Posts

4 Ways to Give Feedback to Job or Grant Applicants 2022-08-05T15:38:43.536Z
Which EA orgs provide feedback on test tasks? 2022-01-30T20:25:52.129Z
Biblical advice for people with short AI timelines 2021-12-05T15:38:29.446Z
Counterfactual impact when your coworkers share your values 2021-10-16T11:48:32.803Z
Clarifying the Petrov Day Exercise 2021-09-26T22:39:54.146Z
Most research/advocacy charities are not scalable 2021-08-07T11:26:42.923Z
FAQ: UK Civil Service Job Applications 2021-03-27T18:34:52.426Z
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 Kirsten (Khorton) on Some concerns about policy work funding and the Long Term Future Fund · 2022-08-14T01:57:18.542Z · EA · GW

I guess I was just wrong, I hadn't looked into it much!

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Some concerns about policy work funding and the Long Term Future Fund · 2022-08-12T18:35:50.138Z · EA · GW

Thanks for posting this comment, I thought it gave really useful perspective.

"I don't think we've had really any policy successes with regards to the Long Term Future"

This strikes me as an odd statement. If you're talking about the LTF fund, or EA long-termism, it doesn't seem like much policy work has been funded.

If you're talking more broadly, wouldn't policy wins like decreasing the amount of lead being emitted into the atmosphere (which has negative effects on IQ and health generally) be a big policy win for the long term future?

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Let’s not glorify people for how they look. · 2022-08-11T21:16:41.364Z · EA · GW

Almost everything that gets posted on the Forum has already been explored somewhere else. That doesn't make it worth downvoting.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Let’s not glorify people for how they look. · 2022-08-11T21:14:39.790Z · EA · GW

I agree that I'd rather we not completely censor jokes completely, but I find it very difficult to guess what people are comfortable with, in part because I think it's very hard to say, "No I'm not comfortable with discussion of my appearance" as a public figure. I wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable speaking up if people were joking about me anyways.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Crowdsourced Criticisms: What does EA think about EA? · 2022-08-10T11:23:41.272Z · EA · GW

I really liked the tone of this post, it was funny and charming

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on 4 Ways to Give Feedback to Job or Grant Applicants · 2022-08-05T20:37:49.558Z · EA · GW

These are great concrete examples, thank you so much for adding them!

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Being Open to Bribes for your time (for charities); or Charitable Bribes as Solving a Signaling Problem · 2022-08-04T10:07:27.505Z · EA · GW

Isn't "buying time" more commonly known as "payment" or "wages"? "Bribery" is usually reserved for corruption

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Announcing the GovAI Policy Team · 2022-08-03T12:27:14.428Z · EA · GW

Hi Lexley, I'm sure Markus will come back with an answer, but I thought I'd suggest some other ways an undergraduate or new grad could build their knowledge and credibility:

a) Write a relevant essay or do a project for one of your classes. For example, if you're taking a political science or economics class, you could write an essay about "Does [major theory we've studied] explain what we're seeing in the current governance of AI?" You could share your essay for feedback on the Facebook group "Effective Altruism Editing and Review" and potentially even post it here, or post a summary.

b) Take an internship or job somewhere that you can learn about government or governance. For example, working in local or national government; working for a regulator; working for a corporate governance body like "fair trade" or "organic"; working for a tech company or lobbyist, especially if you can get a job taking notes for their boards or something like that. Pay attention to who's making decisions, and who the decision-makers pay attention to - who has the power in different situations?

c) Read papers and articles in the area you're interested in, and leave polite comments or questions. If a professor at your university has written a paper you think might be relevant, go to their office hours or ask to meet them and ask them some questions about how their work could be applied to AI governance. Consider starting a blog writing summaries or reviews of relevant papers and/or introducing some of your own thoughts. Consider going on Twitter, following people you admire, and replying to them occasionally.

I hope these ideas are useful and please let me know if you try them! I'm @Kirsten3531 on Twitter if you decide to go the Twitter route :)

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Open Thread: June — September 2022 · 2022-08-02T23:05:15.906Z · EA · GW

Dear Hank and John is my favourite podcast. I'm so glad you found EA through it!

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on EA Global Meetings Can Be Short · 2022-08-01T10:41:17.838Z · EA · GW

You can also help make short meetings happen by saying, "I'd love to talk about X. I think it'll probably take about 15 minutes, but I'm happy to meet for the default half hour if we find we have more to talk about!"

HOWEVER if you offer a shorter meeting like this, make sure you do actually give your interlocutor a chance to gracefully exit after 15 minutes. They'll be grateful you kept to your word!

