Posts

Effective Altruism London Strategy 2019 2019-08-22T11:16:09.423Z · score: 22 (11 votes)
The EA Forum is a News Feed 2019-07-28T22:27:48.912Z · score: 63 (35 votes)
Latest EA Updates for July 2019 2019-07-26T13:58:24.807Z · score: 40 (21 votes)
Latest EA Updates for June 2019 2019-07-01T10:07:50.179Z · score: 37 (16 votes)
Latest EA Updates for May 2019 2019-05-31T16:36:21.148Z · score: 20 (9 votes)
Effective Altruism London Landscape in 2019 2019-05-17T23:10:58.464Z · score: 48 (25 votes)
Latest EA Updates for April 2019 2019-05-01T15:08:00.695Z · score: 54 (29 votes)
Latest EA Updates for March 2019 2019-03-29T15:47:14.835Z · score: 28 (16 votes)
EA London Community Building Lessons Learnt - 2018 2019-03-20T11:38:00.155Z · score: 47 (25 votes)
Latest Research and Updates for February 2019 2019-02-28T15:07:31.360Z · score: 44 (26 votes)
Hit Based Giving for Global Development 2019-02-06T18:19:19.865Z · score: 23 (12 votes)
Latest Research and Updates for January 2019 2019-01-31T13:06:46.998Z · score: 30 (15 votes)
Latest Research and Updates for December 2019-01-04T12:38:10.263Z · score: 36 (19 votes)
Survey of 2018 EA Survey 2018-12-20T17:29:02.631Z · score: 26 (9 votes)
Notes on “The Art of Gathering” 2018-12-06T15:48:41.558Z · score: 33 (19 votes)
Latest Research and Updates for November 2018-11-30T15:10:22.010Z · score: 17 (10 votes)
Latest Research and Updates for October 2018-11-03T10:56:06.930Z · score: 14 (13 votes)
A Third Take on Trump 2017-03-31T18:21:49.204Z · score: 6 (6 votes)
EA London Strategy Quarterly 2015-09-05T21:48:27.856Z · score: 1 (1 votes)

Comments

Comment by davidnash on Effective Altruism London Strategy 2019 · 2019-08-22T19:25:11.454Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I agree with everything you said, I guess those three points aren't things that I think about often but might make sense to update the document to better reflect that.

Comment by davidnash on Evaluating Communal Violence from an Effective Altruist Perspective · 2019-08-13T19:56:51.745Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I may have missed this but does the $10 billion spent on peace building programs in 2016 include spending by governments, or is that just foundations?

Comment by davidnash on 12 years of education as a missing cause priority · 2019-08-08T11:22:35.181Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I'm not sure that's roughly true, EA priorities also have to be neglected, generally the most effective interventions are already taken by governments and large organisations.

Comment by davidnash on Why has poverty worldwide fallen so little in recent decades outside China? · 2019-08-07T23:46:58.518Z · score: 4 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I don't think that this article is a good representation of the debate over these issues and takes an approach where the author seems to have already made up their mind about possible solutions.


This post from Our World in Data probably gives the best overview of stagnation in global poverty

"A generation ago the majority of the world's poorest lived in economies that went on to grow very fast. What is different now is that a rising share of the world's poorest are living in economies which have not achieved economic growth in the recent past.

Half a billion are expected to remain in extreme poverty by 2030 if current trends of economic growth and levels of within-country inequality persist.
The decline of extreme poverty is expected to slow down.

Much of the progress will be driven by economic growth in Asia, and India in particular. The number of people in extreme poverty in Africa is expected to stagnate."



Comment by davidnash on 12 years of education as a missing cause priority · 2019-08-07T12:41:58.302Z · score: 16 (10 votes) · EA · GW

I think this article in Vox covers some of the main points.


"...improving the American education system, while important, is neither a neglected cause nor a tractable one. It is a system on which hundreds of billions of dollars are spent annually by diffuse governments whose policies are difficult and expensive to change, where matters of importance are intensely contested, and where interest groups tend to fight each other to a standstill.

And it’s a system where, even after investing millions if not billions in research, we still don’t have a lot of confidence as to which interventions are helpful and which are not. The views of key actors, notably the Gates Foundation, have tended to shift rapidly on those substantive questions.

If every issue in the world were as crowded and hard to make progress on as education in the US, then I’d understand why foundations like Gates and Broad keep chugging. But that’s not the case..."

