4499Joined Sep 2014


I work as an Advisor for 80,000 Hours and Fund Manager at the Effective Altruism Infrastructure Fund. Previously I worked at the Global Priorities Institute and ran Giving What We Can.

Comments here are my own views only, not my present or past employers', unless otherwise specified.


Simulated annealing, or, the importance of informal EA socialising

I agree with the premise that it seems great to talk to a broader range of people than we might naturally be tempted to at EAGs! 

Personally, I find large informal gatherings pretty intimidating (particularly when sober...). So I prefer getting some randomness by reaching out to some different people for 1on1s than I usually would. I love how Swapcard allows you to select for different things, so you can think about what types of people / interests you don't get to meet much in EA, and then find people like that and ask if they'd be up for chatting. I find it much less intimidating to talk to people one on one, so I can focus on just getting to know them, rather than balancing whether multiple people are interested in a particular conversation topic. 

I'm guessing other people would find it more intimidating to reach out to random people on swapcard than go to a social event. But for those that don't, it could be worth trying out!

RyanCarey's Shortform

Thanks for this, and for your work on Felicifia. As someone who's found it crucial to have others around me setting an example for me, I particularly admire the people who basically just figured out for themselves what they should be doing and then starting doing it.

Fwiw re THINK: I might be wrong in this recollection, but at the time it felt like very clearly Mark Lee's organisation (though Jacy did help him out). It also was basically only around for a year. The model was 'try to go really broad by contacting tonnes of schools in one go and getting hype going'. It was a cool idea which had precedent, but my impression was the experiment basically didn't pan out. 

80k would be happy to see more projects in the careers space

Sorry I wasn't clear: We not only don't object to replication - we're actively enthusiastic about it.  I think a healthy ecosystem has a bunch of different people trying to do the same thing and seeing how they go. 

Since I run the 1on1 team, I'm not well placed to comment on what 80k as a whole plans to do. 

You're right that the majority, but not all, of people we talk to have some interest in helping others over the longterm as well as present day. I expect that to continue being mostly true, at least over the coming year.

Critiques of EA that I want to read

Thanks, I found this list really interesting!

Digital people could make AI safer

Thanks, I found this really interesting. 

EA and the current funding situation

[I’m an EAIF grant manager, but I wasn’t involved in this particular grant.]

I’m sorry you’ve been having a frustrating time in your community building work. As you say, rejections sting even in the best of circumstances, particularly when it feels counter to the narrative being portrayed of there being funding available. Working hard to help others is difficult enough without feeling that others are refusing to support you in it.

It seems very difficult to me to accurately represent in advance what kinds of community building EAIF is and isn’t keen to fund, because it depends on a lot of details about the place/person/description of activities planned. Having said that, I’m keen to avoid people getting a false impression of our priorities. I wanted to clarify that we are in fact keen to fund full time community builders outside of existing EA hubs

It happens that the majority of past requests we’ve had for full time positions in the US have come from Boston/NY/SF/Berkeley. We’ve received a number of applications for full time community builders in non-hub cities in the rest of the world though. For example we’ve funded full time community builders in Italy, the Philippines, Denmark and the Czech Republic. 

I think a reason it looks like we prefer funding people part time is that we fund quite a bit of university community building. Doing that is often most suited to students at that university, who are therefore only able to do community building part time. 

We’ve tried to keep our application form short to make it feel low cost to apply. I’d be keen for people to put in speculative quick draft applications to see whether you might be a good fit for an EAIF grant!

[Edited for clarity]

Help Me Choose A High Impact Career!!!

Great work writing this up and putting it out there for feedback! I think it's always difficult to give much of a view as an outsider, but it sounds to me like you've been feeling insecure for a while due to lack of savings, and so taking a paying job sounds like a good idea. It seems like you're not actually keen on doing a masters, and it doesn't seem obvious you need one to do what you're aiming for. So deciding against doing one sounds very reasonable to me. Both your options sound good though!

Notes From a Pledger

Thank you for sharing this! I just love hearing stories of pledgers around the world, and what's motivated them to pledge and to keep giving. I grew up not knowing anyone who donated this much, and assuming I wouldn't either. It's still kind of incredible to me that there are so many people promising to do this for the rest of their lives, and doing so joyfully rather than out of pure obligation. I'm glad you (rightfully) feel proud of doing it. I cannot wait to live in a world where not a single person needs to die of malaria. 

FTX/CEA - show us your numbers!

Thanks so much for this comment. I find it incredibly hard not to be unwarrantedly risk averse. It feels really tempting to focus on avoiding doing any harm, rather than actually helping people as much as I can. This is such an eloquent articulation of the urgency we face, and why we need to keep pushing ourselves to move faster. 

I think this is going to be useful for me to read periodically in the future - I'm going to bookmark it for myself.

Go apply for 80K Advising - (Yes, right now)

Thank you for this prompt Devansh! We really look forward to hearing from people :-)

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