Posts

How we think about the Forum 2019-10-15T16:24:04.447Z · score: 24 (12 votes)
Who runs the Forum? 2019-10-14T15:35:21.353Z · score: 41 (29 votes)
JP's Shortform 2019-08-13T01:40:24.406Z · score: 4 (3 votes)
Donor Lottery 2018 is live 2018-12-06T00:29:37.812Z · score: 19 (8 votes)

Comments

Comment by jpaddison on US Non-Profit? Get Free* Money From the Gov on 3 Apr! · 2020-04-03T21:22:58.863Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Matt Levine is always a good read.

Comment by jpaddison on hereisonehand's Shortform · 2020-03-09T20:43:33.828Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense is funded by OpenPhil and works in the US FWIW.

OTOH, I think if it became a talking point in debates it could wind up with more funding, but would also risk becoming politicized, which could be bad for the efficacy of the approaches that end up being used.

Comment by jpaddison on EAF/FRI are now the Center on Long-Term Risk (CLR) · 2020-03-09T15:29:45.843Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

SEE-ler?

Comment by jpaddison on Toby Ord’s ‘The Precipice’ is published! · 2020-03-05T21:01:16.312Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I have a selfish question. How hard is it for y'all to get the audio synced with the text version? (Amazon calls this Whispersync.)

(This is selfish because despite constant evangelizing on my part, my friends are not that enthusiastic, and I have no indicators that I'm normal in my fanaticism for this feature.)

Comment by jpaddison on How effective were vote trading schemes in the 2016 U.S. presidential election? · 2020-03-03T15:07:04.758Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

No 🙃

Comment by jpaddison on How effective were vote trading schemes in the 2016 U.S. presidential election? · 2020-03-03T00:46:21.417Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Note from site admin: I updated this post to be a Question-type post. Seems like a classic example of the genre, but let me know if you didn't want that.

Comment by jpaddison on How can EA local groups reduce likelihood of our members getting COVID-19 or other infectious diseases? · 2020-02-27T01:29:42.344Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Very interested in the right answer here. Wikipedia says "90% alcohol rubs are more effective against viruses than most other forms of hand washing." (And I'm hoping it will generalize to the 70% concentration I typically use.) But here's a 2019 article that seems to show weak effectiveness against flu.

Comment by jpaddison on How can EA local groups reduce likelihood of our members getting COVID-19 or other infectious diseases? · 2020-02-27T01:21:11.643Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I'd really like to see effectiveness differences between the gold standard and "regular person use".

Comment by jpaddison on How can EA local groups reduce likelihood of our members getting COVID-19 or other infectious diseases? · 2020-02-26T17:50:14.777Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA · GW

My guess is that putting hand sanitizer conspicuously out near food will be more important than teaching and modeling handwashing.

In general, reading that the WHO prefers sanitizer to handwashing (when your hands aren't visibly dirty) was a really big update for me, because hand sanitizer is so much easier to use.

Comment by jpaddison on Estimates of global captive vertebrate numbers · 2020-02-18T20:19:24.554Z · score: 11 (7 votes) · EA · GW

We'll ship soon after LessWrong does. When I last discussed with them, they were hoping to ship this quarter. The full version has collaborative editing features, but they might ship a non-collaborative version sooner.

Comment by jpaddison on Estimates of global captive vertebrate numbers · 2020-02-18T19:48:45.241Z · score: 24 (8 votes) · EA · GW

I am so sad we don't support tables. Sorry about your time taking screenshots.

Comment by jpaddison on What posts you are planning on writing? · 2020-02-11T23:27:27.112Z · score: 12 (8 votes) · EA · GW

This post should win an award for how long it's had active comments coming in

Comment by jpaddison on Seeking a CEO for new x-risk funding charity in the UK · 2020-02-08T16:53:35.860Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

My experience with it is confined to the SF tech world, where it is extremely common. Though usually it is offered to employees of the hiring company only. Maybe you could limit it to a group of people you then email about it.

Comment by jpaddison on JP's Shortform · 2020-02-07T20:42:34.415Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

It appears we've fixed this.

Comment by jpaddison on Seeking a CEO for new x-risk funding charity in the UK · 2020-02-07T19:11:39.011Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Have you considered offering a referral bonus to anyone bringing your attention to a candidate you hadn't considered?

Comment by jpaddison on What posts you are planning on writing? · 2020-02-07T19:08:57.284Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Now on a massive tangent, but maybe you could offer to subsidize people buying tutoring from Wyzant?

Comment by jpaddison on aarongertler's Shortform · 2020-02-06T18:29:23.048Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

You could write that the username is deliberately anonymous in your Forum bio.

