I thought this was a really interesting post, thanks! Did you have a full time job while working on your pilot project? If so I'd be interested to know how you navigated your time and any tips you have on that
This is a good article. I don't think the point on farm animal welfare can possibly be correct though. There are many animal welfare charities and organisations (as well as many commercial players) that while they don't focus on farm animals exclusively or with the same mindset, surely dominate the "farm animal welfare" space.
I'd also be interested in this!
I just mean this could have been two posts - one about the paper and one about the experience of publishing the paper. Both would be very valuable.
Yeah I agree. I disagree with most of the paper, but I find the claims about pressures not to publish criticism troubling.
I agree it would have been better to have this as two posts – I'm personally finding it difficult to respond to either the paper or the post, because when I focus on one I feel like I'm ignoring important points in the other.
That said, the fact that both are being discussed in a single post is down to the authors, not the commenters. I think it's reasonable for any given commenter to focus on one without justifying why they're neglecting the other.
I think it is disappointing that so many comments are focusing on arguing with the paper rather than discussing the challenges outlined in the post. From a very quick reading I don't find any of the comments here unreasonable but I do find them to be talking about a different topic. It would be better if we could separate out the discussion of "red teaming" EA from the discussion of this particular paper
The paper is very well written, crisp and communicates its points very well.
The paper includes characterizations of longtermists that seem schematic and many would find unfair.
In the post itself, there are serious statements that add a lot of heat to the issue and are hard to approach.
I think that this is a difficult time where many people are getting/staying out away, or performing emotional labor, for what are genuinely difficult experiences of the OP.
This isn't ideal for truthseeking.
If I was in a different cause area with a similar issue, I wouldn't want a lot of longtermists coming in and pulling on these threads, I don't think that is the ideal or right thing to do.
Interesting, I was thinking the opposite! I was thinking, "There's so many interesting specific suggestions in this paper and people are just caught up on whether or not they like diversity initiatives generally and what they think of the tone on this paper, how annoying."
Good post Sanjay, though I think a better title would be "Why SoGive is not yet updating charity ratings after malaria vaccine news" though. I don't disagree with any of the points you've made - and there are certainly large uncertainties around this, but there is at least a significant possibility that when some uncertainties are resolved this could displace nets in terms of cost-effectiveness. So its certainly a very promising development and even if we don't change our immediate funding priorities, we need to think about how they might change in the future.
I think this is potentially very significant news - i’m hoping to write a more detailed post once I’ve looked into it more but a previous 35% effective vaccine was found to be only marginally less cost effective than LLIN nets in preventing malaria spread - a 75% effective (and cheap!) vaccine has at least the potential to shoot to the top of our list of most effective global health and poverty interventions, to the extent that we may want to think about pooling EA funds towards the project (perhaps creating a special EA malaria vaccination fund)
US citizenship is extremely valuable and your career opportunities at this stage are likely to be far more valuable to you in future earnings expectations than a few additional percentage points on investments. In terms of investing, my understanding is that you are best off investing in the US and that there are US investment options open to you (Charles Schwab I believe often comes up as a broker in this area) rather than in the UK.
Finally the mystery of how CEEALAR got named is solved :D
Minor typo - The DOI for Evaluating use cases for human challenge trials in accelerating SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development. Clinical Infectious Diseases has a trailing e in the url which causes the link to fail
I’ve vaguely thought about this but I’m not a significant enough donor that I’m going to register in people’s calculations, and if I’m donating primarily through third party funds then I’m already quite disconnected. (I.e my money isn't arriving at the charity in December/Feb in any case). I think I prefer the "end of the year" feeling and communal discussions like this to improve my donation habits.
