All of Luke Eure's Comments + Replies

Pestering embassies to reduce non-policy barriers to movement

Thank you so much! Let me write to Kneedler. May do a FOIA request later too

Pestering embassies to reduce non-policy barriers to movement

Absolutely, it's a lose-lose, unforced error.


For channels see my comment to Guy Raveh with what I've done so far!

Pestering embassies to reduce non-policy barriers to movement

Thanks! See my comment to Guy Raveh with what I've done so far!

Pestering embassies to reduce non-policy barriers to movement

Agreed - would love more work visas! Way more impactful. Would love lots more people to work on that as well.

So far what I have done:

  • 3 months ago, talked to a couple friends at the embassy (peers, not super high up)  to understand what the root issue is. They basically said it is a staffing issue, and my sense is that it isn't a high priority. When other mutual friends have asked how to get a visa. In at least one case, when another mutual friend asked, an embassy friend gave tips on how to do the expedited process. You wouldn't get these tips if you
... (read more)
2Guy Raveh1mo
Wow, this is a lot of work! It's so far out of my skillset so I can't give you direct advice. But what I would be interested in seeing some time from now (maybe 2-3 months, or when you feel you've frustrated the options for communication) is a post-mortem, detailing which of these steps did/didn't pan out and why, what the final results were, and how you would replicate this with other embassies (if you got any results). As an Israeli I'd be interested in doing this for any country, but I reckon US embassies are good enough to start with.
Snowball Fund - A Low-Cost, Low-Risk, and High-Upside Experiment

Love this idea! Excited to see this go into action. If the fund gets high returns I think it would be great to have a large pool of funds under control of a broader base of EAs (assuming a lot of EAs contribute to the fund). And I think the brand building getting EA in direct contact with early stage entrepreneurs (and in front of the eyeballs of everyone reading eg TechCrunch and seeing EA Snowball fund listed as a funder) could be powerful.

Biggest concern in my mind is that this becomes a low tier VC - establishing it as a “premium” brand that founders ... (read more)

For vegetarians: Is there plausibly a kind of fish farm that would make eating fish ethical?

Ah the elasticities is a good point! And the suffering of the smaller fish is also important. 


Elasticities is super interesting because something else I was considering was "would I be willing to work for a company like this". The elasticity is relevant in a pretty different way when I'm asking "should I eat this fish" vs. "should I work to expand the reach of this company that I think on balance treats fish well." There could be a scenario where I'm willing to work for the company but still not eat fish (that world is not this world though - I'm not convinced they treat fish that well)

For vegetarians: Is there plausibly a kind of fish farm that would make eating fish ethical?

Yeah this uncertainty with regards to fish experience makes this really hard. I suppose this raises the bar in terms of what I would need to eat fish. We need to understand fish welfare better (for a given species) before we can confidently mitigate harm, likely erring on the side of not promoting fish farming until we’re confident we understand fish welfare for the given species of fish.

For vegetarians: Is there plausibly a kind of fish farm that would make eating fish ethical?

Thanks for sharing! I haven't heard many (any?) people express this view so good to hear!

For vegetarians: Is there plausibly a kind of fish farm that would make eating fish ethical?

Nope, nothing unique to fish! I think it's also useful to think about this for other decisions, such as not eating beef, or not buying clothes made with child labor. I'm just most interested in fish specifically, because I've had a hard time finding as much discussion on fish farming vs other types of meat

Thanks for the SSC post - I'll check it out!

College Public Service Pipeline

Very clear, thank you! Out of curiosity, what type of achievable and potentially-leading-to-high-impact roles are you going to try to push people towards? If you have stuff online somewhere I can look at that so you don't have to type out an answer.


Best of luck with this!

2Mason Quintero7mo
We're still trying to figure out exactly what roles we want to center which is part of why I wrote here. We've mostly figured out the suggestions we're going to make to the school in terms of trying to generally change the culture. Part of it will be brining nonprofits and NGOs on to campus the same way we do banks and consulting firms. I will say that part of the issue is non profits and NGOs not doing a good job of advertising internships and entry-level jobs whereas everyone can easily find out how the recruiting cycles work for finance and consulting. We don't have anything published yet but we're going to be publishing op-eds and an open letter in the next 6 weeks and I'll definitely make another post/ respond here with it.
Don’t wait – there’s plenty more need and opportunity today

 Very late response, thank you for catching this!

