2454 karmaJoined Sep 2014


There are so many different bags and brands available that you should specify more constraints if you want more personalized recommendations. Vegan is not too hard to satisfy - most luggage that's vegan won't necessarily mention it, you just have to look in the description for animal products to avoid (leather / suede mostly).

For me personally, my main carry is a Tom Bihn Techonaut 30 - it's big enough to carry 5+ days of clothing and my laptop and other gear without needing another bag, but lightweight enough that when I need more space, I am happy to carry it as just a small backpack alongside my Travelpro Maxlite 5.

I also like the /r/onebag subreddit.

(My personal opinion, not EV's:)

EV is winding down and being on this board is quite a lot of work. This makes it very hard to recruit for! The positive flip side though of the fact of the wind-down means that the cultural leadership we are doing is a bit less impactful than it was say a year or two ago.

When we faced the decision of whether to keep searching or accept the candidates in front of us, I considered many factors but eventually agreed that it was ok to prioritize allowing the existing board members to leave (which they couldn't do until we found replacements), even if the new folks were not ideal in every conceivable way. I wished we had a better gender balance too, but ultimately since projects are spinning out, it's going to be much more on those individual projects and less on EV central to figure that out!

(I'm very excited about our new trustees despite this!)

I would like to point out that this is one of those things where n=1 is enough to improve people's lives (e.g., the placebo effect works in your favor), in the same way that I can improve my life by taking a weird supplement that isn't scientifically known to work but helps me when I take it.

For what it's worth, my life did seem to start going better (I started to feel more in touch with my emotional side) after becoming vegan.

While I broadly agree with Rocky's list I want to push back a little vs. your points:

Re your (2): I've found that small entities are in a constant struggle for survival, and must move fast and focus on the most important problems unique to their ability to make a difference in the world. Small-seeming requirements like "new hires have to find their own housing" can easily make the difference between being able to move quickly vs. slowly on some project that makes or breaks the company. I think for new entities the risks of incurring large costs before you have 'proven yourself' are quite high.

My experience also disagrees with your (1): As my company has grown, we have had many forces naturally pushing in the direction of "more professional": new hires tend to be much more worried about blame about doing things too quick-and-dirty rather than incurring costs on the business in order to do things the buttoned-up way; I've stepped in more often to accept a risk rather than to prevent one although I certainly do both!

(Side note: as a potential counterpoint to the above, I do note that Alameda/FTX was clearly well below professional standards at >200 employees - my assumption is that Sam/execs were constantly stepping in to keep the culture the way they wanted it. If I learned that somehow most of the 200 employees were pushing in the direction of less professionalism on their own, I would update to agree with you on (1).)

Answer by lincolnqSep 03, 20231

You might want to check out some of Phil Trammell's reports, where he analyzes what he calls time preference (time discount rate) with respect to philanthropy: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NcfTgZsqT9k30ngeQbappYyn-UO4vltjkm64n4or5r4/edit

Congrats on having invented something exciting!

Usually, the best way to get innovative new technology into the hands of beneficiaries quickly is to get a for-profit company to invest with a promise of making money. This can happen via licensing a patent to an existing manufacturer, or creating a whole startup company and raising venture capital, etc.

One of the things such investors want to see is a 'moat': something that this company can do that no other company can easily copy. A patent/exclusive license is a good way to create a moat.

There are some domains like software where simply publishing 'open source' ideas causes those ideas to get used, but for most domains including manufacturing, my default expectation is that new tech is not used unless someone can make money off it. Pharma is a great example - there are tons of vaccines and niche treatments that we don't have manufacturing for, even though we know how, because nobody can make enough money doing it.

I'd be really interested to hear whether you are considering seeing this idea through yourself? It sounds like you're doing a Ph.D; but if you would consider dropping out to work on this as a startup, then I think doing so would be one of the best ways to maximize this idea's chances for success. (In large part because your brain probably contains tons of highly relevant info for making this product work at scale!)

You wrote: "most scientists do patent and keep everything secret within companies" -- but I wonder if this indicates confusion, since usually patents don't keep things secret, they are published. Patents just allow their owner a legal monopoly on technology for a limited time.

Can you get introduced to any food-manufacturing people (ideally folks at bigger companies, in charge of finding + investing in new food products), who you can talk to about your idea, even just to get advice? Or, founders of similar food tech companies who came up with a good idea and had to decide whether to patent it?

I'm a bit confused about this because "getting ambitious slowly" seems like one of those things where you might not be able to successfully fool yourself: once you can conceive that your true goal is to cure cancer, you are already "ambitious"; unless you're really good at fooling yourself, you will immediately view smaller goals as instrumental to the big one. It doesn't work to say I'm going to get ambitious slowly.

What does work is focusing on achievable goals though! Like, I can say I want to cure cancer but then decide to focus on understanding metabolic pathways of the cell, or whatever. I think if you are saying that you need to focus on smaller stuff, then I am 100% in agreement.

I avoid reading, and don't usually respond to, comments on my posts, or replies to my own comments.

The reason is that it's emotionally intense to do so: after posting something on the EA Forum, I avoid checking the forum at all for ~24h or so (for fear of noticing replies in the 'recents' area, or changes in my karma), and after that I mainly skim for people flagging major errors or omissions that need my input to be resolved.

Lizka's You Don't Have to Respond to Every Comment talks about this a bit (and was enormously helpful for me) - I am not strongly averse to posting stuff and having people read it in the abstract - I just don't like the short term emotional swings that come with individual replies to things.

Can you give some evidence/an example for "unable to mentor many of the qualified applicants"?

I think this is a useful question and I'm glad to be discussing this.

I agree with many of your concerns - and would love to see a more culturally-unified EA on the axis of how conscious we are of our own impact - but I also think you're failing to acknowledge something crucial: As much as EA is about altruism, it is also about focus on what's important, and your post doesn't acknowledge this as a potential trade-off for the folks you're discussing.

You'll find a lot of EA folks perceive climate change as a real problem but also perceive marginal carbon costs as not a thing worth focusing on given all the other problems in the world and the fact that carbon is offsetable. You are reading this as a "careless attitude" but I don't think this is a fair characterization. There are real tradeoffs to be made here about how to use marginal attention; they may be offsetting and just not talking about it, or deciding that it's not going to make enough difference in the short run, but regardless I think you have insufficient evidence to conclude that their attitude is wrong.

(I personally offset all my CO2 with Wren and think for at least 5 minutes about each plane flight I decide to take to decide if it is worth it; but have never written about this till now, and would have no reason to bother writing it down.)

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