Comment by casebash on [deleted post] 2019-06-24T08:33:11.038Z

I agree; this is a duplicate

Comment by casebash on Rationality, EA and being a movement · 2019-06-23T06:54:47.044Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I can't say exactly what the people I was talking about meant since I don't want to put words in their mouth, but controversial figures was likely at least part of it.

Rationality, EA and being a movement

2019-06-22T05:22:42.623Z · score: 22 (14 votes)
Comment by casebash on Information security careers for GCR reduction · 2019-06-21T08:41:39.894Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Happy to see this post. Definitely feels like security issues have received insufficient attention.

Comment by casebash on What new EA project or org would you like to see created in the next 3 years? · 2019-06-14T13:38:02.830Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Interesting, unfortunately teammates are only available on the $500 per month version :-(

Comment by casebash on What new EA project or org would you like to see created in the next 3 years? · 2019-06-13T14:42:10.952Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Suggesting a tried and true model is a major plus!

Comment by casebash on What new EA project or org would you like to see created in the next 3 years? · 2019-06-13T14:35:42.672Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA · GW

A URL shortening service. It would be nice if, for example, ea.link/sydney took you to the group page for Sydney, ea.link/cost-effectiveness provided a link to a nice landing page for reading more about cost effectiveness and ea.link/forum linked to the ea forum. The Czech EA association currently owns the ea.link URL, but no-one has picked up this project yet.

Comment by casebash on What new EA project or org would you like to see created in the next 3 years? · 2019-06-13T14:30:54.996Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

What would you use it for?

Comment by casebash on Can/should we define quick tests of personal skill for priority areas? · 2019-06-11T14:14:32.943Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I definitely think this is worth experimenting with to see if we can effectively identify those who should pursue a particular path.

Comment by casebash on EA Forum: Footnotes are live, and other updates · 2019-05-21T08:18:48.685Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Suggestion: Include a footnote in the main post so that we can see.

Also, will this feature also be coming to the LessWrong forum?

Comment by casebash on What caused EA movement growth to slow down? · 2019-05-12T22:48:38.877Z · score: 16 (9 votes) · EA · GW

Maybe it's just a result of EA deciding to focus on fidelity rather than speed of movement growth + decreasing marginal returns on outreach

Comment by casebash on I want an ethnography of EA · 2019-05-03T11:07:13.922Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Maybe post this as a separate question?

Comment by casebash on Long-Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant recommendations · 2019-04-26T10:42:09.089Z · score: 11 (7 votes) · EA · GW

I thought I'd share my impressions as someone who has spent significant time at the EA hotel

I think this makes them a particularly easy and promising target for people who tend to abuse that kind of trust relationship and who are looking for social influence.

Most of the people at the EA hotel have been involved in the movement for a while, so they already have reasonably well-developed positions already

it's plausible that the EA Hotel could form a geographically and memetically isolated group that is predisposed for conflict with the rest of the EA community in a way that could result in a lot of negative-sum conflict.

The EA hotel has a limit of 2 years free accommodation (although it is possible exceptions might be made). Most people tend to stay only a certain number of months given that it is Blackpool and not the most desirable location. Further, there are regularly visitors and there is frequent change over in the guests. I actually feel more memetically isolated in Australia than when I was at the EA hotel; especially since visiting London is relatively easy.

Generally high-dedication cultures are more likely to cause people to overcommit to to take drastic actions that they later regret

None of the projects that I am aware of having being undertaken at the EA hotel seemed to be especially high risk. But further than this, whoever is running the checkins will have an opportunity to steer people away from high risk projects.

Comment by casebash on Does climate change deserve more attention within EA? · 2019-04-17T12:59:26.292Z · score: 10 (8 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for writing this. I think that it would be good if there was at least some EA investment in climate change so a) we gain a better understanding of the issue b) we are in a better position to shift resources this direction if we receive evidence that it is likely to be worse than we expect c) we gain the opportunity to spread EA ideas into the climate change movement

I'm not proposing a huge amount of investment, but I'd love to see at least some.

Comment by casebash on Political culture at the edges of Effective Altruism · 2019-04-12T13:38:01.200Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I agree with the commentators that it is worthwhile keeping in mind that some of the political pressure may in fact be correct, but I also feel that this post is valuable because it helps highlight the kinds of pressures that we are subject to.

Comment by casebash on Political culture at the edges of Effective Altruism · 2019-04-12T13:35:52.194Z · score: 14 (12 votes) · EA · GW

I think, for good or bad, EA is much more vulnerable to pressure from the left-wing because the institutions we interface with and the locations where most EAs are based lean that way.

