All of MarisaJurczyk's Comments + Replies

EA Anywhere: A Year in Review

There is! Linked it in the last point now too, thanks!

AMA: We organize EA Anywhere. Ask Us Anything!

Actually in the very early days of EA Anywhere, I toyed with the idea of having a separate student sub-group in part for this purpose (and for university students without EA groups). I dropped it partially for capacity reasons and partially because there didn't seem like much demand for it, but I'd be excited about this being part of our expansion with our new organizer. 

I see EA Anywhere as a good supplement to small groups. While we advertise as "a local group for people without local groups", I think it makes a lot of sense to also work with group ... (read more)

AMA: We organize EA Anywhere. Ask Us Anything!

Agree with Sami's comment below. Virtual events are certainly a good way to get people from more isolated parts of the region engaged, but if 90% of the attendees already know each other from in-person events, that may be even more isolating. I suspect this is fairly easy to mitigate though if the organiser is conscientious about it.

It might be worth connecting them with other virtual communities too. Besides us, there are lots of virtual groups popping up (Giving What  We Can, EA for Christians, EA for Jews, the EA Hispanic group, EA Consulting, Effe... (read more)

Should EAs in the U.S. focus more on federal or local politics?

I started to write a more thorough response to this but realized I was essentially copying Rethink Priorities' post on Ballot Initiatives, which covers a lot of EA causes with high leverage at the local/state level.

Two popular EA causes that I think are missing:

  • Climate change interventions
  • UBI (difficult, but not impossible to enact at the state level in the US because states can't deficit spend. See Alaska as an example)
Running an AMA on the EA Forum

I had similar concerns about our Operations AMA recently. It wasn't wildly popular, but we got 7 questions and I still felt like it was a good use of my time. Several people in the group said they really enjoyed it and would be interested in doing another one, and I liked it enough that I'm planning to do another AMA for one of my other projects as well. 

I'll also mention that it's a (relatively) low-effort way to create content (and get karma, if you care). I often feel like I should post to the Forum more but either don't feel like I have anything w... (read more)

4MichaelA9moYeah, my view is that it takes little time to set up an AMA, and can take very little time if you go for a barebones approach, such that the "may as well just run an AMA and see" bar is fairly low. Personally, I had relatively little engagement with my AMA, which was basically what I expected (as I was focusing on a somewhat niche topic that I'm not a proper expert on). But I still think setting it up made sense ex ante, since it took me little time and there was some chance it wouldn't been more useful. (Also, focusing on Jamie Harris's case specifically, I share Marisa's view that an AMA by Jamie would get a decent amount of engagement.)
2Alex HT9moAgree with Marisa that you'd be well suited to do an AMA
AMA: We Work in Operations at EA-aligned organizations. Ask Us Anything.

How can experienced EA groups best provide organizational support for new/small ones?


I consider myself a new organizer so I don’t have much to add here other than a) one-on-ones, and b) sharing systems etc. that work for you (e.g. for tracking attendance, advertising, workshops). I think every new group is going to have different questions and different needs so I suspect there’s not a one-size-fits-all formula, which is why I think one-on-ones with organizers can be especially helpful, since you can gauge their bottlenecks and help brainstorm solutions.

AMA: We Work in Operations at EA-aligned organizations. Ask Us Anything.

What relatively low-cost things can leadership do, if any, that go far in improving new team members’ (especially volunteers’) morale/engagement/commitment/initiative?


A few things come to mind: 


1) Be an understanding, compassionate human. It sounds easy but I (and I think many others) actually suck at this once you bring important projects with deadlines into the mix. If someone doesn’t do things on time, it’s easy for me to get frustrated with them, but as a student leader I wish I would have reached out to people who were dropping balls and act... (read more)

4Gina_Stuessy9moI recall hearing from Alex Barry at the EA Summit a couple years ago who, at the time, was leading Cambridge EA (iirc) and they had an absolutely incredible rate of engagement from volunteer organizers/members contributing time to the EA group's events and activities. And huge numbers of them. IIRC, he said the key for them was to have one basic requirement: the organizers had to commit to checking and responding to Slack daily. That way, they'd know write away if someone didn't have time to keep working on something, and they'd quickly find someone else to do it.
AMA: We Work in Operations at EA-aligned organizations. Ask Us Anything.

