All of cafelow's Comments + Replies

Get 100s of EA books for your student group

Since you are a group organiser you most certainly can get funding through CEA for all 23 books (for your own learning + I suspect you won't be able to help yourself lending them out to group members too!) - Happy to help!
- Catherine

2BrianTan4moThanks Catherine! Yep I can lend them out to group members. I'll probably email or Slack you to ask more details about this soon!
Get 100s of EA books for your student group

Just a note for non-student groups especially! 
All groups are welcome to apply to CEA for funding for books: https://www.centreforeffectivealtruism.org/group-support-funding

You can either apply to get money to purchase and distribute books yourself, or you can use this team's book service and they can charge CEA for your books. 

Reach out to me with questions: catherine@centreforeffectivealtruism.org

Some thoughts on David Roodman’s model of economic growth and its relation to AI timelines

Would you be able to define "GWP" so folks like me don't have to click one of the links or search to find this? My first reaction was "Huh? Global Warming Potentials relate to AI timelines?" :D. 

1Tom_Davidson4moGreat suggestion - thanks! Have edited.
Propose and vote on potential EA Wiki entries

Hey Pablo! 
You are right that the wiki is long dead. The current resources section was written independently from the wiki.
As I just commented up the thread, with the new EA Forum wiki (which is wonderful!), I think the content on the EA Hub intended for all EAs should be merged into the wiki, and then I can retire those pages and set up redirects. More than happy to chat more about this!
 

2Pablo7moThanks for your message! Can you email me at stafforini.com [pablo@stafforini.com] preceded by MyName@, or share an email address where I can reach you? (EDIT: We have now contacted each other.)
Propose and vote on potential EA Wiki entries

Thanks Michael! 
I manage the EA Hub Resources, but much of the content has been slowly getting outdated. 

I think the best action will be to incorporate the content in the Learn and Take Action sections of the EA Hub Resources into the EA Forum wiki, and redirect Hub visitors to the wiki. I'm unlikely to have the time to do this soon, so I would be delighted if someone else was keen to do this. Get in touch if you are keen to do this and I can assist + set up redirects when ready! Message me through the forum private messaging.

The rest of the reso... (read more)

SHIC Will Suspend Outreach Operations

Hi capybaralet, 
Thanks for your comments and enthusiasm for the program!

> I must admit I was frustrated by reading this post.  I want this work to continue, and I don't find the levels of engagement you report surprising or worth massively updating on (i.e. suspending outreach).

I admit when the decision was made to stop actively working on SHIC, I was pretty sad and frustrated too. However for our team, and our funders too, the main question was "do we think this is worth continuing compared to other things we could spend our time and money on... (read more)

Why EA groups should not use “Effective Altruism” in their name.

Thanks for sharing your groups' experience Koen. I'm sympathetic to the idea that "Effective Altruism" wasn't the best choice of name, and I agree it is very important for any translations of the name to be done thoughtfully  as the most obvious translation isn't always going to work well.

My own belief (I'm not speaking for CEA) is that there is a big advantage of having a consistent brand and worldwide recognisable network,  so even if "effective altruism" wasn't the best choice initially, since it is the name we use now there is a cost to devia... (read more)

My experience in business matches two of the points that Catherine makes above:

My guess is that it is probably better to have a not-perfect name that everyone uses, than a whole variety of different names.

and

Another cost is that there are people who hear "effective altruism" several times in several places before  deciding to learn more/ get involved, so each exposure of that name (as long as it is positive!) helps.

My current view is that:

  1. Consistent usage can be much more relevent for a brand's success than its intrinsic characteristics.  I can i
... (read more)
Donating to EA funds from Germany

Hey zwiebrot, you might like to try a donation swap with a donor from another country. You can register your interest on https://donationswap.eahub.org/. There is a good chance there will be another donor from another country who would like to support a charity listed on Effectiv Spenden, so you can donate to each other's chosen charity.  

Announcing the EA donation swap system

Yes it is! We are still quietly swapping away. At some point we'll write a post to summarise what we've been up to.

Donating effectively does not necessarily imply donating tax-deductibly

Readers might be interested in the EA Donation Swap system, which increases the overall tax-deductibility of EA donations, without people having to change the organisation they support.

