I haven't read any of Blattman's writings but in case I'm not too late and these aren't being covered, I'd be curious to hear his thoughts on
For what it's worth, I took a course on Causes ... (read more)
On the other hand, taxes are not entirely "money lost" - a good part of government spending goes into causes that you may not be entirely averse to - although it's hard to tell what a marginal dollar will do, e.g. whether it will be used to cut the taxes of millionaires, or to provide social benefits to the poor.
To your point on marginal impact - governments certainly don't spend money they take in dollar for dollar, and in fact it seems the correlation between intake and expenditure is quite far from 1:1. US government debt is on the order of trillions of... (read more)
Got it - thanks for taking the time to respond!
Personally, I would donate to the Long Term Future Fund over the global health fund, and would expect it to be perhaps 10-100x more cost-effective (and donating to global health is already very good). This is mainly because I think issues like AI safety and global catastrophic biorisks are bigger in scale and more neglected than global health. Coming up with an actual number is difficult – I certainly don’t think they’re overwhelmingly better.
Not to pick nits but what would you consider “overwhelmingly better?” 1000x? I'd have said 10x &nbs... (read more)
Should "reduction" in the quote below (my emphasis) read "increase?"
"This is hard to justify intuitively - it implies that we should ignore the near-term costs, and (taken to the extreme) could justify almost any atrocity in the pursuit of a miniscule reduction of long-term value."
Posting as an individual who is a consultant, not on behalf of my employer
Let me start off by saying that's an interesting question, and one I can't give a highly confident answer to because I don't know that I've ever had a conversation with a colleague about truth qua truth.
That said, my short answer would be: I think many of us care about truth, I think our work can be shaped by factors other than truth-seeking, and I think if the statement of work or client need is explicitly about truth / having the tough conversations, consultants wouldn't find... (read more)
Hi, one such consultant checking in! I had this post open from the moment I saw it in this week's EA Forum digest, but... I (like many other consultants) work a silly number of hours during the work week so just reading the post in detail now.
I'm a member of, but don't run, the EACN network and my take is it's a group of consultants interested in EA with highly varied degrees of familiarity / interest: from "oh, I think I've heard of GiveWell?" to "I'm only working here because... (read more)
I just want to flag that one sort of "regular" consulting I'd love to see in EA is "really good" management consulting. My read is that many our management setups (leadership training, leadership practices, board membership administration) are fine but not world-class. As we grow it's increasingly important to do a great job here.My impression is that the majority of "management consultants" wouldn't be very exciting to us, but if there were some that were somewhat aligned or think in similarly nerdy ways, it would be possibly highly valuable.
Really really impressive write-up; thanks for putting this together and hope it sparks more discussion on lead as well as more of these write-ups!
I'm not sure how to understand this line referring to the International Lead Association. Could you clarify if the expectation is that ILA would be an ally vs. an opponent (or does Pure Earth not yet have a belief either way)?
"Pure Earth believes them to be an ally or an opponent on a campaign to clean up informal lead battery recycling but we have not spoken to ILA ourselves."
Vanguard's website does not state that they can accept cryptocurrency, but I confirmed with a representative that they take donations of cryptocurrency if the value of the contribution is at least $50,000.
Schwab also told me (in Nov 2020) that they only accept cryptocurrency if the contribution is >$50,000, and their vendors charge a 1% fee on Bitcoin and a $3,500 flat fee for Ethereum. I spoke to Fidelity Charitable who told me they had no minimum contribution for cryptocurrency, but I didn't inquire about fees.
Yasher Koach - I'm a fan! As an Orthodox Jew myself I've been collecting some EA-relevant halakhic/biblical texts on this "source sheet" to eventually get back around to. It needs a lot of fleshing out, not to mention much clearer structure; perhaps this project will be the kick in the pants I've needed.
I'm personally still grappling with the same sorts of tension referenced in Raffi's post (linked above). Though I think a number of halakhic texts align quite neatly with an EA direction, a very well-known / internalized notion in the Ortho... (read more)
Agree with Josh's take on Jews in EA and Effective Tzedakah (though I'd agree strictly speaking the concept of tzedakah is at least broader than charitable giving). I think "Effective Altruism and Judaism" (maybe EAJ?) is my favorite! That said, RE "EA for Jews" - any chance you can ask the folks at EA for Christians how they feel the name has worked out for them?
I've never taken part in a reading group (outside of seminars and the like in undergrad), and have no plans to do so, and yet I really enjoyed reading this piece! Thoughtfully and clearly laid out, with novel ideas I hadn't come across before. I'll be sure to pass it on to friends who take part.
I'm glad Aaron nudged you to write this and that he included it in his digest email!
Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed reply Ben!
I'm not the most risk-seeking, so I think I'll need to reflect on the trade-off of taking a more indirect route in the hopes of landing an EA role while giving up the "capital" I'm told I have for my first role post-consulting. Will mull over what you've shared!
Thanks! I actually ran through the whole 80k job board a few weeks back, but I like your filters (and am seeing a few new roles already). I'll give the talk a listen (and the article a read); thanks for sharing!
I'm wondering if folks have suggestions for what EA organizations and / or roles could best leverage the skill set of management consultants? There are quite a few of us interested in EA and it's a job with relatively high churn (plenty of folks open to opportunities!), but I'm not sure there's much of a "pipeline" from consulting to EA today.
Back in the day - when I was already planning to enter the industry - an 80,000 Hours quiz result suggested management consulting, and I've been doing the job which I've generally enjoyed for t... (read more)