Posts

As an EA, what D&D alignment do you identify with? 2021-11-21T17:47:49.887Z
Why EAs should become Accredited / Experienced Investors (anecdotal evidence) 2021-11-11T15:28:31.603Z
How EAs can become Accredited / Experienced Investors (practical tips) 2021-11-11T14:00:35.982Z
EA Slack Groups - Mental Health, SW Eng, Entrepreneurs (and more!) 2021-11-10T03:35:25.229Z
Forbes India - Effective Altruism 2021-10-17T13:55:44.834Z
Tax Havens and the case for Tax Justice 2020-09-15T18:06:24.586Z

Comments

Comment by --alex-- on Goals of the EA Mental Health Navigator Service for the next 6 months (looking for volunteers!) · 2021-11-30T21:12:24.550Z · EA · GW

Thank you for posting this!

Comment by --alex-- on Call for beta-testers for the EA Pen Pals Project! · 2021-11-29T17:58:20.683Z · EA · GW

Really interesting project. I'm curious about what restarting it might look like...

Comment by --alex-- on Ambitious Altruistic Software Engineering Efforts: Opportunities and Benefits · 2021-11-22T03:36:34.363Z · EA · GW

Maybe VCs use really sophisticated tools, but Angel Investors' most powerful tool is LinkedIn. It's amazing what you can learn about an industry by talking to smart, highly motivated people with years of experience. EAs probably under-use simple tools like LinkedIn, Zoom, AddEvent, calendly, etc

It's amazing how many EA groups don't have a paid Zoom account. Perhaps the process to get reimbursed involves too much paperwork. Maybe a high value project would be to focus on providing subsidies and funds to small EA groups with minimal hassle. You could call it "Give Directly for EA Groups"...

Comment by --alex-- on We need alternatives to Intro EA Fellowships · 2021-11-22T03:25:18.594Z · EA · GW

Suggestion: copy what Complexity Weekend does. It works really well!

Comment by --alex-- on Vitalik: Cryptoeconomics and X-Risk Researchers Should Listen to Each Other More · 2021-11-22T03:21:47.651Z · EA · GW

More Systems/Complexity aligned Slack Groups:

Comment by --alex-- on Vitalik: Cryptoeconomics and X-Risk Researchers Should Listen to Each Other More · 2021-11-22T03:16:43.780Z · EA · GW

Nice! Also, if you'd like to get started with Systems and Complexity, there is a Thinking in Systems Reading Group Slack. The book they are reading is Donnalea Meadows' classic Thinking in Systems

 

Comment by --alex-- on What Are Your Software Needs? · 2021-11-21T14:03:37.347Z · EA · GW

Yes! Let's build it for email first, this forum next and FB (sorry, Meta) and Twitter never :p

Comment by --alex-- on What Are Your Software Needs? · 2021-11-21T14:02:22.798Z · EA · GW

...I think the matrix is already searching for me...

Comment by --alex-- on What Are Your Software Needs? · 2021-11-21T14:01:00.669Z · EA · GW

Lunchclub sucks. Their matching is terrible. I tried it a few times and quit. They have focused too much on monetization and not enough on a good user experience. 

Calendly + EAs provide a good platform and community to build on. Feel free to use my calendly and LinkedIn and manually book meetings with other EAs who also have calendly, per Paul Graham -- http://paulgraham.com/ds.html

Comment by --alex-- on What Are Your Software Needs? · 2021-11-20T14:46:41.712Z · EA · GW

A seamless way to pull in all communications from all the services I'm on:

  • 20+ Slack Groups
  • 10+ Telegram Groups and Conversations
  • 30+ WhatsApp Converstions
  • 20+ Signal Conversations
  • 50+ SMS Converstations
  • Email
  • LinkedIn
  • Keybase
  • Discord
  • SwapCard
  • Patron
  • Whatever else I'm missing...

Perhaps there's already something like this, but I'm hesitant because it seems overwhelming and likely that it means I have yet another service to check...

Comment by --alex-- on What Are Your Software Needs? · 2021-11-20T14:39:54.200Z · EA · GW

Easy, Two-Way Opt-in Intros for Match-makers:
-a web service where I enter the e-mail addresses for 2 EAs I think should meet (to collaborate on similar ideas; it's not a dating app!)
-each EA receives a personalized email saying that I think they should meet the other and why
-recipients can accept, decline, ignore or opt-out completely
-only if both recipients accept in a reasonable time frame (say 1 week), does the system generate an automated email to connect them (and possibly auto-schedule if they both have calendly -- see above)

As the match-maker, I get feedback based on who is accepting/declining the requests. I know who in my network thinks my intros are actually worthwhile. I also save lots of time and avoid missed connections from email overload

Comment by --alex-- on What Are Your Software Needs? · 2021-11-20T14:32:14.184Z · EA · GW

Automated Networking Calls for EAs:

- EAs with calendly sign up for weekly random networking 

- the system randomly pairs based on calendly availability match

- the system leverages calendly to book meetings 

- EAs have meetings and if they find them useful, tell other EAs to sign up!

