Exactly. Let's take some time to reflect and update slowly as needed. First I didn't want to engage at all and saw this as a distraction. Now I'm much more up to date and see it as an opportunity to learn useful lessons about EA and myself as a person so deeply connected with this movement.
Bit of a wake up call to focus on priorities and not get distracted by the drama, while taking seriously what is happening and keeping accountability within the movement. It's pretty clear something will need to change. Unclear what exactly it will be. My guess that it will be largely around things that are pretty obvious to people who are involved in the community for some time. Such as not being open enough to outside perspective. Not being careful with spending. Not that much resources flowing outside of the movement to bring talented people in. Not that much effort to bring outside sources of funding in (because of easy money we have access to).
This kind of creates a bubble where everyone can think how good they are without engaging sufficiently with others. Anyway maybe that's not the lesson learned, but just my experience that I now can justify by FTX thingy happening. Still it feels like it gives EAs a permission to question the movement honestly point out core issues they are seeing without feeling like an outcast.
Things are bad now is the official storyline so we can complain without worries, and that will hopefully lead to fixing things. I guess that's what identity crisis is about. And this is very interesting time to be an EA. Because we will know how it was before that FTX thing happened, haha.
I believe the shift will be towards being more professional, humble and responsible. This change might help us to be more friendly and reasonable towards people who were not attracted by the EA movement even though they resonate with core ideas (senior professionals, business people, females, environment or social activists, engaged scientists, etc.)
For me this definitely says I should open myself to outside perspective even more than I was doing before. By this I mean mainly perspectives of people who are in very different bubbles from mine. If they are not trusting EA, my reaction should be that of curiosity. It's much more reasonable reaction to be sceptical than to be sold right away, unless you are in very specific circumstances looking for meaning driven intellectual community.
Anyway I think EAs are wonderful people and that should probably stay the way it is. We are already very diverse as far as unified communities go. But still a long way to go. My observation of the trend is that EA is becoming more diverse every year. Which is a very good sign and I'd say everyone wants this. While keeping standards of honesty and intellectual engagement high.
Now we have a bit of honesty crisis, but if we own our parts we might end up stronger than ever before. One person (or few) made silly mistake. We all do from time to time, but luckily most of us doesn't have that much power to make tragic mistake. That's why honesty and transparency or integrity are important. We need some control mechanisms. Many people in this community are incredibly honest. It's not only question of saying what we believe to be true, but being honest enough internally with ourselves that we are aware what are our true believes and motivations. Because easier person to fool with virtue signaling is yourself.
Anyway my tangent is getting pretty long. We will sleep few more times. Emotions will slowly fade. Only time will tell how good idea this EA project actually is and how good citizens EA aligned people are. Our goal is to contribute to our society. To make it better. So save and improve lives. To make sure future exists. These are beautiful ambitious. But we all know results is what matters. Now we collectively failed. Our hero became point of shame. Ideals were miscalibrated. We need to start again. Think better, be more honest, embrace more perspectives.
EAs as good people of the world is better framing than EA maximisers. Or better ideal at least for me. We need to come back to earth and reflect on the suffering all around. That's what can keep us grounded. There is humility to acknowledging that world is too complicated for me to control it. Most people are aware of this. EAs a bit less. I think this is a bug of the movement. Not totally sure. I'm definitely not against big ambitions. I think most EAs are not really ambitious. At least less they could be. Largely status competition. But that is part of almost everything people do. Anyway acknowledging that other communities are also important and useful and being in general more appreciative of the outside world might help us to be more aware of our shortcomings and realise that we are not really better than anybody else. Even though we received big funding or have a well respected job. It doesn't mean much. How we behave towards each other and what we actually get done is what matters.
We should be a community that focuses on getting things done while being kind and considerate of everyone else. That sounds like a nice ambition. I'll end it here.
there was some uncertainty about the location and we have finally made a decision and booked the place
Update: The event will be held in Bratislava from Thursday 24th to the 27th of November.
Note that the event happening during Prague Fall Season, right between two CFAR workshops. You might be interested to apply there as well.
Hi Brian, thanks for asking. We do have a place for 20 to 40 people. We don't have an official deadline, but we could say the end of October. Always best to apply early.
Having regime and not breaking it. (Now after a year, I can break it by one or two hours, if I can sleep the next morning longer)
Always sleeping enough hours (luckily, I don't have to be at work on time)
Meditating (learning to step out of the anxious thoughts and rumminating)
Having blue light off on the phone and notebook. And ideally not using it.
Not looking at social media, emails and other stuff which can bring me anxious thoughts.
Trying to read in the evening
Use podcast / audiobook when I really feel weird about sleeping.
I would say, in many cases, we could consider veganism to be a major inconvenience.
But when you change the context to Hotel for effective altruists where one can just eat what is given, is supported to eat what's given by everyone around we could call it only a "minor inconvenience". And in a case, the food will be really good it could be called "great opportunity" for non-vegan EA to experience vegan living without even trying.
Do you know, there are many people who have the skills to be great hotel managers and are making $15-$25k a year? In cheaper countries, such as Slovakia, Czech, Poland ... I really do not think people who are able to make 75 - 150 k a year will be interested in this job.
I do not understand. For practical purposes it makes sense to me, we should not take more than 100% credit for anything we do.
If multiple organizations cooperate, they create a bigger impact, that is understandable. The impact is always 100% no matter how big it is. We can say organizations A, B and C and multiple other factors D created together impact 100%, saying each organization has 100% impact is misleading and can lead us to the wrong conclusion about how effective we are compared to others who are not using this math magic.
Maybe it would make sense for me if counterfactual was always strict zero and every action was completely irreplaceable and it was all or nothing forever.
In the real world and what I think this article is referring to is that organizations are evaluating their impact using surveys and when they find out person is giving 10 000$ a year and they were strongly influenced by their activities they add the money to their impact ... and 10 other organizations also do it.
But a lot of those organization activities would be very replaceable and even if not, it is rarely all or nothing.
Then someone adds the impact of all those organizations together and says EA created impact 100x bigger than it actually has
When life is saved it doesn't matter whether by one person or by 100 people. When 1 impact = 1 life saved, 10 people cooperating on saving one life cannot have 10 impacts together. And if they want to get some representative numbers, they should divide the impact between themselves.
I agree with this article and I do not see the conflict between more direct activities/projects and theoretical activities/projects. If people leave EA, just because others are trying to do something more tangible even though it might not have the biggest potential by current ea theory, they might not be so dedicated to the cause after all.
I understand, "more abstract" activities are prefered, but trashing all direct possibilities doesn't seem right. Especially if some of those direct activities would not happen otherwise and it keeps people closer to those "abstract ideas" which are very important.
In the end, everything is direct action. Changing a career is a direct action, but not everyone is able to do it all the time. It is important for groups to have the ability to engage people in tangible or more abstract way.
I think this could diversify ea ideas, members, and avoid it to be a group of mathematicians and philosophers talking together, about their favourite subjects.