aaronhamlin feed - EA Forum Reader aaronhamlin’s posts and comments on the Effective Altruism Forum en-us Comment by aaronhamlin on [Link] How to set up your planned giving now https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/4wm9dTmAbbyjttHdF/link-how-to-set-up-your-planned-giving-now#dikanp9qBAkp94Mfz <p>Very welcome! And thank you for taking the steps, Cullen. :)</p> aaronhamlin dikanp9qBAkp94Mfz 2019-01-07T23:21:32.566Z [Link] How to set up your planned giving now https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/4wm9dTmAbbyjttHdF/link-how-to-set-up-your-planned-giving-now <p> </p><p>This is a linkpost for <a href="https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/planned-giving-for-everyone-15b9baf88632">https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/planned-giving-for-everyone-15b9baf88632</a></p><p>The balance of saving and giving has come up repeatedly in this forum. The major essence of planned giving is being able to give away all the assets that you can&#x27;t give away right now. And those assets you can&#x27;t give right now tend to be relatively large compared to what you can give now.</p><p>The catch is that planned giving can be hard to figure out. So I read a bunch of planned giving books to make this easier. I also have both a legal and nonprofit background, which makes this easier for me than the average person. Note that the linked essay is US-centric, but many of the concepts likely apply in other countries.</p><p>Feel free to let me know if you have any feedback, and good luck setting up your planned giving. Much of it isn&#x27;t that hard.</p> aaronhamlin 4wm9dTmAbbyjttHdF 2019-01-01T00:27:23.324Z [Link] How To Be A Great Board Member—And Avoid Being A Not So Great One https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/xp76Q3QpfD62mwvxo/link-how-to-be-a-great-board-member-and-avoid-being-a-not-so <p>This is a linkpost for <a href="https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/how-to-be-a-great-board-member-and-avoid-being-a-not-so-great-one-5fc0e97131bb">https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/how-to-be-a-great-board-member-and-avoid-being-a-not-so-great-one-5fc0e97131bb</a></p><p>I think board membership is one area that is less talked about in the EA community. Much of the work in the EA community is done through nonprofits, and nonprofits have boards. It&#x27;s often challenging for new board members to understand their role and maximize their benefit to the organization. I wrote this to help. I also wrote this to recruit board members to <a href="http://www.electionscience.org">The Center for Election Science</a>. Like many nonprofits, we&#x27;re often in recruitment mode.</p><p>I hope you find this helpful. I&#x27;d be happy to take any feedback and learn from others&#x27; experiences on and with boards. I tend to write these kinds of nonprofit pieces when I&#x27;m not writing on voting theory.</p> aaronhamlin xp76Q3QpfD62mwvxo 2018-12-28T07:51:56.364Z Comment by aaronhamlin on Why You Should Invest In Upgrading Democracy And Give To The Center For Election Science https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/jSjBHmgu3ZGcrW4t2/why-you-should-invest-in-upgrading-democracy-and-give-to-the#2xRDTiwik5u7psmzM <p> <br/></p><p><strong>1a. You mentioned that other groups are trying to implement IRV and may not even understand that approval voting is superior. Can you explain why you think other people think this and even advocate for apparently inferior methods? Your article seemed convincing at first glance and I don&#x27;t think this is a particularly partisan issue.</strong></p><p>I think the relative support issue is a matter of those IRV advocates deweighting the likelihood of failures in IRV and overweighting the value of IRV&#x27;s existing use compared to approval voting. There’s also a lack of knowledge on many of the nuances, which is just a product of voting theory being so complicated.</p><p><strong>1b. &quot;We also haven’t faced organized opposition.&quot; What kind of opposition do you anticipate facing? IRV supporters? Elected officials?</strong></p><p>With ballot initiatives, the most likely opposition will come from those who currently benefit from a choose-one voting method. If an official or party would have likely won under a choose-one method versus approval voting, then they’ll likely oppose approval voting.</p><p>We don’t anticipate IRV supporters to oppose specific approval voting ballot initiatives, though we have seen articles from those groups publicly attacking approval voting. In public venues, we’re often bumped to keep room for IRV speakers even if there’s redundancy. This exclusion can affect our perceived legitimacy with donors, media, and other people in the reform network. We’ll likely have to continue with large ballot initiative wins before excluding us becomes unacceptable.