ElikaSomani

Hi - like everyone on here, I'm interested in EA and making an effective difference. In my day job, I work for the Minnesota Department of Health doing COVID ops and program management. I'm also moving to the NIH to do bioethics research.

Happy to be involved and connected!

Topic Contributions

Comments

Potatoes: A Critical Review

Just letting you know that there's going to be a red teaming contest soon (I think June sometime) if you wanted to submit this.

EA and the current funding situation

As someone who has heard a lot of criticism from non-EAs about the perception of loose money and funding in EA, I really appreciate this post and the thoughtfulness :)

 I do really believe that the outsider perception of lots of money in EA is a significantly negative and potentially a major deterrent to community-building efforts. Posts like this and, as you mention, criticisms/red teaming of EA I think really help build a more positive image and more importantly accountability. Curious about how to translate these efforts (which take place mainly on the Forum, not something new EAs typically are on) into outreach material and community building. 

My Reflections Facilitating for EA Virtual Programs

You are super right and my hunch is that bringing in older professionals is extremely valuable from an impact perspective. 

My Reflections Facilitating for EA Virtual Programs

Thanks, Miranda! Happy to share more as this project develops. I'd love to hear what you are doing at UChicago as well.

Preparing for EAGxPrague

I'm not going to EAGxPrague - but from my experience at other conferences, they usually start Friday evening with an opening reception and a career fair. All the conferences I've been to have used Swapcard, but it hasn't been made public until about a week before the event. If you haven't heard anything and it's a few days before the event, I would reach out to the organisers because some people at EAGxBoston didn't get the email about the Swapcard. Hope this helps!

On the fence about applying to EAG or EAGx? Talk to someone (me?) who went!

Awesome idea Jeremy! I'm also happy to talk to people, just PM me. For some background, I've attended a few conferences, help with some community building, and work in public health, bioethics, and biosecurity. I've organized a few intro and in-depth fellowships, so I like to talk to people and get them introduced into the EA community :)

Effective Altruism Isn't on TV.

I agree! I also feel like we're heading in that direction (especially with GiveWell) with EA getting more into mainstream media (ex. Vox's Future Perfect). I'd be curious how whoever is doing it chooses to communicate EA.

Optimize... Everything?

I agree. The EA community does need to be better at supporting people as people. 

I think your post could include more of the community health work that is being done.  While it's by no means near completion - you're touching on topics that a lot of people (especially those not fitting the dominant EA profile) feel and are working on. It's hard to measure improvements in culture and community, but I hope you would agree that it's a work in progress and more focused on now than ever before. The diversity and inclusion tag on the Forum is one place to look for such examples. 

I would push back on your point about feelings. You say "feelings lie to us, sure, but they also tell us the truth. While we should learn to recognize that our feelings can (and do) deceive us, we should also realize that we feel for a reason. Humans are not computers for a reason. If compassion is the casualty of effectiveness then we are sacrificing the very thing that makes us who we are as humans"

I  don't believe that being in EA means you can't have feelings and compassion. I think it's the opposite - many people seek out EA because they are so driven by their feelings to help, and helping more with the same amount of resources is one of the most compassionate, feeling-driven things you can do. I agree that amongst all the fellowships and readings and focus on doing, the empathy and feelings can get a bit verbally lost - but I think it's still an unspoken sentiment and driver among most EAs. 

I'd be curious what the next steps are? Have there been things in your community building and outreach that you think we should focus more attention on? These reflections are good to note - but we should also use them to improve the community.

Effective Altruism Isn't on TV.

It's a good thought, but I'm sceptical if TV outreach is the best sort of EA outreach. It might be good at increasing total awareness of EA - but that isn't necessarily community-builders main goal. See this article. My understanding and sense are that TV wouldn't necessarily capture the nuance of EA ideas and might even lead to idea inoculation/inferential difference

Also, what channels would you want to see this promoted on? Is there a target audience on a specific channel that would be particularly well-suited?

Longtermist EA needs more Phase 2 work

I totally agree with you! In my conversations, there are even a lot of people wanting to work on longtermist issues (to do that Phase 2 work) and we seem to have ideas and funding - but it isn't translating to action and implementation. A challenging issue ...

Load More