My name is Edo, I'm one of the co-organisers of EA Israel. I'm also helping out in moderation for the forum, feel free to reach out if I can help with anything.

I have studied mathematics, worked as an mathematical researcher in the IDF and was in training and leadership roles. After that I started a PhD in CS, where I helped to start a research center with the goal of advancing Biological research using general mathematical abstractions. After about 6 months I have decided to leave the center and the PhD program.

Currently, I'm mostly thinking about improving the scientific ecosystem and particularly how one can prioritize better within basic science.

Generally, I'm very excited about improving prioritisation within EA and how we conduct our research around it and EA causes in general. I'm also very interested in better coordination and initiative support within the EA community. Well, I'm pretty excited about the EA community and basically everything else that has to do with doing the most good.

My Virtue Ethic brain parts really appreciates honesty and openness, curiosity and self-improvement, caring and supporting, productivity and goal-orientedness, cooperating as the default option and fixing broken systems.

Wiki Contributions

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What are some effective/impactful charities in the domain of human rights and anti-authoritarianism?

Hmm, I'm not sure I understand the relationship between economic growth and improving human rights. (Well, authoritarian regimes tend to lower growth, but do you think that this seems like the best way to increase economic growth?)

Suggested norms about financial aid for EAG(x)

It might actually make sense that the outcome would be that no one would end up paying. E.g, there could be enough money in community building so that it'd actually be better if people give to causes with more room for funding and have the entire thing subsidized. 

I don't expect that to be the case, but this doesn't feel like a reductio ad absurdum.

UK's new 10-year "National AI Strategy," released today

It's great that they explicitly mention A(G)I Safety and Catastrophic Risks as a part of their agenda

The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

Great animated video version by CGP Grey - link

The motivated reasoning critique of effective altruism

Can you say a bit more about the first point? Do you think of cases of EA groups that where too disagreeable and paranoid to be sustained or cases of the opposite sort? Or maybe cases where motivated reasoning was targeted directly?

EffectiveAltruismData.com: A Website for Aggregating and Visualising EA Data

That's beautiful! Thanks for creating the website and for this interesting writeup :) 

How to succeed as an early-stage researcher: the “lean startup” approach

This is great advice, thanks for writing this!

Several people had also recommended the book The Lean PhD, which I haven't yet read but it has some obvious parallels with this post :) 

Neglected biodiversity protection by EA.

I think this definitely is something that should be considered more under the lens of effective altruism. Currently, the vast majority of EA efforts are coming from a welfarist perspective and if I understand correctly biodiversity loss should be mostly neutral from that perspective. I guess that this is the main reason here, other than simply having no one picking up the glove.

It's definitely important to optimize "doing the most good" in moral frameworks other than welfarist. In particular, I'd be very happy to see an analysis of what'd be the best ways to contribute to preventing biodiversity loss and a good explanation of the moral framework involved (and why it's reasonable, and whether indeed biodiversity loss seems like the most important cause in that framework).

Broadly speaking, I think that there are two main ways of actually going about it in the EA community. One would be to develop this idea more and engage with the "intellectual" effort of figuring out how to do the most good. This could be done by, say, writing more about it, or by reaching out to people to discuss this (perhaps at the upcoming EAG). The other would be to set up an EA project around these lines, and try to secure funding from EA Funds or Open Phil or elsewhere. I'd expect both to be very challenging and to take a long time.

Is volunteer computing an easily accessible way of effective altruism?

That's a great suggestion! I'm not sure what exactly I think about it, but I'll just write some of my immediate thoughts:

  1. It seems like both the cost and the benefits for one person are very low. Cost is likely less than $100 per year. It seems like the biggest VC projects have hundreds of thousands of volunteers, so one may contribute, say, about a thousandth of the effort. And then, it's not clear what the impact of the scientific project is.
  2. Generally speaking, finding high-impact scientific projects is really hard. I would guess that most research being done is of very low impact.
  3. It might be interesting to think of how the EA community might scale this up. Perhaps it would be great if we could rather cheaply get thousands of people to start doing VC. Maybe with a focus on more promising efforts. Maybe even purely for environmental benefits of using electricity which would otherwise be used for idle machines, although I'm not sure if that actually works out. 
  4. One alternative might be to mine cryptocurrency and donate the rewards. (I'm not sure whether that's net positive..).
  5. Another alternative is to consider donating directly to scientific research to be spent on other sources of computing (or perhaps advertisements to their VC efforts or something like it).
Teaching You How To Learn post 1 is live!

I've had a period of being somewhat obsessed with improving learning, mostly in the context of improving the performance of high-achieving math & CS students. Some random thoughts:

  1. I loved this website.
  2. I'm not sure that good memorization techniques are the most important learning tool for many (most?) fields.
  3.  Also, it's likely that these aren't the major bottleneck for most people. I expect motivation and focus to be higher on the list. 
  4. There's something interesting going on regarding Bloom's 2-sigma problem.
  5. In a degree context, it might be important to identify the small number of important ideas/skills to learn that could best help with the rest of the degree and further on in life. 
  6. Generally speaking, I'm not sure how important is learning quality during a degree (as opposed to high grades) when considering one's potential impact on the world. I have some worry that in practice, all one needs is to get through the door to a good career that they'd be motivated to engage in and learn on the job whatever they lacked from school. 
  7. This reminds me a bit of this podcast, delivered by a psychologist interested in helping us to be more effective altruists. 
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