An example of how it works:
- Cara from Australia wants to the Good Food Institute (which is registered in Canada but not Australia)
- Sam from Canada wants to donate to AMF (which is registered in both countries).
Cara and Sam are matched through the EA Donation Swap website, and agree to swap donations, resulting in Sam donating to the Good Food Institute (and getting hi... (read more)

EA Survey 2019 Series: How many people are there in the EA community?

Thanks for this David! Nice comparisons!

When I talk to people about EA (often after people ask me about what I do with myself), it is very common for people to ask questions like "I haven't heard of effective altruism before, how large is the movement?" and then "Why isn't it larger? Have you tried ..." with some suggestions for large scale outreach.

While I feel comfortable discussing this question when I'm talking to dedicated EAs, the nuanced pros and cons of various movement-building strategies isn't really what... (read more)

2David_Moss1yI agree this would both not be very inspiring and risk sounding elitist. I don't have any novel ideas, I would probably just say something vague about wanting to spread the ideas carefully and ensure they aren't lost or distorted in the mass media and try to redirect the topic.
Announcing the EA Virtual Group*

Thanks Sami, this is a great idea! I'm really glad this group is starting up to support our geographically widespread community.

EAGxVirtual Unconference (Saturday, June 20th 2020)

In case you haven't seen it, here is a guide to talking about EA, which includes a list of approaches various community members like to use, discussions of pitfalls to avoid, and FAQs. It is very open for additions and changes.

1Danny Lipsitz1yWhoa, cool. I did not know about this, thank you.
Does Effective Altruism have a graphic standards/brand style/brand identity guide?

Hey Quinn. I think your new logo for the Effective Environmentalism page looks lovely! Apologies for this comment being clearly far too late! I was reminded by seeing the new EE cover image today, and figured I'd comment so you and others know the answer for future projects.

At the moment there really isn't any community-wide graphic standards. Many groups use the lightbulb logo in some form or other. Blues and teals seem to be the usual colours, and Roboto Slab and Raleway seem to be the usual fonts.

Here is CEA's personal style guide for ef... (read more)

Neglected EA Regions

One data point suggesting the positive impact of setting up facebook groups for places that have no groups:

Back in 2014 or 2015 LEAN set up an "EA Christchurch" facebook group, that I was able to stumble upon. By posting on this group I found another couple of interested people in my city, and we've had a small but thriving EA group since. I might not have had the gumption to start a local group (or may have taken a lot longer to start) without that facebook group connecting us.

Of course that doesn't mean this strategy will work in ot... (read more)

1G Gordon Worley III2yThis makes we think of a useful perspective on this post: we still have a long way to go to spread EA within the cultures/regions where it has already taken root such that there is still a lot to be gained from doing that without dealing with the added complications of taking EA to new cultures.
How much will local/university groups benefit from targeted EA content creation?

Thanks Linch for this question. This is half an answer and half a comment! Many group leaders have expressed the need for high quality resources for events, so I think YES this is a very good idea. Some of the reasons against providing these resources can be reduced by having good supporting material such as suggestions for group organisers on how they could modify the resource to fit their group, suggested readings for group organisers, explanations of who this resource would be useful for, and more frequent sharing of resources!

I've been coordinati... (read more)

2Linch2yDo you have a sense of whether/how much new material is needed vs. we already have all the existing material and it's just a question of compiling everything together? If the former, a follow-up question is which new material will be helpful. Would be excited you (or anybody else) also answer this related question: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/prrKzvCXuyRn4MHbu/what-types-of-content-creation-would-be-useful-for-local [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/prrKzvCXuyRn4MHbu/what-types-of-content-creation-would-be-useful-for-local]
Elevator pitch for EA and fundraising

The EA Hub Resources team recently updated the "Pitch guide", and added lots of other references and frequently asked questions. We also renamed it to "Communicating about EA" because thinking about it as a "sales pitch" is probably not the best approach. https://resources.eahub.org/learn/communicate-ea/

Good luck with your fundraising!

Volunteering isn't free

Thanks for sharing that. A lot of the above rings true to me, and it is a great summary of all the costs that that a prospective volunteer might not realise. I've managed volunteers working on several EA projects, and been a volunteer myself on many EA and non-EA projects. However, I think EA volunteers are on average more reliable and more competent than volunteers in general - (I can think of many possible reasons, but don't have a good idea what reasons are dominant), and for my projects the volunteers have been remote, which avoids some of th... (read more)

Should we use wiki to improve knowledge management within the community?