Comment by jpaddison on JP's Shortform · 2020-01-30T22:13:20.687Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

We've been experiencing intermittent outages recently. Multiple possible causes and fixes have not turned out to fix it, so we're still working on it. If you see an error saying:
"503 Service Unavailable: No healthy endpoints to handle the request. [...]"
Try refreshing, or waiting 30 seconds and then refreshing; they're very transient errors.
Our apologies for the disruption.

Comment by jpaddison on Linch's Shortform · 2020-01-19T02:25:22.498Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I really like this (I think you could make it top level if you wanted). I think these of these are cases of multiple levels of cooperation. If you're part of an organization that wants to be uncooperative (and you can't leave cooperatively), then you're going to be uncooperative with one of them.

Comment by jpaddison on Pablo_Stafforini's Shortform · 2020-01-14T23:21:11.471Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Hi, thanks for the comments.

I don't know if there is a designated place to leave comments about the EA Forum

Your shortform works if you like. Also:

• Use the Intercom box in the bottom right part of your screen ↘️

• Email Aaron or me (the CEA staff who work on the Forum) 

• Send Aaron or me a private message on the Forum

The 'Community Favorites' section keeps listing the same posts over and over again. I don't see the point of having a prominent list of favorite posts in the home page that changes so little. I suggest expanding the list considerably so that regular visitors can still expect to see novel posts every time they visit the homepage.

I basically agree with this. For context, I view it as a way to discover posts that you missed if you took a break from the Forum for a while. If you have seen the same ones over and over, it's no longer serving that purpose. I like Oli's suggestion about hiding posts you've seen N times; you could also do a weighted randomization of the posts. This feature isn't a development priority for the Forum right now, but if LessWrong makes it we’ll port it. It also might make it to the docket after our current batch of improvements.

Comment by jpaddison on Where are you donating this year and why – in 2019? Open thread for discussion. · 2020-01-08T22:14:27.737Z · score: 14 (7 votes) · EA · GW

I'm donating my entire giving to the Donor Lottery. If I win I can spend much more time researching and non-profits will be able to devote more resources to answering my questions. Given these advantages, and the fact that I am variance neutral, I believe this makes the Donor Lottery strictly better than my other options.

Disclosure: I worked to set up the first version of CEA's Donor Lottery before I switched full time to the Forum, and continue to work for CEA, which still runs it. This was the project that CEA pitched me that helped convince me to work here though, so I'd say my enthusiasm for donor lotteries predates my conflict of interest.

Comment by jpaddison on aarongertler's Shortform · 2019-12-27T05:01:20.831Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Just to clarify, you know your self-votes don't get you karma?

Comment by jpaddison on More info on EA Global admissions · 2019-12-24T00:16:46.618Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Currently: message Aaron Gertler and ask.

Comment by jpaddison on Ways Frugality Increases Productivity · 2019-12-17T14:01:38.457Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

For supporting evidence, see this study:

https://www.nber.org/papers/w26554

Which I'll quote Robin Hanson's quote of

income effects in preferences, in which leisure becomes more valuable when income rises, … income effects are the main driving force behind the decline of average hours worked with GDP per capita.

Comment by jpaddison on Are we living at the most influential time in history? · 2019-12-12T19:54:01.487Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I don't know the history of the term or its relationship to Copernicus, but I can say how my forgotten source defined it. Suppose you want to ask, "How long will my car run?" Suppose it's a weird car that has a different engine and manufacturer than other cars, so those cars aren't much help. One place you could start is with how long it's currently be running for. This is based on the prior that you're observing it on average halfway through its life. If it's been running for 6 months so far, you would guess 1 year. There surely exists a more rigorous definition than this, but that's the gist.

Comment by jpaddison on Tetraspace Grouping's Shortform · 2019-12-11T19:11:09.441Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Hi, I saw this and asked on our slack about it. These was a leftover figures from when the post was in draft and the grants weren't finalized; someone's now fixed it. If you see anything else wrong, feel free to reach out to funds@effectivelatruism.org.

Comment by jpaddison on Should we use wiki to improve knowledge management within the community? · 2019-12-10T21:54:44.014Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Like a community wiki on stackexchange?

What do you mean by that?

Comment by jpaddison on Should we use wiki to improve knowledge management within the community? · 2019-12-10T18:30:39.374Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I'm interested in the answer to this question; I was just discussing it when discussing the EA Forum on a team retreat. I'm interested in the creation of reference documents in general. Something I was thinking about very brainstorm-y, no plans to implement in the near term) was to add a type of post to the EA Forum that allowed either direct editing or inline suggestions by not-the-author.

