Coherence arguments imply a force for goal-directed behavior 2021-04-06T21:44:58.901Z
What is going on in the world? 2021-01-18T04:47:22.615Z
A vastly faster vaccine rollout 2021-01-16T00:23:24.522Z
But exactly how complex and fragile? 2019-12-13T07:05:22.919Z
Impact Purchase: Round 2 2015-05-21T20:07:40.495Z
Impact purchase first round results 2015-04-10T03:43:37.056Z
The economy of weirdness 2015-03-09T06:00:52.754Z
When should an Effective Altruist be vegetarian? 2014-11-23T05:23:51.290Z
Why is effective altruism new and obvious? 2014-09-30T22:10:16.444Z
Superintelligence reading group 2014-09-01T05:55:19.000Z
Apples and oranges? Some initial thoughts on comparing diverse benefits 2014-05-29T15:51:55.000Z
Which stage of effectiveness matters most? 2013-10-22T17:23:10.000Z
Effectiveness or altruism? 2013-07-10T04:00:11.000Z
Using time effectively as a student 2013-06-17T04:00:42.000Z


Comment by Katja_Grace on Why Hasn't Effective Altruism Grown Since 2015? · 2021-03-09T18:42:20.100Z · EA · GW

I respond here:

Comment by Katja_Grace on Why I'm concerned about Giving Green · 2021-03-02T22:08:42.648Z · EA · GW

>I would be very excited to see research by Giving Green into whether their approach of recommending charities which are, by their own analysis, much less cost effective than the best options is indeed justified.

Several confusions I have:

  • When did they say these were much less cost-effective? I thought they just failed to analyze cost effectiveness? (Which is also troubling, but different from what you are saying, so I'm confused)
  • What do you mean by it being justified? It looks like you mean 'does well on a comparison of immediate impact', but, supposing these things are likely to be interpreted as recommendations about what is most cost-effective, this approach sounds close to outright dishonesty, which seems like it would still not be justified. (I'm not sure to what extent they are presenting them that way.)
  • Do they explicitly say that this is their approach?
Comment by Katja_Grace on Four Organizations EAs Should Fully Fund for 2018 · 2017-12-13T20:51:41.660Z · EA · GW

Do you have quantitative views on the effectiveness of donating these organizations, that could be compared to other actions? (Or could you point me to any of the links go to something like that?) Sorry if I missed them.

Comment by Katja_Grace on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T04:23:47.514Z · EA · GW

It seems worth distinguishing 'effectiveness' in the sense of personal competence (as I guess is meant in the first case, e.g. 'reasonably sharp') and 'effectiveness' in the sense of trying to choose interventions by cost-effectiveness.

Also remember that selecting people to encourage in particular directions is a subset of selecting interventions. It may be that 'E not A' people are more likely to be helpful than 'A not E' people, but that chasing either group is less helpful than doing research on E that is helpful for whichever people already care about it. I think I have stronger feelings about E-improving interventions overall being good than about which people are more promising allies.

Comment by Katja_Grace on Collective Action and Individual Impact · 2015-06-02T04:23:29.267Z · EA · GW

Yeah, and among common intuitions I think. But I thought EAs were mostly consequentialists, so the intended role of obligations is not obvious to me.

Comment by Katja_Grace on Collective Action and Individual Impact · 2015-05-28T16:22:24.518Z · EA · GW

I'm curious about the implicit framework where some things are obligatory and some things are choices.

Comment by Katja_Grace on Impact purchase first round results · 2015-04-10T15:30:03.803Z · EA · GW

We evaluated all of the projects other than the three I specifically mentioned not evaluating. Sorry for not writing up the other evaluations - we just didn't have time. We bought the ones that gave us the most impact per dollar, according to our evaluations (and based on the prices people wanted for their work). So we didn't purchase Joao's work this round because we calculated that it was somewhat less cost-effective than the things we did purchase, given the price. We may still purchase it in a later round.

Comment by Katja_Grace on Why is effective altruism new and obvious? · 2014-11-08T10:14:09.423Z · EA · GW

Changing one's values does not more effectively promote the values one has initially, so it seems one should be averse to it. I think the expanding circle case is more complicated - the advocates of a wider circle are trying to convince the others that those others are mistaken about their own existing values, and that by consistency they must care about some entities they think they don't care about. This is why the phenomenon looks like an expanding circle - points just outside a circle look a lot like points just inside it, so consistency pushes the circle outwards (this doesn't explain why the circle expands rather than contracting).

Comment by Katja_Grace on Supportive Scepticism · 2014-10-07T16:09:02.519Z · EA · GW

It seems there are some common states where this comes up, such as when one person is doing a thing which they think is good, given personal constraints which are hidden to their conversation partner, and worries that they are harshly judged because the constraints are hidden. Or where one person is trying out a thing, because they think it might be very good, however they don't already think it is very good (except for VOI), and worry that others think they are actually advocating for something suboptimal. Or where one person doesn't think what they are doing is likely to be optimal, but struggles to find something actually better that they could feasibly do.

Perhaps it would be helpful if there was a thing you could say in these recognized circumstances to let your conversation partner know that you know that what you are doing doesn't look optimal, and you are already aware of the situation.

Comment by Katja_Grace on Why is effective altruism new and obvious? · 2014-10-02T07:17:03.556Z · EA · GW

the other is that the particular style in which the EA community pursues that idea (looking for interventions with robust academic evidence of efficacy, and then supporting organizations implementing those interventions that accountably have a high amount of intervention per marginal dollar) is novel, but mostly because the cultural background for it seeming possible as an option at all is new.

The kinds of evidence available for some EA interventions, e.g. existential risk ones, doesn't seem different in kind to the evidence probably available earlier in history. Even in the best cases, EAs often have to lean on a combination of more rigorous evidence and some not very rigorous or evidenced guesses about how indirect effects work out etc. So if the more rigorous evidence available were substantially less rigorous than it is, I think I would expect things to look pretty much the same, with us just having lower standards - e.g. only being willing to trust certain people's reports of how interventions were going. So I'm not convinced that some recently attained level of good evidence has much to do with the overall phenomenon of EA.

Comment by Katja_Grace on Why is effective altruism new and obvious? · 2014-10-02T05:35:58.372Z · EA · GW

I agree that those I mentioned are probably not the only contentious claims, and that the one you mention in particular is probably another.

Comment by Katja_Grace on Why is effective altruism new and obvious? · 2014-10-02T05:34:48.123Z · EA · GW

Interesting suggestions.

I'd expect the internet to make many minority causes and interests more successful by letting their rare supporters get together, and I think it has had this effect. However that doesn't seem to explain why they are minority causes to begin with.

Do you mean that before computer programming the philosophically minded just didn't have lucrative professions?

Have we recently passed some threshold in high quality evidence for what works in aid? I'd expect in future we think of 2014 level of evidence as low, and still say we only recently got good evidence.

Comment by Katja_Grace on Superintelligence reading group · 2014-09-16T03:17:42.933Z · EA · GW

This has begun:

Comment by Katja_Grace on High Impact Science · 2014-09-10T09:02:04.412Z · EA · GW

The last four paragraphs of this post are repeated from earlier, and appear to be cutting out some of the original post.

Comment by Katja_Grace on Cosmopolitanism · 2014-09-10T08:50:08.939Z · EA · GW

Good point. I have wondered before whether something like anti-cosmopolitanism sometimes accounts for disagreement that is attributed to anti-effectiveness or anti-altruism. Cosmopolitanism seems like a much more plausible thing for a human to dislike than effectiveness, especially given the popularity of effectiveness in other areas of life.