Thanks for doing this!
For all three – how would you like to see EA participate in the psychedelic renaissance? What do you think a good marriage of the two communities would look like?
Hi Milan! It would be great to see increased discussion of the most attractive target projects related to psychedelics, as well as perhaps donation campaigns to reach critical mass for specific purposes. It's really remarkable how much can be done for how little at the moment. If there is interest, I might be able to help by drafting a blog post with some of the candidates I consider very high-leverage and worthwhile.
I don't think we yet are collectively wise enough to engage in memetic and/or tech projects that undermine evolutionary equilibria, fwiw.
QRI = the Qualia Research Institute
80k wubstepping all night long
"All 3,400 hours of Rationality: From AI to Zombies" Speedcore EDM R:A2Z will be the background soundtrack at the Schelling Point Temple of EA Burning Man. 24/7 baby.
Big +1 An 80k podcast dubstep house party actually sounds like a good time.... BURNING MAN OF THE NERDS!!!!Robbie Wib-wib-wib-wibibiblin in da HAUS!!!!!!!!
lol DiarrhEA Eradication
+1 makes sense.
Consider Puritanism. Pursed. The Purge...
Saying "80k tracks the # of calls and # of career plan changes, but doesn't track the long-run impacts of their advisees" is different from saying "80k focus[es] mainly on # of calls"
I expanded a bit on this question here.
Thank you for this feedback.
From my perspective, I'm writing both for my own sake and for others.
Yes, I want people to think about this for themselves. (I don't think that's esoteric.)
I don't have any advice to offer, but as a datapoint for you: I applaud your goal and am even sympathetic to many of your points, but even I found this post actively annoying (unlike your previous ones in this series). It feels like you're writing a series of posts for your own benefit without actually engaging with your audience or interlocutors. I think this is fine for a personal blog, but does not fit on this forum.
What about my style stands out as esoteric?(From my perspective, I'm trying to be as clear & straightforward as possible in the main body of each post. I am also using poetic quotes at the top of some of the posts.)
In this one, it's that there is no main body, just a gesture off-screen. Only a small minority of readers will be familiar enough with the funding apparatus to complete your "exercise to the reader..." Maybe you're writing for that small minority, but it's fair for the rest to get annoyed.
In past ones (from memory), it's again this sense of pushing work onto the reader. Sense of "go work it out".
"Where do you get the impression that they focus mainly on # of calls?"I don't have this impression. From the original post:
80,000 Hours tracking the number of advising calls they make and the number of career plan changes they catalyze, rather than the long-run impacts their advisees are having in the world.
It would be interesting to see a cohort analysis of 80k advisees by year, looking at what each advisee from each cohort has accomplished out in the world in the following years.
Maybe that already exists? I haven't seen it, if so.
"Opening with a strong claim, making your readers scroll through a lot of introductory text, and ending abruptly with "but I don't feel like justifying my point in any way, so come up with your own arguments" is not a very good look on this forum. "I wasn't intending the text included in the post to be introductory..."[I have read the entirety of The Inner Ring, but not the vast series of apparent prerequisite posts to this one. I would be very surprised if reading them caused me to disagree with the points in this comment, though.]"If you don't want to read the existing work that undergirds this post, why should I expect further writing to change your mind about the topic?
I have read all except one post you linked to. I don't understand how your post related to the two posts about children and would appreciate a comment. I agree with your argument that "EA jobs provide scarce non-monetary goods" and that it is hard to get hired by EA organisations. However, it is unclear to me that any of these posts provide a damaging critique to EA. I would be surprised if anyone managed to create a movement without any of these dynamics. However, I would also be excited to see working tackling these putative problems such as the non-monetary value of different jobs.
Where are all the comments, indeed..."I advise you to withdraw this post, cut out half the narrative crap, add some evidence and a model, make a recommendation, then repost it."I think this is basically fair, though from my perspective the narrative crap is doing important work.I have limited capacity these days so I'm writing this argument as a serial, posting it as I can find the time. In the meanwhile, this sequence from a few years ago (a) makes a similar argument following the form you suggest.