Comment by davidnash on The EA Forum is a News Feed · 2019-07-29T18:26:39.273Z · score: 9 (7 votes) · EA · GW

I think tags might be helpful, but would probably be used by very few people and still miss out the most important reasons for having a different structure.

Another thing to think about is that the forum as it currently is might be favoured by people who use it, but may miss out on the counterfactual people who would use an actual forum if it existed or bounce upon impact with this forum.

Comment by davidnash on The EA Forum is a News Feed · 2019-07-29T15:56:01.927Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Functionally it would be similar, but from a user point of view it would probably be quite a different experience.

From my own usage I have rarely used tags on blogs or news feeds but have often interacted with different sub-forums.

Comment by davidnash on Running Effective Altruism Groups: A Literature Review · 2019-07-22T10:54:59.113Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I guess I have concerns with over valuing metrics that are easier to collect which might lead to optimising for the wrong activities.

There is the impact report from EA London for 2018.

Comment by davidnash on There are *a bajillion* jobs working on plant-based foods right now · 2019-07-20T12:20:56.969Z · score: 29 (11 votes) · EA · GW

Why not just use Glassdoor?

Comment by davidnash on Running Effective Altruism Groups: A Literature Review · 2019-07-18T15:59:30.672Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for writing this up, I think it's really useful to collate these resources together. Although I think some of the sources are a bit out of date and some recent write ups indicate the opposite advice in some situations - one example being outreach techniques.


Facebook advertisement, direct messages and meetup.com subscriptions are very effective
for outreach but are costly. Email lists and word of mouth are not effective.

I would say that email lists and word of mouth have been the two most useful ways of building up a community in London, this could potentially be down to how it's done, but we stopped doing FB adverts and meetup events as it would generally attract people who aren't as interested in EA.


I also have this list of various community building resources I have found useful over the last few years that might have some things that could be added to the literature review.

Comment by davidnash on "Why Nations Fail" and the long-termist view of global poverty · 2019-07-16T09:09:34.588Z · score: 18 (11 votes) · EA · GW

I wrote a similar post about this a few months ago, a few days before GiveWell announced they were looking into a wider range of interventions.

The EA fund for global development seems to be the easiest way to get funding towards this area. I suspect that most donors involved in EA would be happy to fund interventions with less hard evidence if given the choice.


One reason why there may be a lack of conversation in this area is that there are many organisations and 10,000+ experts in international development and ways to engage that don't involve EA. Whereas in factory farming and emerging technology risks there are fewer places for people to go to discuss these causes and so discussion happens in EA spaces (until causes get big enough to create their own networks).

Comment by davidnash on Should we talk about altruism or talk about justice? · 2019-07-07T08:56:22.491Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

There is a paper from the Centre for Global Development that might be relevant.

"We Can Learn a Lot about Improving Girls’ Education from Interventions That Don’t Target Girls"

Comment by davidnash on Advice for an Undergrad · 2019-07-04T09:15:57.107Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

It is probably this career discussion one.

Comment by davidnash on Latest EA Updates for June 2019 · 2019-07-03T18:04:44.265Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

One low cost way of doing this, if the EA newsletter people thought it was useful, would be to just have a link in the main newsletter for the recent updates post.

Comment by davidnash on Latest EA Updates for June 2019 · 2019-07-03T08:28:45.603Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I'd be happy if someone else wanted to send out these updates or put them on a website.

These updates don't add any extra info so if people are happy to ignore jobs/events they could sign up or use an RSS feed for the website.

Comment by davidnash on What books or bodies of work, not about EA or EA cause areas, might be beneficial to EAs? · 2019-06-14T11:43:46.854Z · score: 8 (3 votes) · EA · GW

The books on this list by conceptually are quite useful. The ones I've read and thought are useful I've listed below.

Superforecasting

Thinking Fast and Slow

The Undercover Economist

The Righteous Mind

Predictably Irrational

The Better Angels of our Nature

Influence

Adapt

The Signal and the Noise


Some others I have found useful

4DX - How to execute plans efficiently (meant more for people in charge of orgs or teams but still applicable to individuals)

Good Strategy/Bad Strategy - Summary of a useful strategy framework

The Charisma Myth

Lean Startup

The Art of Gathering

The Art of Community

You Are Not So Smart


Also two EA reading lists that cover poverty, future generations, animal welfare, psychology, productivity, career/business and advocacy.