How can EA groups grow their teams and activities while maintaining good team coordination and management?


Short answer: Asana. Long answer: Clearly define everyone’s roles and responsibilities and delegate wherever you can. As you get bigger you’ll probably want to have something like a traditional management structure, where e.g. the President oversees four committees, and each committee is run by one person, rather than one giant executive board. That way the President doesn’t have to keep track of every little thing that’s happening. This works bes... (read more)

AMA: We Work in Operations at EA-aligned organizations. Ask Us Anything.

Fellow group organizer here! (and former uni club leader, though not for an EA group) Honestly I don't think there were that many specific skills I learned from operations that helped me in group organizing, but rather it was the general operations mindset, which to me involves: a) noticing when things aren't running smoothly as they can be (for me this is feels like a special kind of stress, and if I'm not careful, my brain directs the blame towards other people involved in the system rather than the system itself), and b) trying things, whether that be n... (read more)

AMA: We Work in Operations at EA-aligned organizations. Ask Us Anything.

how difficult is it to get a position doing operations work for an EA org, especially if you have some but not tonnes of operations experience? 

For a long time I would discourage people from going into operations unless I (or they) had reason to think they're an especially good fit because I thought it was difficult to get in (mostly based on reading this post, and my assumption that operations roles have looser requirements than other roles, so more people tend to apply).

However, at recent EA conferences I've talked to a lot of people interested in o... (read more)

1Martin Fukui10mo+1. Like Marisa mentioned, some operations individuals get jobs without applying to jobs via the "traditional" route. I started off as a contractor and was promoted to a full-time employee.
AMA: We Work in Operations at EA-aligned organizations. Ask Us Anything.

is there currently a need for more operations people in EA orgs?

I've heard differing opinions on this from different organizations, and I think this is in large part because different organizations have different standards for operations hires. 

For example, an organization that thinks that having an EA-aligned hire is important and is looking for someone with significant nonprofit/operations experience will have a more difficult time filling a role than an organization that's just looking for someone with certain soft skills (e.g. problem solving, lea... (read more)

A Qualitative Analysis of Value Drift in EA

Thanks! I absolutely agree. I don't think that EAs should surround themselves with only EAs in the name of preventing value drift (this seems borderline cult-like to me), but I think having people in one's social circle who care about doing good, regardless of whether in the EA sense or not, seems like a good idea, for the reason you mentioned, and because I think there are things EAs can learn from non-EAs about doing good in the world. 

(Also, non-EAs can make good friends regardless of their ability to contribute to your impact or not. :) )

Careers Questions Open Thread

Agree with these. I'll also throw in Carnegie Mellon's Public Policy and Data Analytics program.

McCourt, Harris, and Heinz (at CMU) are essentially the top three schools offering this track from what I can tell. 

1mrp21yThanks as well. These programs were not on my radar at all, and I appreciate you and HStencil flagging the most prominent ones.
Careers Questions Open Thread

I would definitely look into lobbying as a career route! That seems like a high-impact use of sales skills

Also, if you want to get involved in policy directly (rather than via research), an MPP or MPA might be a better fit for you rather than an MA/PhD. 

Careers Questions Open Thread

(Context: I work in operations at an EA org.)

I think #1 sounds like a good bet. At this point, I get the sense that EA has more aspiring operations and management people than it can handle, so funding organizations so that more qualified people can be employed and make an impact sounds high-impact. Of course that could change in 5+ years, but I wouldn't count on it, and your current role seems like it might lend itself to gaining useful skills for ops anyway. 

