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Link-post for the article "Effective Altruism Promises to Do Good Better. These Women Say It Has a Toxic Culture Of Sexual Harassment and Abuse"

A few quotes:

Three times in one year, she says, men at informal EA gatherings tried to convince [Keerthana Gopalakrishnan] to join these so-called “polycules.” When Gopalakrishnan said she wasn’t interested, she recalls, they would “shame” her or try to pressure her, casting monogamy as a lifestyle governed by jealousy, and polyamory as a more enlightened and rational approach.

After a particularly troubling incident of sexual harassment, Gopalakrishnan wrote a post on an online forum for EAs in Nov. 2022. While she declined to publicly describe details of the incident, she argued that EA’s culture was hostile toward women. “It puts your safety at risk,” she

...

yeah from my experience there are at least two clusters of incidents of

  • people who talk about dark secret psychological/sociological hacks the normies don't want you to know
  • possibly autistic people who are socially oblivious of how they are throwing their weight around but well meaning

i think there's probably quite a lot of value in warning people to be cautious around people who seem like they're in the first cluster (and I'd mostly associate poly/kink types with the second)


 

2Habryka11m
Update: Someone on community health asked me to wait at least until Monday since they are trying to think it through and are somewhat under water right now. Seems reasonable to me, so I'll wait.
2Ben_West2h
Thanks!

openbook.fyi is a new website where you can see ~4,000 EA grants from donors including Open Phil, FTX Future Fund, and EA Funds in a single place.

Why?

If you're a donor: OpenBook shows you how much orgs have already received, and where other donors you respect have contributed their money.

If you're a grant applicant: OpenBook shows you what kinds of projects your funders have previously sponsored, and also who funds projects similar to your own.

If you're neither: browse around to get a sense of how money flows in EA!

Features

Right now, you can:

  • search through all grants by donor, recipient, and cause area
  • go to an organization's page and see all grants they've given and received, plus in some cases organization details (e.g. country, GiveWell review)
  • view donation details (e.g. intended use
...
2JaimeRV18h
This is very helpful, thanks for doing it! How is the maintenance of the site planned? Is there a person in charge of periodically checking the different sources of grants and updating the page, or is there something automated? As a possible feature it would be nice if it would show somewhere when this database was last updated :)

Yeah that's the hard part that I'm going to be thinking about a lot this week. My guess is some funders will be easy to automatically update because they release their grants in a CSV and I already have scripts for reading them (EA funds, Open Phil), but others need to be done very manually which seems super annoying (ACX). I would probably only add the donations of major funds and not scrape people's blogs or whatever Vipul/Issa did to add a lot of smaller donations, excepting maybe connecting with Giving What We Can from individuals' donation data.

Anyway, I probably don't want to spent more than ~3 hours once per month updating the data, but I'll try to be as efficient as possible with that time!

Non-longtermists, what would you like to be called. It's a category that is going to get used so we might as well have a name for it. And now is the time to select one you like.

Longdistancers (emphasizing neutrality wrt spatial distance from beneficiaries, vs temporal distance for longtermism)

1Answer by Alex D2h
Hyperbolic discounters
2Dawn Drescher3h
Yeah, one could say that I’m a longtermist (though the term doesn’t fit well), and one key thing that caused that was gradual disillusionment with evidence-based anything over the course of a few years – because of the low-quality standard metrics of many fields, the low external validity of RCTs, the difficulty with running controlled experiments on anything that matters, complex cluelessness, the allure of highly leveraged foundational and policy interventions, etc. EA for me is about doing the most good. RCTs and such were just a tool that seemed promising to me at the time.
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Note this is a sincere question. Not intended to cause controversy. It was inspired by this post questioning another OP Grant.

Full Disclosure

I applied to the Atlas Fellowship but was rejected. However, I attended SPARC, a free in-person program that teaches rationality tools to high schoolers (and follows a similar structure to Atlas Fellowship's camp). I'm friends with many Atlas Fellows.

What is the Atlas Fellowship?

For those newer to the EA Community, the Atlas Fellowship is a competitive program for high schoolers. If you are awarded it, you receive,

  • A $50k scholarship (or $12,000 for Atlas India).
    • Atlas Fellows can spend this money on anything considered an "academic expense". This includes travel expenses if justification can be provided.
  • A fully-funded 11-day summer program in the Bay Area in a large former fraternity on UC Berkley's campus
  • College admissions preparation for top
...
Answer by HabrykaFeb 05, 20231610

There are rumours that [one of Atlas' co-founders] is dating/dated [the grant investigator for Atlas as listed on this page]'s husband [...]. Is this true? Why was the grant investigator for Atlas Fellowship the co-founder's boyfriend's husband? 

