Doing vs Talking at EA Events 2018-08-29T15:00:54.682Z · score: 2 (10 votes)


Comment by adamaero on How to Make Billions of Dollars Reducing Loneliness · 2019-09-16T13:51:09.949Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I had high hopes for this post...and was disappointed. I don't think getting roommates or changing roommates is a cure for loneliness for the majority of adults. If I wrote a similar post, instead, I'd discuss various forms of **meditation**. Additionally, I'd mention how to find friends in new places (not necessarily roommates as I don't base my room/housing on the who--but the where).

Even then, since most people are looking for a life partner, the better way to reduce loneliness is to meet potential suitors. So then one more prospective route is how to meet, generally, single people. Colloquially, at least in the US, this means going to bars or "day gaming."

Comment by adamaero on Open Thread #42 · 2018-10-18T14:11:54.893Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

It would be better if you started with, "Perhaps suffering matters more than [death]."

Also, see these:

Maybe it's just me, but when you say "my ideas" it sounds as though you're going to put forth some original idea/perspective. None of these ideas are remotely original. Additionally, why use a Google Doc? Is this for a class? Do you want suggestions?

Comment by adamaero on Open Thread #42 · 2018-10-17T22:01:47.153Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · EA · GW

[Adam and Tilda turn to leave the room]

  • HM: Adam. Listen to me. For the sake of my grandson, if not your own. There is a natural order to this world, and those who try to upend it do not fare well. This movement will never survive. If you join them, you and your entire family will be shunned. At best, you exist as pariah, to be spat on and beaten. At worst, lynched or crucified.

(At the same time in year 2144 we see Sonmi being led to her execution, watched by a crowd which includes Mephi, she smiles with a tear rolling down her face as the device that kills fabricants is placed to her head, the metal bolt released killing her instantly as it goes through her head)

  • HM: And for what? For what? No matter what you do, it will never amount to anything more than a single drop in a limitless ocean.
  • Adam Ewing: What is an ocean but a multitude of drops?

[Adam and Tilda leave the room] ~ Cloud Atlas

"Virtually all poverty reduction comes from economic growth and migration–not [...] philanthropy."

Thousands of dollars to prevent one person from getting Malaria (due to an AMF bednet) is enough for me. Sure, it's a drop in the bucket—so what?

Most philanthropists aren’t asking themselves, what’s the absolute most effective anti-poverty force in the world? They’re thinking like economists, on the margin. What’s the greatest marginal benefit for the world that I can get in exchange for my donation? The fact that most poverty reduction is coming from economic growth and migration could indicate that other areas are being neglected, and thus offer more promising opportunities for an individual donor. Bednets for malaria prevention seem like a clear example of this.

Jason H

Should individuals be thought of as a macroeconomic force?

Should single charities?

Comment by adamaero on A Research Framework to Improve Real-World Giving Behavior · 2018-10-17T19:35:53.293Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

What, exactly, are we marketing?

  • Sacrifice: not so small as to feel meaningless and not so extreme as to be unreasonable.

E.g., not donating a couple cents every century and not reducing oneself to poverty or martyrdom.

    • GiveWell (1)
    • Animal Charity Evaluators (2)

Who are we marketing it to?

Various individuals who have extra money, and are not caught up buying the next phone and bigger car*:

(1) Empathetic liberals (I guess), those who haven't been rich all their life, altruists, etc.

Not hard conservatives, not those who haven't given others a second thought, not rationalists.

(2) veg*ans, and others I don't know how to categorize specifically...

Who will be doing the marketing?

Almost all effective altruists except those who are CEOs of non-EA based orgs. In other words, those who are not forever swamped in work (or certain specific problems). Should all EAs? No, not really. Some know too little, and some convey the message poorly.

Where will (audience) ultimately buy the product?

The "beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that produce effective giving behavior" should not be thought of as something to hard sell. It should be sometimes thought as bringing simple awareness, and building a dialogue with others.

  • "not going to waste it on a big house, a new car every year and a bunch of friends who want a big house and a new car every year.” - Larry (Bill Murray) The Razor’s Edge 1984 movie ~ 1944 book.

Related Research

We posit that altruistic donors are more driven by the actual impact of their donation, and thus information to reinforce or enhance perceived impacts will drive higher donations. On the other hand, for warm glow donors, information on impacts may actually deter giving [because it's not emotionally based]. This distinction is much along the lines of Kahneman (2003), in which System I decisions (peripheral decisions which use intuition and mere reaction, but no deliberation) are “warm glow” decisions, and System II decisions (deliberative decisions requiring conscious reasoning and thought) are “altruism” decisions.

