Quantifying the Value of Evaluations

the latter, in part because of the former.

Quantifying the Value of Evaluations

Offline, someone suggested the Marine Chronometer as a physics measurement device that straightforwardly created a lot of value by enabling long distance navigation at sea.

Prize: Interesting Examples of Evaluations


Last week we announced a prize for the best example of an evaluation. The winner of the evaluations prize is David Manheim, for his detailed suggestions on quantitative measures in psychology.  I selected this answer because, although IAT was already on my list, David provided novel information about multiple tests that saved me a lot of work in evaluating them. David has had involvement with QURI (which funded this work) in the past and may again in the future, so this feels a little awkward, but ultimately it was the best suggestion so it didn’t feel right to take the prize away from him.

Honorable mentions to Orborde on financial stress tests, which was a very relevant suggestion that I was unfortunately already familiar with, and alexrjl on rock climbing route grades, which I would never have thought of in a million years but has less transferability to the kinds of things we want to evaluate.


How useful was this prize? I think running the contest was more useful than $50 of my time, however it was not as useful as it could have been because the target moved after we announced the contest. I went from writing about evaluations as a whole to specifically evaluations that worked, and I’m sure if I’d asked for examples of that they would have been provided. So possibly I should have waited to refine my question before asking for examples. On the other hand, the project was refined in part by looking at a wide array of examples (generated here and elsewhere), and it might have taken longer to hone in on a specific facet without the contest.

What is the increase in expected value of effective altruist Wayne Hsiung being mayor of Berkeley instead of its current incumbent?
B) Has at least implied that he wants to use EA thinking in the role

My default belief is that a politician implying something he knows the listener wants to hear is not evidence he's believes or will act on that implication. Do you disagree with that, in general or for Hsuing in particular?

US Non-Profit? Get Free* Money From the Gov on 3 Apr!

I got nervous when I heard people were applying for forgiveness, so I looked into it. Here's what I found

  • Some banks are accepting forgiveness applications right now, my bank isn't and is working on their own submission process. I discovered this my googling "[my bank] PPP loan forgiveness".
  • The absolute drop dead deadline before you will be charged interest is 10 months after the period the loan covers (source)
  • Sample application and instructions here
What is the increase in expected value of effective altruist Wayne Hsiung being mayor of Berkeley instead of its current incumbent?

I find "Wayne has told me he wants to use evidence-based reasoning for deciding city policy and has identified as EA for years" to be extraordinarily weak evidence. Anyone can say either of those things.

[U.S. Specific] Free money (~$5k-$30k) for Independent Contractors and grant recipients from U.S. government

Not a lawyer, repeating the words of someone else who's not a lawyer.

I talked to my bank (a 3 state credit union) today, specifically asking whether I counted as my own employee. The representative implied the SBA itself didn't know, and if they did they hadn't shared the information yet. She also very strongly implied that as long as I filled out the forms in good faith and my supporting documents were accurate, I would not be punished for fraud.

Why I'm Not Vegan
One kind of reason to do both: It's not a true tradeoff.

This argument comes up a lot in the EA/veganism debate, and I think it's a "minds very different from our own" situation. Some people don't find eating vegan to be costly, or find it cheap enough to not notice. Some people find it prohibitively costly, or so costly that it's not worth considering. What I would ask is that people who find veganism cheap acknowledge that their experience is not universal, and for some people it really is that hard.

This isn't a moral argument. Sometimes the morally correct thing to do is costly. But it doesn't help anything to pretend it's cheap.

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