Trying my luck here but would I also be able to get funds for academic projects (my research interests are in Metascience/Innovation/Growth)?
That's the one! OP, I think some version of this is definitely worth implementing/revival. I often share various EA articles on my personal twitter feed, and I know people (for example Stefan Schubert) who share EA articles, which captures an audience (that find the content interesting/engaging) that do not always read the EAF regularly.
I thought something like this already existed but I could be mistaken.
Will check some of these out. Not sure if this fits your criteria but a personal favourite is the documentary about Aaron Swartz.
Thanks for this - one of my favourite blogs!
Few questions (not all directly related to the job, so feel free to skip all/any of them):
"For some projects, a small adjustment could unlock huge academic value." Would you be able to provide examples please?
Good idea! May be worth reaching out to the LSE Econ PhD programme (I see you're attending!), who trialled something similar last year for underrepresented backgrounds (in order to get some feedback on what applicants want).
I think a good addition to this would be providing help to people applying for pre-docs as well, given how important they have become in the profession.
I should have added the following statement. If anyone would like a quick chat about researching cousin marriage, feel free to message me.Caveat: I'm still fairly new to the topic (there's a lot of non-econ literature) but can try to help wherever possible.
I'm currently actively working on this in my PhD (I'm an Economist), which developed from one of my pre-PhD courses. I have a few different ideas and am currently applying for funding for them. Truthfully, this is not one of my core research interests but I think it's relatively fertile ground for research/publication and I have some nice co-authors that I'm working with, so I don't have to devote too much time to the topic.
A few points:
I strongly dislike this and think it gives off the wrong impression about the purpose of the Hotel.
In Economics, there's an account that does this quite well, with a slightly different approach but a somewhat similar aim. It tweets economics pre-doc and RA positions. However, I think people tag the account, and then it gets re-tweeted. Here's the handle: https://twitter.com/econ_ra
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).... (read more)
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 ra... (read more)
Will MacAskill has appeared on JRE before and probably talked about GiveWell. But yes, good news :).
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?
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!
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?
What do you think EA could learn from the 'Progress Studies' movement ?
My perception of EA is that a lot of it is focused on saving lives and relieving suffering. I don't see as much focus on general economic growth and scientific and technological progress.
There are two things to consider here. First, there is value in positives above and beyond merely living without suffering. Entertainment, travel, personal fitness and beauty, luxury—all of these are worth pursuing. Second, over the long run, more lives have been saved and suffering relieved by efforts to pursue general growth and progress than direct charitable efforts. S... (read more)
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)?
Haha - 15 hours of end of the world music sounds up my street! Here's one I like, Charles Bradley, "The World is Going Up in Flames."
Haha - wow!
Thank you Aaron. That's exactly what I was looking for, and additionally I can dig deeper!
Question: Imagine we could quantify the amount of suffering the average person does by eating meat and the amount of environmental damage that comes from eating this meat. How much would they need to donate to the most effective charities (climate change and animal suffering) in order to off-set their meat-eating habit?
This makes a lot of sense to me Pablo. You highlighted what I was trying to explain when I was making the comment, that: 1) I was uncertain 2) I didn't want to attack someone. I must admit, my choice of words was rather poor and could come across as "bravery talk", although that was not what I intended.
All good points Jonas, Ben W, Ben P, and Stefan. Was uncertain at the beginning but am pretty convinced now. Also, side-note, very happy about the nature of all of the comments, in that they understood my POV and engaged with them in a polite manner.
By the way, I also was surprised by Rob only making 4 videos in the last year. But I actually now think Rob is producing a fairly standard number of high-quality videos annually.
The first reason is that (as Jonas points out upthread) he also did three for Computerphile, which brings his total to 7.
The second reason is that I looked into a bunch of top YouTube individual explainers, and I found that they produce a similar number of highly-produced videos annually. Here's a few:
Thanks for the understanding responses Jonas and Linch. Again, I should clarify, I don't know where I stand here but I'm still not entirely convinced.
So, we have four videos in the last year on his channel, plus three videos on Computerphile, giving seven videos. If I remember correctly, The Alignment Newsletter podcast is just reading Shah's newsletter, which may be useful but I don't think that requires a lot of effort.
I should reiterate that I think what Miles does is not easy. I may also be severely underestimating the time it takes to make a YouTube video!
Thanks for pointing that out. Will refrain from doing so in the future. What I was trying to make clear was that I didn't want my comment to be seen as a personal attack on an individual. I was uneasy about making the comment on a public platform when I don't know all the details nor know much about the subject matter.
FWIW, I think that the qualification was very appropriate and I didn't see the author as intending to start a "bravery debate". Instead, the purpose appears to have been to emphasize that the concerns were raised in good faith and with limited information. Clarifications of this sort seem very relevant and useful, and quite unlike the phenomenon described in Scott's post.
This is going to sound controversial here (people are probably going to dislike this but I'm genuinely raising this as a concern) but is the Robert Miles $60,000 grant attached to any requirements? I like his content but it seems to me you could find someone with a similar talent level (explaining fairly basic concepts) who could produce many more videos. I'm not well versed in YouTube but four/five videos in the last year doesn't seem substantial. If the $60,000 was instead offered as a one-year job, I think you could find many talented in... (read more)
I think one of the things Rob has that is very hard to replace is his audience. Overall I continue to be shocked by the level of engagement Rob Miles' youtube videos get. Averaging over 100k views per video! I mostly disbelieve that it would be plausible to hire someone that can (a) understand technical AI alignment well, and (b) reliably create youtube videos that get over 100k views, for less than something like an order of magnitude higher cost.
I am mostly confused about how Rob gets 100k+ views on each video. My mainline hypothesis is that Rob has succ... (read more)
It might be more relevant to consider the output: 500,000 views (or ~80,000 hours of watch time). Given that the median video gets 89 views, it might be hard for other creators to match the output, even if they could produce more videos per se.
Thanks for the critique!
In addition to four videos on his own channel, Robert Miles also published three videos on Computerphile during the last 12 months. He also publishes the Alignment Newsletter podcast. So there's at least some additional output. There's probably more I don't know of.
you could find someone with a similar talent level (explaining fairly basic concepts)
I personally actually think this would be very difficult. Robert Miles' content seems to have been received positively by the AI safety community, but science communications in gene... (read more)
I'd like feedback on an idea if possible. I have a longer document with more detail that I'm working on but here's a short summary that sketches out the core idea/motivation:
Potential idea: hosting a competition/experiment to find the most convincing argument for donating to long-termist organisations
Recently, Professor Eric Shwitzgebel and Dr Fiery Cushman conducted a study to find the most convincing philosophical/logical argument for short-term causes. By ‘philosophical/logical argument’ I mean an argument that ... (read more)
I wonder if something similar could also be done but with donations to long-term issues instead? I.e. the same set-up but searching for the most convincing long-term arguments. Would this be of interest? (I've been thinking about setting something up along the lines of this).