137Joined Mar



I don't know if an EA community is a good thing, but as a related point, I think it's worthwhile to share that I think the EA community as it currently exists, and in particular, EA leadership, has done a very poor job in advancing the interests of EA causes.

At present, EA has an awful reputation and most people view the community with contempt and it's ideas as noxious.

Candidly, I'm embarrassed to share any affiliation I have with EA to colleagues and non-close peers.

This didn't have to be this way and frankly, given the virtue of EA, it takes a special type of failure to have steered the community down this path.

I think EA would be significantly better served if a number of leading EA orgs and thought leaders dramatically reevaluated their role, strategy and involvement with EA.

You write: "We are delighted to announce the 2023 Effective Altruism Africa Residency Fellowship, to be hosted on the island of Zanzibar."


Who is we? I even clicked on the application form and still don't know.

This is a really great post Holden; thank you for writing it.

And I’m nervous about what I perceive as dynamics in some circles where people seem to “show off” how little moderation they accept - how self-sacrificing, “weird,” extreme, etc. they’re willing to be in the pursuit of EA goals. I think this dynamic is positive at times and fine in moderation, but I do think it risks spiraling into a problem.

As a somewhat outside observer, it seems a larger number of EAs, including many of those who drive the zeitgeist of this forum, are orienting their entire lives around EA (working directly + EA dominated social life + dating within EA + consumption of media through twitter/podcasts  largely consisting of EA curation). I think this is a serious concern for many reasons,  but one important one is that I suspect an insular community is more likely to produce behaviours like those described in your post.

If the concern is less committed EAs working in EA organizations, could EA orgs shift compensation to a structure  like:

65% compensation through income; 35% "compensation" through donating to the employee's organization of choice?

Percentages are ofcourse arbitrary for the purposes of this post. This has tax benefits as well.

I work in-house for a tech company largely dealing with commercial agreements + international privacy/data/security issues. I'm happy to provide informal advice to any EA aligned org and contribute to this project in any way that may be helpful.