So-Low Growth

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Why you should give to a donor lottery this Giving Season

Does this help (from the FAQs? "The lottery is administered by the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA). The Centre for Effective Altruism is a registered charity in England and Wales (Charity Number 1149828) and a registered 501(c)(3) Exempt Organization in the USA (EIN 47-1988398). An entry to the lottery is a donation to CEA; CEA will regrant the lottery money, based on the recommendation of the lottery winner.

All grants made are at CEA’s sole discretion. This is a condition of CEA’s status as a tax-deductible non-profit (both in the UK and the US). Of course, CEA will make a good faith effort to act on the recommendation of the winning donor, but it is important to understand that this does not constitute a binding contract, and the final decision rests with CEA.

There are cases where it may not be possible to follow the winner’s recommendation. In particular, CEA is limited to making grants within its charitable objects (and in the US, within the scope of what the IRS would deem an 'appropriate organization' to regrant to). Judgements about whether a potential grantee is within this scope will be made on a case-by-case basis by CEA. If CEA determines that it cannot follow a recommendation, the donor will be contacted to discuss and be given the opportunity to provide a revised recommendation.

Broadly speaking, CEA should be able to regrant to any fund or organization on listed on Effective Altruism Funds, as well as nearly all other registered non-profit organizations in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Europe, and possibly other jurisdictions (assuming their organizational purposes don’t contravene CEA’s charitable objects, and we can verify their non-profit status).

CEA may also be able to make grants to organizations that are not registered non-profits, or projects that are run by unincorporated individuals. These requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If you are unsure about whether a potential grantee would be eligible, please get in touch before entering the lottery to discuss (contact details below)."

AMA: Jason Crawford, The Roots of Progress

Quick thought here Jack and Jason (caveat - haven't thought about this much at all!). 

Yes, the creation of new fields is important. However, even if there are diminishing returns to new fields (sidenote - I've been thinking about ways to try and measure this empirically), what's more important is the applicability of the new field to existing fields. 

For example, even if we only create one new field but that field could be incredibly powerful. For example, APM (atomically precise manufacturing), or an AGI of some sorts, then it will have major ramifications on progress across all fields. 

However, if we created a lot of new  insignificant fields, then even if we create hundreds of them, progress won't be substantially improved across other domains.

I guess what I'm trying to say is the emphasis is not just on new fields per se. 

Will MacAskill has appeared on JRE before and probably talked about GiveWell. But yes, good news :).

AMA: Jason Crawford, The Roots of Progress

Aaron, I'm really ignorant about this issue but didn't Peter Singer have a course on EA a while back that if I recall correctly was fairly accessible and could be marketed towards high school students?

AMA: Jason Crawford, The Roots of Progress

Alexey, I'm also skeptical of the findings but haven't had time to dig deeper yet, so it's just hunches at the moment. I have already asked you for the draft :). Honestly, can't wait to read it since you announced it last week! 

AMA: Jason Crawford, The Roots of Progress

What a great question Benjamin! "Why should a longtermist EA work on boosting economic growth? " Is something I have been thinking about myself (my username gives it away...). 

One quick comment on this "I agree Progress Studies itself is far more neglected than general work to boost economic growth"

This spurs a question for me. How is Progress Studies different from people working on Economic Growth? 

AMA: Jason Crawford, The Roots of Progress

What do you think EA could learn from the 'Progress Studies' movement ?

AMA: Jason Crawford, The Roots of Progress

Thanks for doing this Jason. I agree with your  response here. Seems natural to think that there are diminishing marginal returns to ideas within a sector. 

You mention APM, which would spur progress in other sectors.  Are there ways to identify which sectors open up progress in other domains, i.e. identifying the ideas that could remove the constraining factors of progress (small and big)?

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