I'm the Director of Operations at Animal Charity Evaluators and a volunteer for EA Giving Tuesday. I co-founded and co-led EA Madison (Wis.) and have been involved in effective altruism since 2013.
From my basic understanding of Open Phil, it does seem like Dustin & Cari have given up the reins to a large extent? Open Phil has hired lots of staff who are making the granting decisions, although maybe Dustin & Cari have a large influence over the cause areas.
Cool, thanks for doing this!
I'm curious to know the main differences in purpose between this and the Impactful Animal Advocacy newsletter. One obvious one is that the latter is monthly and via email and this is more frequent and on the forum. Other differences?
Thanks for offering these fellowships! I have a couple questions:
I agree re: "rare" v "obscure". "Obscure" to me means weird (in a negative way) in addition to uncommon. "Rare" just means uncommon. Diamonds (non-synthesized) are valued highly because they're seen as rare, for example. People don't use the word "obscure" to describe diamonds.
That said, neither word may turn out to be good to use in advertising.
There are at least ~70 EA-aligned or adjacent organisations (including national/local/university groups)
Did you mean to say not including national/local/university groups? There are about 300 national/local/university groups (according to Ben West at CEA), and I would guess ~70 is about the number of orgs which identify as EA-aligned.
Hi Elliot, I would agree that organizing a single small meetup is pretty simple, low risk like you said, but organizing an ongoing, engaged group of people who are excited to show up again and again, and encouraging them to make high-impact life changes (like changing their area of study, career, or donating significantly) is much harder. At least it was for me. It takes ongoing motivation/commitment, good organizing skills, fresh ideas for activities or discussion topics, etc. I think we did pretty well for a few years but then moved across the country. I'm appreciative of the folks who picked up coordinating the group, but do think it was challenging for them as well.
All that said, there are some great resources out there (like Catherine Low, as you mentioned), a Facebook group for group organizers, etc. So it's definitely doable for someone who can make that ongoing commitment. I'd just be wary of pitching it as a very simple thing to do. Organizers should be aware of what they're getting into if they want to have a long-lasting successful group :)
Animal Charity Evaluators accepts secure donations of a variety of cryptocurrencies via The Giving Block from anonymous donors or smart contracts: https://thegivingblock.com/donate/animal-charity-evaluators/
Agree on all points :)
And thank you, again, for bringing up this issue of acceptance.
Thank you for posting. I'm sorry to hear that some people in the community have been made to feel excluded or "not EA enough", and agree with ideas already shared above about how the community can behave better.
I generally agree with Aaron's comments above, and just had a few points that I don't think people have already made:
our general countermeasure is to think long and hard about potential missed opportunities and candidates for cause-X, trying to study and map ever greater territories... But is it the most efficient strategy to explore the space of opportunities? I suspect that in many cases you can’t really see very clearly the full utility of acting in some space until you actually try to do it.
I agree that we shouldn't just think about other cause areas, but jumping into working on them directly is sort of on the other extreme, pretty costly. I think people wanting to assess other cause areas that seem promising should research their history, accomplishments, failures, etc. and talk to some of the key people working in those areas. I hope and expect that people working on cause prioritization are in fact doing something like this.
From the perspective of the entire EA movement, it might be a better strategy to allocate the few individuals who possess the rare “EA mindset” across a diverse set of causes
As new potentially high-impact causes are identified, I agree, and think that this is happening. For causes which we're pretty sure are generally not as high impact, I think that EAs will most likely do more good by working within priority causes rather than working to "lift up" lower priority causes. This is based on my understanding that causes can vary in effectiveness by ~100x or more. There are surely exceptions though, where a certain intervention change in a "low priority" cause area could have a huge impact, and it'd be exciting if we found more of those opportunities.
Minor point here, but:
If we are in the business of giving career advice to wider publics
FWIW, 80k is not in that business. They say, "Our advice is focused on people who have the good fortune to have options for how to spend their career, and who want to make helping the world one of their main goals. We especially focus on college students and graduates living in rich countries like the U.S. or U.K. who want to take an analytical approach to doing good."
Formatting thing: you may have meant to indent some bullets under "Work on any single area can gain from our working on multiple areas:"
I think this b/c it ends with a ":"