All of SiebeRozendal's Comments + Replies

CGP Grey: The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

I find exurb1a a bit too nihilistic.. the creator has also been accused of highly abusive behavior, so I feel iffy about the channel. (Sorry, no time to search the link for you)

Bounty to disclose new x-risks

" I think the EA Forum needs to up its game in terms of how it handles infohazards and provides guidance on their thinking in this area."

+1 to this

Stanley the Uncertain [Creative Writing Contest]

Maybe the correct way to promote EA is clickbait?

7 Things To Do To Make A Man Fall In Love With You

  1. Incorporate base rates
  2. Etc.
Remove An Omnivore's Statue? Debate Ensues Over The Legacy Of Factory Farming

I'm not sure if you're implying this: 'the neutral point of welfare is close to the point at which someone commits suicide'

If so, I'd argue that these points are often very far apart: there's tremendous evolutionary and social pressure against suicide, as well as that people can suffer immensely but hope the future will be better.

Therefore, I don't expect suicide rate to be very predictive of quality of life.

1WSCFriedman1moI was absolutely implying this! That was a fundamental part of my system, which went unspoken and which I am happy to defend. And it's why I pointed out that you don't seem to have even semicommon mass suicide in the classical world, before the rise of Judeo-Christian beliefs on Heavenly and Hellish fates, when people think of the afterlife as grey fuzz if they think there is an afterlife and when culture often considers it morally heroic to commit suicide, rather than sinful. It seems more common, then, but even then it's very rare, almost always only in cases where people have strong predictive reason to believe things are about to get much worse and not going to get better, even though they don't know about the hedonic treadmill. (I think the most common case is 'we're about to be captured by an extremely cruel enemy, tortured, maybe killed, maybe worse, almost certainly enslaved if we survive' - and even then I don't think most of the population of sacked cities kills themselves first, it's just something you hear about a noticeable minority of people doing, in what is basically the worst situation that can happen.) And evolutionary pressure against suicide is what I presume produced the hedonic treadmill. "Whatever happens, on the macro scale you will be happy slightly above the suicide rate" seems like a great thing for evolution to engineer in, and I'm not really surprised it did.
Donating money, buying happiness: new meta-analyses comparing the cost-effectiveness of cash transfers and psychotherapy in terms of subjective well-being

Great work! :) Very happy to see the increase in rigour over earlier estimates. If your research is correct (and, in my casual reading of it, I can find no reason why it wouldn't be) this opens up a whole new area of funding opportunities in the global health & wellbeing space!

I'm also excited about the rest of your research agenda. It seems very ambitious ;)

Some things I find interesting:

"we found evidence that group psychotherapy is more effective than psychotherapy delivered to individuals which is in line with other meta-analyses (Barkowski et al.,... (read more)

Last question: what's HLI's current funding situation? (Current funding, room for funding in different growth scenarios)

Our funding situation is, um, "actively seeking new donors"! We haven't yet filled our budget for 2022. 

Our gap up to the end 2022 on our lean budget is £120k; that's the minimum we need to 'keep the lights on'.

Our growth budget, the gap to the of 2022 is probably £300k; I'm not sure we could efficiently scale up much faster than that. (But if someone insisted on giving me more than that, I would have a good go!)

3JoelMcGuire1moHi Siebe, thank you for the kind words! We agree that using SWB could help us find new opportunities! We’re excited to explore more of this area. I was also surprised by the things you mention, but I think they make sense on reflection. I can share more of my reasoning if you'd like (but I'm unsure if that's what you were asking for). We don’t have enough information to estimate the relationship between cost and effectiveness, but this is an interesting question! The issue is that we lack studies that contain both the effects and the costs of psychotherapy. However, we should be able to get cost information from another psychotherapy NGO operating in LMICs, so we hope to analyze that too. I will let Michael comment on the funding situation!
EA Forum Creative Writing Contest: $22,000 in prizes for good stories

I have a concept for a story, but not the time/energy to finish it before Friday. I'm posting it here, in case anyone wants to take a go at turning it into a story! If it wins anything, some kind of split of prize money should be decided on..