List 1

List 2

Comment by davidnash on Latest EA Updates for May 2019 · 2019-06-12T21:04:41.425Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Not the posts exactly, but there is the EA London blog page which contains all the newsletters although they include events and job postings that might be less relevant.

Comment by davidnash on Latest EA Updates for May 2019 · 2019-06-05T07:30:52.392Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I'd be happy for other people to make posts if they've found something they want to dive into.

Comment by davidnash on [Link] "Radical Consequence and Heretical Knots" – an ethnography of the London EA community · 2019-05-09T21:27:54.198Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I think the gist of the "Heretical Knot" is that we could always do more good, and so we are always second guessing ourselves and burning out attempting to do more.

Comment by davidnash on I want an ethnography of EA · 2019-05-09T10:45:45.509Z · score: 13 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Here is an edited version of the dissertation mentioned earlier. It has had most of the non EA London related content removed to help make it more relevant.

An​ ​ethnographic​ ​exploration​ ​of​ ​ethics, empathy​ ​and​ ​data​ ​practises​ ​within​ ​the​ ​London​ ​Effective​ ​Altruist​ ​community

Comment by davidnash on I want an ethnography of EA · 2019-05-03T08:38:09.651Z · score: 22 (12 votes) · EA · GW

I remember a couple of people doing something slightly similar to this.

Dan Artus wrote a dissertation in 2018 - "​An​ ​ethnographic​ ​exploration​ ​of​ ​ethics,
empathy​ ​and​ ​data​ ​practises​ ​within​ ​the​ ​London​ ​Effective​ ​Altruist​ ​community"

Nick Philips wrote a thesis about the EA movement in 2015 -"Rational Faith: A Study of the Effective Altruism Movement "

Comment by davidnash on Psychedelics Normalization · 2019-04-26T09:22:25.021Z · score: 14 (8 votes) · EA · GW

Imperial university has just launched the worlds first centre for psychedelics research.

"The new Imperial Centre for Psychedelic Research will build on over a decade of pioneering work in this area carried out at Imperial, including a clinical trial that has kick-started global efforts to develop psilocybin therapy into a licensed treatment for depression. "

Comment by davidnash on Reasons to eat meat · 2019-04-22T08:39:33.913Z · score: 6 (9 votes) · EA · GW

I'm not sure that many people who push for moral obligations hold inconsistent views. These seem like two mainly distinct sets of people.

Most people I speak to either think people are morally obligated to do actions that might improve the world, whether that's veganism, frugality etc or they take the more laid back approach.

I'd also say there are some differences between eating factory farmed meat and spending on ineffective charities, mainly that a world that still has factory farmed meat is hard to imagine as one of the best worlds compared to one where people still give money to ineffective charities.

Comment by davidnash on Local Effective Altruism Network's New Focus for 2019 · 2019-03-31T14:57:01.140Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I think they said they were shifting it to CEA. That probably makes sense to have one organisation deal with grants, support and tech rather than two separate ones.

Comment by davidnash on Why is the EA Hotel having trouble fundraising? · 2019-03-28T22:41:42.573Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I think I disagree with this piece because although I think it's true that places are valuable for connecting, that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a place that people own. In London we can use pubs, cafes and parks, often for free with just a picnic blanket indicating the edge of this space that separates the conversations from the outside world.

Comment by davidnash on The career and the community · 2019-03-22T22:42:23.124Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Similar to Milan I agree with the main point of your comment and also think that the EA community conforms less than the majority of communities.

Maybe ironically, I also think that there is a relative lack of experience with communities in general among a lot of people interested in EA, which makes it harder for people to know what is expected, such as using group slang, strong identities, close connections and group 'rituals' which are very common in most communities.

Comment by davidnash on I'll Fund You to Give Away 'Doing Good Better' - Surprisingly Effective? · 2019-03-22T10:43:20.524Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

It's good to see people trying small low cost experiments like this although I suspect there are diminishing returns to how many people will be interested if you try a similar post again but that's also why it's good that you've given a framework for others to copy.

At EA London I haven't given as many books out in the last 12 months as the previous 12 as I've usually only given them to people after a 1-1 meeting or significant interest from someone at an event where it seems more likely that they'll actually read it and want to take away some advice rather than offering to give it to people who are more interested in the idea of a "free book".

