Simon Holm

58Joined Aug 2021


I would be super-keen on reading more essays exploring friendship from a well-being/making-the-world-a-better-place point-of-view, and I do think there is something to say there with regards to community building, too! 

In any case, I found this post to be a thoughtful reminder for my personal goals with regards to relationships. And thanks for making me laugh! Not something I expect from an ordinary Tuesday evening *hat off*.

Thanks for writing this post! I would love to see how elements of what is reported here could potentially improve CEA's virtual introductory program and be more discussed among/taught to community builders on a consistent basis. I look forward to digesting these topics more properly to see how it can benefit the work I do as university group supporter.

For the sake of using the handbook for an intro fellowship - where is the "earlier estimate of your future income" located, if anywhere, in the handbook? Does it refer to some exercise or to a graph in one of the articles on economic inequality? And if there is no such thing, perhaps an alternative phrasing or including the estimate in the exercise would be great!

I really like this point, and it sparks a few questions, confusions and thoughts I have about community building, some of which are:

(1) I believe what you are pointing at can be a good distinction between the tasks of national/regional groups vs. local groups at universities and in cities - the more local groups catering towards creating a healthy community (for example through the activities you suggested), and the bigger groups catering towards helping/"making sure" the community serves humanity in addition to itself.

(2) What do we actually mean with community building and what is the difference between a community building and movement building (and is one of them preferred)?

(3) Is what you're bringing up an example of Goodhart's law (this question may say more about my understanding of the law than about community building)? 

(4) (related to above points) I wonder if we weigh the intrinsic value of (the) EA community(s) too little, compared to its/their instrumental value, much like treating rest as a means to be, say, more productive, will make it harder to get proper rest (not sure if this is an actual thing, but I'm pretty sure there's a named concept for it which I have forgotten), and also missing out on the intrinsic value, of course! Making the community healthy would be, I guess, more of catering to the community for the community's sake, whilst also (probably) making it more likely for it/its members to have a greater impact.

Perhaps some of these points have already been adressed in previous posts on community building - would love to get tips on this!

I hope this doesn't interfere with the intent of your post; I really felt like sharing my associations! Please let me know if anything was irrelevant. Would love to hear if you have any thoughts on mine.

I am not sure if it's only in my browser, but the very first table in this article has a strange formatting which makes the columns too thin so that the table becomes hard to read - would be awesome if this could be improved :)

Amazing to see the variation and the effort put into the contributions here - a joy to skim through. Well done everyone! 

Hi Jesse! Thanks for replying, and good to hear that you are also positive idea, even though  - the answer seems to be clear here.  I'll hold my thumbs for the future!

It absolutely depends on particular circumstances! 

I realise now that my current impression of GPR is that it really is its own field,  i.e. that you would not spending much time dipping your toes into specific (other) cause areas. See more here:
But it would be more useful to talk to someone who works with it to find out more, for sure!

I don’t feel justified to give you any advice, but I’ll tell you some of my thoughts on this.

I struggle with this question, too, and I find that it is easy to come to the conclusion that one should become a full-time philosopher or global priorities researcher to straighten these uncertainties out, depending on to what degree you want all of your actions justified.

My current practical strategy to deal with this (which I am sure can be improved) is to do both of the things you've described, but simultaneously. For example, I've been participating in a career accountability group for the last year where I have thought about career-related questions (i.e. "What do I feel passionate about?", "What roles could be a good personal fit for me?", "What do I think are the most pressing issues?"), but I have simultaneously jumped at volunteering to organise a local group and started a writing project on the side.

But I do also work part-time, so I have an easier time to take time for these things than you do.

What is your end goal, exactly? Maximising impact right now? Later? Finding a job which is a great personal fit, but more impactful than the job you have currently? There are different degrees to wanting to have an impact, and I think making it concrete may help.

Let me know your thoughts on this!

Dear Greg - thank you for reading my story and for your comment! 

When I asked a teacher in creative writing, he told me that for readers to be interested, we need to make a difference between portrayal and description - that is, if you have a message in your story, it  shouldn't be too obvious, or the reader will feel like they can't think for themselves. I guess there is a scale, for if too subtle, then the message will not get across at all, perhaps shadowed by other interpretations. 

I think your suggestions may help me bring the story closer to the optimal point on this scale, for I believe I am being too subtle. 

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