I attended the "Other Place" but my serious answer is the same for Oxford. Research online which colleges are richest (and most prestigious) and apply there unless you have a strong reason to prefer another college. The richest colleges have more grants, funding and opportunities available to students - you can save thousands of pounds and get access to opportunities just not available elsewhere. (For example I found out early on that my peers at another Cambridge college received a grant for books 3x larger each term than my college did - which in turn w... (read more)
I plan to give 10% of my income (as per my Giving What We Can Pledge). I'd previously gotten into a rather weird Feb donation cycle so I'm looking to shift this year back to December. My primary cause area is global poverty and development.I expect the majority (~75%) of my donation to be to a mixture the Givewell Maximum impact fund or the EA Funds Global Health and Development Fund. I've found the EA funds process to be somewhat lacking in transparency but generally I have been pleased with the donations made. I'd consider donations to the Founders Pledg... (read more)
"Some donors were surprised by the Fund’s large number of AI risk-focused grants. While the Fund managers are in favor of these grants, we want to make sure that donors are aware of the work they are supporting. As a result, we changed the EA Funds donation interface such that donors have to opt into supporting their chosen Funds. (Previously, the website suggested a default allocation for each Fund.) EA Funds also plans to offer a donation option focused on climate change for interested donors."
This is an extremely positive change and corrects what I have previously considered to be a dark pattern on the EA funds website for a long time. Thanks for implementing it.
that sounds fantastic. I'd love to read the draft once it is circulated for feedback
Thanks - I’ve read the summaries of this but hadn’t twigged it was developed into a full paper
Thanks! The top paper seems very relevant in particular.
I think this is a great post and makes a really important point. Thanks for posting
Thanks, i do think we have a basic disagreement here about design patterns but i appreciate you taking the time to defend and explain your choices.
I don't feel either of these reply's address my points very well (as a member who signed the pledge prior to 2014).
As far as I can tell you accept the first point I made and don't address it. Ok, me. I think the funds are fine you just haven't done the work of showing they are better than other donation routes at all.
In regards to the second point you get very fixated on the default slider setting being representative of the most engaged members of the community. I don't want yet more peer pressure to donate to what the most engaged members of think.(And
Sorry, I’ll try again.
It’s true that we try to provide a default option for giving, because so many users seem to find that helpful. (See Michelle’s comment above on the surprising-to-us amount of use the Giving What We Can Trust got.) When we did charity research and recommendations, those recommended charities were also a suggested default. As a project with the mission of inspiring giving to the world’s most effective organizations, we do think it’s appropriate to provide a recommendation or default, with the knowledge that members have pledged to do
There are two long term goals being pursued here by CEA, visible in the design of the site:
1. To increase donations to the EA funds from GWWC members by making the funds the "default" option" and thus increase the importance/power of CEA to guide donations through the funds. (The whole new site is setup to make the funds the default way to give, and to give prominence to the funds, other donation options or recording external donations are much less visible and hidden away in a way that seems deliberate)
2. To set defaults for donations thro... (read more)
[Edited: I missed some corrections that Michelle made to my paragraph about the history of the Giving What We Can Trust. Corrected now.]
I spoke with Michelle Hutchinson (former executive director of Giving What We Can) about this. She writes, “When we first set up the GWWC Trust, we assumed it wouldn't get much use (we set it up on an account designed for an annual turnover of £10k pa), and within a year it was getting up to £1mn. It turned out many GWWC members actually valued a low cost way of giving (in terms of decisions and of how easy it was to give)
I would like to see a prize or incentive for the best comment on an article in the last month. Has that been tried before? Looking at the number of articles now submitted, I think the forum is doing well on articles. However, the comments and engagement with each submission is still often low. The winning 3 articles this month got only 9-2-2 comments respectively. If they are exemplary of the community and platform (which after a quick browse I have no reason to doubt) surely it would be worth encouraging a few more comments and a bit more discussion?
One complexity here may be in how members are treating taxation and tax deductibility in relation to their donations. "income" in your sample is self-reported and it is presumably pre-tax income. However, per GWWC: "While we have defined income as pre-tax in the past, after speaking with members in a variety of situations we believe there should be some flexibility here.
I checked and ~22% of GWWC members* did not donate more than 5% of their income in 2017, so even assuming taxes accounted for a large portion of the issue, there are still a lot of people who are not reporting data consistent with keeping the GWWC pledge.
