Mathieu Putz

711Cambridge, Royaume-UniJoined Dec 2019


Hey, I'm Matt! I just finished studying Engineering Science at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), with a specialization in Machine Learning. Currently I'm in a career exploration phase, where I try to identify what my next step should be by researching relevant questions and trying different projects. I'm particularly interested in AI safety and biorisk. I used to be a group organizer at EA Munich and a research analyst at Nonlinear, but am currently winding down those responsibilities.


I'm not sure what my general take is on this, I think it's quite plausible that keeping it exclusive is net good, maybe more likely good than not. But I want to add one anecdote of my own which pushes the other way.

Over the last two years, while I was a student, I made two career choices in part (though not only) to gain EA credibility:

  • I was a group organizer at EA Munich (~2 hours a week)
  • I did a part-time internship at an EA org (~10 hours a week)

Both of these were fun, but I think it's unlikely that they were good for my career or impact in ways other than gaining EA credibility. I think one non-trivial reason EA credibility was important to me was that I wanted to keep being admitted to things like EAG (maybe more than I admitted to myself in my explicit reasoning at the time).

Having said that, I think EA credibility has also been important to my career in other ways, notably to receive grants, so it's not clear that this was bad on net.

It might also be that these were unnecessary or ineffective ways of gaining EA credibility --- I don't know what the admissions team cares about. Regardless, I think it's an update that this is part of what led me to make choices that I otherwise might not have made (though quite plausibly I would have made them anyway).

This is so useful! I love this kind of post and will buy many things from this one in particular.

Probably a very naive question, but why can't you just take a lot of DHA **and** a lot of EPA to get both supplements' benefits? Especially if your diet means you're likely deficient in both (which is true of veganism? vegetarianism?).

Assuming the Reddit folk wisdom about DHA inducing depression was wrong (which it might not be, I don't want to dismiss it), I don't understand from the rest of what you wrote why this doesn't work? Why is there a trade-off?

This seems really exciting!

I skimmed some sections so might have missed it in case you brought it up, but I think one thing that might be tricky about this project is the optics of where your own funding would be coming from. E.g. it might look bad if most (any?) of your funding was coming from OpenPhil and then Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna were very highly ranked (which they probably should be!). In worlds where this project is successful and gathers some public attention, that kind of thing seems quite likely to come up.

So I think conditional on thinking this is a good idea at all, this may be an unusually good funding opportunity for smaller earning-to-givers. Unfortunately, the flip-side is that fundraising for this may be somewhat harder than for other EA projects.

Thanks for pointing this out, wasn't aware of that, sorry for the mistake. I have retracted my comment.

Thanks for pointing this out, wasn't aware of that, sorry for the mistake. I have retracted my comment.

Hey, interesting to hear your reaction, thanks.

I can't respond to all of it now, but do want to point out one thing.

And, of course, if elected he will very visibly owe his win to a single ultra-wealthy individual who is almost guaranteed to have business before the next congress in financial and crypto regulation.

I think this isn't accurate.

Donations from individuals are capped at $5,800, so whatever money Carrick is getting is not one giant gift from Sam Bankman-Fried, but rather many small ones from individual Americans. Some of them may work for organizations that get a lot of funding from big EA donors, but it's still their own salary which they are free to spend however they like. As an aside, probably in most cases the funding of these orgs will currently still come from OpenPhil (who give away Dustin Moskovitz's and Cari Tuna's wealth), rather than FTX Future Fund (who give away SBF's wealth among others).

I think it's important that for the most part, this is money that not-crazy-rich Americans could have spent on themselves, but chose to donate to this campaign instead.

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If you're wondering who you might know in Oregon, you can search your Facebook friends by location:

Search for Oregon (or Salem) in the normal FB search bar, then go to People. You can also select to see "Friends of Friends".

I assume that will miss a few, so it's probably worth also actively thinking about your network, but this is probably a good low-effort first start.

Edit: Actually they need to live in district 6. The biggest city in that district is Salem as far as I can tell. Here's a map.

Thanks for writing this!

I believe there's a small typo here:

The expected deaths are N+P_nM in the human-combatant case and P_yM in the autonomous combatant case, with a difference in fatalities of (P_y−P_n)(M−N). Given how much larger M (~1-7 Bn) is than N (tens of thousands at most) it only takes a small difference (Py−Pn) for this to be a very poor exchange.

Shouldn't the difference be (P_y−P_n)M−N ?

This is *so* cool, thanks! Might be nice to have a feature where people can add a second location. E.g. I used to study in Munich, but spend ~2 months per year in Luxembourg. Many friends stayed much longer in Luxembourg. According to the EA survey, there are Luxembourgish EAs other than me, but I have so far failed to find them --- I'd expect many of them to be in a similar situation.

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