#2 isn't bad either if the opportunity comes up, but if you enjoy your work and don't mind earning to give, I think you have a really big opportunity for counterfactual impact in option #1.

What are the most common objections to “multiplier” organizations that raise funds for other effective charities?

For what it’s worth, in my experience at TLYCS it takes a lot more than just a website to move money.

+1 to this. RC Forward wrote a bit about this in our year-in-review in 2019. 

CEA's Plans for 2021

Thanks for the thorough post! I appreciate the transparency CEA has been keeping in its strategy and plans. 

Small question: does EEAs = engaged EAs? Is that defined by a specific metric?

2MaxDalton1yHey Marisa, thanks, I'm glad you appreciated this! Yes, EEAs=highly-engaged EAs (I've now edited this throughout, so that it's a bit less jargon-y). This is a term that we're using internally to refer to people who are taking significant action (e.g. a career plan or a significant giving pledge or similar) based on a detailed understanding of EA ideas.
Long-Term Future Fund: Ask Us Anything!

Good question! Relatedly, are there common characteristics among people/organizations who you think would make promising applicants but often don't apply? Put another way, who would you encourage to apply who likely hasn't considered applying?

6Jonas Vollmer1yAnother one is that people assume we are inflexible in some way (e.g., constrained by maximum grant sizes or fixed application deadlines), but we can often be very flexible in working around those constraints, and have done that in the past.

A common case is people who are just shy to apply for funding. I think a lot of people feel awkward about asking for money. This makes sense in some contexts - asking your friends for cash could have negative consequences! And I think EAs often put additional pressure on themselves: "Am I really the best use of this $X?" But of course as a funder we love to see more applications: it's our job to give out money, and the more applications we have, the better grants we can make.

Another case is people (wrongly) assuming they're not good enough. I think a lot of people underestimate their abilities, especially in this community. So I'd encourage people to just apply, even if you don't think you'll get it.

List of EA-related organisations

This is a really helpful list! I noticed a couple of organizations that I consider EA aligned that should perhaps be on the list:

2JamieGittins1yThank you for this! I won't add DMI, since it is currently a GiveWell standout charity rather than a 'top charity' (and my criteria is just to list their top charities, in order to keep this list easier to manage!). I'll add OPIS - that's a great addition!
Things I Learned at the EA Student Summit

Love this post and would love to see more like it on the forum! Congrats on a successful EA Student Summit.

I especially want to emphasize this:

there are so many EAs who would genuinely like to talk to you.

In my experience, EAs are almost always super willing to provide advice to others within the EA movement, often because they're nice people, but also because they get to help you have an impact, which helps them have an impact, so everybody wins!

As a single data point, nothing makes my day more than getting emails from random EAs. :)

What is a book that genuinely changed your life for the better?

I think I've mentioned a few times on the Forum that Strangers Drowning and Doing Good Better have probably been the most influential parts of my EA journey, and I probably wouldn't have been involved in EA without them. Strangers Drowning seemed like a good priming for EA, while Doing Good Better was a pretty compelling intro.

Others, in no particular order:

... (read more)
Progress Open Thread: October // Student Summit 2020

Congrats! Sounds like a great fit for you. :) 

Technology Non-Profits I could volunteer for?

Not an existing nonprofit, but you might also be interested in creating one of the Software Platforms in this post

When setting up a charity, should you employ a lawyer?

Great post! I know a little bit about the US side of things from both watching orgs I've worked with go through the process, and working at a start-up that helped charities get 501(c)(3) status, so I can offer some data points from that perspective.

  • The IRS estimates that the DIY method would take 100+ hours. It's also worth considering that this method is most likely to lead to mistakes, which can lead to having to re-submit the application and delays in processing time.
  • US charity lawyers cost around the same, although there are companies that'll do this f
... (read more)
Yale EA Virtual Fellowship Retrospective - Summer 2020

Great post! I think you're one of the first uni groups I've seen who's particularly selective with their fellowship - I wouldn't have initially agreed with that strategy, but you give convincing reasons for doing so and it sounds like it paid off. :) Congrats on a successful fellowship round!

