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Posts about the EA community and projects that focus on the EA community

Quick takes

2
4d
Swapcard tips: 1. The mobile browser is more reliable than the app You can use Firefox/Safari/Chrome etc. on your phone, go to swapcard.com and use that instead of downloading the Swapcard app from your app store. As far as I know, the only thing the app has that the mobile site does not, is the QR code that you need when signing in when you first get to the venue and pick up your badge 1. Only what you put in the 'Biography' section in the 'About Me' section of your profile is searchable when searching in Swapcard The other fields, like 'How can I help others' and 'How can others help me' appear when you view someone's profile, but will not be used when searching using Swapcard search. This is another reason to use the Swapcard Attendee Google sheet that is linked-to in Swapcard to search 1. You can use a (local!) LLM to find people to connect with People might not want their data uploaded to a commercial large language model, but if you can run an open-source LLM locally, you can upload the Attendee Google sheet and use it to help you find useful contacts
21
8d
We’re very excited to announce the following speakers for EA Global: London 2024: * Rory Stewart (Former MP, Host of The Rest is Politics podcast and Senior Advisor to GiveDirectly) on obstacles and opportunities in making aid agencies more effective. * Mary Phuong (Research Scientist at DeepMind) on dangerous capability evaluations and responsible scaling. * Mahi Klosterhalfen (CEO of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation) on combining interventions for maximum impact in farmed animal welfare. Applications close 19 May. Apply here and find more details on our website, you can also email the EA Global team at hello@eaglobal.org if you have any questions.
18
17d
1
With another EAG nearby, I thought now would be a good time to push out this draft-y note. I'm sure I'm missing a mountain of nuance, but I stand by the main messages:   "Keep Talking" I think there are two things EAs could be doing more of, on the margin. They are cheap, easy, and have the potential to unlock value in unsuspecting ways. Talk to more people I say this 15 times a week. It's the most no-brainer thing I can think of, with a ridiculously low barrier to entry; it's usually net-positive for one while often only drawing on unproductive hours of the other. Almost nobody would be where they were without the conversations they had. Some anecdotes: - A conversation led both parties discovering a good mentor-mentee fit, leading to one dropping out of a PhD, being mentored on a project, and becoming an alignment researcher. - A first conversation led to more conversations which led to more conversations, one of which illuminated a new route to impact which this person was a tremendously good fit for. They're now working as a congressional staffer. - A chat with a former employee gave an applicant insight about a company they were interviewing with and helped them land the job (many, many such cases). - A group that is running a valuable fellowship programme germinated from a conversation between three folks who previously were unacquainted (the founders) (again, many such cases).   Make more introductions to others (or at least suggest who they should reach out to) By hoarding our social capital we might leave ungodly amounts of value on the table. Develop your instincts and learn to trust them! Put people you speak with in touch with other people who they should speak with -- especially if they're earlier in their discovery of using evidence and reason to do more good in the world. (By all means, be protective of those whose time is 2 OOMs more precious; but within +/- 1, let's get more people connected: exchanging ideas, improving our thinking,
10
19d
9
(EA) Hotel dedicated to events, retreats, and bootcamps in Blackpool, UK?  I want to try and gauge what the demand for this might be. Would you be interested in holding or participating in events in such a place? Or work running them? Examples of hosted events could be: workshops, conferences, unconferences, retreats, summer schools, coding/data science bootcamps, EtG accelerators, EA charity accelerators, intro to EA bootcamps, AI Safety bootcamps, etc.  This would be next door to CEEALAR (the building is potentially coming on the market), but most likely run by a separate, but close, limited company (which would charge, and funnel profits to CEEALAR, but also subsidise use where needed). Note that being in Blackpool in a low cost building would mean that the rates charged by such a company would be significantly less than elsewhere in the UK (e.g. £300/day for use of the building: 15 bedrooms and communal space downstairs to match that capacity). Maybe think of it as Whytham Abbey, but at the other end of the Monopoly board: only 1% of the cost! (A throwback to the humble beginnings of EA?) From the early days of the EA Hotel (when we first started hosting unconferences and workshops), I have thought that it would be good to have a building dedicated to events, bootcamps and retreats, where everyone is in and out as a block, so as to minimise overcrowding during events, and inefficiencies of usage of the building either side of them (from needing it mostly empty for the events); CEEALAR is still suffering from this with it’s event hosting. The yearly calendar could be filled up with e.g. 4 10-12 week bootcamps/study programs, punctuated by 4 1-3 week conferences or retreats in between.  This needn't happen straight away, but if I don't get the building now, the option will be lost for years. Having it next door in the terrace means that the building can be effectively joined to CEEALAR, making logistics much easier (and another option for the building could be
12
24d
A lot of policy research seems to be written with an agenda in mind to shape the narrative. And this kind of destroys the point of policy research which is supposed to inform stakeholders and not actively convince or really nudge them. This might cause polarization in some topics and is in itself, probably snatching legitimacy away from the space. I have seen similar concerning parallels in the non-profit space, where some third-sector actors endorse/do things which they see as being good but destroys trust in the whole space. This gives me scary unilaterist's curse vibes..
25
1mo
CEA is hiring for someone to lead the EA Global program. CEA's three flagship EAG conferences facilitate tens of thousands of highly impactful connections each year that help people build professional relationships, apply for jobs, and make other critical career decisions. This is a role that comes with a large amount of autonomy, and one that plays a key role in shaping a key piece of the effective altruism community’s landscape.  See more details and apply here!
2
1mo
The topics of working for an EA org and altruist careers are discussed occasionally in our local group.  I wanted to share my rough thoughts and some relevant forum posts that I've compiled in this google doc. The main thesis is that it's really difficult to get a job at an EA org, as far as I know, and most people will have messier career paths. Some of the posts I link in the doc, specifically around alternate career paths: The career and the community Consider a wider range of jobs, paths and problems if you want to improve the long-term future My current impressions on career choice for longtermists
3
1mo
1
Have Will MacAskill, Nick Beckstead, or Holden Karnofsky responded to the reporting by Time that they were warned about Sam Bankman-Fried's behaviour years before the FTX collapse?
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