13 karmaJoined Sep 2022


Thanks for posting, this is super interesting! Learning #1 is also my top learning from starting a company.

It sounds like Tyve didn't have proper product / market fit and hence you struggled gaining more customers if I read it correctly? Looking at Deed, their posterchild efforts seem to be climate change and LGBTQ rights, which many startups/employees already care about greatly, so I can see executives viewing the product as a good way to showcase their company's committal to DEI etc. Did you go more with a bednets and effective giving pitch? Ofc I'm just speculating here.

Interesting post! If I understand you correctly, you're arguing that we should evaluate other possible uses for charity money, like pursuing economic growth, which might be better than e.g. GiveWells analysis?

I think this part is the most important one

I should focus on “at a lower cost than pretty much anything else we know.” Perhaps those recommending these charities as having the highest impact are doing so because they can be implemented and evaluated with confidence at a lower cost relative to efforts to improve state capacity and boost economic growth.

There's 3 points that come to mind here.

First of all, pursuing economic growth sounds great - what concrete options would you imagine though?

Second of all, if you ask 2 different economists how to boost the economy you'll likely get 3 different answers. It's extremely hard to get any facts in this field, due to interconnectedness of economies and so many factors having an impact on economic reality. So to me, measuring the effectiveness of any intervention would basically be an impossible task. Contrast this to giving out things (bednets or anything else really), where you can easily compare populations/neighborhoods/communities that received them with those that didn't.

Third, regarding the current funding levels. Ultimately, growing the economy is the goal of any government, business and to some extent many private individuals in a country. It doesn't seem obvious to me that e.g. a few million by a charity will meaningfully move the scale here. Again, compared to e.g. efforts against malaria, which have way less funding and way less powerful proponents.

Hi, new to the forum! Asking here as it seems to small of a question for its own post:

I finished reading "The precipice" this week, and found the list of current/future existential risks a bit short, especially compared to natural ones. For example, AFAIK space debris might make spaceflight impossible in the near future, making it most likely* impossible to become a multiplanetary species, robbing us of lots of resources, and sooner or later meaning a natural risk will wipe us out on earth (which Ord classifies as an existential risk).


I know space debris has become a hot topic over the last few years, is there any work in an EA context on it? Similarly, have people tried to compile lists with all currently conceivable/knowable existential risks?

* I dont know much about spaceflight, but it sounded impossible to build spacecraft that could withstand the level of debris that would build up once we reach a tipping point and a lot of satellites become debris.