Comment by khorton on Legal psychedelic retreats launching in Jamaica · 2019-04-18T16:00:19.589Z · score: 8 (3 votes) · EA · GW

This is not an idea, it's an event that has already been planned. If this post was 'I think getting world leaders to use psychedelics would improve the long term future' or 'How we could decriminalize psychedelics in California' or even 'I'm hosting an event - how can I make it more useful?', I'd be more okay with it.

Comment by khorton on Legal psychedelic retreats launching in Jamaica · 2019-04-18T09:19:23.187Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Facebook. Twitter. Your telephone. There are plenty of ways to talk to other EAs.

I think potentially the disagreement is whether the Forum should be a one-stop-shop for everything EA or whether it should be reserved for a particular kind of information about EA. I think the EA Forum should be used for sharing ideas with the EA community and receiving useful feedback. I don't think this post is a good example of that.

(Also, I definitely didn't think Aaron was acting in bad faith! He said he was selling a thing to the EA community and I agreed he was selling a thing to the EA community. I have no problem with that, just keep it off the Forum.)

Comment by khorton on Legal psychedelic retreats launching in Jamaica · 2019-04-18T07:09:56.998Z · score: 8 (9 votes) · EA · GW

"I think self-promotion of both for-profit & non-profit projects that are being undertaken for EA reasons should be fair game for the Forum."

Maybe. This post did not convince me that the business was created 'for EA reasons.' And contrary to Forum standards, it was written to persuade, not to inform - otherwise why would there be no studies listed that found no effect or a negative effect? This is the kind of behaviour I expect from a promotional website, not the EA Forum.

Edit : If the goal is to give doctors a good experience before they prescribe it, that makes a lot of sense and could potentially do a lot of good... But I don't know any practising doctors in the EA community, so this is definitely the wrong place to advertise!

Comment by khorton on Legal psychedelic retreats launching in Jamaica · 2019-04-17T19:57:14.761Z · score: 21 (17 votes) · EA · GW

This feels inappropriate. I don't want to be sold things on the EA Forum.

Comment by khorton on Should EA grantmaking be subject to independent audit? · 2019-04-17T19:55:46.664Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA · GW

What level of audit are we talking about? Are we just talking about someone who ensures people aren't giving money to (undeserving) friends and family? Or are we talking about scrutinizing the decisions to some extent?

Comment by khorton on Reducing EA job search waste · 2019-04-17T06:55:59.543Z · score: 18 (9 votes) · EA · GW

I want more information, but I don't want information shared about me without my consent! I would definitely not work somewhere that shared my CV and application notes without my consent. This proposal is also illegal in Europe.

Comment by khorton on Political culture at the edges of Effective Altruism · 2019-04-12T18:28:09.406Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · EA · GW

I would take your response more seriously if you hadn't told everyone who commented that they had misunderstood your post.

If everyone's missing the point, presumably you should write the point more clearly?

Comment by khorton on Political culture at the edges of Effective Altruism · 2019-04-12T11:00:12.714Z · score: 4 (7 votes) · EA · GW

I was trying to figure out why I dislike this post so much, and I think this is why - the assumption that people in EA are correct and everyone else is incorrect, combined with a lack of depth when explaining why certain things topics are criticized, and missing several important critiques. (Normally I don't mind incomplete posts, but I think the tone combined with the list not being very good really bothered me.)

Comment by khorton on Long Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant decisions · 2019-04-12T07:33:56.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I think I agree, but why do you think so?

Comment by khorton on Who is working on finding "Cause X"? · 2019-04-11T20:30:00.989Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Their website suggests it wasn't independent.

'The primary issue for OPIS is the ethical imperative to reduce suffering. Linked to the effective altruism movement, they choose causes that are most likely to produce the largest impact, determined by what Leighton calls “a clear underlying philosophy which is suffering-focused”.'

Comment by khorton on Who in EA enjoys managing people? · 2019-04-11T07:42:39.627Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I enjoy managing at my policy job, and I'm actively working on growing that skill set, but I'm not sure how closely that aligns with your sub questions. I second the comment below - what kind of answer are you looking for?

