Community Event Manager @ Centre for Effective Altruism
3491 karmaJoined Jun 2017Working (0-5 years)


CEA Community Events Retrospective


Daniel Dewey was a Program Officer for potential risks from advanced AI at OP for several years. I don't know how long he was there for, but he was there in 2017 and left before May 2021.

a podcast I find soporific so that I'm more liable to fall asleep easily

Huh, I find the 80k podcast pretty interesting.

Answer by OllieBaseSep 25, 202310

I don't think I've become a lot more hard-working, but definitely more. A few things:

  • Finding work I enjoy and which I'm good at. A cliché but probably still underrated. When I'm working on things I find interesting and which I'm good at, I'm noticeably more productive (10–100% more).
  • Strangely, I had overly strict work-life boundaries that actually backfired for me earlier in my career. If I thought I had to work post 6 pm to finish something, I'd start to become stressed and would worry about burning out. In fact, when I stopped worrying about that and worked later when I needed to, I became less stressed and more productive. Conversely, I'd feel very guilty about running errands during the day if it cut into my work day. I'm also more relaxed about that, and it hasn't hit my productivity. I still value work-life balance, I'm just more flexible about what that looks like.
  • I use RescueTime which gives me actual data on my productivity. It's striking that sometimes when I feel unproductive, I actually wasn't and vice versa. That's helped me notice what works (reducing meetings, bunching meetings together, avoiding unnecessary travel etc.) and what doesn't.
  • Being around other (hard-working) people. I'm noticeably more productive when I have a neighbour, especially when they're a colleague. You pick up on their habits and you get some background social accountability (they'd notice if you e.g. wrote long forum comments instead of working).
  • Blocking distracting apps. I use Limit and I know people who love Freedom, the paid version.

That's fair. I agree accomplishments probably wasn't the right word for this kind of post.

This is a reasonable question to ask, but it felt a bit unkind so I downvoted. I think it's okay to post things that are clearly framed as "here's the vibe of our community" and not "here's why we're impactful" and I wish you'd at least acknowledged that was the aim of the post before requesting more info. 

Thanks for doing all you do! You're always very responsive, very helpful and track lots of things so that staff like me (CEA) don't have to.

^ This should make you think that whatever Phoebe says here is probably decent advice for ops roles!

legitimize "fridge" causes 

He also has cold takes, presumably

The slide Nathan is referring to. "We didn't listen" feels a little strong; lots of people were working on policy detail or calling for it, it just seems ex post like it didn't get sufficient attention. I agree directionally though, and Richard's guesses at the causes (expecting fast take-off + business-as-usual politics) seem reasonable to me.

Also, *EAGxBerlin.

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