The concept is inspired by Harsanyi's Veil of Ignorance: if you didn't know which person you'd be, what kind of world would you want to be in? Also inspired by Andy Weir's The Egg.

--

The story would start with an "empty soul" as MC. They have heard only a few (very positive) things about Life, and are really excited abo... (read more)

2Adam Binks1moInteresting idea! It reminds me of the excellent Pixar film Soul [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_(2020_film)].
[Creative Writing Contest] An Atomic Choice

Nice one!

The ending paragraph seems strange though: Simon just argued that the universe is at stake and that the MC is wrong, and then hands over the decision?

I suppose that you want to put the reader in the shoes of the MC, but I don't think that this is a good way to do that.

FTX EA Fellowships

Can you give some examples of exciting work that you'd find exciting enough to accept, and your selection criteria/heuristics?

To some extent TBD: this is a bit experimental. That said, some examples of who I'd imagine this might be a good fit for:

  • people working on PhD writing or research that can be done remotely
  • EA group organizers who want to spend time coworking with each other in person
  • people founding startups and looking for space from their current routines

But also just excited to see what applications we get!

[Creative Writing Contest] The Screams of Hell

I like the concept, but it was a little confusing to be honest. I interpreted the wonderful world as the future, and was very confused about the travel between the worlds (still am). Are they different planets? Is it time travel? Dimensional travel?

Due to this, the literal hearing of screams was also unclear, dulling the final twist (which I like!)

Lastly, I felt odd with the last two paragraphs. I find them quite moralizing, and I'd find the piece stronger without them. I think that's a big challenge with this whole contest: to teach a lesson and motivate,... (read more)

1Czynski1moDimensional travel, in my head, but this is allegory, the details are intentionally unspecified. I worked on making the literalness more plausible without outright lying to the reader, but it's a hard needle to thread. The conclusion is not as strong as I'd like, but illusion of transparency is real, so I'm leery of completely removing the didactic quality. It's much subtler than the Fable of the Dragon Tyrant already, and that one works well (though I think it would be better if it was less of an anvil-drop).
Honoring Petrov Day on the EA Forum: 2021

Oops! Sorry Peter, not my intention at all!

2Peter Wildeford2moHaha it's ok! Hopefully we can actually play a game version sometime.
Honoring Petrov Day on the EA Forum: 2021

I think this is an excellent contribution to the forum: strong upvote! ;)

Honoring Petrov Day on the EA Forum: 2021

Retracting my comment because it's unclear what kind of event (game, ritual, experiment) this is.

Honoring Petrov Day on the EA Forum: 2021

Yeah, my comments should be read as [in-game] comments, not as [ritual] comments, and I all mean it in good nature!
 

Damn, seeing the social complexity of this event with the uncertainty about what it is quickly made it feel more like a social minefield than a game.

6Peter Wildeford2moYeah I actually thought you were legit mad at me rather than just in-game strategizing, so that's +1 to this game being unnecessarily stressful. Thanks for clarifying.
Honoring Petrov Day on the EA Forum: 2021

Er.. I'm reading Khorton's post now, and apparently people are viewing this game/event thing very differently, so I think with that meta-uncertainty I am unwilling to ruthlessly strategize.

Honoring Petrov Day on the EA Forum: 2021

Also, the reference class of launches doesn't fully represent the current situation: last launch was more of a self-destruct. This time, it's harming another website/community, which seems more prohibitive. So I think the prior is lower than 40%.

Honoring Petrov Day on the EA Forum: 2021

There is a chance to remove MAD by removing Peter's launch codes' validity, per my request.

Honoring Petrov Day on the EA Forum: 2021

I have also used my strong downvote capability to reduce the signal of Peter's message. I hereby apologize for any harm outside of this game (Peter's total karma), but I saw no other way.

