Comment by julia_wise on Apology · 2019-03-25T15:08:02.152Z · score: 72 (29 votes) · EA · GW

The accusation of sexual misconduct at Brown is one of the things that worried us at CEA. But we approached Jacy primarily out of concern about other more recent reports from members of the animal advocacy and EA communities.

Comment by julia_wise on You have more than one goal, and that's fine · 2019-02-28T18:27:09.274Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · EA · GW

My advice on how to decide the pots of money is basically in this post:

TL;DR: spend some time noticing how much other people and let that inform your budget, but don't try to pay attention them every day, because you probably can't go around powered by guilt forever.

That advice was written at a time when I thought of donation as basically the only path to impact, at least for myself. I do think it's worth seriously considering whether other paths are viable for you and not committing to a level of donation that will seriously reduce your ability to pursue other things. This probably won't be surprising coming from the person running Giving What We Can, but I think something like 10% is a level that's both significant and also compatible with, for example, working for a nonprofit.

I find the upside of deciding annually on my donation budget is that I can then make all the other decisions the way everyone else does. Vacation? Lunch with a friend? Donation to friend's fundraiser? They're all in the "stuff that will enrich my life" category, so I can trade them off against each other however I think will be best for me.

Comment by julia_wise on Time-series data for income & happiness? · 2019-02-20T18:03:47.691Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I'd also expect people to do a thing of taking high-paying jobs with the expectation that it benefits their children more than their own happiness. I don't know if there's evidence on that.

You have more than one goal, and that's fine

2019-02-20T01:08:48.269Z · score: 76 (42 votes)
Comment by julia_wise on Will companies meet their animal welfare commitments? · 2019-02-01T14:06:46.890Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA · GW

This is not a question that anyone has an objective answer to.

Comment by julia_wise on Latest Research and Updates for January 2019 · 2019-01-31T16:22:28.443Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I'm surprised and impressed by that BBC vertical! I wonder how much their sense of "long term" will overlap with the sense used in EA. It seems the Vox vertical on EA has needed to churn out so much content that they tend to include material that I don't see as a great fit for the theme. I hope BBC will be more relaxed about the quantity of material they need to produce, so that the material can be more on-topic.

Comment by julia_wise on Introducing Sparrow: a user-friendly app to simplify effective giving · 2019-01-17T16:30:38.410Z · score: 14 (7 votes) · EA · GW

Rafa_fanboy, I've written to you but I'm not sure if you saw the message. You consistently make comments that aren't helpful, and people regularly report them. Please try to keep your comments in the realm of "friendly and productive."

Comment by julia_wise on What Is Effective Altruism? · 2019-01-10T14:23:20.784Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

"Whichever will have the best life" seems very compatible with "welfare." I agree there are a lot of considerations that aren't obviously indicated by any of these definitions, though, even if they're compatible.

Comment by julia_wise on Corporate matching - good? · 2019-01-09T18:59:03.835Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I think the question being asked is not quite what it seems. If you work at a company that offers corporate matching, that's great and I'd encourage you to take advantage of it.

If you are funneling money to your friend for them to give because they work for a company that offers corporate matching, that seems borderline fraudulent. Presumably what the company intends is to offer a benefit to their employees, not to their employees' friends. For more discussion:

Comment by Julia_Wise on [deleted post] 2019-01-04T20:33:08.797Z

There's a problem with the way posts are imported from some blogs, which we're working to fix.

Comment by julia_wise on Survey of EA org leaders about what skills and experience they most need, their staff/donations trade-offs, problem prioritisation, and more. · 2019-01-01T12:42:18.782Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I think it's that none of the existing EA organizations would want to hire government and policy experts to their own orgs, but would very much like to see people with an EA approach working in government.

Submit questions about Giving What We Can for Q&A session December 30

2018-12-30T00:51:03.555Z · score: 17 (5 votes)
Comment by julia_wise on EA Hotel Fundraiser 1: the story · 2018-12-28T21:20:22.165Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

>The Trustees do the selecting for stays over a month. Managers for stays under a month.

I see where the Trustees are listed, but who are the Managers?

Comment by julia_wise on Response to a Dylan Matthews article on Vox about bipartisanship · 2018-12-28T13:43:26.253Z · score: 12 (9 votes) · EA · GW

He wrote one of the early articles about earning to give, as far as I know "became associated with EA" in the same way that other EAs do - by getting interested in the ideas and starting to act on them. For example, he donated a kidney.

