Topic Contributions


The best $5,800 I’ve ever donated (to pandemic prevention).

I recognize this comment may not be received well here, but I think things like this are quite bad for EA to support -- there are very substantial political skew issues in the movement already, and running political candidates as a EA intervention seems like another step down a road I think the movement needs to quickly depart.

Linkpost for "Organizations vs. Getting Stuff Done" and discussion of Zvi's post about SFF and the S-process (or; Doing Actual Thing)

The "Organizations vs. Getting Stuff Done" post is about anarchist political activism. This is a rather unusual area -- under normal circumstances organizations are a relevant tool to aid in getting things done, not an obstacle to it.

Remove An Omnivore's Statue? Debate Ensues Over The Legacy Of Factory Farming

To me this seems like essentially a "cheap shot" -- you could write basically this story in support of very many positions. Imagine a story that's like "wow, this guy was a utilitarian, even back then people knew utilitarianism could lead to unacceptable conclusions, we're getting rid of his statue" or whatever. In fact, you could probably write a story like this against certain ideas in EA animal thought.

The Importance of Those Who Aren't Here

One relevant concept might be that of the feedback loop, where the output of a process affects the input. For instance, if you survey only people who are already attending your events as to how to improve them, you might wind up missing ways to improve it for those who didn't attend. After several cycles of this you might wind up with an event that is very appealing for the "in crowd" but which doesn't much appeal to newcomers.

Phil Torres' article: "The Dangerous Ideas of 'Longtermism' and 'Existential Risk'"

Note that Torres was banned from the forum for a year following a previous discussion here where he repeatedly called another member a liar and implied that member should be fired from his job.

How to Train Better EAs?

Good point re: Charity Entrepreneurship.

I'm somewhat more skeptical of the grantmaking thing though because there are few enough positions that it is not very legible who is good at it, whether others currently outside the field could do better, etc.

I could be wrong -- I can point to specific things from some grantmakers that I thought were particularly good, for instance -- but it doesn't feel to me that it's the most amenable field for such a program. 

(Note that this is low-confidence and I could be wrong -- if there are more objective grantmaking skill metrics somewhere I'd be very interested to see more!)

How to Train Better EAs?

My impression is that the people who end up working in EA organizations are not on the same tier of discipline, work ethic, commitment, etc. as elite military forces and are not really even very close?

I don't say that to disparage EA direct workers, I'm involved in direct work myself  -- but my sense is that much more is possible. That said, as you mention the amount of discipline needed may simply not be as high.

Research into people's willingness to change cause *areas*?

For some reason I can't see the draft, when I click on the notification I received for it it says "Error: app.operation_not_allowed" and kind of glitches out the interface until I refresh. Apologies!

(edit: fixed now, thanks!)

Research into people's willingness to change cause *areas*?

Thanks, I'm impressed by this reply and your willingness to go out there and do a survey. I will have more substantive feedback later as I want to consult with someone else before making a further statement -- ping me if I haven't replied by Friday.

Research into people's willingness to change cause *areas*?

I (very anecdotally) think there are lots of people who are interested in donating to quite specific cause areas, e.g. "my father died of cancer so I donate to cancer charities" or "I want to donate to help homelessness in my area" -- haven't studied that in depth though.

Load More