TL;DR: Let’s post comments celebrating cool things people have been working on (you can share your own projects!).
We often have high standards in effective altruism. This seems absolutely right: our work matters, so we must constantly strive to do better.
But we think that it's really important that the effective altruism community celebrate successes:
- If we focus too much on failures, we incentivize others/ourselves to minimize the risk of failure, and we will probably be too risk averse.
- We're humans: we're more motivated if we celebrate things that have gone well.
So here's a thread to share things that have gone well recently. We encourage you to:
- Share some cool things that you've done recently!
- Share cool things that other people have done recently!
- Upvote others' comments, and thank them for their work.
- Share any other gratitude you have (to others or the world).
There are many types of cool things: the estimated impact of your monthly donations, a piece you wrote that helped you to improve your understanding, a project that you completed at work, a paper published, or any small step towards improving the world. No step too small to share.
I think Abie Rohrig and the broader team have been crushing it with the launch of What We Owe The Future. So so much media coverage and there are even posters popping up in tube stations across London!
I am grateful to Will in particular for a rather long list of things. But the recent thing I will mention is the podcast interviews around WWOTF. All the ones I've heard seem very good / excellent on all the most important dimensions.
I made a thread of my favourites, with highlights and links to transcripts: https://mobile.twitter.com/peterhartree/status/1559568673920016384.
Yep, kudos to Will for the huge effort he’s put into the launch as well. I understand that many of the key media pieces came as a result of relationships he’s developed over the years.
I am also very grateful to Will and his team of RAs for writing the book. It's very good!
The earning to give company I started got acquired.
This is from a couple months ago: in large part due to the advocacy of New York kidney donors in the EA community, this bill passed the NY state assembly, which will reimburse kidney donors and may save around 100 lives a year. It still needs to be signed into law by the governor, but it's very likely to, and EAs are already on the ball to lobby for its passing!
What's holding the governor from signing it? And why has it taken them months?
This is the speed of politics in the US, unfortunately.
Wow that's amazing!
Brenton Mayer runs internal systems at 80k. That basically means operations and impact evaluation, ie the parts that don't really get visibility or interact with the outside world. He's been doing that extremely competently for years. Him and his team make it feel easier to work to a high standard (eg through making sure we get more of a sense of how we're impacting users and setting an ambitious but sustainable culture), keep the lights on (figuratively by fundraising and literally) and make 80k a lovely place to work.
Jonathan Mustin added the ability to copy and paste footnotes from google docs into the Forum, which has been one of our most oft-requested features.
I didn't know this and I'm grateful that you flagged this!
THIS. IS. LIFE. CHANGING. thank you thank you thank you
This forum has taken off over the past year. Thanks to all the post authors who have dedicated so much time to writing content for us to read!
And thanks to everyone who reads!
I'm grateful to you guys for making this post! :)
I think a lot of the criticisms shared recently have been very valid but overall the EA community is amazing and has also accomplished some great things and I'm super thankful for it. Great idea to create this thread to help keep that in mind!
I am grateful to SBF and all the FTX Future Fund team and donors, and especially the people who made the Regrantor Program happen.
I estimate ~70% chance I wouldn't have begun work on Radio Bostrom or The Derek Parfit Archive if I didn't know I could probably secure funding from a regrantor with an hour or two of work and 1-3 days of calendar time.
It was also great that when I ran into people I thought would be worth funding, it was super easy to ask them to write a one pager and then share it with regrantors I thought might be keen to recommend a grant. I did this three times over the past couple months and all three were funded within days.
Generally I'm finding the existence of the Regrantor Program incredibly enabling while I'm thinking about small pilot projects I might take a crack at, or bumping into cool people who I might want to help. I hope it continues in some form!
That's really cool to hear! Excited about your work!
I'm excited about Squiggle (and the associated experimentation prize).
I’m really grateful for CEA’s recent efforts on communications. The new intro essay, new fellowship materials, hiring a head of comms, hosting a comms retreat, revisiting the effectivealtruism.org website. I can’t emphasise enough how happy this makes me to see this all get attention.
I recently had to make an important and urgent career decision and found it tremendously valuable to speak with several dozen wonderful people about this at EA Global SF. I'm immensely grateful both to the people giving me advice and to CEA for organizing my favorite EA Global yet.
I'm grateful for all of the thoughtful, motivated and kind community builders from Asia, the middle east and Africa I've met them past few weeks. It's really hard to be an EA, and it's so much harder without an existing community.
Peter Hartree made a shockingly useful plugin for Google docs; lets you search comments, loads > 10x faster than Google's native comments.
The most requested feature is "search resolved comments". That has been built and is currently in testing. I'm slammed right now but I will definitely release by end September, hopefully within 1-2 weeks.
