Jessica Wen

Co-Founder @ High Impact Engineers
Working (0-5 years experience)
340Joined Jul 2022



Co-founder of High Impact Engineers. Background in materials science and mechanical engineering. Also chat to me about community building, career decisions, etc.

How others can help me

I'd like to connect to other physical (non-software) engineers or professional community builders. I am particularly interested in gathering data on what engineers think is missing in the EA community, and where the EA community is missing engineers. I would like to gather data on what physical technologies are being developed or have been developed for different EA cause areas.

How I can help others

Reach out if you have a non-software engineering background, especially if you're doing or would like to do direct work in EA. I can share resources to help with career planning, connections to people with similar backgrounds, and ideas for projects or other ways to contribute your skills.


Thanks for these reflections - I think I generally agree with the points where you've expanded on Thorn's lack of nuance. However, I think where MacAskill mentions reproductive rights in WWOTF it not only lacks force, but seems completely out of the blue: it's not backed up by the reasoning he's been using up until that point, and is never expanded on afterwards. This means it comes across as lacking conviction and seems to be a throwaway statement.

"Observation is the chief source of knowledge" falls under the Empiricism school of thought in epistemology, as opposed to Rationalism, which is perhaps where my misunderstanding came about.

(A minor gripe I have about LW, and EA by extension, is that words with a specific meaning in philosophy are misused and therefore take on a different meaning – take "epistemic status", which has grown out of its original intended meaning of how confident one is in one's claim and is now used more to describe someone's background and raise general caveats and flags for where someone might have blind spots.)

In general, I'd agree that using different tools to help you better understand the world and succeed in life is a good thing; however, my point here is that LW and the Rationality community in general view certain tools and ways of looking at the world as "better" (or are only exposed to these tools and ways of looking at the world, and therefore don't come across other methods). I have further thoughts on this that I might write a post about in the future, but in short, I think that this leads to the Rationality community (and EA to some extent) to tend to be biased in certain ways that could be mitigated by increasing recognition of the value of other tools and worldviews, and maybe even some reading of academic philosophy (although I recognise not everyone has the time for this).

Hey, I've written up my thoughts here. I thought the criticisms were fair on the whole. Would be keen to hear your thoughts!

Watched it as it premiered, got distracted by the live chat, and had to watch it again! I've written up my thoughts and reactions here.

Hi Elliot, I replied to Markus’ tweet but here’s High Impact Engineers’ situation to hopefully give a bit more info:

  • We received a message that EV had paused their grantmaking and payment process three weeks ago even though our grant had been approved back in September.
  • We got confirmation last week that they were going to continue processing our grant and signed a grant agreement.
  • We heard yesterday that there’s still a delay in our funds being sent through by the finance team but no further details were provided.

I'm very excited about this idea because the main barrier to prototyping/testing physical things is cheap access to equipment, materials, and space. As far as I know, there is a network of makerspaces across the UK that might be a low-cost place to start.

This is a great idea! Would also add Magnify Mentoring, which provides (free!) services to support more people with mentorship, particularly those from traditionally underrepresented groups.

That pretty accurately describes my thoughts on this :)

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