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Critiques of EA that I want to read

It previously said: "Your name and profile picture will be shared" (or something like that), but this seems to be fixed now.

Critiques of EA that I want to read

It's not anonymous, it records the name associated with your google account. (Of course you can just create a google account with a fake name, but then you can also just make an EA forum account with a fake name and post here.)

‘Consequentialism’ is being used to mean several different things

Relatedly: it seems like EA has a burnout problem. It also happens to be, as far as I can tell, the first large-scale movement with such a high concentration of utilitarians and people explicitly trying to optimise things. I do not think this is a coincidence, although I’m not sure what the causal chain is. I hope to write on this more in future.


I'm very sceptical about this point. It's probably true that EA has a 'burnout problem', but is burnout in EA professionals really higher than for other ambitious professionals that are excited about their job? My guess would be 'no', but would be good to see data on this. 

Jobs at EA-organizations are overpaid, here is why

I might be a bit naive here, but I don't really see how this would violate competition/antitrust law (other than potentially for very specialist roles that basically only exist at EA organisations): Surely the 'market share' of EA orgs for most type of role is so small that there shouldn't be any  way this actually interferes with the market?

(Just clarifying: I don't think it would be a good or practicable idea for EA organisations EA organizations "to offer salaries based on the same formula", but I'm confused why that wouldn't be possible if they wanted to.)

The dangers of high salaries within EA organisations

How would this have tax benefits? Also sounds like it creates additional admin work for orgs.

Some potential lessons from Carrick’s Congressional bid

Endorsement by the Democratic congressional leadership. There are plenty of low-information voters who hardly follow politics but generally prefer Democrats to Republicans so in the primary, they are more likely to vote for candidate endorsed by the those people who aim to get a Democratic majority in Congress.

Some potential lessons from Carrick’s Congressional bid

I don't know anything about the SBF donation to HMP, but it it seems plausible that the HMP support for Flynn could well have been positive had it not led to  a large pushback from Latino democrats and BOLD PAC spending for Salinas, so whoever is responsible for getting HMP involved probably didn't realise that there was a risk that this might happen.

Some potential lessons from Carrick’s Congressional bid

I think your cost-effectiveness analysis is a little bit misleading: You're assuming there was a binary choice between spending $0 and having a 5% chance of a seat or spending $13mn and having a 30% chance*. This is not the case, though, as they could have spent anything between those two amounts. It is quite reasonable that spending say $3mn would have led to something between 25-28% chance of winning and spending $10mn probably to something like 29.9%, so the effectiveness of most of the $13mn spent is much lower than you are suggesting.

*I'm much more sceptical than you though that the Metaculus estimate is a reasonable guess: It seems plausible to me that there could be a significant overlap between people highly excited about Flynn and people estimating on this question, which could very well have biased the estimate in Flynn's favour.

Free-spending EA might be a big problem for optics and epistemics

I don't understand why this comment is so heavily downvoted: While the tone of the comment might not be ideal and I don't agree with many elements of the argument and I also don't agree with the (implied) conclusion, I think it makes a generally valid point of criticism (that I assume lots of other outside people would share) that the EA community should acknowledge and take seriously rather than ignore.

Free-spending EA might be a big problem for optics and epistemics

I agree with basically all you are saying here, Max, and thanks a lot for the thoughtful and detailed response to a not very constructive comment.

Just to clarify that it seems the claim that psb777 made on a "UK Effective Altruism charity that [...] withheld  £7million+ in reserves" seems to be factually correct. This is likely CEA and looking at their public accounts they definitively have something like that (not sure where the exact 7mn figure comes from) in their unrestricted reserves funds.

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