</p><p>As an opposition example, there was a piece of state legislation that had enabling language permitting cities to use approval voting and IRV. A left-leaning organization opposed the inclusion of approval voting because they thought (rightfully) that approval voting would elect a more moderate government. In my conversation with the left-leaning organization, they told me that with IRV, they’d at least have some wins—even if there was some back and forth losses in the complete opposite direction. I told the person that if they wanted more partisan ideologies to be represented then they should support including proportional methods in the enacting language, but they seemed uninterested in listening to me at that point.</p><p><strong>2. Since legislative reform is a nonstarter according to you and ballot initiatives for changing voting methods are present in less than half of US states, what is the medium-long term plan? Get as many cities on approval voting as possible and hope that this builds pressure for approval voting nationally?</strong></p><p>I think yes. It’s hard to understate how frantic our pace is compared to how long it took IRV to move with reforms. That said, if we don’t have sufficient funding to run large initiatives, then approval voting could get shut out early. There’s a lot riding on us having that immediate momentum.</p><p>Also, while legislative reform is most likely not on the table now, it may be in the future. But that&#x27;s likely only if approval voting has more of a track record and the choose-one method is more regularly publicly scorned.</p><p><strong>3. What factors led to the convincing margin of victory in Fargo despite it being seen as a long shot by the media?</strong></p><p>This is a technical subject, and I think it just takes too much energy for media to gather the information necessary to make a more accurate prediction. For instance, I would classify “long shot” as an event less than 10% likely to occur. Yet, using base rates from similar initiatives and eventually polling, there was never an indication that the odds were ever anywhere near that low. In my calculation, I don&#x27;t think my assessment ever dipped to 50%.</p><p>Most initiatives focusing on single-winner voting methods pass. Not all of them, as we’ve learned since, but the vast majority do. We also had a convenient narrative in Fargo. Their commission created a task force that recommended approval voting—which the commission then ignored. We also had strong support on the ground. I also had the benefit of talking with lots of other people who successfully ran initiatives at a conference in earlier 2018.</p><p>So long as there’s sufficient funding, we’ll only get better at this.</p><p><strong>4. What would make you change your mind about approval voting being the best option to advocate for?</strong></p><p>Part of the strategic rationale for going with approval voting versus a higher-utility method that’s more complicated is that a more complicated method is less likely to get enacted. Another higher-utility method would be range/score voting where voters score each candidate on a scale. It also has a number of desirable qualities in terms of practicality (though it may take some effort to have it work on the worst of US voting machines).</p><p>There appears to be a small but measurable gain in utility going from approval to score where there is little added complexity. If we were to advance score voting in the future, for instance, we’d have to repeat the same process we did with approval voting (i.e.: proof of concept, replication, then scale).</p><p>Beyond score voting, there is little to be gained in utility between where score voting lands and where an unattainable magic best voting method would be. There are lots of other variations that scatter around this space, but those methods often add extra complexity and present practical implementation burdens that may also reduce their impact. Keep in mind, a voting method’s simplicity also helps its ability to do other jobs like convey support for other candidates who didn’t win.</p><p>I’m at a loss to imagine what might be present for the current choose-one method to be preferred over approval voting. If it somehow showed evidence of consistently electing worse candidates, that would be evidence. The same would be true compared to other voting methods. These are the types of empirical questions we can ask by being able to fund a director of research position. It’s clear that without our work that those polls comparing different voting methods just wouldn’t be done.</p> aaronhamlin 2xRDTiwik5u7psmzM 2018-12-28T07:22:34.499Z Comment by aaronhamlin on Why You Should Invest In Upgrading Democracy And Give To The Center For Election Science https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/jSjBHmgu3ZGcrW4t2/why-you-should-invest-in-upgrading-democracy-and-give-to-the#FfxnHw6KHiNnuXnwF <p> </p><p><strong>On a mix of voting methods being used across states</strong></p><p>I think this mixed approach is good. I wouldn’t worry about IRV not getting a foothold here though. My worry is IRV taking over the map. Also, there are other places that use IRV like Australia. To my knowledge, there’s been limited research on international and US IRV data. That could change once we have our director of research position.