Local vs. global optimization in career choiceLike many young people in the EA community, I often find myself paralyzed by career planning and am quick to second-guess my current path, developing an unhealthy obsession for keeping doors open in case I realize that I really should have done this other thing.
Many posts have been written recently about the pitfalls of planning your career as if you were some generic template to be molded by 80,000 Hours [reference Holden's aptitudes post, etc.]. I'm still trying to process these ideas and think that the disti... (read more)
Redwood Research is looking for people to help us find flaws in our injury-detecting model. We'll pay $20/hour for this, for up to 2 hours; after that, if you’ve found interesting stuff, we’ll pay you for more of this work. We might stop doing this (or stop recruiting additional people) in a few days.If you’re interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so he can add you to a Slack channel with other people who are working on this. This might be a fun task for people who like being creative, being tricky, and figuring out how language models understand languag... (read more)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think in Christianity, there's a lot of respect and positive affect for the "ordinary believer". Christians who identify as "ordinary Christians" feel good about themselves for that fact. You don't have to be among the brightest stars of the community in order to feel like you belong.
I think in EA, we're extremely kind, but we somehow have less of this. Like, unless you have 2 PhD's by the age of 25 and you're able to hold your own in a conversation about AI-alignment theory with the top researchers in the world... you sadly ... (read more)
And to respond to your question about what I meant by "menial labour". I was being poetic. I just mean that I feel like EA places a lot of focus on the very most high-status jobs, and I've heard friends despairing for having to "settle" for anything less. I sense that this type of writing might not be the norm for EA shortform, but I wasn't sure.
I think an EA career fair would be a good idea. It could have EA orgs as well as non-EA orgs that are relevant to EAs (for gaining career capital or earning to give)
EA Global normally has an EA career fair, or something similar
Naïve question: What's the deal with the cheapest CO2 offset prices?It seems, though, that the current price of credible offsets is much lower than the social cost of carbon, and possibly so low that just buying offsets starts to look competitive with GiveWell top charities.
I'm not an expert on this. (I run an offsetting program for a small organization, but that takes about 4h/year. Otherwise I don't think about this much.) I'm also not anywhere near advocating that we should sink tons of money into offsets. But this observation strikes me as unintuitive ... (read more)
One project that popped up last year involved converting the operations of a platinum mining company in Bihar from burning coal to another burning another fossil fuel in a slightly-lower-emissions way. That's easy to verify, and there was a clear argument for why it wouldn't make economic sense for them to transition without the offset money
I am also confused about the general question, but I found this intervention interesting to think about. It seems like the legitimacy of this comes down to the elasticity of demand for coal in India (basically, if someo... (read more)
(See the linked doc for the most up-to-date version of this.)
The scope of this doc is fairly broad and nebulous. This is not The Definitive Collection of collections of resources on these topics - it’s just the relevant things that I (Michael Aird) happen to have made or know of.
This is a doc I made, and I suggest reading the doc rather than shortform version (assuming you want to read this at all). But here it is copied out anyway:
AI governance is a large, complex, important area that intersects with a vast array of other fields. Unfortunately, it’s only fairly recently that this area started receiving substantial attention, especially from specialists with a focus on existential risks and/or the long-term future. And as far as I... (read more)
I think it is a cool idea for people to take a giving pledge on the same day. For example, you and your friend both decide to pledge 10% to charity on the same day. It would be even more fun if you did it with strangers. Call it “giving twins” or “giving siblings”.
Imagine that you met a couple strangers and they pledged with you. Imagine that after pledging you all just decided to be friends, or at least a type of support group for one another. Like “Hey, you and I took the further pledge together on New Year’s Day last year. When I’m in your city let’s g... (read more)
That could be the case, but I think the emphasis is more on the idea that you have the same “birthdate” to be considered a giving sibling.
Like on February 15 you and a friend took the Giving Pledge together and then that date was the same day you became siblings. Then you celebrate that day every year or form a bond around this shared experience.
Hi, I am working on a non profit to help animals in another country by creating a sanctuary for them. I already know how to setup a corporation, convert it to a non profit, and operate it with a board of directors. For this project, I will be opening a US non-profit and using funds to help animals in other countries.
I am looking for additional guides on how to establish a non-profit organization in another country and wanted to know if there is anything different about running a US non profit that does work in another country and if the process is any different when operating only in the US.
I wrote a very rough draft of an idea I had. It was just a stream of consciousness and I didn't really edit it. I'm not sure what the standards are like on the EA Forum: I would like to invest time in developing this further, as well as other posts I could possibly write, but as I mentioned at the bottom of this post, I'm at a critical juncture in my career and need to invest my time and energy elsewhere.
If I can produce forum posts with potentially some interesting ideas, but that are of a relatively low standard, is is better for me to post these without... (read more)
In answer to your question, I think that it's generally better to create a top-level post than a Shortform post, as long as you're comfortable doing so. Shortform serves a useful purpose, but top-level posts have a better chance of getting useful engagement.
I think this would make sense as a top-level post, and would encourage you to try sharing it in that context!My thoughts on the checklist compilation idea: It's hard to make a given intellectual resource very popular, but if you can pull off this one, I think it could be really useful. Many EA orgs have... (read more)
Red teaming papers as an EA training exercise?
I think a plausibly good training exercise for EAs wanting to be better at empirical/conceptual research is to deep dive into seminal papers/blog posts and attempt to identify all the empirical and conceptual errors in past work, especially writings by either a) other respected EAs or b) other stuff that we otherwise think of as especially important.
