Eli Rose

1117Joined Jan 2019


EA community-building grantmaking and projects at Open Phil.


Open Phil EA/LT Survey 2020


We've been paying people based on time spent, rather than by word. The amounts are based on our assessment of market rates for high-quality freelance translators for the language in question online, though my guess is this will be a more attractive than being a freelance translator because it's a source of steady work for a long period of time (e.g. 6 months).

Have you considered writing a letter to the editor? I think actual worked examples of naive consequentialism failing are kind of rare and cool for people to see.

Hmm yeah, I went East Coast --> Bay and I somewhat miss the irony.

  1. We're interested in increasing the diversity of the longtermist community along many different axes. It's hard to give a unified 'strategy' at this abstract level, but one thing we've been particularly excited about recently is outreach in non-Western and non-English-speaking countries.

  2. Yes, you can apply for a grant under these circumstances. It's possible that we'll ask you to come back once more aspects of the plan are figured out, but we have no hard rules about that. And yes, it's possible to apply for funding conditional on some event and later return the money/adjust the amount you want downwards if the event doesn't happen.

I'll stand by the title here. I think a bilingual person without specific training in translation can have good taste in determining whether or not a given translation is high-quality. These seem like distinct skills, e.g. in English I'm able to recognize a work badly translated from French even if I don't speak French and couldn't produce a better one. And having good taste seems like the most important skill for someone who is vetting and contracting with professional translators.

Separately, I also think that many (but not all) bilingual people without specific training in translation can themselves do good translation work. The results of our pilot project moved me towards this view (from a prior position that put a decent amount of weight on it).

As a high-level note, I see the goal here as enabling people to engage with EA ideas where they couldn't before. It's important that quality be high enough that the ideas are transmitted with good fidelity. But I don't think we need to adhere to an extremely high and rigorous standard of the type one might have when translating a literary work, e.g. I don't think we need translations to read so fluently that one forgets the material was originally written in English. I think this work is urgent and important, and I think the opportunity costs of imposing that kind of standard would be significant.

Hi Zakariyau. This seems like it definitely meets the criteria of a language with >5m speakers — I don't have the context, but I don't think English being the official language would be a barrier of any kind.

Unfortunately I think this kind of experimental approach is a bad fit here; opportunity costs seem really high, there's a small number of data points, and there's a ton of noise from other factors that language communities vary along.

Fortunately I think we'll have additional context that will help us assess the impacts of these grants beyond a black-box "did this input lead to this output" analysis.

Hi Nathan — I think that probably wouldn't make sense in this case, as I think it's important for the person leading a given translation project to understand EA and related ideas well, even if translators they hire do not.

Yep, this list isn't intended to rule anything out. We'd certainly be interested in getting applications from people who want to get content translated into Hindi or other Indian languages.

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