Head of Community and Outreach at CEA. Non-EA interests include terrible puns, chess, YouTube, and applying science to things it isn't usually applied to.
Awesome!I personally would suggest a format of:1. One paragraph summary that any educated layperson easily can understand2. One page summary that a layperson with college-level math skills can understand3. 2-5 pages of detail that someone with college-level math and Econ 101 skills can understandThis is just a suggestion though, I don't have a lot of confidence that it's correct.
Probably more informal than you want, but here's a Facebook thread debating AI safety involving some of the biggest names in AI.
See also Toby's AMA
Defining "management constraints" better.Anecdotally, many EA organizations seem to think that they are somehow constrained by management capacity. My experience is that this term is used in different ways (for example, some places use it to mean that they need senior researchers who can mentor junior researchers; others use it to mean that they need people who can do HR really well).It would be cool for someone to interview different organizations and get a better sense of what is actually needed here
More accessible summaries of technical work. Some things I would like summarized:1. Existential risk and economic growth 2. Utilitarianism with and without expected utility (You can see my own attempt to summarize something similar to #2 here , as one example.)
If I had to suggest something which is both robustly good and disputable, I would suggest this principle:
Focus on minimizing the time between when you have an idea and when your customer benefits from that idea.
This principle has a variety of names, as many different industries have rediscovered the same idea.
This underlying principle, as well as its accoutrements like Kanban boards, can be seen in a huge variety of successful industries, from manufacturing to IT. The principle of reducing turnaround time can be applied by single individuals to their own workflow, or by multinational conglomerates. While it is easier to do agile project management in an agile company, it’s entirely possible for small teams (or even individuals) to unilaterally focus on reducing their turnaround times (meaning that this principle is not dependent on specific organizational cultures or processes).There are also more theoretical reasons to think this principle is robustly good. The planning fallacy is a well-evidenced phenomenon, and it reasonably would lead people to underestimate how important rapid responses are (since they believe they can forecast the future more accurately than they actually can).
Some other possible principles which are both robustly useful and disputable:
One of the most famous experiments in management is Does management matter? Evidence from India. This involved sending highly-paid management consultants to randomly selected textile firms in India. The treatment group had significant improvements relative to the control group (e.g. 11% increase in productivity).How did they accomplish these gains? Through changes like:
I think the conclusion here is that “disputable” is a relative term – I doubt any US plant managers need to be convinced that they should buy garbage bins. Most of the benefits that the management consultants were able to provide were simply in encouraging adherence to (what managers in the US consider to be) “obvious” best practices. Those best practices clearly were not “obvious” to the Indian managers.
GiveWell hired a VP of Marketing last fall. Do you have any insights from marketing GW that would be applicable to other EA organizations? Are there any surprising ways in which the marketing you are doing is different from "traditional" marketing?
One for the World was incubated by GiveWell and received a sizable grant from the GH&D Fund.
The average American donates about 4% of their income to charity. (Some discussion about whether this is the correct number here). Given this, asking people to pledge 1% seems a bit odd – almost like you are asking them to decrease the amount they donate.
One benefit of OFTW is that they are pushing GiveWell-recommended charities, but this seems directly competitive with TLYCS, which generally suggests people pledge 2-5% (the scale adjusts based on your income).
It's also somewhat competitive with the Giving What We Can pledge, which is a cause-neutral 10%.
I'm curious what you see as the benefits of OftW over these alternatives? I'm also curious if you have visibility into your forecasts (namely, whether they will move 1-2x the money to top charities as they received in support this year)?
(This question mostly taken from here.)
The GH&D Fund on EA Funds is unusual in that it almost exclusively gives large ($500k+) grants. The other funds regularly give $10-50k grants.
Do you think there is an opportunity for smaller funders in the GH&D space? Do you think there are economies of scale or other factors which make larger grants more useful in the GH&D space than in other cause areas?
Most of the animal welfare organizations that I know of which seem unusually effective are somehow related to EA. (E.g. I see staff from ACE's top charities regularly at EA Global.)
Are there parts of the effective animal advocacy ecosystem which don't overlap with EA? Do you have a sense for why these parts aren't involved with EA?