Comment by adamaero on Why are you here? An origin stories thread. · 2018-09-16T00:28:15.687Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Part of my origin story is here: Doing vs Talking at EA Events.

I wrote my full origin story somewhere on Quora. In a nutshell, I didn't see everyone's live as having much of any meaning. I didn't see my life as meaningful. I tried thinking about what what I will eventually do, work wise. But I couldn't think of what that would be. I wanted to start working towards being an expert at whatever work that was to be. And so, I figured in my preteen years, that I really didn't have a purpose.

Long story short, as an auxiliary sort of life, I decided to live for others. Again, temporarily I would live for the worst off people. Their circumstances had to be much worse. I didn't know the word "poverty" at the time, but that was just it. I knew I could live to help at least one of those people. That would make all the difference: Even in a life devoid of meaning, I could make some sort of impact for at least one person at the opposite end of the spectrum--maybe even not directly (face-to-face). Somehow.

In high school, in about 2012, I started looking into how to best combat poverty. Since then, I've learned the difference between relative and absolute poverty, signed the GWWC pledge and almost donated a kidney. I will soon be Earning to Give. That's all I truly want to do. I follow Habermas's discourse ethics as a systematic theory; I am a deontologist.

I wish I knew some stories about specific people in poverty. I recall a few from memory, but the detail is lacking. I recall something about this woman purchasing rice, kilos, and...

Comment by adamaero on Near-Term Effective Altruism Discord · 2018-09-12T19:50:18.560Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Diction and pronouns have tone (e.g., "you're reinforcing" vs a more modest "that could reinforce"). With that, expressing certainty, about predictions (e.g., "whenever a group of people") is another way I saw the original comment as harsh--unless you're an expert in the field (and a relevant study would help too). I, for one, am no anthropologist nor sociologist.

I'm not debating if here. You asked how, and I quoted the statements I saw as the most harsh + most questionable. [I'm trying to say this lightly. Instead I could have made that last bit, "

  • furthest from the truth". But I didn't, because I'm trying to demonstrate. (And that's not what I really mean anyway.)] I never said you are wrong about _ _ _ _ _. I said, it may not be true; it may be true.

You seem to still think the original comment was not harsher than necessary by your own definition of tone. Either way, I'm guessing Mrs. Wise gave you much less confusing pointers with her PM.

Comment by adamaero on Near-Term Effective Altruism Discord · 2018-09-12T00:55:09.099Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

They were examples to how I saw how your post as "harsher than necessary". You've diluted these mere examples into a frivolous debate. If you believe you were not harsh at all, then believe what you want to believe.

Comment by adamaero on Near-Term Effective Altruism Discord · 2018-09-11T20:51:51.378Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · EA · GW

@kbog: Most of your responses with respect to my reply do not make sense. Example, EA Chicago posts their events on the Facebook page. I don't live in Chicago...(simple as that)

The physics stack exchange doesn't try to exclude engineers

~ completely missed the point. Additionally, the analogy is fine. There is seldom such a thing as an absolute analogy. With that, it doesn't follow that somehow the analogy is wrong related to these elusively implicit misconceptions by EAs about EAs.

So to sum up, you're reading in way too far to what I wrote originally. I was answering your question related to why your first reply was "harsher than necessary".

Comment by adamaero on Near-Term Effective Altruism Discord · 2018-09-10T03:12:25.486Z · score: -4 (6 votes) · EA · GW

"so it will be a destructive feedback loop" ~ not necessarily

"you're reinforcing an assumption that they can't get along" ~ unlikely

"whenever a group of people [...] extreme end of the spectrum, who are the most closed-minded and intolerant" ~ very big presumptions

I personally think this chat is a great idea. Too many times on Facebook groups, I have to see local events that I can't attend. Too many times I see EA posts that have no relevance to my involvement in EA. That doesn't mean I'm closed-minded. Most EAs, picking animal suffering or global poverty, are the most open-minded people in my opinion.

Perhaps think about it like the difference between the Physics Stack Exchange chat and the Electrical Engineering (EE) Stack Exchange chat. They're very close to the same. EE is based in physics obviously. But they're separate.

Anyway, my two cents.

Comment by adamaero on Near-Term Effective Altruism Discord · 2018-09-10T02:57:35.827Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Is the other Discord not publicly viewable? I've never heard of it.

Comment by adamaero on Effective Giving vs. Effective Altruism · 2018-09-09T22:01:13.559Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I do not understand.

quite a bit of danger in rapid movement growth of attracting people who might dilute the EA movement and impair the building of good infrastructure down the road (see this video* and paper**).

Things I do get: Building a movement with ignorant people may not be good. But becoming veg*an or signing the GWWC pledge and following through is all it really takes. Every EA doesn't have to be super knowledgeable.

