A full transcript of this talk exists at https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/LdZcit8zX89rofZf3/evidence-cluelessness-and-the-long-term-hilary-greaves
If anyone were able to find pdfs for all of the papers and share the links here, that would be much appreciated
I wasn’t aware it was first published in your blog. Thanks for nudging Prof Shelly Kagan to share their syllabus!
Is there a useful way to financially incentivise these sort of independent evaluations? Seems like a potential good use of fund money
I'd be pretty excited about financially incentivizing people to do more such evaluations. Not sure how to set the incentives optimally, though – I really want to avoid any incentives that make it more likely that people say what we want to hear (or that lead others to think that this is what happened, even when didn't), but I also care a lot about such evaluations being high-quality and and having sufficient depth, so don't want to hand out money for any kind of evaluation.
Perhaps one way is to pay $2,000 for any evaluation or review that receives >120 Karma on the EA Forum (periodically adjusted for Karma inflation), regardless of what it finds? Of course, this is somewhat gameable, but perhaps it's good enough.
Done! Thanks for working on this! Do the other links still work fine?
I've set up a system for buying books for people on request. If people are interested in using it you can read more and express interest here: eabooksdirect.super.site
I track my time using hourstack.com and try to be quite strict with only tracking 'sit down work time'. I normally can do around 3.5-4h of work a day. I normally start at 10am and finish around 5pm.
This matches my experience at college, where I found I could normally do around 4 hours of studying before feeling tired out.
It's easier for me to 'clock more hours' when I have more meetings. But I try to avoid meetings.
I find that I can get most of my things done within this time and would consider myself a quite productive person.
Thanks for explaining your view! I don’t really have super strong views here, so don’t want to labour the point, but just thought I’d share my intuition for where I’m coming from. For me it makes sense to have a thresholds at the places because it does actually carve up the buckets of reactions better than the linear scale suggests.
For example, some people feel weird rating something really low and so they “express dislike” by rating it 6/10. So to me the lowest scorers and the 6/10ers are actually probably have more similar experiences than their linear... (read more)
Thanks! I guess I think NPS is useful precisely because of those threshold effects, but agree not sure that it handles the discrimination between 6 and 1 well. Histograms seem great!
Hmm, I still think the threshold effects are kinda weird, and so NPS shouldn't be the main measure. (I know you're just asking for it as supplementary info, and I think we'd maybe both prefer mean + histogram.)
There's a prima facie case, that's like: the threshold effects say that you care totally about the 6/7 and 8/9 boundaries, and not-at-all about the 5/6, 7/8, 9/10 boundaries. That's weird!
I could imagine a view that's like "it's really important to have enthusiastic promoters because they help spread the word about your product" or something, but the... (read more)
Would you be able to provide a Net Promoter Score analysis of your Likelihood to Recommend metrics? I find NPS yields different, interesting information from an averaged LTR and should be very straightforward to compute.
Sure! I've asked the relevant people to respond with the NPS figures if it's quick/easy for them to do so, but they might prioritize other things.
Btw, I disagree about how useful NPS is. I think it's quite a weird metric (with very strong threshold effects between 6/7 and 8/9, and no discrimination between a 6 and a 1). That's why we switched to the mean. I do think that looking at a histogram is often useful though- in most cases the mean doesn't give you a strong sense of the distribution.
Hey Brian. I'd have to ask the individuals who wrote up their docs, but the plan is definitely to eventually share more of these type of group writeups widely. They weren't written with a broad audience in mind, but I feel like several leaders would be keen to share their writeups more publicly after cleaning them up a bit. I'll nudge people on this and ask if they're keen
Thanks for the feedback! Will add some costs in
Thanks for the great comment and suggestions!
Some more discussion on competitive debating and EA https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/DEuYo4zxDyY7h7n74/debate-and-effective-altruism-friends-or-foes
Minor typo: "it’s often to reasonable to act on the assumption" probably should be "it’s often reasonable to act on the assumption"
A small and simple change that CEA could do is to un-bold the 'Effective' in their 'Effective Altruism' logo which is used on https://www.effectivealtruism.org/ and EAG t-shirts
I find the bold comes across as unnecessarily smug emphasis in Effective Altruism.
