Infection Biology PhD Student working on genomic sequencing of viruses with the ambition to increase pandemic preparedness further down the line.

Also running EA Hannover and very interested in metaethics, anti-speciesism, and welfare biology

Topic Contributions


Guided by the Beauty of One’s Philosophies: Why Aesthetics Matter

Lovely post, I really enjoyed reading it. I honestly never really cared for having an EA aesthetic because a) many EAs are minimalistic and as long as the logo on shirts etc. is nice, all is well and b) keep your identity small; as long as the arguments are correct and convince the relevant people, you shouldn't even need a name like EA stuck to it.

However, I also totally see the value of an aesthetic and things really are more fun when they look nice. I personally am full on board the solarpunk train (as long as it is only non-sentient plants amidst my industrial complexes)

But still, for now, I still feel like the EA identity should be kept as light as possible although I don't have any good answers for when aesthetics should start to increasingly matter.

Potatoes: A Critical Review

I agree! I added the Red teaming wiki tag but since that tag is a mix of meta-discussion and examples, it might also be nice to have a separate tag for red teaming examples.

Aaron Gertler's Shortform

Ah, that makes sense. I absolutely adore Fine Structrue and Ra but never considered it ratfic (though I don’t know whether Sam Hughes is hanging in rat circles)

EA Forum's interest in cause-areas over time and other statistics

Cool, thanks for the analysis! Should you have also looked into the upvote distribution within the categories; are there large differences or are upvotes generally similarly (normally?) distributed?

Four categories of effective altruism critiques

Thanks for the useful classification with included article selection.

And I think that, given the variety of critiques, the Criticisms of EA Tag has gotten a bit broad. There are already separate tags for critiques of causes, orgs, and the community, so maybe the EA critique tag can be split into normative and empirical critiques.

A tough career decision

Thanks Pablo, good luck to you too! I'll apply to a few interesting remote positions and have some independent projects in mind. I'll see :)

A tough career decision

Thanks for your writeup, it's reassuring to read your reasoning and decision. I (maybe self-servingly) find it very plausible that you've made the right call. I'm in a somewhat similar position; 3 months away from finishing my PhD on a biosecurity-related topic and staying in Germany with/for my partner for the next years and thus probably missing out on many opportunities that more mobile EAs have.

For me, the decision was pretty clear one I realised that both my affective well-being and life satisfaction were way higher than in previous relationships and that my partner had just an extremely good influence on me. And it seems very reasonable to prioritise this over the average short-term career decision (I'm not saying that things wouldn't be different for extremely rare and impactful opportunities). There is and will be enough work for smart and engaged EAs that you don't need to worry about losing a ton of impact by mainly doing something non-EA for a while and returning to, e.g., AI safety work if the circumstances are right. If your situation is at all like mine, the higher quality-of-life from your relationship alone seems worth it and I'd hazard that you will still learn a lot by working at Xanadu and doing distillation on the side.

I admit that things might be a bit different if your AI timelines are very short and you believe that the next X years are decisive for our survival, where X is small enough to induce anxiety about your hour-to-hour time management or something.

A new Our World in Data article on longtermism

Thanks for doing the calculations! I agree, not straightforward. But like Erich said, it was not about representing a single human. It was imagining humanity's "progress bar" (from first human to final, 600 quadrillionth human in a billion years) as one year. And humanity today being only 8 seconds or so into that year-long progress bar. The idea being that framing progress as seconds in a year is more intuitive than saying 0.0[...]01 %.

A new Our World in Data article on longtermism

I really enjoyed the article. A well-written, short introduction and great (as usual) visualisations which will likely see widespread use for conveying the scope of our future.

Personally, I didn't find the 17m * 4600km beach analogy for 625 quadrillion people super intuitive, and yes, I know, such numbers are basically never intuitive. A framing I found a bit easier to grasp compared the total possible number of humans to seconds in a whole year and said that the number of humans so far equals only a few seconds after midnight on new year or something. But that's just a tiny personal preference, you probably thought about such analogies a lot more.

Thanks for clearly presenting numbers and topics that are more difficult to convey, it's great!

The Unweaving of a Beautiful Thing

Thank you so much for this story, I haven't cried like that for a while. My father passed away earlier this year in the exact moment I came into the room to check on him. The idea that an already-softened death was sitting there, reading, still waiting for me feels really touching.

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