FHI is hiring a project manager 2017-01-27T12:43:24.526Z


Comment by kdbscott on How to best address Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)? · 2020-11-23T20:12:51.251Z · EA · GW

+1 to stretching and mobilization, helped for me. Rock climbing helped my partner.

(the best theory I've found so far, but hard to tell if true) Often times muscle injury prevention is helped with teaching your brain/body how to activate the muscle in healthy ways (in addition to rest/stretching/etc). Sometimes much of the problem is your brain/muscles are trying to protect other muscles that are being used poorly, and this compounds (the 'helping' muscles get overworked, and other muscles try to save those ones, etc). 

Comment by kdbscott on How to best address Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)? · 2020-11-23T20:06:17.823Z · EA · GW

One thing that helped a lot for me was  using a keyboard with thumb keys (especially replacing keys where I typically used my pinkies like backspace, enter, cmd/ctrl, and shift). Faster to learn than dvorak and imo a more effective intervention.

I used an Ergodox EZ, there's also Keyboardio, Kinesis, and others.

This feels like an area where our society is insane:  our strongest, most dextrous fingers share A SINGLE KEY on the keyboard. 

Comment by kdbscott on Parenting: Things I wish I could tell my past self · 2020-09-15T23:50:59.302Z · EA · GW

Thanks for putting this together Michelle, and congrats! Would love to see something like annual updates :)

Comment by kdbscott on EA Assembly & Call for Speakers · 2015-08-27T20:26:45.865Z · EA · GW

Hey all,

The EA Book Club will be meeting before this assembly (2:30pm Eastern time) to discuss Will MacAskill's new book, Doing Good Better. RSVP Here.

p.s. I'm excited to hear about projects during the Assembly, and possibly share my own (just applied!)

Comment by kdbscott on January Open Thread · 2015-01-19T20:45:52.985Z · EA · GW

Does anyone know of good investigations of the impact of technological unemployment? Any EA people/orgs that have looked at it?

Comment by kdbscott on Why I Don't Account for Moral Uncertainty · 2015-01-10T09:12:18.161Z · EA · GW

One aspect of my moral uncertainty has to do with my impact on other people.

If other people have different moral systems/priorities, then isn't 'helping' them a projection of your own moral preferences?

On the one hand, I'm pretty sure nobody wants malaria - so it seems simple to label malaria prevention as a good thing. On the other hand, the people you are helping probably have very different moral tastes, which means they could think that your altruism is useless or even negative. Does that matter?

I think this is a pretty noob-level question, so maybe you can point me to where I can read more about this.

Comment by kdbscott on Peter's Personal Review for Oct-Dec 2014 · 2015-01-03T19:40:51.990Z · EA · GW

I was unaware there was a desktop app. There is, and they just released global shortcuts, which has helped a lot!

I'll probably write a post on this, but I think it would disappoint people If it's too weird I'll just stop reading! I like my familiarity points system, but when you publish everything online it might be prudent to consider weirdness. Perhaps a shareable document for those interested?

Comment by kdbscott on Peter's Personal Review for Oct-Dec 2014 · 2015-01-03T17:35:56.632Z · EA · GW

Thank you for posting this Peter, I find these useful!

A couple questions:

1) How do you use Toggl? Desktop app? Mobile? Do you also use Rescuetime? I've found it difficult to use Toggl when I'm away from the computer, during social/break/food/cleaning/interruptions/errands/other time. Maybe I just need to get in the habit of pulling out my phone and start/stopping the timer? 2) How do you do food? I spend a lot of time on food (buying, cooking, eating) each week, and I enjoy it but would be open to time saving techniques (especially when it comes to veggies)

Thanks again!

Comment by kdbscott on Help a Canadian give with a tax-deduction by swapping donations with them! · 2014-12-16T17:37:50.507Z · EA · GW

Commenting here to express my willingness to participate, however this pans out. I expect my contribution won't be more than a couple hundred dollars.

Comment by kdbscott on Generic good advice: do intense exercise often · 2014-12-15T12:12:27.256Z · EA · GW

Thanks Robert, this is great!

Do you listen to any media while you're exercising? Music? Books on tape?

Comment by kdbscott on Figuring Good Out - Launch Thread · 2014-12-03T19:42:14.881Z · EA · GW

I prefer Bitton's, because otherwise it seems like "good" is modifying "figuring out".

Cool topic, but I'm still trying to figure out what EA is about! I have a feeling that I'll be able to articulate a blind spot eventually.

Comment by kdbscott on Spitballing EA career ideas · 2014-12-02T11:29:17.743Z · EA · GW


If you're looking for cool socially-oriented for-profits in the developing world, maybe we could open up the question to the FB group.

