As Effective Altruism grows, we face new challenges as a movement. Funding, cause prioritization, but the most neglected area is definitely just having fun.
EA_YEARLY_IMPACT_IN_QALYS = sq.to(1*M, 100*M) # TODO # If one EA reads one post which makes them happy, how much more productive do they become, in percent, for that day? INCREASED_PERSON_PRODUCTIVITY_PER_HAPPY_FUNNY_POST_FOR_ONE_DAY = sq.to(-0.05, 0.10) FRACTION_OF_EA_THAT_READS_A_GOOD_POST = sq.to(0.05, 0.4) # This calculation is so intuitive that even copilot could autocomplete it IMPACT_PER_APRIL_FOOL_POST = \ EA_YEARLY_IMPACT_IN_QALYS * \ INCREASED_PERSON_PRODUCTIVITY_PER_HAPPY_FUNNY_POST_FOR_ONE_DAY * \ FRACTION_OF_EA_THAT_READS_A_GOOD_POST bins = 100 samples = IMPACT_PER_APRIL_FOOL_POST @ bins plt.hist(samples, bins=bins)
As you can see, the spike around 0.1 indicates (assuming I'm reading this chart incorrectly) that the potential impact is relatively very high, compared to some other smaller spikes.
A marketplace of ideas
Some people have ideas for April Fool’s posts, and some people are good at writing but don’t have ideas.
Let’s make these high impact connections between EA cofounders!
The ideal platform will be
- A list of ideas
- Each idea has all the essential fields such as “title”, “long description”, “target audience”, “expected impact of that audience”, “squiggle model estimating the impact of the post given the post's quality”, “what is the joke you told that you’re most proud of (we use this as applicant background, but don't worry, we won't judge you)” and probably many more fields, the more the better, and we would like more ideas for fields below as this seems crucial for the project’s success.
- Of course, we will ask people not to spend no more than 1 hour filling out this form. (some people will be randomly assigned to the "45 minutes only" group, and we'll check which group performs better)
- We will send out a recursive feedback form to each applicant.
- The platform will support for comments, such as “I’d fund this post”, or “looking for a co-author”
- Emoji inclusiveness: If Zoomers use 💀, Millennials will see 😂, which is important to avoid miscommunication.
- User chat
- Sub groups by topic
- A feed that users can scroll
- Algorithms to optimize that feed based on the user’s preferences (open sourced, inspired by Twitter)
- A blue background
But as an MVP, we’ll just use the comments to this post.
Creating a critical mass
This project will only succeed if all the following things will happen:
- The forum will change its font to Comic Sans (this step was easier than expected)
- Readers like you (yes you) will share their ideas for April Fool's posts here in the comments
This post was written quickly since we used the top EA tools for getting things done (having a due date), so any suggestions are welcome.
Thanks Edo Arad for helping write this post. I'm sure he'd want to tell you that all mistakes are his. Edo could not immediately comment on this line I just added.