Some thoughts on EA outreach to high schoolers
I think one of the best things about hearing about EA pre-college is it would let you set up your college plan (e.g., major, internships) in an EA-directed way

To me, this seems like the best case for engaging with high schoolers over college students. I seem to meet a lot of EAs who study something that doesn't correlate well with most high-impact careers and find themselves wishing they'd heard about EA sooner so they could have studied something more practical.

The major questions I have with this are 1) can you actually convince high schoolers ... (read more)

Are there any other pro athlete aspiring EAs?

Matthew Dellavedova is on Momentum's board, and they're an EA-aligned org, so I suspect he might be EA-sympathetic (or at the very least familiar with it).

The community's conception of value drifting is sometimes too narrow

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, and I largely agree with you. I also think studying "pure" value drift (as opposed to "symptoms" of value drift, which is what a lot of the research in this area focuses on, including, to some extent, my own) comes with a few challenges. (Epistemic status: Pretty uncertain and writing this in haste. Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.)

  • EA isn't (supposed to be) dogmatic, and hence doesn't have clearly defined values. We're "effective" and we're "al
... (read more)
1Mati_Roy1yI agree. Community involvement is just instrumental to the goals of EA movement building. I think the outcomes we want to measure are things like career and donations. We also want to measure things that are instrumental to this, but I think we should keep those separated. Related: my comment on "How have you become more (or less) engaged with EA in the last year?" [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/2eEn8BHW69StPgtCi/how-have-you-become-more-or-less-engaged-with-ea-in-the-last]
A curriculum for Effective Altruists

Hmm. On the one hand I think these are all useful topics for an EA to know. But I don't think it's necessary for all EAs to know these things. I think there's a lot of EAs who don't have this technical knowledge, but are happy to outsource decisions relying on this knowledge (such as where to donate) to people who do. That said, I think that often leads to donating less-than-effectively (e.g. giving to whatever EA Fund appeals to you personally, rather than rationally thinking about trade-offs/probabilistic outcomes).

I guess this is, i... (read more)

5EmmaAbele1yI agree with Marisa Rather than a single body of knowledge being a standard education for EAs, I like the fellowship structure that many EA Uni groups use. For me, one of the main goals in running these fellowship to expose students to enough EA ideas and discussions to decide for themselves what knowledge and skills they want to build up in order to do good better. For some people, this will involve economics, statistics, and decision analysis knowledge, but for others, it will look totally different. (For fellowship syllabus examples you can check out this Intro Fellowship I'm running at Brown EA [https://brownea.org/Introductory-Fellowship], and this In-Depth Fellowship run by EA Oxford [https://eaoxford.com/indepthresources]).
Examples of loss of jobs due to Covid in EA

I haven't actually heard of any EA organizations laying off staff due to COVID-19. I wouldn't be surprised if you see very little loss of jobs at EA orgs specifically, or even none at all, over the last couple of months. Most EA organizations seem to have a decent amount of runway, and with a lot of EA donors employed in big tech, which seems to have been relatively stable throughout COVID, there is fortunately still a decent amount of income coming through.

That said, I suspect most of the financial and hence employment impacts of COVID on EA or... (read more)

1agent181yHow long can RC survive without additional funds? What is your typical runway (in months)? Yes, seems highly likely. I will check back around that time. Thank You very very much.
What opportunities are there to use data science in global priorities research?

If you haven't already, I'd reach out directly to GPR organizations and mention that you're interested in applying your skillset to their work. They might be able to provide you with some concrete examples and a better idea of what's available in the field.

I heard in mid-2019 that Open Phil was interviewing EAs to identify common characteristics / background among people are most receptive to EA. I don't think it was published though.

When Planning Your Career, Start Early

Strongly agree with your points, although I also don't think they're mutually exclusive to the content of this post.

