Posts

Khorton's Shortform 2019-08-17T12:02:26.342Z · score: 8 (2 votes)
Why do EA events attract more men than women? Focus group data 2019-05-18T13:29:24.187Z · score: 77 (42 votes)
What skills would you like 1-5 EAs to develop? 2019-03-01T11:01:11.654Z · score: 39 (26 votes)
Are men more likely to attend EA London events? Attendance data, 2016-2018. 2018-08-09T15:51:29.187Z · score: 36 (34 votes)
Effective Volunteering 2018-01-24T16:09:11.731Z · score: 19 (15 votes)

Comments

Comment by khorton on Avoiding Munich's Mistakes: Advice for CEA and Local Groups · 2020-10-14T20:00:26.126Z · score: 23 (13 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks Oli. So I guess this article is arguing that EA Munich was either mistaken about Robin Hanson's character or they were prioritizing reputation over character?

I find this discussion very uncomfortable because I really don't like publicly saying "I have concerns about the impact an individual has on this community" - I prefer that individual groups like EA Munich make the decision on their own and as discreetly as possible - but it seems the only way they could defend themselves is to publicly state everything they dislike about Robin Hanson. I know they've said a couple things already but I don't love that we're encouraging a continued public prosecution and defense of Robin Hanson's character.

Comment by khorton on Avoiding Munich's Mistakes: Advice for CEA and Local Groups · 2020-10-14T18:56:18.220Z · score: 9 (15 votes) · EA · GW

This is quite a long article so forgive me if I've missed it, but it seems like you're arguing that someone's general character - for example, whether they have a history of embezzling money or using racial slurs - shouldn't affect whether or not we invite them to speak at EA events. Whether or not we invite them should only depends on the quality of their ideas, not their reputation or past harmful actions. Is that what you're saying?

Comment by khorton on What types of charity will be the most effective for creating a more equal society? · 2020-10-14T09:45:36.666Z · score: 9 (5 votes) · EA · GW

"Note that the author didn't say "if we think claim X is true, what should we do, but please let's stay focused and not argue about claim X here" but instead "I think claim X is true - given that, what should we do?""

I think this is just pedantic - if the writer knew the "in group" way of asking you to stay on topic, you would respect their wishes, but because they're new you refuse. I don't think it's welcoming or kind at all.

Comment by khorton on What types of charity will be the most effective for creating a more equal society? · 2020-10-13T18:28:34.966Z · score: -3 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I downvoted this comment because the original poster specifically asked people to accept that inequality was a major problem as the premise and work from there - the first half of your answer ignores their request and I don't think that's very polite.

Comment by khorton on What types of charity will be the most effective for creating a more equal society? · 2020-10-13T18:26:46.967Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I'd include the Jubilee Debt Campaign in this list as well, which campaigns for cancelling the debts of poor countries (especially when that debt was agreed to by a dictator who's no longer in power!) https://jubileedebt.org.uk/

Comment by khorton on Correlations Between Cause Prioritization and the Big Five Personality Traits · 2020-09-25T18:07:21.838Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Your writing style and visuals made this a very enjoyable post to read

Comment by khorton on might targeting malnutrition (not undernourishment!) be an important cause area? · 2020-09-20T16:22:51.150Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I would guess (though I could easily be wrong!) that more than 2x annually is spent on nutrition programs than mental health programs. But there are a lot of different ways to fight malnutrition. You might be able to find a specific intervention that's particularly cost-effective and can make a big difference. If you do find something like that, please post about it!

Comment by khorton on The Years 0 and 1 of the Policy Entrepreneurship Network · 2020-09-18T18:04:28.165Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the update! Are you planning to public your plans for 2020-21?

Comment by Khorton on [deleted post] 2020-09-16T18:23:43.654Z

Yes, that was one! I thought there might have been another on the Robin Hanson thread but I don't see it with a quick skim so maybe not

Comment by Khorton on [deleted post] 2020-09-14T20:36:17.833Z

Yeah, that makes sense. I think I've seen this post referenced twice in the last few weeks as justification for people's poor behaviour on the Forum, so I think it's really important that there's a clear message that people shouldn't be really blunt and call others "crybabies" if they're uncomfortable, but there may have been even kinder ways to approach it.

I think this conversation shows that unkind feedback is no longer welcome in the EA community though, which is a good signal to send!

Comment by Khorton on [deleted post] 2020-09-13T11:41:39.418Z

Don't you think asking GiveWell to either add a disclaimer to posts they disagree with or take them down is a reasonable thing to ask for? I think that could be pretty useful, personally.

EDIT: Also I didn't infer that this is still Holden's style because Sanjay says it's not in the first paragraph.