I'm not sure if this is helpful or annoying to hear at this stage, but I found a hack to search resolved comments:
Open the full comments list in the top right --> Manually open the search function with the three dots thing at the top of the page. (I.e. don't just ctrl+f ): this opens the search function you get on your browser ordinarily, rather than the search function within Google Docs specifically.
I'm not sure if this makes sense. Can record a screen grab or take multiple screenshots to show this if it's helpful. Presumably this is browser dependent, too.
A recent post describes progress made by Animal Advocacy Careers: The impact we achieved to date: Animal Advocacy Careers — seems really cool!
I am grateful to Howie Lempel for taking over as CEO of 80,000 Hours. When you sign up for any CEO role, you sign up for a lot of pain. Howie knows that, but he's doing it anyway because he knows he's the best candidate for this important role.
I am super impressed with the people working at the charities we helped to start via CE's Incubation Program, to name a few:
1) Fortify Health, who got an $8.2 million GiveWell grant for scaling their work. I highly recommend following their social media, a lot of cool updates on their progress: https://www.facebook.com/fortifyhealthfoundation
2) Fish Welfare Initiative, who already improved the lives of over 2 million animals. They have a great newsletter and updates on their blog: https://www.fishwelfareinitiative.org/blog
3) Lead Exposure Elimination Project, mentioned in almost every interview Will MacAskill did recently :) they have really great map on their website that shows where they work and what stage of work they are at: https://leadelimination.org/projects/
All 3 were created by young graduates, who were not afraid of a startup world and took a chance on a more risky but also very rewarding and impactful career. I am so impressed with the Co-founders, teams created, and the progress they made so far.
It's incredible how much can be done and achieved by just 2 willing Co-founders and this amazing EA community of donors, advisors, working professionals, volunteers, and friends.
I'm really grateful to Our World in Data and think their work is amazing. Some examples (please feel free to add other examples to this thread):
This type of chart (and explanations of economic growth):
This chart (and the related "history of global conditions"):
This is a great idea. The theme of gratitude is especially relevant to me.
I'm immensely grateful for Yonatan Cale's work: posts and comments on the forum, his coaching, posts on Facebook, Twitter polls, curated list software jobs, and I'm probably forgetting tons of things!
Also, he's helping me a ton in private conversations. I strongly empathize with the comments on his post on coaching
I am grateful to the organizers of EAGxVirtual that they are going to make this event happen.
I am excited about this event in particular, because it is accessible to people who live far away from EA hotspots, and to people who - for whatever reason - cannot travel easily (financially, work related, health, family, etc.).
I'm super excited by the launch of the Longtermism Fund which was driven by Michael Townsend and made possible by the excellent team at Longview!
I think it fills a gap in longtermist giving and I'm excited to see giving grow in this space!
I'm so grateful to everyone who wrote submissions for the EA criticism and red-teaming contest! I was really blown away by the number and quality of submissions.
In particular, I was super impressed by Froolow's submission (someone needs to pay him whatever it costs to get him to come work for an EA org full-time!) and the work by the Happier Lives Institute.
I am grateful to the Radio Bostrom team, especially Shaun Acker and Perrin Walker on narration, and Katy Moore on audio-proofing.
They narrated 15 Bostrom papers in less than a month!! They consistently delivered to such a high standard that after the first couple episodes I only needed to listen to 5-15 minutes before signing episodes off to release. Dream team!
I'm super happy I finally published something substantial! I had gotten a grant to write a paper on philanthropy-driven movement building (how rich people can change public opinion and policy strategically with their money) in February. I'm still working on that paper but I got side tracked in wanting to write a better critique of open philanthropy's criminal justice reform efforts. It took SO much longer than I thought it would, but I think it turned out well. It's my first serious research-paper-like publication on this forum. Would love to hear your feedback if you get a chance to read it: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/7ajePuRKiCo7fA92B/evaluating-large-scale-movement-building-a-better-way-to
I am grateful for the fact that I could spend all day writing messages for this thread.
I am grateful to people who make unreasonably good podcasts as a side project.
I just finished revamping the Mental Health Navigator's community-recommended provider database, and I'm really hopeful that this will help a bunch of EAs find therapists. (It will be promoted later this fall) https://www.eamentalhealthnavigator.com/recommended-providers
Emily was great to work with to get it all done and out :)
For me, this is relevant and very valuable information, thank you for sharing your experience. Gratitude is a very important part of our lives, and recently I have delved into it even more. Moreover, I had to prepare a work on the topic of gratitude https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/gratitude/ And this source has become a real find for me. The examples gave me more fresh ideas and thoughts about this.