Joel Becker

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


Currently: preparing to join CAIS, and working on various civilizational resilience projects following SHELTER Weekend (announcement, one participant's perspective).

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


You did a great job, Rob (and Luisa)! :)

Thanks for running this, Nuno! I had fun participating!

I agree with

My sense is that similar contests with similar marketing should expect a similar number of entries.

if we're really strict about "similar marketing." But, when considering future contests, there's no need to hold that constant. The fact that e.g. Misha Yagudin had not heard of this prize seems shocking and informative to me. I think you could invest more time into thinking about how to increase engagement!

Relatedly, I have now had the following experience a number of times. I don't know how to solve some problem in squiggle (charting multiple plots, feeding in large parameter dictionaries, taking many samples of samples, saving samples for use outside of squiggle, embedding squiggle in a web app, etc.etc.). I look around squiggle documentation searching for a solution, and can't find it. I message one of the squiggle team. The squiggle team member has an easy and (often but not always) already-implemented-elsewhere solution that is not publicly available in any documentation or similar. I leave feeling very happy about the existence of squiggle and helpfulness of its team! But another feeling I have is that the squiggle team could be more successful if it invested more time in the final, sometimes boring mile of examples/documentation/evangelism, rather than chasing the next more intellectually interesting project.

Nice post! I would've already said this in feedback but, to reiterate publicly: I thought that the first ever EAGx in Latin America went fantastically! :) Well done to you all!

Not long at all! We'd prefer that anyone interested applies quickly; investment in interviews/reading our plan/etc. can wait.

I thought this was great! Thank you for taking the time! Would love for a future episode with Eli to go deeper into the guts of these cruxes.

I am uncertain whether it's important for program leads to be hard-working for the reason you describe. (I am very confident that hard-working-ness helped me personally a lot, but it doesn't feel obvious that this went through the 'understands hard-working-ness in others' channel.)

Very, very strongly agree with the importance of an environment that values people's time very highly. Small changes/mindset shifts here can have outsized impact. Lots of room for improvement too.

(Parts of this are covered under "basic amenities" but definitely more to add.)

(Robi mentioned this to me in person; I thought it was insightful/asked him to comment.) Thank you for the insight Robi! This is an interesting way of thinking about my numbers claim that I had not considered.

Thank you for feedback, Nuno!

I totally agree that part 2 is an unhelpful distraction at this stage. (Agreed with your other points at time of writing!)

I want to leave open the possibility that fellowships are not an effective thing to do regardless of their length, so maybe the minimum time is 0.

But, conditional on thinking otherwise/going ahead with it...

  1. I think it might be helpful to think about diminishing returns for participant stays, vs. fellowship length. You can imagine a 10 year-long program where people only stay for 4 months max at a time. This isn't as silly as it sounds -- very few people stay from the very beginning to very end of these things anyway, so program beginning/end don't seem like very important milestones to respect (vs. participant stays).
  2. I think participant stays hit diminishing returns at 3 months. (Much more weakly held/pulled from nowhere than claims in this post.)
  3. I worked ~24/7 as an organizer,  which became challenging after ~5 months.

Thank you for such kindness Austin -- I'm glad it was helpful! :)

Load more