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Small and Vulnerable

Thanks for writing this, I found it really moving. I think it's incredibly admirable that you've decided to use your strength now to help other people who need it most. It's especially refreshing because I sometimes see stories like this end with something like "and I managed to do this [on my own / with the help of this specific thing] so anyone can do it and I don't need to help them" which just always seems wrong. 

Don't Be Bycatch

Sorry, perhaps this wasn't clear - I'm not suggesting investing heavily in a single intervention or cause area for a long time, rather building skills that will be useful for solving a variety of problems (e.g. research skills, experience working in teams etc.).

Don't Be Bycatch

Thanks for this really thoughtful post :)

Zahara's trying to maximize her chance of a 10% increase in her altruistic output.

I agree it's a good idea to focus on small gains. Even better advice might be to focus on learning or building skills which might give Zahara a 10% increase in her altruistic output later on (e.g. focus on studying, learn something new, try and find a job which means she'll learn a lot). 

You could apply the same idea to donating 0% or 1% this year. It's also fine to donate 0% for several years and then give when you're more comfortable.

In general, I think EAs (myself included) are too focused on generating impact today and should focus more on building skills to generate impact later on.

Open and Welcome Thread: March 2021

Great to see you're still involved, Tristan! Looking forward to reading your thoughts :)

What is going on in the world?

The US is falling apart rapidly (on the scale of years), as evident in US politics departing from sanity and honor, sharp polarization, violent civil unrest, hopeless pandemic responses, ensuing economic catastrophe, one in a thousand Americans dying by infectious disease in 2020, and the abiding popularity of Trump in spite of it all.


(I note that you're just outlining potential worldviews, not necessarily defending them)

I don't think this is all that unique to the US. I think at least 5 out of 7 of these things could also be applied to the UK and France; the UK has a higher COVID-19 death rate than the US and there has been ongoing civil unrest in France for over two years now. In fact, the US is outside the top 10 in terms of COVID-19 deaths per capita.

This doesn't mean I'm pessimistic about all of those countries too - it just makes me think that this is how the world looks when we experience a pandemic (and... use Twitter?). 

AMA: Markus Anderljung (PM at GovAI, FHI)

Thanks for doing this!

There should be more EA community-building efforts focused on professionals, say people with a few years of experience.

Could you say more about which fields / career paths you have in mind?

There is a vast array of important research that doesn’t get done because people don’t find it interesting enough.

You already give some examples later but, again, which fields do you have in mind? Do you think there are any systemic reasons for why certain areas of research aren't considered to be 'interesting' in EA / longtermism (assuming those are the people you have in mind here)?

AI Governance: Opportunity and Theory of Impact

Just wanted to say that I found this to be a really helpful guide to GovAI's research direction and your general views on how the field of AI governance should grow. It would be great to see more high-level explainers like this for other research topics in EA. Thanks Allan!

Projects tackling nuclear risk?

I don't know much about them but I believe the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) support these policies in the UK (INF, hair-trigger).

What is a good donor advised fund for small UK donors?

I don't know whether they can do all of those things but could be worth asking Prism.

What are the key ongoing debates in EA?

Could you spell out what this means? I'd guess that most people (myself included) aren't familiar with ossification and organizational ontologies.

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