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.


Deliberate Consumption of Emotional Content to Increase Altruistic Motivation

The novel "A Thousand Splendid Suns" was an example of this for me - depicting how people could have meaningful lives and happiness despite terrible circumstances, which I found really unintuitive beforehand. (I'm wary of generalizing from fictional evidence but it seems not totally crazy to treat this as a window on what other people can at least imagine experiencing.)

How have you become more (or less) engaged with EA in the last year?

An example I remember from a non-EA, mostly male meetup:

Man, striking up conversation with new woman attendee: "So, are you actually interested in [topic of the meetup] or did someone drag you here?" When I objected, he said, "It's just that most of the women who come here are dragged by someone else." That might have been true, but it sure wasn't what I'd want to hear as a new attendee.

It might be a mistake people are more likely to make if they think explicitly about Bayesianism. "I have some data on what people like you are like; let me tell you my prior." But one point of a meetup is to encounter people as individuals. If I understand Bayesian terms right, it's about gathering data to inform your posteriors - what is this specific person actually like?

In some cases it's not a bad idea to let your priors drive conversation - if I meet someone who's a biology student, I might guess they're interested in topic X. But in other cases it's just insulting.

Some extremely rough research on giving and happiness

At first I thought it at least indicates that people got as much satisfaction from donation as from whatever else they might have done with the money (since it's controlled for income but not income minus donations). But the median donation is $150 so not enough to make much difference in a yearly budget.

Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident

Sorry, didn't mean to imply that you intended this - just wanted to be sure there wasn't a misunderstanding.

You have more than one goal, and that's fine

The "real communities" I've been part of are mostly longer-established, intergenerational ones. I think starting a community with almost entirely 20-somethings is a hard place to start from. Of course most communities started like that, but not all of them make it to being intergenerational.

Are we underutilizing grassroots-style political advocacy?

We basically lost momentum, and the group member with professional lobbying experience moved away.

Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident

there was also one very explicit threat made to the organizers at EA Munich, at least if I remember correctly, of an organization removing their official affiliation with them if they were to host Hanson.

If I were reading this and didn't know the facts, I would assume the organization you're referring to might be CEA. I want to make clear that CEA didn't threaten EA Munich in any way. I was the one who advised them when they said they were thinking of canceling the event, and I told them I could see either decision being reasonable. CEA absolutely would not have penalized them for continuing with the event if that's how they had decided.

You have more than one goal, and that's fine

I feel that my folk dance community is a pretty solidly real one - people help each other move, etc. The duration is reassuring to me - the community has been in roughly its current form since the 1970s, so folk dancers my age are attending each other's weddings and baby showers but we eventually expect to attend each other's funerals. But I agree that a lot of community institutions aren't that solid.

Shifts in subjective well-being scales?

A friend of mine described this happening between high school and university - he felt his life was pretty good in high school, and in university he thought "oh wow, there are so many options out here in adult life, my life could be way better than I thought."

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