Users on a website is one thing. For example, each StackExchange needs a healthy balance of participants for good questions and equally good answers. But effective giving is really all I see that matters.

Sure, it's not directly EA. But so what? Effective giving is related to EA. It doesn't have to be EA. Or maybe I just didn't read closely enough.

Note to self:

*Movement Development - Kerry Vaughan - EA Global 2015

**How valuable is movement growth?

Comment by adamaero on Additional plans for the new EA Forum · 2018-09-08T23:11:11.638Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I hope it has a locked top title bar of "EFFECTIVE ALTRUISM FORUM" so it shows what I'm looking at to other people (even when scrolling down the page).

Comment by adamaero on Promoting Effective Giving at Conferences via Speed Giving Games · 2018-09-08T21:04:40.281Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

One doesn't need studies to determine which charities have negative effects. (That's not true for the reverse obviously.)

Play Pump is the archetype. There are plenty others, especially in Haiti.

Gleb_T, go on GuideStar. If you're truly interested in finding the charities with negative effects, there are transparent charities that do more harm then good. Additionally, some have enormous administrative/advertising fees, a vice in itself. I was reading a 990 Form for a charity in Florida with over 85% put to advertising!

Comment by adamaero on Are Giving Games a better way to teach philanthropy? · 2018-09-08T19:56:46.376Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I'm about to put on a Giving Game for passerbyers in the middle of a student center building. AKA Speed Giving game at a tabling booth. It will go on for however long my schedule will allow. This will be 3-4 hours at a time. (I am the only explicit-EA at my uni.)

I plan on having a stack of $2 bills and three fish bowls for three different charities. Not many students will participate. (I've volunteered for the Engineers Without Borders booth in the same place, and few stop to see our stand. They are mainly going downstairs to eat.)

From what I've read about Giving Games, the majority of people choose the effective charities. Although, I was told at my one and only EA meetup, that I could do two or three effective charities--just having them be different cause areas. This is what I plan to do. Do you see advantages of putting, say, the Make-A-Wish Foundation in there as a choice? To me it's just common sense to choose the stringently evaluated charities over non-transparent, little traction, etc--type charities.

And so I don't want to insult other people's intelligence. The results of Giving Games with an "ineffective" charity, that I've read, show that the majority of people pick the more effective charities. It seems the "bad" charity is there as a token. It appears the cause-area style of Giving Game is better (than winner-takes-all, tiered or proportional games for university students).

Comment by adamaero on Doing vs Talking at EA Events · 2018-09-08T17:03:38.621Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

What continuous objective tasks did members do in that group?

I see one "problem" mentioned in a comment. It was said how doing freelance work could potentially be a inefficient way to make money. I'd be happy to know what other problems you see in the comments that are directly about freelancing. I didn't see another about freelancing itself.

Second, this is long-term freelancing. Nothing about what I said is short-term. This is a continual-regularly scheduled sort of meetup. Ideally, I expect to do it weekly.

(Aside, "I feel your desire for doing at a meet up," doesn't make sense to me. What are you trying to say?)

Comment by adamaero on Remote Volunteering Opportunities in Effective Altruism · 2018-08-31T02:53:23.080Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

This is a very concrete action. Thank you.

Comment by adamaero on Why Groups Should Consider Direct Work · 2018-08-31T01:57:59.586Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

We are currently not recruiting.

Comment by adamaero on Why Groups Should Consider Direct Work · 2018-08-31T01:51:54.578Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW
  • Helping out at a fundraiser, esp. supporting an effective charity like AMF or SCI

  • Volunteering as a group either locally or collectively on

  • Doing contract work online (though UpWork for example)

Since so many GWWC signers are into software development and engineering, it makes sense that someone in the industry could start a weekly group that involves helping students and potentially doing freelance work online.

Comment by adamaero on Why Groups Should Consider Direct Work · 2018-08-31T01:37:57.158Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW
  • Helping out at a fundraiser, esp. supporting an effective charity like AMF or SCI

  • Volunteering as a group either locally or collectively on

  • Doing contract work online (though UpWork for example)

Comment by adamaero on Why Groups Should Consider Direct Work · 2018-08-31T00:44:29.670Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

“It would be helpful if EA orgs were willing to give our group consulting tasks that we could use as a learning opportunity”

Bingo! Either or there are freelance contracts out there (on such places like UpWork).

Comment by adamaero on Doing vs Talking at EA Events · 2018-08-30T22:21:42.268Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

The point is to have something done at a regular weekly EA meeting that is specific to EA. Something concrete. Something constant. I got the impression talking with other students that weekly club meetings primarily entail discussing ideas.

