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.

MathiasKirkBonde's Shortform

At what point do feel with ~90% certainty you would have done more good by donating to animal charities than you've harmed by consuming a regular meat-filled diet?

It would be nice to know the numbers I have in my head somewhat conform to what smart people think.

Longtermism ⋂ Twitter

Thanks for this post, it's something that has been bothering as of late.

I like that these important topics become more discoverable, but worry about the lock-in that occurs when we move discussion to social media. For those who choose not to participate in Twitter or Facebook, it becomes harder to keep up with much of the movement.

Let me be transparent here, I'm worried about this particularly for my own sake!

I can't control my time usage on these websites at all. I have to keep twitter, facebook, etc. blocked completely from my devices or I won't get anything done.

It feels awful that I can't keep up with potentially great discussions by wonderful people on twitter (and Rob Wiblins fantastic hot takes on facebook), without participating in media that leaves me anxious and stressed.

Maybe it's just me who has this issue, but I want to voice it in case I'm not the only one.

MathiasKirkBonde's Shortform

I wrote down a list of all the things I could spend one hour every day doing. Among high scorers was teaching myself Mandarin.

Has anyone looked into the value of learning Mandarin, for the average person disinterested in China?

MathiasKirkBonde's Shortform

Triplebyte is a company that interviews and vets software developers, identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Triplebyte can cut down the time spent on draining interviews significantly. More importantly it makes it easy for firms to find candidates and vice-versa.

Would it be useful to have similar service for EA organisations?

It seems to me the skills EA organisations look for, seem harder to generalize than software development skills. This means centralized interviews are much less valuable.

What does seem useful is reducing the friction that arises from matching companies with candidates.

Less well known orgs could more easily find the labor they need and persons interested in direct work at EA orgs can devote their full focus on their current occupation knowing they will be visible to potential employers.

It seems the 80k job-board is already accomplishing much of this, does anyone reckon there would be demand for an expanded version of this?

Dominic Cummings - An 'Odyssean' Education [review]

I have read the entirety of "An 'Odyssean' Education" as well as another ~300 pages of blogposts from him, fascinated by how someone with someone who seemingly has formed his beliefs from much of the same literature I have, comes to such vastly different conclusions than me.

I mostly agree with your book review, your summary hit the nail on its head.

An 'Odyssean' Education, reads like a rough first draft at its best and like a stream of thoughts at its worst. But that's alright. Its purpose is to be a rough sketch of Dominic Cummings' worldview. It gives us insight to why he holds his beliefs and push for certain policies but not others.

I wish I could read a similar document for other prominent political figures, and get a similar understanding of their worldview as well.

New Top EA Causes for 2020?

putting things on the blockchain

AMA Patrick Stadler, Director of Communications, Charity Entrepreneurship: Starting Charities from Scratch

My prior, as well as conventional wisdom, would be that charities run by people with local and cultural understanding of the areas in which they operate would have the largest impact.

This seems not to be the case, judging by givewells recommendations.

What would be your best guess to why western founders can expect to do well on eg. regional problems in India?

AI policy careers in the EU

Great post. Definitely an area I'd love to see further explored!

However, there don't seem to be good opportunities for further career advancement in Parliament after reaching an advisor position.

A common next step is running for election yourself, since you have the connections and know the landscape well enough to excel in debates.

As for running for office: the expected value here depends on regional (member state) and personal factors, so I can’t really say anything about it except that it seems we should keep it in mind as an option.

I think this is too quick a dismissal. Before any regional modifiers come into play, a lot can be said base value of becoming an MEP. How much power and influence can an MEP attain with regard to a single area of policy?

My intution is that an MEPs can have overwhelming influence on uncontested areas of policy, by becoming well known for their expertise within it. The first MEP that is well read and concerned with AI safety will be able to significantly influence the policies simply by being the person in power most engaged with the topic. As long as adopting your views won't generate controversy, other MEPs are more than inclined to follow your lead.

It seems to me the expected influence on AI policy disproportionally favours the first MEP to become well known within the parliament for it.

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