I think you might have accidentally linked to the 2019 report. The 2020 report seems to be here https://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/govai/govai-2020-annual-report/
This seems to have strands of:
'rich people focused' 'rich people are more moral'
Nice! Could you do a version which is 70% lower resolution? 😁
It might be that SF has more people who are kinda into EA such that they donate 10% to givewell, diluting out the people who are representative of more extreme self sacrifice
Interesting about the idea that EA let's people off the moral hook easily: 'I'm rich so I just donate and I've done my moral duty and get to virtue signal'
It's interesting how that applies to people who are wealthy, work a conventional job, and donate 10% to charities, but doesn't seem like a valid criticism against those who donate way more like 50%+. That normally seems to be met with the response "wow that's impressive self sacrifice!". Same with those who might drastically shift their career
There's a lot to unpack in that tweet. I think something is going on like:
None of it looks like a real criticism of EA, but rather of lots of other things EA just happens to be adjacent to.
Doesn't mean it doesn... (read more)
'Charity for nerds' doesn't sound like an awful low res version compared to others suggested like 'moral hand-washing for rich people'.
'Charity for nerds' has nice properties like:
Effective Altruism and its Critics, Iason Gabriel, Journal of Applied Philosophy https://www.researchgate.net/publication/294288831_Effective_Altruism_and_its_Critics
Tyler Cowen's low resolution version: "COWEN: A lot of giving is not very rational. Whether that’s good or bad, it’s a fact. And if you try to make it too rational in a particular way, a very culturally specific way, you’ll simply end up with less giving. And then also, a lot of the particular targets of effective altruism, I’m not sure, are bad ideas. So somewhere like Harvard, it has a huge endowment, it’s super non- or even anti-egalitarian. But it’s nonetheless a self-replicating cluster of creativity. And if you’re a rich person, Harvard was your alma... (read more)
Thanks for the reply and taking the time to explain your view to me :)
I'm curious: My friend has been trying to estimate the liklihood of nuclear war before 2100. It seems like this is a question that is hard to get data on, or to run tests on. I'd be interested to know what you'd recommend them to do?
Is there a way I can tell them to approach the question such that it relies on 'subjective estimates' less and 'estimates derived from actual data' more?
Or is it that you think they should drop the research question and do something else with their time, since any approach to the question would rely on subjective probability estimates that are basically useless?
Thanks for taking the time to write this :)
In your post you say "Of course, it is impossible to know whether $1bn of well-targeted grants could reduce the probability of existential risk, let alone by such a precise amount. The “probability” in this case thus refers to someone’s (entirely subjective) probability estimate — “credence” — a number with no basis in reality and based on some ad-hoc amalgamation of beliefs."
I just wanted to understand better: Do you think its ever reasonable to make subjective probability estimates (have 'credences') over things... (read more)
No worries, thanks!
Thanks for this write up! I'm excited about CE looking into this area. I was wondering whether you were able to share information about the breakdown of which organisations the 40 EAs you surveyed came from and/or which chapters were interviewed, or whether that data is anonymous?
Welcome, Roger! 😊 Congrats on moving towards a vegetarian diet, even though you previously thought you wouldn't have attempted it 👏
A quick guess of something that might be underpinning a worldview difference here is a differing conception of what counts as "harm". In the original post, the author suggests that a wealthy donor should try and pay reparations to reverse or prevent further harm in the specific sector in which the wealth was generated.
But I think most EAs have an unusual (but philosophically defensible) conception of harm which not only includes direct harm but also indirect harm caused by a failure to act.
So for an EA, if a wealthy donor is faced with a choice between
Thanks for the info!
Is the prize paid out to the recipient or is the prize a donation to a charity at the recipient’s choosing?
