Peter_Hurford

Peter_Hurford's Comments

Concerning the Recent Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

Strong kudos for betting. Your estimates seem quite off to me but I really admire you putting them to the test. I hope, for the sake of the world, that you are wrong.

Concerning the Recent Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

P(a particular person gets it | it goes world scale pandemic) = 1/3, estimating from similar events

What do you base this one on?

Opinion: Estimating Invertebrate Sentience

Chimps have much more neuroanatomical similarity with humans, more apparent cognitive sophistication (such as learning ability, language ability), and more complex social behavior, relative to chickens and cows.

Growth and the case against randomista development

Do we know if anyone from GiveWell intends to respond to this?

Growth and the case against randomista development

I'd be very keen to see someone fully operationalize “A ~4 person-year research effort will find donation opportunities working on economic growth in LMICs which are substantially better than GiveWell’s top charities from a current generation human welfare-focused point of view” and put it on a prediction market like Metaculus.

I think (on not that much reflection) that I’d be inclined to bet at <50% odds on my idealized view of what this fully operationalized statement would be, though I concede that ideal objective resolution criteria may overly assume the randomista worldview

More info on EA Global admissions

Also how did you do that co-author thing?

More info on EA Global admissions

What about making more EAG propers (not EAGx's)?

We're Rethink Priorities. AMA.

Sure. If it's possible, try making a large block of time (at least 2 continuous uninterrupted hours, preferably 4-6) for your main job and avoid context switching. Then take a break. Then make another large block of time (doesn't have to be the same size, but also at least 2 hours) for your independent research.

I have a lot of flexibility in both my day job and my EA job to structure my days as I see fit. I know other people aren't lucky. I try to wake up early, eat, read a bit, and then plow ~4hrs into my day job. Then I take a break for ~2-3hrs to exercise, eat, nap, and read a bit more. Then I plow ~4 more hours into EA stuff.

The last trick that makes the above possible is taking things like email, meetings, administrative stuff, etc., and try to push them as much as possible to just Tuesdays and Fridays (and I think doing it just on Fridays is doable for most non-managers) to avoid using up my continuous uninterrupted hours on "shallow work".

It sounds like your context switching might be unusually costly, in which case you might prefer to alternate days or weeks in so far as is possible. This has worked well for me but I recognize I am probably unusual in how I can work and also in the flexibility I have during the day and during the week to make these blocks and to avoid answering emails for a few days.

You might recognize this as a "deep work" approach, as advocated by Cal Newport. I took some notes on his book that I recommend (both the book and my notes).

I also once made a productivity curriculum that I think is generally helpful for approaching work, but doesn't really directly answer how to allocate time between projects.

As for prioritizing the job that pays me salary and letting my unpaid work languish, I do suffer from that a bit, but I try to precommit to a doable pace at work, avoid the temptation to do more than I need to, and make sure all my co-workers are clear and onboard about when I will deliver things. I aim to be a merely "good / above average" performer as opposed to a star. As a result, I'm not on any promotion fast-track (though I do still get promotions and raises) but I can put a significant amount of time into EA work. I have stacked the deck a lot more in favor of EA lately as I plan to transition to doing EA work full-time quite soon.

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