As GiveWell says in their post, "Because money is fungible, many gifts will effectively take the place of money that Open Philanthropy would have granted this year." If the result of me giving $1 is that the same amount of money goes to a top charity, and Open Phil gets to keep $1 extra, then Givewell hasn't disbursed the marginal dollar I've donated - they've rolled it over.

Disclosure I still did donate the same amount to GiveWell last year as I otherwise would have - this did just make me consider oth... (read more)

I think our disagreement may just be semantic, though I also have an intuition that something is problematic with your framing (thought it's also hard for me to put my finger on what exactly I don't like about it). From the link in my previous comment, GiveWell writes: "Our expectation is that we’ll only be rolling over [part of] Open Philanthropy's donation, and we will direct other donor funds on the same schedule we have followed in the past." I chose to accept GiveWell's framing of things (i.e. that your donation will not be rolled over), but your framing (in which your donation is rolled over) may be equally valid as long as you simultaneously claim that GiveWell will role over a smaller portion of Open Phil's donation than GiveWell claims it will rollover (smaller by the amount of your donation). Then again, your framing has the issue that if every individual donor who was still considering donating made your claim that GiveWell would roll over their donation, then this would have been false since the sum of individual's donations was expected to be more than the amount that GiveWell intended to rollover. Maybe this wasn't actually an issue though given that it was highly unlikely that GiveWell's communications about rollovers would have caused individuals to donate $110M (the amount GiveWell expected to rollover) less than GiveWell originally forecasted they would.
College Public Service Pipeline

This sounds great! I don't have any solutions, but a related issue I wonder about (as someone who went into consulting after undergrad): Does public service have the same or similar learning opportunities and exit opportunities as finance consulting? Being EA-minded in college, I did not perceive public service as having either of these strongly. So this is either a strike against people in public service, or a matter of bad marketing

1Mason Quintero7mo
I think it's more a matter of bad marketing more than anything. There are definitely prestigious public service opportunities but part of it is also that many schools make consulting/ finance the default option.
"Public service" is obviously a huge and diverse category, but my strong impression is that many public interest jobs (including at the entry level) offer substantially better exit opportunities within public service than nearly any management consulting gig (and I think this is true to an even greater extent if the comparison is with entry-level roles at investment banks or hedge funds). The problem, I think, is that at least in the U.S., there are very few public interest jobs that are 1) entry-level, 2) open to generalists without prior experience in some very specific area, 3) involve the kind of "substantive" responsibilities that would make them comparable "learning opportunities" to the positions available in consulting and finance, and 4) are at least in the vicinity of moderately high-impact work (very broadly construed). And the positions that do exist that meet these criteria are, of course, extraordinarily hard to get. Basically, I don't think the issue is actually that trying to enter public service straight out of college is a bad career move. I think it's often quite a good career move, and I definitely think more people should do it, but I think a big part of the reason more people don't is that it's a very risky thing to commit to as an undergraduate (compared to the options available in the private sector). Conditional on, e.g., actually managing to land a position doing the kind of work you want to do within an executive agency, though, I think the public servant is probably better-positioned for impact (including over a multi-decade time horizon) than the management consultant or the investment banker.
Don’t wait – there’s plenty more need and opportunity today

"I assume that the crux here is that GiveDirectly believes that spending more money now would have a good publicity effect, that would promote philanthropy and raise the total amount of donations overall.
I would change my mind if this was the case, but I don't see this as obvious."


I'm not entirely sure what the answer is here either, but one thought I had today was "I should make a Facebook post for Thanksgiving/Christmas telling my friends why I think it's so important to donate to GiveWell - your marginal donation can save a life for $3-5k! Ah, but... (read more)

That's incorrect; GiveWell will in fact disburse the marginal dollar you donate this year. The only donation GiveWell doesn't expect to disburse this year is part of Open Philanthropy's donation []. I'm curious how you got the impression that GiveWell won't disburse donations other individuals donate to GiveWell this year? Was it from GiveWell's communications or from this GiveDirectly post or other content you've read (e.g. on the EA Forum)?
Don’t wait – there’s plenty more need and opportunity today

I'm not GiveDirectly, but in my view. It does make sense for GiveWell to deprioritise doing a more in-depth evaluation of GiveDirectly given resource constraints. However, when GiveWell repeatedly says in current research that certain interventions are or "5-8x cash", I think it would be helpful for them to make it more clear that it might be only "2-4x cash" - they just haven't had the time to re-evaluate the cash

A Red-Team Against the Impact of Small Donations

That’s helpful thank you! I think the mode is more “I’m going to give OpenPhil more money”. It only becomes “I’m going to give Dustin more money” if it’s true that Dustin adjusts his donations to OpenPhil every year based on how much OpenPhil disburses, such that funging OpenPhil = funging Dustin

But in any case I’d say most EAs are probably optimistic that these organizations and individuals will continue to be altruistic and will continue to have values we agree with.

