Posts

Companies with the most EAs and those with the biggest potential for new Workplace Groups 2022-03-11T15:24:41.181Z
Introducing High Impact Professionals 2021-10-19T08:27:59.190Z
Mid-Career Professionals: Impact Landscape - Request for Feedback 2020-12-14T10:56:08.380Z

Comments

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Against population ethics · 2022-08-17T08:49:11.531Z · EA · GW

Preferable to whom? Obviously you could think about whether they are preferable to yourself. I'm against the notion that there is such as thing as “preferable” to no one in particular.

Preferable to people in general. I don't think no one in particular means no one. When people set speed limits on roads they are for no one in particular, but it seems reasonable to assume people don't want to die in car accidents and legislate accordingly.

Hmm, I don't. I see egoism as an alternative ethical framework, rather than as non-ethical.

I know that egoism is technically an ethical framework, but I don't see how it could ever get meaningful rules to come out of it that I think we'd agree we'd want as a society. It would be hard to even come up with rules like "You shouldn't murder others" if your starting point is your own ego and maximizing your own self interest. But I don't know much about egoism so I am probably missing something here.


 

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Against population ethics · 2022-08-16T10:45:17.248Z · EA · GW

It is hard for me to imagine how you'd derive ethics in the way you describe.  I can't imagine a way to guide my actions in a normative sense without thinking about whether the future states my actions bring about are preferable or not.

For instance, if I choose to bring one more person into the world, by having a child (which, incidentally, we just did!), that decision is primarily about what kind of life want to have, and what commitments I am willing to make, rather than about whether I think the world, in the abstract, is better or not with one more person in it.

For me, that is just describing egoism. Of course many people de facto think about their preferences when making a decision and they often give that a lot of weight, but I see ethics as standing outside of that and the 'altruism' in 'Effective altruism' can be partially explained by EAs generally having a low level of egoism which leads to more a selfless, generalizable ethic.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Cover story on EA in Time magazine · 2022-08-11T07:18:39.237Z · EA · GW

Curious to hear what you thought these were if you feel it worth your time to share.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Why does no one care about AI? · 2022-08-08T14:58:02.011Z · EA · GW

Not only is Lukas right to point out that many EAs are skeptical of AI risk, but it isn't even the top priority as selected by EAs, Global Poverty continues to be: https://rethinkpriorities.org/publications/eas2020-cause-prioritization

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Three common mistakes when naming an org or project · 2022-07-27T10:39:38.545Z · EA · GW

I think #1 is a good point but disagree with #2 and #3, at least in many average cases.

For #2, your example of 80K is the case in point. It is hard for me personally to imagine that some of their success isn't attributable to the fact that their name so cleverly fits with their mission.

For #3, I see EA orgs spent inordinate amounts of time doing name selection when they should be getting on with their work. I think this is a symptom of a more general issue of EAs analyzing way too long before pulling the trigger. At Charity Entrepreneurship, we spent 1 three hour session coming up with names for our orgs and that felt like the right amount and we landed with "High Impact Professionals" for my current org. I likely can't pivot to Famine Relief, but if I want to to that I'll probably make another org.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on The value of content density · 2022-07-21T07:46:20.040Z · EA · GW

Glad to see this and strongly agree. 

I think Paul Graham does this well in his essays, both in terms of 1) not using any extra words to communicate his point and 2) doing so in a jargon-free way. 

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Legal Impact for Chickens files its first lawsuit! Costco shareholder derivative case · 2022-07-08T09:36:56.571Z · EA · GW

Excited to see this went through Alene! Great work.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Launching a donor circle for mental health · 2022-06-27T08:59:48.522Z · EA · GW

Very excited to read this and to see what comes of it!

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on New Video: A simple guide to giving effectively · 2022-06-16T12:57:55.670Z · EA · GW

The video is really high quality, both in terms of production value and content. Well done!

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Effektiv Spenden - Review of the Year 2021 · 2022-06-01T12:07:20.477Z · EA · GW

I continue to be impressed by your work. Well done!

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on A major update in our assessment of water quality interventions · 2022-04-28T06:26:59.895Z · EA · GW

Love it! Keep up the excellent work.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Save the Date: EAGxMars · 2022-04-01T12:52:59.213Z · EA · GW

Do you know approx. how many COVID-19 boosters one needs to attend?

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on [April fool's post] Proposal to assign careers by birthdate · 2022-04-01T08:24:51.623Z · EA · GW

The people who fall in between June 3rd and July 4th can become the expert career allocators themselves!

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on The case for infant outreach · 2022-04-01T08:15:24.939Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this! Laughed out loud at "Tractability is obvious."

And we have joked about making an EA daycare for the co-working space in Berlin...

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Lessons and results from workplace giving talks · 2022-03-11T16:26:08.036Z · EA · GW

Hi Jack, great post! I appreciate your commitment to keeping the numbers conservative by e.g. only counting money that has actually flowed through your accounts.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on CE Research Report: Road Traffic Safety · 2022-03-07T14:19:32.656Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this report!