Comment by khorton on Judgement as a key need in EA · 2020-09-13T11:13:54.126Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Oh got it! Sorry I missed it, thanks

Comment by khorton on Judgement as a key need in EA · 2020-09-12T17:34:03.507Z · score: 11 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Hi Ben, almost everything you write about in your post is specific to forecasting. Do you think good judgment is primarily about being able to forecast well? Or is that just the only part of good judgment you feel confident advising people on?

Comment by khorton on Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident · 2020-09-10T23:20:42.652Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I've also wondered about this.

Comment by khorton on Asking for advice · 2020-09-09T20:24:43.534Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Oh, actually that makes me feel better too!

Comment by khorton on Asking for advice · 2020-09-09T20:23:08.465Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Most likely! I guess we'll just have to test it and see!

Comment by khorton on Asking for advice · 2020-09-09T19:09:12.041Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Don't feel great about that, for the same reasons as before - it prioritizes your comfort and schedule over mine, which is kind of rude if you're asking me for a favour.

But like other people, I don't necessarily endorse these feelings, and they're not super strong. It's fine for people to keep sending me calendly links.

Comment by khorton on Are there any other pro athlete aspiring EAs? · 2020-09-09T18:38:10.709Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · EA · GW

Hi Ryan, I think your comment is useful but incorrect as it's written. Your comment implies that the intelligence or rationality of athletes is a major factor in whether this organisation will be successful. I've seen vaguely EA-related outreach to founders, poker players, and people who inherit loads of money. The thing these groups have in common are that they've got lots of money to donate that they got all at once, which athletes also have. I don't think we should get hung up on "intelligence", rationality or ability to think in bets.

Comment by khorton on Asking for advice · 2020-09-09T16:19:57.077Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I think it's a bit of both. I'm particularly annoyed if someone asks me for a favour and then send a calendly with only a couple slots, or slots that don't make sense in my time zone. I'm very very annoyed if I say "How's Monday at 8?" and they say, "I think that should be fine, can you check my Calendly?"

But overall I think it's a status thing. Instead of starting from my preferences, I'm put in the position of picking which of their preferences is the least inconvenient for me. It's perfectly functional, but I don't get to be the star.

Comment by khorton on Asking for advice · 2020-09-09T11:39:49.436Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I find calendly particularly annoying when my interlocutor doesn't seem to make any effort to consider my schedule. For example, if they're asking me for a favour or some feedback, I say okay, and then instead of asking when's good for me they say "Great! Here's my calendly!"

It mostly seems like a status/deference thing.

Comment by khorton on How have you become more (or less) engaged with EA in the last year? · 2020-09-09T11:33:39.951Z · score: 43 (21 votes) · EA · GW

My guess would be something similar. I thought the comment was basically fine, although I think it was a distraction to assert the "male variability hypothesis" is true - I think Dale should have focused on conversation norms.

If I were to upvote the comment, it would be because it was written kindly and clearly and furthered the conversation.

If I were to downvote the comment, it would be because Dale seemed to assume I didn't understand that sometimes these conversations are relevant to improving the world. I do understand that, and I'm complaining about how often these kinds of comments are defended in totally useless and irrelevant settings. So that feels a little patronising.

Comment by khorton on How have you become more (or less) engaged with EA in the last year? · 2020-09-09T11:23:44.437Z · score: 29 (14 votes) · EA · GW

I'd be a lot less annoyed about it in this particular conversation - I've seen it brought up in much less relevant contexts.

Comment by khorton on Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident · 2020-09-08T23:36:59.002Z · score: 8 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I don't know anything about Leverage but I can think of another situation where someone involved in the rationalist community was exposed as having misogynistic and white supremacist anonymous online accounts. (They only had loose ties to the rationalist community, it came up another way, but it concerned me.)

Comment by khorton on How have you become more (or less) engaged with EA in the last year? · 2020-09-08T22:30:55.108Z · score: 37 (29 votes) · EA · GW

I got involved in the EA community so that I would have friends who are generous and motivated by helping others. I'm still hanging out with my in person EA friends, and meeting new people through a career-specific EA network and WANBAM, but I'm less keen on hanging out with EAs online in general.

I've seen a few cases where EAs online say things that are pretty racist or sexist. They'll be defended with comments like "we need to be free to break be intellectual ground and find the truth", but I don't understand how telling me I'm less likely to be a genius because I'm a woman at a social event makes anyone any better at improving the world. It certainly doesn't make me better at improving the world.

Comment by khorton on Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident · 2020-09-07T12:42:53.441Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · EA · GW

"I think a model by which people gradually "warm up" to "more advanced" discourse norms is false."

