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Welcome! Use this thread to introduce yourself or ask questions about anything that confuses you. 

PS- this thread is usually entitled "Open thread", but I'm experimenting with a more descriptive title this time. 

Get started on the EA Forum

The "Guide to norms on the Forum" shares more about the kind of discussions we'd like to see on the Forum, and when the moderation team intervenes. For resources that can help you learn about effective altruism, check this list of links

1. Introduce yourself

If you'd like, share how you became interested in effective altruism, what causes you work on and prioritize, and other fun facts about yourself, in the comments below (For inspiration, you can see the last open thread here). You can also add this information to your Forum bio to help other Forum users get to know you. 

You can share photos as well as Gifs and videos in your posts. 

 

2. Ask questions (and answer others' questions)

If anything about the Forum, or effective altruism in general, confuses you, ask your questions in the comments below. You can also answer other people's questions or discuss the answers. (You might be interested in sharing your question as its own post, if it's on a more complicated or substantial topic.) 

Resources like the EA Handbook and the Topics wiki might be helpful for exploring topics related to effective altruism — see more here

 

 

3. Explore and join the conversation

You can check the resources below, start browsing posts on the Frontpage, or explore the "Best of the EA Forum."

You can also start writing! For exploratory or quick thoughts, consider sharing a "Quick take" (or write a post for longer or more fleshed out content). 

If you're unsure whether your first post is suitable for the Forum (or whether it should be a question, quick take, etc...) message me and I'll look it over. 

  • How to use the Forum outlines the Forum's rules, answers frequently asked questions, etc. 
  • The EA Forum Digest is a weekly email that shares some of the Forum team's favourite Forum posts of the week.
  • The EA Newsletter is a monthly newsletter that compiles EA-related news from around the world and highlights some opportunities to get involved. 

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Hi, I'm Will from the USA. I've been working in cyber security for about 15 years, and am at the point in my career where I'm moving from middle management to more senior roles.

I've been lurking the EA forums for about a year, but held off on joining the discussion until now because I had considered myself more EA-adjacent. I'm passionate about a small number of causes in the EA portfolio (mostly related to AI and X-risk) while I'm unmoved by other areas of focus.

I'm dipping my toes in the EA water, and I hope my time here can encourage me to fully hop in the pool. As a side note, I am thrilled to be on an old-school internet forum again!

Hi Will, thanks for joining the Forum! Glad to have you here. Let me know if you'd like any tips setting up the Forum to see more of the kind of content you're interested in (for example, you can set filters on the homepage to filter out content you aren't interested in seeing). 
Cheers, 

Toby (Content Manager for the EA Forum)

Hi Everyone! First, thanks for taking the time to read 😊, I appreciate it. 

I’m Nigel Masenda, I’m currently a corporate attorney at Greenberg Traurig LLP. I’ve spent the better part of the last four years in private practice with a focus on emerging company and venture capital work, as well as some private equity (including investment funds) and public company work. It’s a pretty general practice, practically what this looks like is helping start-ups throughout their full life cycle (from incorporation, to financing and ultimately acquisition/public offering), helping sponsors set up their investment fund vehicles, private equity companies in their acquisitions of companies or assisting public companies with their annual and quarterly disclosure requirements. 

I’m sure you’re wondering “…so where’s effective altruism?” well, the primary driver for going to law school was to be an agent of change and to help others beyond myself – the restoration of dignity for those who may have lost it or had it stolen from them. In the wake of the summer of 2020, I founded The Cecil Allan Fraser (link in my bio). It is one of the most exciting and meaningful initiatives that I have been a part of. It’s focus is narrow in scope and the data suggests that it’s been highly effective at providing a solution to a problem that’s prevalent throughout the legal profession. 

I’m now at a point in my career where I want to continue creating, and participating in, initiatives that actually provide credibly remedies to a host of problems and for it to be my life’s lasting work 😊. I’m happy to learn from each of you and will likely ask some surface level questions, but I promise I just want to learn. 

 

Some areas that excite me are:

  • AI governance;
  • Biosecurity risks;
  • Social impact funds (this is a very broad category, I know!)

Hey Nigel, welcome to the Forum! Feel free to message me or comment here if you have any questions. 
Cheers, Toby (Content Manager for the EA Forum) 

Hi all, I'm Ben(jamin Hause). I just finished my PhD in philosophy and am excited to join everyone else in the real world. I write about some of my ideas on Substack. Most recently I explained why I'm not a consequentialist.

