Nathan Young

Co-Founder of the

Interested in Improving Institutional Decision Making.

Nathan Young's Comments

Is there a Price for a Covid-19 Vaccine?

If you find such markets, please can someone post them here?

External evaluation of GiveWell's research

Whoever strongly disliked this, feel free to say why.

External evaluation of GiveWell's research

I had a discussion with someone who was very negative about GiveWell's work and provided a series of concerning anecotes:

I wrote the discussion up here:

If people have rebuttals, please add them to the doc.

(I'm not particularly worried about the reputational risk of this being public because A, the discussion is already on twitter and B, noone scrolls to the bottom of my website and follows the links and C, the allegations *are* pretty concerning)

I Want To Do Good - an EA puppet mini-musical!

I produce some rap and would enjoy collaborating if you'd ever like to.

Regardless, thanks so much for your work!

External evaluation of GiveWell's research

It should be possible to give feedback on specific point.

In the future I am confident that all articles will be able to have comments on any part of the text, like comments in a google doc. This means people can edit or comment on specific points. This is particularly important with fermi models and could be implemented - people can comment on each part of an evaluation to criticise some specific bit. One wrong leap of logic in an argument makes the whole argument void, so GiveWell's models need this level of scrutiny.

External evaluation of GiveWell's research

All the most important models should have crowdsourced answers also.

I *think* GiveWell uses models to make decisions. It would be possible to crowdsource numbers for each step. I predict you would get better answers if you did this. The wisdom of crowds is a thing. It breaks down when the crowd doesn't understand the model, but if you are getting the to guess individual parts of a model, it works again.

Linked to the Stack Overflow point I made, I think there could easily be a site for crowdsourcing the answers to the GiveWells questions. I think there is a 10% chance that with 20k you could build a better site that could come up with better answers if EAs enjoyed making guesses for fun - wikipedia is the best encyclopaedia in the world. This is because it leverages the free time and energy of *loads* of nerds. GiveWell could do the same.

External evaluation of GiveWell's research

There should be more context on the important decision making tools

I could be wrong, but I think most decision are made using google sheets. I've read a few of these and I think there could be more context around which numbers are the most important.

External evaluation of GiveWell's research

I think is should be easier to give feedback on GiveWell. I would recommend not needing to login and allowing people to give suggestions on the text of pages.

External evaluation of GiveWell's research

I think StackOverflow is is the gold standard for criticism. It's a question answering website. It allows answers to be ranked and questions and answers to be edited. Not only do the best answers get upvoted, but answers and questions get clearer and higher quality over time. I suggest this should be the aim for GiveWell's anlyses.

See examples of all such features on this question:


  • The question was answered by one individual but the edited by a much more experienced user. I think GiveWell could easily allow suggestions to their articles by the communty, which could be upvoted by other readers.
  • If Givewell doesn't want to test this, maybe try it on this forum first - allow people to suggest edits to posts.
External evaluation of GiveWell's research

I'm gonna be a bit of a maverick and split my comment into separate ideas so you can upvote or downvote them separately. I think this is a better way to do comments, but looks a bit spammy.

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