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Why are people so hostile to the idea that sweatshops are a net positive? · 2022-07-23T16:55:16.032Z · EA · GW

It's the consensus amongst effective altruists that purchasing from sweatshops is one of the best ways to help the global poor and alleviate their poverty

I don't think that's the case. Most EAs would say the best way to help the global poor is to donate to effective charities, not to buy from sweatshops.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on The EA forum post-writing algorithm (95% > 100 karma, n> 100) · 2022-07-23T08:32:07.846Z · EA · GW

This exercise was a little mean but made a useful point so was pretty interesting.

Rather than proving "editing for style and readability is quick and easy for everyone," this made me think "wow there's a huge opportunity here for more people to start using editors"!

The fact that you could clearly rewrite this comment presumably without subject matter expertise makes me think there should be more people asking you to edit their work for a small fee ...

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on EA Shouldn't Try to Exercise Direct Political Power · 2022-07-21T16:43:20.309Z · EA · GW

I largely agree. I'm not certain, but at the moment I don't think it's a good idea for people to run for office, recruit volunteers and fundraise as EAs. I am more optimistic about EAs running for office on their own merits. I'm also optimistic about EAs starting political advocacy organisations.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on EA Shouldn't Try to Exercise Direct Political Power · 2022-07-21T16:41:07.539Z · EA · GW

My guess would be GAP focuses on recruiting existing politicians. I would be surprised if it's a pre-existing community, of which some people decided to run for office and other community members donated and volunteered?

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Let's stop saying 'funding overhang' · 2022-07-17T23:04:38.719Z · EA · GW

I strongly upvoted this comment not because I have strong feelings about it, but because I think it's excellent as a comment: it makes one clear, novel point with good formatting, useful links and appropriate evidence. If there was still a "comment prize" I'd nominate this one.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on JP's Shortform · 2022-07-15T15:53:23.596Z · EA · GW

Thank you!

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Should I donate my earnings when my career is just beginning? · 2022-07-15T15:36:07.749Z · EA · GW

Hi Brian, I think this is a great question! There are a few things to consider:

-Some people find that making a habit of finding and donating to highly effective causes helps them develop habits they use later in their life. For example, Giving What We Can encourages students to donate 1% of they earnings. https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/about-us/frequently-asked-questions

-Some people find financial independence from their parents either virtuous or important from a practical standpoint (for example if it gives you more freedom to make your own decisions). I think it's reasonable to care about that.

-You probably have a lower income as a student than you will at most other times in your life, and you certainly have less wealth. You might want to consider whether the money you earn could be used to save you time or help you learn more or make new connections as a student.

-You also might want to consider your financial security after you graduate. Could this money give you more time to look for a good job, rather than taking the first job offered?

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Idea: call-your-representative newsletter · 2022-07-15T12:17:16.619Z · EA · GW

I think this sounds easier than it would likely be in practice:

-there are a lot of topics that could be considered high impact depending on your beliefs, but are very polarised (for example, access to abortion)

-for topics that are less polarised, it can still require specialist knowledge to tell if legislation is likely to help or hurt

-some well-intentioned legislation makes things worse in ways that isn't obvious from reading a headline

Overall it's reasonable for someone to try this - lots of people do things like this, at varying levels of success! - but I wouldn't recommend just anyone do it, I wouldn't label it as an "EA consensus" but rather one person's views about how legislation could improve wellbeing, and I would be prepared for the possibility of this project being net negative or having almost no impact.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Upcoming heatwave: advice · 2022-07-15T10:05:52.984Z · EA · GW

Other suggestions for keeping cool:

-Ice pack/bowl of ice in front of or behind your fan

-Lukewarm shower or bath (too cold can make your body try to keep the heat in)

-Probably obvious, but don't use your oven: try more cool foods like salads and sandwiches

-Keep an eye out for vulnerable people, including young children, elderly, and pregnant women, even if they're normally in good health

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Announcing Non-trivial, an EA learning platform for teenagers · 2022-07-13T17:33:16.819Z · EA · GW

That's been annoying me too!

