All of andrewpei's Comments + Replies

Workshop: Strategy, ideas, and life paths for reducing existential risks

Just did a workshop run by Max at Stanford and had a great time. Would really recommend this!

The case for delaying solar geoengineering research

Interesting ideas and post! First a critique. It didn't sound right that we should wait 50 years for improved governance. Governance isn't something that just improves on its own over time, it's not a force of nature. It manifests and changes in response to human needs. The aftermath of WW1 brought the League of Nations, WW2 brought on the UN and EU, the Cold War created NATO. If anything it seems that changes to governance happen AFTER a need arises, not preemptively. I know we all wish that weren't the case but it is what is.

The deve... (read more)

2John G. Halstead3yHello, I'm not completely sure I follow why your first paragraph is a critique. I don't expect governance to improve on its own. My claim is that we do not need 50 years of governance research to get governance to a sufficiently good level should we need to deploy solar geoengineering in the future. The hope is that we will be wise enough not to have to use it because we will start serious mitigation, and I'm worried that geoengineering research could be one of many factors that could derail those efforts. It is true that developing geoengineering technology would create incentives to improve governance mechanisms for geoengineering. I'm not sure why that is a critique of my argument. I agree that war is unlikely for the reasons you outline.

Great post. I totally agree with the framing of meritocratic vs inclusive orgs and their inherent tension. It may be an awkward analogy but EA is more or less a modern religion and religion has already figured out how to navigate this dynamic.

Basically you have churches as the inclusive geographic community center where believers come on a regular basis. There's a sermon to reaffirm and bring perspective to their faith/ideology. There's art in multiple forms such as music, sculpture to connect at an emotional level. There's rituals to lend ... (read more)

Candidate Scoring System, Second Release

Fantastic report! I love this type of content and can't wait to sink my teeth into it

Are men more likely to attend EA London events? Attendance data, 2016-2018.

Any follow up here on qualitative reasons why women are less likely to return to EA events?

3Khorton3yI have the follow-up sitting on my computer at home, but for personal reasons I am unable to actually go home and upload it, so it might be another couple of months before I can share it.
Getting People Excited About More EA Careers: A New Community Building Challenge

Nice ideas here Sebastian. I wanted to clarify what you mean by professional core groups, the example you gave of EA London's finance community sounds like a professional group within a local group. In my view the current challenge is that many cities don't even have community groups at all much less the ability to subdivide based on profession.

I think it makes sense for EA to build community both along the lines of geography but also in professions (without respect to geography) e.g. EA's in Healthcare. Of these two I think the priority sh... (read more)

1Sebastian_Oehm3yHey, I'm thinking of professional 'groups' or strong networks without respect to geography, though I would guess that some professions will cluster around certain geographies. E.g. in finance you'd expect EAs to be mainly in London, Frankfurt, New York etc. And it would be preferable for members to be in as few locations as possible. I agree that local groups are very important, and plausibly more important, than professional groups. However, local groups work largely by getting members more involved in the community and providing 'push' factors to go into EA careers. I think the next frontier of community building will be to add these 'pull' factors. We have made a lot of progress on the local groups side, now it is time to think about the next challenge. Re professional community builders: this is already happening & good. But they are largely working on getting members more engaged, rather than building strong professional 'core' communities (though some people do work in this direction, it is not a main focus). I suspect the driving force will be volunteers at the start, similar to how student groups got started initially. These would be people that are already well-connected and have some experience in their field. This would also get around the issue that EA orgs may currently not have resources for such projects. I doubt funding will be an issue hif the volunteers meet these properties.
A List of Things For People To Do

I love all the self-reflection that has been happened in EA recently regarding what should everyone be doing. I agree that earning to give shouldn't be the person's primary involvement in EA.

I think EA needs to further develop cause areas to encompass wider domains e.g. as a resident in SF I want to know what are the most effective causes and solutions for the USA, for California, and for my city. I think having these domains will both grow the tent of people in EA and also opportunities to contribute. Things like global catastrophic risk is probably always going to be a niche field for direct work.

Such a structure would also form a natural hierarchy from localized issues -> universal issues.