Comment by khorton on Long Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant decisions · 2019-04-10T19:40:30.886Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Compensation is also good in case you ever retire and someone else with different financial needs takes over (but it doesn't seem super important - there are other things you could solve first).

Comment by khorton on Long Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant decisions · 2019-04-10T19:11:16.029Z · score: 16 (10 votes) · EA · GW

I think on a post with 100+ comments the quality of decisions is more likely to be bottlenecked by the quality of feedback than the quantity. Being able to explain why you think something is a bad idea usually results in higher quality feedback, which I think will result in better decisions than just getting a lot of quick intuition-based feedback.

Comment by khorton on Long Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant decisions · 2019-04-10T11:03:40.784Z · score: 25 (10 votes) · EA · GW

I would be in favour of this fund using ~5% of its money to pay for staff costs, including a permanent secretariat. The secretariat would probably decrease pressure on grantmakers a little, and improve grant/feedback quality a little, which makes the costs seem worth it. (I know you've already considered this and I want to encourage it!)

I imagine the secretariat would:

-Handle the admin of opening and advertising a funding round

-Respond to many questions on the Forum, Facebook, and by email, and direct more difficult questions to the correct person

-Coordinate the writing of Forum posts like this

-Take notes on what additional information grantmakers would like from applicants, contact applicants with follow-up questions, and suggest iterations of the application form

-(potentially) Manage handover to new grantmakers when current members step down

-(potentially) Sift through applications and remove those which are obviously inappropriate for the Long Term Future Fund

-(potentially) Provide a couple of lines of fairly generic but private feedback for applicants

Comment by khorton on Long Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant decisions · 2019-04-08T22:33:39.405Z · score: 44 (31 votes) · EA · GW

I'm happy that people are pushing back on some of these grants, and even happier that Habryka is responding to graciously. However, I'm concerned that some comments are bordering on unhelpfully personal.

I'd suggest that, when criticising a particular project, commentors should try to explain the rule or policy that would help grant-makers avoid the same problem in the future. That should also help us avoid making things personal.

Examples I stole from other comments and reworded:

-"I'm skeptical of the grant to X because I think grantmakers should recuse themselves from granting to their friends." (I saw this criticism but don't actually know who it's referring to.)

-"I don't think any EA Funds should be given to printing books that haven't been professionally edited."

-"I think that people like Lauren should have funds available after they burn out, but I don't think the Long-Term Future Fund is the right source of post-burnout funds."

Comment by khorton on Long Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant decisions · 2019-04-08T21:49:34.281Z · score: 23 (18 votes) · EA · GW

Downvoted for an unnecessarily unkind tone.

Comment by khorton on Innovating Institutions: Robin Hanson Arguing for Conducting Field Trials on New Institutions · 2019-04-02T06:52:28.398Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I would give him feedback, but frankly I find his proposal too confusing to critique. I've read it twice over three days now. At first, I thought he was referring to social institutions, especially because he used an example about driving. Then he claimed businesses are willing to do late-stage innovation and charities should fill in the gap.

What does he want innovated? Private institutions like charities and businesses, or public institutions?

If he had given any references to this allegedly thriving literature or any concrete examples of how one idea could go from academic to charity to business, that would have been more helpful. If he's just talking about people trying out academic ideas in, say, schools, we already do that, so that's not a very exciting argument for me.

Comment by khorton on Local Effective Altruism Network's New Focus for 2019 · 2019-03-31T13:26:39.100Z · score: -1 (4 votes) · EA · GW

If organizers really value the tech support you provide, why are you phasing it out?

Comment by khorton on The Case for the EA Hotel · 2019-03-31T13:25:05.043Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I'm confused. This post is arguing that the EA Hotel is a good way to encourage new projects, but from what I've seen, only a small minority of residents are founding projects. Many seem to be studying and/or blogging; a few are working for established EA organisations.

Comment by khorton on EA Hotel fundraiser 4: concrete outputs after 10 months · 2019-03-31T00:13:45.279Z · score: 1 (6 votes) · EA · GW

It would be helpful if you could also list how long each person stayed at the hotel. Some of these people seem to have produced very little for 10 months, but maybe they were only there for one month!

