Progress Open Thread: December 2020

by Aaron Gertler1 min read2nd Dec 202016 comments

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The Progress Open Thread is a place to share good news, big or small.

See this post for an explanation of why we have these threads.

What goes in a progress thread comment? 

Think of this as an org update thread for individuals. You might talk about...

  • Securing a new job, internship, grant, or scholarship
  • Starting or making progress on a personal project
  • Helping someone else get involved in EA
  • Making a donation you feel really excited about
  • Taking the Giving What We Can pledge or signing up for Try Giving
  • Writing something you liked outside the Forum (whether it's a paper you've submitted to a journal or just an insightful Facebook comment)
  • Any of the above happening to someone else, if you think they'd be happy for you to share the news
  • Other EA-related progress in the world (disease eradication, cage-free laws, cool new research papers, etc.)
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Congratulations to Sam Bankman-Fried, a longtime member of the EA community and GWWC member who was just named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 list (in the "finance" category).

EA T-shirt in the headshot as well :)

I ran a forecasting and question-writing workshop with LSE-EA's Arete fellows. I had a lot of fun in the session and there were many very interesting questions asked at the end. The feedback I've received so far has been positive.

I've been hoping for a while to find something EA-related that uses the skills I've developed in my teaching career, so this was very encouraging.

I also think that your youtube channel is great :) 

Thanks! I'm planning increase the rate of uploads over Christmas.

Can anyone in clean meat verify this news? The last time I checked, we were still years off market release.

Conditional on it being a real shock, hooray!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/02/no-kill-lab-grown-meat-to-go-on-sale-for-first-time

From my understanding (by asking people in clean meat), the deal is with Just which apparently has a  stem-cell-based chicken product. This is probably still very expensive and limited in its taste and texture, although from what I heard from reports on similar products of SuperMeat's The Chicken “Feedback from multiple tasting panels was consistent that it was indistinguishable from conventionally manufactured chicken, and simply a great-tasting chicken burger.” 

Update here  - Chicken nuggets for $23, a mix of cells and plants

I'm working on my first blog posts for my new blog, Sunyshore, which will focus on effective altruism, public interest tech, and computer science. One of the posts I'm drafting is about effective giving and the spirit of Christmas. Other topics I may write about in the future include:

  • The paper "Effective Justice"
  • Opportunity cost and cause prioritization
  • Longtermism and justice/Longtermism and liberalism
  • AI fairness, accountability, and transparency

My audience thus far consists of people from the EA community, the online "neoliberal" community, and my university.

I'm jumping back into the assurance contract project (see here for previous discussion on a "Kickstarter for Inadequate Equilibria", though I'll note I feel like at this point that the contributors to those threads missed a bunch of relevant detail on this topic; I should do a writeup, not sure what though).

The long-term mission: Supply global public goods via dominant assurance contracts.

I intend to provide updates here on a regular basis, probably monthly although I can do more frequent if people are interested.

That's a fantastic mission, it's great to see this form of public commitment :) 

I'd love to read a writeup of what exactly you have in mind and what are your plans, and would probably be interested in reading the regular updates. (also, you missed a link 😊) 

I finished the first semester of my CS Master of Engineering (MEng) program at Cornell! All of my classes assigned final projects instead of exams this semester, so the last month of the semester was harrowing.

For my computational genetics and genomics class, I worked on using the ROLLOFF algorithm to estimate the number of generations since the admixture of Indo-European- and Dravidian-speaking peoples in South Asia. I didn't get satisfactory results with this study, but I learned a lot about population genetics, statistics, and CS while doing it!