Thanks for the feedback Aaron!
With regards to EA orgs e.g. 80,000 hours. I wasn’t trying to suggest that EA orgs have their own paid newsletters. Rather, I was suggesting that a separate not-for-profit organisation could be set up specifically for creating paid newsletters (on any topic) while stating that said organisation is trying to raise money for effective charities. The organisation would be made of individuals and teams who each run different paid newsletters under one umbrella. (These potentially could be subsidiary companies; I haven’t really thought through all the business legal stuff).
Sorry, I should have been clearer on this.
The everything newsletter is a combination of newsletters which illustrates how an umbrella organisation with multiple newsletters could work.
With regards to finding examples, I haven’t deep dived into this, but I do know that Product Hunt (bought by AngelList) started out basically as an e-mail list with a) a small audience and b) crowdsourcing their content. Its now morphed into something a bit different than a paid newsletter. Though it does have its Founders Club offering which isn’t that different. (I think newsletters tie in very well with community platforms like those which can be built with tools like circle).
Building an audience does seem like it would be the big hurdle. But I think this would give the EA community an advantage in this arena. If the EA community knows that there is an organisation trying to raise money for effective charities, then they could direct people in their social media networks towards the newsletters. This should provide a big enough ‘snowball’ to start with. Presumably, the combined network of everyone in the EA community is fairly large (though I don’t have figures on this - there is probably a lot of EAs in the followings of EA members and obviously it would be non-EAs that would be the target audience).
[HALF-BAKED IDEA - Fundraising through paid newsletters / text message courses.]
THE IDEA : Paid newsletters and paid text message courses should be considered as a potential earn -to-give entrepreneurship strategy.
More specifically, newsletters / text messages that are focused on sourcing items of interest for niche groups e.g. jobs, events, petitions, ideas, tools, content etc.
Some quick thoughts on why:
(WARNING: I am by no stretch of the imagination a fundraising expert, also this might be the longest short form ever)
Generally speaking, I don’t believe crowdfunding donations from the public is that effective, mainly due to a lack of social norms (most people don’t make time in their schedules to donate and even when they do, they are unlikely to share a charity they like with friends in the way they would share a product they like.)
For EA charities, I estimate this holds particularly true.
I believe the best way to fundraise from the general public is to sell a product they want (maybe with a bit of mark up) while being clear that you are trying to raise money for an altruistic cause.
I would suggest the ideal product would:
Broadly, digital products seem like the best way to do this.
Here are some rough thoughts on why I think item sourcing newsletters / text message idea seems like it would be a particularly good fit.
Of course, we would need a name for an organisation that provides such a service, how about….
SOURCY MEDIA [Pronounced: ‘Saucy’].
Here are some ideas on what items could be sourced....
Opportunities (To do / To seize)
Utilities and Inventory (To use / To have)
Learnings (To know / To follow)
Spaces (To go / To occupy)
Entities (To collaborate with)
Hi jkmh, thanks for all your questions, it gives me the opportunity to layout my thinking without having to put it in the structure of an essay. I hope you’ll forgive me for answering in bullet points rather than prose.
Are you looking for funding? Looking to connect with an established researcher in psychology, or an established institution?
What are the key first steps that an EA could take?
It's possible that OPS could be useful to EA, but as stated in the post, the validity is not established. It's hard for me to see how OPS has more predictive ability for mental illness (and subsequent treatment) than any other model of personality.
The key feature that makes OPS unique seems to be that it tracks changing personality throughout the day - but what is it about that feature that makes you believe that it could be a better model with more predictive power? Just more granularity?
This is probably the biggest bottleneck to convince an EA to get involved here. Have Dave & Shannon published peer-reviewed papers that have results that can be replicated?
Have they tried to come into contact with established institutions? What if the best next step is for Dave & Shannon to get into graduate school and go for a PhD doing this as their research?
If you're still reading, I hope this answers your questions.
Hi EdoArad, thanks for the question. Apologies for the lengthy response.
I guess there are 2 separate issues that I’m trying to address:
For the OPS the big bottleneck is the fact that its predictive validity has not been formally evaluated. I am, at this stage, suggesting that it may be worth the time of a few EAs to get this bottleneck removed sooner than it otherwise would be. To be clear, I am not suggesting that were the OPS to be proven valid, it would only be useful to the EA community to the extent that EAs and EA organisations would use it. If the model were proven valid it would presumably receive a lot of investment from other individuals and organisations (businesses, research organisations etc.). The potential returns (e.g. research findings) from this investment could provide a big boost for certain EA cause areas.
Regarding a specific cause area. Let’s take mental health. I do not pretend to be an expert, of any sort, in this area. But here is my basic thinking.
For mental health, many of the serious mental disorders that have been identified, such as those in the DSM-5 and ICD-10, are labelled personality disorders. I believe this is because individual differences in predisposition to these conditions is related to individual differences in temperament. Many of those who end up with a personality disorder seem have lifestyles (or trauma) that accentuate a biological predisposition. A model like the OPS could help individuals identify which personality disorders they are prone to. Also, by applying the ideas of the model, more effective interventions could be designed to help treat these conditions and to avoid people getting them in the first place.
This idea extends to other mental disorders as well. It is suggested that the OPS can predict what sort of things an individual is likely to be afraid of and distressed by. In certain cases, it may be able to predict what is causing a person’s depression and/or anxiety. But it is not yet clear the extent to which it might be able to do this. More importantly, it may help identify the right treatment for an individual. Treatment for depression and anxiety is rarely tailored to the individual. But if there are significant differences in how our minds work, then it makes sense that treatments should be 'psychometrically tailored'. Dave & Shannon suggest they themselves have been using their model to help clients overcome their mental health struggles.
I hope this makes things slightly clearer.
A new model of the mind
I stumbled across this new model of temperament (innate personality) about a year ago. I have been studying it and thinking about it ever since. It’s called the Objective Personality System (OPS).
[EDIT: I have subsequently written a personal blogpost on this matter which provides an overview of the history and state of affairs of the personality system.
I think the OPS raises 3 key questions:
The OPS appears to model individual differences in; judgement, awareness, motivation, expectancies, perception, learning & memory and mental states. The model also attempts to illustrate how an individual’s personality varies throughout the day.
The system is in the early stages of development and its predictive validity has not been formally evaluated. The OPS' creators, a couple based in Portland, Oregon, are not personality psychologists, they are enthusiasts. The pair have stated that the personality code is open source.
The OPS was released to the public in 2018. It’s based on Carl Jung’s theory of cognitive functions, like the infamous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Like the MBTI, the system implies the existence of temperament types. However, the OPS expands upon the original 16 types proposed by Myers & Briggs dividing each into 32 sub-types thus creating a spectrum of 512 types. Importantly, though the system is modular. It is comprised of a combination of interlinked binary components. So, the system can divide a population into 2 types, 4 types, 8 types, etc.
I suspect that the Objective Personality System could have a lot more predictive power than current established models e.g. The Five Factor Model (Big 5). The modular framework could also make it much more practical and easier to integrate. Hence, I believe the model has the potential to be extremely important. However, I am keen to check that I am not crazy!
So it would be good to get your opinion.
Here are some resources if you wish to investigate:
Carl Jung’s Functions: