All of agent18's Comments + Replies

Crafting Your Effective Giving Story | GWWC September Meetup (Europe/Asia)

Hi Luke, is there a meetup link? or an easy to add link to the calendar?

One thing I miss is if the event is this sunday?


Perhaps add the date to this post and advertise the link you have given as a registration to the event. Thanks. :)

P.S. Once registered the calendar link is generated.

1lukefreeman3moThanks for the feedback! This is the new "event" style and I filled in data for the date, registration link, and Facebook links but it doesn't all seem to show up (the date does though, it's below the tags and above the "linkpost".
1alexanderklarge3moI'm on mobile now so struggling to fix but it you type [] into the URL you'll get there 😎
Lifetime Impact of a GiveWell Researcher?

Thanks a lot for your response. I think 80000hours has actually "sort of withdrawn their conclusions" from that post about extra donations and recent hires.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the respondents were simply wrong. Our impression is that most of the answers were given with just a couple of minutes of reflection, and so mainly reflect a gut intuition. There’s not much reason to expect these intuitions to be accurate on average in this kind of domain.---80000hours

Thus I am not sure we should pursue these numbers anymore, from the survey. Your though... (read more)

2AppliedDivinityStudies4moI sort of interpret that post as typical EA scrupulosity. They write: But I didn't really have a strong prior to begin with. Maybe the hire's salary, but that's really just the lower bound.
Khorton's Shortform

I recently wrote about post on procrastination related to my EA work here. Feel free to just check out the references at the end.

The most successful EA podcast of all time: Sam Harris and Will MacAskill (2020)

Hi Aaron,

Sorry about being nit-picky. I had to read the following statement 4-5 times, until I realized that there is a "pause" before the word "drive", and then I understood what you were saying. Maybe you can add a "comma" for other readers like me. Feel free to ignore.

"I'm not sure I've ever seen any piece of content not named "Doing Good Better" drive as much positive engagement as Sam Harris's two podcast episodes with Will MacAskill — especially the second one."

Prepare for Counterfactual Donation Matching on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

Just also want to point out that I have not subscribed to their mailing lists but was aggressively pursued by ads from CE (or other) and other posts on EA forum which made me aware that I should participate in this.

Is there a positive impact company ranking for job searches?

The title sounds like a "good idea" for an EA org. Something that is missing. An organization that ranks the cost-effectiveness of different jobs (aka ranking).

Is there a positive impact company ranking for job searches?

Mortals working in California in Data Science or Computer Science can earn 300k in a matter of <4-6 years of experience. Donating 30% of it is 100k$/year "counterfactually" (There are people who donate 50%). (Although I don't agree with the way they derived at this number, and just looking at it as a start point) Starting your charity with Charity entrepreneurship however is estimated to "counterfactually" account for a 100k$ donation/year. GW researcher in the first year is estimated to contribute "counterfactually" 97k$.

A better way would be to per... (read more)

1agent181yPlease leave a comment after downvoting. :)
6Closed Limelike Curves1yI suppose the long-term future doesn't exist because AGI got to it first.
3Jonas Vollmer1yFixed, thanks.
3Habryka1yYep, seems like that's the wrong link. Here is the fixed link:
Buck's Shortform

I think that EAs, especially on the EA Forum, are too welcoming to low quality criticism.

can you show one actual example of what exactly you mean?

I thought this post was really bad, basically for the reasons described by Rohin in his comment. I think it's pretty sad that that post has positive karma.

Net Salary after Tax deductions US

IRS says here it is 50-60% for public charities:

I used 13.3% as state income tax for california.

If you have any suggestions for AGI calculators please let me know.

Thanks for the comment, in an otherwise deserted post. :(

5Denkenberger1yI believe the 50% of AGI tax deductible limit refers to donating appreciated stock. Here is one AGI calculator []. Here [] 's a good post on charity and taxes in the US. Aaron Hamlin might be good to contact about how stock from your company is treated.
Examples of loss of jobs due to Covid in EA

Most EA organizations seem to have a decent amount of runway

How long can RC survive without additional funds? What is your typical runway (in months)?