Comment by casebash on Most important unfulfilled role in the EA ecosystem? · 2019-04-05T21:22:41.970Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

To what extent do you think people are born that way and to what extent do you think they become it? If they are more born that way, how do we get such people involved? And if they become it, how do we make that happen?

Most important unfulfilled role in the EA ecosystem?

2019-04-05T11:37:00.294Z · score: 14 (4 votes)
Comment by casebash on Salary Negotiation for Earning to Give · 2019-04-04T22:48:23.232Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I think this is an excellent idea and that someone should pursue this. I'm sure plenty of people have considered paying someone else to manage the negotiation for them before, but the risk is always that the fees don't outweigh the increase in wage you would have gotten negotiating by yourself. Here, since the money is going to charity, this risk is much less of a concern because at least it is doing something and the world has improved even if you don't earn a single extra dollar.

Comment by casebash on $100 Prize to Best Argument Against Donating to the EA Hotel · 2019-03-28T00:14:46.838Z · score: 11 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I'm actually donating to the Patreon, but here are the arguments against that are most persuasive to me:

One argument I've heard raised is that the EA hotel is a rather expensive way of testing the idea of supporting EAs with low-cost living. Perhaps it would have been better to have started with a smaller scale experiment such as a group house and perhaps funding the EA hotel is too costly a way of learning about the potential of such projects.

Another is that the EA hotel should be more selective about who it admits, unlike its current very minimally low bar in order to achieve sufficient expected return. Some people may believe that the current approach is unlikely to be cost effective and that the hotel as it is currently structured is therefore testing the wrong thing. In this case, spending a few hundred thousand pounds on informational value could be seen as waste. Worse, we can imagine that after such a failure, funders would be extremely reluctant to fund a similar project that was more selective. In this case, the thing that we'd want to test might never actually be tested.

A third option is that people might not want to donate because they don't believe that other people will donate. Let's suppose that you believe the hotel needs to run for at least another year before it could build up the kind of track record for it to be sustainable and you have the option to donate one month's worth of funding. It seems that donating one month's worth of operating expenses might allow the hotel to do one month's worth of good regardless of whether it later collapses or not, so perhaps this is irrelevant.

However, there may be two ways in which you may be trying to leverage your donation to have more than just direct impact. Firstly, if the hotel survives to the point where it builds up a track record to justify for others to fund it, counterfactual value is generated to the extent that the hotel is better than the other opportunities available to those funders. And by allowing this opportunity to exist, you would get to claim part of this value. Secondly, we can imagine extreme success scenarios where the hotel turned out to be so successful that the EA community decided to copy the concept around the world. Again, you could claim partial responsibility for this.

But, the key point is that if you think other funders won't be forthcoming, you'll miss out on these highly leverage scenarios. And if these are the reasons you'd want to fund the hotel, you might decide it's best to fund something else instead.

A List of Things For People To Do

2019-03-08T11:34:43.164Z · score: 41 (28 votes)
Comment by casebash on What to do with people? · 2019-03-06T21:49:02.890Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA · GW

This is an interesting idea, but I'm skeptical as I think it underestimates the difficulties in co-ordination. Givewell has had difficulty with volunteers due to unreliability. Another datapoint is the shift in .IMPACT (now Rethink Charity) from relying on volunteers to relying on paid staff. Volunteer hierarchical organisations will be hit by these issues doubly hard as they are relying on volunteers for both management and object level work. I would love to be proven wrong though.

Comment by casebash on After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation · 2019-03-01T23:31:55.616Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I'm not saying everyone should go into this, just that a portion should

Comment by casebash on Effective Impact Investing · 2019-03-01T13:41:05.894Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Impact investing to encourage companies to do more on AI Safety is a particularly fascinating idea. I'm curious how much your influence depends on the number of shares. Obviously if you own 20% of a company you're likely to be heard, but is there much difference between owning 1 share vs. 100?

Comment by casebash on After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation · 2019-03-01T13:26:13.826Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · EA · GW

I would suggest that the presence of such a high amount of talent means that projects like the EA hotel are more vital since this increases the amount of talent that can be deployed.

Comment by casebash on Rationality as an EA Cause Area · 2019-02-24T09:10:18.961Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Yeah, InIn was the main attempt at this. Gleb was able to get a large number of articles published in news sources, but at the cost of quality. And some people felt that this would make people perceive rationality negatively, as well as drawing in people from the wrong demographic. I think he was improving over time, but perhaps too slowly?

