Open Thread: June 2021

by Aaron Gertler1 min read3rd Jun 202115 comments

11

Open thread
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If you're new to the EA Forum, consider using this thread to introduce yourself! 

You could talk about how you found effective altruism, what causes you work on and care about, or personal details that aren't EA-related at all. 

(You can also put this info into your Forum bio.)


If you have something to share that doesn't feel like a full post, add it here! 

(You can also create a Shortform post.)

 


Open threads are also a place to share good news, big or small. See this post for ideas.

15 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 5:48 AM
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Hello! I’ve been around EA since 2019! I was trying to choose a thesis topic and stumbled across Effective Thesis, which led to 80,000 hours, which led to hanging out a little with the Beijing chapter… you get the picture. Things have escalated since then (in a good way, ha!) and now I’m making a formal account here. 

I just started as the Research Coordinator at EA for Christians, where I support community building and research around the intersection of Christian theology and EA. I’ll be starting my Master of Divinity in NYC this September. (MDiv’s are typical degrees for priests/pastors, seminary professors, etc.) If you are interested in EA and theology/religion/spirituality, happy to talk!

But I do other stuff besides religion. I was a Yenching Scholar at Peking University and focused on Law & Society, writing my master’s thesis on international data law. I’m focused on institutional decision-making, great power conflict, US-China relations, theology, and research. Yet, I’m eclectic. So, interested in almost everything. 

Looking forward to engaging in discussions!

Welcome Caleb!

Welcome, Caleb! I'm always excited to see people with unusual specialties on the Forum; every bit of expertise matters.

Hi!

My main personal project for the summer is trying to figure out what I think about AI-risk, so I thought I should engage with the forum more to ask questions/solicit feedback. I'm currently a mathematics undergrad, about to start my 4th year, so part of this is trying to figure out whether or not I should pivot toward working in something closer to AI-risk. 

About me -- I first got interested in EA after reading Reasons and Persons in the summer of 2020. My main secondary academic interest in undergrad has been in political theory, so I'm very interested in questions such as whether naïve utilitarianism endorses political extremism, how that might be mitigated by a proper social epistemology, and what that might entail for consequentialists interested in voting/political process reform. I'm also very interested in the economics of cities and innovation, as well as understanding how we learn mathematics. I'm less sure how those topics fit in an EA framework, but I'm always interested in seeing what insights others might be able to bring to them from an EA standpoint. 

Here's hoping to learning a lot from y'all's!

-- Edgar

Two articles that you might find helpful:

AGI Safety from First Principles by richard_ngo
My Personal Cruxes for Working on AGI Safety by Buck
 

The former is an argument for why AGI Safety is potentially a really big problem (maybe biggest problem of our lifetimes), and the latter is stepping into the internal thought processes of an individual trying to decide whether to work on AGI safety over other important longtermist causes.

Great to meet you! You might be interested in some posts in the AI forecasting and Estimation of existential risk categories, such as:

I've also written a lot about AI risk on my shortform.

Hi,

I am about 2-3 months old into knowing EA. I was going through the bio of a professor who impressed me in a virtual lecture and her bio stated that she had pledged a part of her income to EA. That's where I first stumbled upon the name 'Effective Altruism' and it caught my attention immediately. The name says a lot. Thus, one thing led to the other as I continued browsing and reading about it, and here I am today.

Not knowing what I would do after my undergraduate studies, I knew one thing, I wanted to be able to help others as part of my profession. This led me to get my post-graduation degree in social work. I continued working in a variety of areas from human trafficking, children with intellectual disability, community development, counseling, capacity building of counselors,  school social work, designing and carrying out researches in different areas, and teaching research methodology to post-grad students.

Thereafter I took a long break in my career and long story short, here I am trying to find my way back. For the past year, I have been educating myself through various online courses in computational social science, research methods, data, and development policy. Childhood poverty is one of the areas where I am keenly interested in working.  Reading about EA brought my focus to concerns of farmed animal welfare part of which were there at the back of my mind but, thanks to EA work, got to the fore now.  I also got to know a lot about longtermism issues that I didn't know much about earlier.

I am looking forward to interacting with members here and learn a lot. I am open to discussions, volunteering or assisting/liaison with anyone on interesting EA-related projects.

 

Thanks,

Naghma

Welcome Naghma! It is great to have you here and learn about your background and interests.

A belated welcome, Naghma! 

A couple of recommendations for learning more:

  • Join the EA Newsletter to get regular updates on different causes, events, etc.
  • Browse through the EA Intro Program, a collection of articles on different topics that were selected for being among the best we have. It's a lot of material, but I'd recommend skipping around to whatever looks interesting.

And if you're ever looking for something to read on a specific topic, open threads are a great place to ask about that.

Hi, 

having been passionate about the bigger picture for many years I discovered EA maybe five years ago.  I attended a handful of events in Manchester and I was curious why something like Positive Psychology etc was not a core part of EA.  After all, many of humanities problems are caused by humanity and can only be solved by humanity.  

Six months ago I started work creating what I hope will be a global platform, there is a brief intro at potentialisation.com, to help people understand themselves and others better, learn and grow using that understanding and connect with other people more effectively - whether it be people round the corner to create a craft group because they are lonely or to connect with other would be global solution architects and supporters from around the globe that they have synergy with :-)

Hopefully the system help a few people be better in ways that give humanity a bit more chance of navigating the next few decades more successfully, or at the least be a bit less miserable as we head toward self destruction :-)  

thanks,

jon

Best of luck with the project. It looks like there's a lot of different material in the works; I hope that whatever first tool you launch has clear benefits for the people who use it, and you can build out from an initial success.

I struggled for a long time to fit forum content into my workflow, but have found something that works well for me:

  • I use feedbin as a space for long form content.
  • I subscribe to newsletters and the forum's digest using the feedbin email
  • Reading forum articles fits as an activity kind of like scrolling through twitter.

Is it still possible to create an event page on the forum?

Not right now. That feature popped up for a time but wasn't meant to be usable yet — this was just an inadvertent consequence of the code we share with LessWrong. 

However, getting the feature imported in a usable way is on our near-term roadmap! We don't have a specific launch date yet, but event pages are under active development. I wouldn't be surprised if they were in our next feature update post.

Thanks for letting me know! I'm interested in organizing an event soon, so this feature would be useful to me.