Comment by julia_wise on How Effective Altruists Can Be Welcoming To Conservatives · 2018-12-25T13:35:49.117Z · score: 24 (11 votes) · EA · GW

Giving What We Can has always emphasized that the evidence points to some interventions being much more effective than others, although it's increased the scope of interventions it now encourages members to consider.

In keeping with the "evidence and reason" basis of effective altruism, we encourage people towards cause areas that hold up well under at least reason even if there is not yet evidence. For example, there's plenty of scientific evidence on how animals respond behaviorally and neurologically to stimuli that would be painful to humans, so it seems reasonable to conclude they do experience pain, and to consider whether interventions aimed at reducing that pain might be more effective than interventions aimed at other morally relevant populations. While the evidence on something like policy change or preventing GCRs isn't nearly as established, because they're about trying to cause or prevent something that hasn't happened yet, we think there is often good reasoning behind efforts in these areas. We see evangelism as different because believing that people who are currently alive will continue to be moral patients after we can no longer observe any evidence of them having continued consciousness, and that their holding specific religious beliefs is essential to their wellbeing in the afterlife, is called "faith" because it doesn't fully rest on either evidence or reason.

I agree there's not a terribly bright line here, and we could find more cases that could plausibly go either way. There are also more causes that some people consider best but that Giving What We Can would not accept towards the pledge, like white supremacy or destruction of the world to prevent future suffering.

Comment by julia_wise on How Effective Altruists Can Be Welcoming To Conservatives · 2018-12-23T17:07:26.091Z · score: 15 (8 votes) · EA · GW

Religious evangelism is not counted toward the Giving What We Can pledge.

We realize that some people do genuinely believe it's the best way to help others, but it's far enough from the goals of our project that we think people who want support in sticking to their goals of donation for that cause should instead connect with the many existing communities that favor funding evangelism.

Comment by julia_wise on Humane Pesticides as the Most Marginally Effective Cause · 2018-12-22T14:49:06.342Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I assume the post was primarily about agricultural pesticides rather than home pesticides.

Comment by julia_wise on Is it better to be a wild rat or a factory farmed cow? A systematic method for comparing animal welfare. · 2018-12-21T14:50:14.503Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Yeah, I think there's a bad dynamic where people who have read Tomasik either seriously or jokingly propose "pave everything" and other people find that alarming and want nothing to do with any ideas that could lead in that direction. I spent years intentionally not reading Tomasik because I was afraid it would make me into some kind of fanatic.

Comment by julia_wise on How Effective Altruists Can Be Welcoming To Conservatives · 2018-12-21T14:41:14.679Z · score: 20 (10 votes) · EA · GW

I don't think it's an absurd example. It's come up seriously as a question about how Giving What We Can members can donate as part of their pledge.

Comment by julia_wise on Is it better to be a wild rat or a factory farmed cow? A systematic method for comparing animal welfare. · 2018-12-07T03:26:17.091Z · score: 13 (8 votes) · EA · GW

I find that discussion about wild animal suffering very quickly gets to "but it would be ludicrous to believe X because then we'd have to do Y." I think it's better to focus on "How might we find out if X is true" rather than the drastic consequences that would have.

As a parallel, people in power have often found it convenient to believe that slaves, immigrants, poor people, etc have naturally higher pain tolerance than themselves and thus it's not a problem for them to do hard labor, have inadequate medical care, etc. The fact that changing this belief would have disruptive consequences doesn't have anything to do with its accuracy.

Comment by julia_wise on EA gifts for kids? · 2018-12-06T18:36:17.075Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Yeah I noticed with "cleaning equipment"there's a very clear distinction between 1. homemade brushes, 2. storebought brooms, and 3. vacuum cleaners.

Comment by julia_wise on Notes on “The Art of Gathering” · 2018-12-06T18:26:33.901Z · score: 7 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks, I wouldn't have read this full book but these seem like really useful things for group and event organizers to think about! I'm cross-posting to the group organizers FB group.

Comment by julia_wise on EA gifts for kids? · 2018-12-01T16:37:28.209Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Wow, that's a great resource.

The book is different in tone in that it doesn't explicitly point out things that are lacking (like running water) in a given household, and I don't remember picking up on the class differences as a kid - partly because we looked most at the children with prettiest clothes! So definitely more in the "global solidarity" vein more than the "look how different things are" vein.