Re: The old wiki on the EA Hub, I'm afraid the old wiki data got corrupted, it wasn't backed up properly and it was deemed too difficult to restore at the time :(. So it looks like the information in that wiki is now lost to the winds. I'm very sorry about that.

This may or may not fulfil your needs (and isn't _quite_ a wiki), but the EA Hub resources (resources.eahub.org), is a repository for EA links, and we hope to grow the number of resources available. We will soon have a way for people to make suggestions for changes and additions. which will be vetted before loading onto the website.


6saulius2yDo you know approximately how many monthly visitors the old wiki had?
2VPetukhov2yThanks for the answer! Woh, that's sad. Some thing for us to keep in mind for the future... Indeed, suggestions would solve many problems! Still, the question is how to make it appealing for contribution. I really like button "Edit" on wikipedia, as it doesn't imply complex underlying revision processes and gives me around as much power as I want... Can you please share your vision on the optimal knowledge management within EA? @EdoArad provided quite some ideas on how it could be organized, and among other I agree with the vision that if anywhere, the new knowledge base should be kept under EA Hub domain. So if you think it worth discussing, I'd be happy to engage.
7riceissa2yI think a dump of the wiki is available at https://archive.org/details/wiki-wikieahuborg_w [https://archive.org/details/wiki-wikieahuborg_w].
How to find EA documents on a particular topic

Thanks Jc! The Hub team has been thinking about having an "Search all of EA" button for a while, but it never quite bubbled up to the top of our to do list. Your explanation of how it could work, as well as John Maxwell's description, make it seem more doable than I previously thought. I'll be discussing this with the rest of the team.

2VPetukhov2yYep, this feature would be extremely useful! Indeed, for some programming languages such customized google engines exist and works reasonably well. Don't know how they did that, but here are two examples: https://rseek.org/ [https://rseek.org/] and http://steampiano.net/julia-search/index.html [http://steampiano.net/julia-search/index.html] .
1Jc_Mourrat2yAwesome, I hope it will work out!
An update on plans for EAGx 2020

I'm aware that more people apply for EAG SF and London than are accepted. That makes me wonder if there is value to also having additional EAGxs on the West Coast of North America or in the UK, so there are opportunities for these people (and anybody who didn't apply because they didn't think they would get in) to attend an accessible conference, which may be a more friendly introduction to EA than an EAG would be. It could also soften the blow of rejection to be able to say "sorry, you aren't invited to EAG, but if you can, go to this EAGx and please apply again next year".

Do you think that would be worthwhile? Do you have an idea of the numbers of people in this category?

7KatieGlass2yYes, we do want to consider this for the future. For new EAGx locations in 2020, we have planned to prioritise locations that don't currently have access to either EAG or EAGx at all. That said, we'll certainly consider applications from excellent organising teams in any location! I do think it would be less likely that we'd fund an EAGx in the Bay or London for 2020, compared to other locations right now, but applying now or getting in touch now may still be helpful as we consider future locations.
6Manuel_Allgaier2yMaybe retreats organized by local groups could fulfill that purpose as well? Here an example from Germany: Last August, we organized the "EA Unconference" retreat, which was relatively accessible and friendly. We chose the criteria such that anyone genuinely interested in EA could fulfill them [1] and found that all applicants fit the criteria - we didn't need to turn down anyone. We then spent three days on a farmhouse, discussing EA, supporting each other with cause prio, career planning and other relevant topics and also having some fun together and connecting on a personal level as well. Appendix: More details for anyone considering organizing retreats: The retreat was well-received, we had 50 participants from three countries and they rated it an 8.9/10 on average, on average 7x as valuable as what they would have done otherwise (median: 3x as valuable). Some also updated their career plans. It also did not take us that much time to organize it, as content was mainly participant-driven. We spent €3500 in total (€70 pp incl. food & accommodation), which was entirely covered by our sliding scale tickets (participants could choose ticket price themselves and paid €0-200), so we did not need any additional funding. We're planning to do one again this winter or next summer. If other community builders are interested, I could maybe write a more detailed evaluation as soon as I have time (let me know if you'd find that useful!). [1] more info on the Unconference & criteria: http://bit.ly/ea_unconference_info [http://bit.ly/ea_unconference_info]
0Manuel_Allgaier2yInteresting idea! Re. an additional EAGx in the UK: I'd expect the applicants who were not accepted to EAG London to be based not only in the UK but in entire Europe (unless you have data that suggests otherwise?), and as flights are cheap in Europe (<$100 return to most major cities), it seems that an EAGx in any major European city is sufficiently accessible. Or is there anything I overlooked? If we assume that it doesn't matter much if an EAGx is hold in the UK or elsewhere in Europe, then the application-capacity-ratio of previous European EAGx conferences could be a good indication to see if there's more demand. Does anyone know how many people applied to previous European EAGx conferences, and how many were accepted? This might not hold true for the US, though, as flights from the East Coast to the West Coast are more expensive.
Sperm sorting in cattle

