115 karmaJoined Dec 2022


Thanks for sharing! Would be really interested in reading the sequence! Most arguments regarding the topic do come from a more mainstream or left-wing perspective or writing style, which does not come super naturally to me, so I think writing about it in the rationalist style could fill a gap. (Though it has been noted that using rationalist writing style itself is a somewhat excluding Community norm, however, as said above, I think there is enough material available on the topic in non-rationalist writing style.)


The problem to me seems to be that "being hard to quantify" in this case very easily enables rationalizing spending money on fancy venues. I'm also not convinced that non-EA institutions spending money on fancy venues is a good argument for also doing so or an argument that fancy venues enable better research. These institutions probably just use fancy venues because it is self serving. As they don't usually promote doing the most good by being effective, I guess that nobody cares much that they do that.

Personally, I think that a certain level of comfort is helpful, e.g. having single / double rooms for everybody so they can sleep well or don't needing to cook etc. However, I'm very skeptical of anything above that being worth the money.

I don't want to be adversarial, but I just have to note how much your comment reads to me and other people I spoke to like motivated reasoning. I think it's very problematic if EA advocates for cost effectiveness on the one hand and then lightly spends a lot of money on fancy stuff which seems self serving.