*this analysis was limited to people who (a) took the 2018 EA Survey, (b) reported having taken the GWWC pledge, (c) reported income and donation data, (d) are non-students, (e) have income >$10K, and (f) reported joining GWWC prior to 2017. N=253.
The title of this post is “Does EA need an underlying philosophy? Could Sentientism be that philosophy?”
I would consider both of those points to betray a lack of basic understanding of effective altruism. There are lots of good resources elsewhere- perhaps it would be good to have a basic faq article / wiki that could be Linked in such cases?
i've deleted the post because I would like to make one on this issue with greater subtlety and nuance to do the complex topic of this saga better justice than my rather late night post did - thanks for your comment, I will take it into account.
Apologies I had it in my head that ACE was a CEA project
According to my facebook this topic has had 156 comments on the EA facbook group already. I don't want to repeat or diminish those comments here so what is the purpose of opening a parallel discussion here as this seems like a topic which has attracted a huge amount of EA discussion already?
Facebook requires that you give your real name to post an opinion, be part of the group etc. That is certainly a serious limitation to open discussion, and this topic in particular exacerbates that problem.
Not everyone will necessarily want to comment on this issue under their real name.
Also, I presume this forum exists because someone decided that something other than Facebook is required. Are we questioning this logic in general? Or are we making a special case of this issue? Why?
But if you would be so kind as to post anything you see as particularly relevant, I would appreciate it.
One thing I am disappointed about is that this has just been announced - there was no public process or call for comment on the advisory council, its role or what criteria should have been used to choose its members - to the extent that happened all of that was in private as far as I can tell. So all of the power in this situation was held by the CEA and people close to you in informal networks. To get wider views you have chosen a team of 4- 3of whom are or have previously been employed by CEA.
To the extent this is about opening CEA to wider views I can't... (read more)
In the original facebook thread I was highly critical of intentional insights, I have not read all the followup here yet, but I would like to note that after that thread the next "thing" I saw from Intentional Insights was this post about EA marketing. I thought that was a highly competent and interesting contribtuion to the EA community. All of the ongoing concerns about II may stand - but there is clearly a few people associated with the org who have valuable contributions to make to the future of the community,
I have about ~2000 edits on wikipedia (alasdairedits) and have created a number of DYK articles (though not for several years). I have been thinking about getting back into wikipedia editing and this might be a good way to do so.
I know that paid (i.e PR editing on wikipedia) has become a big issue recently though. I would like to know more about how your work interacts with the COI/NPOV guidelines and how you ensure your articles and offering to pay people remains within that scheme. Have you considered using the on site reward board (I don't know how active that is) which would get less related wikipedians involved
It would be good to get feed
9000 words - http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/styleguide.html
I don't think it would be unfair to characterise your argument as: "I have a hunch based on my "tacit knowledge", a report written by a consultancy firm a decade ago and my background in a tangentially related field that the conservative party has been working in secret for 9 years on a bill of "economic rights and freedoms" which they are going to suddenly unveil and force through parliament in a few months attached to their public Bill of rights Proposals. This bill is going to cause all sorts of negative effects by making the co... (read more)
I think this is the way to go - but a CC attribtuion license is very different from an assignment of intellectual property (in a good way!) - you will need to provide attribtution on the about page and any subsequent usage of the entry for one thing (the whole point of an attribution licenese is to protect those moral rights!). so you should update your faq to reflect this.
Per above - CEA owns (is assigned) all the intellectual property of any entry. So posting your essay elsewhere without their permission would be a copyright violation.
Dean Carlan has a long history of work on charity effectiveness and rigour long pre-dating EA. He has said on twitter that they took a lot of influence and inspiration from EA charity evaluators (esp Givewell). I think the best way of looking at this and much of his other work (for example Innovations for Poverty Action) is that it is EA-aligned organisation but not part of Effective Altruism as a "thing" since it comes from a different community and background and has a narrower focus ("are these charities effective at what they do" v "what overall is the most effective thing we can be doing")
I am surprised the number of people donating via the trust but who are not GWWC members is so high. This 80% seems like a fertile source either of new members or a worrying statistic about the number of people who become aware of EA ideas but do not wish to change their behaviour to the extent of signing the pledge and I am not sure which
Does REG not have any full time employees? I am very impressed in their progress if that is the case as I presumed they did!