The practice might be different in different countries, but in many countries (I know the most about NZ) dairy cows are impregnated every year to keep their milk supply at a high level. The dairy cows are slaughtered after about 4 years, so there are far more calves born than can be used by the industry. This means that a decent proportion of the female calves are slaughtered alongside their brothers at a few days old so sex selection of sperm won't change the number of unwanted calves. If there was a way to induce lactation without pregnancy that would make sex selection very useful.

To make this a low effort action it would be helpful if you could link the voting page or otherwise tell us how to vote and how long it takes to do so.

2zoltariolb2yHere are some steps on how to do this: 1. Install Tab for a cause here: https://tab.gladly.io [https://tab.gladly.io/] on your browser 2. Enter the Charity Spotlight page: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfs8lyPMSGxKJVjwqc1Ok35_LKLWDWR_DjkiCojBkUhjOi9Zw/alreadyresponded?usp=send_form [https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfs8lyPMSGxKJVjwqc1Ok35_LKLWDWR_DjkiCojBkUhjOi9Zw/alreadyresponded?usp=send_form] 3. Vote for AMF. 4. Spread the word around forums, friends, twitter, social media. Everything takes less than a couple of minutes.
Latest EA Updates for June 2019

I'm getting a lot out of these monthly updates David. Thank you. Any chance they could be subscribed to in a newsletter or at least put on a website? I'd like to recommend them as a great way of staying up to date, as a step up from the shorter EA newsletter.

(I know you have the EA London newsletters, which have a lot of overlap to these updates).

1DavidNash2yOne low cost way of doing this, if the EA newsletter people thought it was useful, would be to just have a link in the main newsletter for the recent updates post.
1DavidNash2yI'd be happy if someone else wanted to send out these updates or put them on a website. These updates don't add any extra info so if people are happy to ignore jobs/events they could sign up or use an RSS feed for the website [https://www.ealondon.com/blog].
High School EA Outreach

Just a note to say that Brenton's conclusions have been updated above to add estimates of the overall results of the outreach activities mentioned in this post. https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/L5t3EPnWSj7D3DpGt/high-school-ea-outreach#Brenton_s_conclusions

Thanks Catherine. I’m going to quote the relevant part of my conclusion here, as I think the overall results of high school outreach are one of the most remarkable things to have come out of this review, but they haven’t seen any discussion here so far.

I’ve been very surprised at how little measured success high school EA outreach efforts have yielded. This post has compiled evidence from many competent people trying out multiple different methods, which in total have had over 5 years of full time equivalent work go into them. This has resulted in:
Three s
... (read more)
EA Still Needs an Updated and Representative Introductory Guidebook

I agree Evan. I still give out many Doing Good Betters (hoping people read past the poverty sections) and only send people the Handbook if they've engaged with EA ideas for a while. The intro book would ideally be written with someone with a high status in the EA community and the world in general, as even an excellent intro book may not supplant MacAskill and Singer's intro books. I'm wondering if the best intro book would be a new edition of Doing Good Better with less on global poverty to allow for more on other cause areas. That would give the new book

