EA Relationship Status

The data I gave is ultimately survey data, the table you post is based on marriage certificates issued. This has advantages but has one large disadvantage, namely ignoring marriages that take place overseas, while possibly counting marriages between two overseas residents that take place locally. It's mentioned on the 'Table 12 interpretation' tab:

These statistics are based on marriages registered in England and Wales. Because no adjustment has been made for marriages taking place abroad, the true proportion of men and women ever married could be higher.

I followed that link to get any context on how big a deal this might be.

In 2017, an estimated 104,000 UK residents went abroad to get married and an estimated 8,000 overseas residents married in the UK.

To put that number in context, there are roughly 240k marriages per year in the UK, presumably involving around 480k people, so that's a large chunk of the total.

I think survey data is just better for our current use case since we don't much care about sample noise; apart from the 'destination wedding' issue, I definitely want to count two immigrants who arrived in the UK already married, and I think they'll also appear in the survey but not the certificate-counting.

EA Relationship Status

Source for the UK:22% figure? The ONS figures for 2019 (for married, not ever married) are:

Men 25-29: 15.7%

Women 25-29: 25.4%

Men 30-34: 42.4%

Women 30-34: 52.3%

These groups are all roughly the same size, so a combined 25-34 group would be around 34%. ‘Ever married’ should be 1-4 percentage points higher.

EA Relationship Status
I take the observation to be that 60% of EAs over 45 have married, where we'd expect 85%.

FWIW, and without speaking for Jeff, for Denise and I the original observation was something like 'percentage of people in nesting relationships around our age range (25-30) anecdotally seems sharply different in our EA versus similar-demographic non-EA circles'.

I consider religion a weak explanation for that, since we're definitely counting cohabiting couples, but the observation is also less well-founded and I'm far from confident that it generalises across the community well.

Judgement as a key need in EA

How confident are you that the EALF survey respondants were using your relatively-narrow definition of judgment, rather than the dictionary definitions which, as you put it, "seem overly broad, making judgment a central trait almost by definition"?

I ask because scanning the other traits in the survey, they all seem like things where if I use common definitions I consider them useful for some or even many but not all roles, whereas judgment as usually defined is useful ~everywhere, making it unsurprising that it comes out on top. At least, that's why I've never paid attention to this particular part of the EALF survey results in the past.

But I appreciate you've probably spoken in person to a number of the EALF people and had a better chance to understand their views, so I'm mostly curious whether you feel those conversations support the idea that the other respondants were thinking of judgment in the narrower way you would use the term.

Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident

Thank you for explicitly saying that you think your proposed approach would lead to a larger movement size in the long run, I had missed that. Your actual self-quote is an extremely weak version of this, since 'this might possibly actually happen' is not the same as explicitly saying 'I think this will happen'. The latter certainly does not follow from the former 'by necessity'.

Still, I could have reasonably inferred that you think the latter based on the rest of your commentary, and should at least have asked if that is in fact what you think, so I apologise for that and will edit my previous post to reflect the same.

That all said, I believe my previous post remains an adequate summary of why I disagree with you on the object level question.

Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident

[EDIT: As Oli's next reponse notes, I'm misinterpreting him here. His claim is that the movement would be overall larger in a world where we lose this group but correspondingly pick up others (like Robin, I assume), or at least that the direction of the effect on movement size is not obvious.]


Thanks for the response. Contrary to your claim that you are proposing a third option, I think your (3) cleanly falls under mine and Ben's first option, since it's just a non-numeric write-up of what Ben said:

Sure, we will lose 95% of the people we want to attract, but the resulting discussion will be >20x more valuable so it's worth the cost

I assume you would give different percentages, like 30% and 2x or something, but the structure of your (3) appears identical.


At that point my disagreement with you on this specific case becomes pretty factual; the number of sexual abuse survivors is large, my expected percentage of them that don't want to engage with Robin Hanson is high, the number of people in the community with on-the-record statements or behaviour that are comparably or more unpleasant to those people is small, and so I'm generally willing to distance from the latter in order to be open to the former. That's from a purely cold-blooded 'maximise community output' perspective, never mind the human element.