7Peter Wildeford2moYou could upvote something else I said ;)
Honoring Petrov Day on the EA Forum: 2021

I motion to 

  1. remove Peter Wildeford's launch codes from the list of valid launch codes for both this forum and LessWrong. Reason: he clearly does not understand that this precommitment is unlikely to deter any of the 'trusted' LW users to press the button (see this David Mannheim's comment and discussion below)
  2. evaluate our method of chosing 'trusted users'. We may want to put specific users that take dangerous actions like these on a black list for future instances of Petrov Day.

I would ask how users are chosen, but I imagine that making that knowledge... (read more)

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
5SiebeRozendal2moRetracting my comment because it's unclear what kind of event (game, ritual, experiment) this is.
5Peter Wildeford2moThat seems harsh.
4Nathan Young2moI think this just gets back to what the game is. If it's a game, I think what Peter did was fun and cool. If it's a ritual, then yeah maybe it was irresponsible (maybe not I don't know). Personally, it made me think about precommitments, which seems good, so I'm glad he did it.
1SiebeRozendal2moI have also used my strong downvote capability to reduce the signal of Peter's message. I hereby apologize for any harm outside of this game (Peter's total karma), but I saw no other way.
Honoring Petrov Day on the EA Forum: 2021

Everyone cares about something, so maybe we should precommit to something more .. deterring? It should likely be something that's not really bad, but still somewhat uncomfortable for the person to experience. (I realize that going down this path of thinking might produce actual outside-game harm)

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
5SiebeRozendal2moEr.. I'm reading Khorton's post [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/Wsid3pHisYtutJzjw/clarifying-the-petrov-day-exercise] now, and apparently people are viewing this game/event thing very differently, so I think with that meta-uncertainty I am unwilling to ruthlessly strategize.
Introducing TEAMWORK - an EA Coworking Space in Berlin

I'm curious: how much are you spending on this on a yearly basis, roughly? It seems a very effective thing to develop a real tight and collaborative community.

7Sebastian Schwiecker2moVery rough monthly cost all in (rent, insurance, electricity, heating, cleaning, internet... ) is around 3.500€. In addition we had some upfront costs (mostly furniture) of around 11,000€. We currently also tend to buy a lot of new stuff which adds up to a couple of hundreds of Euros every month (e.g. we got a Microwave today, last week we bought an air purifier... ). Next week we will get some phone booths which will luckily be paid for through a grant from the EA Infrastructure Fund though (around 14,000€ for 4). So currently we are still subsidizing the office through our main project (or we just pay a relatively high rent ourselves) but we are getting closer for it to be financial self sufficient (probably not if I would honestly calculate the staff time we invested though). Still feels like a really good investment, especially since we started hosting (small) events as well (e.g. EA Berlin Meetup, EA Consulting Network Meetup, AI Lecture... ). Make sure to visit us if you are ever in Berlin.
When pooling forecasts, use the geometric mean of odds

Interesting! Seems intuitively right.

I wonder though: how would this affect expected value calculations? Doesn't this have far-reaching consequences? 

One thing I have always wondered about is how to aggregate predicted values that differ by orders of magnitude. E.g. person A's best guess is that the value of x will be 10, person B's guess is that it will be 10,000. Saying that the expected value of x is ~5,000 seems to lose a lot of information. For simple monetary betting, this seems fine. For complicated decision-making, I'm less sure.

Let's work this example through together! (but I will change the quantities to 10 and 20 for numerical stability reasons)

One thing we need to be careful with is not mixing the implied beliefs with the object level claims.

In this case, person A's claim that the value is  is more accurately a claim that the beliefs of person A can be summed up as some distribution over the positive numbers, eg a log normal with parameters  and  . So the density distribution of beliefs of A is ... (read more)

What EA projects could grow to become megaprojects, eventually spending $100m per year?

