Topic Contributions


Mental support for EA partners?

Increasingly I find myself in a position where I feel that I have to defend myself to my significant other for actions


These discussions and  family-research-moments ... are increasingly eating into my self-worth and feeding insecurities.

This may be wildly off, but: have you talked to your partner about this? Do they know that when they talk to you like this, you feel attacked? And that it affects your self-worth? What would they say?

I ask because I think this is in many ways a relationship problem. They are doing something that makes you feel hurt. That's a problem that you could resolve in a number of ways - they could change, you could change, but you need to talk about it.

It might be that the outcome of that conversation is that you decide that you want to be more okay with thinking in this way, or shifting closer to what they believe. And maybe that's already where you are (in which case my apologies). But I don't think you should start out assuming that it's you who needs to change here.

EA Funds donation platform is moving to Giving What We Can

As a user of the EA Funds and a GWWC member, this feels like it will make things more confusing.

The EA Funds today has IMO a pretty good website. There are two things I expect the EA Funds to do: take donations and give grants. It is pretty clear immediately from the front page where to go to do either, although I would be on board with promoting the "get funded" call to action to be as prominent as the "donate" call to action.

However, moving the donation part feels less good to me. Now the website for the funds doesn't let me donate? Where do I donate? At this other website attached to this other organization? That's odd. Why not just have a simple donation page on your website (thinks my naive brain). Hopefully there will at least be a link from the EA Funds website to the donation page!

Associating the EA Funds with GWWC also feels odd to me from a branding perspective. Historically GWWC has felt associated more with the global health and development arm of EA, whereas the EA Funds are quite neutral and have funds for a variety of things. This also makes GWWC less of the "unobjectionable gateway drug" of EA, because now a donor will immediately find themselves presented with options to donate to "weird stuff". Maybe that's not really a problem, I'm not sure.

Ultimately it sounds like this reflects an underlying organizational change whereby the EA Funds teams wants to focus on grantmaking, and Conway's Law says that if they're not going to think about donations, then you probably will end up having to manage the donations elsewhere. So maybe it's inevitable. 

We're Rethink Priorities. AMA.

Upvoted for being honest about status-related desires. Good to keep an eye on them but I think they can be useful motivators when they're pointing in the right direction!

Comparative advantage in the talent market

This is a good point, although talent across time is comparatively harder to estimate. So "act according to present-time comparative advantage" might be a passable approximation in most cases.

We also need to consider the interim period when thinking about trades across time. If C takes the ops job, then in the period between C taking the job and E joining the movement, we get better ops coverage. It's not immediately obvious to me how this plays out, might need a little bit of modelling.

Could I have some more systemic change, please, sir?

Sure - I don't think "systematic change" is a well-defined category. The relevant distinction is "easy to analyze" vs "hard to analyze". But in the post you've basically just stipulated that your example is easy to analyze, and I think that's doing most of the work.

So I don't think we should conclude that "systematic changes look much more effective" - as you say, we should look at them case by case.

Could I have some more systemic change, please, sir?

There's a sliding scale of what people consider "systematic reform". Often people mean things like "replace capitalism". I probably wouldn't even have classed drug policy reform or tax reform as "systematic reform", but it's a vague category. Of course the simpler ones will be easier to analyze.

Could I have some more systemic change, please, sir?

Frame it as a matter of degree if you like: I think we're drastically more clueless about systematic reform than we are about atomic interventions.

Could I have some more systemic change, please, sir?

You seem to be assuming that the "bad case" for systematic reform is that it's, say, 1/500th of the benefit of the GD average effort. But I don't think that's the bad case for most systematic reforms: the bad case is that they're actively harmful.

For me, at least, the core of my problem with "systematic reform" is that we're "clueless" about its effects - it could have good effects, but could also have quite bad effects, and it's extremely hard for us to tell which.

I think the ceiling cost estimate is a nice way of framing the comparison, but I agree with Milan that the hard bit is working out the expected effect.

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