Comment by davidnash on Why doesn't the EA forum have curated posts or sequences? · 2019-03-21T15:10:13.601Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · EA · GW

The EA forum is a forum with just two categories so it functions more like a news board, which means most conversation ends up happening in bespoke Facebook groups for various causes, careers and interest groups. Facebook has a similar problem of losing good posts and conversations, which might have been stickied in a traditional forum with multiple categories and sub-categories.

There may be advantages to having these discussions happen on Facebook as people might be more likely to check, although it does make it hard to find out where the conversations are happening.

Comment by davidnash on The career and the community · 2019-03-21T15:00:34.980Z · score: 13 (12 votes) · EA · GW

I massively agree with most of this and when talking to people about careers I try to help them find a field that fascinates them and has the potential to be leveraged in the future. At the risk of over simplifying, EA organisations seem to be "experience-constrained" which can't be solved by just getting smart graduates to work in EA jobs.

I think I disagree slightly that there needs to be a "task Y", it may be the case that some people will have an interest in EA but wont be able to contribute. Just as there people who have an interest in evidence based medicine but don't get an opportunity to contribute to medical journals or become doctors. The aim of EA isn't to make use of all resources available, even if it may seem like a lost opportunity not to.

Also I think the EA community is a subset of the EA movement, and lots of people have positive impact whilst rarely or never engaging online/in person and it might be a mistake to focus on just the community part. This post though might lead to people being happier to focus on their own field and potentially reengaging when it makes sense to.

Comment by davidnash on EA London Community Building Lessons Learnt - 2018 · 2019-03-20T11:25:29.399Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Online content is generally the amount of people that open or click on an email (but baring in mind that long term, getting more clicks relies on your community trusting you to have content they want to click on rather than clickbait).

Occasionally people also send replies saying they value newsletters and when I ask people in person what they value, that sometimes gets mentioned.

Comment by davidnash on EA London Community Building Lessons Learnt - 2018 · 2019-03-20T11:22:54.108Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

For Meetup, it seemed to have negative value in the way it is used by default.

I think people mainly join meetup because they are looking for new hobbies and/or friends rather than deciding they want to do good or have impact in their careers. This can be useful for increasing attendance but I think it's using the wrong digital tool for the goals most groups have.

Potentially with a closed meetup group with questions that have to be answered before joining it could work well, similar to Facebook. Although Meetup still has the issue of their users being a subset of Facebook that don't necessarily have a good overlap with the kind of people that EA can help the most.

Comment by davidnash on Making discussions in EA groups inclusive · 2019-03-05T00:30:30.325Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I think your examples highlight a difference between barriers to entry rather than the amount of alienating conversations.

With twitter almost anyone can take part anonymously whereas to get into law school you probably have to take part in interviews/get references where you don't alienate people.

Comment by davidnash on Hit Based Giving for Global Development · 2019-02-12T17:38:47.893Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I don't think there is a systematic process for feedback for the EA funds at the moment. It's mainly ad hoc with the fund managers gathering feedback themselves, people emailing them or forum posts like this one.

There may also be a way of telling by looking at how much people continue to give to each fund, although I don't know how closely donors are monitoring the eventual impact.

Comment by davidnash on Hit Based Giving for Global Development · 2019-02-08T10:39:50.697Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I agree that individuals will find it hard when donating individually but the call to action is about using the EA fund or creating a separate one with these aims in mind.

Similar to how people might choose to invest in a low/medium/high risk fund for their own savings.

Comment by davidnash on Hit Based Giving for Global Development · 2019-02-07T15:20:01.308Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

This is quite a tangential point to the post and might come across as trying to divert the conversation.

There's a possibility that if this happens a lot, it lowers the chance that other people pay attention to the points when they are relevant.

Comment by davidnash on Hit Based Giving for Global Development · 2019-02-07T11:38:17.718Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I don't know as much about them.

I think that it would make sense to have experts that know this landscape pretty well to work out where the potential gaps are.

Comment by davidnash on Latest Research and Updates for January 2019 · 2019-01-31T17:30:40.249Z · score: 11 (7 votes) · EA · GW

The author has a tweet about what inspired the piece

The Long Time project

Seth Baum at GCR

Nick Beckstead

Toby Ord and FHI

Comment by davidnash on Latest Research and Updates for December · 2019-01-04T20:29:10.245Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks, I've updated the post.