If there's a big loss of jobs in EA orgs, I'd suspect it to hit around January or February, after organizations take stock after giving season.

Yes, seems highly likely. I will check back around that time.

Thank You very very much.

3siobhanbrenton1y>How long can RC survive without additional funds? What is your typical runway (in months)? RC Forward currently has a runway just shy of 10 months which would bring us to June, 2021. Our typical runway averages around 6 months, though this has ranged from 3 months to 10 months in the past two years. Right now we are currently benefiting from the Canadian Employer Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program. Funding is not guaranteed and is applied for monthly, however this wage subsidy has allowed us to stretch our runway considerably. The program is available until December, 2020.
Examples of loss of jobs due to Covid in EA

Hi dpiegrass,

Sorry about your job. I wish you the best of luck in your job search.

this chart shows that unemployment in the U.S. jumped from 3.5% in February to 14.7% in April, and fell steadily to 10.2% in July.

Sounds like a proxy I could use. Thanks for the idea.

I'm Linch Zhang, an amateur COVID-19 forecaster and generalist EA. AMA

What sort of training material did you use to predict and get feedback on (#deliberate practice)

7Linch1yI mostly just forecasted the covid-19 questions on Metaculus directly. I do think predicting covid early on (before May?) was a near-ideal epistemic environment for this, because of various factors like The feedback cycle (maybe several times a week for some individual questions) are still slower than what the deliberate practice research was focused on (specific techniques in arts and sports with sub-minute feedback). But it's much much better than other plausibly important things. I probably also benefited from practice through the South Bay EA meetups[1] and the Open Phil calibration game[2]. [1] If going through all the worksheets is intimidating, I recommend just trying this one [] (start with "Intro to forecasting" and then do the "Intro to forecasting worksheet." EDIT 2020/07/04: Fixed worksheet. [2] [] 2019 - Year in Review

All numbers seem to not be in the same format across the entire post. Here is one example.

Altogether, ES raised 358,869.75 Euro for regranting to effective charities in 2019. The following >table lists the distribution of donations per charity and cause area.

Charity Payout in Euro Payout in % Against Malaria Foundation 27.395,69 € 7,63%

Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years

Thanks Khorton. I agree that we should not just look at orgs identifying as EA.

Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years

Thanks for the suggestions.

most of the most valuable roles (certainly in my 'field' but I suspect in many others, especially the more applied/concrete) will not be at 'avowedly EA organisations'

do you have an example?

it seems wise to have a career plan which does not rely on securing such a role (or at least have a backup).

Agreed that I should have a backup. But why does it seem unwise? Based on what? Have you looked at the possible impact based on replaceability and displacement chains?

What else is there to do I don't know, other than working in s

... (read more)
Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years

I would appreciate an explanation, when you downvote something. Thanks. :)

Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years

Thanks for the detailed response and taking the time once again.

You keep suggesting that "you had a feeling" about the impact. What does this mean? I guess it's more than just a feeling like seeing how much money or lives or DALY's what your doing counterfactualy adds.

I didn't do cost-effectiveness estimates for each of the activity I tried but I had a feeling of how such estimates would have turned out if I tried to do them. There is nothing special about this, everyone has such intuitions. E.g., organizing EA events in Lithuania was stressful and required a lot of work. Despite that, I felt that few if any people will change anything based on what I said to them. I felt that the main accomplishment was possibly convincing one person to donate something like $2,000 a year to AMF rather than to some other charity. In co

... (read more)
2agent182yI would appreciate an explanation, when you downvote something. Thanks. :)
Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years

Thank You for the detailed answer.

In general, I think that everyone’s situation is different and you shouldn’t base
actions on stuff like this too much.

Then, I do not know what else to base my actions on. I also don't understand what you mean by "too much". Do you have an example in mind?

I am trying to look for "similar" (big quotes) people and see how they did it. And copying actions and testing it out seems to be the "better" options I have. It might work, it might not work out in the end to a variety of reasons. But atleast there is one example inst

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Why were you so bent on getting an EA job?

