Joel Becker

Civilizational resilience projects @ Various
Pursuing a doctoral degree (e.g. PhD)
Working (0-5 years experience)


Currently: working on various civilizational resilience projects following SHELTER Weekend (announcement, one participant's perspective) and collecting thoughts on AI risk paths and fit.

Previously: FTX Foundation, researcher,  grad student, econ predoc.


I am confident that EA Funds is less biased and has managers with uniformly greater aptitude for grantmaking than me!

But I think that your opposing points are strong. Time costs for both EA Funds and grantees are especially high right now.  And, relatedly, local information might be more precious.

If the trade-off is indeed between better-judged grantmaking and lower time/stress costs to people affected by the collapse, then, in present circumstances, I'm happy to err towards the latter.

Answer by Joel BeckerNov 23, 202228

I'm currently planning to keep powder mostly dry, in order to flexibly support professional contacts who might be affected by recent events. If this doesn't come to pass, I will shift donations to next year, when it will be more tax-efficient.

(In the background, my recurring GWWC trickle goes 35% to Wild Animal Initiative, Center on Long-Term Risk, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Charity Entrepreneurship, and 65% to various funds.)

Probably not right now. But perhaps we can keep it in mind, depending on equipment access!

Thank you for this post Shakeel!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I imagine that the main source of frustration you have in mind is professional uncertainty — about funding, job security, etc..

Another source that might be less obvious is coordination. If it is not the case that major EA orgs are considering e.g. (partial) funding backstops or reparations for the victims of financial crimes, it is possible that people who do not work at these organisations might want to pursue these avenues with urgency.

I guess all the points made in your post would apply here too. And maybe the second source is obvious. Mentioning just in case!

Jehan gives some additional suggestions I liked here. Including rules about:

  • "fraternization and power relationships."
  • Anti-corruption.

Might not have affected things in the FTX case, but perhaps worth considering whilst the window for significant reform is wide open.

I'm sure it's going to be a challenging time for community health. Thank you so much for all the amazing work you guys do. (Evergreen, but especially pertinent this week.)

Yes, interested in taking the over!

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