PS. Have you seen this? https://www.clearerthinking.org

Comment by casebash on Rationality as an EA Cause Area · 2019-02-23T19:06:38.085Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I would be surprised to see much activity on a comment on a three month old thread. If you want to pursue this, I'd suggest writing a new post. Good luck, I'd love to see someone pursuing this project!

Comment by casebash on EAGx Boston 2018 Postmortem · 2019-02-23T13:40:22.039Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

What was the issue with the anti-debate?

Comment by casebash on The Need for and Viability of an Effective Altruism Academy · 2019-02-16T14:10:32.850Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I think this is an interesting idea, but currently the EA hotel is struggling to obtain sufficient funding, so I wouldn't so it as beneficial to spring up a second long-term residential program while there's already one very similar such experiment in progress. If anyone would want to be a student in such a school they can already apply to the EA hotel and learn the skills that they need. It's more self-directed than your idea, but I suspect that this is a vital skill for most EA jobs.

Comment by casebash on The Need for and Viability of an Effective Altruism Academy · 2019-02-16T14:04:37.183Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

That sounds like a much better approach as it requires much less resources to be committed upfront.

Comment by casebash on EA Hotel Fundraiser 2: current guests and their projects · 2019-02-09T10:18:11.749Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Does the~£265 figure take into account rent from those who are paying it?

Comment by casebash on Research on Effective Strategies for Equity and Inclusion in Movement-Building · 2019-01-31T17:09:25.905Z · score: 7 (11 votes) · EA · GW

"In general it’s probably best not to anonymize applications. Field studies generally show no effect on interview selection, and sometimes even show a negative effect (which has also been seen in the lab)" - It seems strange to mention this and then not even address the obvious implication that one might draw from this.

The other point is that these practises are analysed as though they don't have tradeoffs, when there almost always is. I suppose discussing this would make this document even longer than it is, but you have listed these as "recommendations" as opposed to "possible approaches".

Comment by casebash on Vox's "Future Perfect" column frequently has flawed journalism · 2019-01-26T12:29:19.753Z · score: 34 (20 votes) · EA · GW

I would distinguish between poor journalism and not taking a very EA perspective. We shouldn't conflate the two. It's worth noting that Future Perfect is inspired by EA, rather than an EA publication. I also think it's important for the journalists writing to be able to share their own perspective even if it disagrees with the EA consensus. That said, some articles I've seen have been overly ideological or unnecessarily polarising and that worries me.

Comment by casebash on EA Community Building Grants Update · 2019-01-21T11:49:26.317Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

How much was the grant and from which organisation?

What has Effective Altruism actually done?

2019-01-14T14:07:50.062Z · score: 29 (14 votes)
Comment by casebash on List of possible EA meta-charities and projects · 2019-01-10T20:43:02.382Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I have a few other ideas that aren't listed here:

  • EA Climate Change Co-ordination - a reasonable number of EAs are interested in climate change, but nothing seems to have happened in this domain partly due to a lack of co-ordination
  • EA Leadership program - leadership programs are very popular among students and so this could be a good (if high effort) way of spreading EA ideas
  • Regarding career workshops, instead of an organisation trying to run this itself, some group could create a training course for people who want to give career advice
  • A group to perform rationality outreach (spreading rationality ideas generally seems good for in EA as the rationality community produces new ideas for EA and also provides a source of potential recruits)
  • A project to aggregate ideas on different topics. It could get a bunch of EAs together to brainstorm like this and also allow public submissions. All of the ideas could be written up into a post like this
  • Media outreach - most EAs are quite negative on media outreach, but I can see value in writing articles that specifically aim to correct misperceptions about both EA and AI
  • A project to produce personal outreach materials. Some groups (like evangelical Christianity) focus heavily on growing through personal outreach. You don't want people to end up being pushy, but this is probably worth investigating more
  • Niche outreach was mentioned, but I expect niche outreach to Christians could be especially valuable
  • Religious organisations often send people to different cities in order to engage in movement building, this might be something that EA might want to experiment with as well
Comment by casebash on EA Hotel Fundraiser 1: the story · 2018-12-28T14:15:01.607Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I think that a lot of the potential value comes from the connections that people make. Although this is probably lessened to an extent by the fact that the hotel is so fully booked up as it makes it harder for someone to just join someone else's project after they've finished theirs.

If You’re Young, Don’t Give To Charity

2018-12-24T11:55:42.798Z · score: 17 (10 votes)
Comment by casebash on Should donor lottery winners write reports? · 2018-12-22T21:05:57.722Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

It actually doesn't make a difference in terms of expected value

Comment by casebash on Will MacAskill: Why should effective altruists embrace uncertainty? · 2018-12-09T10:39:25.307Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · EA · GW

"Where it really used to be the case that nanotechnology was... atomically precise manufacturing was regarded as one of the existential risks. And I think people just converged on thinking that actually that argument was very much overblown." - Why is it considered overblown?