... (read more)
4Evan_Gaensbauer3yAt first I thought just updating Doing Good Better would be too hard. After reading Michael Chen's comment [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/z7DbtsFoNToh8Tket/ea-still-needs-an-updated-and-representative-introductory#ZH39YkQAYWJJuYx83] on what needs to be corrected in the current articles in the EA Handbook, on top of everything else that would need to be updated about it, it seems like it would be more work than updating DGB. It seems like DGB has probably been subjected to more stringent and professional editing since it had to go through external, commercial publication, and so updating an already solid work that covers the core facets of EA is probably easier than creating a new handbook from scratch. It also sounds like based on Jon Behar's comment [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/z7DbtsFoNToh8Tket/ea-still-needs-an-updated-and-representative-introductory#AM7FpJmW5HPfyHs6n] that The Life You Can Save organization helped quite a lot in updating Singer's original TLYCS book. I hadn't thought of an idea a whole organization could give some time to updating an EA book, as opposed to a single assistant or editor. So the CEA or another organization could help will with that, which would make the job of updating DGB a lot easier.
4Evan_Gaensbauer3yOne question to ask is what the goal of such a book is. If it's to spread the basic ideas as far and wide as possible, a popular book like Will's or Singer's books seems like a good start. I'm not sure how those books have panned out for all the goals they were intended to serve, since I don't know who has measured them. I think there have been some attempts to measure the impact of DGB in various ways, but I haven't kept track of them. I was thinking an updated edition of Doing Good Better might work. Unfortunately, with how busy Will is, it seems unrealistic to expect he'd be able to update date it soon. I was hoping someone else would come up with a suggestion with how a better EA Handbook could be created.
High School EA Outreach

My impression from my outreach to all ages is that founders effects are pretty significant (including who we network with, and how we usually communicate in a way that people like ourselves would find appealing) - I've found a wide variety of people find the basic ideas appealing.

Also the capability to get fully involved is pretty biased towards young people with few commitments and a lot of choice over what career path they take.

But of course that doesn't rule out a decent skew in who is likely to become deeply interested - I do think a skew is... (read more)

High School EA Outreach

3 out of the 5 EA-aligned teachers who contributed to the post were from quite elite schools. In London we only got around to contacting schools with high grades (we had a sorted list, and were slowly working our way down the list). In Greater Vancouver we contacted every high school. I haven't done any careful analysis, but from eyeballing the data, there doesn't seem to be a clear correlation between school ranking and interest in running our workshops. Nor does there seem to be a clear correlation between school ranking and interest in advanc... (read more)

1aogara3yThat's very interesting. Seems like evidence that EA might not be inherently more appealing to students at top schools, but rather that EA's current composition is a product of circumstance and chance.
SHIC Will Suspend Outreach Operations

Good question Ozzie. In the start of 2018 we mostly focussed on getting into schools and on the surveys (metrics 1 and 2 above), because they were our first hurdles and we were very uncertain on how these would go until we started the project.

However that meant we didn't optimise our workshops for engaging students long term (metric 3) for several months after starting the project. That meant we weren't confident in making decisions based on the first indications that we were not meeting metric 3, and ran the project for several more months as a result. If we had planned our long term engagement strategy at the start of 2018 and set success criteria earlier we could have learnt what we needed to in less time.

List of possible EA meta-charities and projects

I agree that the forum does already provide this function to get written feedback, however I'm not sure the written feedback makes it clear whether there is approval or lack of approval in general. Up and down voting helps, but I wouldn't want to construe a bunch of upvotes as widespread approval to start a project, nor the downvotes as suggesting I'm triggering some terrible unilateralist curse! My thought was not fully formed, but I was thinking a bit more of a rating system, where someone could have a pretty rough idea, gets it checked i... (read more)

Announcing the EA donation swap system

That is a really good point Denis!

The only thing we put in to help with preferences, is to allow donors to "reject the swap" - e.g. if they don't like the charity they are instructed to donate to. But that is clearly insufficient. They could be given more information before they choose to reject.

I'm trying to think of a way of asking for easily accessible information from donors to avoid these problems. This info would be shared with the match. Would "If you don't get matched where would your donation go?"

with the opt... (read more)

3Denis Drescher3yHi! Thank you! That sounds good (“Charity X” would be a free text field?), but I don’t know whether there are other problems it doesn’t address. To guard against that, an FAQ entry explaining the problem would be best. Generally that’ll be needed because this is probably unintuitive for many people (like me), so even if they have the information about the swap counterfactual, they may not be able to use it optimally without an explanation.
Announcing the EA donation swap system

Thanks Khorton! We really appreciate you saying those kind words.