Comment by julia_wise on Would killing one be in line with EA if it can save 10? · 2018-11-30T04:00:56.708Z · score: 17 (8 votes) · EA · GW

A short answer might be "In real life, people view these two scenarios very differently, and ignoring psychology and sociology may get you some interesting thought experiments but will not lead you anywhere useful when working with actual humans."

Or to quote the EA Guiding Principles:

"Because we believe that trust, cooperation, and accurate information are essential to doing good, we strive to be honest and trustworthy. More broadly, we strive to follow those rules of good conduct that allow communities (and the people within them) to thrive." Not killing people seems like a pretty basic requirement for trust and cooperation. There are socially-agreed-upon exceptions like governments having use of force, but even those are divisive.

Some other writing that's addressed this:

Comment by julia_wise on EA gifts for kids? · 2018-11-28T15:38:33.666Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Last night my 4-year-old saw a photo from a water charity of a baby bottle filled with dirty water. She was very interested ("What IS that?"). Especially for kids with an interest in germs, the idea of not having clean water might be an interesting one that could be tied to a donation to somewhere like Dispensers for Safe Water:

Comment by julia_wise on MIRI 2017 Fundraiser and Strategy Update · 2018-11-26T20:08:40.576Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Fixed, sorry about that!

Comment by julia_wise on EA gifts for kids? · 2018-11-23T19:32:45.476Z · score: 8 (6 votes) · EA · GW

The updates on the Give Directly site might be good to look at together - they're people's real responses about what they do with the money they receive and how it's changed their circumstances.

We also love the book "Children Just Like Me", with pictures and interviews of children around the world. I haven't read the new edition, but the 1990s version I grew up with featured the whole range from children living in developed countries to in children living in extreme poverty (for example one child whose family survives by picking trash from a dump in India). I like the approach of presenting them all as children with similarities (featuring their answers about their favorite foods, what they like to do with their friends, etc.) But it also gives a lot of food for thought about the different environments the featured children live in.

Comment by julia_wise on William MacAskill misrepresents much of the evidence underlying his key arguments in "Doing Good Better" · 2018-11-20T19:00:17.260Z · score: 17 (11 votes) · EA · GW

I'm sorry, this was my fault. You sent me a draft and asked me not to share it, and a few days later in rereading the email and deciding what to do with it, I wasn't careful and failed to read the part where you asked me not to share it. I shared it with Will at that point, and I apologize for my carelessness.

Comment by julia_wise on Getting past the DALY: different measures of "positive impact" · 2018-11-20T18:45:13.472Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I wonder if it's because some women have subsequent births that re-open the problem?

Comment by julia_wise on "Taking AI Risk Seriously" – Thoughts by Andrew Critch · 2018-11-19T20:50:30.857Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Yeah, I think having the full name in the title of the crosspost is all that's needed.

Comment by julia_wise on "Taking AI Risk Seriously" – Thoughts by Andrew Critch · 2018-11-19T16:59:46.409Z · score: 11 (10 votes) · EA · GW

I suggest using full names like "Andrew Critch" rather than more ingroup-y nicknames.

Comment by julia_wise on the role of ART in EA? · 2018-11-13T17:26:28.759Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Hi! I wrote a piece about this:

edited to add some other resources:

  • Artists and Designers in EA:
  • 80,000 Hours on EA & art:
  • An arts advocate interviews GiveWell:
Comment by julia_wise on Is Suffering Convex? · 2018-10-24T12:44:28.261Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I also think kids are built to strongly signal to adults ("this is bad, fix it"/"this is good, more of this"), but my impression is that they do that by giving accurate signals - they do feel quite distressed when they're acting distressed. They do seem to change emotion much faster than adults, which I think can throw off adult intuitions about how real the child's emotions are. I wonder if something like cortisol levels would be helpful in comparing.

Comment by julia_wise on Mind Ease: a promising new mental health intervention · 2018-10-23T17:57:35.081Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I was about to say - this seems similar to the Pacifica app. My guess is that you may have a more evidence-based approach than most app builders?

Comment by julia_wise on Is Suffering Convex? · 2018-10-21T19:24:27.859Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Interesting, I hadn't thought about this!

[content note: death, cancer]

My intuition is that while more complex minds (e.g. adults) can contextualize experiences, this goes both ways. E.g. a family member could contextualize her surgery to remove a cancer, which made it less bad than it would have been to a child experiencing the pain without understanding of why it was in their best interest. But after it became clear that she was going to die, the remaining 18 months of her life was much worse for her because of that knowledge and the anxiety and depression it brought. I guess I'd expect that children's most extreme experiences of pain and unhappiness are more severe, but that context brings both positive and negative experiences closer to the middle for adults.

(I tried to think of times when deeper understanding a situation might bring an adult greater satisfaction and triumph than a child has, but it's extremely hard to top a delighted three-year-old.)

Comment by julia_wise on Open beta of the new EA Forum now available · 2018-10-19T12:30:45.635Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Copied from JP Addison's response to the same comment on the beta Forum:

"Hi, sorry for the confusion. I agree it’s suboptimal to have the duplicated Forums, and am working as fast as I can to get it up. I think it is good to have the new Forum get tested and for people who wish to to get familiar with it before redirecting the entire Forum traffic to it. It is a fork of the LW codebase, but there are enough changes to have allowed many bugs to have been caught already. I’m aiming to have the new Forum up before Friday Nov 2nd, or the week after. I have been less good than I might have hoped at making timing predictions however, and have tried to avoid having people plan around predictions that have not proved well-calibrated. Thanks for your patience."

Comment by julia_wise on Open beta of the new EA Forum now available · 2018-10-19T12:29:01.370Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Yes, we'll be adding more features like sequences later in the year.

Comment by julia_wise on Forum moving to open beta this week · 2018-10-18T13:37:06.410Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Yes! You should be able to post by clicking on your username in the upper right, and selecting "New Post."

Open beta of the new EA Forum now available

2018-10-18T02:59:49.556Z · score: 12 (12 votes)

Forum moving to open beta this week

2018-10-15T21:24:30.107Z · score: 4 (3 votes)
Comment by julia_wise on Open Thread #41 · 2018-10-11T14:55:53.672Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Hi! Sorry, I don't think there is a group in Nigeria. Here's a guide to starting one if you're interested in a project:

Comment by julia_wise on EA Survey 2018 Series: Community Demographics & Characteristics · 2018-10-11T01:30:15.491Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

One example of trying to understand the reasons is the London group's collecting and analyzing attendance data, with the conclusion that men and women initially come in equal numbers but women are less likely to return:

More thoughts and posts in the "Diversity & Inclusion in EA" group:

Comment by julia_wise on Open Thread #41 · 2018-10-06T13:49:00.480Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I'd be happy to post it for you on the Boston EA group if it's specifically in the Boston area.

Comment by julia_wise on Effective Altruism Communal Space · 2018-10-01T14:10:45.990Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I like the idea! I think it's worth thinking about how well this is going for Ziferblat and why more people haven't tried it - is it a new thing that seems likely to catch on in other cities, or is there a reason this model isn't more common? Have other interest groups tried something similar? It bears a resemblance to a Christian Science reading room, but with a different financial model, or Copenhagen's "Student House" but for a particular interest group.

Comment by julia_wise on Additional plans for the new EA Forum · 2018-09-19T19:40:52.320Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I didn't fully understand the steps here - we'll be moving to an open beta soon, and the full version (with all posts and comments from the current forum ported over, links redirected, etc) will likely open in October.

EDIT: Aaand I misunderstood again. If you've requested to join the open beta, we should be adding you this week. Open beta will be in October, and full transition after that.

Comment by julia_wise on Giving What We Can is still growing at a surprisingly good pace · 2018-09-17T13:26:39.080Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

We haven't updated attrition rates since then, no. We're hoping that having the donation recording system (pledge dashboard, formerly My Giving) integrated with the EA Funds login will yield us better data this year.

Comment by julia_wise on How to use the Forum · 2018-09-14T13:23:55.924Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Note for now: all existing posts and comments from the old Forum will be transferred over to the new one once the final version is done.

Comment by julia_wise on Making Organisations More Welcoming · 2018-09-13T15:46:26.536Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for writing these up!

When I was talking to staff at various EA orgs about what works well for them at their workplaces, one comment was from a female employee whose male manager sent her information about how women typically promote their achievements less than men. He encouraged her to be straightforward about her accomplishments as they worked together. She said she found it reassuring to know this was something he was already thinking about.

