Adam Binks

Pursuing a doctoral degree (e.g. PhD)
Working (0-5 years experience)
216London, UKJoined Nov 2020
adambinks.me

Bio

I'm building tools for forecasting and thinking (PhD CS / HCI at St Andrews)

I also work at Clearer Thinking

Web: http://adambinks.me/

Tweeting, sometimes about EA: https://twitter.com/adambinks_

Comments
44

Interesting to think about! 

But for this kind of bargain to work, wouldn't you need confidence that the you in other worlds would uphold their end of the bargain? 

E.g., if it looks like I'm in videogame-world, it's probably pretty easy to spend lots of time playing videogames. But can I be confident that my counterpart in altruism-world will actually allocate enough of their time towards altruism?

(Note I don't know anything about Nash bargains and only read the non-maths parts of this post, so let me know if this is a basic misunderstanding!)

This is a really useful round-up, thank you!

A data-point on this - today I was looking for and couldn't find this graph. I found effectivealtruismdata.com but sadly it didn't have these graphs on it. So would be cool to have it on there, or at least link to this post from there!

Thanks Jack, great to see this!

Pulling out the relevant part as a quote for other readers:

  • On average, it took about 25 hours to organize and run a campaign (20 hours by organizers and 5 hours by HIP).
  • The events generated an average of 786 USD per hour of counterfactual donations to effective charities.
  • This makes fundraising campaigns a very cost effective means of counterfactual impact; as a comparison, direct work that generates 1,000,000 USD of impact equivalent per year equates to around 500 USD per hour.

Great results so far!

High Impact Professionals supported 8 EAs to run fundraising drives at their workplace in 2021, raising $240k in counterfactual dollars. On an hourly basis, organizing those events proved to be as impactful as direct work

Could you share the numbers you used to calculate this? I.e. how many hours to organise an event, counterfactual dollars per hour organising/running events, and your estimate for the value per hour of direct work?

it'd be really valuable for more EA-aligned people to goddamn write summaries at all

To get more people to write summaries for long forum posts, we could try adding it to the forum new post submission form? e.g. if the post text is over x words, a small message shows up advising you to add a summary.

Or maybe you're thinking more of other formats, like Google docs?

Great to see this writeup, thank you!

In the runup to EAG SF I've been thinking a bit about travel funding allocation. I thought I could take this opportunity to share two problems and tentative solutions, as I imagine they hold across different conferences (including EAGx Boston).

Thing 1: Uncertainty around how much to apply for

In conversations with other people attending I've found that people are often quite uncertain and nervous when working out how much to apply for. 

One way to improve this could be to encourage applicants to follow a simple procedure for working out how much funding to apply for. E.g.: 

1. Go to Google Flights, and find a typical cost for a return flight on the conference dates. 2. Open Google Maps and find a rough lower bound of hotel prices near the conference venue, and multiply by the number of days you plan to stay. 3. Add £x slack to cover possible price rises and incidental costs.

Thing 2: Slow travel funding approval leading to higher prices

Another experience I've had is that the delay in approving travel funding was quite long (>2 weeks). In this period, the prices of flights rose significantly, and accommodation availability dropped, so the cheap options weren't available any more. Some other attendees I know needed to apply for more funding in response to this, which also took a few days to be approved (in which time prices rose further!)

My guess is that bringing in an extra person to let you respond to funding requests faster might therefore pay for itself. It would also reduce the uncertainty for attendees, which may let them spend less total time on arranging logistics for the conference. In particular, if there is a simple formula/heuristic for travel funding requests, then someone with little prior experience would be able to quickly and easily respond to requests. 

 

I'd be interested to hear if you've considered these ideas - I'm sure there are a bunch of extra constraints I'm not aware of, conference planning sounds very complex!

Thanks Ankush! For this first round, we keep things intentionally short, but if your project progresses to later rounds then there will be plenty of opportunities to share more details.

it is a pdf that I would love to get valued and be shared with the world and anyone who wants to hear about longtermism project

Posting your ideas here on the EA Forum could be a great way to get feedback from other people interested in longtermism!

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