I'm just a normal, functioning member of the human race, and there's no way anyone can prove otherwise.

Principal Analyst at SoGive

Wiki Contributions


[Creative writing contest] Blue bird and black bird

Yeah, and I don't think the example of the sprout maps particularly well to catastrophic risks in itself. 

If the sprout grows into a giant oak tree that is literally right next to their current tree, it seems like they could easily just move to the giant oak tree. It sounds like the 'giant oak' would eventually be bigger than their current tree, meaning more space per bird, allowing for more birds. Oh and some birds eat acorns!

In this case I think black bird could be making things worse for future birds.

Concern about the EA London COVID protocol

Worth noting that this evening (6th September) there are reports that a COVID 'firebreak' could be imposed around the time of EA Global London, which could either force the event to be cancelled entirely, or lead to other restrictions being mandated (masks, social distancing, travel). Only tentative rumours so far, but it seems plausible.

Moral dilemma

Re your 3rd question, this may be a relevant starting point (and see the bibliography and related entries):

Gifted $1 million. What to do? (Not hypothetical)

Hi Ben. I'm the Principal Analyst at SoGive. As well as offering advice, we may be willing to undertake bespoke analysis and research on specific charities or cause areas, depending on what questions you have. If this may be of value to you, please contact Sanjay 

I'd also endorse the other responses to your question. If you follow-up on all the suggested articles, and do some thinking about the various questions, then you will be better placed to understand whether you actually want or need SoGive's input.

Most research/advocacy charities are not scalable

Yeah, in the same thread Ben tweets:

4) There is plenty of funding, a fair number of interested junior employees, and also some ideas for megaprojects. The biggest bottleneck seems like leadership. Second would be more and better ideas.

But the EA Infrastructure Fund currently only has ~$65k available

If there is plenty of funding, is it just in the wrong place? Given Ben's latest post should we be encouraging donations to the EA Infrastructure Fund (and Long-Term Future Fund) rather than the Global Health and Development Fund, which currently has over $7m available?

Climate change questions for Johannes Ackva and John Halstead

Thank you! This is helpful - I'm currently looking at CATF as part of my work with SoGive. The case CATF makes seems sensible and evidence-based, but given my relative lack of expertise in this area it's hard to know how they selective they are being in terms of the evidence they present. So it's useful to have an outside view.

Climate change questions for Johannes Ackva and John Halstead

Clean Air Task Force appear to take the position that, while renewables can dominate the production of electricity over the coming decades, we need some 'firm' clean energy to fill-in during weeks/months of low sun and wind. If we don't do this, they argue that we will need vastly more renewables, which will increase the cost and lead to issues around land use, and ultimately put at risk achieving zero carbon.

  1. What do Johannes and John think are the strongest arguments against this line of reasoning? Or put differently, what do they think are the strongest arguments that we could indeed rely on renewables?
  2. What are their thoughts on (yet-to-be-developed) long-duration storage technologies? How much do they think they can contribute?
  3. If we accept CATF's line of reasoning, which firm clean energy approaches seem best? i.e. considering technical challenges around development as well as broader risks (political, local opposition, safety and health issues), should we prioritise new nuclear, gas with carbon capture and storage...or something else?
Looking for more 'PlayPumps' like examples

I thought it was a joke at first, too! Maybe they will inadvertently do some good in the world if their example helps recruit future EAs

Looking for more 'PlayPumps' like examples

Agree that it seems unlikely to replicate. It would be interesting to see if e.g. hospitals are now funding Make a Wish on the grounds of it saving them future costs

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