I summarized my view on the problem here, mainly about sanctions. And thanks to @Alex_Berezhnoy and @Ula for the links.
From what brief search provides, it can be concluded that China produces tons of masks, and was supplying it to other countries, but currently they're also on shortage. But their regulations still assume use of masks in public, so it make sense for them to prioritize their own need. See here for an example. Please, correct me if you have some other information.
Buying new masks can be a bad idea. Though there is an evidence, the problem is limited capacity of stocks. To my understanding, China produce these masks so massively that they can afford selling them to whole population. But, let's say, in US, we have the opposite situation. And massively buying masks can reduce capacity of the healthcare system, which is the main bottleneck in preventing deaths now. There are a lot of articles on this topic, and I didn't review them, but this can be an example.
And from my discussion with an MD friend who works in a clinic I got impression that masks could be a huge problem when the healthcare system will be overloaded, as even clinical workers may not have enough protection. So I'm wondering whether we can do something with either reducing the non-targeted consumption of masks (shifting to using hand-made masks?) or with improving distribution/production of masks.
I'm wondering if we can address the problem with the same framework as for having better list of concrete projects? Let's say, we have a list of articles suggested for contribution, like this one, but maybe with some additional info on prioritization. A person picks the article the same way as a project and mark it somehow as "Taken" and then "Done". So we can trace their contribution based on this selection process and assign status points correspondingly. So, essentially, "Writing article" is just a possible type of a project, and the rest workflows are the same. Which suggests that we need to think more about project-based contribution. Perhaps it worth referencing Effective Thesis here as a similar initiative.
And having something slack for wikipedia contributors doesn't seem like a problem at all.
Alternative approach could be adopting MediaWiki and integrating it with existing user rating system. I don't know how backend for EA Forum is organized, but something like OpenID could be a relatively painless solution.
There are only two main concerns. The first was explained in details by @saulius, and I share his vision about motivation. Having something local would allow us to design award system in the way relevant for EA community and infrastructure.
The second is different scopes of relevance between local wiki and Wikipedia. Let's say, "List of annual EA events in Europe" would be relevant for EA community, but not for the others. I'd even expect that it could be harmful for the community to have such info on wikipedia. Moreover, searchability of a local wiki is much higher than for the global one. Though I think that this part can be addressed by having properly organized resource list, open for suggestions.
So, maybe it's better to focus on designing some mechanism to motivate people to contribute to the resources and the global wiki instead of creating the local one. Don't know what would be easier, and perhaps the answer depends very much on how EA Hub is going to organize suggestions.
EDIT: After some more considerations understood that I missed one more important point: knowledge distilling. At the moment, to find the latest ideas on some topic you need to go through dozens of the forum and blog posts, pages of individual organizations, facebook groups, slack channels, etc. Reducing time for such "research" would be very helpful. And I have doubts that it can be properly organized through resource lists, as the knowledge is very spread indeed. And again, because this information is relevant only within the community, I don't think wikipedia is the best place for it.
Oh, sorry, didn't figure it out. Thanks for clarification!
Do you by chance know why the old wiki died?
Thanks for the answer!
the information in that wiki is now lost to the wind
Woh, that's sad. Some thing for us to keep in mind for the future...
This may or may not fulfil your needs (and isn't _quite_ a wiki), but the EA Hub resources (resources.eahub.org), is a repository for EA links, and we hope to grow the number of resources available.
Indeed, suggestions would solve many problems! Still, the question is how to make it appealing for contribution. I really like button "Edit" on wikipedia, as it doesn't imply complex underlying revision processes and gives me around as much power as I want...
Can you please share your vision on the optimal knowledge management within EA? @EdoArad provided quite some ideas on how it could be organized, and among other I agree with the vision that if anywhere, the new knowledge base should be kept under EA Hub domain. So if you think it worth discussing, I'd be happy to engage.
This post on how to find EA documents, the forum pingbacka and asking questions on the forum are some examples of ways to find information.
That's very useful, thanks! Pingbacks especially.
There is research on what gets people motivated to write in wikipedia. Here is a recent study that found some interesting stuff, and they conclude with
Wow, so we even have some theory on that. And motivation from the paper looks aligned with EA values.
I think that we should strategically plan how to incentivize possible contributors. Ideally, people should contribute based on what would be the most valuable, which is something that may be achievable through prizes
Completely agree. And also really appreciate your science-based approach. We definitely should discuss it if more of us agree that some platform for open contributions is needed.
I think that it would take a big effort to bootstrap something new. The efforts going into EA Hub seems to me like a good place to start a centralized knowledge base.
I'd like something like a top/bottom research agenda on "how to do the most good", that ends with concrete problems
Yep! We also have such list in EA Denmark though ours is much simpler. And indeed, it was one of the things that pushed me to ask this question.
It seems that something like Roam could be great, because it is designed to make it easy to create pages and has backlinks to support exploration and has other neat stuff. It is still not mature enough though.
I was thinking a lot about GitHub-like structures. It's too complicated for general knowledge, but designed pretty well for more complex domains. For example, if a group works on something like OpenPhil Cause Reports, where producing each piece of information takes long time, and also work of the beginners must be validated by more experienced users. In such cases system of branches allows splitting publishing-ready information from work in progress, issues allow to contribute for those who isn't skilled enough to create product, but has enough experience to note a problem. And so on. But that's just one of possibilities.
This can be possibly implemented adequately on the forum (but requires better search, better norm for writing information, and a better norm of referencing to other materials, perhaps in the comments).
Not sure about that. Different kind of information requires different types of knowledge bases. And here as an example we can take forums, StackOverflow and wikipedia. As far as I understand, if you want to share information about a topic, where some consensus can be found over time and once found is not expected to be changed quickly, then you want wiki. So, someone writes an article with main ideas about the topic and others polish it up (which is kind of impossible on forums). Another situation is if your domain changes too quickly (such as programming languages). Then there is no reason in having overhead for having nicely written articles about every aspect of it. At maximum you'll need to have some blog posts. And the third popular case is asking for personal opinion: it can be either some tips and hacks (StackOverflow has plenty) or just discussion of some ideas like we do know. And this is impossible on wiki.
My impression is that in EA community we lack well-organized up-to-date information, which would represent some kind of consensus instead of a bunch of personal opinions. Your list "how to do the most good" is one example of a thing, which can't be implemented on forum. For such lists, suggestions to EA Hub resources, which @cafelow mentioned would solve the problem. But in general I wouldn't expect them being as effective as wiki.
And this is an interesting experiment in a mechanism designed to improve incentives for collective knowledge production.
Hah, if you have problems with incentives, just add some markets! :)
Unfortunately, no. The archive there contains only the html with the main page and some logos...
Yep, this feature would be extremely useful! Indeed, for some programming languages such customized google engines exist and works reasonably well. Don't know how they did that, but here are two examples: https://rseek.org/ and http://steampiano.net/julia-search/index.html .