Once we have this working for EAs (for free or a nominal cost), we could roll out a paid, profit-maximizing version. If you build it, I'm happy to shill it far and wide and pitch it to investors!

Comment by --alex-- on EA Online Learning Buddy Platform · 2021-11-17T20:01:46.269Z · EA · GW

I love this idea! Let's connect and chat about it -- https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-barnes-toronto/

Can you build it on Gather Town?

Comment by --alex-- on How EAs can become Accredited / Experienced Investors (practical tips) · 2021-11-12T16:17:47.453Z · EA · GW

Cool! Have you joined EA Entrepreneurs yet? 

I'm thinking of running some hands-on workshops for EA Entrepreneurs on:

  • Crypto (especially NFTs)
  • No Code
  • Investor pitch preparation and practice
Comment by --alex-- on EA Medicine Network · 2021-11-12T09:31:45.509Z · EA · GW

We can also explore hybrid in-person/online meetups. Gather Town seems to be a decent platform for this. If you are interested, some folks at Complexity Weekend are exploring this space!

Comment by --alex-- on EA Medicine Network · 2021-11-12T09:29:55.086Z · EA · GW

I'm excited for future joint events between EA Medicine and EA Mental Health

Comment by --alex-- on EA Slack Groups - Mental Health, SW Eng, Entrepreneurs (and more!) · 2021-11-12T09:25:26.381Z · EA · GW

Thank You!!

Comment by --alex-- on How EAs can become Accredited / Experienced Investors (practical tips) · 2021-11-11T20:24:27.969Z · EA · GW

Interesting. Please post more info!

Comment by --alex-- on EA Slack Groups - Mental Health, SW Eng, Entrepreneurs (and more!) · 2021-11-11T13:47:15.702Z · EA · GW

Sorry, there's a wiki...?

Comment by --alex-- on EA Slack Groups - Mental Health, SW Eng, Entrepreneurs (and more!) · 2021-11-11T13:46:55.693Z · EA · GW

Updated to include!

Comment by --alex-- on EA Slack Groups - Mental Health, SW Eng, Entrepreneurs (and more!) · 2021-11-11T13:46:25.090Z · EA · GW

Thank you -- great suggestions! I'm happy to add more links if you have them!!

Comment by --alex-- on Business Coaching/Mentoring For EA Organisations · 2021-11-11T12:07:37.446Z · EA · GW

I'm interested in applying this to EA Entrepreneurs. Let's talk: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-barnes-toronto

Comment by --alex-- on Give Me Career Advice · 2021-11-11T12:05:19.755Z · EA · GW

All of the above. I went to the Angel Investors Ontario meeting yesterday and invited 5 founders to attend as guests. Only one was from EA; 2 were from Complexity Weekend. I introduced them to angels, VCs, someone who works for the Ontario Premier and someone who has met Obama multiple times.

At the event, the head of Angel Investors Ontario interviewed the CEO of Sanofi and the Conservative Finance Minister for Ontario. The Liberal Federal Finance Minister / Deputy Prime Minister also presented (she is a Rockstar! I say that as someone who is about to renew my Conservative Party membership)

I'm not sure if someone needs to run an RCT on this...

Comment by --alex-- on Love seems like a high priority · 2021-11-10T03:31:59.324Z · EA · GW

Neat article! To connect with other EAs interested in similar topics, please join EA Mental Health

Comment by --alex-- on Give Me Career Advice · 2021-11-10T03:07:08.344Z · EA · GW

Great Questions! One idea would be to help specific EAs become accredited investors (experienced investors in UK/Europe). Accredited Investors can join Angel Investment Networks and other exclusive communities that provide unique opportunities for high impact.

The specific idea of using Monday as a platform for ESG investors seems interesting.  Especially if you can tailor it for evaluating non-public startups such as ReDeTec, a plastics filament recycler

Comment by --alex-- on I’m Offering Free Coaching for Software Developers in the EA community · 2021-11-07T14:11:04.952Z · EA · GW

There's also a Software Engineers in Effective Altruism Slack for those interested in private, for-profit, EA-aligned startups and other areas not covered by the incredibly awesome EA Public Interest Technologists Slack space. You can join both!!