Hi Ben!
Not sure the EA Forum is quite the real world, but you're getting closer. Welcome, and let me know if you have any questions about the Forum.
Cheers,
Toby (Content Manager for the EA Forum).

Hi everyone, I’m Bronson from San Francisco!

I’ve spent the last decade or so working in self-driving. Currently at NVIDIA. Interested / active reader over the past few years in following communities like LessWrong, but only recently started getting more involved in keeping up with research and looking into opportunities to contribute to alignment.

Hi Bronson! Welcome to the EA Forum! Let me know if you have any questions about how to use the Forum/ find the content you are looking for.

Hello EA community,

My name is John Mulo Mugwanya from Uganda. I am so delighted to be a part of the Effective Altruism platform. 

I learned about Effective Altruism from the role that I held as a Communications Officer at One Health and Development Initiative. I deeply connected with the work that it supported more-so in the animal welfare space in Africa.

Being here is an indicator of my continued interest in the transformative contribution that EA does, and a will of connecting with a community of like-minds.

I am glad to be on the platform.

Welcome John! Thanks for joining the platform. Let me know if you'd like any tips for setting up the Forum to see more of the content you'd like to see. 
Cheers- Toby (Content Manager for the EA Forum)

Howdy all, I'm Connor Mullins.

I've been interested in the question of how to do good better since high school. I only learned about EA recently. 

I dropped out of college to try to build a better social media with my best friend - that blew up and almost took the friendship with it. My career as a mobile developer rose from the ashes. I've spent the last few years healing, working on myself, and earning money in less-altruistic pursuits while I get my feet (financially) back underneath me.

I'm really afraid of wasting my life on things that aren't important to me. 

I hope to help people here in their thoughts and actions, and hope to be inspired to do my best.

Hi Connor! 
Welcome to the EA Forum! Let me know if I can help you get a hang of the Forum/ find the content you're looking for. 
Cheers,
Toby (Content Manager for the EA Forum).

Hello everyone! I'm Angie, a biochemistry student who's interested in neurochemical approaches to reducing suffering, curing death and improving lives through bionics and nanotechnology, disease prevention and its longterm effects, and understanding consciousness better through understanding its biological substrates.

I first became aware of EA about a decade ago, give or take a couple years, and was immediately thrilled with the idea. I signed the Giving What We Can pledge a long time ago and am happy with my current giving but am always looking for ways to maximise my impact.

My background is a little roundabout—I taught myself a lot of humanities and philosophical concepts in a very piecemeal way on my own, and as such have arguably stronger foundations there in many ways than in the sciences I'm currently studying, although I'm no expert in anything yet. As such I'm interested in building and testing experimental models of resource management such as peer-to-peer governance and UBI, as well as policy reform in areas such as drugs, immigration, international relations, energy, housing, education, and animal welfare.

Right now I'm excited by the rollout of the R21/Matrix-M vaccine and the research being done by the Far Out Initiative. I hope most of all that my studies will enable me to work on projects like that.

Hi everyone, I'm Ale from Naples, Italy and I'm exited to be here and so grateful that EA exists. 

After surviving a heart attack during  my last year of high school and being gifted the possibility to live a hopefully long life thanks to an innovative heart surgery technique performed by an equipe of doctors and biomedical engineers, I gave up my  plans of studying either political science or medicine (the latter due to the mandatory preselettive test that took place in the time I was in hospital) thinking that biomedical engineering was my one true call to better people's lives. 

After one year studying in engineering, and after coming across EA articles, I soon realized how the most obviously-helpful careers are  not the ones who actually have the strongest impact on human wellness and safety. 

I'm now trying to find a way to acquire as much skills and knowledge as possible within the very limited resources of my own territory and to understand how can I realistically build the most impactful career for myself and form connection and collaborations with others interested in human needs.

