Posts

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

Comments

Comment by khorton on Khorton's Shortform · 2021-01-26T11:15:15.198Z · EA · GW

After getting more info, I decided it wasn't so important and neglected as to be competitive with the Against Malaria Foundation. Thanks for following up!

Comment by khorton on 80,000 Hours: Where's the best place to volunteer? · 2021-01-25T21:56:20.327Z · EA · GW

I wrote a post on this a couple years ago. One difference is that, where this post is focused exclusively on impact, I also talked about some people wanting to gain career capital from volunteering or wanting a volunteer opportunity that helps you feel good and recharge. https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/ScLHyCY6JCr5FtuiY/effective-volunteering

Comment by khorton on My Career Decision-Making Process · 2021-01-25T21:52:52.847Z · EA · GW

Strong upvoted this as I feel almost exactly the same way! I've tried the new 80k Google doc but looked the old career guide and career decision making tool a lot better.

Comment by khorton on Trying to help coral reefs survive climate change seems incredibly neglected. · 2021-01-20T22:17:12.499Z · EA · GW

Yes, I don't understand where the monetary value comes from?

Comment by khorton on The Folly of "EAs Should" · 2021-01-11T22:39:17.025Z · EA · GW

To be clear, I wasn't aiming to criticize "don't become a doctor", but rather "don't continue to be a doctor."

Comment by khorton on The Folly of "EAs Should" · 2021-01-11T22:38:12.467Z · EA · GW

Thanks this is very clear! Yes, I was thinking of outcome C - I've seen people decide not to get involved with the EA community because strangers repeatedly gave them advice they found offensive.

I think the world would be better if we didn't regularly offend respected professionals, even if it's been very helpful for 5 or 10 people - and I imagine those 5 or 10 people may have transitioned from medicine anyways when presented with the arguments without it being presented as quite such a definitive answer.

Comment by khorton on The Folly of "EAs Should" · 2021-01-11T22:33:08.946Z · EA · GW

I'm particularly annoyed by this because I've seen this play out in person - I've invited respected professionals to EA events who were seriously disrespected by people with dubious and overconfident ideas.

Comment by khorton on The Folly of "EAs Should" · 2021-01-11T22:31:44.421Z · EA · GW

I don't think donating to a theatre is done in order to "make the world a better place", I think it's done to be able to continue to have access to a community research you enjoy and build your reputation in your community. It's actually a really bad idea for EAs to become known as a community of free riders.

And ultimately, it should be that person's choice - if you don't know much about their life, why would you tell them what part of their budget they should replace in order to increase donations to top causes? It's better to donate 10% to effective charities and continue donating to local community organisations than to donate 10% to effective charities and spend the rest on fast food, in my view, but ultimately it's none of my business!

Comment by khorton on The Folly of "EAs Should" · 2021-01-11T22:28:16.903Z · EA · GW

I think there are a lot of people who are already doctors who can use that to do a lot of good, and there are some naive EAs who suggest they should drop their 25 years of medical experience to become a technical AI safety researcher. No! Maybe they should become a public health policy expert; maybe they should keep being a great doctor.

I also think a lot of people value their local community theatre and want it to continue - they enjoy it, it's a hobby. If they and others donate, the theatre continues to exist, otherwise it doesn't. I wouldn't suggest they should become freeriders.

Comment by khorton on The Folly of "EAs Should" · 2021-01-08T20:27:31.868Z · EA · GW

Yes, I think this point is both important and underrated - we need to stop saying "don't donate to your local theatre" or "don't be a doctor" because actually those are very alienating statements that turn out to be bad advice a lot of the time

Comment by khorton on What’s the low resolution version of effective altruism? · 2020-12-31T12:17:30.221Z · EA · GW

"The effective altruism movement emerged around the start of this decade in Oxford. The big idea is to encourage a broadly utilitarian/rationalist approach to doing good, and it is particularly aimed at graduate higher earners who have more money to give and who thus, on a utilitarian calculus, can achieve more. This approach has proved particularly attractive to those with backgrounds in maths and computer science, and chapters of effective altruists have sprung up in Silicon Valley, New York and London, with many pledging at least 10% of their income to charity."

https://www.theguardian.com/money/belief/2017/nov/23/its-called-effective-altruism-but-is-it-really-the-best-way-to-do-good

Comment by khorton on Careers Questions Open Thread · 2020-12-30T16:00:12.868Z · EA · GW

If you haven't been successful after a year of applying it's definitely time to change tactics. Some of the following might be things to try, but you'll know your situation best:

-get your CV reviewed by friends

-get your CV professionally reviewed

-have friends review your cover letter

-practice interviews with a work coach or friend

-apply to less competitive jobs

-try to get jobs through networking (eg that you've been recommended to)

-try to get jobs through unpaid work (eg volunteer to do an impact assessment for a charity for free, if it goes well ask them if they'd like to hire you for future projects)

Comment by khorton on Careers Questions Open Thread · 2020-12-30T01:14:52.857Z · EA · GW

This is very accurate but a little sad to me.

