MathiasKirkBonde

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CEA’s Community Building Grants are becoming more targeted; the EA Infrastructure Fund will start evaluating grants for some EA groups

Prioritizing top universities makes perfect sense to me. I would argue we should consider directly working to establish EA communities at highly ranked universities that currently have none.

The choice of countries and cities makes much less sense to me.

My guess would be that the success of a given EA community is highly dependent on founder effects. The groups doing very well already have capable people with a keen sense on how to grow their community. If they didn't they wouldn't have gotten big in the first place.

Why focus most of your time on these communities? It seems to me their organizers are perfectly capable and will do just fine as long as they are provided adequate funding.

Wouldn't it make more sense to be spending your time helping smaller communities grow? Cities that immediately spring to mind are:

1. Seattle
2. Austin
3. Warsaw
4. Moscow
5. Copenhagen

They are all populous cities with highly educated populations. I don't have any a priori reason to believe that Austin and Warsaw has much less 'ea-potential' than Stockholm and Prague. It seems to me that many places have potential to grow as big as the communities you're focusing on, but for some reason have not.

Shouldn't it be higher among CEA's priorities to figure out how to help communities like these?

Trying to assess the effectiveness of COVID-19 charities in India

Thanks for your post! I've been worried about missing the opportunity to help but didn't have the time to evaluate which charity to support. Based on your post I donated to GiveIndia. I hope we as a community can look back on this and be proud we acted decisively and fast.

What are your questions for World Malaria Day with Rob Mather (AMF), Maddy Marasciulo (Malaria Consortium), and Alekos Simoni (Target Malaria)?

The new oxford malaria vaccine is looking very promising!

It seems to me that we should be able to produce a cost-effectiveness analysis and have a plan prepared for how to distribute the vaccine if it is approved and cost effective, but I'm struggling to find anything like this.

What would be your response to a new vaccine that is effective and cheap to distribute?

Deference for Bayesians

What makes you believe the market for labor isn't monopsonistic?

To me it seems pretty plausible that the labor market is full of minor monopsonies. For example I prefer to work at a store closer rather than farther away from me which would give the local store some market power on my labor.

Or maybe I prefer to work at the only coffee place in my town as opposed to the only tea place due to my interest coffee.

MathiasKirkBonde's Shortform

I really really (and I cannot emphasize this enough) really dislike writing applications. It gives me a feeling of despair and inadequacy about my career and life choices. Due to this I write much fewer applications than I should be, and spend too much time and energy on the few I do send.

I generally feel confident about myself but writing applications for some reason really messes me up.

Has anyone here dealt with anxiety when writing applications? If so, how did you overcome it?

Some EA Forum Posts I'd like to write

This is such a great idea!

I have a laundry list of blog posts I'd like to write as well and I imagine many others do too. Would it maybe make sense to make a monthly mega thread where people can share their blog post ideas?

Wrt. to your ideas, I would be super excited to read "How to get good at forecasting"!

AMA: Markus Anderljung (PM at GovAI, FHI)

Your paragraph on the Brussels effect was remarkably similar to the main research proposal in my FHI research scholar application that I hastily wrote, but didn't finish before the deadline.

The Brussels effect it strikes me as one of the best levers available to Europeans looking to influence global AI governance. It seems to me that better understanding how international law such as the Geneva conventions came to be, will shed light on the importance of diplomatic third parties in negotiations between super powers.

I have been pursuing this project on my own time, figuring that if I didn't, nobody would. How can I make my output the most useful to someone at FHI wanting to know about this?

[Linkpost] Some Thoughts on Effective Altruism

It's very refreshing to read a criticism of EA that isn't chock-full of straw men.
Kudos to the authors for doing their best to represent EA fairly.
That's not usually the case for articles that accuse EA of neglecting 'systemic change'.

That said, their worldview feels incredibly alien to me.
It's difficult for me to state any point where I think they make clear errors.
Rather, it seems I just have entirely different priors than the authors.
What they take for granted, I find completely unintuitive.

Writing in length about where our priors seem to differ, would more or less be a rehash of prior debates on EA and systemic change.

I would love to have the authors of this come on an EA podcast, and hear their views expressed in more detail. Usually when I think something is clearly wrong I can explain why, here I can't.

It would be a shame if I were wrong longer than necessary.

It's Not Hard to Be Morally Excellent; You Just Choose Not To Be

I'm not completely certain if I had the right takeaway from your post, so feel free to tell me "that's not at all what I'm saying", but it seems to me you're pushing a sentiment that changing ones behavior is easy.

This is a sentiment I strongly disagree with. I think it's an incredibly unhealthy mindset that does few people any good.

Eating healthy and regular exercise is clearly good for me and within my long term interests and 'easy' to do, yet they are a constant source of struggle within my life. But it is not easy for me to do, if it was I'd be doing it without a second thought.

On the other hand, I never once worried about my weight, whereas my father spent ten years agonizing over 20 kilos. Why didn't my father just snap his fingers and start eating the right number of calories?

Curing cancer by snapping my finger is impossible, so is snapping my finger and changing my brains neurons to find regular exercise and healthy diet easy. We all agree it would be crazy to feel guilt over the former, so why feel guilt about the latter?

Scott Alexander made this point wonderfully in his essay 'Parable of the talents'.

We are all wired differently. What is easy for those you look up to, might be impossibly hard for you. What is easy for you, is be impossibly hard to someone else.

Be better than you were yesterday, that's all anyone can ever ask of you.

Some history topics it might be very valuable to investigate

Great write up, though I feel slight regret reading it as there are now a further 10 things in my life to be annoyed I don't know more about!


Maybe it would be valuable to try crowdsourcing research such as this?

Start a shared g-suite document where we can coordinate and collaborate. I would find it fairly fun to research one of these topics in my free time, but doubt I commit the full energy it requires to produce a thorough analysis.

I could write myself up publicly somewhere others can see, that I'm willing to work 7 hours a week, on eg. studying societal collapse. Then someone else looking to do the same, can coordinate and collaborate with me, and we could potentially produce a much better output.

Even if collaboration turns out to be unfruitful, coordination might at least prevent double work.

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