I still have to choose if I want to continue studying in biomedical engineering even if it's still an emergent and quite lacking field in my own territory  and try to figure out innovative ways  to  contribute to exponentially improve people's health within the knowledge I'll be given and currently  job outlook , or if I want to combine my lifelong passion for political science and philosophy and my newfound love and skills for coding to pursue an education in informatics to aim to better study and comprehend AI and all the possible impacts it can have on humanity (which is still limited by the lack of resources in my city and the fear of ending up with a time consuming job that wont even pay the bills, but seem a little bit more possible given the attention my university is giving to AI)

I can't wait to figure it all out and I'm hopeful the knowledge shared in sites like EA will help

Hi Ale, great to have you here!
Let me know (here or via DM) if you have any questions about the Forum, or want any content recommendations,
- Toby, Content Manager for the EA Forum.

Hello, I'm Leonora Camner, a founder of a new climate change adaptation organization called ClimateSafe Villages (CSV). Given the deeply concerning warnings from experts that we are not on track to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming, CSV aims to help communities build local resilience to the severe climate impacts we are likely to face in the coming decades. These communities are resilient not just to climate change, but other catastrophic risks as well. 

Our work focuses on:

  • Researching and modeling innovative, resilient building methods and materials
  • Developing community-scale systems for water capture, storage and preservation
  • Building regenerative food systems that are adaptable to extreme conditions
  • Convening advisors across climate science, engineering, agriculture and other key areas
  • Producing actionable guides to help people everywhere build climate resilience

By enabling communities to withstand extreme disasters, deadly heat, water scarcity, food shortages and other devastating climate impacts, I believe we can meaningfully reduce the overall level of risk humanity faces.

I'm very interested to connect with others working on climate and existential risks to explore potential collaborations and knowledge sharing. Please reach out or connect me with others!

Until the end of last year, I was the Executive Director of the YIMBY ("Yes in My Backyard") nonprofit Abundant Housing LA, which I grew from a volunteer effort to a staff of 10. I'm always happy to chat with others about this experience and share any relevant lessons learned. If helpful, I can write a post about this experience and my recommendations. I'm also an advocate for sortition (democracy by lottery) and would love to connect with others interested in this area. 

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to getting to know this community! You can learn more about CSV at ClimateSafeVillages.org.

Hi Leonora! Welcome to the Forum :)
Let me know (here or via DM) if you have any questions about the Forum, or want any content recommendations,
- Toby, Content Manager for the EA Forum.

Hi everyone I'm Caleb Zege from Nigeria and I am incredibly excited to be here, looking forward to exciting times and memorable moments on this platform.

Welcome Caleb!
Let me know if you have any questions about using the Forum, on this thread or via DM. 
- Toby, Content Manager for the EA Forum.

Hi, I’m an AI alignment technical researcher who mostly works independently, and I’m in the market for a new productivity coach / accountability buddy, to chat with periodically (I’ve been doing one ≈20-minute meeting every 2 weeks) about work habits, and set goals, and so on. I’m open to either paying fair market rate, or to a reciprocal arrangement where we trade advice and promises etc. I slightly prefer someone not directly involved in AI alignment—since I don’t want us to get nerd-sniped into object-level discussions—but whatever, that’s not a hard requirement. You can reply here, or DM or email me. :) update: I’m all set now

Hi, I'm Sebastian. I'm a mathematics graduate that spent the last two years in entrepreneurship. About nine months ago, I started to actively engage with EA through the Biosecurity Fundamentals course by BlueDot Impact (although I've known about EA for a long time).

My current focus is biosecurity. I am particularly interested in biotech aspects such as DNA synthesis screening, wastewater surveillance and vaccine development. Since my expertise is mostly in data analysis, computation and software development (as opposed to bioinformatics or virology) I'm struggling somewhat with getting my foot in the biotech/biosecurity door.
Concretely, I'm currently working on a project for the AI Safety Fundamentals course for which I look into risks posed by AI-powered biological design tools and de novo / in silico protein design.

If you want to learn more about my past work and interests, check out my website (link in my profile). Looking forward to participating more actively here on the forums and generally in the EA community :)

Thanks for joining Sebastian! Your AISF project sounds really interesting, and I'm sure people would love to see it on the Forum some day :)
- Toby (Content Manager for the EA Forum)

Hello everyone, my name is Manik. I joined the forum a month ago and am very excited to be here.

I am a business and technology consultant in the UK, collaborating with clients on business problems across multiple industries and domains. I have 3 years of software development experience after Engineering Bachelor's and 6 years of business and technology consulting experience after MBA. I am exploring ways to utilize my skill set to transition into a career which can create a bigger impact. 

