brb243's Comments

Thoughts on improving governance in developing countries

Hi. I actually anecdotally admire the Indian government for upgrading itself toward greater national welfare efficiently. The reason is sound leadership (exemplification of great standards and willingness to advance solutions beneficial to the public). For example, India's higher government officials were making long-hours group phone calls with their subordinates, respectfully publicly shaming them for not inputting (correct) data (C. K. Prahalad, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, p. 93), thus making sure the local officials uphold standards. Nandan Nilekani gave every resident a unique ID (not collecting data on caste, etc.) within years, more efficiently than leading private tech giants. This greatly facilitated cash transfers and internal work migration. Anecdotally, I also know that an emerging country's government may be about the size of large economy's communication department with that region.. I heard a developing country pride itself in finishing work five years ago that a UN intern could have easily kept up to date with little effort. Another country suggested their residents could truly benefit from a website an intern could have built. I recommended that an easy-share platform between countries and UN ESCAP departments is built, so that interns can stop doing busy/no work and help. That is not possible. A person in emerging economy's government must escalate their request in their national government; this national representative must send the request to a high UN representative; and the high UN representative must let the request progress down the UN hierarchy. So, no website is built.

The solution may be funding competent people to do work for emerging economies' governments, setting high standards and sharing relevant skills. Since officially, this may be a problem, finding and financing skilled and honest friends/helpers to developing countries' officials may work. The higher the officials the larger the sound-standard-setting effect. Showing the public that efficiency and wellbeing increases would increase trust and strengthen the sound governance standards.

In terms of the resources, I recommend Customs modernization initiatives: case studies. Especially, read the Outcomes and Lessons Learned (pp. 28-31) for Ghana. Making a government more efficient may also come with relevant knowledge and competence brought from outside.

EA lessons from my father

Very clear argument, thank you. While I do not believe that I can change your mind, judging from your tone, I also think that I do not need to: happier and more relaxed people may truly be in a better position to share their privileges with others, who then will be also happier and more relaxed. Then, I hope you will succeed in your research, while reminding your peers about the cost-effective, EA ways to share happiness with persons in the world.

We asked mid to senior career women and non-binary people what resources they would recommend. Here’s what they said.

OK, that is great, thanks! I cannot see the Rosie Campbell talk on the EA international events calendar. Could you please add these talks there? (e. g. for FB non-users).

EA Forum Prize: Winners for March 2020

From what I read regarding the committee's rationale for selecting "Effective altruism and free riding," I infer that good posts:

1) are visually concise (e. g. use tables, highlights, heading structures, infographics)

2) build on/respond to existing EA work when possible

3) recommend actionable items that EAs may follow

4) incorporate external perspectives when possible

Am I right? Should this be formalized and perhaps an example created, in order to facilitate information exchange and to promote meaningful actions?

EA lessons from my father

Thank you for this. Assuming that your kind heart, contemplative insight, and outstanding dedication make you someone who contributes greatly to any area they focus on, please just do not forget to focus on causes that are neglected by the for-profit sector (e. g. researching cost-effective prevention/cures to any of the 19/20 neglected tropical diseases not yet covered by EA charities, as opposed to researching something like baldness (that takes more funds than malaria research), or cancer, or Alzheimer's disease that burdens predominantly rich people who live long lives and thus has perhaps 1000x more funding/focus). It is a structural issue that those who are privileged and kind focus on helping their communities (that are similarly privileged), in consequence hurting others who these kind people counterfactually neglect.

Please do not research Alzheimer's disease to make your father proud (unless there is a sound case that it is better for the world than researching some of the NTDs), continue his work by researching a neglected cause that makes the world a better place truly-counterfactually and cost-effectively.

What are some historical examples of people and organizations who've influenced people to do more good?

Also, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who mobilized (arguably, not counterfactually) the billionaire community to pledge >$500b to charitable giving - after a dinner (cost of $5,000/person, at most?). That is $100,000,000 donated per $1 invested - a great deal. Should inspire other altruists to motivate others to pledge, perhaps by leading by personal example--

We asked mid to senior career women and non-binary people what resources they would recommend. Here’s what they said.

Thank you for sharing this. As a non-binary person (this clause is excessive yet I wish to include), I can second Rowan_Stanley's viewpoint that I too am familiar with most of the resources. Yet, there are some that I did not know before. Specifically, that is EA Work Club - and, the linked ImpactMatters website that rates charities based on the cost per unit output in several cause areas. Co-founded by Dean Karlan, the co-founder of IPA, this site has the potential to outcompete GiveWell. Apparently, they are looking for support/interns ;)

Reducing long-term risks from malevolent actors

Thank you. I see. Then, I wish you the very best of luck in making an effective impact with your actions. I hope that you will succeed in preventing many decision-makers from promoting malevolent leaders.

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