  • animal advocacy

There are other groups that do this on campus. It's definitely related to EA, but combined with the fact that it's a soft-sell, volunteering at a local animal shelter or food pantry--in my opinion--seems like a better use of time. Not eating meat or not eating animal products is a significant lifestyle change. It's not completely futile, but a scant chance in my eyes. Anyway, my campus isn't all that big and the city is very small. Doing this sort of direct work every week just doesn’t fit the bill.

  • political lobbying

I have a hard time seeing this as EA specific. Additionally, political focused clubs are on campus. Sure, writing a letter to a rep is good, but...

  • research

To what end? I'm attend an engineering university. I don't consider my personal research into electromagnetics EA centered.

  • writing an "Effective Thesis"

This seems to be for philosophy and political science type degrees. In the states, undergrads don't write a thesis.

  • making yourself more employable for after you graduate

Then you're saying there should not be an EA club on my campus. Mechanical and electrical engineering majors have clubs such as IEEE specifically for this. Again, the point of the post is to find something that is objectively done at an EA meeting. This way, in the future, if I friend says: “Nothing was practically accomplished at the meeting. Ideas were discussed.” I can say, "That was a social-type meeting. At work-type meeting we complete things on, we do freelance jobs online and then donate to stringently evaluated charities or at least volunteer locally.

  • hosting a fundraiser

For my local chapter of Engineers Without Borders we do this. We make out poorly compared to the time put in. Although, this is the best example of an event that’s EA focused. It makes EA unique. It's concrete.

I believe, since so many GWWC members are software developers and engineers, there could easily be meetups to get out there and tackle online contracts. Even for non-CS professions, such as an electrical engineer, it would be beneficial. Plus it adds to higher employability. Having experience doing contract work in Python, for my degree in electrical engineering, would be a whole lot better than attending a workshop on generic interview skills.

So to sum up, yes, I'm talking about weekly direct work--specific to EA. Discussing EA is left to the sidelines (put in when needed). Completing contracts would be EA specific. Hosting a fundraiser would be too. These are concrete things.

Comment by adamaero on Doing vs Talking at EA Events · 2018-08-30T14:09:34.159Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

“Nothing was practically accomplished at the meeting. Ideas were discussed.”

  • Mention something about how it's a social event. In Engineers Without Borders, every other off-week, we have a meeting that's focused on community building. It's the same sort of deal.

  • To that other electrical engineering major (who tagged along to the EA Madison event), I would now say, "It's like going to a technical conference. People going to an Altium (industry standard for PCB design software) conference are going to discuss and learn Altium. Specialized language is occationally used. Certain parameters are more commonly known by these professionals (and sometimes students). Altium by itself is to do a specific job, such as designing the board in a cell phone. The purpose of the conference is not to make cell phone PCBs."

  • Conclude with something about the GWWC pledge.

Comment by adamaero on Doing vs Talking at EA Events · 2018-08-30T13:42:43.792Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

It seems like the new idea you're adding to the forum is that local EA groups should earn money together.

No. Earning money together is not what I mean. Example. A two hour work meetup is scheduled. Unlike a purely social meetup, such as meeting at a bar, this type of meetup will involve working contracts. It makes sense to increase morale by contributing to one charity at the end of the day for the event. This is just what I see happening. Perhaps even a competitive aspect, the top contributor gets to pick the charity. When telling others, "We raised $$$ for charity last meeting" verses "We raised $$$ for SCI last meeting." There is a huge difference! All charity is not good.

My gut reaction is that freelancing with a rotating group

Do most idea discussing meetings (opposed to pub-esque social gatherings) involve a lot of new people? This is where it depends on group size. It's not for very big meetings (e.g., EA London).

Example. For Engineers Without Borders, we have a general meeting every other week, and every other alternative week there are four different types of "work" meetings. The general meetings involve a short introduction to who we are, our past projects and current project. The work meetings involve working on different aspects of the project. The grants work meeting involves writing grant applications. Another work meeting involves, depending on phase of the project, designing or learning how to contribute to the CAD blueprint. Actual work is being done at least every other week.

For a regular weekly EA meeting, say, at a university, I heard that most members are not new. I presume most universities have mostly a non-rotating group. It sounds the same as Engineers Without Borders meetings. Most people are not new. Regardless, it wouldn't matter the skill level. That's the whole point! Skilled members help non-skilled members. Again, doing a contract in, say, a Power Point presentation can be self-taught. This can be worked on, the process of learning, at such work meetings. IFF someone needs help, someone else at the event probably knows more, or at least can be a sounding board to help.

But easy jobs won't pay well. You'll be competing with developers in very poor countries.

