Project lead of LessWrong 2.0, often helping the EA Forum with various issues with the forum. If something is broken on the site, it's a good chance it's my fault (Sorry!).


Donor Lottery Debrief

Earning potential goes down with distance to the Bay (less so in COVID times, but even then that is still true, as many companies still adjust their salaries based on cost of living), which matters because people have friends and spouses who don't want to live an ascetic EA lifestyle.

Also, many, if not most of these projects could not be started outside of the Bay or any of the other global hubs, because they benefit from being part of an ecosystem of competent people. You could maybe pull them off in other major global cities (like New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo), but the rent prices won't differ that much between them, because the demand for being close to all the other good people drives prices up. The best people are in the big cities because that's where the other good people are. Not moving to one of the hubs of the world is for most people career suicide, and in general I am much more optimistic about projects and organizations that are located in one of the global talent hubs, because they get to leverage the local culture, service ecosystem, talent availability and social networks that come with those hubs that extend far beyond what the EA and Rationality communities can provide on their own. 

I know that my effectiveness would have dropped drastically had I moved out of a global hub, and my overall impact trajectory would have been much worse, so I am hesitant to recommend that anyone else do so, at least for the long term (I think temporarily moving to lower cost places is a good strategy for many people, and many should consider it, but it's not really solving the funding problem much, since I don't really think people should do that for more than 6 months, or maybe at the most a year).

Edit: Also COVID changes all of this at least a bit, though I don't really know how much and for how long. But it seems likely to me that the overall trends here are pretty robust and we will continue seeing high prices in the places where I would want people to be located.

What is the increase in expected value of effective altruist Wayne Hsiung being mayor of Berkeley instead of its current incumbent?

This was posted to a relatively large (> 100 people) but private FB groups where various people who were active in EA and animal activism were talking to each other. I can confirm that it is accurate (since I am still part of the group).

The 80,000 Hours job board is the skeleton of effective altruism stripped of all misleading ideologies

Hmm, I think I would warn against this framing. In particular the job board systematically omits people working on small projects or organizations that don't really have much of a need for public hiring or recruitment rounds. Some concrete examples: 

  • None of the people the LTFF funds to do research would be represented by a slot on the job board, but I do think it's a viable path for people to take
  • I think there are very few PhD positions advertised on the job board, even though that's obviously a pretty frequent career path, and people can have quite a bit of impact through their PhDs. Like I see no representation of places like CHAI and MILA which have many good safety researchers working there.
  • Some projects that I know have hired people recently, but aren't on the job board, presumably because they are hiring from their networks and friends:
    • LessWrong
    • Quantified Uncertainty Research Institute
    • Epidemic Forecasting
    • The EA Hotel
    • Center for Applied Rationality
    • Centre for Effective Altruism
    • And probably many more that have recently started, or have hired, but didn't see much of a need for a public hiring round

Overall, when I look at the job board, the list of jobs feels highly unrepresentative to me (and I am also honestly not very excited about someone working in 90% of these roles, but that's probably a larger disagreement between my thoughts on cause prioritization and 80Ks thoughts on cause prioritization). 

EA Forum update: New editor! (And more)

It's mostly a UI issue. The comments editor has a lot less space to work with and I haven't yet found a good way to make that UI easily available in the context of comments. You can copy-paste tables and images from the post-editor into the comments editor in the worst-case, which I do recognize is annoying.

evelynciara's Shortform

Seems to work surprisingly well!

EA Forum update: New editor! (And more)

I think we allow markdown tables using this syntax, but I really haven't debugged it very much and it could totally be broken: https://www.markdownguide.org/extended-syntax/#tables

EA Forum update: New editor! (And more)

In the new editor when you have your cursor at the beginning of a new line a small Paragraph symbol should appear on the left of the editor. Clicking on that should bring up a new table menu item.

EA Forum update: New editor! (And more)

Huh, no idea why that happens. The hover-previews are not triggered by selection events, but only by the and the events and have been that way for a long time. My guess is something must have changed in Chrome or maybe in Vimium to make that happen? 

Reading through some Github issues for Vimium, it appears that Vimium does indeed send events when clicking on a link, so this is intended behavior as far as I can tell (why I do not know, though I can imagine it overall resulting in a better experience on other websites). I don't currently know how fix this without breaking it on other devices, so I would mostly treat this as a Vimium bug.

EA Forum update: New editor! (And more)

You say "They also now have the ability to edit tag descriptions in a wiki-like fashion", but when someone does something stupid on Wikipedia other people can view the article history and restore old versions. Here it looks like regular users can't do that?

My guess is that this is a temporary bug. The History page should allow users to see any previous revisions that were made, and should allow you to compare arbitrary revisions. You can see what it's supposed to look like on LessWrong. With that, restoring previous versions should be pretty easy. I expect that bug will probably be fixed within a week or so, and until then it probably won't be much of a problem.

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