Ulrik Horn

​​I am currently working on an initiative to build a refuge (a.k.a. bunker, bioweapons shelter, etc.). As we are currently working on obtaining funding, I have so far been working on this refuge alongside my full-time job and with two small kids on top.

My EA journey started in 2007 as I considered switching from a Wall Street career to instead help tackle climate change by making wind energy cheaper – unfortunately, the University of Pennsylvania did not have an EA chapter back then! A few years later, I started having doubts about my decision that climate change was the best use of my time. After reading a few books on philosophy and psychology, I decided that moral circle expansion was neglected but important and donated a few thousand sterling pounds of my modest income to a somewhat evidence-based organisation. Serendipitously, my boss stumbled upon EA in a thread on Stack Exchange around 2015 and sent me a link. After reading up on EA, I then pursued E2G with my modest income, donating ~USD20k to AMF (another ~USD15k to be donated this year). I have also done some limited volunteering for building the EA community here in Stockholm, Sweden.

Lately, and in consultation with 80k hours and some “EA veterans”, I have concluded that I should consider instead working directly on EA priority causes. Thus, I am determined to seek opportunities for entrepreneurship within EA, especially considering if I could contribute to launching new projects. Therefore, if you have a project where you think I could contribute, please do not hesitate to reach out!

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EA and the current funding situation

Very good point on culture. Culture eats strategy for breakfast as they say. EA is definitely strategy heavy and I think your comment brings up a very important issue to investigate.

EA and the current funding situation

I think there might be several things we could spend more money on while still being viewed in a positive light by most of our stakeholders and the more spartan among us. Examples include:

-More staff in organisations and projects to prevent burn-out

-Child-care facilities, paid parental leave, etc.

-At least 4 weeks paid holidays/year 

I agree that all such spending should be vetted according to our high bars and must admit I have not done so before making this comment. That said, anecdotal evidence from for example from Patagonia offering child care seems to indicate that it might as well also increase the output of the organization, especially over the long term.

I am probably forgetting many examples in the list above as I am a parent of 2 small children and am biased towards the challenges of parenting. For example, I have a hard time going to EAG but would probably go if there was quality child care offered. I am sure others like people with disabilities and other groups have other suggestions on ways to use increased funding to invest in the health, diversity and perhaps also productivity of the EA movement.

(I made a similar comment on another post but decided to post here too as it seems comments are more useful the quicker they are made after the publication of the post)

Free-spending EA might be a big problem for optics and epistemics

Maybe I missed this in a previous comment (or even the text itself, I just ctrl+f'ed it after skimming it) but one thing I think it could be worth spending more on is better working conditions (I think several EA orgs already to this well, but I would be surprised if there are no "laggards"). Think staffing projects properly so there is no burn-out, paid parental leave for both parents, childcare facilities near bigger offices,  properly paid internships, etc. Burn-out plagues the "making the world better" industry and I think we can attract a lot of talent who might be skeptical of expensive retreats, but who actually value much more being able to have good mental health and invest in their families. And do all this with a global hat on on so that in geographies with e.g. limited holidays, that it is increased to 3-6 weeks paid holidays each year no matter your seniority. Even here in Sweden we would benefit from well staffed projects/organizations (despite having decent holiday policies etc. by law). 

Concrete Biosecurity Projects (some of which could be big)

Perhaps this is naive, but would not the few, remaining uncontacted peoples provide some degree of resilience to pandemics? That is, unless for some reason during a catastrophic pandemic infected people manage to "break into" their communities? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncontacted_peoples  Without having thought deeply about this, perhaps another way to achieve biosecurity would be to support the protection of these communities and especially put in place something that increases the chance of them staying isolated in case of an outbreak (e.g. being able to give them access to test for and treat contaminated water). 

Good news on climate change

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10098-020-01939-3/figures/4

Good news on climate change

Is not the reason that Germany's solar build-out slowed down due to the ramp-down of the subsidy scheme? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feed-in_tariffs_in_Germany

Why SoGive is not updating charity ratings after malaria vaccine news

Excellent! I am wondering a bit more about the timelines though, the article mentions the lag from donation to bed nets distributed. Let us call this period T_a. Then there is the expected duration of the bed nets. I think this is about 2 years, so does this mean that AMF is still as effective as long as the time to meaningful roll-out of a vaccine > 2 + T_a? And is my duration of 2 years the right duration? I am getting it from row 30 in GiveWell's cost effectiveness sheet.