I think these are really important questions too!
It has been very frustrating sitting in Psychology seminars led by big prestigious professors, listening to them spout absolute nonsense completely unsupported by quantitative analysis. So I feel your pain for sure! Digging up one of my old tweets: Social Psych talk: no error bars, description of stats, or listing size of subject groups. p values displayed as p=0. This is accepted?
I like these a lot! Thanks for sharing :)
This is cool, thanks for sharing! Looks like Lucius Caviola's and Stefan Schubert's research projects are already on your radar ;)
The following list is not ordered.
All this being said: the first three months after childbirth is literally torture for whoever is waking up at night to feed the baby. Plus there is a strong possibility that I and/or my baby would have died if I hadn't given birth in a high quality hospital (we had a prolapsed cord and then a lot of maternal hemorrhaging). So despite all the nice stuff written above, I don't think it's an easy decision to make.
Same. Especially agree that the format of the event needs to be structured so that ideas are not presented as facts, but are instead open to (lots of public) criticism.
As somebody currently involved in a university group, I am extremely sympathetic towards the EA Munich group, even though they might have made a mistake here. There is a huge amount of pressure to avoid controversial topics/speakers, and it seems like they did not have a lot of time to make a decision in light of new evidence. I have hosted Peter Singer for multiple events (and am glad to have done so), but it has led to multiple uncomfortable confrontations that the average student group (e.g., knitting society) just does not have to deal with.
This highlights why Larks' post is so important. When groups face decisions about when to carry out or cancel an event, having an explicit framework for this decision making would be incredibly helpful. I'm very glad to see Julia Wise/CEA engage with this post, as I think it would be helpful for both CEA and local groups to decide at the beginning of term/before inviting speakers what qualifies people to be speakers.
The main (in my opinion, reasonable) principles elucidated in this post as I read it are:
1. Openness to unusual ideas is one of the guiding principles of Effective Altruism; groups should uphold and promote this.
2. Fundamental cause research that challenges existing ideas to the movement is important; we should not punish people for engaging in it.
But it is also important to consider what *disqualifies* people from speaking.
The most critical thing to me would be a speaker's history of promoting ideas in bad faith. (E.g., promoting ideas that have been clearly falsified with scientific evidence; deliberately falsifying data in order to push a specific agenda.) I am sure there are other factors that would also make sense to consider! It would be helpful for them to be elucidated somewhere.
I agree with absolutely everything you've written, Michelle!
Something that I wish I had internalized a bit more was the negative impact of baby induced sleep deprivation. Everybody tells you that you'll miss sleep after you have a baby, but I still think I was unprepared for what that meant. It's really hard to describe the psychological torture of not getting to sleep for more than 3 hours in a row for months on end. We did sleeping shifts too, but because of breastfeeding and supersonic mommy hearing, I feel like I still woke up every 2-3 hours when Lizzie cried. There's a video recording of me talking about current events a couple of months after Lizzie was born, and I HAVE NO MEMORY OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS EXPERIENCE. Watching my zonked out zombie self on camera really drove home how much the sleep deprivation changed me.
This essay sums it up pretty well: https://www.scarymommy.com/100-days-darkness-new-baby/
This looks cool, I just signed up. Hope to see you guys online.
Update: I love Focusmate and it is directly responsible for me actually getting anything done. 11/10, hugely recommend.
Sir, I resent your insinuation that Princeton is not a major city.
I'll have you know our population is large enough to support a bar AND a pub. The latter only serves ice cream, but still.