Ideally, a few easy jobs could start new people off. Although, I see the majority of contracts being programming contracts.

create a small business with a few talented EA friends

I mean doing contract work on the side--especially for EA university groups. Additionally, most GWWC pledge signers are involved in software development (i.e., programming).

revolving door of people to teach

This keeps going back to group size. For EA London, I wouldn't expect this type of initiative to be the norm for events.

I think a better way to have impact is to improve our performance at our day job.

This would not be the case for university students. Most of us are working low-income jobs.

I just think it's not the optimal use of groups' time.

My main point is that certain people new to EA, such as the guy that came along with me to the EA Madison event and family members, think that EA is itself useless. "Nothing was accomplished. Ideas were discussed."

“We got a lot of young professionals and students, and some young professionals really liked the ideas. But because we don’t have anything concrete for them to engage in this, it’s a really big gap for them to engage in the community.”

Having group events with 5-50 people working, learning and growing would show these dissenters that there are EA meetings where good things are actually accomplished. Instead of a specialized philosophy club discussions, there would be action happening.

Freelance work is one example. Volunteering locally is another. Sure, with that same amount of time, it wouldn't be a good as doing a contract job and donating to AMF or something. But volunteering locally is doing something. That something is better than discussing advanced ideas, such as moral patienthood or predictive models. Don't get me wrong, I love discussing ethics and morality. I enjoy ripping into the big meaty center of a technical discussion. Yet, instead of talking about what to do or how we could do certain things marginally better, we can practically do something with that time: salads. Lots and lots of salads.

Comment by adamaero on How to have cost-effective fun · 2018-07-07T03:12:37.254Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Vipassana meditation retreats are all over the world, and they are free. The catch? You need to attend the full ten days the first time to learn the technique. (You can always leave early, but you will only learn part of the technique.)

Also, prayer is a meditation technique. In Buddhism/dharma, we call it metta.

Be free.

Comment by adamaero on Positly wants to accelerate social science research and have a greater impact within the EA community… and you can help · 2018-07-07T02:43:59.311Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Seems to be a broken link for the Facebook group: "Join our Supporters/Advisors/Users private group on Facebook"

Comment by adamaero on Effective Altruism Merchandise Ideas · 2018-05-30T15:49:54.897Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Here's another link:

I was looking for a dark-colored hat for running. That's one of the most informal ways to bring up EA. I mean, I'm always in an informal setting when when I want to use such a cap. It seems that the cheapest price is $25 for such a hat.

Comment by adamaero on Three levels of cause prioritisation · 2018-05-30T03:33:45.688Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you. I commonly try to say something at a "high-level" (such as the difference between relative and absolute/extreme poverty). Now, instead, I will mention something about distributing mosquito bed nets, steel roofs in Kenya (GiveDirectly) or developing clean meat. I anticipate some questions on that last one :)

Comment by adamaero on Announcing the Effective Altruism Handbook, 2nd edition · 2018-05-03T18:34:33.229Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I also believe there are two broad types of EAs today. So this is interesting. Although, I am a little confused on some of your meaning. Can you make some of those into complete sentences?

2) How are these different between Type 1 and Type 2?

4) "Evidence is more direct" in what regard or context??

Lastly, the list seems skewed, favoring Type 2.

Comment by adamaero on Announcing the Effective Altruism Handbook, 2nd edition · 2018-05-03T14:35:28.872Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

JoshP's comment ~ which you took care of

Comment by adamaero on Announcing the Effective Altruism Handbook, 2nd edition · 2018-05-03T00:20:24.414Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Doing Good Better

Comment by adamaero on Announcing the Effective Altruism Handbook, 2nd edition · 2018-05-02T20:09:14.065Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

As mentioned by others, the formatting is poor. I most like page 166 where a choice between a short and long video is given. Although, the spacing for the descriptions is odd. The book list is exactly what I want to see, but there is a period floating for 80k Hours, and no period for The Most Good You Can Do. Awesome content, but not something I would share with others. The formatting is just too inconsistent.

  • I wish there were some profile descriptions of real-world effective altruists, even one or two people who are only partially on board. I consider myself all for lessening global poverty and animal suffering. Although, I'm generally against taking action against wild animal suffering or supporting CS grad students.
  • I wish there were something about how absolute/extreme poverty is getting better fast, but there is still a lot of children and families suffering from the causes. Additionally, some mention of the significant decline:

40% in 1990

20% in 2010

Comment by adamaero on Announcing the Effective Altruism Handbook, 2nd edition · 2018-05-02T19:14:08.872Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Minor Critique

On page 140 of the handbook, "Does foreign aid really work?" Moyo's Dead Aid is mentioned. Although, she is strictly speaking about gov't aid: "But this books is not concerned with emergency and charity based aid." (End of page 7, Dead Aid.)

(1) humanitarian or emergency ~ mobilized and dispensed in response to catastrophes and calamities

(2) charity-based ~ disbursed by NGOs to institutions or people

(3) systematic: "aid payments made directly to governments either though government-to-government transfers [bilateral aid] or transferred via institutions such as the World Bank (known as multilateral aid)."

Therefore, since EA is about charity-based aid, and Moyo is strictly discussing gov't aid, I do not think it is relevant to mention Dead Aid.

Aside, total US gov't foreign aid is 4150G*.7%

= almost 30 billion.

Where 373.25 billion by foundations & individuals (in the US), and

of that 265 billion by individuals alone!

Comment by adamaero on Please Take the 2018 Effective Altruism Survey! · 2018-04-26T02:29:24.920Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

11) Do you know of a local EA group?

I know of a local EA group near me

I do not know of a local EA group near me

-> -> I know there is no local EA group near me.

Comment by adamaero on Excerpt from 'Doing Good Better': How Vegetarianism Decreases Animal Product Supply · 2018-04-20T01:07:59.368Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Following a preference utilitarian system, you are correct. Hare discusses this in, Why I Am only a Demi-vegetarian. Singer also mention it in, Singer and His Critics.

Although, that's not the reality today (in the US at least). Unethical living conditions, such at battery cages for chickens or a short life confined to small pens for other livestock is the point. No such being wants to suffer unnecessarily. On the other hand, if factory farming was like ol' MacDonald farm, then sure. Kind of a paradox...

Comment by adamaero on [deleted post] 2018-03-22T00:36:24.870Z

Aren't you going further from the definition though?

Any short definition about EA by itself I find to be abstract. Most people I encounter assume it's about doing as much good small things as possible--or worse that it's a political philosophy (red/blue thinking). It's only when I give examples of myself or ask what their cause interests could be that they slowly break away from the abstract dictionary definitions.

Comment by adamaero on [deleted post] 2018-03-18T15:53:29.626Z

I do not mean "the reason" can change--I just do not think you can reduce someone's worldview, Weltanschauung, into one simple reason (unless maybe for #6).

Regardless, I don't think a survey here would be representative anyway.

Comment by adamaero on [deleted post] 2018-03-17T20:13:05.537Z

Sorry, I cannot choose one. Reasons change. There was never a be-all end-all reason for me.
(Also, a few of these are justifications instead of actual reasons.)

For lack of a better* English word, vicissitude (natural change visible in nature or in human affairs) comes closest to why I refuse to choose "the reason." It doesn't truly exist ;)

*Vicissitude usually has a negative connotation.

      1. 1 ≡ 8 ∴ 9.

Comment by adamaero on Cognitive and emotional barriers to EA's growth · 2018-03-12T19:06:59.323Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I'm glad you said so. From now on I'll use well-meaning/ good intentions, and evidence-based good instead.

Comment by adamaero on Cognitive and emotional barriers to EA's growth · 2018-03-10T16:12:50.260Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks. This will be useful for a future presentation. Although, I am going to modify challenges 3-6. Using the word "utilitarian" seems...limiting. EA has utilitarian/consequentialist underpinnings--but not a full blown subscription to only that moral system (i.e., not exclusive). But I'm sure you knew that already. (See Macaskill's comment on 'Effective Altruism' as utilitarian equivocation.)

Off the top of my head, I'm thinking something more along the lines as maximizing impact and the empathy-altruism hypothesis related to meaning well (benevolence) versus actually doing good (beneficence). (Additionally, going to add an outline =)

Also, the slide about Effective Altruism as a movement, founded in 2011? I'm guessing that's for 80k Hours because GWWC has been around since 2009, and the main idea has been around since at least 1972.

Comment by adamaero on Why not to rush to translate effective altruism into other languages · 2018-03-06T16:14:23.814Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Side note - Have you looked at the Wikipedia pages for Effective Altruism in different languages and translated to [English]?

Examples, ~ marginal impact, opartic thinking, contraceptive thinking. ~ comparative wealth, etc.

Just something someone here may find interesting.

Comment by adamaero on How a lazy eater went vegan · 2018-03-05T21:47:56.375Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Eventually, though, I worked out a diet plan that would be both healthy and easy to follow.

So do you have that diet plan? Please link.

Related - Hey vegans, what are the easiest (least prep) three-per-day meal plan for a week?

Comment by adamaero on Why I prioritize moral circle expansion over artificial intelligence alignment · 2018-02-23T21:44:58.663Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I am not trying to "win" anything. I am stating why MIRI is not transparent, and does not deal in scalable issues. As an individual, Earning to Give, it does not follow to fund such things under the guise of Effective Altruism. Existential risk is important to think about and discuss as individuals. However, funding CS grad students does not make sense in the light of Effective Altruism.