And in any any case, I strongly agree that we should be more entrepreneurial

A Red-Team Against the Impact of Small Donations

Thanks for the great post (and for your great writing in general)! It mostly makes a ton of sense to me, though I am a bit confused on this point:

"If Benjamin's view is that EA foundations are research bottlenecked rather than funding bottlenecked, small donations don't "free up" more funding in an impact-relevant way."

EA foundations might be research bottlenecked now, but funding bottlenecked in the future. So if I donate $1 that displaces a donation that OpenPhil would have made, then OpenPhil has $1 more to donate to an effective cause in the future whe... (read more)

2Jonas Vollmer9mo
Strong upvote, I think the "GiveDirectly of longtermism" is investing* the money and deploying it to CEPI-like (but more impactful) opportunities later on. * Donors should invest it in ways that return ≥15% annually (and plausibly 30-100% on smaller amounts, with current crypto arbitrage opportunities). If you don't know how to do this yourself, funging with a large EA donor may achieve this. (Made a minor edit)
Hey, thanks. That's a good point. I think it depends partially on how confident you are that Dustin Moskovitz will give away all his money, and how altruistic you are. Moskovitz seems great, I think he's pledged to give away "more than half" his wealth in his lifetime (though I current find a good citation, it might be much higher). My sense is that some other extremely generous billionaires (Gates/Buffet) also made pledges, and it doesn't currently seem like they're on track. Or maybe they do give away all their money, but it's just held by the foundation, not actually dolled out to causes. And then you have to think about how foundations drift over time, and if you think OpenPhil 2121 will have values you still agree with. So maybe you can think of this roughly as: "I'm going to give Dustin Moskovitz more money, and trust that he'll do the right thing with it eventually". I'm not sure how persuasive that feels to people. (Practically, a lot of this hinges on how good the next best alternatives actually are. If smart weirdos you know personally are only 1% as effective as AMF, it's probably still not worth it even if the funding is more directly impactful. Alternatively, GiveDirectly is ~10% as good as GiveWell top charities, and even then I think it's a somewhat hard sell that all my arguments here add up to a 10x reduction in efficacy. But it's not obviously unreasonable either.)
Make a $100 donation into $200 (or more)

Thank you so much for sharing! From the dashboard it looks like they've upped the matching fund to $350K (adding $100K from the original $250K). 

The most important century and the representativeness of EA

No problem, thanks for doing the Q&A and for the suggestions!  Happy if you want to share it with the Hispanic EA community

The most important century and the representativeness of EA

Thank you so much for sharing! Agreed that it's important regardless of if the century is the most important. If you're interested, see my response to Linch above on this.

I watched the Q&A and wrote up notes to it as I was watching - thought I would make them sharable in case anyone else involved in community organising wants to see the main points but doesn't have time to watch! Notes here.

Thanks so much for taking these notes! I've put some suggestions. We normally phrase EA Philippines as EA PH and not EAP, but that's a minor thing. And it's a community building grant I'm on, not a community grant. Could I ask the Hispanic EA community to even link to your notes in the YouTube video's description? That might help people find it. Another thing I would have liked for the video was there to be timestamps to certain questions/topics, so people wondering what my answers were can view those. But anyway I think these notes work too.
The most important century and the representativeness of EA

Ah yes that sounds super relevant!

Unfortunately the paper is behind a paywall and I'm not a student. And while it might be fine from an individual morality basis to pay for philosophy papers I object to the academic journal system that requires it, so I can't in good conscience shell out $45 to read it ;)

Thanks for sharing though!

[And thanks for the handy stats]

2Ben Stewart10mo
No worries, and although I'm a little unsure if it is against forum rules or whatever, this might be helpful: []
The most important century and the representativeness of EA

Ah good distinction! Agree I was not clear on that in my post (and to be honest, my thinking on it wasn't very clear either before you pointed out this distinction).

In part I am arguing for proposition 2. If it is the most important century, all long-term causes become more important relative to near-term causes. So at the very least, if it is the most important century, raising the representativeness of EA increases in importance relative to e.g., distributing bednets (1).

But what I'm really arguing for,  is that representativeness is more important ... (read more)