Posts

The Explanatory Obstacle of EA 2021-11-27T14:20:36.008Z
Career Fair - Effective Altruism Israel 2021-09-05T16:09:02.934Z
EA Israel Progress and Achievements - 2021 2021-05-24T18:56:20.392Z
EA Israel Community Survey - 2021 2021-05-24T18:56:13.198Z
Announcing "Naming What We Can"! 2021-04-01T10:17:28.990Z
Cost-effectiveness analysis of a program promoting a vegan diet 2020-11-12T17:24:28.721Z
GidonKadosh's Shortform 2020-10-16T10:57:10.452Z
EA Israel Strategy 2020-21 2020-09-26T13:22:37.169Z
Cause-specific Effectiveness Prize (Project Plan) 2020-05-02T16:25:30.445Z
Utilizing global attention during crises for EA causes 2020-03-18T08:49:46.864Z

Comments

Comment by GidonKadosh on Mapping of EA · 2021-12-06T11:48:15.964Z · EA · GW

I think it does! It's important in my opinion that there would be someone who can maintain the map over time, and that it would be easy to make changes to (e.g. if it's an infographic then it can be made easy if it's made in Canva)

Comment by GidonKadosh on Mapping of EA · 2021-12-03T22:30:41.081Z · EA · GW

These might be useful for creating a map:

Comment by GidonKadosh on The Explanatory Obstacle of EA · 2021-12-01T17:59:51.459Z · EA · GW

Thank you Charlie! 

 I don't think that the point of a lot of our introductory pitches should to transfer the most bits of information, but rather to get people on the right track, interested and attracted to the idea. 

I totally agree with this! Let me clarify my opinion:

  • I distinguish between a pitch and an explanation.
  • I think that pitches should maximize attraction, but also need to satisfy some level of explanations for the concept discussed.
  • I think that the common EA pitches are quite good at attracting people, but I believe we’re pretty bad at explaining what EA is (I’d love to hear if you’re not sharing this belief!)
  • I hope that being able to explain EA better:
    • will also improve our pitches by improving the explanation component of our pitches.
    • will help onboarding individuals once they were initially attracted by a good pitch. 

I think one rule of thumb that can help people simplify the framing problem is to know who your audience is. 

I think it's great to frame the quality of a pitch by its fit to its audience. Yet what I'm missing in this framing is the size of the audience in question:

  • Many of my criticisms in this post can be thought of as "this articulation aims for a too narrow audience", for instance, to an audience that tends to think very analytically. 
  • Many of my suggestions in this post are trying to broaden the audience so it can be clearer and more convincing to a wider audience, without relying on their background or prior knowledge.
  • In addition, many of my suggestions are about explicitly and simplification (e.g. saying “time and money” instead of “resources”, or explicitly saying “donating, volunteering, and career choices”) and I think are relevant regardless to the audience we’re aiming to attract.

In general, I think that pitches should change drastically according to the audience in hand, while explanations should be (a bit) more audience-neutral.

Comment by GidonKadosh on The Explanatory Obstacle of EA · 2021-12-01T09:35:31.607Z · EA · GW

I totally agree. Though it's not concrete examples, these two resources (1,2) are helpful. 

Just thinking out loud: Diving deeper into each misconception and providing concrete examples (or even "simulations" for practice) might be a good idea for an EA pitching workshop

Comment by GidonKadosh on The Explanatory Obstacle of EA · 2021-11-29T12:42:08.178Z · EA · GW

Thanks Oldman! I totally agree with your point on examples.

Regarding 'helping others' and animals - I think it's a great question whether individuals who are interested in animal welfare and hear about EA for the first time would be put off by this expression. 
If it's not the case, then I think the benefits of using 'helping others' are still relevant, and it's not that 'doing good' would signal to these individuals that the movement also cares about animals. Nevertheless, in some contexts, I think it can be beneficial to say explicitly 'helping other people and animals' even though it makes this sentence a bit longer.

Anyhow, in terms of accuracy, I think that 'others' can refer to animals as well (though I'm not sure of that).

Comment by GidonKadosh on The Explanatory Obstacle of EA · 2021-11-29T11:33:44.685Z · EA · GW

I wish I had some organized interviews written down, and I hope to see more serious market testing work like that within the movement - unfortunately, I didn't have the time to document my interactions explaining about EA. 

Generally speaking, I tried out different pitches whenever I had the chance to speak about EA, tried to be attentive to responses, asked what do they think about the concept (which is important, because most of the time people would just be supportive or say "wow" while clearly not understanding what EA is about), and shared these experiences with other community builders in Israel and abroad. 