</p><p><strong>Approval voting in presidential elections.</strong></p><p>I’d point to the FAQ <a href="https://electology.org/blog/blueprint-good-presidential-elections">on presidential elections here</a>. If you’re using approval voting, it should be part of the national popular vote. Otherwise, you get strange tactics coming up.</p><p><strong>IRV variants &amp; variants in general</strong></p><p>One way to evaluate the performance of a voting method in electing a good winner is to use simulations. You have a computer take different conditions like candidate scenarios or different kinds of voters (you might call these dials) and then run these elections millions of times. Then you can see how much of the maximum utility was captured by the voting method.</p><p>We’re dealing with a model here, so there are assumptions that will vary from simulation to simulation. But in the models I’ve seen, approval voting fares well even with tactical voters, particularly against IRV and way better than the choose-one method. Also, there is a “magical best” in these simulations. That is, the “magical best” voting method magically picks the winner in each election that maximizes voter utility. &quot;Magical best&quot; is the unattainable ceiling of voting method performance in choosing a good winner.</p><p>That “magical best” mark is not terribly far away from approval voting’s mark. And you could get some small but likely meaningful increases by going from approval to score/range voting. Once you’re at score voting though, there’s not a lot to be gained.</p><p>And it’s because there’s little utility to be gained beyond score voting (and not much even beyond approval) that I don’t get particularly excited about the fanciest idea of a new voting method. And believe me, I hear all kinds of those ideas. I’ve actually gotten phone calls from random people on the weekend concerning this before.</p><p>The point is, we have some voting methods like approval that do really well in electing high-utility winners that are so easy. And not only is it easy but it has perks like giving an accurate reflection of support for losing candidates. And it is precinct summable and easily auditable. These factors are important. It’s not just about maximizing utility from the winner. A voting method has other jobs, too. (See the FAQ on <a href="https://electology.org/blog/what-makes-voting-method-good">how to evaluate a voting method</a>.)</p><p>In terms of CES mission strategy, score voting is really the only other single-winner voting method that makes sense for us to try because it has so much simplicity going for it as well. It just has some small implementation hurdles and slightly more complexity that approval voting doesn’t have. But it’ll likely be a little bit before we consider anything with score voting, and it’ll have to be a strategic target. One step at a time, as they say.</p><p>(<a href="https://rangevoting.org/BayRegsFig.html">Bayesian Regret example for reference</a>)</p><p></p> aaronhamlin FfxnHw6KHiNnuXnwF 2018-12-17T19:15:14.042Z Why You Should Invest In Upgrading Democracy And Give To The Center For Election Science https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/jSjBHmgu3ZGcrW4t2/why-you-should-invest-in-upgrading-democracy-and-give-to-the <p>This post is making the (<u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/voting-methods-open-target-effective-altruism">follow-up</a></u>) case for why giving to <a href="https://electology.org/">The Center for Election Science</a> (CES) is a good idea. Here’s a summary:</p><ol><li>What we do</li><li>Why we do what we do</li><li>What we’ve done and what we intend to do</li><li>Why we need funding</li><li>Why there is urgency</li><li>Our ask</li><li>FAQ</li></ol><p><strong>What we do</strong></p><p>We study and advance better voting methods.</p><p>On the study end, we decipher voting theory complexities for the general public. We do that through internal analysis, gathering existing research, and through primary data collection. All this shines light on the issue of voting methods and helps inform our action.</p><p>On the advancing end, we run educational campaigns alongside ballot initiatives. We work with local groups who involve their communities so that they can implement better voting methods. We focus heavily on approval voting right now due to its simplicity and strong performance as a voting method.</p><p><strong>Why we do what we do</strong></p><p>Virtually across the globe, we all use the worst voting method there is—a choose-one voting method—to elect people to executive and other offices. We trust those same people we elect using that terrible voting method to (1) spend vast sums of taxpayer money and (2) execute the policies that control our daily lives.</p><p>Our current choose-one voting method causes vote splitting between candidates. This vote splitting causes spoilers and can squeeze out moderate candidates. Good candidates sometimes don’t even run for fear of being labeled a spoiler and not being perceived as viable. This results in bad government and a poor environment for good ideas to be discovered and implemented.