The last 3 months in EA projects

by Tom_Ash27th Sep 20153 comments

8

Frontpage

It’s been three months since the last one, so here is the latest update on what effective altruists around the world have been working on, collated from .impact’s monthly documents through which people can share this. The subheadings with project names generally link to the pages describing them, but do ask any further questions you have in the comments.

What shipped

July

  • Effective Altruism Policy Analytics launched on June 1st. (Matthew Gentzel)
  • Documentation for contributing to EA Forum (Tom Ash)
  • We deployed a bunch of requested bug fixes/features for the EA Forum (Peter Hurford leading tech team coordination, Alex RichardPatrick Brinich-Langlois and Joshua David contributing)
  • Wrote up first .workathon document.  Organized .workathon.  (Ozzie Gooen, Haseeb Qureshi)
  • Guesstimate deployed in a way that won’t go down every day.  http://guesstimate.surge.sh/ (Ozzie Gooen) 
  • New .impact summer intern recruited, set up (somewhat), and started on first tasks (Tom Ash)

August

September

  • 13 new local groups seeded by the Local effective altruism network support team (plus a few more not yet listed, through different methods)
  • Around a dozen websites requested by local groups built by Peter McIntyre and Marcus Davis, based on http://template-ea-group-site.effectivealtruismhub.com/

Project Updates

I.T.

EA Forum (July)

EA Wiki

Guesstimate

Slack

Communication

Regular EA digest/newsletter

  • July: Tom hooked up Evan and Michal (and one or two tangentially involved others), and helped them get the community newsletter back into action, with Evan handing it off. (Update: it will resume service in late September or early October.)

EA Facebook group

  • July: What do we think of recurring posts like https://www.facebook.com/groups/effective.altruists/permalink/888612127861812/ ?
    • Decision: anyone can ask .impact summer intern Joseph Kijewski to do that
  • Jacy Anthis is going through the queue of potential FB moderators in order. Will MacAskill stepped down. Julia Wise and 1 or 2 others brought in.
  • September: Jacy Anthis took forwards the possibility of changing the name to "Effective Altruism"
  • Poll at https://www.facebook.com/groups/effective.altruists/permalink/930257167030641/ 
  • The name got changed.

Improve EA Presence on Wikipedia

  • July: Merge proposal with EA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Effective_giving 

Annual EA Survey 

  • Handed remaining early stages off to David Moss, who was already lead on the later stages.
    • At the second .impact workathon Peter pointed out - quite accurately! - that, more than halfway through the year, the EA Survey wasn’t exactly on course to happen. This was entirely my (Tom’s) fault - I’ve been conscious that I’m barely able to spend any time on it due to having too few personhours available for all the EA projects I’m involved in. We’re trying to correct for this, and the handoff is part of this.

  • September: Survey design is all but completed. We produced a ’final’ draft which we have been getting outside comment on. We will soon begin the first (random) distribution.

Advertising .impact

  • August: Ozzie Gooen presented on (and represented) .impact at EA Global

Money

Loans to effective altruists

  • July: Tom started doing some central organisation (though a few others get the original emails to ealoans@effectivealtruismhub.com and anyone else can be added to it), changed status to:
    • People: several people offering loans (some listed publicly below); Tom Ash doing central organisation, though is overstretched so could use someone to take this over or help
    • Development Stage: Some people making loans; centralisation at a basic stage; not promoted much due to lack of capacity
  • A few more loans offered/rejected/in the pipeline
  • Anyone want to potentially offer or request loans?
  • Anyone want to get added to ealoans@effectivealtruismhub.com to be able to dip toes into central organisation?

Shop for Charity

  • August: Volume of orders kept climbing up and we were rewarded with 6.5% commission and were 7 orders away from 7% back on 25th July
  • September: Design stages of building a new site
  • Jay Burnett has started Facebook marketing for the site

Radical Givers (project page)

  • August: Substantial work

Expanding Tax Deductibility for Top Charities

  • September: Huge news: AMF now the first GiveWell charity to be tax deductible in Australia.
  • Tom did his regular check-in with people around the world - updates on other countries to come, some progress.

Policy

Effective Altruism Policy Analytics

  • July: We would like to find help with:
  • We potentially would like help in:
    • Making a centralized system for searching regulations.gov without duplication of effort and then sorting proposed rules into "worth investigating for impact," "worth investigating for feedback," and "not worth our time."
    • Finding a way to more directly influence regulators
    • Logo ideas and design
    • Having EAs at Harvard and other universities personally follow up with valuable experts who don’t respond to email
    • Having people search through regulations.gov for notices, rules, and proposed rules with trivial (easy to address) problems and no comments. We would then verify there is a problem and submit a short comment to help test for feedback.
    • It has been added here

Events

July: EA Hackathon (London)