Comment by khorton on Altruistic action is dispassionate · 2019-03-30T18:17:52.751Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I'd agree with that, although it's not very catchy :P

Comment by khorton on Altruistic action is dispassionate · 2019-03-30T18:08:03.967Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I disagree with the claim 'Altruists are dispassionate' because it suggests that altruists have no feelings about anything, including outcomes for people they want to help.

I'd agree with the claim 'Altruists don't care who gets the credit.'

Comment by khorton on Altruistic action is dispassionate · 2019-03-30T17:41:21.306Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I agree with this paragraph: "The locus of their care is in the other people involved in the situation – if things go better for those people, the altruist is happy. If things go worse, the altruist is sad. It doesn't matter who helped those people, or what third parties thought of the situation.... "

But I don't think of the word 'dispassionate' ('not influenced by strong emotion') when I try to describe those behaviours. An altruistic person could have very strong feelings about the outcomes for the other person - I don't see how 'dispassionate' comes into it at all.

Comment by khorton on Why is the EA Hotel having trouble fundraising? · 2019-03-30T08:48:05.706Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA · GW

It depends on what you mean by 'how big.' The Facebook group has 2100 people. There are 31 local organizers. Socials usually have 50+ attendees (we've split them into newcomer and veteran socials, but they're still big enough that only David knows everyone). I personally know about 75 members of the EA London community, which means I know about 1/3 of the people at most events. Does that answer your question?

Comment by khorton on Why is the EA Hotel having trouble fundraising? · 2019-03-28T07:34:11.789Z · score: 5 (8 votes) · EA · GW

EAs are super into status. I'm really surprised you don't think it affects their behaviour at all.

Comment by khorton on Why is the EA Hotel having trouble fundraising? · 2019-03-28T07:31:51.797Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Yep, that's what I meant.

Comment by khorton on Why is the EA Hotel having trouble fundraising? · 2019-03-27T20:42:39.474Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I guess I find these scenarios hard to relate to because I can think of a lot of better solutions for 2 and 3 then the EA Hotel. Like 2 could work on their impactful project part time until it's good enough that someone would fund it (at which point the EA Hotel becomes really useful!), or they could become more involved in their local EA community or another community of donors. 3 could get a job at a startup so they better understand entrepreneurship, or take part in Charity Entrepreneurship. But yes, independent projects at the EA Hotel are better than the alternatives listed.

Comment by khorton on Why is the EA Hotel having trouble fundraising? · 2019-03-27T20:12:47.425Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I'm glad you've thought about feedback and that you have a system. I agree that 15 minutes a week from someone not intimately familiar with your project and subject area is probably much less useful than you'd get at work, although better than some PhD programs.

I think the counterfactual to running your own unsupervised project with 15 minutes a week of feedback is studying or working outside the EA community, and I think that's more useful for developing skills and high quality work in almost every case.

Comment by khorton on Why is the EA Hotel having trouble fundraising? · 2019-03-27T18:16:41.674Z · score: 16 (8 votes) · EA · GW

The EA Hotel would only be a top charity if it's producing higher quality work than other top charities.

Because the guests are always changing, and because the Hotel is new, we can't evaluate the work yet. We have to guess whether the work would be higher or lower quality than top charities.

A key factor for producing a large volume of quality work is feedback. Regular (eg daily or weekly) feedback helps you to focus on the right things, speed up or slow down, find better ways of doing things, and improve the quality of your work over time.

I don't expect the EA Hotel guests to be getting much high quality feedback. Many of them are working on very different projects from each other, and their peers are incentivized to be nice - it's not the kind of relationship a student has with a teacher or an employee has with a manager. In general, I think most EA Hotel guests are receiving significantly less quality feedback and mentorship than they would if they were working or studying in a formal program.

I would be less concerned about this if the average EA Hotel guest had several years of experience being mentored in their chosen field, but currently I would prefer for the majority of them to develop their skills in a way that gives them direct feedback before striking out on their own.

Comment by khorton on Why is the EA Hotel having trouble fundraising? · 2019-03-26T23:59:12.081Z · score: 2 (18 votes) · EA · GW

Because it's not as good a funding opportunity as the top charities currently out there.