Over the last few years, I developed ideas about how I want to design my life and arrived at something very similar to longtermism. This led me to do some research and I was absolutely delighted to know that there is a term for this and that a wider community is working with a similar mindset. The idea of “prioritization” and “effective” altruism resonated with me; I have always believed in an intellectual response to emotional motivations/challenges in life (personal, professional, or global). 

I have been exploring articles on this forum and on 80,000 hours, pursuing a course on AI safety fundamentals, reading Nick Bostrom’s work, listening to EA podcasts and looking for projects/jobs where I can contribute. I am at present interested in AI Safety, but keeping my mind open to exploring other areas if I find I can create a bigger impact. 

Hi Manik!
I'm glad you're finding these ideas so valuable. Let me know (here or via DM) if you have any questions about the Forum, or want any content recommendations,
- Toby, Content Manager for the EA Forum.

Hi everyone, I'm Sarah Ennett (aka Ariel) from the Isle of Man.

I would describe myself as mid way through a very squiggly career.  Most of it in Telecommunications, but in very different business areas including launching an ISP as part of a tiny team on a tiny Island (so ended up doing pretty much every role (webmaster, tech support, installations, sales, product development and so much more)).  I then moved to be Product Manager for fixed and mobile data propositions launching everything from ADSL broadband through to mobile packet data (GPRS) which then evolved into 3G (we were one of the first in the world for 3G it was exciting to be a part of!).  I then became head of retail operations, running initially a small popup style mobile phone store to coincide with the launch of BlackBerry where we wanted to offer a very bespoke and skilled and customer service heavy experience, which we were successful in! I then moved to launch and run a B2B service selling Internet of Things solutions to systems integrators - our service doubled revenue year on year for the time I was responsible for it.  I then jumped to a Government role nearly 4 years ago and am currently still assessing whether  can affect more change from within Govt as a civil servant, or perhaps as a politician, or if I'd be better to put more of my energy into launching my own business.

Staring down the barrel of turning 50 in a year and a half, and on the back of a very upsetting near burnout work situation, I have been on a much more targeted and energetic quest of self discovery.

My key side project and vehicle for learning, is my fascination with the Japanese concept of IKIGAI, and I started writing a substack and doing some related research and reading last September.

I am motivated to find a better career for myself both to do more good in the world, but also to have more control over my own physical and emotional health.

I discovered 80000hours.org only recently and am just working through the book and related articles, hence finding this resource.

I love the concept of effective altruism, and will definitely be spending more intentional time on the 80000hours site and this forum, to learn as much as I can and forge a new path!

Look forward to learning, sharing and connecting!

Sarah xxx

Hey Sarah/Ariel, welcome to the Forum!
Based on your interests, you might be perfect for this program.
Hope you enjoy hanging out here- let me know if you have any questions about EA, or using the Forum.
Cheers,
Toby (content manager for the EA Forum)
 

Greetings, I'm Anand Jeevanandham, co-founder of Educate-Liberate Foundation(ELF) a non-profit focused on achieving personal freedom and social peace through Education. 

He who opens a school door, closes a prison said Victor Hugo. This makes logical sense, if a school can create such characters in students, who can acquire skills, apply them in the real world to solve problems of the society and uphold righteousness can make this world peaceful and prosperous. 

Our current work:

  • Workshop for students on Self esteem and Logical reasoning.
  • Training program for teachers on Transactional analysis and Axiology.
  • Quality Audits using a 12-dimensional evaluation method to scientifically determine the effectiveness of any school.

In the pipeline:

  • Development of a Hybrid-AI Teacher Evaluation System (TES) that can interactively assess the teacher's skills, expertise, style, and methods
  • Research on alternative Pedagogy to enhance learning outcomes.

This foundation was made possible with the contributions and support of Sundararajan Krishnaswamy, who served as the Chief Education Officer for a group of 26 schools in India.

Talk to us contact.educate.liberate@gmail.com

Workshop on Circadian rhythm, St.Francis De Sales School, India (2019) : https://youtu.be/0fH_pvW0VTA

Hi Anand, 
Welcome to the Forum, I hope you find your time here valuable. 
Let me know if you have any questions!
- Toby, Content Manager for the EA Forum. 

So, I have three very distinct ideas for projects that I'm thinking of applying for funding from the Long Term Future Fund for. I was wondering if anyone knows whether it makes more sense to submit them together in one application, or as three separate individual applications?

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