  • Possible projects listed in advance
  • Attendees
    • Richard Batty
    • David Nash
    • Robert Collins
    • Callum Calvert
    • Sasha Cooper
    • Ryan Carey
    • Abbie Taylor
    • Mojmír Stehlík
    • Max MG
    • Michael D Plant
    • Anish Khan
    • Sanjay Joshi
    • Derek Foster
    • Vaidas Mykolaitis
    • Rafiel Faruq
    • Daniel Sanz
    • Elizabeth Vossen
    • Katie Glass

Good Code (September)

  • Ben Clifford ran local London meetup for developers to work on tech projects

Local effective altruism network

  • July
    • Discussed and contributed to a big plan for a coordinated chapter creation/upgrading push with GWWC, GBS, EA Outreach and us. I imagine you might be interested in this so let me know if you’d like to see the plan!
    • - Did the key early setup for a replacement VA (Tanja, from Macedonia, $6/hr - I’ve had to go upmarket). This mostly wasn’t and won’t be on LEAN tasks - it was one of the main things which got in the way of doing 12 hours on these - but it’ll come in handy. She’s impressive and can do some basic tech stuff and programming.
    • - sent the follow up messages to new EA groups who joined via EA Hub form / email ea latvia and any newly created groups 
    • - email EA Brisbane, and scheduled old resources emails to them
    • - Arranged and progressed a project where Peter McIntyre’s building websites for groups which have bad/no websites and which request it. We’re paying for domains and providing our hosting. He’ll base them on his WordPress design for http://eaunsw.org/
    • - Advised Yale on their website as part of this as they got in touch.
    • - Helped London use our email forwarders for posters and a P Singer event.
    • - Set up new people to take over the long-dormant EA New Zealand group.
    • - get ~5 new presences I’ve recruited set up
    • - get new durham presence set up
    • - just add tulane to lean and email them deets
    • - resend all adelaide emails
    • - email Ewelina  and MichaB for poland
    • - update and intro self to new cardiff people
    • - at least initially deal with mattiss’ request for help on student society constitution/legalities
    • THINK website updates
    • Decision Day - Contacted John S; he said he intended to draft it soon but now wants to talk more
  • August
    • Talked to Oliver H about rationalist groups, the best relationship between rationalists and EA, and his plans to move the rationality community in the EA direction (he is setting up a bunch of plans for that).
    • Took forward coordinated chapter push with GWWC and GBS, working on polishing resources, merging groups, mentors for chapters, etc.
    • Evaluated how worthwhile the minimal experiment we’ve run over the last 3 months if, and decided it’s valuable and worth expanding
    • Sorted out finances for the last 3 months
    • Outsourced maintenance of map for Helping people find local groups to VA
    • Arranged providing websites for several EA groups who wanted them or wanted/needed to change their current ones
    • Talked to groups who got in touch seeking funding for particular projects and answered various other queries
    • Developed survey of EA group leaders (and extra questions for EA group members in the Annual EA Survey), at the request of/in collaboration with The Life You Can Save and Ales Flidr at CEA
    • Invited all members of the network to a group call, took forward making these regular
    • Created EA Munster
    • Added new groups to group list spreadsheets
    • Drafted Donation Decision day blog post
    • Posted regular tips and discussion to /localea Facebook group
    • Helped run LEAN meetup at EA Global Google
    • Synthesized and merged new presences where needed
    • Added Salt Lake City Meetup.com group to LEAN network
      • Sent out email asking for new leader
      • Changed account payment
    • Talked to and coordinated LEAN meetups with people running EA Global in Oxford and Melbourne
    • Added new groups to EA Hub
    • Added EA Christchurch to  Meetup.com LEAN network
    • Recruited a lot of people to provide new local presences and set these up (follow-up to come)
  • September
    • Recruited Brian Tse of our Effective Altruism Hong Kong group to coordinate other Asian groups in the network
    • Recruited latest batch of EAs to provide new local presences and helped set these up:
      • Shanghai, China
      • Pittsburgh, USA
      • Central Oklahoma, USA
      • Flanders, Belguim
      • São Paulo, Brazil
      • Valencia, Spain
      • Malaysia
      • Brussels, Belgium
      • Calgary, Canada
      • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
      • Taiwan
      • Münster, Germany
      • Haiti
  • Full updates to come later


Rationality

September: Think Sharp

  • Very beginnings of a new project around helping people to use their brains better
  • Please take a look - after months of isolation I would really value some feedback to get ideas flowing!
  • Any help getting the word out to people who might want to join up projects/have an interest in learning how to learn, please send them my way. :) thinksharptutoring@gmail.com

Other (projects people have pursued in workathons, etc.)

3 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 10:28 PM
New Comment

Ben Clifford ran local London meetup for developers to work on tech projects

Was that a regular thing?

Yes, it's still ongoing. We had our second meetup last night. Sign up for email updates on events here: https://tinyletter.com/eastartups

This looks great!