WilliamKiely's Shortform

#DonationRegret #Mistakes

Something it occurred to me it might be useful to tell others about that I haven't yet said anywhere:

The only donation I've really regretted making was one of the first significant donations I made: On May 23, 2017, I donated $3,181.00 to Against Malaria Foundation. It was my largest donation to date and my first donation after taking the GWWC pledge (in December 2016).

I primarily regretted and regret making this donation not because I later updated my view toward realizing/believing that I could have done more good by donating the money elsewhere (although that too is a genuine reason to feel regret about making a donation, and I have indeed since updated my view toward thinking other donation opportunities are better). Rather, I primarily regretted making the donation because six months after donating the money I learned that if I had saved that money and donated it instead on Giving Tuesday 2017, I could have gotten the money counter-factually matched by Facebook, thereby directing twice as much money toward the effective charity of my choice and doing almost twice as much good. (I say 'almost' as much good because I think a smaller but nontrivial amount of good would have been done by Facebook's money had it gone to other nonprofits instead). (I in fact donated $4,000 on Giving Tuesday 2017 and got it all matched. I got all my donations matched in 2018 and 2019 too, and probably most of my donations in 2020, though matches have yet to be announced by Facebook. Other mistakes around this will go in a separate comment sometime.)

Reflecting on this more: Since I think marginal donations to some organizations do more than twice as much good as donations to other organizations (including AMF) in expectation, there is a sense in which missing a counterfactual matching opportunity was not as significant of a mistake as giving to the wrong giving opportunity / cause area. Yet on the other hand, regardless of what giving opportunity my 2017 self or current self might think is best, it's pretty clear that my mistake is one that cut the impact I could definitely have had with the money almost in half. That is no small error, hence my clear feeling of regret, and my frequent mention of the post EAs Should Invest All Year, then Give only on Giving Tuesday.

Seeking part-time contractor for Facebook group support

This seems useful. I'm curious if CEA would consider having this contractor also do something to improve what's happening over at the EA subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/EffectiveAltruism/

I've looked at a few threads on the subreddit over there the last few weeks and unfortunately it seems to me like the quality of much of the discourse there is significantly worse on average than I've seen in any EA Facebook group. It doesn't seem like a great way for new people to hear about EA for the first time. I'm not sure what should be done to improve the situation.

Maybe an 80/20 to improve it would be to write some new high quality intro / overview posts and pin them to the top indefinitely? Maybe have a copy of the EA Forum Digest pinned to the top until the next one comes out, with an archive of past digests saved there? Having the date of the digest in the title might get more people who go to the subreddit to click on it.

I made a video on engineered pandemics

Michael Montague, 7:48:

"I think the argument for extinction level events from artificial pathogens is profoundly weak. These complex systems--things like transmissibility, lethality--that's a hard thing to predict, to actually engineer. Just ask yourself how hard is it for record labels to predict which songs are going to be a hit. Until it hits the market, there's really no where to know. And that's a relatively simple situation, which pathogen is going to be immunologically a hit. You might have dialed in this little detail just a little bit wrong--oh it killed the patient too fast to transmit it."

This sounded like an improvised answer instead of a succinct summary of the strongest argument against extinction level events being likely--which I think would have been a more ideal thing to include in the video.

In particular, Michael's answer leads me to wonder how he knows that future technological developments wouldn't make it much easier to predict which pathogens would "immunologically be a hit" and yet the video doesn't tell me.

Or a second objection: Why, given a long enough time horizon, wouldn't the possibility of a bad actor engineering many, many pathogens until one of them finally hits wouldn't be a concern?

I made a video on engineered pandemics

Great video! I didn't know the history about the weaponization of smallpox, cholera, anthrax and plague.

Make a $10 donation into $35

I see you joined via my link, but also see that you somehow joined somewhat differently than everyone else (on my Joins tab it says you "joined William Kiely", but does not say this for anyone else on my Joins tab) . I'm not sure what's going on.

Anyway, I'll PM you a $25 gift card now that you can give to a charity of your choice. (I have a few of these for an independent reason.)

Why did MyGiving need to be replaced? And why is the EffectiveAltruism.org replacement so bad?

Came back to this thread to say I'd really like to be able to export to CSV.

[Expired] 20,000 Free $50 Charity Gift Cards

Here's a list of EA-aligned nonprofits that were supported by EA Giving Tuesday: https://www.eagivingtuesday.org/nonprofits-supported

Over 1.5 million charities are eligible recipients of the $50 Charity Gift Cards, so most should be findable.

Charles_Dillon 's Shortform

20,000 more $50 Charity Gift Cards were made available at 1 PM EST today. Will probably be gone by 2-4 PM EST today, so anyone reading this before then sign up now: https://redefinegifting.tisbest.org/

[Expired] 20,000 Free $50 Charity Gift Cards

Free $50 Charity Gift Card available now! 30 seconds to sign-up: https://redefinegifting.tisbest.org/ (Update: Still available as of 3:30pm EST, 2.5 hours later)

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