All of Peter4444's Comments + Replies

Where are the cool places to live where there is still *no* EA community? Bonus points if there is unlikely to be one in the future

Not sure about best places, though I have a friend who's working on setting up an EA community in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

It might be worth pointing out that, in my experience, EAs seem quite unusual in tending to talk about EA almost all the time, e.g. at parties and other events as well as at work. I've often found this inspiring and energising, but I can also understand how someone could feel overwhelmed by it.

Organizations prioritising neat signals of EA alignment might systematically miss good candidates

Great post!

The fact that some  orgs already say things like 'knowledge of effective altruism is preferred but not essential' probably doesn't solve this issue. I can imagine that many jobs are competitive enough that you could only reasonably have a shot if you ticked certain boxes related to EA knowledge/experience, even if you might be a better and more-aligned candidate but don't have obvious evidence.

I think there's information value from doing lots of 10-minute speed-interviews, at least sometimes, so that we can get a sense of how many competent and EA-aligned people might be off EA orgs' radar.

p.s. I can confirm that Evan has been an excellent volunteer for the EA & Consulting Network.

Free-spending EA might be a big problem for optics and epistemics

Thank you very much for this post. I thought it was well-written and that the topic may be important, especially when it comes to epistemics.

I want to echo the comments that cost-effectiveness should still be considered. I have noticed  people (especially Bay Area longtermists) acting like almost anything that saves time or is at all connected to longtermism is a good use of money. As a result, money gets wasted because cheaper ways of creating the same impact are missed. For example, one time an EA offered to pay $140 of EA money (I think) for me for... (read more)

Considerations and advice on entering management consulting

In my experience (interviewed 2020/21), Case In Point is no longer useful, except perhaps to skim through for some ideas.

My understanding is that, when consulting firms started using case interviews, they could get away with using a handful of standardised formats (profitability diagnosis, M&A, etc.). Case In Point provides rigid frameworks to apply to those standardised formats. But the firms have got wise to this. They used these frameworks to test thinking but got 'framework monkeys' using canned frameworks, so now they often give cases that don't f... (read more)

Making Community Building a more attractive career path

I think that community building has historically been massively promoted as important by EA communicators and key institutions, but then implicitly undervalued by the actual prestige, funding and support offered to existing or aspiring community builders. 

 

This is my impression too. For university groups, CEA was trying to fix this with the Campus Specialist program, which was then discontinued. I'm curious why an org isn't hiring people on 2-year contracts / longer-term roles to lead promising city and national groups, since only being able to d... (read more)

2Vilhelm Skoglund1mo
I am also curious why there aren't set up orgs in central locations that can employ people. And I am hoping to get some input on from CEA / similar actors. To be fair though, many city/national groups (e.g. EA Sweden that I run) are set up as non-profits and CEA are happy to fund those organizations, that in turn employs group organizers.

The Campus Specialist program was discontinued? The one announced ~4 months ago?

This seemed like an important thing.

 

(It seems like there are other ways to ask about this. I am biased to making a public comment, because it seems like good practice [1]).

 

  1. ^

    The alternative is to ping people or get on a zoom call. But this is demanding of others time, especially since sometimes these contacts are not seen as entirely asynchronous.

    You would might need to ping multiple people, or otherwise babysit this issue by successively contacting people,

... (read more)
2Vilhelm Skoglund1mo
This is an intersting idea! I can see som practical / legal issues with having a organization with a few hired people in many different countries. But it should defintely work for the US and UK, where many community builders are based. Also it should work with "regional hubs" in other locations. And even though one might not be able to be technically hired, having a joint back office for many things just seems robustly good. Maybe EA Nordics can lead the way with some experiments here!
Snowball Fund - A Low-Cost, Low-Risk, and High-Upside Experiment

Daniel's comments:

On point #1, there's a critical distinction in the type of "follow-on" strategy we're employing, which is a standard template $100K into a large number of companies (generally known as the "spray and pray" model). This is characterized by low diligence per deal as opposed to most VC's who do still put in a decent amount of effort. Spray and pray of course has it's drawbacks in terms of validating the quality of the deal flow, but that's the crux we're exploring here regarding EA-aligned founders being potentially higher quality than avera... (read more)

3Ben_West1mo
Thanks for the data point about you coming from FP! That's helpful.
Snowball Fund - A Low-Cost, Low-Risk, and High-Upside Experiment

I think this is an important point and there's some truth to it: EA 'startups' are different from venture-backed startups. When you say 'targeting', what do you mean here exactly, and do you have any ideas on how to do this without increasing time costs a lot? An advantage of our proposed approach is that it's time-cheap because it's systematic (with some caveats, we offer investment if and only if someone else has). But if there were a cheap way to make this better at finding the people most helpful for EA projects, that would be great.

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 If the cla... (read more)

4Ben_West2mo
Hmmm, reading your question, I think our disagreement might not actually be about entrepreneurs' fit in EA, but rather about how much labor your plan requires. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) you and I both believe something like: Let me briefly explain why I think the antecedent holds: 1. Market returns: Many (maybe most) VCs follow your strategy of being a follow-on investor, for the reasons you describe. Despite this, they still have to do a fair amount of labor and struggle to make market returns (e.g. because the most lucrative deals are only available to top VC firms). 2. Getting people involved: EA's have a number of connections to talented entrepreneurs: several EA organizations have gone through YCombinator, many impressive entrepreneurs have signed with Founders Pledge, etc. I'm struggling to think of instances where these networks resulted in recruiting someone to start an EA project. No doubt more could be done, and perhaps your team is more talented than the people who have tried this before, but I still doubt it will be easy. To be clear: it's good to be better at more things, and of course I would be more impactful if I was better at start up stuff. But it just doesn't seem like the biggest thing holding me, or the people I know, back.
Time-Time Tradeoffs

Yes. Classic example for me is doing tasks that don't require much mental energy when I'm tired & reminding myself to do this (even though I sometimes can't be bothered) because it saves me having to do these tasks at a later time when I could be doing more cognition-heavy things.

PeterWallich's Shortform

It looks like they're quite similar, though I haven't personally used Google Flights.

Apparently, its advantage over Google Flights is that it searches more online travel agents, so can sometimes uncover cheaper prices (though some online travel agents are a bit of a pain): https://scottscheapflights.com/guides/google-flights-vs-skyscanner

PeterWallich's Shortform

Many EAs take a lot of flights. If you're not already using it, consider using Skyscanner. It scans airlines and online travel agencies and can find cheap deals, flights from nearby airports, etc. And it may save you time and money.

Posting this partly because I'd like to support a norm of sharing knowledge when it's low cost and has even a small chance of being very useful for someone.

Note: I'm not associated with Skyscanner; I've just used it for a while.

2Chris Leong2mo
Is it better than Google Flights? And if so, how so?