All of emily.fan's Comments + Replies

Sleep: effective ways to improve it

Just wanted to +1 blue blocking glasses.

Backyard dinner and discussion with Ajeya Cotra

Just to clarify, we RSVP on Facebook? Thanks! :)

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I didn't realize that this existed until now, is there a way for this to be more visible? For instance, incorporated in the notifications settings (where I spent way too much time trying to find this a couple of months ago)? Is there a way to auto-add people who join the EA forum to this mailing list and unsubscribe as necessary?

3Aaron Gertler8moThanks for asking this! The mailing list being run through Mailchimp makes certain kinds of automated integration difficult (for example, it would be a lot of work to allow people to remove themselves from the mailing list by turning off a "receive the Forum Digest" setting). I currently promote the digest in a lot of different places, on and off the Forum, but our next step is to edit the signup process so that people become aware of it the moment they create accounts. That's waiting on some broader architectural changes, but should be live in a few weeks to a few months. We might also add the digest to the sidebar at some point, though that space is valuable and it might be wrong to put something there that won't be relevant to any user more than once.
Should we consider the sleep loss epidemic an urgent global issue?

I, like Holly, am also interested in exploring this, though have not thought rigorously about this. 

  • A lot of people who are in power might be running low on sleep. This can jeopardize our future and is relevant to improving institutional decision making
  • (As Holly said) It could be good to promote sleep widely in EA circles given that we want to be optimal and it seems quite tractible to change a culture in a smaller community vs. the whole world. (Although it is my impression that EA orgs already encourage healthy work / sleep habits.) 

    Now we have the question: Should the EA community encourage sleep within the community more so than it does now?
Yale EA’s Fellowship Application Scores were not Predictive of Eventual Engagement

Thank you so much for the insights! We've tried longer applications to ensure that the fellows are more engaged due to bad experiences of fellows dropping out / derailing the conversation in the past. However, the point about counterfactual impact has nudged me to shorten our application!

2alexrjl10moI agree that exactly that tradeoff is important! There's definitely a balance to be struck, and you certainly wouldn't want to exclude those who already very aligned on the basis of low counterfactual impact, as the participation of those people will likely be very positive for other members!
Yale EA’s Fellowship Application Scores were not Predictive of Eventual Engagement

Thank you so much for the insights! We've tried longer applications to ensure that the fellows are more engaged due to bad experiences of fellows dropping out / derailing the conversation in the past. However, the point about high-potential people being busy has convinced me to shorten our application!

Yale EA’s Fellowship Application Scores were not Predictive of Eventual Engagement

What are the community's thoughts on making the application super long so that only the most interested people apply (and basically accept everyone who applies)? Would this be considered selective in the same way as rejecting people?

3Asaf Ifergan10moI don't have a strong opinion about this in the context of fellowships, but I can refer to setting a high entry bar in recruiting community members and volunteers in general, and specifically, by asking them to invest time in reading content. I hope this helps and not completely off-topic. Though EA is a complex set of ideas and we want people to have a good understanding of what it's all about, demanding a lot from new people can be fairly offputting and counterproductive. From my experience, people who are of high potential to be both highly-engaged and of high value to the community are often both quite busy people and relatively normal human beings. As for the first point, if you sent someone a long list of content, he/she might just say "this is too demanding, can't handle this right now". As for the second point, we have to accept that people have much shorter attention spans than we would like to imagine, especially if they are not really familiar with the content. Me and Gidon Kadosh from EA Israel have thought long and hard about how to lower the perceived effort of people who come to our website by creating this "Learn More" page [http://effective-altruism.org.il/learn-more] on our website. Though it's in Hebrew, you might be able to understand what we tried to do here on a structural level. We plan to make it even more attractive for readers, possibly by splitting this page into individual pages focusing on a specific subject, and allowing the user to conveniently move on to the next/previous subject - This way we both lower perceived effort of reading this content and create a feeling of progress for the user. I'm really not sure there is a correlation between the willingness of someone to invest a lot of time in reading lots of content or filling a long application before they have a clear view of the value in doing this. Going back to recruiting new community members and volunteers, there are brilliant people who are value-aligned, but just don't
7alexrjl10moIt's an interesting idea, but even if this ends up producing very engaged participants you have to be careful. If you (deliberately and successfully) only select for people who are super keen, you end up with a super keen cohort but potentially only minimal counterfactual impact as all those you selected would have ended up really involved anyway. This was briefly mentioned in the post and I think is worth exploring further.
What the EA community can learn from the rise of the neoliberals

A possible counter-argument to this strategy is that neoliberalism appeals to people with power (businesses with $$ that don't want to get regulated). Very interesting read though!