Was community director of EA Netherlands, had to quit due to long covid

I have a background in philosophy,risk analysis, and moral psychology. I also did some x-risk research.

Topic Contributions


Some potential lessons from Carrick’s Congressional bid

I do agree that this provided quite some useful information. However, there may also be a big downside if the criticism of SBF is sticky and will carry to future EAs being funded in politics by him.

Some potential lessons from Carrick’s Congressional bid

Did Carrick anywhere address the 'crypto-shill' claim directly?

I have not followed this campaign closely, but I can totally see why Carrick came across as being inauthentic - because he sort of was. He was downplaying his EA side and presenting himself as a normal local politician.

I think the bold move here would have been openness: talking more deeply about his true motivations and those of SBF. Obviously, that brings EA much more in the scope of opponents, with major risks.

The lesson I'm (tentatively) drawing is that an "EA insider" cannot easily enter politics because it's hard to be authentic without exposing EA to political attacks.

EA is more than longtermism

Reading this post after going through funding options, I notice that:

There are many more avenues for funding long-termism projects than neartermism ones. GiveWell holds almost a monopoly and is not set up to fund the full spectrum of opportunities. For example:

  • no funding for neartermism-specific community building
  • no funding for alternative paradigms (economic growth, scientific research, improving institutional decision making, subjective well-being)
  • no career support
  • no support for smaller projects that aren't explicitly aiming to become a charity

As a result, I think many junior EAs really drift towards long-termism because that's where the funding is.

I don't know how much of OpenPhil's neartermism funding is informed by GiveWell, or how OpenPhil decides on neartermism funding outside of GiveWell.

Writing this all up, makes me tentatively believe it's a mistake to delegate the Global Health & Well-being fund to GiveWell, and that the neartermism funding space needs development.

It's also possible that I'm wrong about the above. In that case, I still expect many people to share my perception of the neartermism space. This perception probably contributes to the view that 'EA is currently primarily about long-termism'.

EA is more than longtermism

I strongly welcome the critiques you'll hopefully write, Michael!

Free-spending EA might be a big problem for optics and epistemics

Great point! I think each spending strategy has its pitfalls related to signalling.

I think this correlates somewhat with people's knowledge/engagement with economics, and political lean. The "frugal altruism" will probably attract more left leaning people, while "spending altruism" probably attracts more right leaning people

Why 80 000 hours should recommend more people become drug lords

I'm glad we're increasing diversity. Utilitarian psychopaths who are bad at math have long been underserved in this community.

“Should you use EA in your group name?” An update on PISE’s naming experiment

Great job on both experimenting, reviewing, and sharing the information! Looking forward to reading your next write up.

What psychological traits predict interest in effective altruism?

This is great. Having a summary or abstract would make it even better :)

How we failed

Yes, long COVID is currently badly defined. This is because it's a heterogenous multisystem disease; different patients have different pathologies, and it's a continuum. In addition, it's hard to include/exclude long COVID, because not every case is noticed, and antibodies are not a reliable indicator.

Fwiw, I think the data of SARS-1 is consistent with SARS COV 2: we generally see 20-30% with persistent symptoms and/or organ dysfunction in smaller studies, and lower numbers in controlled cohort studies.

In that 1-15%, this includes different severities. I'd say a big portion is simply more fatigued than usual, so that's like 0.1 or 0.2 DALY per year?

However, I think 1-3% develops the ME/CFS sub type, which has, according to one study, "When the YLL of 0.226M is combined with the YLD of 0.488M, we get a DALY of 0.714M."

( ,

I think the quality of life loss is accurate. I have severe long COVID and would gladly trade it for losing both my legs, HIV (not full blown AIDS maybe), and probably severe burns (don't know the details of that though).

I haven't evaluated the rigor of the years of life lost, but it does fit a multisystem disease.

Also just to note, I think this all looks even worse if you take into account that subjective wellbeing is actually unbounded, not a 0 to 1 scale, as well as the potential altruistic loss due to loss of productivity.

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