Comment by jpaddison on Announcing the 2019-20 Donor Lottery · 2019-12-05T02:16:25.175Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Wait I missed a chance to link to my favorite part of the lottery UI – check out this beautiful visualization: https://app.effectivealtruism.org/lotteries/63715163508812

Comment by jpaddison on Announcing the 2019-20 Donor Lottery · 2019-12-04T21:17:03.373Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Yes, that's what it means.

You can think of the backstop funder as being a regular participant who happens to enter with the amount necessary to bring it to the promised pool size. This was basically the way we viewed it for the first lottery. The newer incarnations have shifted towards the view of the backstop funder as part of the infrastructure of the lottery. It's not much of a meaningful change, just a expression of the likelihood that the funder will want to do something with the winnings other than fund the lottery the next time and some (ambiguously intentional) nomenclature shifts.

Comment by jpaddison on What is EA opinion on The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists? · 2019-12-04T04:13:27.094Z · score: 5 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Here, I think you dropped this: ]

Comment by jpaddison on "EA residencies" as an outreach activity · 2019-12-03T19:06:08.737Z · score: 9 (6 votes) · EA · GW

[Content note: contains fundraising-y content, I'll let the mods decide what they want to do. Doing this in a personal capacity.]

I find myself with an awkward 9 days between a team retreat in FL and a family Xmas gathering in Atlanta. I would guess I would be a fairly good fit to trial this as I have two years of experience at a community building EA org (CEA, where I currently work) and did local group organizing before that.[1]

I'm considering doing something other than flying back to California for that time, potentially doing something like an EA residency in an east coast city. If someone wanted to see this happen and offered to cover my expenses, I'd be more likely to do it. If someone wanted to see this happen in their city and would lend a couch, that would also be good. If someone merely has a suggestion of a city / event to visit, that’s still helpful.

[1] I can list more attributes including caveats and potential reservations if people express interest.

Comment by jpaddison on Updates from Leverage Research: history, mistakes and new focus · 2019-11-22T22:56:04.648Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the clarification and tolerating the nitpick. I don't know that anyone has an etiquette book for this, but I'd put a footnote with the update.[1]

[1] In the fullness of time we'll have built in footnotes in our rich-text editor, but for now you can do hacky footnotes like this.

Comment by jpaddison on Updates from Leverage Research: history, mistakes and new focus · 2019-11-22T22:44:25.654Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

⌘-^-Space, gets you emoji and unicode on any text field on a Mac. I assume other operating systems have their own versions.

Comment by jpaddison on Updates from Leverage Research: history, mistakes and new focus · 2019-11-22T17:45:27.926Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · EA · GW

When I wrote this comment, I also wrote the following.

I've noticed a difference between a few types of apologies: i) I regret that I took the action and think that I should not have, ii) I think I made the right call with the information I had at the time, but it's turned out bad and I regret that, and iii) I think I made the right call, but I regret the necessary negative consequences. It seems to me you're claiming iii, which makes it weird to be under mistakes.

I now think you maybe did mean it as i or ii? Specifically

While often this was the right trade-off

Implies that sometimes it was the right call and sometimes it wasn't. This is pretty nit-pick-y but if you agree it's not type iii, maybe you could change it to

While often this was the right trade-off for Leverage 1.0 where the focus was advancing our ideas, sometimes it wasn't and in either case this makes the job of communicating our work moving forward challenging.
Comment by jpaddison on Updates from Leverage Research: history, mistakes and new focus · 2019-11-22T17:36:08.187Z · score: 70 (27 votes) · EA · GW

I don't have a fully-formed gestalt take yet, other than: thanks for writing this.

I do want to focus on 3.2.2 Communication about our work (it's a very Larissa thing to do to have 3 layers nesting of headers 🙂). You explain why you didn't prioritize public communication, but not why you restricted access to existing work. Scrubbing yourself from archive.org seems to be an action taken not from desire to save time communicating, but from a desire to avoid others learning. It seems like that's a pretty big factor that's going on here and would be worth mentioning.

[Speaking for myself, not my employer.]

Comment by jpaddison on I'm Buck Shlegeris, I do research and outreach at MIRI, AMA · 2019-11-21T23:56:41.685Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Ah, so like, in the "real world", you don't have a set of people, you end up recruiting a training class of 80% would-be-strikers, which influences the culture compared to if you recruited for the same breakdown as the eventually-selected-team?

