I'm a contact person for the effective altruism community: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/hYh6jKBsKXH8mWwtc/a-contact-person-for-the-ea-community

Please feel free to contact me at julia.wise@centreforeffectivealtruism.org.

I work at CEA as a community liaison, trying to make the EA community stronger and more welcoming. I'm also the president of Giving What We Can, which is a project of CEA. I serve on the board of GiveWell.

Besides effective altruism, I'm interested in folk dance and trying to keep up with my two young children.

Julia_Wise's Comments

Finding equilibrium in a difficult time

An update after about a month at home - I think I was overly optimistic about some of this! I've definitely spent less time than planned watching concerts and more time working out how to procure ice cream. If meditation and such is working for you, great! But no shame if you're like the rest of us and not exactly living up to your lockdown ideals. 

What fraction of posts submitted on the Effective Altruism Facebook group gets accepted by the admins?

(I'm one of the moderators of that group.) I don't think we've tracked the exact numbers, but I estimate that we approve about half of posts. Some others we refer to other groups for specific topics - for example we're referring most coronavirus posts to the coronavirus group right now. We reject some posts that aren't relevant enough or that don't meet the bar for what we think readers will find useful or interesting, which we recognize isn't a firm category. 

Because we have two moderators vote on each post, it can take us a few days to process a post - sorry for the delay.

US Non-Profit? Get Free* Money From the Gov on 3 Apr!

I think there's a difference between "are you affected by economic uncertainty" - which probably applies to all nonprofits right now - and "are you about to lay off staff or not be able to pay them." The fact that loan forgiveness goes to organizations that have not laid anyone off within 8 weeks implies to me that it's intended for organizations that would otherwise lay off staff or be unable to pay them within that timeframe, and I think most EA orgs have more than 8 weeks of runway.

The updated version of the post is clearer, though!

Finding equilibrium in a difficult time

I mean, credit goes to Lewis, and to Harry Peto for linking to it in another EA discussion group!

Advice for getting the most out of one-on-ones

The EA Global organizers have been emphasizing to more experienced participants (like staff at EA organizations) that this is their chance to do some mentorship and help newer people with their projects and careers. I'd hope that most experienced EAs at a conference are there with that mindset. I'm grateful to the people who gave me advice and pointed me to resources when I was starting out, and I'm happy to have such meetings with other EAs if I can be useful to them. 

Personally, what I like to see in a meeting invite is a specific topic or several topics the person wants to talk about, rather than a vague interest in talking in general. Even if it's sensitive enough that they don't spell out exactly what they want to talk about, I want to know that they do have something specific in mind.

COVID-19 brief for friends and family

I second the "wash your hands and stay home if you're sick" message, but not the "this is other people's problem" vibe. The population most at risk, older and immunocompromised people, does include some EAs, and definitely includes friends and family of EAs. If the situation swamps the capacity of hospitals, then it will be a problem for anyone who needs a hospital. If schools and daycares close, then it will be a problem for children and anyone with children. If borders close, it's a problem for anyone who needs to go somewhere. If workplaces close, it's a problem for people who need to work in person and won't get paid.

I agree that some forms of reaction aren't helpful, but the epidemic is in fact a problem that affects an awful lot of people. It's worth figuring out not just if we can reduce harm to ourselves but also if we can protect others we might infect, and if we can prevent the spread of an illness that will incapacitate a lot of systems we all depend on.

Shoot Your Shot

I try to keep this list of EA syllabi up to date. Please do check out the materials from other classes, and let me know if you have a reading list or similar you'd like me to add!

How do you feel about the main EA facebook group?

The Facebook group has nearly 18,000 members, most of whom are new to EA. If you remember it being different in 2015, it was. But it also had a third as many people.

Who should give sperm/eggs?

I think discussion of this typically doesn't acknowledge that it's actually not an option for most people. Your age, test scores, weight, height, attractiveness, ethnicity, and personal and family medical and mental health history all have to be what the agency wants. Most people I know who've considered this option have not made it past the screening. Even if you're donating for a friend or family member, their clinic may not approve you e.g. if you've experienced mental health problems.

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