All of Engelhardt's Comments + Replies

Most students who would agree with EA ideas haven't heard of EA yet (results of a large-scale survey)

I didn't make any prediction beforehand so take this with a grain of salt, but it didn't sound too surprising to me? I feel like when pitching EA during  uni freshers fair roughly 1 in 4 people I talk to are sympathetic enough to want to sign up to mailing list and similar. So 17.6% doesn't sound too far off from that vague estimate 

Making Community Building a more attractive career path

Yeah I agree a lot with this point about titles. I'm pretty hesitant to go into community building because it seems like it would be seen as a neutral or negative thing on the cv for most other roles. Maybe if you want to work in event organizing or something it would be seen as a plus but I feel like most other sectors and jobs would view it as worse than most other roles I could get. If we could figure out how to make the role more legible (with better job titles and so on) that could go a long way to make it a better career prospect. Even if we make the... (read more)

6Vilhelm Skoglund4mo
I also think this is a very good point and that we should consider titles. However, I think one often pretty easily can spin community building as being something more legit / impressive outside EA. I call myself "Executive Director" of EA Sweden, and I do think that sounds pretty good on a CV. Also, with the new funding situation in EA and the many talented people in the movement I actually think strating / running an EA group can be a good opportonity to build an impressive organization.
Making Community Building a more attractive career path

I'm not sure I've ever heard churn in a positive context, but I agree that economists believe that it's good that people change job roles a decent amount. Though I think they see a big difference between role changes and leaving an industry entirely. If people quit their jobs because they get advance and get a better job in the sector that's great. If they leave the sector because they don't see a future in it that's a very bad sign for the sector. 

Making Community Building a more attractive career path

Yeah I might be missing some important considerations here but if community organizers leave the role  because being a contractor is unstable and hard to get a mortgage with then it seems like a good idea to give them the option to instead be hired as employees of a new or existing organization. 

1Vilhelm Skoglund4mo
I think all have the option, but that it might be hard. So providing support to do this might be relevant.
The case for infant outreach

I can't believe how irresponsible this post is!!

Teaching kids how to solve the Tower of Hanoi? The game that is said to end the world when one such puzzle is finished?? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Hanoi#Origins

Even if we only put a tiny probability of those stories being true the outcome is bad enough that we should avoid it at all costs! We should instead be teaching people to always solve Tower of Hanoi's incorrectly. The cost of failing some technical interview is worth it to not risk ending the world!

Creating Individual Connections via the Forum

I personally have had the strongest and most useful connections to EA people in my city, mainly via social events and book clubs. And I feel like the connections last best when there's a mix between somewhat high effort events (such as a discussion group) and social interaction (ideally in person but also over chats and so on). So maybe you could get the best of both worlds by setting up some way for people to be social with each other after events. Maybe encourage people attending an event to join a slack or discord  channel(or thread/chat) where they can talk to each other after the event and join other threads or channels if/when the one for the event dies off. 

2Ben_West8mo
This is a really interesting idea, thanks!
How to identify your local high impact career opportunities - process and tips from EA Sweden

EA Sweden arranges many career coaching sessions, both with Gabby and volunteers like myself. So as I recall it, we estimated that most of the impact from the project would come from being able to give people better and more concrete suggestions during those sessions. Therefore by keeping it as an internal resource we could keep almost all of the benefit of the list without any of the possible downsides that could come from it being public, such as people misinterpreting the recommendations due to lack of context or organizations losing good will towards EA Sweden due to not being highly recommended in the list. 

2Jamie_Harris1y
Id be quite interested to know roughly how many new opportunities you identified for each cause area. And I'd be interested to check to see if orgs I'm aware of came up through your methods, or if there are others I'm not aware of that came up! (If you're happy to share privately, I won't share onwards -- my email is jamie@animaladvocacycareers.org [jamie@animaladvocacycareers.org]). Thanks!
How to identify your local high impact career opportunities - process and tips from EA Sweden

Great suggestion! They've been on my radar since they launched the TLYCS-app but I didn't think of adding them to the list.  I added them as an opportunity now :)   

2020 Annual Review from the Happier Lives Institute

Good to hear what you're up to, seems like a very promising project to me! A few questions  about WELLBY though 

1) How do you envision WELLBY interacting with the SWB community? Is the long term plan that this will remain a metric developed by you or is the long term plan for this to be a more  independent measurement that for SWB researchers use and improve upon without any involvement from you 

2) Do you see it being a long term "competitor" to other metrics such as QALYs and DALYs  as they are used in global health today, or do y... (read more)

4MichaelPlant1y
Hello Engelhardt, Thanks for the comment! In response to your comments: 1. To clarify, the WELLBY is something that has come out of the academic SWB community - bits of economics and psychology, mostly. It's not been developed by us, as there are only a handful of papers that have used it so far; hence we're among the first to be applying it. I should add that, if you're already using measures of SWB, say, a 0-10 life satisfaction scale, it's not a big innovation to look at how much something changes that, then multiplying that by duration, which is really all the WELLBY is. (The more innovative bit is using SWB at all, rather than using WELLBYs given you're already using SWB.) So, it easiest to think of us as using a relatively new, but existing, methodology and applying it to new problems - namely, (re)assessing the cost-effectiveness of things EAs already focus on. That said, there are some theoretical and practical kinks to be worked out in using WELLBYs - e.g. on the ‘neutral point’, mentioned above. Our plan - which we are already engaged in - is to do the work we think is necessary to improve the WELLBY approach, then feed that back into SWB academia. More generally, it’s not unusual that a measurement tool gets developed and then refined. 1. Ideally, we’d like to see SWB metrics used across the board, where feasible, and we are pushing to make this happen. Part of the issue with Q/DALYs is that they are measures of health. Even if you thought they were the ideal measures of health (or, the contribution of health to well-being) you run into an issue comparing health to non-health outcomes. A chief virtue of SWB metrics is that you can measure changes in any domain in one currency, namely their impact on SWB. Having said this, Q/DALYs are quite ingrained in the medical world and it’s an open question how valuable it is to push for change their vs do other things. 1. I think the rules can
Why I find longtermism hard, and what keeps me motivated

I think this is a pretty common challenge in charity in general. In 2019 I had a panel discussion with some very senior people within global health, and one of the topics was making long term and potentially speculative investments in health, such as pandemic preparedness. One of them responded that investments were really important but that we have to "Invest in the things that are killing them today, not just what might kill them some day". I interpret that as saying it was very important to make these longer term investments, but that it also is very ha... (read more)