</p><p>There are much better ways of electing these people to office, one of which is very easy—approval voting.</p><p>Approval voting is classically a single-winner method that lets voters choose as many candidates as they want. The candidate with the most votes wins. This voting method tends to elect more consensus-style candidates and give an accurate reflection of support for third-party and independent candidates. Voters can always vote for their favorite no matter what.</p><p>These features permit new ideas to develop that otherwise couldn’t under our current choose-one method. It also pushes for a more stable government over time so that the winner doesn’t wildly shift in ideology from one election to the next.</p><p><strong>What we’ve done and what we intend to do</strong></p><p>We brought approval voting to its first US city and modern use. We did that by collaborating with a local organization, Reform Fargo, who ran the advocacy campaign while we did the education campaign. While this was perceived as a long shot among media who bothered to report on it, the ballot initiative passed with 64% of the vote.</p><p>We intend to strategically replicate this in cities neighboring Fargo, ND. Following that replication, we will move to larger cities. We can then keep scaling to focus predominantly on large cities and states. Eventually, we can go outside the US, but that strategy is currently unclear.</p><p>We intend to achieve these outcomes by scaling up our previously successful efforts. That means collaborating with more local 501(c)4 groups and hiring a Director of Campaigns to coordinate current campaigns and set up future ones We’ll also be hiring a Director of Research to highlight issues in current elections that are currently invisible and to bring awareness to our other work.</p><p><strong>Why we need funding</strong></p><p>We have been extremely grateful for the funding we received from Open Philanthropy Project. And we are grateful to Will MacAskill for believing in our ability and prospective impact enough to recommend us to Open Phil in the first place. We wasted no time in translating that funding to a historic win within less than a year. We’re proud of that turnaround.</p><p>To succeed in our mission, we need to scale up our funding to handle large cities and statewide efforts. Early on, we’ve been lucky and our partners have been able to avoid spending funds on signature gathering for the initiatives. We also haven’t faced organized opposition.</p><p>In the future, however, that will likely no longer be the case. Thus, the cost per person to use approval voting will increase. Counting our infrastructure, the spend per our partners, and running education campaigns, I’d estimate the cost per person using approval voting will likely increase to about $3. I don’t foresee it surpassing $5/person. Some of that spend will start the calendar year before the actual initiative.</p><p>[Note that we require economies of scale to get at the $3-$4/person because of the initial infrastructure required. Targeting populations of 500K+ gets us in the economies of scale range. You basically get a discount on your return by investing on the mission in bulk.]</p><p>So, if we’re targeting cities and states within a particular year so that the total populations add up to 2M people, then we’ll need a budget of $6M. If 10M people, then $30M, and so on. In addition to the initiative work, this helps us to support ancillary organizational programs that help our overall efforts—activities like research, creating election tools, and performing outreach. We are largely a funds-capped organization in terms of the impact we can make.</p><p>We’ll also have to set up a 501(c)4 ourselves soon to accept funding to direct out to other collaborating 501(c)4s. This is because we’re limited by the IRS on the amount we can directly spend or give supporting ballot initiative advocacy.</p><p><strong>Why there is urgency</strong></p><p>Pushing voting method reform through legislation is a nonstarter due to the conflict of interest from legislators. It’s particularly a nonstarter given the relatively short modern timeline for approval voting. Instead, ballot initiatives are the main tool for pushing approval voting. Only about half the US states permit ballot initiatives. Even fewer have the legal framework to do initiatives to change voting methods at the city or county level.</p><p>That may still sound like a lot of places, but instant runoff voting (IRV) (also called ranked choice voting or the alternative vote) reformers are starting to take up more space. One leading organization claimed they would try to run as many as over a dozen statewide efforts by 2022. That’s not counting other independent organizations who have started on their own statewide campaigns.