All of Jorgen_Ljones's Comments + Replies

Thomas Kwa's Shortform

One argument against the effectiveness from mega charities who does a bunch of different, unrelated interventions is that from the Central Limit Theorem ( the average effectiveness of a large sample of interventions is apriori more likely to be close to the population mean effectiveness - that is the mean effectiveness of all relevant interventions. In other words, it's hard to be one of the very best if you are doing lots of different stuff. Even if some of the interventions you do are really effective, your average effectiveness will be dragged down by the other interventions.

Against the Social Discount Rate (Cowen & Parfit) - Weak refutations

Thanks for pointing out these unclear sentences. I've made some changes in this paragraph to make my point more clearly.

The first part of the sentence remains; in some views, it is not right that a giver of gifts get any privileges on other benefits. But in a pure utilitarian view, this might be the case in some sense. If one party provides a gift to another, otherwise equal party, this will create an inequality that decrease the total utility. A pure utilitarian view will demand that a redistribution of benefits should follow to restore the equal situatio

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Problem areas beyond 80,000 Hours' current priorities

This made me think of backing up online EA content. It's not that hard to automatize backing up the content on the EA Forum, the EA Hub and the websites of CEA, GiveWell and other organizations. Not all movement collapse scenarios involve loosing access to online content and communication platforms, but it may be part of both internal conflict scenarios and external shocks.

Is the EA Forum regularly backed up, Aaron?

8JP Addison1yShort answer: Yes. Our database provider provides backups automatically. I would be very surprised if they lost it. I think the largest remaining risk is that I accidentally issued a command to delete everything. In that worst case scenario, I'd be able to get one-off copies of the database that I've made at various points. There's still a single point of failure at the level of my organization. If something (maybe a lawsuit? seems unlikely) were to force us to intentionally take the site down, you'd want to have backups outside of our control. For that you might want to see this question [] , which your comment may have prompted.
EA Leaders Forum: Survey on EA priorities (data and analysis)

Regarding the question about the preferred resource allocation over the next five years, I would like to see someone take a stab at estimating the current allocation of resources over the same categories. My guess is that many of the cause areas are far from these numbers and it would imply a huge shift from status quo to increase or decrease the number of people and/or money going to each cause area.

The 3.5% allocation to wild animal welfare, for example, is 35 of the most engaged EAs contributing to the cause area and the money that goes with it. Or more

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You're estimating there are ~1000 people doing direct EA work? I would have guessed around an order of magnitude less (~100-200 people).

Be the Match: a volunteer list for bone marrow donation

FWIW, I was a stem cell donor in March this year.

Here in Norway you can sign up after donating blood at least three times, they take a couple of extra blood samples for the stem cell registry and then you wait for the call. Most people on the list are never matched with anyone. I understand that the registry is an international collaboration, so the patient could have very well (most likely) been from a different country than Norway. I don't know where the patient lives that received my stem cells.

Here's a database of countries and agencies that take part

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EAGxNordics 2019 Postmortem

It seems to me like you and Halffull (previous comment) puts more weight on the goals we didn't achieve than was our intention with this report. I would like to note that we did not conclude the conference to be a failure and that the results are more nuanced.

It is true that we mostly failed at reaching the specific goals of engaging "inactive" EAs with the conference as we defined it. But the results report also show that there was a 10 percentage points increase in interests in applying for an EA Job and also an increase in interest of being responsible

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Announcing plans for a German Effective Altruism Network focused on Community Building

Sorry we're late to reply, but we hope it's still valuable.

Thanks for our detailed post and willingness to be transparent about our plans! Regional and national EA groups in Germany seems like potentially a very valuable initiative.