Comment by --alex-- on Can we get #TeamHumans going · 2021-11-06T13:07:26.312Z · EA · GW

Color the Spectrum was controversial in the autistic community; I'm eager to see if Mark Rober and Mr Beast learn from the feedback and add more Autistic Self-Advocacy for 2022!

Comment by --alex-- on Can we get #TeamHumans going · 2021-11-06T13:02:44.843Z · EA · GW

If you want to connect with Mark Rober, get involved with a cause he's passionate about: NEXT for AUTISM

One way to do that is through organizations such as NeuroTalent Works who partner with employers with attracting and hiring neurodivergent individuals in an inclusive manner. Please consider approaching your DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) representatives in HR to ask about autistic inclusion. SAP is a leader in this space

Another approach would be to support Autistic Self-Advocacy.

#TeamHumans !

 

Comment by --alex-- on Complexity Science, Economics and the Art of Zen. · 2021-11-04T17:32:36.877Z · EA · GW

Thank you Micheal -- Great Post! I love this part:

Design systems that scale from a small base. If you have a grand plan that requires a complete system to function, but no way of getting there, you do not have a plan.

At the EAG Virtual Entrepreneurs Gatheround event, the discussion of going from 0->1 came up over and over. One trap I see in EA is the hesitancy to act under uncertainty. Yonatan Cale's recent post I’m Offering Free Coaching for Software Developers in the EA community demonstrates an approach to break out of this trap: start small, launch fast, stay open to feedback.

One perspective on the Play Pumps story is that the founder failed to pay attention to feedback: what was the experience of the first kid who used the first Play Pump? 

I'm glad you wrote this, let's explore Systems and Complexity further -- one great venue is Complexity Weekend -- can we borrow some of their tools/processes for an EA Systems and Complexity Event?

Comment by --alex-- on EA Global Tips: Networking with others in mind · 2021-10-28T10:26:53.689Z · EA · GW

Thank you! This is really useful and actionable advice.

Hypothetical Example
Let's say you are at EAG to build EA Supply Chain and Logistics and you run into a software engineer who is eager to skill up . You could:

In that 5-minute conversation, by listening to their needs and interests, you can deliver immediate actionable advice that could have a high long-term impact. Or you could focus on yourself: is self-focus more effective? More altruistic?

Comment by --alex-- on I’m Offering Free Coaching for Software Developers in the EA community · 2021-10-25T19:17:18.750Z · EA · GW

I love this idea! If you haven't yet, please connect with Devon Fritz of High Impact Professionals -- this seems like a really good fit with what they are building!!

Comment by --alex-- on Introducing Healthier Hens · 2021-10-25T17:48:40.203Z · EA · GW

Can you post a summary/link to this article from the Healthier Hens LinkedIn account? I can share that more easily with EAs in Kenya. For example, there are a group of EAs in Kenya who are in the process of launching EA Nairobi

Thanks!

Comment by --alex-- on Introducing High Impact Professionals · 2021-10-24T13:00:54.454Z · EA · GW

Great question! 
I like User Stories as a format to explain things like this: As an X, I want to Y, so that I can Z

For HIP, one example that describes what I'm looking for is:

  • As a mid-late career professional, I want to learn how to leverage my professional network to advance EA causes and help EA organizations, so that I can have an immediate high impact.

Specific actions along this line would include:

Our multi-disciplinary team consists of internationally renowned researchers who work at the interface of biology and engineering and share a common vision: to use the most advanced and innovative biotechnology to address urgent societal needs in energy, environment, and health.

From what I've seen, one HIP User Story might be written:

  • As a working professional, I want to learn how to build a workplace EA group, so that I can align my professional interests with my EA interests.

Devon / Federico: I'd love to hear some User Stories from your perspectives!

Comment by --alex-- on Introducing High Impact Professionals · 2021-10-20T18:20:01.769Z · EA · GW

Nathan, I'm interested in hearing more about this.  Can we connect on LinkedIn ?

Comment by --alex-- on Introducing High Impact Professionals · 2021-10-19T11:15:32.834Z · EA · GW

I love it! Thank you for posting and let me know how I can help HIP -- I'd love to chat with you about "cluster networking" for building robust, scalable and high impact social networks. 

Related: you might want to consider the benefits of becoming a "decentralizing hub" (for one, it scales better). If this is of interest, you can connect with lots of folks working on decentralized models at Complexity Weekend.

