All of number42's Comments + Replies

Why founding charities is one of the highest impact things one can do

Animal Charity Evaluators started as an 80,000 Hours project

More precisely, it was started by a student who came to volunteer in Oxford one summer, had the idea and then created it over that summer and afterwards as his brainchild, fundraising to start it as a staffed-up charity, etc. CEA hosted a number of students who came to do volunteer work over summers and other free periods. So while it was labelled an 80,000 Hours project, it's appropriate to use it as an example of someone with little relevant experience starting a charity.

Please Take the 2018 Effective Altruism Survey!

Yeah, I'd make it more visible, and flag it more earlier - it's a good idea which could use more responses.

1Peter Wildeford3yRight now 10% of people taking the EA Survey are also taking the anonymous survey, which is not unreasonable. After the main survey marketing is over, we may follow up and market the anonymous survey further.
Please Take the 2018 Effective Altruism Survey!

For the same reasons that race was included in the 2017 survey, it could be useful to ask about parental education (as a proxy for socioeconomic background).

Clever idea, seconded.

2017 LEAN Impact Assessment: Qualitative Findings

Wouldn't even as small a donation as a few hundred dollars translate into more bandwidth?

3Tee4yAbsolutely - but re-Richenda's point about deliberations at a higher level, the Hub is one of many resources we provide, and we want to make sure every donation we receive is most impactful. Even an earmarked donation for this purpose is not a straightforward proposition. Take the decision to potentially integrate with the CEA platform as a hypothetical. If we were to spend $300 - $1k tweaking the Hub, and then had to double back (likely to change the coding language) once we decided that linking up with the CEA platform is most effective for the community, we may have wasted considerable resources.
How should we prioritize cause prioritization?

I might give to a portfolio in a particular cause area like meta. I'd only be giving a small portion of my pledge to that though, perhaps about £100 a month - would that even be worth it for the admin hassle for you?

0Tom_Ash5yProbably not! We plan to use an off-the-shelf service from somewhere like Vanguard in the US or the UK's Charities Aid Foundation if we do this at all, but even so.
The EA Newsletter & Open Thread - January 2016

As the help text below it says, that's specifically for EA Profiles (which are the profiles at that link). It'll only accept a link to one of those; if you don't already have one, you should create one!

Announcing the Good Technology Project

To explain why I downvoted, I don't like this general kind of response (i.e. "shouldn't this be part of large organisation X?"):

  • It discourages people from actually doing things, for several reasons.
  • Dealing with a large organisation before starting the work takes time and is offputting, and many ideas will peter out or run into the ground if people are pressured to always do this.
  • It's quite a negative response to give to someone trying to start something.
  • It can involve unhealthy deference to or hero worship of large organisations.
  • There are r
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1Gleb_T6yThanks for explaining why you downvoted in such a full manner. Let me then explain the meta-reasons for why I asked the question. As a nonprofit entrepreneur myself who followed the call for new EA charities and started his own EA-themed meta-charity [] , I'm quite aware of the benefits of starting a new project :-) My goal in asking this question was to provide the Good Technology founders with an opportunity to explain their reasoning about a question that I am sure exists in many people's heads, but many choose not to ask. As you can see, my question is phrased in a quite friendly manner. I express approval of the project, and then expressed curiosity about a specific issue I thought was insufficiently addressed in the original write-up. This is the sort of constructive critical feedback I would have loved to get when I started my own nonprofit venture :-) Hope this explains my reasoning. We're all in this together, and figuring out the best way to help the world. We may have different methods and paths, but share the same goal. Let's try to assume that we all have the best intentions in helping each other out.
4Richard_Batty6yI agree that this can be a problem. I've previously found myself demoralised after suggesting ideas for projects only to be immediately met with questions like 'Why you, not someone else?', 'Wouldn't x group do this better?' I think having a cofounder helps greatly with handling this. It's also something that founders just have to learn to deal with. In this case though, I think Gleb_T's question was good. We explicitly asked for feedback and we wanted to get questions like this so that we were forced to think through things we may not have properly considered. On a post like this, I'd rather have lots of feedback and criticism so that we know where the potential weaknesses of the project are. I'd suggest the heuristic: If you're friend is enthusiastically telling you about a new idea, hold off on criticism for a while whilst you help them develop it. If someone asks for feedback, or if you've been discussing the project for a bit longer, give the most useful feedback you can, even if it's negative. Thanks for your comments about the benefits of staying independent.
Announcing the Good Technology Project

No, all your thoughts seems very sensible. The benefits of different organisations sticking to their own distinct, clear focuses are often overlooked, to their cost.