Comment by khorton on Severe Depression and Effective Altruism · 2019-03-26T07:41:36.021Z · score: 8 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Hi garibaldi, I know that right now you feel like the only way you can do good is to make yourself feel bad. Based on your story, though, it sounds like you're still quite young, and life is long! Here are some ways you can help yourself meet your altruistic goals without feeling bad:

  1. Make friends who also want to help others. The EA Peer Support group or your local EA group are good places to start.
  2. Commit yourself to giving an amount you can be comfortable with whether you're feeling good or bad. For example, take the Giving What We Can pledge, which is 1% of your income for students or 10% when you're working.
  3. You say you're like to inherit from your parents in the future, but it sounds like you're concerned you won't be very generous with the money. Could you talk to your parents about those concerns and ask them to specify some percentage in their will that would be destined for charity? Ideally, they'd let you pick the charity (because the top charity will change over time), but perhaps they can decide if they're comfortable with you giving 5% or 25% to honour their legacy.
Comment by khorton on Apology · 2019-03-23T17:46:27.393Z · score: 67 (41 votes) · EA · GW

I'm glad there's a way for people to be able to raise concerns about a problem within the community, without telling the world they're a victim or fearing retaliation.

Comment by khorton on Suggestions for EA wedding vows? · 2019-03-22T16:13:42.607Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Congratulations! If you're interested in a more traditional reading, I've always been partial to Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, because it shows not only how you can help each other achieve your goals but also how God or your wider community can make your marriage stronger ('cord of three stands' in verse 12).

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Comment by khorton on [Link] A Modest Proposal: Eliminate Email · 2019-03-19T23:15:01.843Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Yes, you're right - including it in your signature is better.

Comment by khorton on The Importance of Truth-Oriented Discussions in EA · 2019-03-19T10:40:47.672Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I'm not sure what you mean by 'low emotional control.' Are you talking about people who can't control their reactions, or who can but find it tiring, or who can but choose not to?

I'm very emotional, but if someone's rude to me in the context of a government negotiation, no one would be able to tell I even heard the insult (depending - in some contexts it's strategic to assert yourself and set boundaries).

If someone's rude to me in a social context, though, they're going to get an earful! I don't get paid to take your crap, so when someone insults me, either they're going to hear about it or I'm going to leave.

So... Is that a low level of emotional control, or a high level of emotional control? What exactly are you referring to?

Comment by khorton on [Link] A Modest Proposal: Eliminate Email · 2019-03-18T22:25:43.024Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

This would actually be very easy at any sympathetic organisation. Just set an autoreply to say 'I check my emails at 9 am every day,' or 'I check my emails on Tuesday afternoons.'

Comment by khorton on [Link] A Modest Proposal: Eliminate Email · 2019-03-18T17:31:12.930Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · EA · GW

There are a few EA organisations (CEA, LEAN, Founder's Pledge) that should definitely NOT give up email. That's because their main purpose is coordinating, rather than creating. They are like the talent agency that Cal talks about in the blog post below; if anything, they should be more responsive than they currently are. http://calnewport.com/blog/2018/11/01/you-are-not-a-talent-agent-so-why-do-you-work-like-one/

Comment by khorton on The career coordination problem · 2019-03-16T19:56:06.989Z · score: 10 (9 votes) · EA · GW

I agree we have a coordination problem. It might be easier to reach this using the Annual EA Census rather than through 80,000 Hours. It would also be worth emphasizing future needs more strongly.

Comment by khorton on The Importance of Truth-Oriented Discussions in EA · 2019-03-16T09:27:46.617Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you!

Comment by khorton on An Argument to Prioritize "Tithing to Catalyze a Paradigm Shift and Negate Meta Existential Risk" · 2019-03-15T20:11:40.652Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Pedantic comment: the word 'tithe' means 'tenth,' so '20% tithe' is a little bit counterintuitive.

Comment by khorton on The Importance of Truth-Oriented Discussions in EA · 2019-03-15T19:26:31.973Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Not for me! I really don't understand what you mean.