</p><p>As more people know about instant runoff voting and are less aware of its substantial inferiority to approval voting, it has more perceived traction. Consequently, campaigns for IRV are now following Maine’s statewide implementation. As IRV is implemented, it can remove opportunity for approval voting reform within a state. It can even nullify our wins within a state. On the other side, if the instant runoff voting campaign fails or is repealed, it could sour voters to the idea of alternative voting methods altogether.</p><p>This means we have to act quickly. There are other 501(c)4 organizations who are open to approval voting, but they will go with the inferior IRV if they perceive that we cannot provide the funding. This means our funding and frantic pace have to continue.</p><p>In addition to declining opportunity, there are future people to consider. When considering future people, there’s further urgency to act now. If approval voting can improve policies and government over time, then we want those positive effects to build as quickly as possible to those in the future.</p><p><strong>Our ask</strong></p><p>Many of you are already familiar with our work. Maybe you heard about the <u><a href="https://www.openphilanthropy.org/giving/grants/the-center-for-election-science-general-support">Open Phil grant</a></u>. You may have heard me speak at EA Global or REACH Berkeley. Or perhaps you listened to the <u><a href="https://80000hours.org/podcast/episodes/aaron-hamlin-voting-reform/">80,000 Hours</a></u> episode. Regardless, our team and I are grateful that you take this issue seriously enough to direct your attention to it.</p><p>And to those of you in the EA community who have already donated, thank you. It really takes a special kind of donor for this think-heavy cause. Many of you have reached out to us following your gift to let us know about your interest in the cause following the 80,000 Hours podcast. EA members have already donated at levels of $50, to $500, to $20K.</p><p>Please consider a gift that matches both your capacity and your commitment to fundamentally improving government. You can <u><a href="https://electology.org/donate">give online</a></u> through our website. Donations up to $30K given by December 31 will be matched. To give by other means or at a significant level, please reach out to our <u><a href="mailto:kirsten@electology.org">Director of Philanthropy</a></u>. She will happily get back to you within 24 hours, even over the holidays. We are a sophisticated team so we can also handle complex assets if you let us know your situation.</p><p>Thank you again to those in the community who have already given.</p><p><strong>FAQ</strong></p><p><u>Q: I heard there was this thing about approval voting that wasn’t so good or that another voting method was better. Also, don’t forget about Arrow’s Theorem.</u></p><p>A: All voting methods have quirks, but we maintain that the quirks of approval voting are comparatively mild compared to the alternatives. You can <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/ten-critiques-and-defenses-approval-voting">see this article</a></u> where we go into all the details. Also, I talked with Kenneth Arrow personally for an hour and he said that our choose-one voting method was bad. <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/remembering-kenneth-arrow-and-his-impossibility-theorem">Really</a></u>.</p><p><u>Q: How does IRV match up to approval voting?</u></p><p>A: Not very well. From encountering avoidable anomalies to being needlessly complex, IRV falls well short of what approval voting can offer. <u><a href="https://www.electology.org/approval-voting-versus-irv">Here’s an article on that topic</a></u>.</p><p><u>Q: How do you decide what makes a voting method good?</u></p><p>A: We look at the type of winner it tends to elect as well as practical issues from simplicity to implementation. <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/what-makes-voting-method-good">Here’s an article on that topic</a></u>.</p><p><u>Q: Will approval voting increase the number of parties?</u></p><p>A: Probably, but not by much. Those parties can, however, get their voice heard (and ignored if they have bad ideas). Here’s <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/approval-voting-breaks-duverger%E2%80%99s-law-gives-voters-more-options">an article on Duverger’s Law</a></u>. (<u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/whats-two-party-domination-my-dive-duvergers-law">Fun video here</a></u>). Also, <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/approval-voting-voice-independents">third parties and independents clearly benefit</a></u> from approval voting. Note that the multi-winner proportional version of approval voting would encourage more parties. But it’s more complicated on the calculation end. We’ll write a post on that proportional method before too long since it’s just been updated.</p><p><u>Q: Why don’t you go after organizations that do achievement awards?