Evie Cottrell

683 karmaJoined Nov 2021Pursuing an undergraduate degreeOxford, UK



Hey, I'm Evie! I study physics and philosophy at Oxford.

At the start of 2022, I left high school early to self-study maths and physics. Before that, I did work experience at the Future of Humanity Institute and interned at Charity Entrepreneurship. I'm an Atlas Fellow.


Maybe imperative sentences will always tend read as preachy. I’m not sure.

I thought the same thing when I read it. I got similar vibes from some of the other merch (but “do good better” the strongest).

I think that “moral consideration for all” reads similarly. Especially since most people reading it will read it out of context.

Also “maximise impact” a little bit.

I’ve been considering writing a post about my experience of receiving a grant, and the downsides I didn’t anticipate beforehand. It would probably look similar to this comment but with more info.

General encouragement for having done something risky (a wacky title) and then deciding against it and changing it. The first sentence of the changed post made me laugh.

(Removed this comment. Don't know how to delete it.)

“Better” could mean lots of things here. Including: more entertaining; higher quality discussion; more engagement; it’s surpassed a ‘critical mass’ of people to sustain a regular group of posters and a community; better memes; more intellectually diverse; higher frequency of high quality takes; the best takes are higher quality; more welcoming and accessible conversations etc.

The aims of EA Twitter are different to the forum. But I think the most important metrics are the “quantity of discussion” ones.

My impression is that:

  • There are more “high quality takes” on EA Twitter now than a year ago (mostly due to more people being on it and people posting more frequently).
  • The “noise:quality ratio” is pretty bad on EA Twitter. Most of the space seems dominated by shit posting and in-group memes to me.

Obvs, shit posting is fine if that’s what you want. But I think it’s useful to be clear what you mean when you say “better”. If someone was looking for high quality discussion about important ideas in the world, I would personally not recommend them EA Twitter.

Thanks for sharing! That's useful to know.

I'll look into adding to the post later today.

If I was going to spend longer on this post, I'd make it more empirical and talk through evidence for/against the effectiveness of ACT. 

As it is, I didn't want to spend significantly longer writing it, so I've gone for a summary of the core ideas -- so that readers can assess the vibe and see if it's something that sounds interesting to them.

This might have been the wrong call though.

I also wanna give general encouragement for sharing a difficult rejection story.

Sorry that your experience of this has been rough. 

Some quick thoughts I had whilst reading:

  • There was a vague tone of "the goal is to get accepted to EAG" instead of "the goal is to make the world better," which I felt a bit uneasy about when reading the post. EAGs are only useful in so far as they let community members to better work in the real world. 
    • Because of this, I don't feel strongly about the EAG team providing feedback to people on why they were rejected. The EAG team's goals isn't to advise on how applicants can fill up their "EA resume." It's to facilitate impactful work in the world. 
  • I remembered a comment that I really liked from Eli: "EAG exists to make the world a better place, rather than serve the EA community or make EAs happy."
  • [EDIT after 24hrs: I now think this is probably wrong, and that responses have raised valid points.] You say"[others] rely on EA grants for their projects or EA organizations for obtaining jobs and therefore may be more hesitant to directly and publicly criticize authoritative organizations like CEA."  I could be wrong, but I have a pretty strong sense that nearly everyone I know with EA funding would be willing to criticise CEA if they had a good reason to. I'd be surprised if {being EA funded} decreased willingness to criticise EA orgs. I even expect the opposite to be true.
    • (Disclaimer that I've received funding from EA orgs)


Sorry that the tone of the above is harsh -- I'm unsure if it's too harsh or whether this is the appropriate space for this comment. 

I've err-ed on the side of posting because it feels relevant and important.

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