The vast majority of the responses I received was either very basic questions that show confusion about the concept ("so what does the movement actually do?", "what do people in the movement do?"), responses that show very little understanding, or responses that was kind of OK but then later I realized didn't account for much comprehension (as happened a lot with volunteers - I found myself often explaining critical nuances of EA to people who were involved for quite a while, even if they had actually read our list of intro materials).

In addition, I quite often expected people I (even slightly) know to be more excited about EA, and their lack of excitement showed me that our pitches are far from optimal. Once we've developed the current pitch and placed it on our website, I found that:

  • Volunteers and individuals who seek career advice approached us with far better understanding of EA (far from perfect, but it feels like going from 20% of understanding to 60%)
  • Within a minute of explanation I get the feeling the person I speak with actually has a general understanding of what I'm talking about
  • Informal conversations I have about EA make people much more excited

That said - much more research is needed, I don't think this is the most optimal pitch we can come up with, and I can't really quantify these experiences as much as I'd hope to.

Comment by GidonKadosh on What Small Weird Thing Do You Fund? · 2021-11-28T17:11:19.513Z · EA · GW

I'm conflicted about whether I should upvote or downvote this

Comment by GidonKadosh on The Explanatory Obstacle of EA · 2021-11-28T17:04:08.408Z · EA · GW

I agree with your point of "career decisions" - I'm replacing "career choices" in my post with "career decisions", thank you!

Regarding evidence and reason - I think that the idea of prioritizing social action is already unique and doesn't require differentiation, and I think that individuals would assume that by prioritizing  we mean to apply some serious thinking into this process (but I think this argument requires some testing, and would be easy to test)

Comment by GidonKadosh on The Explanatory Obstacle of EA · 2021-11-28T12:46:08.918Z · EA · GW

Thank you for this feedback lukasberglund and Maricio, I think I underestimated the misrepresentation argument, so I highly appreciate this. 

About your second argument on the impact of volunteer guidance, and the discussion with Mauricio: I entirely agree with your opinion on the impact of volunteering, but I think that the main case for including volunteering in the pitch (and in general, investing in guidance for effective volunteering) is that it for specific individuals, who are interested in volunteering, this can be the entry point that would attract them to learn more about EA - whether we eventually help them with prioritizing volunteer opportunities or with career/donation decisions.

For this reason (and because specific volunteering opportunities can be highly impactful, as you both discussed), I still think it's beneficial to include volunteering on EA pitches. I believe that the argument about misrepresentation makes a good case for not mentioning volunteering as the first on the list, but I don't think that the order is of high significance. 

I'll soon make some updates to the post about that. Thank you both again for your feedback!

Comment by GidonKadosh on [deleted post] 2021-11-27T09:37:23.784Z

Stumbled upon this great post, just adding a minor comment: On certain occasions, it might be even more convincing the build the pitch around an example of an intervention such as Strongminds (which HLI often compares to Givedirectly in terms of cost-effectiveness). It helps make the pitch more concrete.

Comment by GidonKadosh on What are some effective/impactful charities in the domain of human rights and anti-authoritarianism? · 2021-09-23T13:33:38.205Z · EA · GW

Oops, I referred to the wrong post. Updated the link.

Comment by GidonKadosh on What are some effective/impactful charities in the domain of human rights and anti-authoritarianism? · 2021-09-22T22:19:15.425Z · EA · GW

I wish there were more answers to this question. This post makes a very good argument for why we should be excited about being able to point out effective charities in this area.

Comment by GidonKadosh on Towards a Weaker Longtermism · 2021-08-08T09:40:43.340Z · EA · GW

Thank you for this post David. I'd like to add two points that emphasize how important this discussion is, and that its implications are beyond the moral stances of individuals:

1. I believe that when looking at this distinction as a movement, we should also take into account how people are put off by strong longtermism - whether we view regular longtermism as a good entry point for EA ideas, or if we endorse it as a legitimate 'camp'. I think that the core idea of regular longtermism is very appealing when discussing the next few generations, while strong longtermism does imply disregarding current generations and thinking of "all future generations" (which obviously requires most people to think far beyond their current moral circle).

2. In practice, I think that an EA community that has a welcoming space for this mid-point view, would have more emphasis on interventions that are on mid-point position in the tradeoff between tractability (they're more likely to make a change) and importance (they're not as rewarding as preventing human extinction). We would see more emphasis than we currently have on improving institutions, interventions for improving developing economies, meta-science, and others.