</u></p><p>A: We do, though we limit our resources to high-impact opportunities. Here’s an article about how we worked with <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/behind-webby-curtain">The Webby Awards</a></u>. We’ve also <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/let-giving-games-begin%21">done an article on giving games</a></u>. I’ve personally encountered some resistance when talking with some large awards organizations. They don’t collect the data to know whether their current voting method is bad. Plus they likely perceive that changing their voting method may reveal that their previously given awards have less value.</p><p><u>Q: The Electoral College is awful. Why aren’t you working to get rid of it?</u></p><p>A: The current actions to make the electoral college moot would still leave us with that awful choose-one voting method. Approval voting would work with this current approach though (IRV wouldn’t). We <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/blueprint-good-presidential-elections">wrote a whole article about it</a></u>.</p><p><u>Q: Why don’t you go after primaries? You should be going after primaries.</u></p><p>A: In areas where we run initiatives and there are primaries, we will be having them use approval voting. We’ve written lots about primaries. <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/primaries-major-party-failure-third-party-opportunity">Here’s an article</a></u>. <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/americas-peculiar-primaries">Here’s one, too</a></u>. <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/primary-what-is-it-good-for">Here’s one more</a></u>. We’ll likely write another one before too long as well.</p><p><u>Q: Why don’t you target third parties to get their support?</u></p><p>A: We target third parties to get their support. Green and Libertarian chapters in multiple states support and use approval voting. The Libertarian Party even uses it for national internal positions. <u><a href="https://electology.org/article/progress">Other third parties use it, too</a></u>. Many of those folks have already bought that IRV will help them, so we have to explain how approval voting would be better.</p><p><u>Q: I listened to the 80,000 Hours Episode, but I felt that you didn’t go into enough detail in certain areas.</u></p><p>A: Here are <u><a href="https://electology.org/blog/80000-hours-interviews-ces-executive-director">some quick follow-up details</a></u> into areas like voter turnout where I could have given a more complete answer.</p><p><u>Q: Let&#x27;s talk about that website of yours.</u></p><p>A: We&#x27;ll be launching our new website by the end of December to early January. In the meantime, we have <a href="https://donate.electology.org/">a landing page</a> for our donations.</p><p><u>Q: How can I help again?</u></p><p>A: Let other people know about our work and <u><a href="https://electology.org/donate">invest in a better ballot to improve government</a></u>. </p> aaronhamlin jSjBHmgu3ZGcrW4t2 2018-12-15T01:43:39.636Z Comment by aaronhamlin on Earning to Save (Give 1%, Save 10%) https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/3ijnLaws7mCEogD6H/earning-to-save-give-1-save-10#bumFxZG75SDC2nrfP <p>I sympathize with a lot in this article. In addition to emergency funds, there&#x27;s also retirement. I took a crack at this topic last year. Feel free to take a gander. https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/practical-philanthropic-giving-using-effective-altruism-cd9636a6b014</p> aaronhamlin bumFxZG75SDC2nrfP 2018-12-09T05:05:49.034Z Comment by aaronhamlin on Medical research: cancer is hugely overfunded; here's what to choose instead https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/tBH9txe2TLhH2acGo/medical-research-cancer-is-hugely-overfunded-here-s-what-to#8mAPzFWRSuqx2CtRq <p>Given that these all seem to connect with aging issues, I wonder how open the EA community would be to tackling aging as an illness. The foundation that focuses on this is the SENS Foundation (<a href="http://www.sens.org/)">http://www.sens.org/)</a>. Aubrey deGrey is the leading figure behind this focus (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvWtSUdOWVI)">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvWtSUdOWVI)</a>.</p> aaronhamlin 8mAPzFWRSuqx2CtRq 2017-08-09T18:41:24.295Z Comment by aaronhamlin on Are Giving Games a better way to teach philanthropy? https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/8AABHubnwpoqZXABh/are-giving-games-a-better-way-to-teach-philanthropy#eFrSpS9k23A4Ma8yS <p>Giving games are a great interactive activity and an awesome idea. A big component that may be being overlooked here is how participants vote on the charities. That plays a role in how the winner is determined as well as how the results are reflected. The voting method can also play a role in how participants assess candidate charities. To expand on the role of the voting method in giving games, I've put together an article. I hope this information brings even more success to giving games: <a href="https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/let-the-giving-games-begin-d19a5ad91570">https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/let-the-giving-games-begin-d19a5ad91570</a></p> aaronhamlin