Comment by khorton on Are men more likely to attend EA London events? Attendance data, 2016-2018. · 2019-03-15T18:48:58.878Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I have the follow-up sitting on my computer at home, but for personal reasons I am unable to actually go home and upload it, so it might be another couple of months before I can share it.

Comment by khorton on The Importance of Truth-Oriented Discussions in EA · 2019-03-14T18:08:09.979Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · EA · GW

I definitely prefer being in gender-balanced settings to being the only woman in a group of men, so I agree that's a preference. You seem to be suggesting that if it's a preference, it's not the cause of our homogeneity, but I think the preference to be near similar people is a good explanation for why EA isn't very diverse. (cf Thomas Schelling's work on informal segregation)

Comment by khorton on Potential funding opportunity for woman-led EA organization · 2019-03-14T17:14:47.393Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Yeah, I don't know of any EA organisations that primarily serve North American women and children.

Comment by khorton on The Importance of Truth-Oriented Discussions in EA · 2019-03-14T10:44:53.272Z · score: 30 (12 votes) · EA · GW

In the Christians in EA group, someone (who had AFAIK never posted before) posted a 60-page document. This document outlined his theory that the best EA cause was to support the propogation of Mormonism, because any civilization based on the equality of men and women was doomed to fail (he saw Islam as another viable civilization, but inferior to Mormonism).

He wanted me to debate him point by point in his argument. I was not willing to argue with him, because it was a waste of my time.

What do you think is the best way to handle this from an 'epistemic honour' approach?

Comment by khorton on The Importance of Truth-Oriented Discussions in EA · 2019-03-14T08:18:18.414Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

"it usually isn’t actually very important if someone is wrong on the internet" It USUALLY isn't, but certain perspectives published in public spaces (eg Facebook groups with thousands of people) and left unchallenged are a PR risk.

Comment by khorton on Survey to Promote EA Mental Health · 2019-03-13T14:31:57.676Z · score: 11 (7 votes) · EA · GW

Hi Danica, this looks really interesting! A lot of your goals look very tricky to measure, though. How are you hoping to measure the prevalence or geographic spread of EA mental health problems if the survey is taken by volunteers, rather than by randomly chosen community members?

Comment by khorton on SHOW: A framework for shaping your talent for direct work · 2019-03-13T10:37:34.387Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I think I can see the difference. Imagine I'm pursuing a career in criminal justice reform.

Outside might look like me taking a role at the Centre for Social Justice, a Conservative think tank in London. It could also look like me applying for Unlocked, a prison officer graduate programme that awards you an MSc after two years of working in prisons. Those are both unusual choices within the EA community, but pretty normal jobs overall.

Weird might look like me becoming a lawyer and working pro bono on behalf of people who want to sue prisons. Or becoming an activist campaigning for voting rights for prisoners. Or running an RCT on whether people are more likely to leave early for good behaviour/less likely to reoffend if they get weekly visits from a family member.

I see 'Outside' as conventional approaches that are just unusual within EA circles. I see 'Weird' as finding something niche enough that you could become a leading expert on it within a couple of years. I'm not are if that's exactly what the authors meant, but that's my interpretation.

Comment by khorton on SHOW: A framework for shaping your talent for direct work · 2019-03-12T18:19:37.408Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I love this, and I'm sure I'll link to it when providing career advice. It's easy to read and remember. Thanks for writing it up!

Comment by khorton on Getting People Excited About More EA Careers: A New Community Building Challenge · 2019-03-10T11:06:37.889Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Post about niche skills (which include some career paths) at this URL: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/32dPBBXA2neyLfi3A/what-skills-would-you-like-1-5-eas-to-develop

What skills would you like 1-5 EAs to develop?

2019-03-01T11:01:11.654Z · score: 28 (23 votes)

Are men more likely to attend EA London events? Attendance data, 2016-2018.

2018-08-09T15:51:29.187Z · score: 33 (33 votes)

Effective Volunteering

2018-01-24T16:09:11.731Z · score: 11 (11 votes)

Changing the Government's Approach to Catastrophic Risks

2017-10-10T14:09:50.556Z · score: 5 (7 votes)