"... on the margin, it sounds like we have more cost-effective forms of outreach."Could you say more about what you have in mind? (Asking because I personally don't see any compelling alternative to a substantial fraction of EA folks raising children, especially when I consider a > 20-year time horizon.)
Thanks for this update – these seem like worthwhile things to invest in!Do you have a sense of how you will structure reporting on future grantmaking from this fund?
There's actually a lot of underutilized real estate in the Bay Area, especially in East Bay, Marin, South Bay, and the Peninsula. Much of it is locked up in big old houses that haven't turned over in a long time though.
"Reproduction is a credible commitment to the future" is a potent meme.
Does this post still basically reflect your feelings about public discourse?
Those weren't corrections... The statements I make in the original post are largely about what an org is focusing on, not what it is formally tracking.
I think there's a lot to admire about the Shakers... I'm just pointing out that as a social movement they are dying out, probably in part due to their views about sex & child-rearing.Catholicism, Islam, and Mormonism seem to be much more durable in the long run (at least so far).
Thanks, should be fixed now
I bet cost often gets used as an excuse here.
Hmmm... something about making the two commensurable feels weird to me... (not sure what it is about it yet).
There's an important difference in kind here – raising children is a qualitatively different form of "consumption" than other kinds of consumption.
Could you give some examples of the basic facts I stated that appear incorrect?
Wow this is cool: https://blog.fuguefoundation.org/effective-altruism-quest/
I'm planning to have children because I feel excited about the aesthetic of parenthood, it seems wonderful to be able to intimately participate in bringing more life into the world, and many people I respect endorse becoming a parent (1, 2, 3, but the list goes on and on...)
I'm basically trying to wonder about whether or not most people who affiliate with EA share your preference set about this.
That is a very worthwhile question, but invoking Shakerism is likely to obfuscate the process of answering it.
The revealed preference of most people who affiliate with EA could easily be that having kids doesn't clear their implicit moral bar. (This seems to be the case for you.)
This wrongly assumes that people act only on moral reasoning, not other (e.g., personal happiness) factors. It also wrongly assumes that factors that apply to one's own moral deliberation should universalize to either other EAs or people in general, when in fact I hold neither. I am generally very happy to see other EAs have kids, but don't feel morally compelled to do so enough to override my selfish preference against.
Among other things, this assumes that we know how to transmit the ideology via child-rearing and that we know how to switch from one reproductive strategy to another en masse.
Right. I wonder if affiliation with EA correlates with an implicit belief that procreation is wrong / not worthwhile / not clearing the bar of moral behavior...
Okay, but if affiliation with EA correlates with a reproductive rate that's far below replacement level, then if EA succeeds in converting everyone to EA, humanity will die out.
I don't follow how that's relevant?
We can expect that we can "convert" people much more cheaply/effectively than they could. At current margins, it almost certainly costs far less to create EAs by "converting" existing people than "creating" new people and raising them in an EA household in hopes that they will later become EA. EA already has far more "adherents" than Sharkerism did at its peak. Also, neither celibacy nor childlessness is a "plank" of EA.
K strategists still need to reproduce at the replacement rate or above to be viable.
fwiw I'm using "Bay Area Rationality" to point to a particular subculture (that which grew out of Overcoming Bias and LessWrong and is now centered around but not entirely contained by the Bay Area), and to disambiguate from the broader notion of "Rationality," which I understand to encompass many social movements, subcultures, and time periods.
Right, I think that position is approaching the ideology of the Shakers.
Shakers seemed to believe that any procreation was wrong.
If EA has the same plank as Shakerism, it probably doesn't have a bright future...
My pet peeve about this argument is that the Shakers lasted from 1770 to the present (although now with just two elderly members). That's nothing to sneeze at for a utopian movement - compare them to the longevity of many 1960s communes that produced plenty of babies.
Why are people with higher income & education levels having fewer children?
I believe Mormons and Catholics are punching above their weight in the US.
Yes – and children are the future.
I agree—I'm ideologically pro-natalist but averse to having kids myself due to cost and more effective ways to positively impact the future.
I've found High Tea to be a helpful resource for staying in touch with Gen Z trends.
I feel like I'm asking about something pretty simple. Here's a sketch:
GiveWell basically does this for its top charities.