I think some of the most value I got out of university (and high school, to be honest) was the ability to try out a bunch of things at once with relative ease. I have a lot of interests that change and come and go rather quickly, and in the university setting, it was strangely easy to get involved in whatever new thing that caught my attention, whether via a course, a club, meetings with a professor, an internship, a volunteer oppor... (read more)

For those working on longtermist projects, how do you stay motivated in the short-term?

I'm afraid I don't have any original recommendations, but have you read the EA Handbook Motivation Series? Nate Soares' 'On Caring' might be particularly relevant.

I was also talking with some other EAs about this recently and one of them mentioned Metta meditation, which is essentially a meditation that focuses on creating an expanding circle of goodwill, which could hypothetically include the long-term future. If meditation is your thing, it might be worth a shot.

Replaceability Concerns and Possible Responses

Great post! Been meaning to comment for a while - better late than never than suppose.

One thing I wanted to add - I've talked with ~50 people who are interested in working at EA orgs over the last six months or so, and it seems like a lot of them come to the decision through process of elimination. Common trends I see:

  • They don't feel well-suited for policy, often because it's too bureaucratic or requires a high level of social skills.
  • They don't feel well-suited for academia, usually because they have less-than-stellar marks or dislike t
... (read more)
Recommendations for increasing empathy?

Came here to recommend Replacing Guilt as well! Was very impactful for me :)

And we'd love to have you at one of our EA Virtual Group meetups! You can join our new Slack workspace here

Should you do a PhD?

Great response - thank you!

What skill-building activities have helped your personal and professional development?

I found the Unlocking Your Employability course on EdX had a lot of useful activities for improving self-marketing. Learning How to Learn on Coursera was also helpful, though it doesn't have as many interactive activities. I've also heard good things about this Creative Problem Solving course, but I haven't had the chance to try it myself.

Lynette Bye's Productivity Tips also has a lot of useful resources for improving personal productivity.

I would also add CFAR as probably the most helpful tool I've gotten for improving productivit... (read more)

Should you do a PhD?

Thanks for this post! I found it quite helpful.

I have a couple of questions about the checklist you linked, though I'm not sure how strongly you endorse it.

First:

Is there a substantial amount of literature in your field?

and

Was there a major discovery in the field in recent years?

seem to be indicators of neglectedness, which might make the topics more appealing to EAs. Do you think these are better pursued outside of academia? Or not at all?

Second:

Do you want a career in academia?

Is there a better option for prospective PhD students who want a career in research outside of academia?

7Linda Linsefors1ySome of the questions of the checklist, I would endorse more as guidelines, or warning signs than as strict rules. Both those questions measure how much you can learn from others in academia. If you can't take advantage of collogues, then going in to academia at all (even if you don't intend to stay) will be lower value. So you might be more productive elsewhere. The first one also says something about how easy/hard it will be to publish and generally get recognised. If you do something non-established, you will have a much harder time. But there are two main reason you might want to step into academia anyway. 1) To influence other academics. (I think this is the main reason FLI chooses to be an academic institution.) 2) To get paid. (In cases where there are no other options.) Lot's of places out side academia does research. Companies, non-profits, think tanks, independent AI Safety researchers with Long Term Future Fund grants. What is the better option depends on what research you want to do. The more abstract the more likely academia is a good choice. The more concrete the more likely it is not. E.g. charity evaluation is a type of research that I don't think would do well in academia (though this is not my field at all, so I might be wrong).
Improving the future by influencing actors' benevolence, intelligence, and power

I found this post really interesting - thank you!

One question I have after reading is the tractability of increasing benevolence, intelligence, and power. I get the sense that increasing benevolence might be the least tractable (though 80,000 Hours seems to think it might still be worth pursuing), though I'm less sure about how intelligence and power compare. (I'm inclined to think intelligence is somewhat more tractable, but I'm highly uncertain about that.)

