BrigidSlipka

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Has anyone actually talked to conservatives* about EA?

My impression of the George Mason academics is that they lean conservative.

Another conservative message I have seen among EAs is a general anti-tax sentiment. This has included practical advice on promotion of donor-advised funds, a personal asset that serves to reduce taxes. The argument seems to be that an EA can better direct what would have been taxes to a high impact charity than the government would be able to spend it.

The FDA demanded my employer bury inconvenient clinical trial data. What should I do?

I would suggest contacting a congressperson who sits on a committee with oversight of the FDA. Your best bet on a response is if your own representative sits on one of these committees:

  • Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor Pensions
  • House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee in Health

If your representative is not on either committee, you can try Chair Patty Murray's office for the Senate or Chair Anna Eshoo for the House. The Committees themselves also have full time staff who can sometimes be found on LinkedIn.

It would be a good idea to ask them about whistleblower protection, especially if you cannot hire an attorney, which was a suggestion.

Making this suggestion for a few reasons: if it's pervasive at the FDA, their Internal Affairs may be limited. Though damaging, this isn't a crime so law enforcement isn't appropriate. If contacting Congress goes nowhere, you could consider media, but their incentives will be attention, not necessarily resolution and definitely not your protection.

A Comparison of Donor-Advised Fund Providers

Can you clarify why you'd create a DAF instead of just donating directly to a high-impact charity? Using EA Funds as a baseline, I'd be interested in what value a DAF provides over just donating there.

How are you keeping it together?

Hey there, if you are up for internet hugs, I am sending you one. Here's a few things that helped me during the past few years:

  • Imagine the worst case scenario and make a plan for it. Star the spots where I don't know what I would do, and research. The ideal course of action during a crisis is easier to see ahead of time than in the moment.

  • Build layers to support your mental health. Layers meaning that any one thing might not do it 100%, but all together they give you a foundation of support. They can include: daily walks outside, caring for a pet, eliminating/reducing alcohol, eating regularly, meditation, limiting time on screens/apps.

  • Aggressively seek out joyful things! I read so many rom coms during the Trump years. Call your friends or see them in person, buy the superpremium ice cream, get a new video game. You will know when the time for moderation hits, till then embrace the fun.

If I'm reading between the lines and suicidal ideation is part of your thinking right now, please know that 1. Lots of people have this, it's something that is normal and treatable; 2. It needs professional help to manage. If you don't have a psychiatrist, a general doctor can still prescribe meds while you find or wait for one. Therapy options are more robust. Someone already pointed to the EA page, but there are also online options that use a sliding scale for payment.

Wishing you resilience and gratitude for your courage in posting.

Movie review: Don't Look Up

Some of the criticism I've seen is that the movie is "smug" (example from a critic who is personally anti-populist). Appreciate your conflict theory framing instead, which puts a more analytical lens on it rather than the more heightened frustration of some critics. 

I loved the dinner party scene, though. The whole movie was worth it for that. If that scene resonated with anyone else, you might also love this essay from Jonny Sun, on ranking the last 15 minutes before the apocalypse.

How would you run the Petrov Day game?

I actually don't know if the game format really works at all - as designed it emphasizes all the opposite values we honor in Petrov. Perhaps a different model all together would be best. My suggestion on the other post ( https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/Wsid3pHisYtutJzjw/clarifying-the-petrov-day-exercise?commentId=xJ7eC2YverjpPtWDp)  included:

  • write an Opinion piece for a major paper about him (the Washington Post one is over 20 years old! could use an update)
  • organize a Giving Day
  • create a coordinated social media campaign (there was one viral tweet yesterday about Petrov which was cool)
  • Research other people who've had similar impact, but are still unknown to the world (h/t to Kirsten who mentioned this on Twitter a while back)
Clarifying the Petrov Day Exercise

I'm not on LW, so this was the first time I'd heard of this ritual. As designed, it appears to emphasize the precise opposite values that we honor in Petrov:

  • Petrov famously did not retaliate (according to the information he had). In this game, a co-lead of an EA org publicly pledges to retaliate.
  • Petrov chose to distrust the systems around him. This game emphasizes a forced choice of trust .
  • Petrov defied his in-group and suffered professional and social costs, which we honor. Here, defying the in-group would also mean professional and social costs, but are wielded as a threat.
  • Petrov's choices had enormous positive externalities. Here, the game emphasizes the insular desires of one community. 

Additionally, I do believe that these two websites have value to a few thousand people. But it needs to be said that being offline for several hours is not nearly comparable to the lives of millions of people. Yet that comparison was made often. Stating that they are symbolically the same risks devaluing the reputation of the community here. 

I'll add this to Nathan's other post, but other ways to celebrate Petrov might be:

  •  write an Opinion piece for a major paper about him (the Washington Post one is over 20 years old! could use an update); 
  • organize a Giving Day; 
  • create a coordinated social media campaign (there was one viral tweet yesterday about Petrov which was cool)
  • Research other people who've had similar impact, but are still unknown to the world (h/t to Kirsten who mentioned this on Twitter a while back)

I appreciate the work of those who organized the game yesterday, and the willingness to listen to this feedback.

Snapshot of a career choice 10 years ago

Just want to uplift Julia's role writ large in setting a standard for generosity, whether it's direct giving, in  building community, or in generosity of spirit. 

Always grateful to see your words here.

How to make the most impactful donation, in terms of taxes?

Hi Katie,

In terms of practical advice, Aaron has it covered. (As a fundraiser myself, please do let the charity know if you plan to bundle several years' giving into one).

But I have a more fundamental question: why don't you want to just pay your taxes?

An Exploration of Sexual Violence Reduction for Effective Altruism Potential

Thanks for this, Kathy. I feel like you've taken multiple academic fields and worked them into one blog post, so I appreciate the length and detail. Also looking forward to shorter posts that tease out more concrete info and next steps.

To that end: would it be worth pulling apart the term "sexual violence" into a broader spectrum? Possibly:

  • rape
  • sexual assault (unwanted touching, but not meeting above criminal standard)
  • sexual harassment (i.e. sexualized/objectifying conversation, but not touching)
  • gender-based implicit bias

For example, the EA who read pickup literature and then groped another person committed sexual assault. But EAs who espouse pickup culture in an EA forum/workplace would be committing sexual harassment.

I liked your thoughts on how sexual violence in EA networks has a cost of driving women out of the area, which thereby reduces impact on the field. Here, including harassment and bias could provide a more robust picture. Women who may not have been physically touched may experience a range of other gender-based aggressions that let them to abandon the movement: being interrupted, ignored, getting more online abuse, having a man repeat a comment and gain credit for it, etc.

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