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EA Infrastructure Fund: May 2021 grant recommendations

OTOH my impression is that the Funds aren't very funding-constrained, so it might not make sense to heavily weigh your first two reasons (though all else equal donor satisfaction and increased donation quantity seems good).

I also think there are just a lot of grants that legitimately have both a strong meta/infrastructure and also object-level benefit and it seems kind of unfair to grantees that provide multiple kinds of value that they still can only be considered from one funding perspective/with focus on one value proposition. If a grantee is both producing some kind of non-meta research and also doing movement-building, I think it deserves the chance to maybe get funded based on the merits of either of those value adds. 

EA Groups Survey 2020

In the 'Number of New Groups' chart, and where it says "It appears that growth has stalled since a dramatic surge in 2015, with roughly 30 groups starting per year since 2015.", is this on net/does this take into account old groups disbanding? Or does it assume groups don't disband? 

Please stand with the Asian diaspora

What happened was a terrible tragedy and my heart aches for those involved. That said, I'd prefer if there wasn't much content of this type on the Forum. 8 people died in that horrific shooting. If there was a Forum post about every event that killed 8 people, or even just every time 8 people were killed from acts of violence, that might (unfortunately, because there are ways in which the world is a terrible place) dominate the Forum, and make it harder to find and spend time on content relevant to our collective task of finding the levers that will help us help as many people as possible.

I agree that we should attend especially to members of our community who are in a particularly difficult place at a given time, and extend them support and compassion, but felt uneasy about it in this case because of the above, because of Dale's point that the shooting might not have been racially motivated, because Asian EAs I know don't seem bothered, and I think we should have a high bar for asking everyone in the community to attend to something/asserting that they should (thought, I'm not sure whether you were doing that/intending to do that).

Is pursuing EA entrepreneurship becoming more costly to the individual?

Sorry to say I had difficulty parsing what you were trying to say in the post here. 

AMA: Tom Chivers, science writer, science editor at UnHerd

What are the best changes (in terms of tractability and importance) that you think could take place in the journalism industry in the next 20 years, and how can people help make them happen? 

What's the biggest bottleneck on the positive impact of your work?

How did you make the choice to go freelance? 

Wholehearted choices and "morality as taxes"

I like the reframing, but I don't feel like it centrally addresses the problem of demandingness. With your example (and knowing a man was pinned under machinery) and seeing a drowning child, I imagine wanting to leap into action. If I dragged a child out of a pond, and I imagine being wet and cold but looking at the child and seeing that they're okay, and maybe the parents are grateful and people around me are happy, I feel actively glad I jumped in the pond, and would feel similar regret if I passed by. 

The unpleasant feeling of wondering if I can get away with doing less, with not looking, hoping too much won't be asked of me, etc., is still triggered for me in your framing if I imagine that this scenario happens on every walk I went on, and every time I tried to take a walk in the woods I thought "oh geez, probably someone will be in trouble and I'll have to help, and it will be the right thing, but can I ever just have a walk the woods in peace?" I imagine I would even gradually become inured to the situation, possibly feel impatience and not want to see the family's panic, etc.

In other words, it's mostly the near-omnipresence of opportunities to help that makes me feel the aversive demandingness reaction, and the temptation of self-deception. And I still feel unsure how to deal with that in a world where it does basically feel like people are drowning in every river, pond, and other body of water I see. 

What is the increase in expected value of effective altruist Wayne Hsiung being mayor of Berkeley instead of its current incumbent?

I don't have a quantitative estimate that isn't extremely made up, but right now, I'm in favor of Wayne winning the Berkeley election. I know there were accusations of DxE being culty and fucked up in various ways, and I believe most of them, though I'm not particularly in the know. I also agree that it would have been better if Wayne had handled CEA's reversal on serving meat at EAG more cooperatively. I don't think DxE's strategy is super compelling. I don't think Wayne is a perfect candidate, but I don't think his wrongdoings/level of uncooperativeness are out of distribution for a politician; they actually seem pretty middle-of-the-road in severity, though perhaps unusually lurid and interesting to discuss.

Those things just seem way way less important to me than his stance on farm animal welfare. It seems like one candidate is strongly against the mass torture and killing of sentient beings, and has worked hard to stop it, and as far as I can tell, the other doesn't particularly have a stance. It feels directionally analogous to me to choosing between a vaguely sketchy candidate who is actively anti-racist before the civil rights movement, or pro women's suffrage before women had the chance to vote, or in favor of letting in Jewish refugees during the Holocaust and one who isn't (and who may or may not be sketchy). (I don't expect this argument to resonate for people who don't put a lot of moral weight on animal lives). I don't know how he'd do good for animals as mayor (I know he wants to ban meat, don't know how likely that is to work), and I'd be interested in arguments that it's implausible he'd do much good, but by default it doesn't seem crazy.

I don't know much about the incumbent; I'd guess we know more about Wayne's shortcomings than his, because Wayne has been more adjacent to EA. I also think Wayne has shown great energy and had some meaningful successes, e.g. in community organizing, and getting fur banned in Berkeley, that are indicative of him being an agenty person. My current silly guess based on not much at all is that electing him in expectation saves tens of thousands of farm animals from torture.

My biggest worry is that Wayne's work will backfire and have a negative effect on efforts to help farmed animals, e.g. because he gets elected but handles things poorly.

[edited just to fix a typo]