The EA Newsletter & Open Thread - January 2016

What are the ways that we can spread EA to others? Is there a list, and are there some outreach methods that are particularly good?

0Linch6y [] I think this Facebook discussion could be really useful for you. It includes both my personal impressions of how to do outreach (which is fairly highly upvoted, suggesting that other people share my experiences to some extent) as well as links to longer, more sophisticated investigations done by other EAs and EA organizations.
Doing Good Better - Book review and comments

Great introduction for non-EAs; it's worth mentioning that EAs likely won't learn anything new about it.

0MichaelDello6yPoint taken, but I was hoping for some feedback on my take regarding offsetting meat consumption, which as far as I know is not a stance widely taken.
Threads on Facebook worth being able to refer back to

The EA Wiki would be a better place to put this, among other reasons because then everyone could keep it updated:

0Robert_Wiblin6yCool - want to set up the page for it?
Giving What We Can needs your help this Christmas!

More concretely, GWWC staff right now pursue several channels to growth that wouldn't happen without them:

Speaking to interested people one-on-one (few join just from written content alone; being made 'the ask' is really important) Fostering chapters (e.g. giving them materials, arranging pledge drives, encouraging them, doing events) - most of this wouldn't happen otherwise. Seeking press attention to get new people involved - ditto, mostly wouldn't happen otherwise.

Does GWWC have rough estimates of how many members each of these channels lead to? Or could you or other CEA staff hazard a guess, even rough?

CEA is launching a winter fundraising round

To clarify, is your total 2016 budget £1.7 million (roughly $2.7 milllion), ie the total of the figures you gave?

5Sebastian_Farquhar6yNot quite, our total budget for 2016 is about £1.2m, about $1.8m (detailed breakdown on page 12 of the prospectus). The sum of the funding targets is greater than our budget because at the moment many of our organisations have quite small reserves and need to raise more than they plan to spend this year in order to have healthy reserves at the end of the year. That would allow us to only fundraise once per year, which is a much more efficient use of staff time. General advice is for charities to have roughly 6-18 months of reserves at all times.
The Effective Altruism Newsletter & Open Thread - 12 October 2015 Edition

What would count as taking Effective Altruist frugalness too far, and what are the arguments against it? I'm torn as to whether I should keep eating out or buying first hand clothes, but these do bring time savings and other benefits.

1MichaelDello6yI don't have an answer for this, but I've been thinking about it recently also. Sometimes it may be useful to eat out if you are developing a network or relationship with someone/some people. In contrast, it may be useful to ask to eat at a cheaper place, or invite people over for a home meal, explaining why, aiming to influence them subtly. Also, it may be worth buying nice clothes to be perceived more highly by your colleagues, which could be useful (promotions, influence etc.). As before though, it may be beneficial to buy second hand to subtly encourage colleagues to do the same, and to not perpetuate the idea that people need to spend a lot of money on clothes to be 'in'. I definitely haven't answered your question!
Cause Selection Blogging Carnival Conclusion

Is the defence of the global poverty cause that Tom Ash and Peter Hurford were writing coming? I was looking forwards to that.

2Carl_Shulman6yAlas [] .
The last 3 months in EA projects

Ben Clifford ran local London meetup for developers to work on tech projects

Was that a regular thing?

2imben6yYes, it's still ongoing. We had our second meetup last night. Sign up for email updates on events here: []
To Grow, Hit the Brakes (Why Conversion Rate Matters So Much and Means EA is Not Doing Anywhere Close to as Well as We Think)

Unfortunately, the measurement and metrics around EA are quite weak and have not yet been brought together. We do not, for example, have numbers around how many people are EAs (no matter what definitions we use), any understanding of total exposure, etc.