eFrSpS9k23A4Ma8yS 2017-08-09T04:10:12.548Z Comment by aaronhamlin on Clarifying the Giving What We Can pledge https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/drJP6FPQaMt66LFGj/clarifying-the-giving-what-we-can-pledge#dqCrjTjGfKfu2GPbg <p>I have friends who are middle-income who also focus on retirement (as you reference as an issue). Unlike many EA folks, they are more unclear about how giving fits with their long-term financial plan. To address this, I've written an article that goes into retirement accounts and US tax law. To some extent, it's more conservative than the traditional pledge described in its current form, while in other ways it's more aggressive. Feel free to have a look and consider how you think it fits: <a href="https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/practical-philanthropic-giving-using-effective-altruism-cd9636a6b014">https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/practical-philanthropic-giving-using-effective-altruism-cd9636a6b014</a></p> aaronhamlin dqCrjTjGfKfu2GPbg 2017-08-09T03:59:58.928Z Comment by aaronhamlin on Open Thread #36 https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/THXP2gy5TqxF8nJkd/open-thread-36#ZpgboWXB4mhBEHnGP <p>This is a topic I've thought about and just searched to see if anyone had posted on it. I've also written a moderately in-depth article on it here: <a href="https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/practical-philanthropic-giving-using-effective-altruism-cd9636a6b014">https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/practical-philanthropic-giving-using-effective-altruism-cd9636a6b014</a></p> <p>My personal background is that I run two nonprofits and am a licensed attorney. I think about charitable giving a lot. I also put money into retirement while balancing giving.</p> <p>P.S. That you think about donor advised funds is a good sign! Those are so awesome that I dedicated an entire article to them: <a href="https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/10-reasons-2-donor-advised-funds-are-awesome-giving-tools-7b9f2f743570">https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/10-reasons-2-donor-advised-funds-are-awesome-giving-tools-7b9f2f743570</a></p> aaronhamlin ZpgboWXB4mhBEHnGP 2017-08-04T05:18:39.820Z Comment by aaronhamlin on Vote Pairing is a Cost-Effective Political Intervention https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/2QhtwLnxLa2DoBx2Z/vote-pairing-is-a-cost-effective-political-intervention#RgpWue7N33Gi9EGgB <p>Another approach is to work to advance voting methods that are robust to vote splitting. Vote splitting is, after all, what we're talking about here. In this context, the focus is on vote splitting within swing states. Vote splitting is when multiple candidates have a similar ideology and because of the single selection voters are required to provide under plurality voting, the vote divides between those candidates. This creates an advantage for candidates who don't have a similar competitor and randomness when both leading candidates have a similar competitor.</p> <p>The most straightforward way this is being addressed currently is through an inter-state compact called the national popular vote plan (<a href="http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/)">http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/)</a>. The issue with that is that at the end of the day there can still be vote splitting at the national level because the system still uses plurality (choose one) voting.</p> <p>An alternative that would fix that is approval voting (<a href="https://www.electology.org/approval-voting)">https://www.electology.org/approval-voting)</a>. This allows the voter to choose as many candidates as they want and can use current ballots and machines. It is highly robust to vote splitting and allows the voter to support their favorite candidate no matter what, even if that candidate isn't' viable. The other advantage of this method is that it is precinct summable, which means you can take state totals and then use those totals to get national totals. You don't need the raw ballot data to be collected in a central location. It also allows for hybrid counting for if certain areas still use plurality voting. Because of these properties, this would be an excellent candidate for an improved national popular vote plan.</p> <p>As a note, there was no spoiler effect in the 2016 election. As noted in other comments, the vote pairing approach requires trust. Also, an alternative candidate method, instant runoff voting/ ranked choice voting does not let you vote your favorite every time and is not precinct summable. One of the challenges of approval voting is its current lack of use in government elections, which would mean acquiring a track record in localities and states before use at the national level. For disclosure, I'm the executive director of The Center for Election Science, which promotes approval voting.</p> aaronhamlin RgpWue7N33Gi9EGgB 2017-07-09T03:54:37.038Z