MJusten

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Managing COVID restrictions for EA Global travel: My plans + request for other examples

The Randox coupon code "BritishAirways" is invalid for me.  If anyone finds another coupon code that does work, it would be helpful to share.

None of the ones on this page worked 

Notes on "Managing to Change the World"

Thanks, I found this really helpful! I think this could be helpful advice for other EA group leaders, even if the management in most groups takes place on a smaller scale and in a less organized manner than other EA orgs. I'll try to share it around a bit.

If you could send an email to every student at your university (to maximize impact), what would you include in it?

EA UW Madison thinks of its emails as having four (sequential) goals: 

  1. Let people know this org exists
  2. Get interested people on the newsletter
  3. Get people to come to an intro event
  4. Get people to apply to the introductory fellowship

A copy of our mass email draft that we just sent out can be found here https://docs.google.com/document/d/14JQjbwWC5U8Eb82VTwozfyhrc0x_FV53n32vQuPNLas/edit?usp=sharing

Get 100s of EA books for your student group

Feedback:  We gave out books we ordered through this form at a student org fair last week and it was a  success!

We were moderately exclusive in giving out books, but still gave out nearly all of the 50+ books we had. By moderately exclusive, I mean that we only gave out books to people who seemed genuinely interested in EA and joining EA UW-Madison. We also tried to match the books we gave out to what people were studying (e.g. Superintelligence to CS majors, Poor Economics to econ students), although this likely doesn't need to be forced since that's what the students themselves would choose.

Even just having the books on our table at the student org fair made us more interesting, per a friend and new members feedback. People who joined our Slack after the follow-up email also again expressed their gratitude for having received a book – I think this is a really good first impression for a club (they gave me meaningful free stuff!). 

We are now ordering more books for an upcoming Intro to EA presentation, an intro fellowship, and tabling on campus. 

AMA: Tim Ferriss, Michael Pollan, and Dr. Matthew W. Johnson on psychedelics research and philanthropy

For Michael (or others): Do you think there might be a connection between (responsible) Psychedelic use and altruism? And if so, do you think this is a promising research avenue or future application for psychedelics?

In  How to Change Your Mind,  you reference the sense of 'oneness' and global community that often follows a psychedelic experience. I imagine these same feelings motivate many altruists, so psychedelics' ability to dial them up could potentially lead to some inspiring ethical change; the change that has motivated many players in the colorful history of Psychedelics. From personal experience starting student organizations for both EA and Psychedelic Research advocacy, I've perceived an above-random  overlap, but I'm not sure if there's a causal relationship– and if so which comes first– or if there's selection effects at play. Really exciting to see this AMA! 

What key facts do you find are compelling when talking about effective altruism?

I find the emphasis on just how much good we can do and how unique this is from a historical perspective engaging. There is an extremely high level of wealth concentrated in rich countries, but in the increasingly connected world we live in, it is possible to have a remarkable impact with well-thought out donations. This goes well with the Will MacAskill argument asking one to think of how great they would feel if they ran into a burning building and saved a child. 

Also find that appeals to psychology that references how EA is not intuitive (e.g. scope neglect, compassion fade, pseudo-inefficacy) convincing

Don't Be Bycatch

This really resonated for a young EA like myself. EA totally transformed the way I think about my career decisions, but I quickly realized how competitive jobs at the organizations I looked up to were. (The 80k job board is a tough place for an undergraduate to NOT feel like an imposter). This didn't discourage me from EA in general, but it did leave me with some uncertainty about how much I should let EA dictate my pursuits. This post offered some excellent reassurances and reminders to stay grounded.

Inspired me to leave my first comment on the forum. Thank you for the lovely post :)