Urgh, I feel a bit like this is digging too much into people's social lives, but I updated after the FTX situation that being more open about people's relationship entanglements is probably good for the community (I was aware that Sam and Caroline were dating, and thought this was a pretty relevant aspect of m... (read more)

1Answer by sqgroves3h
I was pretty skeptical of Atlas when I first heard about it, and I'm still concerned about overspending, bad optics, attracting grifters etc. That notwithstanding, this post doesn't even attempt to engage with what a programme with Atlas's goals should look like, and instead just reads as a long list of speculative gesturing. In part, this makes sense as part of identifying talent. It's not obvious what the elasticity of grant money to attracted talent is, but it would be surprising if the elasticity is zero. As you note yourself, however, the money is also there for "academic expenses". Presumably identifying top talent is only an instrumental goal, and it is just as important to help said talent utilise their skills once you find them? For many teenagers, they are likely financially constrained and this sort of funding can let them attend academic conferences or pay for textbooks etc. While it is true that they could in principle apply to EAIF or LTFF for these sorts of expenses, the website suggests that Atlas evaluates "the use of scholarship funds ... on a case-by-case basis", so this wouldn't be carte blanche for Atlas fellows to spend, and instead merely represents the diversification of funders within the community, which I see as a good thing. In any case, my best guess is that the discretionary nature of this spending means that topline number of $50k is an upper bound which does not reflect the median Atlas fellow. Of course, this leads to the next consideration: Would it? I personally would be in favour of a smaller amount of money (somewhere in the range of $10k to $30k is my best guess), but I don't have good data on this. My impression is that many similar grant schemes offer comparable amounts of money (see: 776 Fellowship, O’Shaughnessy Fellowship, Thiel Fellowship, Century Fellowship) and those which offer less money often do so because they are aiming to provide funding for a much more limited time interval. Given you seem to know a lot abo
16calebp4h
I think that you could have emailed the Atlas fellowship at the email listed here [https://www.atlasfellowship.org/contact] with this question. I suspect this would have better achieved your intention of not causing controversy.

This piece defends a strong form of epistemic modesty: that, in most cases, one should pay scarcely any attention to what you find the most persuasive view on an issue, hewing instead to an idealized consensus of experts. I start by better pinning down exactly what is meant by ‘epistemic modesty’, go on to offer a variety of reasons that motivate it, and reply to some common objections. Along the way, I show common traps people being inappropriately modest fall into. I conclude that modesty is a superior epistemic strategy, and ought to be more widely used - particularly in the EA/rationalist communities.

[gdoc]

 

Provocation

I argue for this:

In virtually all cases, the credence you hold for any given belief should be dominated by the balance of credences held by your

...
4vipulnaik3h
Somehow I missed your reply originally; I've updated my comment to correct the author name of the post.

Thanks! By the way,  I found your original comment helpful for writing about the history of the concept of an independent impression.

Authors: Sid Sharma, Clare Donaldson, Michael Plant[1] [2]
This is a cross-post from the Happier Lives Institute

Executive summary

We all expect to experience some pain in our lives. For most of us, especially those in high-income countries, these experiences will be mild, bearable, and short. Others are not so fortunate. Millions suffer excruciating pain. Millions more suffer moderate or severe pain. They suffer despite the fact that cheap and effective treatments exist.

This report briefly discusses the measurement of pain then explores three major causes of pain and what might be done to relieve them. The findings are relevant for individuals and organisations considering if and how to put their resources (i.e. their money and/or time) towards this global problem.

Problem 1: Terminal conditions requiring access to opioids

First, we consider pain...

Pain is a common issue that affects people of all ages and is a major public health concern. There are many factors that can contribute to pain, including injury, disease, and chronic conditions. There are also a variety of treatments available for pain, including medication, physical therapy, and alternative therapies like acupuncture.

The safe pain relief program mentioned in your post is a good resource for managing pain. The program provides a comprehensive approach to pain management, incorporating a range of strategies to help individuals find relief.... (read more)

Overflowing with gratefulness thinking about the crucial work they do while going through so many hard times. I'm emotional and loss for words so all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you so much for your efforts Julia Wise, Catherine Low, Chana Messinger, Eve McCormick, Nicole Ross, Lorenzo Buonanno, Ryan Fugate, Amber Dawn, Edo Arad, Aaron Gertler, Lizka Vaintrob, Ben West, JP Addison and everyone else who helps with our forum. You folks work insanely hard through recent crazy circumstances. I'm so grateful our community has all of you. Thank you, thank you. 

15Lorenzo Buonanno4h
Thank you for the kind words! I would just like to clarify that Amber Dawn, Edo Arad, Aaron Gertler and I are not part of CEA.[1] I fully share your gratefulness, especially for the community health and online teams at CEA. 1. ^ I'm sure about me, 99% confident about the other three, and Aaron Gertler used to be at CEA.
37PeterSlattery5h
I have been thinking something similar so I will take this as chance to say that I really appreciate all your work and commitment. I also really sympathise about the stress that recent events have probably caused. It feels a bit trite and empty to say but I really mean it. I really hope that things calm down soon.

A few months ago I posted an advertisement for various EA infrastructure projects on the grounds that there are now many such free or discounted services, and there's very little ongoing way to bring them to the attention of newcomers or remind people who've been around longer and may have forgotten about them.

The trouble is, that post had the same issues all attempts to broadcast ideas in this space do: it sat on the front page for a few hours and then fell away - with the organisation I edited later getting almost no exposure. So this post is essentially a repost of it, albeit with the suggestions that were edited in later from the start. Ideally I would hope a post like this could be pinned...

Some low effort thoughts:

  • If this is meant as a living resource, maybe move the first 2-3 paragraphs to the bottom of the post, and leave just a one line explainer at the top, to make it easier to skim ("There are now more free or discounted services available to EAs and EA orgs. Here is an updated list, which is mostly a repost of [this].")
  • Maybe worth linking to your anti karma farming comment in the post so ppl can find it easier?

Other things that might belong here:

... (read more)
10david_reinstein14h
Let’s promote the wiki and make it more visible!