Comment by jpaddison on I'm Buck Shlegeris, I do research and outreach at MIRI, AMA · 2019-11-21T23:15:14.622Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I also like the analogy, let's run with it. Suppose I'm reasoning from the point of view of the movement as a whole, and we're trying to put together a soccer team. Suppose also that there are two types of positions, midfield and striker. I'm not sure if this is true for strikers in what I would call soccer, but suppose the striker has a higher skillcap than midfield.[1] I'll define skillcap as the amount of skill with the position before the returns begin to diminish.

Where skill is some product of standard deviation of innate skill and hours practiced.

Back to the problem of putting together a soccer team, if you're starting with a bunch of players of unknown innate skill, you would get a higher expected value to tell 80% of your players to train to be strikers, and 20% to be midfielders. Because you have a smaller pool, your midfielders will have less innate talent for the position. You can afford to lose this however, as the effect will be small compared to the gain in the increased performance of the strikers.

That's not to say that you should fill your entire team with wannabe strikers. When you select your team you'll undoubtedly leave out some very dedicated strikers in favor of someone who trained for midfield. Still, compared to the percentage that end up playing on the team, the people you'd want training for the role leans more towards the high-skillcap positions.

There are all sorts of ways this analogy doesn't apply directly to the real world, but it might help pump intuitions.

[1] For American football, the quarterback position definitely exhibits this effect. The effect can be seen clearly in this list of highest-paid players.

Comment by jpaddison on Forum update: New features (November 2019) · 2019-11-21T17:43:06.503Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

The answer is that it should have had a "Load more" button. Said button would also tell you how many there are total. Thanks for the catch, nice job.

Comment by jpaddison on edoarad's Shortform · 2019-11-21T16:58:56.854Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Karma is awarded definitely as a recognition of the usefulness of the contribution. The user's overall karma is an unprincipled straight addition of those "usefulness scores". Still, it's the closest thing the site has to it's trust in the user and we use it to award:
 a) More influence in the form of higher-powered votes
 b) More ability to moderate one's own posts (ability to moderate personal blogposts at 50 karma, and those that have been promoted to the frontpage or community at 2000)

Comment by jpaddison on edoarad's Shortform · 2019-11-21T16:55:06.291Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

We've been thinking about how to make strong upvotes more costly to the user, but my memory is that Oliver (of LessWrong) wanted users not to have to manage resources.

Comment by jpaddison on I'm Buck Shlegeris, I do research and outreach at MIRI, AMA · 2019-11-21T03:58:55.997Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · EA · GW

Seconded.

Comment by jpaddison on The Economic Lives of the Poor · 2019-11-21T01:57:31.868Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

It'll have [Link] automatically added to the title, and the link will appear in italicized text at the top. Not sure that's exhaustive.

Comment by jpaddison on edoarad's Shortform · 2019-11-21T01:18:03.619Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Off-the-cuff objection: this works inasmuch as karma is a game to get a fancy high number. But if you think of karma as the measure of the site's trust in a user, I don't want the site to trust the user less because they have elected to reward other users.

Comment by jpaddison on Forum update: New features (November 2019) · 2019-11-21T01:08:49.920Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Sorry I missed this! I should have used the subscription feature on the subscription announcement post. Yes, (to my surprise, tbh) it is limited at 5. I'll forward the question to the author of the feature.

Comment by jpaddison on The Economic Lives of the Poor · 2019-11-21T00:58:13.468Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Next time can you submit this as a linkpost to your blogpost? When that happens we tell Google that your blogpage is the "canonical link". As it is, Google thinks we might be stealing your content and slightly decrements our search rankings.

Comment by jpaddison on Steelmanning the Case Against Unquantifiable Interventions · 2019-11-15T19:55:02.419Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I thought this was a really good comment – well written and well structured.

I feel confident claiming that Bletchley wasn't prioritizing Enigma highly enough before Turing decided to work on it.

This is obvious from hindsight, but to make that claim you need to show that they could predict that the expected value was high in advance, which does seem to be the whole game.

Comment by jpaddison on What metrics may be useful to measure the health of the EA community? · 2019-11-14T22:45:22.036Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I just want to say that this is exactly what I want the question feature to be used for. Strong upvoted. Very interested in seeing answers!

Comment by jpaddison on Update on CEA's EA Grants Program · 2019-11-11T23:41:33.086Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Related: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/HB2zD5mu7ynXnD63u/healthy-competition

Comment by jpaddison on Summary of Core Feedback Collected by CEA in Spring/Summer 2019 · 2019-11-10T02:11:47.244Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

That's not supposed to happen, thanks for the report