2MichaelA1yI think that this is a really important question. Relatedly, I'd suggest that the BIP framework is best used in combination with the ITN [https://concepts.effectivealtruism.org/concepts/three-factor-framework-for-focus-area-selection/] framework/heuristic. In particular, I'd want to always ask not just "What does BIP say about how valuable this change in actors' traits would be?", but also "How tractable and neglected is causing that change?" But I think that, when asking that sort of question, I'd want to break things down a bit more than just into the three categories of increasing benevolence vs intelligence vs power. For a start, increasing intelligence and power could sometimes be negative (or at least, that's what this post argues). So we should probably ask about how tractable and neglected good benevolence, intelligence, or power increases are. In the case of intelligence and power, this might require only increasing specific types of intelligence and power, or increasing the intelligence and power of only certain actors. This might reduce the tractability of good intelligence/power increases, potentially making them seem less tractable than benevolence increases, even if just increasing someone's intelligence/power in some way is more tractable. And then there's also the fact that each of those three factors has many different sub-components, and I'd guess that there'd be big differences in the tractability and neglectedness of increasing each sub-component. For example, it seems like work to increase how empathetic and peace-loving people are is far less neglected than work to increase how much people care about the welfare of beings in the long-term future. For another example, I'd guess that it's easier to (a) teach someone a bunch of specific facts that are useful for thinking about what the biggest existential risks are and where they should donate if they want to reduce existential risks, than to (b) make someone better at "critical thinking
Should we think more about EA dating?

Believe it or not, you're not the first person to think about this. There's an EA dating site made years ago called reciprocity.io, although I'm not sure it gets much use anymore.

Some arguments I've seen in favor of this:

  • Dating another EA might prevent value drift.
  • If a relationship with a non-EA goes sour, that person might have a negative association with EA as a result.
  • Having a partner is generally associated with more happiness, which is perhaps intrinsically good, and perhaps good for helping one feel more motivated to do good in th
... (read more)
If a relationship with a non-EA goes sour, that person might have a negative association with EA as a result.

For what it's worth, my guess is that this is a larger concern for dating EAs than for dating non-EAs.

2Evan_Gaensbauer1ySummary: Concerns about apparent or actual cultishness are serious but ought to be worked through in a more rational way than is typical of popular discourse about cults. EA pattern-matches to being a small, niche community on the fringe of mainstream society, which is also a common characteristic and tell of a cult. Yet there is widespread cognitive dissonance in society at large about how social structures involving tens of millions of people also have harmful, cult-like aspects to them as well. It's perhaps the majority of people in even more diverse societies that marry and raise families within their own religion, culture or ethnic group. That many of us in EA are strongly inclined to spend our lives with those who share our own way of life doesn't distinguish as problematic from the rest of society. One could argue that almost all cultures are cult-like and EA should aspire to be(come) a super-rational community free of the social problems plaguing all others. That would seem to me to be molehill mountaineering [https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Molehill_mountaineering] that can be disregarded as vain attempts to impel EA to be(come) quixotically perfect. Regarding 'culty-ness,' I feel like too many subcultures or countercultures play into the hands of the paranoid accusations of a generic and faceless public. Several years ago, when I was both aware of evidence-based definitions of cults and was in extreme disagreement with mainstream societies, I thought accusations of being a cult levelled at movements that weren't unambiguously cults ought to be disregarded. I no longer feel this way, as I now recognize that a degree of cultishness in an organization or community can exist on a spectrum. Ergo, some public accusations of appearing to or actually being a cult ought to be taken very seriously. EA is a small, niche community on the fringes of society. Putting that way may seem to stigmatize EA as pattern-matching to those fringe movements that pose a seriou
2Evan_Gaensbauer1yI appreciate this informative comment. I've got a couple of relevant points to add. 1. As a community coordinator for EA, a few years ago I was aware more in EA were interested in dating others in the community. I shared a link to reciprocity.io around in EA Facebook groups like EA Hangout. This got a few more hundred people to get on reciprocity. I talked to Katja Grace, who originally had the idea. Reciprocity.io was written to support the much smaller Bay Area rationality community, which had the time had over 100 people but not too many more than that. So many in EA getting on reciprocity.io caused it to crash. The code wasn't particularly worth saving and at the time Katja suggested that if someone wanted, it might be better to make a newer, better site from scratch. 2. As far as I'm aware, LGBTQ+ people are significantly overrepresented in the EA community relatve to the background population. I don't know how much of this is determined by feeder communities for EA, i.e., how much the communities people find EA from are themselves disproportionately representative of the LGBTQ+ community. Feeder communities for EA include: * animal advocacy movements * organizations focused on particular causes in the non-profit sector * startup culture * transhumanism * rationality * etc. Caveats: I don't know more specifically than that how the representation for LGBTQ+ folks in EA skews. By representation I mean statistical representation, not representation of LGBTQ+ as identities. Neither am I suggesting that anyone ought to infer anything else about the experiences and status of LGBTQ+ folks in the EA community based just on the fact they're overrepresented in the EA community. I haven't put any thoughts into how this otherwise impacts the gender ratio of the EA community or dating prospects for individual community members therein. I just offer the info in case it inspires others' insights about intra-community dating and relationships.