Comment by khorton on Careers Questions Open Thread · 2020-12-28T00:45:36.340Z · EA · GW

I'm also a Canadian with a policy background, although I've never worked on policy IN Canada. If you end up seriously looking into that path please send me a message or post in the Canadian EA Facebook group - I'd be really interested to hear what you find out!

Comment by khorton on Books / book reviews on nuclear risk, WMDs, great power war? · 2020-12-26T11:47:57.938Z · EA · GW

The Pentagon's Brain (history of DARPA) talks about the development, testing and deployment of various military technologies

Comment by khorton on Dragon God's Shortform · 2020-12-26T11:46:04.733Z · EA · GW

I don't totally understand what's going on here. If I used your link to donate to AMF, where would the match be coming from? a) other, unrestricted GiveWell donations b) a donor who specifically wanted to match first time donors c) someone else...?

Comment by khorton on Where are you donating in 2020 and why? · 2020-12-21T11:49:32.467Z · EA · GW

I donated to the Against Malaria Foundation in 2020

Comment by khorton on Relieving extreme physical pain in humans – an opportunity for effective funding · 2020-12-21T11:36:22.469Z · EA · GW

I'm curious if there are any updates on the situation in Burkina Faso or your other work?

Comment by khorton on Careers Questions Open Thread · 2020-12-17T09:19:16.666Z · EA · GW

Framing feedback as "asking for advice" can often make people more comfortable with giving feedback as well

Comment by khorton on Careers Questions Open Thread · 2020-12-17T09:16:56.430Z · EA · GW

no suggestions, just a few thoughts:

  1. you do NOT need to feel guilty for being skilled at working one on one with people from traumatized backgrounds! it's a good thing!
  2. there's nothing stopping you from developing other skills as well - you're young and have so many options
  3. I can tell you're both very passionate about helping people one to one and making a big difference in the world and you're feeling like there's no way to do both. That sounds really stressful.
  4. it's okay to make career decisions partially or fully based on factors other than EA. you have more than one goal and that's fine: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/zu28unKfTHoxRWpGn/you-have-more-than-one-goal-and-that-s-fine
Comment by khorton on What skills would you like 1-5 EAs to develop? · 2020-12-16T18:04:31.071Z · EA · GW

I do! I think "shared strategic knowledge" is probably the best was of phrasing it, so thank you for that.

It's also good to have a wide network of people with similar goals who you can collaborate with, and not all of the people I'd like to collaborate with are still "Effective Altruists". It's nice to have someone who's a trusted member of both EA and another relevant movement, who can provide introductions and advice.

Comment by khorton on Asking for advice · 2020-12-14T19:36:35.978Z · EA · GW

That wouldn't change my feelings, no.

Comment by khorton on Careers Questions Open Thread · 2020-12-11T09:46:47.384Z · EA · GW

How many jobs are you looking at trying out? I think if you're trying all the rotations in your company, that should give you a lot of information which you can then use to make slightly more focused decisions for your next step.

I'd push back a little on the idea that the work you're best at is definitely where you'll have the most impact. I agree with you that's probably true, but I'd recommend thinking about what cause you'd like to work on before you decide exactly what kind of job you'd like to do.

Comment by khorton on Careers Questions Open Thread · 2020-12-10T23:34:26.153Z · EA · GW

Getting really good at sales can be valuable in a lot of careers, including the political world. Have you talked to any EAs from DC? I bet they have a Facebook group

Comment by khorton on Careers Questions Open Thread · 2020-12-10T23:29:30.340Z · EA · GW

It's great that you have two very strong options! The answer probably comes down to your judgment on a few questions: a) What's the likelihood of a catastrophic AI accident in your lifetime? b) What's the likelihood your work could help prevent that? c) Where would you donate if you earn to give?

