All of yhoiseth's Comments + Replies

Modular empirical science

Thanks, that’s great! So you are working with Chris Chambers on this?

4HaukeHillebrandt2yI'm not working with him on this, but Let's Fund is just funding him to do advocacy on Registered Reports.
What are EA project ideas you have?

Great idea! This sounds like a lot of fun. I'm also unsure about the net benefit. We might want to keep it as unaffiliated as possible from other EA organizations in order to avoid any spillover damage.

3Mati_Roy2ycross-post means copy-pasting the entire article in the post on the EA forum
Thoughts on 80,000 Hours’ research that might help with job-search frustrations
  1. In general I've noticed a pattern (of which the above two linked posts are an example) where 80k posts something like "our posts stating that 'A is true' have inadvertently caused many people to believe that A is true, here's why A is actually false" while leaving up the old posts that say 'A is true' (sometimes without even a note that they might be outdated). This is especially bad when the older 'A is true' content is linked conveniently from the front page while the more recent updates are buried in blog history.

Do you have examples of this?

  • The posts I linked on whether it's worth pursuing flexible long-term career capital (yes says the Career Guide page, no says a section buried in an Annual Report, though they finally added a note/link from the yes page to the no page a year later when I pointed it out to them) are one example.
  • The "clarifying talent gaps" blog post largely contradicts an earlier post still linked from the "Research > Overview (start here)" page expressing concerns about an impending shortage of direct workers in general, as well as Key Articles s
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Can my filmmaking/songwriting skills be used more effectively in EA?

The RadicalxChange movement is very explicit about engaging artists. To learn about the movement, I recommend this 80,000 Hours episode.

Other than that, a lot of startups have short explainer videos above the fold on their homepage. See for example https://frontapp.com/. Such companies optimize vigorously, so it's safe to assume that they are effective. I can imagine that a lot of EA-related organizations would benefit greatly from such videos.

3spanrucker3yI've considered RadicalxChange, part of what encouraged me to post on this forum was that podcast actually. I'm going to get in touch with them once I've read Radical Markets and can understand it a bit better. Thanks for your thoughts! I'd not thought of it from a startup point of view, but yeah it makes sense to compare as, like you say, they optimise vigorously.
2Ozzie Gooen3yIt's a general platform, not specific to any domain. In a similar vein to the Good Judgement Project's platform, but with other features I think will be useful. I plan to try it out with some groups in the next few months.
Is any EA organization using or considering using Buterin et al.'s mechanism for matching funds?

The overall point is, if donors can coordinate, as they obviously can in the real world, then the optimal provisioning of goods theorem no longer holds.

I don't find this to be obvious. In my understanding, coordination/collusion can be limited by keeping donations anonymous. (See the first two paragraphs on page 16 in the paper for an example.)

1rohinmshah3yIt's not hard for an individual to prove that they donated by other means, e.g. screenshots and bank statements. Right after that, the authors say: With donations it is particularly easy to harmonize interests: if I'm planning to allocate 2 votes to MIRI and you're planning to allocate 2 votes to AMF, we can instead have each of us allocate 1 vote each to MIRI and AMF and we both benefit. Yes, we have to build trust that neither of us would defect by actually putting both of our votes to our preferred charity; but this seems doable in practice: even in the hardest case of vote trading (where there are laws attempting to enforce anonymity and inability to prove your vote) there seems to have been some success.
Is any EA organization using or considering using Buterin et al.'s mechanism for matching funds?

This does not sound like collusion, at least according to the Merriam-Webster definition:

secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose

To me, it seems more like promotion.

9rohinmshah3ySorry, I meant "collusion" in the sense that it is used in the game theory literature, where it's basically equivalent to "coordination in a way not modeled by the game theory", and doesn't carry the illegal/deceitful connotation it does in English. See e.g. here [http://www.overcomingbias.com/2015/01/collusion-in-quadratic-voting.html], which is explicitly talking about this problem for Glen Weyl's proposal. The overall point is, if donors can coordinate, as they obviously can in the real world, then the optimal provisioning of goods theorem no longer holds. The example with MIRI showcased this effect. I'm not saying that anyone did anything wrong in that example.
8Ben Pace3yAh yes, agree. I meant coordination, not collusion. Promotion also seems fine.
Is any EA organization using or considering using Buterin et al.'s mechanism for matching funds?

I'm not sure if I see how this is collusion. Would you mind elaborating?

3Ben Pace3yMIRI helped us know how much to donate and how much of a multiplier it would be, and updated this recommendation as other donors made their moves. I added something like $80 at one point because a MIRI person told me it would have a really cool multiplier, but not if I donated a lot more or a lot less.
Is any EA organization using or considering using Buterin et al.'s mechanism for matching funds?

Yeah, this and fraud are potential problems. They're discussed in 5.2 Collusion and deterrence (pages 15 to 19).

What open source projects should effective altruists contribute to?

That's a good suggestion. Thanks for sharing.

The README contains some useful information, e.g. about the history of the project, and contributing seems pretty straight-forward.

I do, however, miss some high-level information. For example:

  1. Why use this instead of something like Discourse or a subreddit?
  2. Is the project vision written somewhere, or is it "implicit knowledge?"
  3. What major features are planned? (Projects like these is a way to get an overview of the plans.)
  4. What websites are built using the code?
  5. Are there any sponsors?

None of these questions

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6John_Maxwell3yHere are posts from the LessWrong developers which might answer some of these questions. From 2017, so possibly outdated at this point... https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/HJDbyFFKf72F52edp/welcome-to-lesswrong-2-0 [https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/HJDbyFFKf72F52edp/welcome-to-lesswrong-2-0] https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/6XZLexLJgc5ShT4in/lesswrong-2-0-feature-roadmap-and-feature-suggestions [https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/6XZLexLJgc5ShT4in/lesswrong-2-0-feature-roadmap-and-feature-suggestions] https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/rEHLk9nC5TtrNoAKT/lw-2-0-strategic-overview [https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/rEHLk9nC5TtrNoAKT/lw-2-0-strategic-overview] More recent discussions here: https://www.lesswrong.com/meta [https://www.lesswrong.com/meta]
Can the EA community copy Teach for America? (Looking for Task Y)

An idea for Task Y: Mentoring people a bit younger than oneself.

Tyler Cowen writes in The high-return activity of raising others’ aspirations:

At critical moments in time, you can raise the aspirations of other people significantly, especially when they are relatively young, simply by suggesting they do something better or more ambitious than what they might have in mind. It costs you relatively little to do this, but the benefit to them, and to the broader world, may be enormous.

This is in fact one of the most valuable things you can do with your time a

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How can prediction markets become more trendy, legal, and accessible?

Hmm… I think the legal thing is a big one. If they were legal, then entrepreneurs could get them going and increased trendiness and accessibility would likely follow. For example, some of the effort people put into sports betting could be put into prediction markets.

I don't have any definite answers to how to make them more legal, other than activism/lobbying.

How can prediction markets become more trendy, legal, and accessible?

Another way to approach the goal of improved decision-making is using other mechanisms to improve predictions. We're trying a simpler variant at Empiricast. This is similar to Metaculus, but (currently) for internal use in organizations.

Open Thread #41

[Startup to improve predictions]

I'm currently working on the startup https://www.primeprediction.com/. We aim to help organizations make better decisions by improving their prediction capabilities.

We're currently very early stage and are learning more about the problems people face when making predictions/forecasts.

I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. I'd also love to hear your feedback, especially about concrete problems you have faced in your line of work for our product could be relevant.