All of RichardYannow's Comments + Replies

A Red-Team Against the Impact of Small Donations

The claim that large EA donors are likely to return ≥15% annually, and plausibly 30%-100%, is incredibly optimistic. Why would we expect large EA donors to get so much higher returns on investment than everyone else, and why would such profitable opportunities still be funding-constrained? This is not a case where EA is aiming for something different from others; everyone is trying to maximize their monetary ROI with their investments.

8Jonas Vollmer2moMarkets are made efficient by really smart people with deep expertise. Many EAs fit that description, and have historically achieved such returns doing trades/investments with a solid argument and without taking crazy risks. Examples include: crypto arbitrage opportunities like these [https://ftxpremiums.com/] (without exposure to crypto markets), the Covid short, early crypto investments (high-risk, but returns were often >100x, implying very favorable risk-adjusted returns), prediction markets, meat alternatives. Overall, most EA funders outperformed the market over the last 10 years, and they typically had pretty good arguments for their trades. But I get your skepticism and also find it hard to believe (and would also be skeptical of such claims without further justification). Also note that returns will get a lot lower once more capital is allocated in this way. It's easy to make such returns on $100 million, but really (Made some edits)
Some personal thoughts on EA and systemic change

Note that Scott himself has said he agrees the Libya intervention turned out poorly and is now no longer comfortable endorsing things similar interventions, see http://web.archive.org/web/20150731041537/https://slatestarscratchpad.tumblr.com/post/125060547081/how-have-your-political-positions-shifted-through

0xccf6yThanks for the link, I wasn't aware of that. Still disappointed to see an ad hominem argument. It's true that Matthews only included it as a throwaway sentence, but this is the kind of characterization that readers can latch on to... feels like within-EA movement disagreements should be kept above the ad hominem level. (Also in favor of engaging opponents in a classy way, but let's walk before we run.)
A way of thinking about saving vs improving lives

I think there's an error in your math. You're using log base 10 consistently in your article and the linked spreadsheet, but then you say the derivative of the function log(c)+k is 1/c. If you're using log base 10 throughout, the derivate is 1/(ln(10)*c). If you use log base e throughout, then each value you got for log_10(x) should be multiplied by ln(10) to get the value of ln(x). In either case, we end up with dollar amounts a bit over 2.3 times higher than your calculated values for the value of a marginal life in a pure aggregate utilitarian framework... (read more)

[Housekeeping Notice] The 'meetups' sidebar is temporarily broken

Tom, can you clarify what the relationship is between the EA Hub and the EA Forum (If anything)? It seems like those links point at different things.

1number426yTo clarify a little more, they're totally separate codebases I believe.
0Tom_Ash6yWhoops, wrong links. Corrected.