Announcing the EA donation swap system

Thanks David. As Paul says, it certainly isn't clear cut. We have had unofficial legal advice, but nothing formal. The general idea from the advice is that some of the laws say things on the lines of "You must not have received goods or services from the charity" - which is still true in the case of swapping. There is also no legal obligation for your matched donor to donate to the charity you want them to donate to, and that is apparently significant. Also the tax rebate isn't dependent on WHY you chose the charity that you donated to. If the website proves to be popular we will look into getting official legal advice in the countries that want to use it the most.

1davidc3yThanks!
Announcing the EA donation swap system

Thanks Larks! There will be the very occasional swaps where both parties benefit, but most will have just one beneficiary like the example above. We thought briefly about incentivising Robert-type people, but in the end decided to go for the simple "both charities get the same $" for the first iteration. If we are struggling to get Robert-type donors to offer swaps we will definitely revisit this idea.

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

You show Disney movies at EA meetups!! That is really lovely!

Students for High-Impact Charity: 2018 Update

My guess is the main problem occurs when it is very clear to students what the instructors want them to say. Since we don't talk about water usage, students may not change their answer for the water usage question, but still change their answer to the questions relating to the content (whether or not they have been impacted by the program), so there may not be a shift in the water question, but still a shift in the other questions.

We did test out some different social desirability scales in the surveys, which is a common method. The preliminary analysis suggested that social desirability is a factor, but we haven't finished that analysis on the full data yet.

To Grow a Healthy Movement, Pick the Low-Hanging Fruit

Thanks Ari for your post. This is very interesting and an important research question. I also believe that EA ideas can be appealing to people far beyond the current demographic of EAs (which I think is strongly influenced by founders effects).

Are you able to share the details of your SEGS scale? I think the details of the scale would be interesting. I can see that you have a high correlation between Empathy and SEGS. In particular I am wondering what the chances that generally altruistic people are choosing the high SEGS answers because they look like t... (read more)

5NickFitz4yThanks for this. The SEGS consisted of seven items on a 7-point Likert agree/disagree scale: (1) I am interested in Effective Altruism, (2) I would like to learn more about Effective Altruism, (3) I support the Effective Altruism movement, (4), I would share information about Effective Altruism with people in my network, (5) I identify as an "effective altruist," (6) I would like to meet others who support Effective Altruism, and (7) I will donate my money based on Effective Altruism. We also measured a few more-behavioral outcomes e.g., a windfall donation task (in which participants allocated money between Deworm the World, Make a Wish, a local choir, and keeping it for themselves), and willingness to sign the GWWC pledge. For the SEGS x Empathy relationship, we controlled for past giving behavior to try to feather that out. Ah yes, the links to the scales don't appear to work in the PDF, here are open-access versions: EQ: http://docs.autismresearchcentre.com/papers/2004_Lawrence_etal_MeasuringEmpathy.pdf [http://docs.autismresearchcentre.com/papers/2004_Lawrence_etal_MeasuringEmpathy.pdf] IRI: http://fetzer.org/sites/default/files/images/stories/pdf/selfmeasures/EMPATHY-InterpersonalReactivityIndex.pdf [http://fetzer.org/sites/default/files/images/stories/pdf/selfmeasures/EMPATHY-InterpersonalReactivityIndex.pdf] MFQ-20: http://www.moralfoundations.org/questionnaires [http://www.moralfoundations.org/questionnaires] TIPI: https://gosling.psy.utexas.edu/scales-weve-developed/ten-item-personality-measure-tipi/ [https://gosling.psy.utexas.edu/scales-weve-developed/ten-item-personality-measure-tipi/] MS-S: http://journal.sjdm.org/16/16129b/jdm16129b.pdf [http://journal.sjdm.org/16/16129b/jdm16129b.pdf] CRT: http://journal.sjdm.org/15/151029/jdm151029.pdf [http://journal.sjdm.org/15/151029/jdm151029.pdf]
The Importance of EA Dedication and Why it Should Be Encouraged

The increased concern about downside risk has also made it much harder to ‘use up’ your dedication.

Thanks for articulating that - it was a undefined sense of ill-ease, that I now have words for. When I joined EA initially I naively thought everything I did (donating, outreach) was certainly net positive, and I could boldly dedicate away! The uncertainty I now feel about everything makes motivation harder and deprives me of the satisfaction I used to get (especially as my brain prefers to fixate on the possible negatives, rather than the expected value).