Hey Will! Would you be able to say anything more about why you didn't like the 2 years of college that you did? What sort of college degrees are you looking into right now? :)
I found using voice dictation on my phone and iPad pretty good, often now I just send emails and messages using my phone instead of my computer.
I find the Google speech recognition on the Google keyboard for Android pretty good, as well as the Apple speech recognition on IOS devices.
Thanks for organising this! I think the survey is very valuable! I was wondering if you could you say more on why you "will not be making an anonymised data set available to the community"? That seems initially to me like an interesting and useful thing for community members to have, and was wondering whether it was just a lack of resources/it being difficult, that meant that you weren't doing this anymore.
Roughly speaking, there seem to be two main benefits and two main costs to making an anonymised dataset public. The main costs: i) time and ii) people being turned off of the EA Survey due to believing that their data will be available and identifiable. The main benefits: iii) the community being able to access information (which isn't included in our public reports) and iv) transparency and validation from people being able to replicate our results.
Unfortunately, the dataset is so heavily anonymised in order to try to reduce cost (ii) (while simult... (read more)
Thanks I'll check it out!
On October 25th, 2020, Hilary Greaves gave a talk on ‘Cluelessness in effective altruism’ at the EA Student Summit 2020. I found the talk so valuable that I wanted to transcribe it.
I made the transcript with the help of http://trint.com/, an AI speech-to-text platform which I highly recommend. Thank you to Julia Karbing for help with editing.
I wanted to share EARadio on the Forum again. Although this project has been going for a long time, I think a lot of people probably aren't aware of its existence.
I know a lot of my EA friends often want to watch EA Global lectures but never get round to actually doing so. I think EARadio provides a great service in allowing people to consume this content in an easy and accessible way.
I also really value sequences! I’m working on an (extremely janky) web app to read sequences of content, as a way to learn web development.
I hope to eventually make it into a nice app that people can use to easily make their own sequences of EA content from around the web, and for people to discover and read this content.
You can check it out here (doesn't work great on mobile yet, unfort) : https://react-sequences.web.app/
I’m keen to work on it more once I stop having RSI 😅, so if people do have comments and feedback would love to hear it.
I just saw this now and loved it, super excited for more content in the future!
I believe you can edit the image size of images on old posts by dragging their bottom border down when in edit mode
I've now changed that section to:
"On the right is a factorisation which is mathematically trivial and looks like it just makes things more complicated. I've taken the expression on the left and added in a load of things which cancel each other out. But I hope I can justify this decomposition by virtue of it being easier to interpret and measure. So I'm going to present the case for why I think it is."
Do let me know if you'd prefer something different to that :)
Thanks! I'll change that :)
This is a heavily edited transcript of the popular talk "Prospecting for Gold". We created this edited versions because we found it hard to follow the transcripts provided by CEA and thought there could be some value in condensing, clarifying and cleaning up the transcript.
You can also read a transcript of Amanda Askell's talk 'The Moral Value of Information' here: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/Kb66mhLuHiTByP6mk/the-moral-value-of-information-edited-transcript-1
Not a cookbook, but you might find http://ethical.diet/ interesting. It shows 'How many hours did animals have to live on factory farms to produce various food products?'
Is there a way to read the finalised (instead of penultimate) article without purchasing the book? Perhaps, Will, you have a PDF copy you own?
The title of the CGD article is "The UK as an Effective Altruist"
I like the book suggestions in this comment in another EA forum post https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/mdTZktighWHBPdwd3/what-book-s-would-you-want-a-gifted-teenager-to-come-across?commentId=dN5dALsmJcroTY8zH
Welcome to the community! And congratulations on your achievements so far!
It could be worth learning study skills so that you can do better in your degree and/or get your coursework done in less time, freeing up your time to learn other things, explore EA, or just have fun.
I was surprised when coming to university how much people study skills differed, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that you can free up weeks (months?) of your time and save yourself a lot of stress through good study skills.
I’d recommend the cousera course called learning how t
Indeed. Although there is an upper limit still, since there surely is some limit to how much value we can extract from a resource and there are only a finite number of atoms in the universe.