Question on externalities of setting speed limits: Is there anything in the data on the opportunity cost of extra time in the car on productive hours worked by people who take longer to e.g. get to their jobs?

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Donations and budgeting, 15 years in · 2022-02-24T14:29:16.438Z · EA · GW

Great overview, Julia, and a heartfelt thanks to you and Jeff for what you do, even if you derive pleasure from it. All the better!

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on We need 40,000h or maybe even 20,000h · 2022-02-18T14:03:46.908Z · EA · GW

Definitely agree that you are onto something here. I was thinking of starting a 40K about a year ago and I have heard others echo the same sentiment, even with the same name (40K) as well. I ended up recently co-founding High Impact Professionals instead, focussed on all EA working professionals, regardless of age. We are trying to get this group to have the most impact they can given their unique resources. One initiative we have in the pipeline is to cross-pollinate the knowledge, skills and experience that e.g. 40Kers have with EA orgs who need them.

Although I do occasionally personally take calls with mid-career EA professionals looking to have more impact, this isn't a focus of HIP. I think with these calls I can provide value in 1) basic coaching and encouragement and 2) helping the person make connections in the EA community and understand some tenets of EA. In terms of helping them get a specific job, this is often quite difficult as the skillsets are often quite specific and older folk tend to have more constraints (can't move, require a certain salary, etc). 

That being said, I think there is a lot of room for someone to push this initiative forward and that with a solid plan something like a 40K could succeed. There are many EAs in your position and they can use the support!

I am happy to chat more if you are interested, just ping me on the forum and we can set something up.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Complexities of wedding gifts; Thoughts? · 2022-02-17T13:58:31.202Z · EA · GW

Was going to suggest this exact thing: do both. And I don't see anything disingenuous with donating money people give to you unless you tell them you are going to do something else with it.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Announcing Alvea—An EA COVID Vaccine Project · 2022-02-17T13:05:04.566Z · EA · GW

Just want to say awesome you are doing this and I wish you success.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on We need more nuance regarding funding gaps · 2022-02-13T06:30:29.475Z · EA · GW

Great post, Joey!

 

Something you touch upon very briefly and that I believe could uncover other important funding gaps is analyzing according to risk profile and the corresponding risk appetite of the supply side of funding. In my experience, risk appetite seems to be dispositional in the funder and not very changeable, leading some people to want to take huge risks and others as little risk as possible.  

As a result, we might expect that organizations have more or less access to funding depending on different risk factors:

  • The stage of the organization, smaller, earlier stage organizations being riskier to more established organizations.
  • The intervention of the organization, since some theories of change require more assumptions and are less data-driven than others, but could still have a massive impact if the assumptions hold.

As a broad example, it seems that people donating to GH&D charities often give to GW charities and are looking for charities for which there is a lot of empirical evidence of the good being done. Many giving to longtermist organizations are convinced by the underlying logic and rationale and are happy to be more speculative, giving to organizations that tackle important problems in way that could reasonable turn out to have no impact of the assumptions don't hold, but could result in massive impact if they do. But there seem to me to be (anecdotally) far fewer people who 1) give to GH&D and 2) are happy to be much more speculative in this way just described, which would lead me to think that charities or other high impact funding opportunities fitting this profile would be comparatively neglected. 

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Public reports are now optional for EA Funds grantees · 2021-12-03T10:27:46.332Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the response.

 

Is there a way to make things pseudo-anonymous, revealing the type of grants being made privately but preserving the anonymity of the grant recipient? It seems like that preserves a lot of the value of what you want to protect without much downside.

For example, I'd be personally very skeptical that giving grants for personal mental support would be the best way to improve the long-term future and would make me less likely to support the LTFF and if all such grants weren't public, I wouldn't know that. There might also be people for whom the opposite is true and they wouldn't donate to LTFF because they didn't know such grants were being made. If you said e.g. "$100K was given out last quarter to support the mental health of individuals" we'd get what we want, but we'd still have no idea who the recipients are.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Public reports are now optional for EA Funds grantees · 2021-12-02T06:09:25.519Z · EA · GW

I find the lack of transparency that comes along with this problematic. Is there a place where I can read about the reasons for the chance or can you elaborate here so that I can understand the trade-off?

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Announcing my retirement · 2021-11-25T17:20:43.128Z · EA · GW

Thank you for all of your hard work, Aaron!

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Free workspace for EA researchers in London · 2021-11-19T08:52:23.621Z · EA · GW

We have an EA co-working space in Berlin and it is really a value add. Many different orgs come together, exchange ideas and socialize. Check out this post if you haven't seen it already: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/NnrHvJALEKH4Ykzyt/introducing-teamwork-an-ea-coworking-space-in-berlin

 

Happy to put you in touch with the organizer.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Introducing Healthier Hens · 2021-10-25T16:57:44.334Z · EA · GW

Excited about this organization and to see the good work you three will do!

