Epistemic transparency: Confidence in conclusions varies throughout. I give rough indicators of my confidence at the section level by indicating the amount of time I spent researching/thinking about each particular subtopic, plus a qualitative description of the types of sources I rely on. In general, I consider it a first step toward understanding this threat from civilizational collapse — not a final or decisive one.
Note: I'm taking a break from civilizational collapse over the holidays, but I look forward to reading and responding to comments in early/mid-January!
This research was funded by the Forethought Foundation. It was written by Luisa Rodriguez under the supervision of Arden Koehler and Lewis Dartnell. Thanks to Arden Koehler, Max Daniel, Michael Aird, Matthew van der Merwe, Rob Wiblin, Howie Lempel, and Kit Harris who provided valuable comments. Thanks also to William MacAskill for providing guidance and feedback on the larger project.
In this post, I explore...
The last few years have seen a proliferation of forecasting platforms. These platforms differ in many ways, and provide different experiences, filters, and incentives for forecasters. Some platforms like Metaculus and Hypermind use volunteers with prizes, others, like PredictIt and Smarkets are formal betting markets.
Forecasting is a public good, providing information to the public. While the diversity among platforms has been great for experimentation, it also fragments information, making the outputs of forecasting far less useful. For instance, different platforms ask similar questions using different wordings. The questions may or may not be organized, and the outputs may be distributions, odds, or probabilities.
Fortunately, most of these platforms either have APIs or can be scraped. We’ve experimented with pulling their data to put together a listing of most of the active forecasting questions and most of their current estimates in a coherent and more easily accessible platform.
Metaforecast is a free &...
If you follow the news, you will have observed a recent coup in Myanmar. Myanmar had been a military dictatorship for 22 years until a semi-transition in 2011. Unlike the other autocracies of the region, the autocracy had elite support only in the military (no middle classes, communal or economic elites (Slater)). Myanmar’s regime was one of the most predatory in the world, relying on natural resources such as diamonds and brutally neglecting its people, restraining their collective action capacity to challenge the military (De Mesquita, political survival). The military regime once responded to a hurricane once by dispersing refugee camps and banning humanitarians to restrain collective action (Ibid).
Acemoglu and Robinson’s model provides a parsimonious description of the democratization game. De facto power fluctuates between the pre-democracy selectorate (PDS) and the pre-democracy ejectorate (PDE). Because power fluctuates, when the PDS is challenged by a revolution they cannot credibly commit...
You may have read recent reports that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Department of Justice have filed charges (announcements here and here) against the cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX and several people involved with the company. This includes Ben Delo, a major EA donor and a cofounder of BitMEX.
CEA, Effective Giving UK, and 80,000 Hours became aware of the charges yesterday, when the news was first reported. No findings have been made about these charges at this point. We will continue to watch how things unfold and learn more, and will continue to update the EA community.
We are in the process of implementing a major project on the Forum — turning our current system of tags into a full-fledged “EA wiki”.
Under this system, many of the tags used for posts will also serve as articles in the wiki. Many articles in the Wiki will also serve as tags that can be applied to articles.
However, there are exceptions in both directions. Some tags don’t make sense as wiki articles (for example, “EA London Update”). And some articles are too narrow to be useful tags (for example, Abhijit Banerjee). These will be marked as “wiki only” — they can be found with the Forum’s search engine, but can’t be used to tag posts.
The project is made possible by the work of Pablo Stafforini, who received an EA Infrastructure Fund grant to create an initial set of articles.
EA content mostly takes the form of...
Abstract: most EA groups’ names follow the recipe “Effective Altruism + [location/university]”. In 2020 we founded a university EA group who’s name does not include the words “Effective Altruism”. We have grown rapidly, and it now seems more and more likely that our organization will stick around in years to come. We think our name played a non-negligible part in that. In fact, we believe that choosing an alternative name is one of the most cost-effective things you can do to make your group grow. In this article we argue that more (potential) groups should consider an alternative name. We propose a method for coming up with that name. Lastly, we propose that “part of the EA network” could serve as a common subtitle to unite all EA groups despite their various names. Scroll down to ‘summary’ for
The greatest challenge of my PhD is the distant deadlines and the lack of immediate structure and accountability. Working on a single project for years with little extrinsic rewards is really hard for me, and most humans. This plagues long solo projects like academic research, but is less common in the normal working world. Rob Wiblin has pointed out that in normal companies weekly meetings with a line manager actually resolve this problem by giving a semiformal context for people to think through the mundane issues of productivity and planning. I have a link to the podcast below.
I'm seeking another PhD student to try out mutual line managing. We would meet once weekly for half an hour. We would each describe our progress, plan for next week, and discuss emerging problems and strategies. Taking turns sounds easiest, perhaps with timers. I'd prefer someone in the social sciences and in Eastern Standard Time. And the format is super flexible. Message me on EAForum and I'll be in touch.
Inspired by this 80k episode from 27:02 "so I like your idea of a line manager" to 43:23 "let's pivot...". https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cDovL2ZlZWRzLnNvdW5kY2xvdWQuY29tL3VzZXJzL3NvdW5kY2xvdWQ6dXNlcnM6MTk0MjgyNjgyL3NvdW5kcy5yc3M/episode/NTM5NTVmY2EtNTVjMy0xMWViLTk4ZDctMGUyYTQ3ZjVmMjU5?sa=X&ved=0CA0QkfYCahcKEwi4l86rmLXuAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQAQ
I am looking for any reasonable estimate of the total amount of funding controlled by the EA movement on a yearly basis. It is fine to operationalize this question in any reasonable way. I would be interested in any estimates people have as long as they are clear about their assumptions. I do want to be clear that I am not interested in 'how much total money goes to EA charities'. I am only interested in the total amount of funding that comes from EA sources. So please focus on the sources of funding, not just the targets. I am aware these numbers have changed year to year.
Hi everyone, I'm Giang Nguyen, born and bred in Vietnam. I have been part of EA York for the last 3 years and involved in (too) many EA events and retreats. If you are interested in chatting more about Effective Altruism Vietnam please get in touch. We only have a Google Site and a brief plan but nothing much!
My email is email@example.com. Thank you and take care.