Patrick Gruban

Working (15+ years of experience)
731Munich, GermanyJoined Aug 2020



Co-Director EA Germany

Entrepreneur (currently textiles, previously software) for 25+ years and interested in EA since 2015, joining the local group and donating. I joined the EA Munich organiser team and took the GWWC pledge in 2020, developed the software for the new donation management system Effektiv Spenden is using in Germany and Switzerland in 2021 and am co-director EA Germany since November 2022.

I run the donation drive Knitters Against Malaria, which has raised over $100,000 for the Against Malaria Foundation since 2018.

How others can help me

Let me know if you have ideas for EA Germany

How I can help others

I can offer to mentor and be a sounding board if you are an EA non-profit entrepreneur


Topic Contributions

Dustin Moskovitz commented on Twitter:

Actually the Bloomberg tracker looks pretty close, though missing 3B or so of foundation assets. The Forbes one is like half the Bloomberg estimate [shrug emoji]

Thank you for this post, I find it very helpful for clarifying my thoughts when working on community building strategy.

I like the framing and would like to see more discussion around this! I've left a comment on this post that has some overlap.

Thank you for the write-up. This was very helpful in getting a better understanding of the reactions from the academic field.

Don’t start with X-risk or alignment, start with a technical problem statement such as “uncontrollability” or “interpretability” and work from there.

Karl von Wendt makes a similar point in Let’s talk about uncontrollable AI where he argues "that we talk about the risks of “uncontrollable AI” instead of AGI or superintelligence". His aim is "to raise awareness of the problem and encourage further research, in particular in Germany and the EU". Do you think this could be a better framing? Do you think there is some framing that might be better suited for different cultural contexts, like in Germany, or does that seem neglectable?

Thank you for doing the research and writing it up, I found this very helpful!

Thank you for sharing, I think your post will resonate with many people and show them they are not alone in their struggles. I've gone through similar phases of depression, guilt, feelings of rejection and not allowing myself to seek help or complain as I'm much better off than 99% of the world. This sucks.

The Celebrating Failure at the fUnconference that Ludwig mentioned felt cathartic to me as people shared professional and personal failures. In EA we're an unusual community as we try hard and constantly fail at our expectations. This goes for people applying for jobs as well as leaders of EA orgs. A coach recently told me most calls with them turn to mental health problems at some point.

I hope you will find a community that supports you. I have proposed Masterminds as a format and am in talks to see how we can make it happen. But I've heard of more similar remote formats and interventions that are planned and am hopeful we will see some soon.

As a side note: What helped me in the last months were the 80K talk where Will MacAskill talks about his depression and the one with Sam Bankman-Fried where he agrees that most people will fail trying:

So I think there are really compelling reasons to think that the “optimal strategy” to follow is one that probably fails — but if it doesn’t fail, it’s great. But as a community, what that would imply is this weird thing where you almost celebrate cases where someone completely craps out — where things end up nowhere close to what they could have been — because that’s what the majority of well-played strategies should end with. I don’t think that we recognize that enough as a community, and I think there are lots of specific instances as well where we don’t incentivize that.

Also really helpful was the book by Julian Simon where he talks about overcoming depression in a very relatable way (link via Rob Wiblin).

I shudder to think that someone who donates any amount to AMF would ever feel bad about it, yet I know how hard it can be to convince oneself otherwise.

I recently read the Notes From a Pledger who I similarly far away from a hub and is ok with donating. The comment by Michelle Hutchinson touched me as it brought back the realisation that we're already doing so much more than most people in donating. It's great to aim high and try to get a job in EA but there is no shame in failing, getting a normal job and continuing with donations.

Just trying and failing is something to be celebrated as most people never try. Thank you for trying!

Having spent two weeks in Cape Town this March and meeting Jordan there I can confirm that it’s a great city to be in and I would love to see an EA coworking space there. Thank you for taking the initiative!

I can see your concern and coming up with a new name could be nice. On the other hand, I suspect most EAs wouldn't be too concerned if we use a tool internally in a way that works for us while it's also being used by others for less useful purposes.

Interesting. I read your post while researching for this one and found it very interesting. To me, it seemed that you were describing something bigger and more encompassing than a Mastermind that seems restricted in size, topics and frequency of meetings. But there is definitely some overlap and it's one of the few posts on the forum around the deliberate groups and their setup.

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