All of Castand's Comments + Replies

Semi-regular Open Thread #35

A sharper way to put the question would be by how much this news should make us discount GiveWell's claims about a $1000 donation can do. (Also because not everyone's going to take the GWWC pledge of course. The key thing is simply that they donate and donate wisely.)

Semi-regular Open Thread #35

Monthly or perhaps every 2 months.

Thoughts on the "Meta Trap"

80,000 Hours' average cost per plan change this year was more like £300.

Approximately what is that £300 spent on? Is it staff time, and if so what is most of that staff time spent on? Talking to individuals and persuading them? Researching what careers would work for them and telling them? Or something competely different?

Thoughts on the "Meta Trap"

On second thoughts, "leisure time" isn't quite what I meant. I more thought that it would come out of other extracurriculars (e.g. chess society).

Based on other students I know who put time into rationalist or EA societies this seems right.

Effective Altruism Forum web traffic from Google Analytics

What traffic would you estimate the facebook group or other community venues to have?

4vipulnaik5yYou can get data on the Facebook group(s) using tools like [] -- however, they can take a while to load all the data. A full analysis of that data would be worth another post.
Charity vs Consumerism in EA

Three main founders, Peter Singer, William MacAskill and Toby Ord., lead effective Altruism, which was founded in approximately 2011.

Please can we avoid talking about "founders" "leading" Effective Altruism? Its a set of ideas and a social movement, not a startup.

1nahyungkim12205yThank you for your advice!
Am I an Effective Altruist for moral reasons?

I'd be curious to hear what Will, Toby, Nick, Amanda, Daniel, Geoff, Jeff and other philosophers in our group have to say about it at some point.

To give a minor bit of feedback: this use of unexplained first names rubbed me up the wrong way by making EA feel like a cliquish celebrity culture.

0Holly5yInterestingly, this has the opposite effect on me :P ("Will" is just a bloke; "William MacAskill" is a celebrity).
0Diego_Caleiro6yI frequently use surnames, but in this case since it was a call to action of sorts, first names seemed more appropriate. Thanks for the feedback though, makes sense.
The Effective Altruism Newsletter & Open Thread – February 2016

Is there an old Facebook or Forum thread where people describe how many people they've 'recruited' to EA (to some extent, and in some shape or form)?

Effective Altruism London – a request for funding

Okay, will do, that makes a good deal of sense. Based on that page it looks like information on projects goes into one overall retrospective analysis but say if I'm wrong.

Accomplishments Open Thread - February 2016

What sort of issues might such a court help resolve?

Effective Altruism London – a request for funding

Thank you to Alison, that is useful. Should I throw out particular questions about your individual outreach efforts here, or wait for the update? Where I would I find updates on your activities? Do they all go into the overall update you mention, or do they get published individually throughout the year on some web page or blog?

0Michelle_Hutchinson6yProbably waiting until the update would be better, because that way the questions and answers are collected into one space. We publish updates on our blog and here. Our main reviews and plans are published on an ongoing basis on this page []. Our most recent prospectus [] had a lot about our plans etc, and we answered more detailed questions about our impact evaluations on this post [] . We also have this doc [] in which we tried to estimate the value of individual outreach, but note that it was intended for internal use, so is rather rough around the edges. (The data it uses is from a year or so ago, rather than being the most recent round.)
Effective Altruism and ethical science

the only thing that possesses, in and of itself, a tint in value whilst still being an entirely material quantity is conscious experience. This move assumes materialism/physicalism, which is mostly uncontroversial now among scientists and philosophers alike.

What're the arguments that scientists or philosophers use for it?

Effective Altruism London – a request for funding

Presumably you wouldn't work out how much it costs you to produce a member (or $67,000 in donations that wouldn't have been made without you, which it sounds like is your current estimate per member) by dividing the number of new members per year by your budget? That doesn't speak to whether these members pledged or gave due to particular activities you spent money on. Where'd I find your latest calculation of this?

0Michelle_Hutchinson6yThe $67,000 is an average over all our members, given how much people estimate they would have given over their lives were it not for us, and also whether they think we influenced where they donated. So, it includes the fact that many people who are members of GWWC were influenced to donate a significant proportion of their income to effective charities for other reasons. But, as you say, it's more accurate to look at cost per marginal member for particular activities, rather than an average like this. You can always find our most up to date calculations to estimate our effectiveness (in a number of different ways) at [].
Effective Altruism London – a request for funding

One marginal activity which we could do more of with more staff (and indeed we will be doing more of in the future) is individual outreach - writing to people who have shown some interest in effective giving but aren't gwwc members, seeing if we can answer any questions or concerns they have, as well as learning more about how people typically hear about gwwc, what kinds of things act as attractors and barriers.

That's very interesting, do you think you may have time to publish some of what you learn, and how "counterfactual" the 9 new members you found through it were?

1Michelle_Hutchinson6yWe do try to publish updates on how particular activities are going, but I don't want to speak to how fine grained an analysis of this particular activity we'll publish soon. As I say, I'm currently working on a more overall update of our activities. One document you mind find useful, which brings together quite a lot of what we've learned about the best ways to do individual outreach is this guide to talking about GWWC and effective giving [] . (Thanks very much to Alison Woodman for putting that together!)