Comment by bryonymc on Long-Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant recommendations · 2019-04-21T22:33:19.971Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · EA · GW

This is great, thank you! Surprised I haven't stumbled across this before... Even better if it's already an available resource, it seems worth sharing with the IMO students and other relevant groups (which was the essence of my suggestion above).

Comment by bryonymc on Long-Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant recommendations · 2019-04-21T19:19:34.359Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Food for thought: just in thinking how to maximize the value of experimenting with distribution; an alternative approach would be to print the first book and distribute to the math olympiads then invest the rest of the money into converting HPMOR into a podcast/audiobook that can be shared more widely and outlining a “next steps” resource to guide readers. If distributing the books fails (depending on your definition of distribution being a “success”) you avoid sinking $28k into books sitting on shelves at home and now have a widely available podcast (to access for free or a small donation) that can increase HPMOR’s reach over time. (FYI the funds raised through small donations for access could be used to sponsor future printings for youth competitions). 

A podcast or a revamped online version becomes a renewable resource, whereas once those books are distributed, they (and the money) are gone. For those interested, the model that comes to mind is HP and the Sacred Text. Using Harry Potter to convey certain ideas or messages is not uncommon given its global reach. HPST is using it for different reasons obviously but HOW they are distributing the idea might be worth pursing with HPMOR too. HP Alliance is another group using HP to convey a message (their focus is on political and social activism). HPMOR could have greater value long-term if there were alternative methods for accessing it beyond a 2000 page series. 

Comment by bryonymc on Thoughts on 80,000 Hours’ research that might help with job-search frustrations · 2019-04-18T14:42:55.983Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Congressional staffer and policy oriented jobs are the top two highest weighted profiles of about 20 so everyone will automatically get these (followed by a ranked list of the remaining 15 options, but only the first profile is displayed, possibly a glitch). The biggest filter is quantitative - if you select no it cuts 15 profiles, then a cut of any profiles with weights of 0.

The weights are biased - it’s impossible to get arts or marketing as a final result (because it’s not a recommended job pathway within EA). The basic premise is if you are good at math and science - do these high-impact math and science jobs. If not, do any other non-quantitative high-impact job we recommend.

The results aren’t personal enough to have it be designed like this - a simple list of all 35 profiles with a quantitative skills filter and then ranking profiles by 80k’s weights would be sufficient enough. It’s really not well-suited for a quiz, but a filtered list like the job board might be more effective.

Comment by bryonymc on What is it like to work at GiveWell? · 2019-03-26T13:49:33.462Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

This is very helpful, thank you for writing this up!

Comment by bryonymc on Severe Depression and Effective Altruism · 2019-03-26T13:46:02.531Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Do you know how badly our world needs people like you? people who are thinking about these problems? people who want to do something about it? I want to counteract your logic in that a life taken early is in anyway good for the world. If you are in a position to pursue an impactful career or donate money than you are able to help so many more people than if you were to end that life. Do you know how many people in our world aren’t paying attention to the problems of our world? Or intentionally choosing to ignore them? The fact that you care and want to help already puts you in a different space - one where you can begin to work toward doing the most good. 


EA, in the early stages at least, seems to be a bit like a hammer - it’s a new tool in your kit but then the world starts to look like it's filled with nails. Instead of creating nails that didn’t exist, try researching and finding the ones that already do and work toward addressing those problems first. You don’t need to make “grand gestures”, just start small and level up as you learn more.  


You have a unique opportunity - you know you’ll have money coming in which means you can plan for how to use it now and maximize its impact. You seem to be stuck on a very extremist view of spend it all or donate it all but I’d like to offer up some more suggestions - you can:

  • downsize and use it as runway while you do a career change or get a relevant degree
  • invest in EA projects or organizations
  • start your own project or build a business that can generate even more money to donate toward EA causes
  • start a small fund and invest in the EA community by sponsoring trips to the EA global events for first-timers
  • save it and continue learning more about EA - great ideas are out there, you just have to look! 

As for your perception that being depressed is the most effective way to motivate yourself to do good - anything sounds logical when you are trying to rationalize and justify your feelings of unworthiness. Being depressed closes you off from the world - you are less likely to engage with others, pursue new opportunities or challenges, your creativity diminishes and a whole host of other issues crop up with depression. Therefore, it’s not a good mindset to start from - if you can’t help yourself, how can you help others?

If we’re trying to take on big problems affecting the world we have to keep a positive mindset around the intent of trying to do good and acknowledge these are deeply complex, time-consuming challenges. It’s important to step away and renew your wellness and happiness, in order to come back with positive energy and an open-mind - growth-oriented minds are more creative and complex problems necessitate innovative solutions. 


I recently heard a great parable that people, particularly those who care deeply about helping others, tend to be like vases and water is flowing in and they feel inclined to tip over and let the water spill out to others here and there - but over time they tip over so far they fall and shatter. Whereas if you just stand tall and let the water fill you up, it will eventually overflow and spill out to all those around you.

 
The point is that you must first and foremost get your own life in order, take care of yourself and when you are in a stable state - go for it! the world benefits more from people who are comfortable and confident in choosing to pursue impact and change… those paralyzed with anxieties because they are feeling like everything in their life is a trade-off, tend to spend more time worrying than participating and helping. Happiness, wellness and a state of peace are contagious. Lead by example.

Comment by bryonymc on After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation · 2019-03-02T04:55:28.538Z · score: 5 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I've actually been working on something like this after noticing the job board I had made for myself seemed to extend beyond the set of organizations often considered to align with EA. I figured I'd create a blog to share what I've found while studying EA, so newcomers don't have to reinvent the wheel in tracking this information down across all the different sites. Note: it's still a big work in progress, but I'm happy to share it now given your expression of interest. You can find the board here.

Comment by bryonymc on What are some lists of open questions in effective altruism? · 2019-02-08T03:43:32.738Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

This would actually be really helpful for people new in EA to learn more and catch up on existing discussions and find more thoughtful ways to join the conversation. It sounds a bit like Kialo a platform for rational debate (ex: "ethics of eating animals: is eating meat wrong?"). Would be awesome to see something along the lines of their format for tracking all points around a discussion (but focused only on topics in EA). 

are values a potential obstacle in scaling the EA movement?

2019-01-03T15:47:59.348Z · score: 2 (2 votes)