PatrickL

164Joined Jul 2021

Comments
18

Thanks for posting this. I thought it was well-considered with lots of good brainstroming of options for valuable policy/system change, so am happy you're joining the community! I think 3 is a particularly interesting idea. I think the EA community is far too large and independent to get to 80% agreement of EAs endorsing something, but there may be some way of surveying EAs in relevant fields for each of your policy proposals. It seems probably valuable to me to get politically-interested EAs to have in-depth knowledge on certain areas, although I think this could be broader than your suggestion of specific policies, and could be more like 'lean into this area because it seems possible to have extra-large positive impact to others' rather than going in with the aim of advocating for a specific policy. In my opinion, I'd probably endorse the main areas being those listed by 80k here - but seems like there's room for these to be challenged by new particularly policy-relevant areas.

I recommend this post about US policy careers and this post about longterm sustainability and growth in developing countries which argue some similar things and some different things to you!

I would probably add animal welfare too to your list of issues most commonly championed in EA  (but note there are plenty more causes that various people within EA are passionate about).
 

I noticed Ali Abdaal referencing some of the examples from this intro in his summary of WWOTF :) 
 

07:50 and 10:45
 

I would reframe this as 'community builders don't spend enough time on other EA things' rather than 'community builders spend too much time community building'. I know the thought is that less time marketing -> more time on other stuff, but I think it's worth setting a different tone. I worry there's too much of a meme going round like 'community building is not that good a thing to do', where it should be 'we are finding ways community building could be done better - exciting!'

To me, this is a great post for suggesting how community building could be done better through more direct experience - exciting!

I would be very happy to talk to people! I have been to EAG London three times. 

Once, I didn't know anyone and was too shy to reach out to anyone so floated round different talks. Once, I volunteered on reception and also got in some good conversations and workshops. Once, I spent most of the weekend in individual conversations - coming out inspired and exhausted! 

Very happy to talk to anyone if you message me :) I also used to work in the UK's foreign office and department for international development and am now studying AI. I think I'm nice and approachable!

I liked this review - useful tips I will consider if facilitating again!

I've found the connections/friendships formed the most valuable part - which would mean a strong +1 for your suggestion of games/debates. In my version of the usefulness list, the personal connections would probably go number one - particularly those nearby that you can eventually meet in person. 

Also, I get the impression from this you'd be a great facilitator!

I listened and come away with the same feeling as I commented above- IMO Rory is being a good ambassador for GiveDirectly here!

Also, I was excited about this because I thought Rory Stewart was the new Comms Director at No. 10, which I've just realised was an April Fools prank...

Thanks! Yes this was just my impression from reading, not listening. I'll hopefully get round to listening later and see if that updates my impression.

In 2015, it seems to be ~2% (£200m/£12bn).  This was general support for cash transfer schemes which included other features though, like nutritional support. Seems very high though still! Can't see anything more recent - my naive guess would be its less than this now.

Link on UK spend 2011-15 on cash transfers.

Thanks v much for posting this transcript! I agree this is on net good and think I took a more positive impression from Rory Stewart's points :)

Someone who has worked in international development for 30 years and headed DfID(!) is only just now finding out about cash transfers, and thinks it's the most effective intervention you can do. (Although perhaps with his caveat about "for a single poor family" makes it true?

I didn't get the impression from this transcript that Rory Stewart has just heard of cash transfers - is there any part which implied that? It felt to me more like bringing-the-listener-with-him kind of speak to convey a weird but exciting idea.

That the head of DfID thinks that it would have been better off spending the money on cash transfers. I had gotten the impression (mostly from posts on the EA Forum) that DfID was fairly well regarded in the space of effective giving so would have at least been aware of cash transfers. 

I would argue his point that 'giving people cash is probably the most effective single intervention that you can do for a very poor family'  is pretty accurate and I think it implies he understands it maybe isn't as effective as larger scale interventions (larger than 'a single intervention for one family'). But agree with you that the joke at the end "We should have kept DfID, but we should have spent the money on cash transfers" is wrong!

Anecdotally, from my experience in DfID in 2019-20, people working on cross-cutting development prioritisation often mentioned cash transfers in a way implying familiarity. The main question wasn't whether this weird idea works, but how it compares to bigger  interventions like conflict-prevention or aid-for-trade.

So I come out even more cheerful about this interview!

I loved this article! and have used it to explain my interests to family who aren't familiar/emotionally connected with longtermism. I also frequently used OWiD pieces (e.g. health + climate) when working in the FCDO - it became IMO the most credible and impartial source for providing new ideas & information to us, and I think OWiD can achieve this for longtermism-related data.

I wondered if it is possible to add a visualisation of a short animation: first, of the hourglass representing past and present (10 millions of) people, then zooming out to have a third section of the hourglass at the top, representing the future-people dripping in to the present-people section. For me,  this would be a more emotive visualisation of (a) the scale and (b) how connected we are to future people, than the existing two visualisations. 

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