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: 33 (19 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: 22 (12 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: 5 (19 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.

Comment by casebash on Request for input on multiverse-wide superrationality (MSR) · 2018-08-15T00:02:14.558Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I still have doubts as to whether you should pay in Counterfactual Mugging since I believe that (non-quantum) probability is in the map rather than the territory. I haven't had the opportunity to write up these thoughts yet as my current posts are building up towards it, but I can link you when I do.

Comment by casebash on Fish used as live bait by recreational fishermen · 2018-08-13T06:16:45.001Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I am similarly suspicious. Someone should look into this more.

Comment by casebash on EA Forum 2.0 Initial Announcement · 2018-07-28T14:11:20.999Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

How anonymous would you want this to be? Like would the mods still know who posted it?

Comment by casebash on Potential funding gap: full-time EA community strategisers · 2018-07-05T01:51:31.907Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Why do we need our own Leverage Research? What have they achieved?

Comment by casebash on Announcing PriorityWiki: A Cause Prioritization Wiki · 2018-06-21T12:03:30.780Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · EA · GW

I suspect that competition isn't especially healthy at the stage where the struggle is just to obtain critical mass. Multiple projects have failed to generate enough momentum to sustain them, if the community divides its attention between multiple such projects, success is less likely.

Three levels of cause prioritisation

2018-05-28T07:26:32.333Z · score: 8 (15 votes)
Comment by casebash on Review of CZEA "Intense EA Weekend" retreat · 2018-04-05T21:32:23.344Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I'd be very curious about what the HR professionals thought about giving feedback.

Comment by casebash on Hi, I'm Holden Karnofsky. AMA about jobs at Open Philanthropy · 2018-03-28T13:59:58.275Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

What's Givewell's CEA?

Comment by casebash on Hi, I'm Holden Karnofsky. AMA about jobs at Open Philanthropy · 2018-03-28T13:56:39.197Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Meta: It might be good to announce AMA's in advance so that more people know to be online at that time.

Comment by casebash on Climate change, geoengineering, and existential risk · 2018-03-24T08:03:26.126Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks very much!

Comment by casebash on Climate change, geoengineering, and existential risk · 2018-03-21T01:00:23.519Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I'd really appreciate a sentence or two on each of the following questions:

  • What is termination shock risk?
  • What is the main concern with unilateral deployment?
  • What is the worry re: interstate conflict?
Comment by casebash on 2017 LEAN Impact Assessment: Evaluation & Strategic Conclusions · 2018-02-28T22:32:13.472Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · EA · GW

"The number of new event attendees, for a given group, who were not familiar with EA beforehand was even more striking. Here none of the largest groups were among the top groups" - too many new group members at once is not good for a group. Have you heard of the Eternal September effect?

Comment by casebash on Announcing Effective Altruism Community Building Grants · 2018-02-23T21:32:47.941Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

My understanding is that EA Australia is hiring, but they don't have anyone yet.

Comment by casebash on Announcing Effective Altruism Community Building Grants · 2018-02-23T03:35:54.004Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Out of curiosity, how many local groups already have paid organisers and how do you think this compares with an additional employee at a non-local EA org?

Comment by casebash on On funding medical research · 2018-02-15T22:56:06.416Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

One of the biggest challenges is trying to even figure out how likely it is caused by something physical vs. a psychological root cause. It is a very controversial topic, to say the least. I spent about an hour looking into this, but I wasn't really able to get anywhere, at least without any knowledge of the field or where to find reliable information.

Comment by casebash on Would it be a good idea to create a 'GiveWell' for U.S. charities? · 2018-02-04T22:23:25.553Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

You're right. Edited my comment to note that this was actually addressed.

Comment by casebash on Would it be a good idea to create a 'GiveWell' for U.S. charities? · 2018-02-04T22:11:18.036Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I suspect that this would be a net good. We need to move more people towards cost effectiveness and this involves meetings people where they are. If this succeeded in creating a large group of people who were somewhat closer to the EA perspective, then EA might have a significantly easier time bringing in more members. And I suspect that this might be more than enough to counter-balance any people who change from donating to the most effective globally to the most effective locally.

