Kris Chari

13Joined Sep 2021


Thanks for writing this post, and I agree with a lot of it! Regarding the point about poor feedback loops, could the signals below be evidence that things are going well?

  • Members take ideas seriously and seem to care deeply about improving the world.
  • Members engage in thoughtful cause prioritization and try to resolve their philosophical uncertainties.
  • Members learn about problems they find most important.
  • Members skill-up so they're each better able to contribute to the problem they want to work on.
  • Members start new projects, work with EA orgs (e.g. summer internship), and/or get mentorship from people who've been working on the same problem for longer.

Fully agree! Our university group uses a virtual assistant for ~20 hours/month, which saves us ~10 hours/month (it does take some time to explain stuff, and our assistant takes slightly longer to do the same tasks). I expect our time savings to increase substantially when classes resume and our group is a lot more active.

For people who travel frequently, a lot of the travel experience can be optimized.

  • I haven't tried this but I know others who prefer sitting in the first class coach on trains. It can cost as little as £10 extra for Paddington-Oxford, and it helps them get enough elbow/laptop space to be productive.
  • Paying for wifi on flights is such an awesome deal. I can be productive for many hours for just $15-40 depending on the airline and flight duration.
  • Optimizing the airport experience is pretty straightforward. In the US, TSA Precheck and Global Entry cost ~$25/year and save you at least 10 minutes (and often an hour or more at peak times) per trip at security and immigration, respectively.
  • I also try to book flights on the same airline alliance where practical, which helps me accrue status and use business/first class lines and lounges everywhere. I estimate I save at least an hour per trip through a busy airport as a result, since I can arrive at the airport later, go from check-in to lounge/gate in 5 mins instead of 45, not wait for my boarding group, etc..
  • Depending on how much you value your time, it might be worth it to switch cabins on flights. Moving from economy to premium economy / business at check-in often costs £100/£600, respectively, for a 10+ hour flight. I know people who value their time at >£150 per hour, and the productivity gains from sleeping well on their flight would make this tradeoff worth it. You can also use credit card points for this.
  • I've tried traveling using running shoes vs other footwear. I estimate I walk at least 20% faster with running shoes on than with boots or walking shoes, based on the number of people I pass up and based on how much I beat Google Maps walking time estimates by.

If you or anyone else is interested in trying some rare Chinese tofus and are in London, I can take you on a tour.

The best tofu tours are by George, of course, but in his absence I try to get the same rare tofus and provide some (small) fraction of the context he does when he leads tofu tours.