1John_Maxwell4yA possible solution to this problem is to 'use up' your dedication in systematic research [http://effective-altruism.com/ea/1lz/why_we_should_be_doing_more_systematic_research/] working to resolve important uncertainties.
1Evan_Gaensbauer4yAs I stated in this comment [http://effective-altruism.com/ea/1o3/the_importance_of_ea_dedication_and_why_it_should/e92] , it's far from a consensus actions like donating or outreach are of an ambiguous sign.
Wild Animal Welfare Project Discussion: A One-Year Strategic Review

Thanks for this! Your link to "a template for how this could be done with several causes" doesn't seem to work. (But I found the right article anyway).

Review of EA New Zealand’s ‘Doing Good Better’ book giveaway

Thanks Lauren, it look us about 8 months to give away that many books actually! EA NZ is pretty small group so far, so once we had exhausted our own networks like our FB pages and groups it was a bit slower - many we gave away at conferences we attended. We tried to make it clear that there is an expectation that they would read it and fill in the survey when it arrived to avoid people just taking a copy for their book shelf. But at the conferences there was a decent percentage (maybe 30-50% depending on the event) of people who accepted a book.

Save the Date for EA Global Boston and San Francisco

Hi Amy, just checking - the disappearance of the word "tentatively" means that the SF dates are confirmed right? I'm anxious to book my flights while they are still cheap from NZ. Thanks.

3Amy Labenz5yWow, great catch! Yes, I'm finalizing the contract today.
EA Global 2017 Update

Hi Amy, any progress on the dates? I live a long way from the EA Global events and have a not-so-flexible work schedule to work around so having early dates makes a huge difference to my likelihood of attending. I'd really appreciate the dates to be published as soon as they are known. Thanks, Catherine.

0Amy Labenz5yYes, the update is here: http://effective-altruism.com/ea/17z/save_the_date_for_ea_global_boston_and_san/ [http://effective-altruism.com/ea/17z/save_the_date_for_ea_global_boston_and_san/]
0Linch5yI'm not sure we can find out even after the experiment. Since the base rate is at best 10-20%, I would expect the differences in random variance to swamp out person-to-person differences in skill, credibility etc.
1Peter Wildeford5yNot if Linch can't get more volunteers!
Proposal for an Pre-registered Experiment in EA Outreach

Sounds great Linch. My only thought is... if this is supposed to inform the usual rank-and-file GWWC members about whether and how to approach talking to others, you should try to get a fairly normal distribution of GWWC members to be the experimentees. My guess is that Peter Hurford may well be more convincing to his friends than the average GWWC member.

2Peter Wildeford5yI don't know about that -- my friends are not very EA inclined and I'm not really any less awkward about talking about GWWC than anyone else I know.
Accomplishments Open Thread - July 2016

One part was when talking about whether or not we have a moral obligation to help people when we can - and how far we have to go to "be a good person" in the utilitarian framework - some students were understandably exasperated by the demandingness of that framework.

Another part was when looking at the harms the student are causing through greenhouse gas emissions and animal consumption. I did a lot of "this is what thinks might be correct", rather than saying it was my belief - although they asked me about my beliefs and actions, w... (read more)

0Gleb_T5yNice, thanks for sharing this! Good to know what the stumbling blocks are for folks :-)
Accomplishments Open Thread - July 2016

I was really pleased to see that Research Fund! I am really looking forward to the results in time - I feel that there are a bunch of people waiting for more research in the animal advocacy field before taking action.

Accomplishments Open Thread - July 2016

I've had a really exciting EA month too.

I finished running through the pilot of the Students For High-Impact Charity program with a group of students in my school. Some students found some aspects of the program confronting, but they all found it interesting, and raised a bunch of money for CoolEarth (the charity they chose for the main fundraiser), and ran an "Animal Friendly Lunch" - with vegan sausages and bake sale, to spread awareness and raise money for Animal Equality International.

I also helped out planning and running the EAGxAustralia conference, which was really well received (and I had a fantastic time). So I am feeling really positive about being a useful part of the EA movement right now.

0Gleb_T5yGreat to hear about everything you did! I'm curious, what parts of the SHIC program did students found confronting? How did you handle it?
Accomplishments Open Thread - July 2016

Thanks Chris, I just read through the survey. Very interesting stats and inferences. It is certainly making me think about striking a balance between making sure people don't have the "I don't feel EA enough" feeling, but also developing a culture where people are normalising high impact giving.

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