Another against:

I also find it very helpful to be very close to people who share a lot of core values but are not entirely aligned/identities aren't too similar. You end up with diversity of thought in your own life. Plus, it's a lot better to bounce off and model the general population when you have people near and dear to you who think differently.

2xccf1ySome more considerations: * If you have a bad experience dating EAs, that might cause you to sour on the EA movement. (Personally, after getting rejected by some EAs, part of my brain pointed out "hey you're putting a lot of effort into this EA thing and it doesn't seem to be helping where survival or reproduction are concerned." Since this isn't something I want my brain to think, I no longer ask EAs out.) * There's also the possibility of general awkwardness that could interfere with professional relationships. * For heterosexual dating, replaceability comes into play--assuming 2 men for every woman, and monogamy, if a guy gets an EA girlfriend, there's likely some other guy in the EA movement who isn't getting an EA girlfriend. So if you're a guy, you might want to think hard about whether an EA girlfriend is really something you need.
1anonymoususer1yThanks for your response which seems to have resonated with others. Skewed gender ratio is a difficulty, although it is possible to equalise the number of men and women at singles events by making them ticketed. I am also not taking into account LGBTQ+ here, but in theory you could have LGBTQ+ EA events. It may feel culty and that may well be a valid reason not to pursue it. I do wonder if this will still be a concern when EA has grown further. We tend not to think of vegan events as culty (well I suppose a lot of people do...). Perhaps EA is just a bit too small at this moment in time to make encouraging EA-dating viable, but when it has become more mainstream it may be a natural progression for the movement.
3Rook1yThis is very similar to the comment I was going to make. I admit that it has crossed my mind that even a moderate EA lifestyle is unusually demanding, especially in the longterm, and therefore could make finding a longterm partner more difficult. However, I do resonate with that last bit – encouraging inter-EA dating also seems culty and insular to me, and I’d like to think that most of us could integrate EA (as a project and set of values) into our lives in way that allows us to have other interests, values, friends, and so on (i.e., our lives don’t have to entirely revolve around our EA-esque commitments!). I don’t see why an EA and a non-EA who were romantically compatible couldn’t find comfortable ways to compromise on lifestyle questions – after all, plenty of frugal people find love, and plenty of vegan people find love, whose to say a frugal vegan couldn’t find love?
How should we run the EA Forum Prize?

I'll offer a data point: I'm not particularly motivated to post on the Forum by a monetary prize. It hasn't led me to post on the Forum more than I ordinarily would. I am somewhat interested in social rewards, but the karma feature seems to do that better than the Forum Prize.

Also, as someone who doesn't read every single post on the Forum, I also find the Prize useful for highlighting what content is actually worth reading, but again, I think highlighting posts based on karma instead (with or without a monetary prize) would work just as well.