We could improve this by getting as many people as possible to take at least a first page of questions or two on the annual EA census. Among other things that helps establish a lower bound number of people who are EA's by some definition and their basic characteristics. I remember that around the time th... (read more)

[Housekeeping Notice] The 'meetups' sidebar is temporarily broken

To clarify a little more, they're totally separate codebases I believe.

Direct Funding Between EAs - Moral Economics

Who would some natural candidates for receiving funding be? I'll spare you from having to name yourself and do so for you! But are there actually any others? Maybe not?

1Evan_Gaensbauer6yOff the top of my mind and without consulting people: Ruairi Donnelly, Max Carpendale, Kieran Grieg, Andrew McKnight, Oscar Horta Had he not been hired by ACE: Jacy Anthis The Foundational Research Institute (FRI) is a project aiming to be similar to the Future of Humanity Institute, except with a more explicitly utilitarian bent, based on the concerns of, e.g,. David Pearce, Brian Tomasik, and the EAs of Basel, Switzerland. They're in an awkward position where Brian would be a valuable researcher for them, but he considers his peers to be just as valuable and adept researchers, so he's taken to funding them and their organizations himself through earning to give. I believe he may be the only person doing so for (FRI), and also perhaps Animal Ethics. This seems to me an awkward state of affairs. I don't know if FRI is even legally incorporated in any country yet, so funding them and/or affiliated researchers might blur the lines between funding individual researchers and institutions. Either way, I believe Mr. Tomasik and his peers would appreciate a chance to discuss direct funding if or when such funding became available.
1Diego_Caleiro6yOff the top of my mind and without consulting people: Justin Shovelain, Oliver Habryka, Malcolm Ocean, Roxanne Heston, Miranda Dixon-Luinenburg, Steve Rayhawk, Gustavo Rosa, Stephen Frey, Gustavo Bicalho, Steven Kaas, Bastien Stern, Anne Wissemann, and many others. If they had not received FLI funding: Kaj Sotala, Katja Grace. If they needed to transition between institutions/countries: Most of the core EA community. I have mentioned it as an option for a while, but personally waited for less conflict of interest to actually post about it (at the moment I'm receiving much less funding than I did before, and am receiving some funding through institutions, I wanted to make clear that my goal is not to have people disliking institutions, but to fix the labor market). I think the greater point here is that this has not been considered so far because people did not even envision it being an option. But now they will.
EA-commercials on national TV in Norway - for free!

Thanks. I would be interested to know if any analagous groups have had success with public access channels.

EA Facebook New Member Report

Tying this into the EA census sounds like a good idea as it'd provide a helpful additional subsample, at least for some subset of questions.

Looking for EA work for your spare time? Look at (and add to) this list!

Isn't Charity Science Canadian? Organisations like that and GBS in Switzerland seem to have an advantage in that (domestic) donors often have to give through them, whereas in their home countries the charities strongly prefer donors to give directly to them. That's not particular replibable though, though donation matches are more so.

The Bittersweetness of Replaceability

Surely anyone save an absolutist non-EA (non-consequentialist) libertarian would grant that; but equally, surely it does make sense to move lots of medications down a notch on the restriction scale. See Slate Star Codex on the FDA, 23 and me, meds with tiny chances of huge harms compared to antidepressants with high chances of libido reduction, etc.

EA-commercials on national TV in Norway - for free!

Are there equivalentsto this in other countires?

0zdgroff6yVery much not equivalent, but in the U.S. there are public access channels, and I'm sure there are things like that in other countries. I'm curious how it would compare. I would guess the Norwegian thing is several orders of magnitude more effective since nobody watches public access, but I could be wrong.
2RyanCarey6yHere's how: []
[Discussion] What have you found great value in not doing?

I worry that people will be offended if I reply to emails days late, but suspect that in this I might be being a little paranoid.