I don't think that's the main benefit of disallowing certain forms of speech at certain events. I'd imagine it'd be to avoid making EA events attractive and easily accessible for, say, white supremacists. I'd like to make it pretty costly for a white supremacist to be able to share their ideas at an EA event.

Comment by khorton on Giving and receiving feedback · 2020-09-07T08:00:20.880Z · score: 9 (6 votes) · EA · GW

If you're a manager or giving "performance review" type feedback, often good to ask the person what they thought of their performance before starting, so you can start from some shared assumptions.

Comment by khorton on Giving and receiving feedback · 2020-09-07T07:59:15.663Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Not sure if you mentioned it, but if you are a manager or asked to review someone's work regularly, it's very useful to point out where they improved. You're more likely to motivate change by pointing out positive improvements than always picking out things that went wrong, especially if they really are improving!

If during talk #1, they ran over time by 10 minutes, and in talk #2 they ran over time by 1 minute, it's important to highlight that as an improvement while still discussing the importance of not running over time. If talks 3-6 all run to time, it's good to mention that occasionally, just so the person knows you notice and appreciate their efforts. But if talk #7 runs over by a couple minutes again, I wouldn't mention it - they've clearly already internalised your feedback and they're probably thinking of it themselves.

Comment by khorton on EricHerboso's Shortform · 2020-09-04T16:38:15.003Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I think this is really nicely written but I'm not sure how many people see it if it's just on your short form

Comment by khorton on Is value drift net-positive, net-negative, or neither? · 2020-09-04T00:05:21.117Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · EA · GW

The current world is pretty accepting of value drift if you drift towards something good.

Everyone who joins EA has drifted away from another set of values!

Comment by khorton on AMA: Owen Cotton-Barratt, RSP Director · 2020-09-03T14:31:18.983Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I strong-upvoted this because it's super clear and detailed and the kind of thing I want to see more of on the Forum, but I haven't actually read the original comment so don't know if this analysis is right, just to avoid confusion

Comment by khorton on A few really quick ideas about personal finance · 2020-09-03T10:43:01.710Z · score: 10 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I agree that this is a good time to invest in yourself if you're saving a bit of money. Even just buying "things" that will improve your quality of life, like a quality frying pan or comfortable pillow, might be a reasonable option right now.

Obviously I'm also keen for people to save and donate money!

Comment by khorton on Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident · 2020-09-02T17:58:11.643Z · score: 8 (9 votes) · EA · GW

"Courts have established procedures for ensuring that both judges and the juries are relatively unbiased, fair, and (somewhat) rational. There's probably some interesting theory here we could learn from."

In this analogy, I don't feel like I'm commenting as a rational member of the jury, I feel like I'm commenting as an emotional witness to the impact of tolerating sexist speech in the EA community.

Comment by khorton on Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident · 2020-09-01T19:28:31.929Z · score: 10 (4 votes) · EA · GW

That's a very helpful overview, thank you.

Comment by khorton on Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident · 2020-09-01T15:20:46.747Z · score: 19 (13 votes) · EA · GW

Yes, I'm not saying that Robin Hanson is a criminal, and it's good to point out that he's not pro-rape. Thanks for that.

I was thinking about what it would look like for the whole EA community to generally try to avoid upsetting people who have been traumatized by rape, and comparing that to if the EA community tried to avoid upsetting people who have been traumatized by trolley accidents, which was a suggestion above.

My intuition about the base rate of people who have experienced sexual assault and how often sexual assault happens at EA events is probably different from yours which may explain our different approaches to this topic.

Comment by khorton on Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident · 2020-09-01T12:58:51.723Z · score: 19 (13 votes) · EA · GW

If you think my arguments are incorrect, it would be useful to explain how rather than silently downvoting.

I am starting to wonder if I will be downvoted on the EA Forum any time I point out that rape is bad. That can't be why people downvote these comments, right?

Comment by khorton on Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident · 2020-09-01T10:50:50.078Z · score: 7 (19 votes) · EA · GW

Comparing trolley accidents to rape is pretty ridiculous for a few reasons:

  1. Rape is much more common than being run over by trolleys.
  2. Rape is a very personal form of a violence. I'm not sure anyone has ever been run over by a trolley on purpose in all of history.
  3. If you're talking to a person about trolley accidents, they're very unlikely to actually run you over, no matter how cheerful they seem, because most people don't have access to trolleys. If you're talking to a man about rape and he thinks it's not a big deal, there's some chance he'll actually rape you. In some cases, the conversation includes an implicit threat.
Comment by khorton on Some thoughts on the EA Munich // Robin Hanson incident · 2020-08-29T07:46:44.574Z · score: 31 (32 votes) · EA · GW

EDIT: I realized that discussing this will not help me do more good or live a happier life so I'd rather not, but I'll leave it up for the record. You are welcome to reply to it.

