Topic Contributions


Some unfun lessons I learned as a junior grantmaker

I agree, and like I said, I'm sure those sentences can be massively improved.

I prefer to have my feelings a little hurt than remain in the dark as to why a grant didn't get accepted.

Some unfun lessons I learned as a junior grantmaker

Still, you might be able to turn that into a few easy sentences. Ex. "We don't think you have enough expertise on the topic", "We don't think you have the right skills for the project, we think there are likely better other candidates out there" "You're research project is poorly scoped",...

These are just quick examples I had on top of my brain, they likely could be massively improved.

Even just sharing something in the rejection letter like

"Unfortunately, even if the problem is solely due to project-specific competence and fit, there aren’t many tractable and high-EV levers for grantmakers to pull. If somebody applies with a poorly scoped research project, they may well be an amazing operations hire or entrepreneur but unfortunately a) the grantmaking process is not set up to evaluate this well, and b) we are specialized in evaluating grants, not in giving open-ended career advice."

might be very helpful.

Should You Have Children Despite Climate Change?

I don't have a confident view on this, but I can easily imagine situations where all your (grand)children have a bigger impact on the world than you alone.  It might make sense for people to try and make their own EV calculations here.

How should people spend money to be more productive?

Focusmate costs just 5 dollars per month, which is low enough to at least try it out for a while!

Beeminder could be worth trying out as well, but I haven't personally used it. Here you pay money if you don't reach your goals.

Increasing you Google Drive/Photos storage is worth the money in my opinion. It's quite cheap and you don't have to worry or think about managing your online storage that much.

Response to Kurzgesagt: How We Can Fight Climate Change

Thanks a lot for sharing this! I appreciate this well thought out criticism. You make great points, but I find it hard to say at the moment how it has updated my own views. I'll share it in the comment section under the video.

I feel anxious that there is all this money around. Let's talk about it

For me the reputational risks that Jack Lewars mentioned worry me a lot. Like how will the media portray effective altruism in the future? We're definitely going be seen as less sympathetic in leftist circles, being funded by billionaires and all.

Another concern for me is how this will change what type of people we'll attract to the movement. In the past the movement attracted people who were willing to live on a small amount of money because they care so much about others in this world. Now I'm worried that there will be more people who are less aligned with the values, who are in it at least partly for the money.

In another way it feels unfair. Why do I get to ask for 10k with a good chance of success, while friends of mine struggling with money who aren't EA aligned can't? I don't feel any more special or deserving than them in a way. I feel unfairly privileged somehow.

There's also this icky feeling I get with accepting money: what if my project isn't better than cash transfers to the extreme poor? Even if the probabilities of success are high enough, the thought of just "wasting money" while it could have gone to extremely poor people massively improving their lives just saddens me.

I'm not trying to make logical arguments here for or against something, I'm just sharing the feelings and worries going through my head.

I think it's good that this is being discussed publicly for the world to see. Then it at least doesn't seem to non-EA's who read this that we're all completely comfortable with it. I'm still of the opinion that all this money is great and positive news for the world and I'm very grateful for the FTX Future Fund, but it does come with these worries.

“Should you use EA in your group name?” An update on PISE’s naming experiment

It's very much appreciated that you tried out a name change and that you wrote up the results of the experiment, thank you! I thought it was a great idea at first that made a lot of sense to me, but I've now changed my mind. Looking forward to hearing about other efforts you think may have contributed to PISE's success.

EA should learn from the Neoliberal movement

I personally disagree. I think EA should try appeal to many people across the political spectrum, from socialists to libertarians. Aiming to be apolitical (in most cases) is required for this. Neoliberalism, while I'm personally sympathetic to it, has a very negative name across the political spectrum so linking EA with it would probably hurt the EA brand a lot. Collaborating is possible insofar it's just asking each other for advice behind the scenes. I don't think people should be secret about liking neoliberalism either, I think the current state of overlap is around where it should be.

A spreadsheet with titles and links for over 1900 YouTube EA videos

Relevant to this: I made a spreadsheet of all EA-aligned video content creators that I'm aware of. 

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