Comment by GidonKadosh on EA Israel Community Survey - 2021 · 2021-08-04T15:23:23.340Z · EA · GW

Thank you for this input! I agree this is an important question, but the team decided not to include it and other several questions in the larger survey as we wanted to make it relatively short. We did include this question in our in-depth survey, but when looking at the results, we realized it doesn't hold actionable insight when looking only at our contributors and not at the larger community followers - so we didn't include this question in the report as well.

This is one of the points we wanted to review before conducting next year's survey - I'll refer the team to your comment when this is reviewed, thank you!

Comment by GidonKadosh on The case against “EA cause areas” · 2021-07-17T17:08:56.033Z · EA · GW

I'm adding another suggestion to the list: I think that instead of removing emphasis from the movement's top causes, we might want to put an equal emphasis on the EA toolkit. 

I believe that if you would ask all highly active EAs "what tools do EAs use in order to prioritize opportunities to do good?" you'd get very different answers, while I would hope that everyone could easily be able to recall a closed set of actionable guiding principles.

Comment by GidonKadosh on The case against “EA cause areas” · 2021-07-17T16:57:59.217Z · EA · GW

Thank you for putting this together, I strongly agree with many of these points, especially the point of independent thinking. 

I think the strength of this post's argument varies when taking into account different "services" that the EA movement can provide individuals. For instance, for someone in their mid-career who is interested in EA in order to rethink their career path, there would be much more value in a more divergent EA movement that is focused on the  EA toolkit. 
Yet, that wouldn't be the same for someone who looks for donation advice, for which we'd rather put much more focus on very few cause areas and donation opportunities.

That might also be true for someone in their early career who looks for career advice, but that would depend on how much independent thinking they're willing to do, because I strongly agree that this is missing.  I'll add a quote from a Q&A with Will MacAskill ( Aug 2020) supporting that:

Habiba: ... "What mistakes do you think most EAs, or people in the effective altruism community, are making?"

Will:  ..."more people should just be of the mind that they want to figure out the basics, not take anything for granted, and not defer to [others’ opinions].
At the moment, I think there's a very small number of people doing that, even though I regard it as the core of what EA is about."

I'm personally quite worried that the EA movement would end up filled with people who are fans of a certain cause area without being neutral about their cause.  EA shouldn't be about cheering for certain cause areas, it should be about prioritizing opportunities to do good, and not communicating this good enough internally and externally could be very dangerous for the movement in the long term and would make us miss a lot of our potential.

I've noticed that there are quite a few downvotes for this post, and not enough criticizing comments.  I'd be happy to hear others' opinions on this subject!

Comment by GidonKadosh on Announcing "Naming What We Can"! · 2021-04-03T12:18:18.700Z · EA · GW

I suggest Measuring Everything with units Of Wellbeing, or, in short, Meow
This might support the new field of increasing global welfare through kitten distribtuion, as been proposed before

Comment by GidonKadosh on List of EA-related organisations · 2020-10-22T09:16:55.438Z · EA · GW

Thank you so much for putting together this valuable collection!
This is just the kind of effort we need in order to make EAHub better. There is already an organisations page on EAHub but it's missing some of the organisations you listed. I encourage anyone who is willing to invest in collection activities to contact EAHub and join their team, so we can eventually build a strong knowledge center for the community.

Comment by GidonKadosh on GidonKadosh's Shortform · 2020-10-16T10:57:10.774Z · EA · GW

I've seen very few discussions on "multiplayer perspective" in the community (besides value of coordination on 80k's website, and the forum post How can we best coordinate as a community?, both written by Benjamin Todd), and I fear that we might be neglecting impactful opportunities.

I wonder whether actively encouraging people to take a multiplayer perspective, particularly in donations, can account for additional impact that we're missing out on when we talk so often about the marginal impact an individual has. For instance, I wonder if donation advice should significantly change when given to a single person, compared to when it's given to people who are willing to group together and donate a large amount of money. What do you think?

Comment by GidonKadosh on EA is risk-constrained · 2020-06-25T19:46:50.922Z · EA · GW

I strongly agree. Personally (and I know a couple more EAs with the same dilemma), I'd be thrilled to apply to an EA org or even start a new large scale project, but this is too risky for my financial security - I'm forced to spend a couple of years on the credibility of my CV outside EA, since outsiders are not familiar with the professional level of work in EA (I've mostly encountered people associating it with the common low expertise of nonprofits).

Maybe there are ways to directly confront this, such as offering training courses by top universities or enterprises (Google, Microsoft, Facebook etc.) to people who work in the EA sphere, in order to improve the credibility (and level) of their professional skills.