All of 96758's Comments + Replies

Training Bottlenecks in EA (professional skills)

The 'Effective Manager' book you mention looks awesome. I'd also very highly recommend this book, focussed on all aspects of general non-profit management: Managing to Change The World, by Alison Green - 

Why are party politics not an EA priority?

"In the vast majority of important political decisions I see that the politicians follow the changes in the society - they rarely lead them [...]."

This is a widely-expressed sentiment, but I think it is not true. There are many examples of politicians taking (often momentous) decisions which are out of step with public opinion. E.g:

  • UK politicians abolishing the death penalty in 1965, despite clear public opposition. (
  • The UK government hitting the 0.7% aid target for many years, despite  opinion polling showing th
... (read more)
I agree. On the same note I really enjoyed Dylan Matthews' article about George W. Bush's PEPFAR program, apparently pursued somewhat independently by Bush: []
A Brief Overview of Recruitment and Retention Research

Thank you for doing this, Jamie and crew. Super interesting, and very practical! And, of course, of use to a much wider audience than only animal-focussed orgs.

One surprising finding from this is that higher salaries seem to be under-powered in terms of attracting and retaining talent. Do you have any comments on this? (NB I haven't drilled down into the detail, am just looking at your summary chart...) Cheers!

More widely, do you or anyone else know of any systematic studies on the extent to which salary levels matter for recruiting and retaining t... (read more)

Thanks very much! The seemingly low importance of salary to recruitment and retention was one of my main updates from tbis project. I don't have a lot to add beyond that and what's in the post (If you're interested, I'd encourage reading the summaries of the relevant studies on the spreadsheet and maybe reading the full studies.)
Some thoughts on EA outreach to high schoolers

I agree that this point is worth taking seriously. But isn't the counterfactual simply that the folks are influenced (deliberately, or not) by other sets of ideas/values, and so we might as well make an effort - carefully, thoughtfully, etc - to share 'our' values?

I think the set of values commonly ascribed to EA is both more totalizing and a stronger attractor state than most counterfactuals.

5Neel Nanda2y
I disagree that the counterfactual is comparable. I agree that they will have SOME influences, but I think the magnitude of influence really matters. By default, people aren't exposed to strong, deliberate influence of the kind described in this post, for any set of ideas/values. I guess you could argue that living in the West is a process of ambient influence towards Western values?
Some thoughts on EA outreach to high schoolers

An interesting, but potentially contentious and risky, approach could be to target a small number of high schools whose pupils have historically tended to wield outsized influence on the world. Certainly in the UK, these schools are pretty well-known. Focussing outreach on them would seem, naively, to be very efficient - but also throw up reputational issues in terms of equity and inclusiveness.

4Neel Nanda2y
I'd expect a more significant risk to be that the outreach just wouldn't work. I expect that for EA outreach to be effective, you need to significantly filter for a bunch of things, like altruism, truth-seeking, reliance on evidence and reason, meta-cognition, etc. I'd expect a school like Eton to filter pretty hard for expected future influence on the world, but not for probability of being interested in EA? Though I guess it somewhat filters for intelligence, which correlates a bit with those things
Deliberate Consumption of Emotional Content to Increase Altruistic Motivation

I think that this is a very important, and under-thought-about-in-EA, topic. Visual images have *huge* power, and are proven to be able to mobilise participation and money at scale. For example, their use in charity fundraising. Visual images and video footage seem to have been important in igniting the recent BLM movement in the US. The concept of moral shock has been discussed as a potent driver of participation in social movements.

I suppose one risk is that reliance of visual images might bias us towards beings with whom we have greater gut empathy - e... (read more)

Careers (to help animals) in politics, policy, and lobbying

As an aside...(re conservatives, not libertarians) here is Ben Shapiro saying to Jonathan Safran Foer that he thinks that in 100 years people will look back on eating animals as a bad thing - 33 min:

Thanks for sharing! That is an incongruous pair - but I wouldn't be surprised if the number of vocal conservative vegetarians grows over the coming years as the cost of coming out as a vegetarian or vegan loses its stigma in some corners of the conservative movement(s) In OECD countries, and the need for preference falsification [] erodes.
Careers (to help animals) in politics, policy, and lobbying

This is an awesome guide - thank you for writing it, Jamie and Animal Advocacy Careers!

Below are some relevant links - though these are mainly focussed on the UK.

UK political party animal groups:

Other UK political parties may have similar sub-groups, too.

I'm not sure whether similar groups exist in other countries. (If not, maybe setting them up could be a high-leverage intervention?)

There's also a UK political party ... (read more)

When Planning Your Career, Start Early

Applying this logic one stage earlier in the process, one of the key things for EAs who are 15/16/17 to do, in terms of career planning, is to work very hard to try to get into a prestigious University (ie Oxbridge in the UK, Ivy League in the US). Doing so will:

  • help you get a great education
  • surround you with clever, highly-motivated people
  • give you a strong credential which will help you throughout the rest of your career, in terms of getting jobs and maximising your earnings.

It's a peculiarity of the UK education system that in many respects, your *... (read more)