(highly speculative and I see a lot of flaws, but I can see it scaled)

EA training institute/alternative university. Kind of like creating navy seals: highly selective, high dropout rate, but produces the most effective people (with a certain goal) in the world.

My hunch is that that isn't a $100m per year-project, within reasonable time frames (the same is true of several other suggestions in this thread). Cf. Kirsten's post.

What EA projects could grow to become megaprojects, eventually spending $100m per year?

let's add a high school/prep school to it ;-)

Seriously though, I think having an institute more separate than GPI would not be great for disseminating research and gaining reputation. It would be nice though for training up EA students.

Example syllabus "Existential Risks"

"2. Judgement calibration test

The Judgement Calibration test is supposed to do two things: first, make sure that students have really read the material and know its content; and second, test whether they can properly calibrate their confidence regarding the truth of their own answers."

This is really cool Simon, and awesome that you actually got permission to give actual grades by this mechanism. Curious how it works out in practice!

1simonfriederich5moGreat that you like this testing idea, Siebe! I just tried out the judgment calibration test with my Munich students, with 25 relatively difficult-to-assess statements. Main finding: Roughly half score better and half score worse than they would have done if they had just uniformly answered "50%". I guess that this indicates that the test was slightly too difficult. Notably, I had included many statements about orders of magnitude (e.g. energy released by the sun in a year, or time scales), and those seem challenging. But the best students had a mean square deviation of the estimate from the truth value of about 16%, which I guess is quite good.
What is the likelihood that civilizational collapse would directly lead to human extinction (within decades)?

On 2: I know very little about the Chernobyl meltdown and meltdowns in general, but those numbers seem be the referring to the actual consequences of the meltdown. My understanding is that there was a substantial emergency reaction that liited the severity of the meltdown. I'm not sure, but I can imagine a completely unmanaged meltdown to be substantially worse?

Also on 1: I have no idea how hard it is to turn a nuclear power plant off, but I doubt that it's very easy for outsiders with no knowledge (and that are worried about survival so don't have time to research how to do it safely?)

Help me find the crux between EA/XR and Progress Studies

Sure, but the delta you can achieve with anything is small, depending on how you delineate an action. True, x-risk reduction is on the more extreme end of this spectrum, but I think the question should be "can these small deltas/changes add up to a big delta/change? (vs. the cost of that choice)" and the answer to that seems to be "yes."

Is your issue more along the following?

  1. Humans are bad at estimating very small percentages accurately, and can be orders of magnitudes off (and the same goes for astronomical values in the long-term future)
  2. Arguments for the
... (read more)
Retrospective on Catalyst, a 100-person biosecurity summit

That sounds like a better title to me :) Kudos on the adaptation.

Retrospective on Catalyst, a 100-person biosecurity summit

Thanks for the highly detailed post! Seems like it was a cool event.

Nitpicking: this is the second time I see an evaluation described as "postmortem" and it puts me on the wrong foot. To me "postmortem" suggests the project was overall a failure, while it clearly wasn't! "Evaluation" seems like a better word?

1tessa6moThanks for the feedback; nitpicking appreciated, since we also weren't sure about the title. We considered alternatives like "Learnings from a mid-sized event: Catalyst Biosecurity Summit Writeup" or "How to run a 100-person biosecurity event" but picked the current title for being short and containing the name of the summit. I think we chose the word "postmortem" kind of following the naming trend of a few of the EAGx "postmortems" linked at the end of the post. I notice one of the current tags on the post is"Postmortems & Retrospectives". Would it have seemed more appropriate to you if the name was "Event Retrospective: Catalyst Biosecurity Summit"? Would "Retrospective: running a 100-person biosecurity summit" be better still? Further feedback welcome!
MSc in Risk and Disaster Science? (UCL) - Does this fit the EA path?

I wrote some thoughts on risk analysis as a career path in my shortform here, which might be somewhat helpful. I echo people's concern that this program focuses overly much on non-anthropogenic risk.

