1524 karmaJoined Nov 2014


Thanks for writing this post! I think it's thoughtful and well-reasoned, and I think public criticism of OP (and leading institutions in effective altruism in general) is good and undersupplied, so I feel ike this writeup is commendable. I work at a global health nonprofit funded by OP, so I should say I'm strongly biased against moving lots of the money to animal welfare. 

An argument I've heard in the past (not the point of your post I know) is that because humans (often) eat  factory-farmed animals, expanding human lifespan is net negative from a welfarist perspective (because it increases the net amount of suffering in the world). 1. Is this argument implausible (i.e. is there a good way to disprove it?) and 2. If the argument were true, would it imply OP should not fund global health work at all (or restrict it very seriously)? 

Do you think that if GiveWell hadn't recommended bednets/effective altruists hadn't endorsed bednets it would have led to more investment in vaccine development/gene drives etc.? That doesn't seem intuitive to me.

To me GiveWell fit a particular demand, which was for charitable donations that would have reliably high marginal impact. Or maybe to be more precise, for charitable donations recommended by an entity that made a good faith effort without obvious mistakes to find the highest reliable marginal impact donation. Scientific research does not have that structure since the outcomes are unpredictable. 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point, but the two malaria vaccine that were recently approved (RTS,S and R21/Matrix M) are not mRNA vaccines. They're both protein-based.  

If anyone's interested, 1Day's hosting a brainstorming session this Friday at noon eastern to share information and identify possible tactics for accelerating the R21 rollout. Message me or reply here if you're interested in joining or want to be kept updated.

But then what’s the path to creating a sense of urgency?

I can kind of picture a celebrity fundraiser drawing attention and the money purchasing speed. But I don’t have a great vision of what an advocacy campaign that changes the distribution timeline might look like. I don’t understand the decision-making structure we’d be trying to influence very well though so very open to alternatives.

I wonder if a Hollywood fundraiser for this could be interesting to try (some contacts to try would be Mike Schur, Damon Lindelof, and Mr Beast). If that were attractive, would be good to tie it to a GiveWell estimate if possible.

Agree with this and also with the point below that the EA angle is kind of too complicated to be super compelling for a broad audience. I thought this New Yorker piece's discussion (which involved EA a decent amount in a way I thought was quite fair -- https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2023/10/02/inside-sam-bankman-frieds-family-bubble) might give a sense of magnitude (though the NYer audience is going to be more interested in these sort of nuances than most.

The other factors I think are: 1. to what extent there are vivid new tidbits or revelations in Lewis's book that relate to EA and 2. the drama around Caroline Ellison and other witnesses at trial and the extent to which that is connected to EA; my guess is the drama around the cooperating witnesses will seem very interesting on a human level, though I don't necessarily think that will point towards the effective altruism community specifically.

Yeah I should have clarified that I knew you're not a native speaker and understand why that motivates your argument, but the harm of being exclusionary stems in part because not every reader will know that. (Though I think even if every reader did know that you were a non-native speaker, it still does create a negative effect (via this exclusionary channel) albeit a smaller one).

Also I didn't take your claim to be "investigations should not only take place in cases where their results will be made public." (Which seems to be the implication of your reply above but maybe I'm misunderstanding). I don't think "public exposes are useful" implies that you need to necessarily conduct the work needed for a public expose in cases where you suspect wrongdoing.

Should also say as your friend that I recognize it sucks to be criticized especially when it feels like a group pile-on, and I appreciate your making controversial claims even if I don't agree with them.

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