(EDIT: The commenter below is right that this was addressed and I missed it): You missed one key consideration. It could also redirect money from more efficient overseas charities to less efficient US charities and even if this was a small amount, it may still be net negative if the utility difference was large enough.

Comment by casebash on Effective Altruism Sweden plans for 2018 · 2018-02-02T22:33:14.889Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

"What is the best way to get more people to act upon the principles of effective altruism?" - I'd suggest looking at what the bottleneck is. Are you getting lots of people coming to your meetups and then not coming back or is it mostly just the regular with very few new members? Importantly, if a group has a low retention rate, they probably don't want to scale reach as they'd just burning through people who might have become members if they'd been better placed to capture them. Anyway, from what I've heard mass media outreach doesn't really seem to have been effective for EA groups and that matches what I've seen in Australia too where I haven't heard of a single person who first heard of Effective Altruism through mass media, while in contrast, I've met several who heard of us through more niche channels like podcasts.

Anyway, I'm hugely in favour of EA Sweden exploring politics as it really does seem to be a comparative advantage for the reasons given. EA is much more likely to be able to influence politics in smaller countries where you have more chance of getting a meeting with important people and there are a lot of advantages of exploring working in politics when any fallout might be contained.

Comment by casebash on The almighty Hive will · 2018-01-29T23:58:09.512Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Even if we had funds, the problem of who to fund is a hard one and perhaps it would be better spent simply hiring more staff for EA orgs? The best way to know that you can trust someone is to know them personally, but distributing funds in that manner creates concerns about favouritism, ect.

Comment by casebash on Effective Volunteering · 2018-01-25T01:28:09.267Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Sadly, EA negatively selects against do-ers, because do-ers need opportunities to make a direct difference. There are plenty of opportunities to do things within meta-EA, but people need to buy into EA before they want to work on meta-EA, so we need some more immediate volunteering opportunities to bridge the gap. I do like the Self-Care, Direct Impact, Career Capital and Personal Fit breakdown, although I'd probably split motivation off into a seperate category, as some volunteering opportunities can motivate you more to give to charity or to work to make a difference in the world.

Comment by casebash on 69 things that might be pretty effective to fund · 2018-01-22T03:02:09.888Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Anyone want to volunteer to list the most promising one's for those of us who don't want to read the whole list?

Comment by casebash on How to get a new cause into EA · 2018-01-11T08:41:36.585Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I'd also add: Get a group of people together. Easiest way is to create a Facebook Group and promote it. Getting a new cause into EA is a huge amount of work and so you don't want to try to do it single handed.

Comment by casebash on 2017 LEAN Impact Assessment: Qualitative Findings · 2018-01-03T23:46:56.640Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I also feel that EA hub is outdated. Firstly, I'm not a fan of the green design - I suspect that a more modern design would add credibility to the whole enterprise. Secondly, the interface isn't particularly well designed. I think it might be better if there was just one point for the people in each city and clicking there showed you all the names. Lastly, it seems like it would be nice if you could get notifications when a new person is found near you and if people to opt-in to receive messages from other EAs. If done well, we might make it significantly easier for new EA groups to get off the ground.

I also think that the difficulty in finding actions to take is very concerning. EA needs more do-ers than thinkers, but right now, we have a negative selection against do-ers because there are plenty of interesting ideas to think about, but much less clear actions to take.

Viewing Effective Altruism as a System

2017-12-28T10:09:43.004Z · score: 21 (21 votes)
Comment by casebash on Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA): an overview of 2017 and our 2018 plans · 2017-12-20T08:02:31.484Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Would love to see LW2.0 become the new code base, but it still undergoing rapid changes at the moment and isn't completely stable.

Comment by casebash on Would any EA chapters like help running an AdWords grants account? · 2017-12-01T23:26:21.753Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for writing up this post! I'd also like to encourage you to write up some tips for managing EA accounts yourself when you get the time.

Comment by casebash on An Exploration of Sexual Violence Reduction for Effective Altruism Potential · 2017-11-18T23:19:37.579Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

"Let's adjust that figure for the suffering rape causes even when non-fatal and say that 100 rapes are as bad as 1 death." - that seems like an unrealistically low figure given that rape can lead to trauma that takes years to get over or derail someone's life.

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)