All of TobiasH's Comments + Replies

What are some artworks relevant to EA?

I think Da Vinci's Studies of the Fetus in the Womb are also quite beautiful and apparently (one of) the first drawings of a fetus' positioned accurately.

TobiasH's Shortform

I stumbled on this flow chart from 2015 about how different value and empirical judgements might change what cause areas we'd want to work on and with which methods:

It's a bit date by now. But I think an updated version of this could be very valuable for newcomers to EA.

Native languages in the EA community (and issues with assessing promisingness)

For many non-native speakers having a conversation in English is quite cognitively demanding – especially when talking about intellectual topics they just learned about. Even reasonably proficient speakers often struggle to express themselves as clearly as they could in their native language, there is a trade-off between fluent speech and optimal word choice/sentence construction. If given 2x more time, or the chance to write down their thoughts, they would possibly not misuse the jargon to the same degree.

Many people get excited about EA when they first h... (read more)

EA Internships Board Now Live!

Thank you so much for this tool, it looks very valuable! 
A small problem I get at the moment: If I choose any location, it gives me "Unknown field names: remote opportunity?. Please ensure that the field exists and is not incorrectly mapped."

3sabrinachwalek1moThanks for flagging that—should be fixed now.
A huge opportunity for impact: movement building at top universities

If that was the main constraint, then why limit this opportunity to 17 focus universities – 16 of which are in the UK or US? 
Of course, some qualified candidates might be willing to move but others may be unable or unwilling to do so.

7michaelchen1moYeah, I think that if CEA has enough funds (which I believe is the case), it would make sense for CEA to say that they can hire Campus Specialists for non-focus universities on a case-by-case basis, instead of limiting the position exclusively to focus universities.
TobiasH's Shortform

I'd like to be able to search the "80000 hours" and the "Effective Altruism" LinkedIn groups for members from my city. The group member lists are only searchable for names.

I think it could be a good way to contact local EA-aligned people who aren't on our radar. 
Is there any workaround for doing this?

4PeterMcIntyre2moI believe you can do this search with a subscription to a paid LinkedIn subscription, like Recruiter Lite.
Notes on "Managing to Change the World"

Very useful! 
It's only free for the first 12 months though. After that, it's $16 for every million characters.

How far would one be allowed to spread those audiobooks before running into legal troubles? 
If the books are in public domain, would Amazon hold some copyright on the audio version?

Open Thread: Winter 2021

(Repost from Shortform because I didn't get an answer. Hope that's ok.)

The "Personal Blogposts" section has recently become swamped with [Event] posts.
Most of them are irrelevant to me. Is there a way to hide them in the "All Posts"-view?

3Ben_West2moThanks Tobias, we are aware of this issue and have fixing it on our backlog. Unfortunately there isn't an easy way to filter out these posts in the interim.
TobiasH's Shortform

The "Personal Blogposts" section has recently become swamped with [Event] posts.
Most of them are irrelevant to me. Is there a way to hide them in the "All Posts"-view?

Has anyone checked out Noora Health?

I'm not an expert but skimmed the two documents that seemed most relevant. The mortality rate analysis of the study and how they derive the $1235 per life estimate from it. 

Two things that I noticed, which jlewars didn't mention yet:
[Again not an expert, so don't make any conclusions based on what I write here.]

  • They estimate that their intervention results in "9.2 additional baby lives saved for every 1000 live births". This point estimate comes with a pretty large confidence interval  (95% CI: 0.9,17.6). So the $1235 per life saved should possib
... (read more)
Why we want to start a charity fortifying feed for hens (founders needed)

Thanks a lot, this sounds really interesting. 

Do you have any sense, why producers are not already fortifying feed with at least some of the nutrients? 
If deficiencies contribute significantly to the mortality of the hen, wouldn't it be in their self-interest to do so?

Hi Tobias, thanks for your questions! 

My sense is that the producers are fortifying the feed a little bit, but to maximize production rather than for better welfare. What is optimal for those two goals diverges. A couple of reasons for that:

  • Feed cost is the largest single item in poultry production and accounts for 60 to 75% of the total production cost. So producers fortify the minimum amount possible that will still make the calculation of cost and benefits positive for them to make a profit, but not necessarily what would make a hen more healthy an
... (read more)
Your Altruism Movie Suggestions?

I'm not sure if it completely fits, but Grizzly Man  is a great documentary  about (questionable) altruism.

Furthermore, the movie focuses also a lot on questions surrounding which view of nature we should have. It seemed to subtly reinforce my emotional stance towards wild animal suffering. 

EA Forum feature suggestion thread

I'd love to have a weekly/monthly open post, where everyone could ask questions and post small ideas. I imagine something similar to LessWrongs "Open & Welcome Thread". This could make some people more comfortable with starting to contribute to the forum.

5Aaron Gertler2yI used to do these, but I think I phased them out when Shortform posts came along, as those appeared to serve a similar role (sharing things that you don't think merit a full post). As it turns out, while Shortform has been useful, I think it has a different feel than open threads, so bringing them back seems like a good idea. I or another moderator may start posting them soon.
1Nathan Young2yAaron used to do these, I wonder why he stopped []
2EdoArad2yPerhaps this can be done without an option of voting on comments, which might make this easier for people to participate in.
Why and how the EA-Movement has to change

"Wischedag" isn't really a last name and alliterates with "Waschke". "Hans" is a german placeholder name.

How should longtermists think about eating meat?

Hey Rupert

[I just want to clarify that, of the large existing diets, I think that vegans probably have the morally best diet. I also don't want to discourage anyone from becoming vegan or vegetarian. I just want to somewhat push back at the idea that being vegan comes at trivial personal costs.]

Yes, I was vegetarian for around 5 years, 2 of which I was vegan. I've since become what you might call reducetarian (of which no chicken or pork, mainly milk, sometimes beef and eggs).

Personally, I can say that the costs of transitioning are quite high. I... (read more)

How should longtermists think about eating meat?

I don't think that calling meat-eating frivolous is very helpful.
Most vegans revert to consuming some degree of animal products (as far as I understand the research they end up eating meat again, but in lower quantities), indicating that there are significant costs involved.

A side-constraint about harm is generally plausible to me.
I'm still somewhat sceptical about the argument:
- Either you extend this norm to not ommiting actions that could prevent harm from happening, or you seem to be making a dubious distinction between acts and omissions. ... (read more)

How should longtermists think about eating meat?

Assuming the harm of both actions to be equal, this is only really a fair comparison if eating meat and punching your neighbour is equally costly.

I'd argue that not-eating-meat is costly, and not-punching-your-neighbour is cheap (or personally beneficial) in the medium to long run. (That deciding not to eat meat is currently costly sucks and should be changed.)

2Rupert2yI claim cost of not-eating-meat is drastically over-estimated. Have you tried it?

Peter's point is that it makes a lot of sense to have certain norms about not causing serious direct harm, and one should arguably follow such norms rather than expecting some complex longtermist cost-benefit analysis.

Put differently, I think it is very important, from a longtermist perspective, to advance the idea that animals matter and that we consequently should not harm them (particularly for reasons as frivolous as eating meat).

Book launch: "Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues" (Oxford)

Quick thing anyone could do, to make this book (or any other book you find valuable) more available.

Most university/city libraries offer the possibility to recommend books to them. I`ve done this myself many times (also for this book) and my university library sofar ordered every book I`ve recommended.

6Aaron Gertler2ySeconded! Most library books are read only a few times; libraries are generally eager to order books if they know they'll have an audience. If you make a request in person, you could mention that your local EA group has multiple people interested in the book, if you are a member of such a group -- I imagine that would be helpful.