---not sure how helpful it is.

I found Will’s and Buck’s AMAs really interesting. I’m hoping others follow suit, so I thought I’d do one too.

What I work on:

I’m head of advising (what we used to call ‘coaching’) for 80,000 Hours. That means I chat to people who are in the process of making impact-focused career decisions and help them with those decisions. I also hire people to the team, and manage them - currently we have one other adviser, and we have another joining us next year. Alongside my usual calls, I answer career related questions in other formats, for example ... (Read more)

What would be your advice to people who want to do EA career advising in their local community? Would 80,000 Hours be willing to release a guide, or train people on how to do this, so that other EAs can advise a lot more people than 80K can?

3edoarad7h Sorry, yes. There are two ways to use "risk averse" here. Reducing the risk of saying the wrong advice or giving advice for safer career path. I meant the first - What are things you would say if you didn't fear giving wrong advice?
1vaidehi_agarwalla8h Sort of tangential, but on the topic of encouragement during the job hunt process, I found that after doing a number of interviews with people in the midst of a career change process (from a wide range of backgrounds), a good number of people felt energized/encouraged just by having the chance to talk about their situation. This was a context where we mostly did active listening and asked some guiding questions. I think being able to explicitly think through a career change and take a bird's eye perspective might be very valuable for some people.

This month we are excited to announce the Sentience Institute Podcast, where we interview a range of experts on topics related to our work. We are launching with three episodes featuring effective animal advocacy (EAA) leaders on the strategies of their nonprofit organizations: Kevin Schneider of the Nonhuman Rights Project, Pei Su of ACTAsia, and Ria Rehberg of Veganuary.

In the future, we expect to interview social scientists and other academics, business leaders, and other experts. We are excited to receive feedback from our audience (including the effective altruism, animal advocacy, and a... (Read more)

Each year, GiveWell identifies more great giving opportunities than we are able to fully fund. As a result, in our charity recommendation decisions, we necessarily face very challenging questions, such as: How much funding should we recommend for programs that reduce poverty versus programs that reduce deaths from malaria? How should we prioritize programs that primarily benefit children versus adults? And, how do we compare funding those programs with others that have different good outcomes, such as reducing suffering from chronic health issues like anemia?

We recently received results from r

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+1, good to see empirical work on this

x-post with (see wiki for latest version)

Epistemic status: intuition; tentative | Quality: quick write-up | Created: 2019-12-05 | Acknowledgement: Nicolas Lacombe for discussions on tracking political promises

Assumption: more democracy is valuable; related: The rules for rulers, 10% Less Democracy

Non-denominational volunteering opportunities in politics

Tracking political promises

Polimeter is a platform that allows to track how well politicians keep their promises. This likely increases the incentive for politicia... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

We’re excited to announce our top charities for 2019. After thousands of hours of vetting and review, eight charities stood out as excellent.

These charities work on evidence-backed and impactful health and poverty alleviation programs serving people in the poorest parts of the world. We’ve identified specific opportunities for our top charities to use an additional $75 million in donations to save 33,000 lives, $30 million to treat 36 million children for parasitic worm infections, and $450 million to provide unconditional cash transfers to 375,000 extremely low-income individuals. Our expecta

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We are excited to announce that this year we’ve selected four Top Charities:

The Albert Schweitzer Foundation, The Good Food Institute, and The Humane League have all retained their top status from last year and—for the first time—Anima International joins their ranks!

We are also pleased to recommend the The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) as a new Standout Charity. Additionally, Compassion in World Farming USA and Faunalytics retained their status as a Standout Charities after being re-evaluated this year.

Below, you will find brief details about each charity we rev

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