(I'm tempted to try to convince you to earn to give, because the opportunity you describe sounds excellent for you and for the world, and I'm pretty sceptical about AI research and excited about bednets! But ultimately you'll need to figure out your views on these things.)

Comment by khorton on My mistakes on the path to impact · 2020-12-10T17:24:14.811Z · EA · GW

William, I just want you to know that it's really great that you're going to have more impact by thinking through your career plans. Good luck!

Comment by khorton on My mistakes on the path to impact · 2020-12-06T23:06:54.426Z · EA · GW

For anyone else reading this, the UK Civil Service Fast Stream is a 4+month application process that at one point requires you to take a day off work and travel in to do work tests; it's a leadership programme with an application process that's much more time-consuming than anything I've ever applied for before or since.

Comment by khorton on Does Qualitative Research improve drastically with increasing expertise? · 2020-12-05T18:44:05.079Z · EA · GW

I think you're more likely to make simple mistakes or do very naive analysis if you haven't studied best practices. After doing an MA in Public Policy I spot a lot of mistakes that I wouldn't have before.

Comment by khorton on What are you grateful for? · 2020-12-03T08:53:39.180Z · EA · GW

I'm grateful for the Covid vaccines!

Comment by khorton on Proposal for managing community requests on the forum · 2020-11-25T00:19:42.424Z · EA · GW

I'm somewhat interested. I think we should also try to provide a bit of info on why we want help on the topic and any time limit. "wanted - a breakdown of Russ Robert's worldview and disagreements with EA because I'm curious" is totally valid but lower priority than "wanted - a breakdown of Russ Robert's worldview and disagreements with EA to look for important criticisms of EA, because next month I'll be starting a project to look for solutions to those criticisms"

Comment by khorton on Re-Launching Giving Green: an EA-run organization directing dollars towards impactful work in climate change · 2020-11-18T10:45:02.463Z · EA · GW

Your website looks great and I'm really excited about it!

Comment by khorton on Introducing Probably Good: A New Career Guidance Organization · 2020-11-11T18:51:18.455Z · EA · GW

I can imagine you stopping yourself from doing too much coaching, but the people who apply for coaching don't know what happened or why you didn't get in touch. Does that make sense?

Something as simple as having an automatic reply to email enquiries saying "unfortunately we can't respond to every request for coaching" could be helpful.

Comment by khorton on Introducing Probably Good: A New Career Guidance Organization · 2020-11-09T13:26:17.816Z · EA · GW

Very excited about this! I'd especially be interested in seeing career paths that could start making a significant difference in people's lives this century, as that's something 80k is moving away from - I'd be interested in advice about neglected areas within global health and climate change, for example.

The way I imagine this going wrong most easily is you getting overwhelmed with requests for career coaching in areas you don't know very much about. I hope that you'll set clear expectations about what you will/won't be able to provide with your career coaching, how many people you'll be able to coach, and how you'll choose those people.

Comment by khorton on Why I think the EA Community should write more fiction · 2020-11-05T10:47:21.197Z · EA · GW

Publishing a novel is very competitive, and most people who publish sell less than 10,000 copies. You would have to work part-time on your novel for years and receive very little money in return.

Online there's a lot of fiction available as well - you can donate your time to writing but again I think it's unlikely that more than 10,000 people would read your novel or short story, and I think most of those people wouldn't be influenced very much, unless you're a REALLY good writer.

I'd encourage people to enjoy fiction writing as a hobby and I'd encourage people who are unusually talented to develop their skills, but this is just SUCH a competitive field!

Comment by khorton on Desperation Hamster Wheels · 2020-11-02T13:31:04.171Z · EA · GW

It's implied in his comment that either Nicole is a utilitarian or that utilitarianism is correct regardless of if she believes it. I'm concerned the Forum has a culture of assuming everyone involved in EA is utilitarian, so I want to ask about it explicitly when I see it. I wasn't sure if Ozzie know that Nicole is a utilitarian or if this was an assumption.

Comment by khorton on Desperation Hamster Wheels · 2020-11-01T22:36:07.101Z · EA · GW

Did Nicole say she was a utilitarian?

Comment by khorton on Desperation Hamster Wheels · 2020-11-01T00:25:35.633Z · EA · GW

Thanks for writing this up! I'm sharing it with a friend

Comment by khorton on Avoiding Munich's Mistakes: Advice for CEA and Local Groups · 2020-10-14T20:00:26.126Z · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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?