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What community norm would you most like to see added, removed or acknolwedged within EA?

by Nathan Young1 min read2nd Nov 202111 comments

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What norms would you like to see added or removed within EA spaces?

What are the things we adhere to that we don't notice?

What things would it be good to add.

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8 Answers

Using they/them to refer to accounts you don't know the gender of on this forum.

This is more a test to see how it get up/downvoted, but I think it could be an easy norm that people prefer.

A good way to signal if a 1-1 conversation is private or not. 

At EAG (and other EA spaces) I struggle to know whether 1-1s are private or not. Likewise several people came up while I was having conversations that I'd prefer not to have been interrupted and others expressed uncertainty (which itself can disrupt conversation).

My suggestion is that it's entirely normal to say "sorry this is a private conversation", but that largely if people don't it's fine to join.

 

I think effective altruists can sometimes be a bit too critical of their own movement. I think that often comes from a good place - from the desire to avoid overconfidence and tribalism - but can go too far. I wrote about such things here and here.

I think this depends on your general view on current EA consensus, and how positive or negative it is. I agree that humility and underconfidence for the heck of it is bad, but what if you have genuine targeted criticisms?

A way to leave conversations politely.

This isn't a problem for me (though some might dispute "politely") but \t the recent EA Global 3 times people said they struggled getting stuck in conversations. I wish they knew a normal way to leave a conversation.

Personally, I go for "I"m going to leave in a bit" or try to bring someone else into the conversation to shift it, but seemingly not everyone feels comfortable doing this. 

"Hey, I think I'm going to mingle some. [Optional: This was interesting/Thanks for telling me about XYZ, I'll look into it/Good luck with ABC/whatever makes sense given the context]"

All jobs should be posted/crossposted to the EA forum where they should be hidden by default.

The EA forum should be the central database for all things EA. That way, EAs can take whatever feeds from it they like, rather than faffing with many smaller less well maintained databases.

You don't need to give any money away. 

I feel uncomfortable writing this, which probably suggests its good that I do.

I don't need to give anything away that I don't want to. If I give .1% to slightly more effective charities, I'm glad I did. I don't like a norm that we should all give away everything until we have $25k. 

That said I also feel that I am wealthy and giving a little more isn't bad. So I don't know how to settle this.

But if you're reading this, I wouldn't want you to feel guilty about giving. If you are concerned, it's okay to give less or to do nice things for yourself. 

Being a high status EA at a public event looks pretty exhausting.

This isn't a solution, just a note. And clearly if you're anything like me you'd prefer to be high status than low status, even with all the associated costs, so maybe it's a dumb thing to point out. Suffice it to say, if I could hardly walk through a room without people trying to find reasons to have a conversation with me, I'd eventually try to walk through those rooms less often. 

It's okay to work less hard than you could.

If you want to work harder, great! But if you don't want to work harder, if you want to coast and do whatever with your spare time. Play video games and touch trees. That's okay too. 

1 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 11:12 PM

I found this post quite compelling, what norms can we be explicit about removing.

https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/ozchYEpTzuDGLCtba/sasha-chapin-on-bad-social-norms-in-ea