Other than that, I have a number of disagremeents with things you wrote, and for brevity I'm not going to go through them all; you may assume by default that everything you think is obvious I do not think is obvious. But the crux of the disagreement is here I think:

it seems very rarely the right choice to avoid anyone who ever has said anything public about the topic that is triggering you

I disagree with the non-hyperbolic version of this, and think it significantly underestimates the extent to which someone repeatedly saying or doing public things that you find odious is a predictor of them saying or doing unpleasant things to you in person, in a fairly straightforward 'leopards don't change their spots' way.

I can't speak to the sexual abuse case directly, but if someone has a long history of making overtly racist statements I'm not likely to attend a small-group event that I know they will attend, because I put high probability that they will act in an overtly racist way towards me and I really can't be bothered to deal with that. I'm definitely not bringing my children to that event. It's not a matter of being 'triggered' per se, I just have better things to do with my evening than cutting some obnoxious racist down to size. But even then, I'm very privileged in a number of ways and so very comfortable defending my corner and arguing back if attacked; not everybody has (or should have) the ability and/or patience to do that.

There's also a large second-order effect that communities which tolerate such behaviour are much more likely to contain other individuals who hold those views and merely haven't put them in writing on the internet, which increases the probability of such an experience considerably. Avoidance of such places is the right default policy here, at an individual level at least.

Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident

I think you're unintentionally dodging both Aaron's and Ben's points here, by focusing on the generic idea of intellectual diversity and ignoring the specifics of this case. It simply isn't the case that disagreeing about *anything* can get you no-platformed/cancelled/whatever. Nobody seeks 100% agreement with every speaker at an event; for one thing that sounds like a very dull event to attend! But there are specific areas people are particularly sensitive to, this is one of them, and Aaron gave a stylised example of the kind of person we can lose here immediately after the section you quoted. It really doesn't sound like what you're talking about.

> A German survivor of sexual abuse is interested in EA Munich's events. They see a talk with Robin Hanson and Google him to see whether they want to attend. They stumble across his work on "gentle silent rape" and find it viscerally unpleasant. They've seen other discussion spaces where ideas like Hanson's were brought up and found them really unpleasant to spend time in. They leave the EA Munich Facebook group and decide not to engage with the EA community any more.

Like Ben, I understand you as either saying that this person is sufficiently uncommon that their loss is worth the more-valuable conversation, or that we don't care about someone who would distance themselves from EA for this reason anyway (it's not an actual 'loss'). And I'm not sure which it is or (if the first) what percentages you would give.

Will protests lead to thousands of coronavirus deaths?

For posterity, the only data I've seen on this question suggests that this has not played out the way the OP and many others (myself included) might have expected. The economist ran an article* which links to this paper**. In short, cities with protests did not record discernible COVID case growth, at least as of a few weeks later. Moreover, quoting the paper (italics in original):

"Second, where there are social distancing effects, they only appear to materialize after the onset of the protests. Specifically, after the outbreak of an urban protest, we find, on average, an increase in stay-at-home behaviors in the primary county encompassing the city. That overall social distancing behavior increases after the mass protests is notable, as this finding contrasts with the general secular decline in sheltering-at-home taking place across the sample period (see Appendix Figure 6). Our findings suggest that any direct decrease in social distancing among the subset of the population participating in the protests is more than offset by increasing social distancing behavior among others who may choose to shelter-at-home and circumvent public places while the protests are underway. "

In other words, it seems that protestors being outside was more than offset by other people avoiding the protests and staying home.



Pablo_Stafforini's Shortform

Pablo already replied, but FWIW I had the same irritation (and similarly had all posts pointed out to me by someone else after complaining to them about it). I think in my case the original assumption was that 'latest posts' meant what it sounds like, and on discovering that it wasn't I (lazily) assumed there wasn't a way to get what I wanted.

I don't have a constructive suggestion for a better name though.

[updated] Global development interventions are generally more effective than Climate change interventions

I agree with this. I would have assumed they would do (i), and other responses from people who actually read the paper make me think it might effectively be (iii). I don't think it's (ii).

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