It seems worth it to me for EA to direct at least a fraction of its current reserves toward accomplishing smallish, tangible goals, to help create an image of legitimacy to the general public and increase the chances of continuing to attract funding in the future.
Upvoting this interesting post, but strongly disagree that it's positive-EV to hold off on eliminating factory farming. There's a chance that holding off could result in larger long-term gains for sentient-being-welfare by forcing us to more explicitly codify moral reasons for getting rid of factory farming. But I think this is almost certainly outweighed by the much lower chance of actually getting it abolished for moral reasons alone.
Also, re: how future generations are likely to view factory farming elimination - I think the strong tendency is for most humans to ascribe a moral dimension to historical events that actually had more complex economic/political/geographic causes.
Interesting about Tourette's! I'm not able to find any empirical confirmation of a relationship between Tourette's and reaction time, but I do see an association between ADHD and longer reaction times, with stimulant use lowering them to control levels.
(Incidentally: as a person with ADHD, this really just illustrates how multi-dimensional time perception is, though, as Filip Sondej below mentions. When I'm on stims, time might feel slower on a moment-to-moment basis - the opposite of how, late at night when I'm tired and have low alertness, music feels a lot faster. But I don't feel like stims make the entire day feel slower, when I'm looking back on it. In fact the opposite is often the case, since the entire point of them is to make it easier to focus on one activity for a long period of time - which means less variety in the day.)
It encourages young people to stay within the EA bubble, instead of leaving, acquiring diverse skill-sets, and getting feedback from the real world. This also exacerbates talent bottlenecks further down the funnel once the community lacks expertise in specific fields/career paths.
Young, hapless EA here: this is very, very true. Multiple times recently I've been in the process of looking for "EA jobs" or describing to someone my intention of finding one, and realized "what does 'EA job' actually mean? Do I really need my job to be something advertised on 80,000 Hours or something people talk about on LW for me to feel like I'm making a difference in ways I care about?"
Unfortunately, founder effects are all too strong. MIRI was looking to decamp from the Bay to Bellingham, Washington a year or so ago, to save money and encourage people to move to a lower-COL area, but ended up quietly abandoning this because having the established community was just too important.
I do think it'd be good to have a "cheaper" alternative EA city to avoid turning away EAs who have/want kids. Maybe Philadelphia or Chicago would be a good place for a few orgs to coordinate to move to, especially with both cities having top-tier universities?
Thanks for linking the Conscious Housing Board! It's an unfortunate time for me to find this article (new to the Bay, just signed a lease with a few people in SF), but I'll keep it in mind for the next time I'm moving and bookmark this article to share with others.
Twice as many sheep are killed as cows? That really surprises me, even knowing that mutton/lamb is somewhat popular in the Muslim world. Is it big in the non-vegetarian Hindusphere as well, and/or Africa?
Possible thing to consider re: the public face of the movement -- it seems like movements often benefit from having one "normal", respectable group and one "extreme" group to make the normal group look more reasonable, cf. civil rights movements, veganism (PETA vs. inoffensive vegan celebrities)
Looks like a very useful project in an often overlooked area within the EA community!
I haven't looked into the research at all, but some things that seem relevant and quantifiable:
I'd guess a lot of it is an evolved defense mechanism to use learned helplessness to avoid confronting difficult situations more directly. Basically the same just-so explanation as the one behind the "rank theory of depression", where people who lose a lot of status fights become depressed so they don't keep losing them.