Comment by casebash on Introducing EA Resources by LEAN · 2018-11-30T17:35:19.529Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I'm curious why parts of the old website were removed, instead of being left up while the redevelopment occurred.

Comment by casebash on EA Community Building Grants Update · 2018-11-28T11:07:29.659Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Enough possibility space still exists that it seems worth at least experimenting to see if a professional organiser could value add, even if it were only by better advertising and promoting the opportunities that already exist. Especially now that CEA is increasing its focus on one-on-one meetups.

Comment by casebash on EA Community Building Grants Update · 2018-11-28T00:36:09.500Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

"Also many of the things community builders are doing in other places make much less sense in Berkeley" - Could you clarify?

Comment by casebash on EA Community Building Grants Update · 2018-11-27T17:34:40.217Z · score: 7 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Curious to see that there isn't a dedicated organiser in the Bay Area as that seems to be one of the regions that would be most receptive

Comment by casebash on Rationality as an EA Cause Area · 2018-11-14T23:43:27.555Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Replace "growing" the rationality community with "developing" the rationality community. But that's a good point. It is worthwhile keeping in mind that the two are seperate. I imagine one of the first tasks of such a group would be figuring out what this actually means.

Comment by casebash on Rationality as an EA Cause Area · 2018-11-14T13:17:58.564Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

The size of the rationality community hasn't been limited so much by quality concerns, as by lack of effort expended in growth.

Comment by casebash on Rationality as an EA Cause Area · 2018-11-14T13:16:09.050Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I was referring specifically to growing the rationality community as a cause area.

Comment by casebash on Rationality as an EA Cause Area · 2018-11-14T13:15:05.633Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

"In terms of web-traffic and general intellectual influence among the intellectual elite, the sequences as well as HPMOR and Scott Alexander's writing have attracted significant attention and readership, and mostly continue doing so" - I was talking more about academia than the blogosphere. Here, only AI safety has had reasonable penetration. EA has had several heavyweights in philosophy, plus FHI for a while and also now GPI.

Rationality as an EA Cause Area

2018-11-13T14:48:25.011Z · score: 18 (25 votes)
Comment by casebash on Debate and Effective Altruism: Friends or Foes? · 2018-11-11T20:21:33.215Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I think debate has its problems as well - if a small minority of judges hold certain ideological views very strongly, they can ensure that it is very hard to take the opposite stance.

Also arguments are very heavily weighed towards those which can be made quickly. Even worse, arguments that are made more often can be made more quickly as you don't have to step through the details, so there is a bandwagon effect.

Comment by casebash on Open beta of the new EA Forum now available · 2018-10-18T12:00:40.283Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I'm a bit sad that the beta doesn't make much use of the new features that LW added, but I suppose we just have to give it time. I'm particularly keen to see what will be done with the sequences feature.

Comment by casebash on Effective Altruism Communal Space · 2018-10-18T11:51:55.408Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I checked out the Ziferblat in London recently and it was really cool, but it's unfortunately shutting down now due to the price of rent.

Comment by casebash on EA community building grant: Lessons learned from working part-time on EA Denmark · 2018-09-28T11:39:39.848Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Did the group grow at all during this period?

Comment by casebash on Problems and Solutions in Infinite Ethics · 2018-08-24T14:33:33.745Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

These issues are relevant for any ethical system that assigns non-zero weight to the consequences.

Comment by casebash on Donations List Website: tutorial and request for feedback · 2018-08-22T03:05:00.235Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · EA · GW

This seems like a huge amount of work for what seems like a somewhat uncertain impact.

Comment by casebash on CEA on community building, representativeness, and the EA Summit · 2018-08-16T01:27:20.589Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · EA · GW

EA grants seems like it should be in between in terms of being prescriptive vs. descriptive. If I had to pull a number out of a hat, then perhaps half the grants could be in the areas CEA considers most important and the other half could be more open.

Three levels of cause prioritisation

2018-05-28T07:26:32.333Z · score: 8 (15 votes)

Viewing Effective Altruism as a System

2017-12-28T10:09:43.004Z · score: 21 (21 votes)

EA should beware concessions

2017-06-14T01:58:47.207Z · score: 1 (11 votes)

Reasons for EA Meetups to Exist

2016-07-20T06:22:39.675Z · score: 11 (11 votes)

Population ethics: In favour of total utilitarianism over average

2015-12-22T22:34:53.087Z · score: 0 (0 votes)