Watching it yet again, I think it would feel more right if the guy where not so easily convinced, but instead it ended with him, being "hm, that sounds promising, I'm going to learn some more".
Both the puppet really felt like real people with actual personalty to me, up until t=1:57. But then the guy just complexly changes his mind which broke my suspense of disbelief. I think that's the point when mostly started to sound like "yet another commercial".
The format of the video is basically: "Do you worry about these things, then we have the solution." Integrated with some back and forth, that I really like.
"Do you worry about these things, then we have the solution." is a standard panther in commercials, for a good reason. I think this is a good panther also for selling idea ideas like EA. But it also means that you can just say you understand my concerns and that you have solutions, you have to give me some evidence, or else is is just another empty commercial.
The person singing about their doubts felt relatable, in that they brought up real concerns about charity that I could imagine having before EA. I don't remember exactly but these seemed like standard and very reasonable concerns. And got the impression that you (the video maker) really understand "my" (the viewers) worries about giving to charity.
But when you where singing about the solutions you fall a bit short. I don't think this video would win the trust of an alternative Linda, that your suggestions for charity is actually better. I think it would help to put in some argument why treatable decides, and how to lift the barriers you mention.
Every charity says they are special, so just it don't count for much. But if you give me some arguments that I can understand for why your way is better, then that is evidence that you're onto something, and I might go and check it out some more.
All that said, I re-wathced the video, and I like it even more now. The energy and the mood shifts are amazing.
On re-watching I also feel that a viewer should be able to easily figure out the connection between focusing on deceases and avoiding building dependency. But I remember that first time I watched is it felt like there where a major step missing link there. I think it is now when I know what they will say, this gives me some more time to reflect and make those connections myself.
But people seeing this on the internet might only watch once, so...
I very much enjoyed the video. But I don't think it would have been able to change my mind in some alternative reality where I didn't already know about EA.
Some more additions:
I) I found out what happened to impactpurchase.org
Paul Christiano (from privet email, with the permission to quote):
Basically just a lack of time, and a desire to focus on my core projects. I'd be supportive of other people making impact purchases or similar efforts work, I hope our foray into the space doesn't discourage anyone.
II) Justin Shovelain told me (and gave me permission to share this information) that he would probably have focused more on Coronavirus stuff early on, if he though there where a way to get paid for this work.
This is another type of situation where grants are too slow.
I have changed my mind quite a bit since writing this blogpost. The updates are coming from the discussions with you in the comments, so thanks for everyone discussing with me.
Everything in this comment are still work in progress. I'll write something more formal and well though through later, when I have a more stable opinion. But my views have already change enough so that I wanted to add this update.
What I actually want there to be is some sort of trust based funding. If I proven my self enough (e.g. by doing good work) then I get money, and no questions asked. The reason I want this is becasue of flexibility (see main post).
Giving away money = Giving away power
Impact perches has the neat structure that if I done X amount of good I get X amount worth of trust (i.e. money). This seems to be the exact right amount, because it is the most you can give away and still be protected from exploitation. If someone who are not aligned with the goal of the funder tires to use impact purchase as a money pump, they still have to do an amount of good equal to the payout they want.
A project to project lifestyle doesn't seem conducive to focusing on impact.
We actually know this form an other field. In most of academia, the law of the land is publish or perish. Someone living of impact purchases will face a similar situation, and it is not good, at least not in the long run.
I think the high impact projects are often very risky, and will most likely have low impact.
To the extent that this is true, impact purchase will not work.
In theory we could have impact investors, who funds a risky project and earn money by selling the impact of the few projects which impact reached the stars (literally and/or figuratively). But this requires an other layer which may or may not happen in reality (probably won't happen). Also, from the perspective of the applicant, how is this any different from applying for a grant? So what have we gained?
If not impact purchase, then what?
I still would like to solve the problem of inflexibility that grants have. An actually I think the solutions already exist (to some extent).
1) Get a paid job, with high autonomy.
2) Start an organisation and fundraise. I did not think of this until now, but when orgs fundraise, they typically don't present a plan for what they will do with the money. They mainly point towards what they have done so far, and ask for continued trust.
3) ...? I'd be very interested in other suggestions. I would not be surprised if there are other obvious things I have missed.
There are also other solutions that don't exist yet (or not very much) in EA, but could be implement by any institution or person with spare money:
a) "Trusted person"-job: A generic employment you offer to anyone who you like to keep up the good work, or something like that.
b) Support people on Ko-fi or Patreon, or similar, and generally encourage this behaviour from others too. (I know this is happening already, but not enough for people to make a living.)
I'm ok with hit based impact. I just disagree about events.
I think you are correct about this for some work, but not for others. Things like operations and personal assistant are multipliers, which can consistently increase the productivity of those who are served.
Events that are focused on sharing information and networking fall in this category. People in a small field will get to know each other and each others work eventually, but if there are more events it will happen sooner, which I model as an incremental improvement.
But some other events feels much more hits based not that I think of it. Anything focused on getting people started (e.g. helping them choose the right career) or events focused on ideation.
But there are other types of event that are more hit based, and I notice that I'm less interested in doing them. This is interesting. Because these events also differ in other ways, there are alternative explanations. But seems worth looking at.
Thanks for providing the links, I should read them.
(Of course everything relating to X-risk is all or nothing in therms of impact, but we can't measure and reward that until it does not matter anyway. Therefore in terms of AI Safety I would measure success in terms of research output, which can be shifted incrementally.)
It can't take more that ~50 events for every AI Safety researcher to get to know each other.
And key ideas are not seeded at a single point in time, it is something that comes together from lots of reading and talking.
There is not *the one event* that made the different and all the others where practically useless. That's not how research work. Sure there are randomness and some meetings are more important than others.
But if it took on average 50 000 events for one such a key introduction to happen, then we might as well give up on having events. Or find a better way to do it. Otherwise we are just wasting everyone's time.
100 000 AI Safety Events?
Like 100 000 individual events?
There is a typo here right?
I'm confused by this response. I answered all of this in the blogpost. Did I fail to communicate? I am not saying that you have to agree, but if you read what I wrote and still don't understand why *I* think some times paying after a project is a good idea, that is confusing to me, and I would like to understand better what part of the blogpost you found confusing.
I guess this would be a key point where we differ. I haven't thought deeply about this, but my intuition would be that adjustments would greatly improve impact. For example, a small project extremely competently implemented and a big project poorly implemented might have the exact same impact, but the former would be a stronger signal.
In this case, the competent person can just do more great small projects and get more money.