Something I don't see discussed here is that there's a difference between a) not inviting a live speaker who has a history of being unpredictable and insensitive compared to b) refusing to engage with any of their ideas.

At this point, for my own mental health, I would not engage with Robin Hanson. If I knew he were going to be at an event and I'd have to interact with him, I wouldn't go. But I still might read one of his books - they've been through an editing process so I trust them to be more sensitive and more useful.

I see a lot of people saying "no one involved with EA would really object to Robin Hanson at an event" but there are actually a lot of us. And you can insult me however you want to - you can say that this makes me small-minded or irrational - but that won't make it an "effective" use of my time to hang around someone who's consistently unkind.

Comment by khorton on DonyChristie's Shortform · 2020-08-26T07:51:12.909Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Omg I can't believe that someone downvoted you for admitting your insecurities on your own shortform!! That's absolutely savage, I'm so sorry.

Comment by khorton on It's Not Hard to Be Morally Excellent; You Just Choose Not To Be · 2020-08-24T23:43:13.878Z · score: 14 (11 votes) · EA · GW

I appreciate the challenge this article presents, and it might prompt me to think more deeply about my own morality, but I can't help but feel insulted at the same time.

Moral excellence is MUCH harder than climbing a mountain, dieting, or walking ten miles because morality has no objective measure of success. You know when you've climbed a mountain; you don't know when you've become morally excellent. I still don't know whether I should prioritize kindness and gentleness in my everyday life or taking on a demanding and draining career which makes me more irritable but ultimately saves lives. I'm not sure anyone knows.

Comment by khorton on DonyChristie's Shortform · 2020-08-22T17:52:03.801Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · EA · GW

It's interesting that the Oxford PhDs are the ones you worry about! Me, I worry about the Bay Area Rat Pack.

Comment by khorton on The Case for Education · 2020-08-16T16:15:24.291Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I see you'd like to start a new organisation competing with universities, but I don't see you talking about any of the existing programmes or certifications that compete with universities. Have you looked into any of those? If so, how would your offer be different? And why did you write about your proposed new organisation on the EA Forum - what are you looking for?

Comment by khorton on What are novel major insights from longtermist macrostrategy or global priorities research found since 2015? · 2020-08-15T11:06:50.252Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · EA · GW

In that case, I stand corrected on the unilateralist's curse - I thought it was more mainstream

Comment by khorton on What are novel major insights from longtermist macrostrategy or global priorities research found since 2015? · 2020-08-15T11:02:15.380Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I agree they're relevant to these areas! But I'm not sure that people had these areas in mind when they had these insights originally. The idea of AI as a 4th industrial revolution was pushed forward by economists, from what I can see? And then long-termists picked up the idea because of course it's relevant.

Comment by khorton on What are novel major insights from longtermist macrostrategy or global priorities research found since 2015? · 2020-08-14T16:33:37.368Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

The examples feel weird to me, because the question asks for "insights from longtermist macrostrategy or global priorities research" but the insight about AI and the unilateralist's curse don't come from longtermist macrostrategy or global priorities research

Comment by khorton on EA Meta Fund Grants – July 2020 · 2020-08-14T09:48:31.787Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I am not the meta fund, but I'd be excited to see a variety of quality mentoring schemes in EA with different goals (just like I'd be excited to see a variety of career coaching organisations and charity evaluators)

Comment by khorton on When Planning Your Career, Start Early · 2020-08-14T09:46:29.744Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · EA · GW

You don't have to know what you're going to do in 40 years, but it's a very good idea to try different internships or summer jobs and make a plan for what kinds of jobs you'll apply for after uni and how to be a competitive applicant.

Comment by khorton on CEA Mid-year update (2020) · 2020-08-11T11:05:44.516Z · score: 22 (11 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the update. Glad to see things are becoming more stable.

Comment by khorton on What questions would you like to see forecasts on from the Metaculus community? · 2020-08-11T08:04:55.826Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I agree this would be a genuine problem. I think it would be a little less of a problem if the question being forecasted wasn't about the EA communities beliefs but instead something about the state of AI/climate change/pandemics themselves

Comment by khorton on The 80,000 Hours job board is the skeleton of effective altruism stripped of all misleading ideologies · 2020-08-07T21:14:25.872Z · score: 14 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I am curious about your disagreement with 80k on what types of jobs EAs should look for, if you ever want to get into it

Comment by khorton on vaidehi_agarwalla's Shortform · 2020-08-05T19:39:50.866Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

In the UK could you access application numbers with a Freedom of Information request?