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Open Thread: October 2021 · 2021-10-13T13:41:59.556Z · EA · GW

Hi there!

A quick thought about your quandary: I have been very puzzled by this throughout my time as an EA as well and my best model for people who 1) intellectually understand EA but 2) don't act on it is that they are mostly signalling, which is super cheap to do. Taking real action (e.g. donating your hard earned money that you could have used on yourself) is much more costly.

Experience has also born the following out for me: For people who don't intellectually (I'd go so far as to say intuitively) get EA, I think there is (almost) no hope of getting them on board. It seems deeply dispositional to me. This lends itself to a strategy that tries to uncover existing EAs who have never heard of it rather than converting those who have but show resistance.

Just my two cents!

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Ranking animal foods based on suffering and GHG emissions · 2021-01-23T07:34:12.097Z · EA · GW

Thanks for making this!

I'd like to understand the suffering involved in egg production of free-range hens where the male chicks aren't killed. 


What assumptions does "cage free" make here?

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Mid-Career Professionals: Impact Landscape - Request for Feedback · 2020-12-22T14:22:57.484Z · EA · GW

Nice to hear from you and thanks for the feedback Stephen.

You raise some good points and I definitely plan to beef up the document as things progress, especially with regard to the language around career changes as that will often be the biggest lever for impact as you correctly state.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Introducing Ayuda Efectiva · 2020-11-12T17:44:57.527Z · EA · GW

Great work, Pablo! I think we need more projects like this so glad to see another one.

On that topic, do you or anyone else know of other such national level projects, aside from Effektiv Spenden  (where I do some work) in Germany and RC Forward in Canada? Although I imagine there are many nuances of each country's bureaucracy, it could make sense to template out the operational aspects that likely don't differ from country to country.

 

Another with this bit:

We are thinking of Ayuda Efectiva as a startup, and are trying to build it up with the lowest possible fixed costs. This may mean our progress is slower, but also that keeping the organization running will not be a constant worry that distracts us from our actual goals.

What kind of fixed costs are we talking about, if you don't mind sharing? If they were too low, I'd be a bit concerned that it could hamper your multiplier. How are you approaching fundraising?

Again, great work!

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on EA Organization Updates: July 2020 · 2020-08-25T07:37:50.356Z · EA · GW

Thanks Aaron - I really enjoy these updates and wouldn't be able to get the information otherwise. Well done!

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Geographic diversity in EA · 2020-06-26T15:27:40.738Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this! The video doesn't have the Google Doc linked in it - where can I find that?

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Effective Altruism and Free Riding · 2020-04-15T09:38:39.701Z · EA · GW

Would you elaborate on what you mean?

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on AMA: Rob Mather, founder and CEO of the Against Malaria Foundation · 2020-01-23T15:51:57.528Z · EA · GW

Relatedly, could you explain a case where the 20 minute rule failed to produce a good outcome?

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Latest EA Updates for September 2019 · 2019-09-29T10:38:18.811Z · EA · GW

I just wanted to say thanks - I find these overviews super useful and I come across a lot of great content I wouldn't otherwise have seen. Cheers!

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Can my filmmaking/songwriting skills be used more effectively in EA? · 2019-04-10T15:56:05.469Z · EA · GW

Hi! I work for Founders Pledge and was thinking the same thing - great thought Mappy!

I'm gonna PM you Simon.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation · 2019-02-26T21:28:02.089Z · EA · GW

Were you able to get good feedback as to why you weren't hired?

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on EAs Should Invest All Year, then Give only on Giving Tuesday · 2019-01-11T02:47:01.904Z · EA · GW

I think there are two big benefits of donating monthly and automatically as opposed to on Giving Tuesday:

1) you can't forget to do it.

2) you don't see a big amount pile up during the year and then on Giving Tuesday think "am I really going to give that much away??"

Of course if you know you won't fall prey to either of these scenarios then it makes more sense to do as you describe.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Vox has a new department, Future Perfect, covering the world from an effective altruist perspective · 2018-10-16T17:14:08.733Z · EA · GW

Thanks for sharing! I am really excited for this and think it will be a large net positive for EA.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on New research on effective climate charities · 2018-08-01T15:31:25.027Z · EA · GW

It is back on the page, as well as here: https://founderspledge.com/research/Cause%20Report%20-%20Climate%20Change.pdf

Sorry about that.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on How to have cost-effective fun · 2018-07-12T11:12:50.498Z · EA · GW

I was going to say the same thing. I found the majority of the advice to be good, but don't agree with pirating things to save money.

Comment by Devon Fritz (DevonFritz) on Getting to the Mainstream · 2017-08-02T16:06:57.311Z · EA · GW

In which way do you believe that pragmatism undermines social justice? Couldn't it be that a pragmatic approach increases social justice, if it is shown to be the most effective?