Based on our experience building the national EA group in Norway, we want to echo the feedback previously given here by EAF, Michelle and Aaron. Especially the notion of not planning too much in advance, as reality will always be merciless to any plans. Adopting an agile approach with rapid feedback cycles is really important. W

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1alexherwix2yDear Jorgen, thank you for your feedback! Given our background we are very familiar with start ups, agile planning, etc. So rest assured, we are not going to blindly follow a plan when evidence emerges that indicates that we need to adjust. Interestingly, our plans seem to hold up quite well for the time being but I can understand that a single post here makes it difficult to get a complete understanding of our plans and how we are going to execute (which is not really part of this post anyhow) – so I understand your concerns. What would be really interesting to me, is if you have additional concrete aspects to criticize. For example, is there something you want to critique substantively in terms of "this is not a good idea because of reason x, y, z" or "your logic here is flawed"? We are always looking for insightful feedback and concerns we didn't know or prioritize before. I am happy to talk and will write you an email to set something up.
Pre-announcement and call for feedback: Operations Camp 2019

Thank you for an interesting comment. Would you say that we should expect more impact from the fact that we are identifying and referring strong candidates, and providing them with a strong signal of their competence, motivation and EA understanding, than from any learning and experience they might build during the camp?

Hey Jorgen,

That would honestly be my guess. Some people would call this cynical, but I think the amount of skills you're going to impart in 4 days, or even with a very long ~5 week camp, are pretty limited compared to the variation in people's innate dispositions, and the experience gained in their whole lifetime beforehand.

Pre-announcement and call for feedback: Operations Camp 2019

Thanks for your comment. In our previous posts we explored the nature of the operations talent gap, and among other things surveyed EAs working in operations roles about what traits and skills they believed to be important in their job, and how these skills could be acquired.

From our previous post [part 2]:

" experience with operations, running logistics at events and workshops, and project management are mentioned as ways in which the respondents gained some of their skills. Furthermore, internships, volunteering and doing independent side project

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Pre-announcement and call for feedback: Operations Camp 2019

That's great! Thanks for the offer! We'll add your name to a list of resources we'll consider for the camp. That being said, developing the content is not a priority in the next month.

A short review of the Effect Foundation in 2017

As of now it is quite low effort. We got a website that works like a donation portal providing information about GW orgs in Norwegian, general arguments for why one should give effectively and transparent information about the Effect Foundation. The main value here is the information is provided in Norwegian and that we support Norwegian payment methods. These payment methods are no or low fees so there are some savings in transaction cost by donating through us rather than directly.

In addition to the website we use Facebook to promote the organizations an... (read more)

0Alex_Barry3yAh great, thanks for the response!
Effective Altruism London - Strategic Plan & Funding Proposal 2018

I'm interested in hearing how the fundraising drive went and what the current situation of EA London is?

3[anonymous]4yCompletely successful; we are fully funded for the rest of 2018. Apologies for not providing an update earlier!

What happend to this post? Is it retracted? The autor seem to be deleted or something. I was interested in learning how others with insight in this topic would respond and follow the debate.

0Linch6yChiming in to say that I am also very very very interested.
Finance Careers for Earning to Give

I would love to see more of the same kind of overview for other careers like computer science, consulting and economics. 80.000 hours should consider integrating such concrete, practical guides for choosing sub-fields.

EA-commercials on national TV in Norway - for free!

In order to be eligible for tax deduction you mean? No, they have to be registered inside the EEA, though.

EDIT: Ah, you meant for sending in videos. I don't know actually. Will try to find an answer.

EDIT again: Yes, the charities have to be "nationwide" and they are stating that they want to promote "ideal organisations and the voluntary work in our country". This is from the larges commercial TV station, but I think the same goes for the smaller media channels as well.

How I Raised $5010.32 for AMF and How You Can Too!

Great with all the tips for a successful birthday fundraiser! But I've got a couple of questions that I would like to see your thoughts on.

I) People you meet on a regular basis, like your best friends of nearest family, do you include them on the email list? Isn't it like texting people while you talk to them? A bit weird and too formal?

II) I imagine you want to do this again next year, but could you send the same email again? Do you think people will think differently about the email and you contacting them with a fundraising call every year?

0Peter Wildeford7yI did email them as well. It never really came up in casual conversation, and I was more intimidated to do in-person sales. - I do imagine the message, and strategy, will need to be changed for when I do this again. Taking into account who gave last year would be important, for starters.
Open thread 5

I'm thinking of giving "Giving games" for Christmas this year.

Family and friends gets a envelope with two cards. A nice Christmas card saying they now have x NOK to give on a charity of their choosing. Then it presents some interesting recommendations and encourage them to look more into them if they want to. When they have decided they have to write it down on an accompanying empty (but postaged) card addressed to me and when I get the card after Christmas I will donate the money.

