Jeff A

Economics Undergraduate and local journalist
Pursuing an undergraduate degree
7Hudson County, NJ, USAJoined Aug 2022

Bio

Participation
2

 Peruvian-American raised and residing in Hudson County, NJ. I live right across Manhattan so you might have seen me in EA NYC events. 

Undergraduate in Economics and minoring in mathematics at Rutgers University-Newark.  Associate in Arts Cum Laude in Liberal Arts '22 from my local community college, where I focused on economics and mathematics.

Career interests (in order): global health, global poverty, policy, and governance domestically and internationally. I would ideally like to intern at a think tank focused on international relations and government, e.g., my Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, 

I first heard about EA through the Peter Singer TED Talk and then went down that rabbit hole. I kind of fell off and would donate 10% of my paychecks here and there until Sam Harris interviewed Toby Ord and got me thinking about dedicating my career and education to EA cause areas.

Some personal non-EA things about me: I love to play and watch football (I'm sorry, soccer),  penny board around NYC and my neighborhood, try cooking some new vegan dishes, and read books. 

Although I don't see myself dedicating my career to AI or factory farming I consider them both top priorities as well (I'm vegan) and looking forward to learning more about AI safety!

How others can help me

EA internships and fellowships in economics and journalism, career advice, and scholarships.

How I can help others

Make you laugh and be a friend. :) Also, I can offer advice from the knowledge I've gained from articles, podcasts, and talking to professionals in my EA areas of interest.

Comments
23

I'm so happy to see the EA community trying to increase la comunidad de EA para mi gente en Latino America! 

However, a common criticism of EAs and the EA community seems to be showing up again. In the New Yorker piece on William MacAskill and EA, one of the criticisms was that EAs, like Sam Bankman-Fried, will live in luxurious areas (the Bahamas) and houses.

I recall a fellow EA telling me how when he temporarily lived in Peru, the country where my parents are from and I hold citizenship and share a strong culture, he lived in Mira Flores, an upper echelon of the capital where the wealthy and most fortunate reside.

I hope EAs in the fellowship err away from living in the aristocratic communities and instead try to live among the common, working-class (or middle-class) citizens of Mexico. Especially, if you plan on addressing issues in Mexico that affect the people.

 

 Best of look on this fellowship! ¡Mucha suerte en los proyectos, hermanos y hermanas!

Hey Geoffrey, looking back at it, I can see why this appears partisan even though that was not my intention. My post was not meant to demonize my compatriots who happen to vote Republican or identify as conservative. It was meant to educate and bring awareness to an EA cause area, protecting liberal democracy. 

According to the 80k hyperlink I included in my post, it is a pressing issue. This is a large-scale issue as the United States is arguably the most influential geopolitical power in the world and has cultural and political influence around the globe on ensuring or protecting liberal democracies. (I'm not taking a side on whether US intervention in bringing liberal democracies is a net good or net bad, but history and the present (Ukraine) have shown how impactful U.S. involvement can be.)

I definitely could've used a better term than "Donald Trump supporters" in my first paragraph as not all of his supporters want to commit election fraud.

However, facts are facts. Regardless of someone's politics, acknowledging the undermining of liberal democracy is necessary, especially when there are such detrimental consequences.

I appreciate your constructive criticism and will take it into account in future posts and edit this post to make it seem less partisan.

Hey Dony, looking back at it, I can see why this appears partisan even though that was not my intention. My post was not meant to demonize my compatriots who happen to vote Republican or identify as conservative. It was meant to educate and bring awareness to an EA cause area.

I definitely could've used a better term than "Donald Trump supporters" in my first paragraph as not all of his supporters want to commit election fraud.

However, facts are facts. Regardless of someone's politics, acknowledging the undermining of liberal democracy is necessary, especially when there are such detrimental consequences.

As I said, protecting liberal democracy isn't one of my main interests or expertise so I don't have the background to do a specific theory of change with an expected value calculation.

I appreciate the feedback and will learn from this post.

Yeah. I like your analogy of EA and Quakers being a minority, but hopefully, EA can make an ethical revolution as the Quakers did with the abolition of slavery. We can certainly learn some tactics and habits from them while simultaneously not believing in their faith. 

If someone is interested in looking more into this, I remember Willam MacAskill wrote about Quakers and their impact on the abolition movement in "What We Owe the Future."

I think a great way to prevent us from turning into a cult is listening to criticism and have a diversity and opinions.

I would say EAs for the most part are open to criticism but there are EAs who will unintentionally partake in fallacious reasoning when their EA cause or EA opinion is attacked.

MacAskill once said EAs for the most part are social liberals. This is understandable considering most EAs come from fortunate backgrounds and have a college education.

Matt Yglesias and Tyler Cowen noted in their fireside chats at EA Global that their is a sense of homogeneity and a common group. Tyler Cowen said most EAs are “coastal elites.” I wouldn’t use the term coastal, but most EAs definitely come from elite families, elite colleges, elite company, or some other form of elite group.

There’s nothing wrong with being a social liberal (I am one), college educated, wealthy, or elite, but it could create an echo chamber and result in a cult or something cult-like.

I would like to see more libertarians, conservatives, and non-elites in EA so we can get different viewpoints, critiques, and a diversity of thought.

I love this post. I’m a secular atheist and am strongly influenced by the New Atheism movement, but even I must admit there are habits and customs we can learn from religions and religious communities that can be beneficial if we apply it to ourselves and our communities.

Some of the acts Tyler Cowen recommended was abstaining from alcohol, being co-dependent on others (if I recall that correctly), having many children, and building private social safety nets.

(I’m just listing what Cowen said and am not saying I agree or disagree with them all).

I’ve been trying to find this book which talks about the importance of ritual for secular people (I think the author was a secular atheist too). Lmk if anyone knows the name of the book I’m talking about.

The article was on MacAskill’s book which doesn’t argue for strong longtermism but longtermism.

However, I think the acknowledgement and critique of strong longtermism is necessary.

They understand the case for longtermism but don’t understand the proposals or solutions for longtermism aspirations.

One of the UN’s main goals is sustainable development. You can still address today’s issues while having these solutions have the future in consideration.

Therefore, you don’t have to spend most funds only addressing the long term future. You can tackle both problems simultaneously.

I too find money being an issue very unlikely. They rented out a government venue for the weekend with staff serving vegan food and cleaning up after you as if you were royalty. Maybe I'm just not used to this kind of lifestyle due to me a couple of years ago having to be a busser for similar venues, but I still found it odd how an organization that is meant to be about using our 'limited resources to do the best must've spent big bucks on this venue.

Yeah I really appreciate you trying to prevent the bad discussion norms and keep good-faith conversations.

I’m left social liberal and very progressive but I often feel aggressive attitudes and whining (which I did) doesn’t solve racial disparities and inequality and often misses the problems. And these are attitudes that I feel are too common among white, rich, liberals. (This isn’t me trying to talk bad about white, rich, liberals or say they all do this. It’s just trends I’ve noticed since joining EA a bit over a year ago.)

Load More