I also know an EA that did this course - I'll send her details in a PM. :)

New Job: Manager at Giving Green

Giving Green was fortunate enough to receive a grant from the EA Infrastructure fund, with the express purpose of addressing this criticism, by bringing our methods closer in line to that of the EA community and implementing other suggestions.

This is really interesting! I am happy to see that the cooperative nature of that disagreement is being continued, and I look forward to the progress of the person that ends up taking this role. It sounds like a very high-level of qualifications (good researcher, good ops skills, communications, management..), so I hope you're able to find someone!

SiebeRozendal's Shortform

This is a small write-up of when I applied for a PhD in Risk Analysis 1.5 years ago. I can elaborate in the comments!

I believed doing a PhD in risk analysis would teach me a lot of useful skills to apply to existential risks, and it might allow me to direectly work on important topics. I worked as a Research Associate on the qualitative ide of systemic risk for half a year. I ended up  not doing the PhD because I could not find a suitable place, nor do I think pure research is the best fit for me. However, I still believe more EAs should study somethi... (read more)

3Aaron Gertler1yAww yes, people writing about their life and career experiences! Posts of this type seem to have some of the best ratio of "how useful people find this" to "how hard it is to write" -- you share things you know better than anyone else, and other people can frequently draw lessons from them.
Key points from The Dead Hand, David E. Hoffman

Good points! I broadly agree with your assessment Michael! I'm not at all sure how to judge whether Sagan's alarmism was intentionally exaggerated or the result of unintentional poor methodology. And then, I think we need to admit that he was making the argument in a (supposedly) pretty impoverished research landscape on topics such as this. It's only expected that researchers in a new field make mistakes that seem naive once the field is further developed.

I stand by my original point to celebrate Sagan > Petrov though. I'd rather celebrate (and learn f... (read more)

Please Take the 2020 EA Survey

Ah yes, that makes sense and I hadn't thought of that

Please Take the 2020 EA Survey

Have you considered running different question sets to different people (randomly assigned)?

It could expand the range of questions you can ask.

2David_Moss1yThanks for the suggestion. We have considered it and might implement it in future years for some questions. For a lot of variables, I think we'd rather have most data from almost all respondents every other year, than data from half of respondents every year. This is particularly so for those variables which we want to use in analyses combined with other variables, but applies less in the case of variables like politics where we can't really do that.
SiebeRozendal's Shortform

I have a concept of paradigm error that I find helpful.

A paradigm error is the error of approaching a problem through the wrong, or an unhelpful, paradigm. For example, to try to quantify the cost-effectiveness of a long-termism intervention when there is deep uncertainty.

Paradigm errors are hard to recognise, because we evaluate solutions from our own paradigm. They are best uncovered by people outside of our direct network. However, it is more difficult to productively communicate with people from different paradigms as they use different language.

It is... (read more)

8Nathan Young1yI think I call this "the wrong frame". "I think you are framing that incorrectly etc" eg in the UK there is often discussion of if LGBT lifestyles should be taught in school and at what age. This makes them seem weird and makes it seem risky. But this is the wrong frame - LGBT lifestyles are typical behaviour (for instance there are more LGBT people than many major world religions). Instead the question is, at what age should you discuss, say, relationships in school. There is already an answer here - I guess children learn about "mummies and daddies" almost immediately. Hence, at the same time you talk about mummies and daddies, you talk about mummies and mummies, and single dads and everything else. By framing the question differently the answer becomes much clearer. In many cases I think the issue with bad frames (or models) is a category error.
1Alexxxxxxx1yI like this, I think i use the wrong models when trying to solve challenges in my life.
jackmalde's Shortform

I agree with this: a lot of the argument (and related things in population ethics) depends on the zero-level of well-being. I would be very interested to see more interest into figuring out what/where this zero-level is.