Comment by julia_wise on Near-Term Effective Altruism Discord · 2018-09-10T14:18:12.664Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I'll PM you.

Comment by julia_wise on Near-Term Effective Altruism Discord · 2018-09-10T14:17:35.559Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · EA · GW

I like this suggestion - personally I feel a lot of uncertainty about what to prioritize, and given that a portion of my donations go to near-term work I'd enjoy taking part in discussion about how to best do that, even if I'm also seriously considering whether to prioritize long-term work. But I'd be totally happy to have the topic of that space limited to near-term work.

Comment by julia_wise on Near-Term Effective Altruism Discord · 2018-09-10T02:18:42.779Z · score: 18 (26 votes) · EA · GW

Moderator note: I found this harsher than necessary. I think a few tone changes would have made the whole message feel more constructive.

Comment by julia_wise on Additional plans for the new EA Forum · 2018-09-09T12:13:55.057Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · EA · GW

1) The first period for prizes will start as soon as the new forum is open to everyone.

2) Yes, this was a concern we had, but we decided that encouraging a wave of people's best content in the early period of the new forum was worth trying.

Comment by julia_wise on Additional plans for the new EA Forum · 2018-09-08T22:19:25.116Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

The small beta version opened this week, and we plan to run that for roughly two weeks before opening to the wider community.

Comment by julia_wise on EA Forum 2.0 Initial Announcement · 2018-09-08T00:41:52.842Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks, this is helpful. Things I know about:

  • We do expect to later have sequences near the top.
  • Deleting posts: does the "save as draft" option work for that?

Additional plans for the new EA Forum

2018-09-07T15:35:47.733Z · score: 5 (16 votes)

Self-care sessions for EA groups

2018-09-06T15:55:12.835Z · score: 11 (8 votes)

EA syllabi and teaching materials

2018-09-05T18:19:10.207Z · score: 12 (8 votes)

How to use the Forum

2018-09-05T17:22:55.831Z · score: 31 (14 votes)

Upcoming AMA with Holden Karnofsky on job openings at the Open Philanthropy Project (Monday March 26, starting 9:30 am Pacific)

2018-03-23T13:57:53.133Z · score: 9 (9 votes)

A contact person for the EA community

2018-01-12T17:04:14.404Z · score: 52 (53 votes)

Changes to the EA Forum

2017-07-02T17:34:18.441Z · score: 19 (23 votes)

Upcoming AMA with Luke Muehlhauser on consciousness and moral patienthood (June 28, starting 9am Pacific)

2017-06-21T21:56:48.696Z · score: 13 (15 votes)

A mental health resource for EA community

2017-05-06T02:07:05.630Z · score: 24 (21 votes)

Advisory panel at CEA

2017-03-07T01:49:08.971Z · score: 22 (28 votes)

Practical political action on global health

2017-02-27T15:01:54.575Z · score: 22 (22 votes)

Clarifying the Giving What We Can pledge

2017-02-06T20:07:29.719Z · score: 39 (39 votes)

EAs write about where they give

2016-12-09T16:00:28.601Z · score: 18 (18 votes)

Running an EA reading group

2016-12-02T16:21:45.435Z · score: 14 (14 votes)

Making EA groups more welcoming

2016-07-29T01:09:18.503Z · score: 19 (21 votes)

Guidelines on depicting poverty

2016-03-28T14:24:32.423Z · score: 22 (36 votes)

Against segregating EAs

2016-01-21T16:15:37.410Z · score: 29 (39 votes)

An embarrassment of riches

2015-11-19T18:23:28.370Z · score: 23 (23 votes)

Burnout and self-care

2015-10-23T13:15:26.672Z · score: 20 (20 votes)

Meetup : Boston dinner/discussion

2015-02-20T02:47:41.839Z · score: 0 (0 votes)

On making spaces friendlier to parents

2015-01-27T22:06:13.728Z · score: 11 (15 votes)

How much does it cost to have a child?

2014-12-24T15:06:18.236Z · score: 14 (14 votes)

Aim high, even if you fall short

2014-10-11T17:26:53.809Z · score: 28 (28 votes)

Where I'm giving and why: Julia Wise

2013-12-27T20:05:48.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes)

Giving now vs. later: a summary

2013-07-23T04:00:39.000Z · score: 10 (10 votes)


2013-06-21T04:00:03.000Z · score: 31 (31 votes)