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?

69 things that might be pretty effective to fund

Global catastrophic risks: North Korea: Fund ‘Flash Drives for freedom’, which smuggles flash drives with unbiased information into North Korea. Such an approach was implicitly endorsed in November by Thae Yong-ho, once number two at North Korea’s London embassy and now defector. There’s also academic analysis of this isolation being one of the reasons for the lack of uprising in North Korea.

Any thoughts on the expected value of this in particular? It says $1 ~ 1 flash drive.

How to get a new cause into EA

Effective altruism has had three main direct broad causes (global poverty, animal rights, and far future), for quite some time.

The whole concept of EA having specific recognizable compartmentalized cause areas and charities associated with it is bankrupt and should be zapped, because it invites stagnation as founder effects entrench further every time a newcomer joins and devotes mindshare to signalling ritual adherence to the narrative of different finite tribal Houses to join and build alliances between or cannibalize, crowding out new classes of intervention and eclipsing the prerogative to optimize everything as a whole without all these distinctions. "Oh, I'm an (animal, poverty, AI) person! X-risk aversion!"

"Effective altruism" in itself should be a scaleable cause-neutral methodology de-identified from its extensional recommendations. It should stop reinforcing these arbitrary divisions as though they were somehow sancrosanct. The task is harder when people and organizations ostensibly about advancing that methodology settle into the same buildings and object-level positions, or when charity evaluators do not even strive for cause-neutrality in their consumer offerings. Not saying those can't be net-goods, but the effects on homogenization, centralization, and bias all restrict the purview of Effective Altruism.

I have often heard people worry that it’s too hard for a new cause to be accepted by the effective altruism movement.

Everyone here knows there are new causes and wants to accept them, but they don't know that everyone knows there are new causes, etc, a common-knowledge problem. They're waiting for chosen ones to update the leaderboard.

If the tribally-approved list were opened it would quickly spiral out of working memory bounds. This is a difficult problem to work with but not impossible. Let's make the list and put it somewhere prominent for salient access.

Anyway, here is an experimental Facebook group explicitly for initial cause proposal and analysis. Join if you're interested in doing these!

Donation Plans for 2017

For more speculative things, we want to put part of the money towards a project that a friend we know through the Effective Altruism movement is starting. In general I think this is a good way for people to get funding for early stage projects, presenting their case to people who know them and have a good sense of how to evaluate their plans.

What is the project (at the finest granularity of detail you are comfortable disclosing)?

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