All of IrenaK's Comments + Replies

Announcing the Open Philanthropy Undergraduate Scholarship

This is a great initiative! I just want to point out that if this is aimed at international students, it is quite difficult to accurately estimate their GPA. Also, they would not need to do for UK applications. You will be able to understand their academic performance from the transcript but requiring a GPA may not give you the information you are looking for.

2Bastian_Stern5moThanks for the suggestion - I thought I had addressed this by asking for people’s “GPA/aggregate score”, but I’ve now added a few sentences to the question description to further clarify that we’re just looking for people to use whatever metric of aggregate performance is commonly used wherever it is they go to school (not necessarily a GPA).
AMA: Lewis Bollard, Open Philanthropy

Hi Lewis, since this is AMA, this one is not EA related.

I've spend most of my teenage and college years as a competitive international debater. How do you look back at your debate experience? The good and the bad. Would you recommend that EAs (and more people in general) take up debate? Or would you rather see it be replaced with some other form of structured discussion?

Also, the WUDC finals are one of my favorite competitive debates of all time, I would often use it when coaching my teams. I'd love to hear your take on it. What was it like for you to prop... (read more)

3LewisBollard1yThanks Irena and nice to meet a fellow debater! I'm pleasantly surprised that anyone still watches that WUDC final :) I had a great time debating, and think it taught me a lot about common reasoning fallacies and problematic arguments. But I think you're alluding to debate's biggest flaw -- that it's not truth-seeking. It rewards you for finding evidence to support your pre-existing position, not to fairly assess the evidence and reach the best answer. About that WUDC final: it's funny, but it's so long ago now that it's mostly a blur. I mostly remember us wasting our prep time debating some minor issues that turned out not to be relevant :)
Boundaries of Empathy and Their Consequences

In my experience is not so much that they person does not grasp the ethical argument through empathy, many people do. The reason they do not change their behaviour is mostly because it is normalized in society. People do not usually realize it in the moment and so it is not what you would often hear as an answer but uppon reflection, that is what many vegetarians realize - they did understand they were acting wrong but it seemed like it was not a big deal because everyone was doing it.

1Tihitina2yI hear you-what is the way to resolve this circular trap though? Until a majority of society adopts the argument, many people will continue to mistreat non-human animals, and so long as many people continue to mistreat non-human animals, a majority of society will not have adopted the argument. I am also in disbelief that people still just stick to tradition or "the norm."
Structure EA organizations as WSDNs?

I do not have experience with WSDNs but based on your description, the Czech Association for EA seems to have this model. The structure is such that people sign up to be members, members elect leadership and leadership reports back to the members.

The biggest difference seems to be that our members are not only employees but volunteers or general supporters.

What's the median amount a grantmaker gives per year?

I do not know this article but here are my thoughts on this problem, having worked at a private foundation myself.

The amount of money awarded per staff lies on a scale. On one end a foundation could just make 1 massive grant a year to one organization. On the other end, make millions of super small grants. As organizations navigate this scale from one extreme to the other, in my experience these are some of their considerations:

  • Diversifying the portfolio of grants - if one does not succeed, there are still many to possibly have high impact
  • Limited expertis
... (read more)
Who in EA enjoys managing people?
Answer by IrenaKApr 11, 201913

Me. But also a TON of people outside of the community. I have been a storng advocate for EA orgs hiring outside of the community for senior management roles.

After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation

Thank you for putting all of this together, I think it is a very useful post. I spent many years career coaching and advising people who were applying for jobs and I always stress this:

If you are not landing the job you want it is because of two main reasons:

a) You are not applying for the right jobs for you (you may be underqualified, overqualified, transitioning fields etc.)

b) Or you are in fact very well qualified but you are not good at presenting those qualifications to others, especially in a limited time and space.

Have you received any kind of feedb... (read more)