Pursuing an undergraduate degree
Seeking work
46Albury NSW, AustraliaJoined Apr 2020


I used to earn-to-give as a people manager in a fraud detection team, however I have now returned to fulltime study (psychology) in search of more fulfilling daily work and having more time for EA-related interests.

I am trying to help regrow EA @ Macquarie University. I am volunteering as an analyst at SoGive.

I'm not focused on any particular area of EA. I would like to help in global poverty, animal welfare, improving our long-term prospects and/or general movement building.

Actual name is Scott :). 37 years old.

How others can help me

Ideas and connections for postgraduate study and research related to psychology. I am interested in subjective wellbeing, moral psychology, mental health and decision making (really, anything that could have a good impact).

How I can help others

I have several years of experience with low and middle management of an operations team for an online company. Includes involvement in fraud investigations and development of detection systems (mostly bot-detection).

What is likely relevant is that I can people manage and organise various other admin to improve operational quality and efficiency.


Topic Contributions

Thanks HLI. I really like the post.

Pointing out an issue with the links to sheets that are referenced. Remove everything after "/edit" to make them work (as per below), and the latter one regardless is not publicly accessible:




Regarding the content,  as explained in Joel's comment above the immediate expected replacement effects are not included, and if they were to be you need to ask why stop after the first generation. Is there a legitimate argument however to count the first generation and stop there? Because:

  • first generation replacement effect is relevant immediately, or at least within the next few years. Second generation is relevant in ~20 years, when the state of the world is much less predictable. Hopefully subjective wellbeing of people in these regions will be noticeably better in 20 years, and any replacement effect/rate might also be noticeably different.
  • it is similar in immediacy and measurability (I think) to developmental, morbidity and grievance impacts that are included.



Great one. This has probably been considered by people with experience and decided against, and I am not confident with this thought, but to share it anyway...

Having to apply, and having to commit to everything, might put some people off. Due to fear of rejection, self-consciousness of their abilities/experience, shyness, or otherwise being uninterested in all components of the conference. 

I can imagine it being beneficial and a good opportunity (being virtual) to have an open invitation for joining any of the talks or Q&A sessions (I presume there will already be moderators screening questions). Obviously, the suggestion of having digested certain information prior to joining any of the live talks could easily remain (and this could be specific to each talk).

Separately, require an application for workshops, office hours with experts, and facilitated networking.

Thanks Luke. With regards to "better awareness" (#11). Competition is good and so people working on nearly the exact same thing isn't necessarily a bad thing. Ideally, there are identifiable differences so that we can learn from them. I take your concern as being, probably rightfully so, these groups working on things without knowing of similar ongoing/completed attempts.

Would you propose collaborated record keeping between funders and entrepreneurs of ongoing and completed projects, with their potential points of failure? Including, why funding was not approved.

I also really like the criticism of the "EA is overfunded" meme.  I think emphasising the good that can arise from the donations by the global 1% remains an important part of EA, and saying that "EA is overfunded" is contradictory to this.

I think it is quite relevant.

However, if FLI are publishing a group of these possible worlds, maybe they want to consider outsourcing the media piece to  someone else. It: 

a) links/brands the stories together (like how in a book of related short stories, a single illustrator is likely used)

b) makes it easier for lone EAs to contribute using the skill that is more common in the community.

It appears there are two "giving rules" that cover "standard" donations. They call them "Monthly Giving" and "Giving Now".

I love the idea behind Momentum with these rules. Such as donating set amounts when you buy drinks or dine out (something I thought of doing for myself manually). Not sure how it works however and can't see it being an automatic process - would have thought your linked bank account cannot categorise your spending like this for the purpose of automatic separate donation contributions. I tried to set up an account myself to test it out, but appears it is for United States only, which likely highlights a gap to be filled.

By sacrificing some automation and having the cause area to be user-defined but specific charity options limited, it seems likely to be able to create a more globalised product. Due to this, and the publicising angle, I think Laurin's project has promise. 

"My understanding (though I could be wrong) is that this discussion was set up to be broken into a series of mini-lessons for users of the Waking Up app." <- I can confirm this is correct.

The first episode came out August 2016. This is highly speculative, but could the Trump 2016 successful campaign have played a role in the impact of this episode? 

I wouldn't suggest this, however this first episode influenced me heavily with donations and enthusiasm for EA. I had decided prior to listening, I ought to donate more of my wealth to charity and was pretty firm on the idea. This was likely due to a couple of reasons, but Trump's popularity was definitely one of them. The strong nationalism and disregard for decency (in my opinion) conflicted with my moral views. Maybe I wasn't that unique and a lot of people with similar globalised moral inclinations were "triggered" or encouraged by this environment to reflect more on their beliefs.

I found the episode via googling something along the lines of "effective charities" (November/December, 2016), and it would have been one of the top links (on first few pages). I'm not sure if I had ever listened to a Sam Harris podcast before, but would have recognised the name as someone I respected from my early adult "anti-religion" phase.

Sorry if that is self-indulgent over sharing, but it might just be relevant that the first episode came out at a fairly convenient time? 

I do think that the possible factors in the article, as well as "fit with audience" mentioned by Ben Todd and others are stronger factors.

Obviously not directed at me, but the findings of this study did the rounds a few years ago in the media:

Life Cycle Assessment of grocery carrier bags

I'm not endorsing any position here. All I personally took from this study was to ensure to re-use my canvas bags and that plastic pollution is likely more significantly mitigated by further economic growth in less-developed nations (with little evidence and, suspiciously conveniently, fitting in with my pre-existing world view).

My initial reaction was "plastic straws/bags" as well, but the approach from 'meerpirat' now seems like the obvious way to go. I don't know anything on the topic, but there must be some clearly successful religious crusades that would be widely accepted as harmful now?

I'm trying to think of a more modern example that readers are more likely to find intuitively relatable, but run into the problem like you say in comment above "perhaps all the main causes which people focus on are at least somewhat good." I think the best bet if you are to stick with more relatable causes is to  highlight a cause that you can convince readers is clearly not as good . For example, poverty/health concerns of developed nations vs developing nations). You might hit a snag with many readers who have strong "charity begins at home" intuitions but it would be food for thought at least, and persuasive on readers you are likely targeting.

edit: I prefer 'alexrjl's plastic straws example, as has reasons for why it is likely actually bad.