I don't know about whether the NY declaration reduces the market by that amount itself. I more see it as an indication of the serious challenges and uncertainties that the DFS market faces in the US.
For example, one DFS operator has ceased US operations in all but 4 states where DFS has explicit state laws allowing it: http://www.legalsportsreport.com/5389/starsdraft-cuts-off-46-states-from-dfs/
(http://www.legalsportsreport.com/category/legal/ which i found on google has a lot more in depth look at the battles going on all across US on this)
It is clearl... (read more)
The analysis of the DFS market seems off to me
I can believe your logo was designed by a professional (i don't like the colour but its kinda cool)! but i was commenting on your clothing not that in isolation. This? http://www.cafepress.com/intentional_merchandise.1650581204 That is someone with no design skills taking that logo and bastardizing it. Writing a slogan in a microsoft clipart font and replacing one letter with a bit of your logo is not a design. you use font choices that professional designers openly mock.
I love minimalist designs, but your designs are not minimalist in any sense of the ... (read more)
Ok, i don't want to be rude but there is no nice way to say this, so please just take it as feedback on this project not you as a person. Your existing merchandise is an ugly mess. My reaction to someone wearing an EA themed shirt of the same aesthetic level and quality would be cringing embarrasment not pride in a community.
EA merch as a tribal/signalling thing is a fine idea - but it needs to be of a much higher quality and design. As a bare minimum it should be printed by a higher quality producer than cafepress (like teespring?) and be designed by a professional designer.
reading again this was the bit i found wierd/creepy - For instance, to address the guilt people experience over their previous giving, to address cached patterns, and help people update their beliefs, it helps to use the CBT tool of reframing by encouraging themselves to distance their current self from their past self, and remember that they did not have this information about EA when they decided on their previous giving, making it ok to choose a new path right now. Another approach I found helpful is to encourage people to think of themselves as being ... (read more)
Too many thoughts all jumbled up, have to try and write more on this but:
When I was at grad school for legal&political science the main way I encountered utilitarianism was as a bogeyman in legal/political/social science papers. Though limited to my own experience and universities I visited - my overwhelming impression is that in most policy connected academic disciplines not specifically housed in dedicated philosophy departments utilitarianism is mostly used as a signalling slur in similar way to a word like "neoliberalism" is and is not considered a respectable "thing" to identify as.
Yes potentially. I know that Evidence Action (the charity that runs Deworm the World) also has a water dispensing charity http://www.evidenceaction.org/dispensers/ .
GWWC has a good blog post from 2014 about them and the potential for research in this area. https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/blog/2014-01-28/dispensers-for-safe-water
As a general point, I think there are a whole host of potentially high impact charities (such as those that are "other outstanding charities") that have not received much attention in the EA community, and could be good t... (read more)
Givewell published their findings on water treatment interventions in 2013 did you miss this page?
I think it is very plausible that such interventions could be a highly effective cause area With more research though.
In terms of quick wins, I think it is notable that so far as I am aware the EA movement has not set up a single charity/cause that aims to be suitable for Givewell's evaluation process (or for that matter the ACE evaluation process) let alone one that has passed such a process. If something is a potential "quick win" it should be much more suitable for these things than most EA meta / GCR charities. Especially, because the progress on Givewell endorsed cause areas is large (for example, malaria deaths reduced by 60% since 2000). Having a few idea... (read more)
Ahh is now obvious they were just holding it because they knew there was going to be the much more detailed post about it. Which is obviously fine and makes a lot of sense :)
Interesting! I don't know if you are still at CEA but There is an event being held next weekend in Oxford and London for Christian effective altruists that I saw advertised on Facebook.