I was never bent on getting an EA job. I wanted to test out many different jobs and see what fits me. I also wanted to have some impact. I didn’t write those two articles or criticize ACE and other organizations in order to increase my chances of getting a job at an EA org. I’m not sure that thought even crossed my mind. I did it because I wanted to have an impact.

When I was doing EA community building internship, my manager would ask me every week: “what have you learnt about your personal fit as an EA communit

... (read more)
Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years

Thanks a ton Sauliu. May I ask you a few more questions:

  1. Are there other internships/jobs you got rejected to? (and where in your timeline were those rejects)

  2. Can you please tell me more about what all you did in that gap year other than write those two articles to "boost your chances"? Did you take a break from normal FT work during that gap year?

  3. So the articles drew the attention to a hirer at RP? Not your connections.

  4. How did you get the EA community building internship? Why was it "unrelated"

  1. Before the ACE's internship I applied to MIRI for a programming internship but didn't receive an answer. After ACE, I applied for various roles in Centre For Effective Altruism and wasn't selected. I also was rejected for researcher roles by OpenPhil (after some number of rounds) and Charity Entrepreneurship, shortly before I got the job at RP. It's possible that I got rejected by CE because I said that I was uncertain if I will be willing to move to Vancouver which is something that they wanted at that time, but I think it was more because I totally fail
... (read more)
Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years

Thank You StJules. Appreciate it. This is actually great. Thanks for the details. Ultimately it is about getting a job in EA. But Interships also sounds good.

And congratulations on the Internship.

6MichaelStJules2yThanks! Oh, I should also add that I read and commented on several of CE's reports (commenting on the EA Forum posts, and I also read other effective animal advocacy research). I did this leading up to my first application that was rejected, but I think my recent feedback was much more useful, and I was encouraged to apply following a conservation about my feedback.
EA Survey 2018 Series: Do EA Survey Takers Keep Their GWWC Pledge?


To look at this in depth, we turn to data from the 2017 and 2018 EA Surveys.

Link doesn't work.

EA Organization Updates: April 2020

of policy and research ideas to reduce existential risk

This is the link: that is broken. It doens't look updated. I do not know what is the correct link. It takes me to a Page not found when I click. I am not sure it is fixed.

3Aaron Gertler2yThis is the correct link, which I added before: [] Not sure what happened on your end, but I'm seeing a working page.
Hiring Process and Takeaways from Fish Welfare Initiative

Hi thank you for this. Very much appreciate the effort. Is it possible to answer these questions?

  1. Of the 82, how many people were of the "level" where you would want to hire them? But couldn't due to "lack of funding", "wanting to grow slowly", "don't want to overwhelm the management" (how good was the talent pool)

  2. Why are you not able to hire more than 2 people? (Are you low on funding or wanting to grow slowly, don't want to overwhelm the management etc...)

  3. Did you get the type of candidates you set out to hire? Or did you have to settle for someone with "lesser experience" than you wanted?

EA Organization Updates: April 2020

This month, 80,000 Hours put out their list of policy and research ideas to reduce existential risk > from Dr. Toby

Link broken:

2Aaron Gertler2yFixed, thanks.
EA Forum: Data analysis and deep learning

Would it be possible to make 2-grams and 3-grams as well. Maybe that provides more insight.

P.S It takes more time to generate it and more ram. It does not scale linearly with the n-grams.

A review of two free online MIT Global Poverty courses

Thanks a lot. :)


  1. Are the tests and weekly assignments peer "graded"?

  2. Ah so I will also be able to start courses in September. This way I could do 2 courses over a semester (6 months). One from June and one from Sept. I think this is what you mean. Correct?


  1. Unable to access the archived course. Takes me to enroll into the latest.

  2. So 12-14h/week per course (over 3 months) would be needed. Got it!

  3. Ok. I will also try doing 2 for now at the same time.

1NunoSempere2yOn the clarifications: The tests are automatically graded. Also, I think I meant two courses simultaneously.
A review of two free online MIT Global Poverty courses

Hi, I just read their entire FAQ. Can you confirm the following:

  1. The course can only be take at specific times: (e.g., Jun or September) and you must follow it for 3 months (like in a regular school but online). And you have no choice but to follow the schedule? I mean you can't finish the course in your own time (say in 6 months time).

  2. While auditing you are able to take tests, submit weekly assignments (except the proctored exam), correct?

  3. The FAQ says I would need 12-14 hours for the program (does this mean for each course or the whole program (i.

... (read more)
3NunoSempere2y1. Yes. You could also try to go through an archived course, like this one [], but I don't know whether you'll be able to access it. 2. Yes. 3. One could do 12-14h/week for 2 courses over a semester, but one could also do 12-14h for a single course. I would highly surprise me if one were able to take 5 courses at the same time with only 14h per week. This in general depends on how much you are willing, able and glad to do? Like, anchor on work similar to a university course? 4. Usually two; yes.
The counterfactual impact of agents acting in concert

I don't understand the difference between the following in "Notes on leveraging and funging". Is that a typo? They look the same to me.

Comparison 1: Counterfactual world (A): A doesn’t act, B and C act as they would have done if A had not acted.

"B and C act as they would have done if A had not acted."

Comparison 2: Counterfactual world (A): A doesn’t act, B and C act as they did in the actual world.

"B and C act as they did in the actual world"

The counterfactual impact of agents acting in concert

I don't see Joey's article cited anywhere. Can someone help pointing to that article?

1agent182yFound it. []
What should Founders Pledge research?

There are many organizations doing research work on different projects, such as GiveWell, OPP, CE, ACE, 80k etc... Why not stand on their shoulders? Instead of doing more research? Or fund researchers specially to work in these organizations (as they already have the way of work sorted)?

What are some good online courses relevant to EA?

I would think this somehow led to or was a "prime factor" in getting an EA job.

1Bojack2yUnfortunately, I'm still a student so it doesn't apply in my case. This post [] mentions learning more about EA as a way to become a better charity entrepreneur, maybe the same principle applies to getting an EA job. I would suggest auditing the course and (only) watching videos about the unfamiliar topics.
How to increase your odds of starting a career in charity entrepreneurship

Thanks for the wonderful article. I assume many of the claims in the article (e.g., 'actions suggested in getting a degree in EA, helping to get into CE') are based on some hiring round that you did some data analysis on and concluded. Do you have a link to such an analysis? Or is it just based on the 15 people who joined the incubation program the last time? (in which case I would think you wrote from your experience what these 15 people had done to get into CE)

You suggest in "possible actions section" that doing courses like the ones by J-PAL could be

... (read more)
What will 80,000 Hours provide (and not provide) within the effective altruism community?

For instance, both an advising programme aimed at undergraduates

Small Clarification: It doesn't seem to look like it is aimed at undergraduates (alone) (as shown below). I acknowledge you didn't say "alone", but it feels like it when I read it.

We now offer career mentoring to recent graduates and students at a variety of university groups... --- EASCM 'About'

Can you please let us now when the latest survey coming out?


Very much appreciate the effort to give examples for many of your claims. Thanks. For example (in the spirit of the game of conc

... (read more)
4Benjamin_Todd2yThanks! I changed it to "mainly focused". The EA survey is run by a different group - I would also like them to publish it soon :)
What are some good online courses relevant to EA?

May I ask why you think these are good? Do you know anyone who did it and got "ahead" in their career or?


3Bojack2yI did the Singer course, and assuming I have an average knowledge about EA , I didn't gain much from it except maybe getting excited about kidney donations. Also I have participated in the community more after taking the course, if that counts as "getting ahead".
1EdoArad2yAs for the MIT courses, there has been this recent (glowing!) review [] . I actually don't know how good is Singer's course 😊 This makes me curious about it's impact. It's probably more in outreach than getting ahead.
A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained

Now I get what you were trying to say, I think. So you are saying you look at the ratio of "percentage of fundraising in latest job ads" vs "percentage of fundraising in current jobs". That sounds like a smart proxy. Really interesting.


A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained


I think we might be on the same page.

I think it is worthwhile to note that in your latest article in the abstract you make a few claims such as: "EAs are struggling to fill fundraising and operations roles". But you also think it is important and have dedicated a whole article to a bunch of similar claims on bottleneck, showing why you think there is "weak evidence" and explain what the "weak evidence" is.

If you are saying you will make representative statements but provide the evidence you have for it, then this discussion is moot (rendered unimpor

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A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained
  • In our "spot-check" [note, this is forthcoming research, which will likely be released within a week] of current roles and advertised roles at 27 animal advocacy nonprofits, fundraising was the skillset that was most notably overrepresented in animal advocacy job adverts (appearing to be important in 17% of identified job ads) relative to the number of current roles in the movement (appearing to be important in 10% of current roles);

I find this very hard to understand. My understanding is that 17% of "identified job ads" was related to fundraising. I

... (read more)
2Jamie_Harris2yThis is useful feedback. I might need to work on the wording. I don't think I agree with that -- I think the important consideration is the number of identified advertised roles of a particular type relative to the number of identified currently filled roles of the same type. Not the number of advertised roles of type A relative to advertised roles of type B. But FWIW the full report is now published [] . I agree its weak evidence; I think it's the weakest of the 5 bullet points above. I find weak evidence useful [].
A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained

Hi Jamie,

Thank You for your comment.

Isn't TC in the movement just the aggregation of TC in relevant orgs and actors?

Yes it seems to be. All I wanted was to avoid a level of abstraction. "AI strategy is TC in DR" vs "FHI is TC in DR". I really feel confused thinking about the former. The later is so concrete. I can test it. I can go in depth in that ONE EXAMPLE. The former is too broad. I find it easier to think in concrete examples.

There's a tradeoff between specificity/concreteness and representatives/unreliability, and for most purposes, the latter

... (read more)
1Jamie_Harris2y<<Would you be able to give me a real example to satisfy your claim?>> The difference here is probably whether an individual or an organisation (80k, AAC) is evaluating TC. If, via some research, you have the ability to either 1) make claims about TC across a movement or range or orgs, with moderate confidence or 2) make claims about TC in one or two orgs, with higher confidence, an individual might opt for (2), as they can focus on orgs they're more interested in. But 80k/AAC would opt for (1), because the advice is useful to a larger number of people? <<I am lost. What is "MANY"? What does a "position in government" even look like.>> Given that the ideal distribution of roles and applicants and how this compares to the current situation is only really one consideration among several important considerations that affect career decisions (i.e. it affects your comparative advantage), maybe a high level of precision isn't that important?
A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained

Thank You for acknowledging this post. I very much appreciate your reply.

We've been trying to do a better job communicating our uncertainty in the new key ideas series, for instance by releasing: advice on how to read our advice

I really wish you can put more of your evidence out there instead of sentences that are a summary of the evidence you have. "Another bottleneck to progress on GPR might be operations staff" (GPR Key-ideas). Is it a bottleneck or is it not? I don't know what to make of "might be". In this case if you presented your evid

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Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG

[TLDR: I don't think that anyone can give you the examples relevant for you.

I don't need examples "relevant to me". I just wanted to know what sort of impact people are making say in Open Phil CE or other EAs considering relevant factors such as replaceability in fields like GR, AI SSP, and management positions. Sorry that was not clear.

I think 80K is actually saying it is better for most people to do direct work (including but not limited to neglected roles at EA orgs) than ETG.

This is a claim what 80khours makes. Do you have ONE example for this c

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Why We Sleep — a tale of institutional failure

Very interesting! Can you please cross-post?

1yhoiseth2yWhat do you mean?
A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained

Claims that you find to be false? please post evidence as well.

A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained

If you find formatting issues please state here:

A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained

Do you know of actual TC positions? Can you please cite your source?

I'm currently doing some research for Animal Advocacy Careers on specific skill types in animal advocacy that will be posted in forthcoming "skills profiles." An example from my draft report on fundraising roles is below. Feedback very welcome! (Obviously this is an unusual case in that its a talent constraint directly relating to funding constraints.)

  • In our short initial survey and interviews with 12 CEO’s and hiring professionals from 9 of the “top” or “standout” charities currently or formerly recommende
... (read more)
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