Have somebody else though of something similar? Do you have any ideas that could make it more interesting or better in any way?

4Joey7yI would also recommend running a Christmas Fundraiser (Basically asking for donations instead of gifts during Christmas). [] I will post a longer description + guide on how to set this up on a main thread early December.
3RyanCarey7yThat could be interesting. You could count the numbers with tracking URLs. You could even get a group of effective altruists to run a similar giving game using the same tracking URLs so that everyone can (anonymously) see how many people have voted for the same or different charity from you. This could be a pretty cool project I think.
Open Thread 4

We are planning to do a survey of a representative selection of students at NTNU, our university in Trondheim, Norway. There are about 23 000 students across a few campuses. We want to measure the students':

  • ... basic knowledge of global development, aid and health (like Hans Rosling's usual questions)

  • ... current willingness and habits of giving (How much? To what? Why?)

  • ... estimates of what they will give in the future, that is after graduating

And of course background information.

We think we may use this survey for multiple ends. Our initial motiv... (read more)

3Gregory_Lewis7yPer Bernadette, getting good data from these sorts of project requires significant expertise (if your university is as bad as mine, you can get student media attention for attention-grabbing but methodologically suspect survey data, but I doubt you would get much more). I'm reluctant to offer advice beyond 'find an expert'. But I will add a collection of problems that surveys run by amateurs fall into as pitfalls to avoid, and further to provide further evidence why expertise is imperative. 1: Plan more, trial less A lot of emphasis in EA is on trialling things instead of spending a lot of time planning them: lean startups, no plan survives first contact, VoI etc. But lean trial design hasn't taken off in the way lean start-ups have. Your data can be poisoned to the point of being useless in innumerable ways, and (usually) little can be done about this post-hoc: many problems revealed in analysis could only have been fixed in original design. 1a: Especially plan analysis Gathering data and then analysing it always suspect: one can wonder whether the investigators have massaged the analysis to satisfy their own preconceptions or prejudices. The usual means to avoiding it is specifying the analysis you will perform: the analysis might be ill-conceived, but at least it won't be data-dredging. It is hard to plan in advance what sort of hypotheses the data would inspire you to inspect, so seek expert help. 2: Care about sampling With 'true' random sampling, the errors in your estimates fall as your sample size increases. The problem with bias/directional error is that its magnitude doesn't change with your sample size. Perfect probabilistic sampling is probably a platonic ideal - especially with voluntary surveys, the factors that make someone take the survey will probably change the sample from the population of interest along axis that aren't perfectly orthogonal to your responses. It remains an ideal worth striving for: significant sampling bias makes your resu
1Tom_Ash7ySounds like an interesting project Jorgen! It sounds like you already have a good plan, so my main survey-running tip would be to keep it short, and break it out into multiple pages if it reaches sufficient length so people don't have to complete the whole thing. We used LimeSurvey for the EA survey, which is a pretty nice piece of software - I'd be happy to answer any questions on that if you want to message me.
2Amanda_Jane7yI think a key challenge with this is how you intend to select your sample, so as to be truly representative. Getting interested students will select a certain type of participant; so will offering a payment. Could you get the University on board with distributing your survey via email to random student numbers, for example? Your results will only be powerful (and useful) if you can ensure random selection of participants.
Introduce Yourself

Yes, are hoping to have him over spring of 2015. The plan is to book the student hall (about 800 seats) at the weekly mass meetings. His excellent videos online is quite known at the university, so I think we will have good chances of a high turn up!

Introduce Yourself

Hi! I'm Jørgen (or George for English speakers who find the ø difficult) and I study industrial engineering at the Norwegian University for Technology and Natural Sciences (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway.

About 9 months ago I gathered a few classmates and we founded [Effektiv Altruisme NTNU] ( as the first EA organisation in Norway. In just these few months we have had great success in building the organisation, networking and planning our [launch event] ( this Thursday. We have already third mos... (read more)

2Michelle_Hutchinson7yYou're having Hans Rosling come speak? Jealous!
0RyanCarey7yThanks for visiting the EA forum, Jorgen - great to have you here. Hans does a lot of great work and is excellent to have as a contact!