I'm really looking forward to all the great things High Impact Professionals will co-create and inspire

Comment by --alex-- on Forbes India - Effective Altruism · 2021-10-18T11:41:54.804Z · EA · GW

Yes, it would make sense to redirect there

Comment by --alex-- on Forbes India - Effective Altruism · 2021-10-17T23:44:00.283Z · EA · GW

Interesting! I wonder if we could make use of that somehow on the EA Forum or other EA websites with actual EA content

For example, https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/about/x-risk gives a 404 Not Found webpage

Comment by --alex-- on Join EA Global: London as a virtual attendee · 2021-10-13T17:53:28.085Z · EA · GW

Thank you for offering a virtual option! So excited for EAG London 2021 : Virtual Edition!!

Comment by --alex-- on The Cost of Rejection · 2021-10-13T17:47:19.237Z · EA · GW

Rejection sucks and you often feel stupid for even applying in the first place. Sometimes it helps to lean into this feeling and Dare To Be Stupid

I see a lot of EAs using scope insensitivity as a reason to assume listening to their feelings is not worthwhile. Your feelings are probably better seen as helpful messengers -- I'd love to see a Slack Group or channel for discussing feelings and how to integrate them with research, action and feedback!

Comment by --alex-- on EA opportunity: Cryptocurrency and DeFi · 2021-10-08T16:12:09.655Z · EA · GW

Wow! Thank you for this fascinating write-up!!

I've met folks at Complexity Weekend and RadicalxChange working on DAOs, NFTs, blockchain and crypto-related activities. Definitely something for EAs to explore...

Comment by --alex-- on Project For Awesome 2021 was a success! · 2021-09-25T16:43:48.478Z · EA · GW

Very impressive! Is there a way to get involved without using Facebook?

Comment by --alex-- on In search of systems change that lasts: 3 lessons we've learned at Fortify Health · 2021-09-15T15:44:50.188Z · EA · GW

Great article -- really useful lessons and takeaways. Thank you!

Comment by --alex-- on What is the closest thing you know to EA that isn't EA? · 2021-08-17T12:37:56.273Z · EA · GW

I like the answers so far. I'll add a few more:

My impression is these groups (and systems/complexity groups) find EA thinking "icky" because it is overly:

  • linear
  • mechanistic 
  • reductionist
  • deterministic 
Comment by --alex-- on What is the closest thing you know to EA that isn't EA? · 2021-08-16T20:39:22.871Z · EA · GW

Also not necessarily not not EA: https://www.eaforchristians.org/ :)

Comment by --alex-- on What is the closest thing you know to EA that isn't EA? · 2021-08-16T20:36:23.796Z · EA · GW

RxC also has some useful tools such as Quadratic Voting (QV): https://quadraticvote.radicalxchange.org/ we can use within EA. 

For example, I used https://pol.is/home and QV for my In-Depth EA Program group to collectively decide on weekly topics for the program

Comment by --alex-- on What is the closest thing you know to EA that isn't EA? · 2021-08-16T20:05:42.423Z · EA · GW

Two Systems/Complexity communities I'm involved with:
https://www.complexityweekend.com/
https://www.systemsinnovation.network/

Comment by --alex-- on EA Creatives and Communicators Slack · 2021-07-22T20:14:57.091Z · EA · GW

Great idea! Thank you!! 

What if I lack communication skills and want to chat with and learn from a wonderful group of EAs who have communication skills, can I still join? Asking for a friend ;-)

Comment by --alex-- on What are the 'PlayPumps' of cause prioritisation? · 2021-06-27T16:14:27.900Z · EA · GW

Prohibition is a great example. It covers:

-alcohol

-marijuana

-LSD

-opioids

-etc

It might be a good idea to have some restrictions on some of these!

 

A key insight from PlayPumps is that the details matter -- kids did not enjoy the "Play" part of the pumping system. It seems a little odd (almost Orwellian) the inventor/promoter ignored this

Comment by --alex-- on What are the 'PlayPumps' of cause prioritisation? · 2021-06-27T16:06:16.706Z · EA · GW

Forced sterilization in India: https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/6/5/18629801/emergency-in-india-1975-indira-gandhi-sterilization-ford-foundation

Family and Sanctity of life are probably good frames for a Christian audience. As is the way we treat the poorest, most downtrodden: whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (from Matthew 25:40).

Relating back to cause prioritization: a cause that treats people as a problem will always be inherently flawed.

Comment by --alex-- on Complexity and the Search for Leverage · 2021-05-28T22:33:03.701Z · EA · GW

Awesome article Naryan!

Some additional Complexity / Systems Thinking Resources: