Community Organiser for EA London

Wiki Contributions


When and how should an online community space (e.g., Slack workspace) for a particular type/group of people be created?

I think if you can't find the space you are looking for you should create something (at least a low cost version) and then if someone tells you of an existing space that works, then you can inform the people who have already joined. 

Even if the space isn't particularly active it gives future organisers a starting space and potential people to contact who may be interested.

I think the main case where creating a space could be wrong is if the admin is bad at moderation and not open to improving the space. This also provides an incentive for creating spaces because if you don't, someone else could create that space which then gives a bad impression for others who wanted to get more involved.

I don't think it would be bad for there to be a workspace for each major cause/career area. It seems that there probably should be somewhere in between Facebook and the EA Forum for people to have discussions about causes they care about. I've written more about this here. Ideally the forum would be able to support sub forums, but it seems unlikely to happen soon.

I set up a Slack for groups that are smaller but still want to use it for discussion. At the moment it is mainly used by the EA & metascience subcommunity and sometimes by FIRE & EA. I thought it would be a good space whilst subcommunities are small to see if there is enough demand for their own space. If you want you could use channels on there to start groups you wanted to see.

Choosing the right online space can make a difference, especially if people you want to join don't already use the product you're suggesting. Different spaces also allow for different tools/culture/vibe, there is a brief overview of some pros/cons here but it will depend on your target audience.

Maybe there are also more general question to ask if you're thinking about coaching or nuclear risk sub communities, some of which may be here. If you think there should be an online discussion space, how does that fit into the wider ecosystem for the subcommunity.

Join EA Global: London as a virtual attendee

Is it possible to opt in to be seen by both virtual and in person attendees? In the past I've found the connections via virtual events to be super valuable.

Effective Altruism, Before the Memes Started

There was this response by Hadyn Belfield to the longtermism article a few months ago. 

I also don't think that William MacAskill has to be the person that responds to each criticism if there are others better placed to respond.

Some longtermist fiction

It's sometimes a bit of a slog but also relatively short and I was constantly impressed by the scope of the book and the variety of interesting ideas for something written in the 1930's.

Some longtermist fiction

I recently read Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon after a conversation in which someone said that it inspired them to think about longtermism related ideas way before they had heard of effective altruism.

It covers a fictionalised history of the universe from the beginning to end, more like a documentary or a textbook than a novel with characters and plot. It's from the point of view of someone who is picked up from a hill in England and then moved around the galaxy and observes other civilisations in a variety of  times throughout the life of the universe.

It's written in 1937 and was said to inspire people like Arthur C. Clarke, Freeman Dyson and Jorge Luis Borges and includes speculation on civilisational unity and collapse, space exploration, metaverse, future technology, genetic engineering and existential risks.

EA needs consultancies

There is also an Airtable version of that directory that is more up to date, I'll update the google sheet 

Some thoughts on EA outreach to high schoolers

Is engagement the thing you want to optimise for over impact or are the two highly correlated for you?

What are your main reservations about identifying as an effective altruist?

I don't think I've ever called myself an effective altruist, part of it is the small identity idea mentioned in the original post and another part is that it doesn't seem correct to call myself effective when there are large uncertainties about the prioritisation of causes and interventions, so new evidence could come up showing I was actually very ineffective.

On a more practical level, it's easier to have conversations with people who are newer to EA or are sceptical of certain aspects of it when I'm not calling myself an EA and making it seem like something you are either in or out of.

It's also probably easier to find flaws in a topic when it isn't part of your identity, it reduces the chance of defensiveness, and I think I should try and make it easy to always be open to potential problems in EA.

The ten most-viewed posts of 2020

Generally for most engagement there is a vast discrepancy between viewers, people who interact and people who comment/post.

1% rule - link with more details.

Open and Welcome Thread: January 2021

Hey Guy,

It's great to see your intro, if you're interested there is a group on Facebook for disabled and chronically ill people interested in EA.  There are also some other groups mentioned on this directory here that you may find useful.

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