I'm Alfredo Parra, currently Operations Manager at the Legal Priorities Project, a longtermist research organization whose mission is to conduct legal research that tackles the world’s most pressing problems. Before joining LPP in late 2020, I worked at the Effective Altruism Foundation and its project, the Center on Long-Term Risk, also working in operations. I also co-founded the EA Munich group back in 2015.


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How to succeed as an early-stage researcher: the “lean startup” approach

Another somewhat related book recommendation (which I liked and would recommend to a few people early in their career,  in research and elsewhere): Reid Hoffman's The Start-Up of You.

EA Creatives and Communicators Slack

As someone who occasionally has to hire creatives and communicators, I was very happy to see this post. Thanks for coordinating!

Do you have any thoughts on how people like me (doing operations at an EA org) can get in touch with/hire someone in this Slack workspace? This would be both for short-term jobs ("we need a flyer for this event", "we have this Zoom recording that should be edited and uploaded to YouTube", etc.)  and long-term collaborations. 

Thanks again!

A bunch of reasons why you might have low energy (or other vague health problems) and what to do about it

Thanks so much for writing this up!  I'm super interested in this topic, too. :) 

I'd like to add one thing to check: Free testosterone levels. I once had a phase of very low energy (including brain fog). A former colleague of mine suggested getting my testosterone levels checked since our symptoms were very similar. A simple saliva test confirmed our suspicions: The levels were critically low. In their case, it had been so severe that they had to undergo testosterone replacement therapy, which solved the issue almost immediately. For both of us, the period of low energy coincided with us going vegan, and that's still our primary suspicion for the cause. I'm no nutrition expert, but my basic understanding is that the body converts cholesterol into testosterone, and vegan diets tend to be very low in cholesterol. (There are other factors that may contribute to low testosterone, such as stress, lack of good sleep, etc., but these weren't really an issue for us.)  A couple of months after changing my diet to include more foods with cholesterol, the problem was gone and my free testosterone levels were back to high. My colleague stopped replacement therapy and keeps their levels high through their diet (plus good sleep, exercise, etc.). Testosterone tests are usually very cheap and easy to carry out, so it could be very well worth it to check.

Introducing the Legal Priorities Project

LPP will also be looking to raise donations in this year's Giving Tuesday. Here's the Facebook fundraiser, and the instructions on how to donate.

Accomplishments Open Thread - August 2016

Thanks for creating this space, Gleb!

Here are a couple of things I achieved in July:

  • I gave a talk on some philosophical ideas behind Effective Altruism at our last EA Munich meetup. The talk attracted 30 people and the feedback was very good. The slides can be downloaded from the Facebook event.

  • Our EA Munich group started a fundraiser to support the Basic Income project by GiveDirectly. So far we have raised $430 and our goal is to reach $3,000. Here is the link to our fundraiser (in German).

  • We were interviewed by a local magazine called Grün & Gloria, whose main focus is to give their readers tips for doing good (very appropriate!). Here is the link to the article, titled "City Improvers: Doing Good Better with Effective Altruism" (in German).

  • I received an offer to be interviewed by the Bavarian radio station "Bayern 2" to talk about EA. The interview will be recorded at the end of August and could potentially reach thousands of listeners. :)

Accomplishments Open Thread - June 2016
  • I proposed to start a fundraiser for GiveDirectly's basic income project, which we just launched at EA Munich. Our goal is to raise (at least) $3,000.

  • Our group will participate in a large street festival here in Munich (called "Corso Leopold") this weekend (11th and 12th of June) where we will reach hundreds of passersby and talk to them about EA (and hopefully convince them to donate to our fundraiser ;) ). We translated an EA flyer to German and will also have GWWC flyers at our stand. We will also have (speed) Giving Games, sponsored by The Life You Can Save.

  • We're organizing a talk for the 23rd of June at the TU Munich by Jan Dirk Capelle from the EA Foundation. The topic will be "80,000 hours of maximum impact". This will help us reach many students (we're aiming for ~200).

  • My video interview for Intentional Insight's series "Everyday Heroes of Effective Giving" was just released.

Accomplishments Open Thread - April 2016

Thanks for the post, Gleb!

Our EA Munich team just gave an introductory talk on EA for the Benckiser Stiftung, a German foundation that supports non-profit organizations in the country. It was an important step since we had the opportunity to contact several non-profits in Munich, some of which have shown interest in EA. (The Benckiser Stiftung itself recently started donating to GiveDirectly.) The 45 minute talk gathered around 30 people from various organizations and was followed by two hours of Q&A. We believe this will give EA a good deal of visibility in Munich.

Accomplishments Open Thread - March 2016

I like the idea, Gleb. It's inspiring to read what others are achieving!

These are some of the things I've done over the past ~6 months:

1) I took the GWWC pledge, which I consider to be one of the most important decisions I've ever made. It's had a more profound impact on my life than I initially expected, so it's been a great experience.

2) I co-founded the EA-Munich group back in September 2015, and the group is growing fast. Apart from regular meetups, we organized an event in January in collaboration with the Stiftung für Effektiven Altruismus, which attracted over 100 people. Our guest was Lucius Caviola from Oxford, who held a talk on the psychology of EA. We are also founding our own association (a German Verein) to have a more solid legal basis and better credentials to be able approach organizations and companies in Munich to advocate EA. Finally, we are about to get an official EA-student group accredited at the Technical University of Munich, which will allow us to reach many students.

3) I went veg. (Yes, this is a big achievement for me :) )

4) I decided to volunteer at Intentional Insights, giving feedback and proofreading articles every now and then, mostly on EA-related topics.

In short, it's been a time of radical personal changes -- EA style :)

Support Promoting Effective Giving - Intentional Insights

Hi Gleb,

Thanks for referring me to this post.

Some preliminary comments. Despite the (at times unfair) criticism you've received in the past, I do think that what you're doing at InIn is valuable and potentially high-impact. Although your content does not resonate with EAs (and that's not your goal), the EA community should acknowledge and embrace the importance of convincing a wider, non-EA audience to donate effectively. Your project is still in a learning phase but making fast progress, so kudos on that and I hope you keep up with the good work.

Now some more concise remarks about the post. I'm unsure to what extent you'll be able to convince EAs to donate to InIn based on the data you present in your Annual Report. The strongest arguments going for InIn seem to be:

  • the vast media coverage, and

  • the large amount of content you've managed to generate.

I don't know how to weigh these numbers in when assessing the effectiveness of InIn. I believe this is not an issue of how you chose to quantify your impact - you have done a good job in keeping track of the numbers. It is rather the nature of InIn that can make it quite difficult to establish exactly (or even roughly) how much you can achieve (in terms of money moved to effective charities) per dollar you receive. GWWC has the advantage of being able to come up with such numbers more straightforwardly. 80,000 Hours has also published convincing metrics of their impact, despite the difficulty in tracking their success. However, I am excited to see that you plan to test your interventions more rigorously in the future, and I look forward to your results. Until then, would it be fair to say that funding InIn at this stage requires a small leap of faith?

Thanks again for all the great work! Looking forward to future collaborations.

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