Jordan Pieters. EA and longtermism community builder in Cape Town, South Africa. Interested in conversations and collaborations relating to community building in Africa and LMICs

Topic Contributions


Who wants to be hired? (May-September 2022)

Location: Currently living in Cape Town, but have a preference for moving to the UK

Remote: Yes

Willing to relocate: Yes (mostly)

Experience: I've done a fair bit of EA community building and am leaning towards roles in the meta-EA space. I have also done research for an EA org and communications/marketing in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

Skills: Very people-oriented. I love leading groups and engaging in difficult conversation. I also think I write pretty well (I'll hopefully have more public evidence of this soon). I'm an unapologetic generalist with the confidence to try almost anything.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordan-pieters/ 

Email: jordanpieters@gmail.com

Availability: preference for full-time

Notes: I can provide references if needed

Where would we set up the next EA hubs?

One thing this post doesn't really touch on, which I would like more discussion about, is why we should establish new hubs in the first place. I think creating an EA hub that's as good as Berkeley or Oxford is actually really difficult, so we should plausibly spend a lot of time deciding whether it's worth the cost. We should weigh up the cost of new hubs with the cost of just trying to get people to move to an existing one. Sure, maybe not everyone can move to Oxford or Berkeley if they want to, but not everyone needs to live in a 'hub'. 

Maybe the flip side of this is that we should just have a bunch of people trying to start hubs, and we see who succeeds and who fails. That might be a good indicator of hub 'attractiveness'. But I'm not sure we have the time or resources to try that

Should we call them something other than retreats?

I think that what we currently call retreats seem diverse enough that the events might deserve entirely different names. Organisers could put more care into choosing a term, on a case-by-case basis, that accurately sets expectations. Some retreats I've heard of do appear to entail spending a few days in the countryside forming better bonds within a group. In that case, calling it a "retreat" would be reasonable.

Volunteering abroad

I'm not sure what your background is, but I agree that getting in touch with local EA groups is a great place to start. We (University of Cape Town) would certainly be happy to have somebody offer help

$100 bounty for the best ideas to red team

I'll just add all mine in one comment, since I'm assuming you won't base your decision off the number of upvotes. Most of these are about movement-building, since that's probably what I spend most of my time thinking about

  • The EA community should not be trying to grow.
    • This research would advocate for something like stronger gatekeeping/less outreach.
  • Giving pledges (GWWC, OFTW) are no longer relevant for engaged EAs 
    • Perhaps linked to ETG becoming less of a priority
  • Despite many community builders pushing for them, fellowships are not the best way to get new people involved in EA
  • AGI will never be developed, so we don't need to worry about AI safety
    • There are many possible arguments for this. Here is one.
Geographic diversity in EA

The video appears to now be private. Any chance I could get access to watch it?

New Publication: Effective Altruism and Religion

As someone who has studied religion at university, I've been patiently waiting for more conversations about this. I'm not religious myself, but I'm looking forward to reading about these perspectives.

Have you considered switching countries to save money?

Unfortunately that is true. I would say that statistic might be misleading though as it largely depends on the area you're living in. Lower income areas account for most of the total murder in Cape Town the metropolitan area. Higher income areas (in which any expat would inevitably be living) are relatively safe. Overall though, you'd be correct in assuming that safety is more of a concern than in many European or US cities. But as far as anecdotal evidence goes, I have't been murdered yet.

Have you considered switching countries to save money?

This an absolutely shameless plug for my own city but I really think Cape Town (South Africa) would be an ideal location. 

  • It's probably the safest and most accessible city on the African continent
  • great infrastructure (the local government is reasonably competent compared to the national level)
  • quite big tech and creative industries
  • cost of living seems to be about a third of that in San Francisco
  • lifestyle wise, I honestly don't know of any city with more natural beauty
  • I'm also hoping to build up an EA community here (group housing etc. might happen some time in the future)
Lizka's Shortform

I attended and thoroughly enjoyed your workshop! Thanks for posting these notes

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