Open Thread: May 2021

post by Aaron Gertler (aarongertler) · 2021-05-04T08:26:37.503Z · EA · GW · 11 comments

If you have something to share that doesn't feel like a full post, add it here! 

(You can also create a Shortform post [? · GW].)

If you're new to the EA Forum, consider using this thread to introduce yourself! 

You could talk about how you found effective altruism, what causes you work on and care about, or personal details that aren't EA-related at all. 

(You can also put this info into your Forum bio [EA · GW].)

Open threads are also a place to share good news, big or small. See this post [EA · GW] for ideas.


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Frank_R · 2021-05-07T08:39:45.799Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Hello! As long as I can remember, I have been interested in the long term future and have asked myself if there is any possibility to direct the future of humankind in a positive direction. Every once in a while I searched the internet for a community of like-minded people. A few month ago I discovered that many effective altruists are interested in longtermism. 

Since then, I often take a look at this forum and have read 'The Precipice' by Toby Ord. I am not quite sure if I agree with every belief that is common among EAs. Nevertheless, I think that we can agree on many things. 

My highest priorities are avoiding existential risks and improving decision making. Moreover, I think about the consequences of technological stagnation and the question if there are possible events far in the future that can only be influenced positively if we start working soon. At the moment my  time is very constrained, but I hope that I will be able to participate in the discussion.  

comment by CarolineJ · 2021-05-06T15:30:44.307Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I found the EA forum really lively and thriving these last few months. It's really a pleasure hanging out here!  I also feel more at ease to comment/post thanks to the aliveness and welcoming community. Congrats to the CEA team for making an awesome job at developing a great space for EA discussions!

comment by emwalz · 2021-05-04T22:53:12.488Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Hello! I'm one of the folks who only recently found out about EA but have been hacking my own independent version for years... It's incredible to find what I had hoped was in existence after so long. (My portal key was this podcast episode:

It feels like walking into a room of strangers but realizing, 'Now these are my people'. The most parallel experience I've had was being invited to an Ecoversities gathering a few years back, arriving in a Costa Rica and within a few hours feeling a sense of soul belonging. (If you believe in rooted, whole-self development.. Here they are

My passion is supporting young people in finding their path and their autonomy - and I'm in the process of interviewing folks who do feel they've found a way to live an inspired, impactful life about how they got there. Anyone here want to participate? *

*Disclaimer: You don't to have all your everything figured out, would love to talk to most anyone who's found their way here.

Replies from: evelynciara, CarolineJ
comment by evelynciara · 2021-05-06T23:05:44.815Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

While in my last year of high school, I independently came up with the idea that we should try to maximize aggregate utility over time: . A few weeks later, I heard about EA from a teacher.

Replies from: emwalz
comment by emwalz · 2021-05-12T16:20:05.591Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I would love to see how you'd solve that equation now, compared to when you first wrote it. Glad your teacher knew where to point you!

comment by CarolineJ · 2021-05-06T15:33:51.640Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I felt the same thing when I discovered (and met) EAs :-). Welcome!

comment by mkwronska · 2021-05-09T15:51:10.644Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Hi everyone, I'm Marta (she/her) and I work as a PhD student at University of Groningen in the Netherlands. I study psychology of creativity and the mechanisms through which people generate creative ideas. I write about how effective altruists, advocates and activists can use creativity to make the world a better place and I share findings from creativity and animal advocacy research at my website

I discovered EA almost four years ago, when I started doing my PhD. I wanted to find out how my research could contribute to decreasing animal suffering and ending factory farming, and so I joined a local EA group here in Groningen, started reading some books and listening to podcasts. I also gave a talk about creativity and factory farming at Conference on Animal Rights in Europe 2019: 

My WANBAM mentor suggested that the creativity-related knowledge might be important in the EA community, so I decided to join the forum! I'm also curious to read more about topics related to factory farming, social change and behavioural change, and perhaps get some inspiration for my future research :) 

Replies from: BrianTan
comment by BrianTan · 2021-05-11T10:55:51.428Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Welcome Marta! :)

comment by evelynciara · 2021-05-07T19:58:06.005Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Good news: IBM has created a 2nm chip in a lab

Replies from: aarongertler
comment by Aaron Gertler (aarongertler) · 2021-05-08T09:02:45.954Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I think you meant to add a different link.

Replies from: evelynciara
comment by evelynciara · 2021-05-08T17:49:09.675Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Good catch!