Funding does not increase "thinking." The whole point of EA is to not give blindly. For example, giving food aid, although meaning well, can have a very negative effect (i.e., the crowding out effect on the local market). Nonmaleficence should be one's initial position in regards to funding.

Lastly, no I rarely accept something as true first. I do not first accept the null hypothesis. "But there's a whole load of arguments about why it is a tractable field"--What are they? Again, none of the actual arguments were examined: How is MIRI going about tractable/solvable issues? Who of MIRI is getting the funds? How is time travel safety not as relevant as AI safety?

Comment by adamaero on Announcing Effective Altruism Community Building Grants · 2018-02-23T03:38:14.963Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Please know, I am not being critical, just genuinely curious.

"We expect to have a particular emphasis on funding groups aiming to transition from being run by volunteers to being run by full-time, paid organizers." Why? What more can a paid organizer do?

I'm thinking about myself, and I don't see how paying me would significantly increase my time related to EA advocacy. For example, I plan to put up college student tailored posters in the academic buildings. After that, speaking to several large lecture halls before class starts (given permission from each prof). Although, in retrospect, I am more of an average joe EA (E2G on the brink of going from the GWWC 1% student minimum to the professional donation, 10%, and investing the rest).

$5k for renting out a facility? $100k for a group for what? A bigger facility? Or is it more like those fancy $500-a-plate dinners? Is there an EA organizer who's put on a benefit-type dinner before? I mean, I presume that putting on such events need money to start with...

Comment by adamaero on Why I prioritize moral circle expansion over artificial intelligence alignment · 2018-02-22T22:31:06.988Z · score: -4 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Please, what AIA organizations? MIRI? And do not worry about offending me. I do not intend to offend. If I do/did though my tone or however, I am sorry.

That being said, I wish you would've examined the actual claims I presented. I did not claim AI researchers are worried about a malevolent AI. I am not against researchers; research in robotics, industrial PLCs, nanotech, whatever--are fields in their own right. It is donating my income, as an individual that I take offense. People can fund whatever they want: A new planetary wing at a museum, research in robotics, research in CS, research in CS philosophy.

Although, Earning to Give does not follow. Thinking about and discussing the risks of strong AI does make sense, and we both seem to agree it is important. The CS grad students being supported, however, what makes them different from a random CS grad? Just because they claim to be researching AIA? Following the money, there is not a clear answer on which CS grad students are receiving it. Low or zero transparency. MIRI or no? Am I missing some public information?

Second, what do you define as advanced AI? Before, I said strong AI. Is that what you mean? Is there some sort of AI in between? I'm not aware. This is crucially where I split with AI safety. The theory is an idea of a belief about the far future. To claim that we're close to developing strong AI is unfounded to me. What in this century is so close to strong AI? Neural networks do not seem to be (from my light research).

I do not believe climate change is as simple to define a "before" and "after." Perhaps a large rogue solar flair or the Yellowstone supervolcano. Or perhaps even a time travel analogy would suffice ~ time travel safety research. There is no tractability/solvability. [Blank] cannot be defined because it doesn't exist; unfounded and unknown phenomena cannot be solved. Climate change exists. It is a very real reality. It has solvability. A belief in an idea about the future is a poor reason for claiming some sort of tractability for funding. Strong AI safety (singularity safety) has "solvability" for thinking about and discussing--but, again, it does not follow that one should give monetarily. I feel like I'm beating a dead horse with this point.

For the book recommendation, I looked into it. I'd rather read about morality/ethics directly or further delve into better learning Java, Python, Logix5000, LabVIEW, etc.

SE for

SE against

Comment by adamaero on Why I prioritize moral circle expansion over artificial intelligence alignment · 2018-02-22T02:36:22.645Z · score: -4 (6 votes) · EA · GW

@Matthew_Barnett As a senior electrical engineering student, proficient in a variety of programming languages, I do think and believe that AI is important to think about and discuss. The theoretical threat of a malevolent strong AI would be immense. But that does not mean one has cause or a valid reason to support CS grad students financially.

A large, significant, asteroid collision with Earth would also be quite devastating. Yet, to fund and support aerospace grads does not follow. Perhaps I really mean this: AI safety is an Earning to Give non sequitur.

Lastly, again, there is no evidence or results. Effective Altruism is about being beneficent instead of merely benevolent (meaning well). In other words, making decisions off well researched initiatives (e.g., bed nets). Since strong AI does not exist, it does not make sense to support though E2G. (I'm not saying it will never exist; that is unknown.) Of course, there are medium-term (systematic change) with results that more or less rely on historical-type empiricism--but that's still some type of evidence. For poverty we have RCTs and developmental economics. For AI safety [something?]. For animal suffering we have proof that less miserable conditions can become a reality.