Open and Welcome Thread: October 2020

I have recently been toying with a metaphor for vetting EA-relevant projects: that of a mountain climbing expedition. I'm curious if people find it interesting to hear more about it, because then I might turn it into a post.

The goal is to find the highest mountains and climb them, and a project proposal consists of a plan + an expedition team. To evaluate a plan, we evaluate

  • the map (Do we think the team perceives th territory accurately? Do we agree that the territory looks promising for finding large mountains? and
  • the route (Does the strategy look
... (read more)
Founders Pledge Report: Psychedelic-Assisted Mental Health Treatments

Great report! I have a two questions for you:

1. On the following:

There are already many ongoing and upcoming high-quality studies on psychedelic-assisted mental health treatments, and there are likely more of those to follow, given the new philanthropic funding that has recently come into the area.​ (p. 45-46)

Based on the report itself, my impression is that high-quality academic research into microdosing and into flow-through effects* of psychedelic use is much more funding-constrained. Have you considered those?


2. Did you consider more organisati... (read more)

2AidanGoth1yThanks for your questions, Siebe! Yes, but only relatively briefly. You're right that these kinds of research are more neglected than studies of mental health treatments but we think that the benefits are much smaller in expectation. That's not to say that there couldn't be large benefits from microdosing or flow-through effects, just that these are much more speculative. Note that we think it's more likely than not (59%) that psilocybin will turn out to be less effective than existing treatments for depression (pg. 35). Even the mental health benefits are fairly uncertain and these other benefits you mention are even less likely to materialise. The kinds of research you suggest could be valuable but I think it makes sense to focus on the mental health treatments first. On microdosing specifically, we mention our specific concerns (pg. 21): I think the last point, about microdosing being further away than mental health treatments, applies to many flow-through effects. If, indeed, psychedelics could bring about wide-ranging benefits, then the best first step is probably to get them approved as mental health treatments anyway and so advancing this seems valuable. If approved, it will also be easier to carry out other kinds of research. This is related to your other comment, so I'll answer both together. Drug development [https://www.fda.gov/patients/learn-about-drug-and-device-approvals/drug-development-process] can but need not involve the creation of new drugs. It's the process that has to happen in order for banned or new substances to be approved for medical use. It involves high-quality studies to prove efficacy and safety. Drug development is very expensive - it costs at least tens of millions of dollars (usually more) to go through the FDA approval process. So actually, there just aren't many organisations able to do this. Usona and MAPS aren't just lobbying for approval, they're conducting clinical research in order to approve psilocybin and MDMA for m
Founders Pledge Report: Psychedelic-Assisted Mental Health Treatments

I was confused about the usage of the term drug development as it sounds to me like it's about the discovery/creation of new drugs, which clearly does not seem to be the high-value aspect here. But from the report:

Drug development is a process that covers everything from the discovery of a brand new drug for treatment to this drug being approved for medical use.
1AidanGoth1yI've hopefully clarified this in my response to your first comment :)
Founders Pledge Report: Psychedelic-Assisted Mental Health Treatments
I speculate that the particulars of the psychedelic experience may drive rescaling like this in an intense way.

I also think that the psychedelic experience, as well as things like meditation, affect well-being in ways that might not be captured easily. I'm not sure if it's rescaling per se. I feel that meditation has not made me happier in the hedonistic sense, but I strongly believe it's made optimize less for hedonistic wellbeing, and in addition given me more stability, resilience, better judgment, etc.

How have you become more (or less) engaged with EA in the last year?

I recently moved to a (nearby) EA hub to live temporarily with some other EA's (and some non-EA's), while figuring out my next steps in my life/career.

This has considerably increased my involvement. The ability to talk about EA over lunch, dinner, and to join meetups that are 5 minutes away make a big difference. As well as finding nice people I connect with socially/emotionally.

I suppose COVID had somewhat of a positive influence here too: I am less likely to attend a wide range of events, because I don't know people's approaches to safety. This leaves more time for EA.

