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There are some schelling points in EA that aren’t a result of deliberate optimisation, but are instead a result of founder effects, path dependency etc

These equilibria may be suboptimal and hard to change by any individual, but with coordinated action we may be able to shift to a better equilibrium.

Put your ideas for ‘equilibrium shifts’ here and upvote ones you’d like to see happen - the most popular proposals will naturally be the easiest to implement.

Some examples:




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"The main bottleneck to solving existential risks is Berkeley real estate." -leader of a high-in-demand Berkeley EA coworking space

Where can EAs coordinate to move to (that is not the oversaturated San Francisco Bay Area)?

I would be very much in favour of shifting the epicentre of the EA community to the East coast (Boston, NYC, and DC in particular), at least for the next 10 years. There are lots of good reasons for this:

  • It is geographically in the middle of the UK, Bay Area, Bahamas, and accessible from Africa and most of the Middle East. 
  • Boston is a bio hub, and DC is important for Policy. 
  • Over 100 EAs live in NYC, whilst another 150+ live in Boston and DC
  • There are likely to be 200+ seats of dedicated EA coworking spaces in NYC and Boston within the next 8 months.
  • Boston and DC have lower (but still globally exorbitant) costs of living compared to the Bay Area. 
  • Boston, NYC, and DC are global cultural hubs and have lots of great restaurants, museums, concerts, and natural attractions. 
  • There are many more extremely good universities in Boston, NYC, and DC than the Bay Area. 

There are lots of advantages to being based in the Bay Area. It seems both easier and higher upside to solve the Berkeley real estate issue that to coordinate a move away from the Bay Area.

Open Phil funds pro-housing advocacy, whose benefits are especially concentrated in areas like Berkeley, so these benefits will flow through to the EA and AIS communities as well.

The case for San Diego

I think that San Diego would be an excellent hub for EAs, especially people in the AI Alignment community

  • Climate - Great weather all year round, arguably even better than the bay area - most days sit in a very comfortable range of 65 to 75 degrees.
  • Culture - it's important to be able to relax, and while the bay tends to have a very hardworking culture, this culture is probably not great for idea generation.  My vibe from San Diego is that it's a more relaxing place where people tend to value clearing their mind, walking on the bea
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the philly value prop

  • 2 hours from new york, a little over 2 from DC, something like 5-7 to boston depending on if you drive or amtrak. 
  • EA Philly's discord has about a hundred people
  • A wework cluster (spearheaded by rethink priorities) has a bunch of empty desks at the time of this writing! 
  • rent under a thousand is quite easy to find for a lot of different types of people and needs (I pay more than anyone in my house and i'm at like 537 lol) 
  • Penn has a reasonable EA history, has hard coursework and some cool profs and students.
  • Adequate public
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I'm expecting Berlin to really take off as a hub.

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