Comment by adamaero on Why I prioritize moral circle expansion over artificial intelligence alignment · 2018-02-21T05:43:21.387Z · score: -6 (10 votes) · EA · GW

The lists were interesting on how they allude to the different psychology and motivations each EA has between the two camps. I hope someday I can have a civil discussion with someone not directly benefiting from AIA (such as being involved in the research). Aside, I have a friend who's crazy about futurism, 2045 Initiative/propaganda, and in love with everything Musk says on Twitter.

"The idea of 'helping the worst off' is appealing." Why wouldn't it be? Copenhagen Consensus.

"Their reaction when they look about extinction risk or AI safety is nonsensical", imaginary and completely unknown--zero tractability. No evidence to go off of since such technology does not exist. Why give to CS grad students? It's like trying to fund a mission to Mars, not priority. It's like funding time travel safety research, non sequitur.

"They are generally an unhappy person." I just had to laugh and compare how one interested in AI safety matched up. A neo-Freudian Jung/MBTI type of deal. Almost like zodiac signs. Although, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is rigorous--so who am I to judge this informal inventory.

Anyway, I simply do not see that individual action or donation to AIA research has measurable outcomes. We're talking about Strong AI here--it doesn't even exist! Not that it couldn't though. In the future, even the medium-term future, general standards of living could be significantly improved. Synthetic meat on a production scale is a much more realistic research area (or even anti-malaria mosquitoes) instead of making a fuss about imaginary-theoretical events. We're at a unique sliver in time where it is extremely practical to help lessen the suffering of humans and animals in the near and medium-term future. (I.e., we have rapid transportation and instant information transfer.)

Comment by adamaero on On funding medical research · 2018-02-17T03:26:50.038Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

There seems to be some confusion about scale--from importance--in regard to neglectedness (ITN). One should also consider how pervasive the medical condition is in the world. How common is it? Is it a very rare medical condition? Does it affect a certain cohort? Just something to keep in mind.


PS ~ When describing EA to others, a big question is, "What is 'effective' charity?" A common misunderstanding is mistaking 'effective' charities to be preordained or forced. As any EA knows, evaluation is key. Better understanding will come when using complementary diction, such as "scale" and "solvability" (see at least the first link above).

Comment by adamaero on The almighty Hive will · 2018-02-14T15:37:45.213Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I'm interpreting what your saying as one going without insurance, and having an arrangement with a much wealthier individual (friend) to cover them in case of an accident or medical procedure. If so, I believe that's ineffective altruism--even if the benefactor is E2G--and too idealistic.

Now, I assume most university students have their parents pay for their insurance (or get it significantly reduced though a state or university program). And I assume most professionals E2G are working for a company with a health insurance plan.

With that in mind, I think it wouldn't be worth it to start an EA insurance program. There wouldn't be enough people. And I don't believe the wealthier individuals would be inclined to doll out routine medical tests and high cost surgery to the less wealthy participants just because they claim to be EA.

I am speaking as someone who does not have an EA meetup/club nearby. I assume you're talking as if one does have comfy surroundings and support of nearby EAs (read: close EA friends).

Lastly, if I became a high-payed CEO or whatever, I wouldn't be supporting friends in place of them having an insurance program. To assume that other EAs would is unrealistic. Why do their wealthy lives matter more than someone else's in a different place? Each dollar of benevolence towards such a friend is a dollar not going to help someone at the other end. Money is mutually exclusive.

Comment by adamaero on Would it be a good idea to create a 'GiveWell' for U.S. charities? · 2018-02-05T01:42:31.634Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Charity Navigator already exists. GuideStar too. If people would just use those, it would be better than something like 2/3 of Americans not looking into the causes they support. If an American is so set on rich country charities, just mentioning or encouraging those tools would be enough.

An American charity evaluator would have to compete with the charity ranking sites too. I don't think it would get off the ground very easily.

I also don't think it would be associated with Effective Altruism. Doesn't make sense if it's just based on location.

Comment by adamaero on The almighty Hive will · 2018-02-02T04:28:50.494Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Of the three Black Mirror episodes I've seen, this reminds me of Nosedive:

I'm not saying such a program would succumb to such a weird state in our culture. Just a fun little aside. Regardless, I think if the EA insurance program happened, it would be awesome! That goes to say, there's a lot of different ideas in this article. I don't think our emerging movement is big enough...even for an insurance program. What do I know about starting an insurance firm? Nada.

Although, I do not trust people solely concerned about AI safety ;)