Use resilience, instead of imprecision, to communicate uncertainty

Although communicating the precise expected resilience conveys more information, in most situations I prefer to give people ranges. I find it a good compromise between precision and communicating uncertainty, while remaining concise and understandable for lay people and not losing all those weirdness credits that I prefer to spend on more important topics.

This also helps me epistemically: sometimes I cannot represent my belief state in a precise number because multiple numbers feel equally justified or no number feels justified. However, there are often bo

... (read more)
EA Focusmate Group Announcement

Just to clarify: Focusmate isn't meant to talk about your work, so most people don't try to find people with in-depth knowledge. I mostly don't explain things in detail and don't feel like I need to. It's more an accountability thing and to share general progress (e.g. "I wanted to get 3 tasks done: write an email, draft an outline for a blog post, and solve a technical issue for my software project. I got 2 of them done, and realized I need to ask a colleague about #3, so I did that instead).

CEA's Plans for 2020

Thanks for the elaborate reply!

I think there's a lot of open space in between sending out surveys and giving people binding voting power. I'm not a fan of asking people to vote on things they don't know about. However, I have something in mind of "inviting people to contribute in a public conversation and decision-making process". Final decision power would still be with CEA, but input is more than one-off, the decision-making is more transparant, and a wider range of stakeholders is involved. Obviously, this does not work for all ... (read more)

CEA's Plans for 2020

Hi Max, good to read an update on CEA's plans.

Given CEA's central and influential role in the EA community, I would be interested to hear more on the approach on democratic/communal governance of CEA and the EA community. As I understand it, CEA consults plenty with a variety of stakeholders, but mostly anonymously and behind closed doors (correct me if I'm wrong). I see lack of democracy and lack of community support for CEA as substantial risks to the EA community's effectiveness and existence.

Are there plans to make CEA more democratic, including in its strategy-setting?

7MaxDalton2yI agree that it’s important that CEA reliably and verifiably listens to the community. I think that we have been listening, and we published some of that consultation - for instance in this post [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/wL6nzXsHQEAZ2WJcR/summary-of-core-feedback-collected-by-cea-in-spring-summer] and in the appendix to our 2019 review [https://www.centreforeffectivealtruism.org/blog/ceas-2019-annual-review-appendix/] (see for instance the EA Global section [https://www.centreforeffectivealtruism.org/blog/ceas-2019-annual-review-appendix/#ea-global] ). Over the next few months we plan to send out more surveys to community members about what they like/dislike about the EA community members, and as mentioned above, we’re thinking about using community member satisfaction as a major metric for CEA. If it did become a key metric, it’s likely that we would share some of that feedback publicly. We don’t currently have plans for a democratic structure, but we’ve talked about introducing some democratic elements (though we probably won’t do that this year). Whilst I agree that consultation is vital, I think the benefits of democracy over consultation are unclear. For instance, voters are likely to have spent less time engaging with arguments for different positions and there is a risk of factionalism. Also the increased number of stakeholders means that the space of feasible options is reduced because there are few options that a wide spread of the community could agree on, which makes it harder to pursue more ambitious plans. I think you’re right that this would increase community support for CEA’s work and make CEA more accountable. I haven’t thought a lot about the options here, and it may be that there are some mechanisms which avoid the downsides. I’d be interested in suggestions. Anyway, I definitely think it’s important for CEA to listen to the community and be transparent about our work, and I hope to do more of that in the future.
AMA: Toby Ord, author of "The Precipice" and co-founder of the EA movement

There will be a lot to learn from the current pandemic from global society. Which lesson would be most useful to "push" from EA's side?

I assume this question is in between the "best lesson to learn" and "lesson most likely to be learned". We probably want to push a lesson that's useful to learn, and that our push actually helps to bring it into policy.

AMA: Toby Ord, author of "The Precipice" and co-founder of the EA movement

Given the high uncertainty of this question, would you (Toby) consider giving imprecise credences?

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