Comment by kdbscott on Should we launch a podcast about high-impact projects and people? · 2014-12-01T18:55:25.069Z · EA · GW

This sounds like a really neat project. A few questions:

  • Would you want to include editing? Music?
  • What length would you want to target? 1 hour? 20 minutes?
  • Any idea of what line of questioning you might pursue? Impact metrics? Career plans? Hobbies? Personal philosophy? All of the above?
Comment by kdbscott on Spitballing EA career ideas · 2014-12-01T15:09:04.939Z · EA · GW

Perhaps Ben meant social entrepreneurship, which is often geared towards the developing world? Forbes 30 under 30 has some ideas for what those projects can be. If you don't like those, I recommend filtering through the Ashoka fellows. The most recent Ashoka fellow started a foundation/for-profit combo called Soronko Solutions, which teaches kids programming and sells tech solutions to startups.


In general, if you're going to run a normal for-profit business in the developing world that sells products or provides a service, you're probably not going to make very much money. Money goes further in the developing world because you don't make as much.

If you want to help other people, the logic is to register as a non-profit and get some of those philanthropy dollars. Many non-profits work to cultivate entrepreneurship, with a few approaches:

I've probably done a terrible job of introducing the topic, but I'm going to cut myself off before the rest of my day disappears.

Comment by kdbscott on Spitballing EA career ideas · 2014-11-30T21:12:49.106Z · EA · GW

Are you trying to imagine like a silicon valley of the developing world?

Comment by kdbscott on You have a set amount of "weirdness points". Spend them wisely. · 2014-11-28T14:00:30.504Z · EA · GW

Nice summary Ryan.

Indeed, I think the biggest challenge in terms of spreading EA is what I call "extended responsibility." Many people have difficulty taking responsibility for their own lives, let alone their family or community. EA asks you to take responsibility for the whole world, and then carry that responsibility with you for your whole life. Holy crap.

After that, the next big ask is for rational methodologies. Even if people take responsibility for their kids, they probably will rely on intuition and availability heuristics.

So discussion around EA advocacy (which is what I believe to be the topic here) could be better focused around "how to move people towards extended responsibility and rational methodologies".

Of course, that could seem like a soft approach that doesn't immediately get donations to GiveDirectly. Some of the strategies I outlined in my other comment can be used in an instance where you'd like to hard sell.

Comment by kdbscott on You have a set amount of "weirdness points". Spend them wisely. · 2014-11-28T09:57:25.899Z · EA · GW

Hey Peter,

I think it's important to highlight that this article is about weirdness in the context of advocacy.

While I enjoyed the message, I'm concerned about the negative approach. People (especially weird ones) tend to be afraid of social rejection, and setting up a framework for failure (spending too many weirdness points) instead of a framework for success (winning familiarity points) can create a culture of fear/guilt around one's identity. I believe this is why some EAs had a cautious reaction to this article.

I love connecting with people, and I've found the most effective way to do so is to be vulnerable, instead of conservative. This has psychological and philosophical underpinnings, which I don't have room to expound on here.

So I propose a different metric: familiarity points. People want to affirm you, just as they want to be affirmed. We are all (including EAs, I've discovered) fundamentally human in how we've figured out how the world works. If you can tap into the basic emotions and thoughts that have brought you to your position, in a way that is familiar to others, then you can share your perspective and gain familiarity points at the same time.

You can also gain easy familiarity points with something that a lot of people are comfortable with, like talking about sports or movies. These are cheap points and not very valuable, but you can leverage them if you dig a little deeper. If you've both seen Inception, great. But if you can both talk about idiosyncrasies in Christopher Nolan's directing over his past 5 movies, then you're getting more familiarity points. You've found something that you're both weird about, and this gains you FAR more traction than simply “not scaring them off”.

Once you have gained enough familiarity points, you can start introducing unfamiliar ideas, but from a much better grounding. “You know, I was thinking about how Nolan portrays the world's collapse in Interstellar, and I was wondering what existential risks are really a problem, so I started reading material from FHI.” This is the foot-in-the-door technique, but since you already have familiarity points, you've got a warm lead, instead of a cold one (to continue the sales lingo). Or, you can use the door-in-face technique: “speaking of Interstellar, I have some crazy ideas about AI development.” Because you have familiarity points, your interlocutor wants to hear more – they consider you a kindred spirit, and thus might have some great new information (you are crazy like me, I want to hear your crazy ideas).

Of course, it's also important to incorporate expectation-setting and have preexisting constructions for conversation entry and the “close”. But I'm getting too long-winded. Maybe I should write a post.