I'm not sure how knowledgeable you have to be to do this well, but I suspect it's approachable for smart people who finish high school, and certainly by the t... (read more)
This is another example of a Shortform that could be an excellent top-level post (especially as it's on-theme with the motivated reasoning post that was just published). I'd love to see see this spend a week on the front page and perhaps convince some readers to try doing some red-teaming for themselves. Would you consider creating a post?
It was a great experience for me, for a bunch of reasons.
See my comment here, which applies to this Shortform as well; I think it would be a strong top-level post, and I'd be interested to see how other users felt about tech bootcamps they attended.
Here in the EA community, we’re trying to do lots of good. Recently I’ve been thinking about the similarities and differences between a community focused on doing lots of good and a community focused on getting really rich.
I think this is interesting for a few reasons:
I'm commenting on a few Shortforms I think should be top-level posts so that more people see them, they can be tagged, etc. This is one of the clearest cases I've seen; I think the comparison is really interesting, and a lot of people who are promising EA candidates will have "become really rich" as a viable option, such that they'd benefit especially from thinking about this comparisons themselves.
Anyway, would you consider making this a top-level post? I don't think the text would need to be edited all — it could be as-is, plus a link to the Shortform comments.
A thought on how we describe existential risks from misaligned AI:
Sometimes discussions focus on a fairly specific version of AI risk, which involves humanity being quickly wiped out. Increasingly, though, the emphasis seems to be on the more abstract idea of “humanity losing control of its future.” I think it might be worthwhile to unpack this latter idea a bit more.
There’s already a fairly strong sense in which humanity has never controlled its own future. For example, looking back ten thousand years, no one decided that the sedentary agriculture would i... (read more)
Would you consider making this into a top-level post? The discussion here is really interesting and could use more attention, and a top-level post helps to deliver that (this also means the post can be tagged for greater searchability).
I think the top-level post could be exactly the text here, plus a link to the Shortform version so people can see those comments. Though I'd also be interested to see the updated version of the original post which takes comments into account (if you felt like doing that).
Recently I was asked for tips on how to be less captured by motivated reasoning and related biases, a goal/quest I've slowly made progress on for the last 6+ years. I don't think I'm very good at this, but I do think I'm likely above average, and it's also something I aspire to be better at. So here is a non-exhaustive and somewhat overlapping list of things that I think are helpful:
I've previously shared this post on CEA's social media and (I think) in an edition of the Forum Digest. I think it's really good, and I'd love to see it be a top-level post so that more people end up seeing it, it can be tagged, etc.
Would you be interested in creating a full post for it? (I don't think you'd have to make any changes — this still deserves to be read widely as-is.)
Here’s the problem:
Some charities are not just multiple times better than others, some are thousands of times better than others. But as far as I can tell, we haven’t got a good way of signaling to others what this means.
Think about when Ed Sheeran sells an album. It’s “certified platinum” then “double platinum” peaking at “certified diamond”. When people hear this it makes them sit back and say “wow, Ed sheeran is on a different level.”
When a football player is about to announce his college, he says “I’m going D1”. You become a “grandmaster” at chess. Ah... (read more)
I certainly would be interested in seeing such a system go into place—I think it would probably be beneficial—the main issue is just whether something like that is likely to happen. For example, it might be quite difficult to establish agreement between Charity Evaluator and GiveWell when it comes to the benefits of certain charities. Additionally, there may be a bit of survivor bias when it comes to organizations that have worked like FIDE, although I still think the main issue is 1) the analysis/measurement of effectiveness is difficult (requiring lots o... (read more)
A few junior/summer effective altruism related research fellowships are ending, and I’m getting to see some of the research pitches.
Lots of confident-looking pictures of people with fancy and impressive sounding projects.
I want to flag that many of the most senior people I know around longtermism are really confused about stuff. And I’m personally often pretty skeptical of those who don’t seem confused.
So I think a good proposal isn’t something like, “What should the EU do about X-risks?” It’s much more like, “A light summary of what a few people so far th... (read more)
Relevant post by Nuño: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/7utb4Fc9aPvM6SAEo/frank-feedback-given-to-very-junior-researchers?fbclid=IwAR1M0zumAQ452iOAOVKGEcOdI4MwORfVSX4H1S2zLhyUXrWjarvUt31mKsg
I know that carbon offsets (and effective climate giving) are a fairly common topic of discussion, but I've yet to see any thoughts on the newly-launched Climate Vault. It seems like a novel take on offsetting: your funds go to purchasing cap-and-trade permits which will then be sold to fund carbon dioxide removal (CDR).
I like it because it a) uses (and potentially improves upon) a flawed government program in a beneficial way, and b) I can both fund the limitation of carbon emissions and the removal, unlike other offsets which only do the latter.
However, ... (read more)
Hmm okay! Thanks so much for this. So I suppose the main uncertainties for me are
Really appreciate you helping clarify this for me!
I wrote a draft outline on bottlenecks to more impactful crowd forecasting that I decided to share in its current form rather than clean up into a post.
Appreciate the compliment. I am interested in making it a Forum post, but might want to do some more editing/cleanup or writing over next few weeks/months (it got more interest than I was expecting so seems more likely to be worth it now). Might also post as is, will think about it more soon.
I sometimes get frustrated when I hear someone trying to "read between the lines" of everything another person says or does. I get even more frustrated if I'm the one involved in this type of situation. It seems that non-rhetorical exploratory questions (e.g. "what problem is solved by person X doing action Y?") are often taken as rhetorical and accusatory (e.g. "person X is not solving a problem by doing action Y.")
I suppose a lot of it comes down to presentation and communication skills. If you communicate very well, people won't try as hard to read betw... (read more)