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Reviews

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Which World Gets Saved

I thought this post was particularly cool because it seems to be applicable to lots of things, at least in theory (I have some concerns in practice). I'm curious about further reviews of this post.

I find myself using the reasoning described in the post in a bunch of places related to the prioritization of longtermist interventions. At the same time,  I'm not sure I ever get any useful conclusions out of it. This might be because the area of application (predicting the impact of new technologies in the medium-term future) is particularly challenging. (... (read more)

SHIC Will Suspend Outreach Operations

I thought this post was a very thoughtful reflection of SHIC and what went wrong in approaching highschoolers for EA outreach, which is made all the more interesting given that as of 2021 high school outreach is now a pretty sizable effort of EA movement building. SHIC in many ways was too ahead of its time. I hope that the lessons learned from SHIC have made current high school outreach attempts more impactful in their execution.

Disclaimer: I am on the board of Rethink Charity which SHIC was a part of at the time of this post, but I am writing this review... (read more)

Updated estimates of the severity of a nuclear war

This post represents the culmination of research into the severity of the risks of nuclear war. I think the series as a whole was very helpful in figuring out how much the EA movement should prioritize nuclear risk and whether nuclear risk represented a true existential risk. Moreover, I think this post in particular was a great example of how there can be initial errors in analysis and how these errors can be thoughtfully corrected.

Disclaimer: I am co-CEO at Rethink Priorities and supervised some of this work, but I am writing this review in a personal ca... (read more)

Opinion: Estimating Invertebrate Sentience

This post represents the various team opinions on invertebrate sentience (including my own) and I think was a great showcase of how people's opinions looking at the same information can differ and how to present this complexity and nuance in an approachable way. I also think it continued to help make the case that invertebrate welfare is worth taking seriously and that this case was made in a way that was credible and taken seriously by the EA movement.

Disclaimer: I am co-CEO at Rethink Priorities and supervised some of this work, but I am writing this rev... (read more)

Corporate campaigns affect 9 to 120 years of chicken life per dollar spent

Corporate campaigns have been a large part of the "effective animal advocacy" movement since they exploded in funding and effort in 2015. Given the prominence, it was strongly worth investigating whether corporate campaigns were worth the prior investment and - more importantly - would be worth the continued marginal investment into the future. This review established that corporate campaigns actually seem to have been a strong success.

I also think this post demonstrates a strong and thoughtful approach to cost-effectiveness estimation that served as a tem... (read more)

Comparisons of Capacity for Welfare and Moral Status Across Species

This post establishes a framework for comparing the moral status of different animals and has started a research program within Rethink Priorities that I think will eventually lead to a large and meaningful reprioritization of resources within the EA movement that accounts for much more accurate and well thought out views of how to prioritize within animal welfare work and how to prioritize between human-focused work and nonhuman-focused work.

Disclaimer: I am co-CEO at Rethink Priorities and supervised some of this work, but I am writing this review in a p... (read more)

Invertebrate Welfare Cause Profile

I appreciated this post as culmination of over a year of research into invertebrate sentience done by a team at Rethink Priorities that I was a part of. Prior to doing this research, I was pretty skeptical that invertebrates were of moral concern and moreover I was skeptical that there even was a tractable way to figure it out. Now, we somehow managed to make a large amount of forward progress on figuring out this thorny issue and as a result I believe invertebrate welfare issues have a lot more forward momentum both within Rethink Priorities and elsewhere... (read more)

You have a set amount of "weirdness points". Spend them wisely.

When I wrote this post back in 2014, the effective altruism movement was very different than it is today and I think this post was taken more seriously than I wanted it to be. I think generally speaking at the time, the EA movement was not yet taken seriously and I think it needed to appear a bit more "normal" and appeal more to mainstream sensibilities and get credibility / traction. But now, in 2022, I think the EA movement unequivocally has credibility / traction and the times now call for "keeping EA weird" - the movement has enough sustaining power no... (read more)

Intervention Profile: Ballot Initiatives

This post helped establish ballot initiatives as an underapprechiated way to do good within effective altruism in a variety of cause areas. However, since the post was published, Rethink Priorities (the author organization of this post) did not end up doing much more work in ballot initiatives and as far as I know, no one advancing ballot initiatives within effective altruism was specifically motivated to do so by this post (though it's possible some efforts were still sped up on the margin). So I think this post did not end up having the impact that I was... (read more)

EA Survey 2019 Series: How many people are there in the EA community?

I think this post mostly stands up and seems to have been used a fair amount. 

Understanding roughly how large the EA community seems moderately fairly, so I think this analysis falls into the category of 'relatively simple things that are useful to the EA community but which were nevertheless neglected for a long while'.

One thing that I would do differently if I were writing this post again, is that I think I was under-confident about the plausible sampling rates, based on the benchmarks that we took from the community. I think I was understandably un... (read more)

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