Comment by davidnash on Should donor lottery winners write reports? · 2018-12-22T19:43:05.933Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

It may be a good thing that people that are less inclined to write up a report will be less likely to join a donor lottery.

Comment by davidnash on Survey of 2018 EA Survey · 2018-12-21T20:10:33.609Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

"Correct answer" is maybe not the best wording, it means the answer that Rethink Charity used to describe their results, and is also consistent with how they reported the results in previous years. I should have pointed this out at the beginning of the survey.

In terms of the political questions, that is also shifted by a large response from people supporting libertarian or other political views.

Comment by davidnash on Long-Term Influence and Movement Growth: Two Historical Case Studies · 2018-12-13T20:02:25.729Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I'd be interested in seeing how evidence based medicine became the default in most places (amongst the general public as well as within medicine), and if there were previous attempts to popularise it that failed.

Comment by davidnash on EA Survey 2018 Series: Donation Data · 2018-12-10T09:26:42.432Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I feel like I might be missing something obvious, but under the "other influences on giving" section, are there really 514 researchers that filled out the survey?

Comment by davidnash on So you want to do operations [Part one] - which skills do you need? · 2018-12-01T13:02:12.814Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I think total responsibility is really important, although in larger organisations it can be useful to make sure that you aren't duplicating efforts or annoying other people by assuming that you are the only one that can fix things and end up burning bridges with the people you need to work with.

Comment by davidnash on Towards Better EA Career Advice · 2018-11-27T15:59:49.406Z · score: 5 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I think even the slightly out of date advice is still pretty good for getting people to think about the right ways to approach finding an impactful job.

There isn't an alternative that I point people towards even if the latest content and coaching is more targeted than the general advice.

For the majority of their audience I think this is okay, but for people who might set up similar career coaching and content it might crowd them out, although this has already been mentioned in other comments.

Comment by davidnash on Effective Altruism Making Waves · 2018-11-19T20:01:52.201Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I went back and looked at an earlier Feedly I had setup from 18th November 2015 until 3rd March 2016 and there were 2123 mentions of "effective altruism" which is over 106 days compared to 130 days in the current example.

I have a suspicion that a few tweets get cut off from my current Feedly which might be one reason it seems to be lower, it could also be that there was a bigger media push in 2015/2016.

Comment by davidnash on Effective Altruism Making Waves · 2018-11-19T19:49:29.907Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

It should be possible to scrape from twitter for earlier dates.

From my feedly since July 13th 2018 there have been at least 1650 tweets with the phrase"effective altruism" and 128 with the phrase "effective altruist".

As a side note it seems that there are a higher proportion of negative tweets with "effective altruist" than "effective altruism".

Comment by DavidNash on [deleted post] 2018-11-19T17:48:54.425Z

I didn't vote either way but the picture, emojis and multiple disclaimers throughout are probably not needed.

Also some of the ideas aren't explored that much and would be better either fleshed out or not included.

Here is a post on a similar topic which could be a good style to copy.

Comment by davidnash on the role of ART in EA? · 2018-11-13T22:39:54.588Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Another post by the founder of createquity - https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/HQBbpMzw4Yjvadvws/all-causes-are-ea-causes

Comment by davidnash on Book Summary: "Messages: The Communication Skills Book" Part I & II · 2018-11-12T15:37:33.501Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I guess I have never really chosen the 5 people I spend the most time with, but I think it's been beneficial for me that they generally have different styles of communicating so I'm used to constantly switching how I listen/talk.

Comment by davidnash on Book Summary: "Messages: The Communication Skills Book" Part I & II · 2018-11-09T12:52:23.105Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I think this is really useful but the final clarification is really important and maybe should be included in the section on key points - if you do all of these things repeatedly, you'll be really annoying and soon you'll be hardly listening because of all the questions and paraphrasing. Sometimes I find it better to wait for people to finish speaking (even if it's 3-5 minutes) and just ask the most important clarification.

Also once you've been improving your listening abilities for a while it seems to be even more impactful to scale back paraphrasing and acknowledgements as your conversation style will naturally show an understanding.

I think I disagree with trying to surround yourself with people who 'suck it up' as it may make it harder to talk to everyone else if you slip into conversational norms with people who never get offended or annoyed.