If the Forum Prize does continue, I do think there should be separate categories for professional researchers and "amateurs."

2Ramiro1yI totally agree with this: On the other hand, I think high-karma posts are already in evidence in the Forum Favorites section.
Advice for getting the most out of one-on-ones

I've found a couple of other useful resources since first posting this:

What are the leading critiques of "longtermism" and related concepts

Not academic or outside of EA, but this Forum comment and this Facebook post may be good starting points if you haven't seen them already.

As an update, I am working on a full post that will excerpt 20 arguments against working to improve the long-term future and/or working to reduce existential risk as well as responses to those arguments. The post itself is currently at 26,000 words and there are six planned comments (one of which will add 10 additional arguments) that together are currently at 11,000 words. There have been various delays in my writing process but I now think that is good because there have been several new and important arguments that have been developed in the past year. My goal is to begin circulating the draft for feedback within three months.

Finding an egg cell donor in the EA community

I have seen a few EAs discuss selling eggs as a way of earning-to-give. If you're not willing to compensate at market rates, getting a donation may be a bit more difficult, but I don't expect it to be impossible.

If I were to look for an egg cell donor, I would probably make some sort of a post or Google Doc outlining exactly the type of person you're looking for, what you'd expect from them, and what you're willing to compensate. Then sharing it on some EA platforms - I imagine you could generate some leads from Bountied Rationalit... (read more)

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1linn1yHi Marisa. Thank you for your suggestions. I am not generally opposed to compensating the donor financially, but it would be important for me that it is not a "starve-or-donate-your-eggs" kind of decision for her. I would like to know that the donor feels some intrinsic motivation to offer this kind of help. So in sum I could see myself buying egg cells in an ETG-like setting. Yes, I will have to check how I can best approach this without violating any laws.
4Denise_Melchin1yYou would need to check the legality of this however - this is illegal in at least a few European countries, including the UK and Germany.
Developing my inner self vs. doing external actions

I don't have much to add aside from what the other two responses have said except that I think it's possible to have opportunities that both develop the inner self and benefit others. I probably wouldn't endorse spending all your time on these activities, but looking out for them and prioritizing them seems like a good decision to me.

I don't think there's a One Right Answer or a one-size-fits-all approach, but I do think that using the comparative advantage framework may be helpful here.

What are some historical examples of people and organizations who've influenced people to do more good?

You're probably right - mostly wondering if someone had more rigorous evidence on this (or ideas on how to get it) or examples beyond the mainstream ones.

Advice for getting the most out of one-on-ones

First: before you schedule any one-on-ones at EAG (or wherever you are), think about what you want to get out of them/the conference in general. This post includes some sample goals to consider. What your goals are will pretty much dictate what one-on-ones will be most valuable for you.

I'm coming at this as someone whose primary goal for EAGs has generally been to clarify my career plans, and secondary goal has been to make more EA friends, so my advice will likely be skewed towards that.

Who should I meet with?

I usually find myself scheduling three ty... (read more)

4MichaelA2yThis seems like great advice to me. This part particularly rings true: I was very surprised with how many "EA celebrities"* were happy to meet with me at EAG, despite me being pretty new to EA and not having much to contribute for them. And they seemed not just begrudgingly willing based on a cost-benefit analysis of the possibility they'd increase my impact, but genuinely enthusiastic about being helpful, asking me about my current plans, etc. So definitely don't be too shy about reaching out to people! *Source: My own strange, nerdy perceptions, rather than language anyone else has used :D
Utilizing global attention during crises for EA causes

I've been thinking about this also so I'm glad to see this post!

Anecdote: I've been talking to friends and family about COVID-19 since late January/February, and started my first attempts at social distancing towards the beginning of March. In these first few days, a lot of my (non-EA) friends seemed to think this response was an overreaction. Later on, a lot of them came around to say, "wow, you were right," which I've tried to use to point some more credibility towards EA.

Some not-fully-formed ideas I have about this:

  • I thin
... (read more)
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