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

For all of the new commenters: it would have been more valuable to comment when I asked this question, as I was considering trying to coordinate EAs using an assurance contract to provide enough volunteers to help his campaign win. Given how the comments turned out, I decided it was not worth pursuing and therefore assume the Wayne campaign will lose with 50-80% probability, moreso because I didn't think EAs would buy-in (for better or worse) than due to having a sense of how good Wayne's mayorship would actually be for the world on the object-level.

(Since basically no one gave a good, quantitative answer to the question beyond their own social-emotional reasoning.)

So I've moved on. In general, dialogue about an election is worth much less in expectation a couple weeks out from the election than it is in advance.

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

Thank you for this answer! I liked how reflectively balanced it was on the different considerations and how it tracked the object-level sentient beings at stake.

DonyChristie's Shortform

I don't have much slack to respond given I don't enjoy internet arguments, but if you think about the associated reference class of situations, you might note that a common problem is a lack of self-awareness of there being a problem. This is not the case with this dialogue, which should allay your worry somewhat.

The main point here, which this is vagueposting about, is that people on here will dismiss things rather quickly especially if it's a dismissal by someone with a lot of status, in a pile-on way without much overt reflection by the people who upvote such comments. I concluded from seeing this several times that at some point this will happen with a project of mine, and that I should be ok with this world, because this is not a location in which to get good project feedback as far as I can tell. The real risk here I am facing is that I would be dissuaded from the highest-impact projects by people who only believe in things vetted by a lot of academic-style reasoning and evidence that makes legible sense, at the cost of not being able to exploit secrets in the Thielian sense.

DonyChristie's Shortform

Someday, someone is going to eviscerate me on this forum, and I'm not sure how to feel about that. The prospect feels bad. I tentatively think I should just continue diving into not giving a fuck and inspire others similarly since one of my comparative advantages is that my social capital is not primarily tied in with fragile appearance-keeping for employment purposes. But it does mean I should not rely on my social capital with Ra-infested EA orgs.

I'm registering now that if you snipe me on here, I'm not gonna defensively respond. I'm not going to provide 20 citations on why I think I'm right. In fact, I'm going to double down on whatever it is I'm doing, because I anticipate in advance that the expected disvalue of discouraging myself due to really poor feedback on here is greater than the expected disvalue of unilaterally continuing something the people with Oxford PhDs think is bad.

Should we think more about EA dating?


Addition: I think this is a serious need for many people and it would save a lot of time and energy to make the process more effective. I think worries about cultishness are quite overblown; there are dating sites for various kinds of groups. Solutions could look like either intra-EA dating or a consultancy solving the dating problems for particular EAs, matchmaking them with people outside the movement. Working on this would also be a great way to create a startup that could scale to millions of customers (see also Roam, which started out catering to individual EAs and is now a fast-growing success).

Against opposing SJ activism/cancellations

Coordination infrastructure that would allow sane people to defuse runaway information cascades in generality would be very valuable to discover, unless physics doesn't allow it.

Can any historically and/or sociologically familiar people comment as to the ability for the witch hunts to have been stopped by counterfactually motivated and capable parties, and what order of magnitude of motivation and capability might have stopped it?

What are some software development needs in EA causes?

The Covid-19 Risk Assessment app is looking for programmers! (Note, that website may need updating with the latest progress).

You can email them at

Who in EA enjoys managing people?

I enjoy organizing events and coordinating new online groups and projects, as well as coaching people, but am rather unskilled at these things at the moment. I expect management to ever-increasingly be an important hat of mine in my future. I would highly welcome marginal domain-specific mentorship here!

(coughcough, to the person reading this who knows something about these things) :)

Mental support

Because people who need help the most often don't have the money?

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