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Announcing Non-trivial, an EA learning platform for teenagers · 2022-07-12T17:27:19.030Z · EA · GW

Oh, I've figured it out! It was from your newsletter. That link still has an error.

https://mailchi.mp/d517004dc4e0/fulfilling-impactful-careers-non-trivial-pursuits-1

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Announcing Non-trivial, an EA learning platform for teenagers · 2022-07-12T16:31:51.314Z · EA · GW

No, that link works fine, but when I clicked through from the website it didn't work

I tried again, this time from this page, and it worked fine so maybe it's a one-off? Can't remember which page I originally clicked through from

https://archive.non-trivial.org/contact-us

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Announcing Non-trivial, an EA learning platform for teenagers · 2022-07-12T15:01:56.312Z · EA · GW

I don't think the website looks that young tbh

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Announcing Non-trivial, an EA learning platform for teenagers · 2022-07-12T15:01:08.748Z · EA · GW

I clicked "submit anonymous feedback" and received this error message:

ERROR: This form is not available for public access. Please login or contact the account owner. (Error ID: 95aa2f1c464f182b4498)

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Cause Exploration Prizes: Expanding access to infertility services in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) · 2022-07-12T12:01:20.855Z · EA · GW

I was blown away by the quality of this entry and would recommend this as an example to other people who are trying to introduce a new cause area.

It would take more work to figure out if interventions in this area could be cost-effective to the extent of being competitive with the Against Malaria Foundation or Strong Minds, but I am convinced that it is important, neglected and tractable enough to investigate further, which I wouldn't have guessed before reading.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Pestering embassies to reduce non-policy barriers to movement · 2022-07-11T18:06:35.558Z · EA · GW

Ambassadors and their US counterparts would be responsible for international relations, but I'm not sure they'd be directly involved in day-to-day staffing levels?

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Pestering embassies to reduce non-policy barriers to movement · 2022-07-11T17:44:17.667Z · EA · GW

Really curious for updates as this progresses

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on What’s the theory of change of “Come to the bay over the summer!”? · 2022-07-10T22:09:38.993Z · EA · GW

I'd expect it to be understood within people who live in the coastal US. I may have heard of "the Bay area" before I got involved in EA but definitely also wondered "what bay?" when people abbreviated to "the Bay". (In Canada, The Bay is a department store, so spending your summer interning in the Bay would have very different connotations!)

Definitely agree it's not an "ingroup" thing though, I think this is more of a certain class of American thing.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Doom Circles · 2022-07-08T21:34:05.396Z · EA · GW

Makes sense, it's always nice to have a reference to link to

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Doom Circles · 2022-07-08T20:52:44.458Z · EA · GW

If this were focused on red-teaming a particular project, it sounds more useful, but I don't understand why it would be described as a doom circle then!

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Doom Circles · 2022-07-08T20:39:27.203Z · EA · GW

As a teacher, I've generally found it to be the case that specific positive feedback ("keep doing this!") is the most useful way of improving someone's performance, followed by specific advice ("you could achieve X if you tried Y", "why not experiment with Z and see if it helps?").

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on My Most Likely Reason to Die Young is AI X-Risk · 2022-07-07T13:46:09.832Z · EA · GW

I thought it might be that people simply didn't find the chart misleading, they thought it was clear enough and didn't need any more caveats.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Announcing the Future Fund · 2022-07-06T09:58:30.948Z · EA · GW

Your website still says you're aiming to have more regrantors "in about a month", is that just out of date and no one should fill it in actually?

https://ftxfuturefund.org/announcing-our-regranting-program/

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on My Most Likely Reason to Die Young is AI X-Risk · 2022-07-05T21:19:38.174Z · EA · GW

Yeah, this resonates with me as well.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on The Future Might Not Be So Great · 2022-07-05T19:01:32.685Z · EA · GW

I would expect CEA's trustees to be scrutinizing how decisions like this are made.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on My Most Likely Reason to Die Young is AI X-Risk · 2022-07-05T16:38:00.635Z · EA · GW

I agree that would be a cleaner experiment, but I'm still finding it interesting (if a little jarring because I'm used to downvotes being bad!)

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on How I Recommend University Groups Approach the Funding Situation · 2022-07-05T12:00:19.624Z · EA · GW

Please do - at a minimum you could post what you've already written as a comment, but if you have more to say I'd be interested.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on How I Recommend University Groups Approach the Funding Situation · 2022-07-05T11:51:50.625Z · EA · GW

This is a great comment and I think would make a good standalone Forum post - I'd certainly like to link to it.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on My Most Likely Reason to Die Young is AI X-Risk · 2022-07-05T11:04:10.138Z · EA · GW

I don't disagree with the premise that agreeing on empirical beliefs about AI probably matters more for whether someone does AI safety work than philosophical beliefs. I've made that argument before!

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on My Most Likely Reason to Die Young is AI X-Risk · 2022-07-05T11:01:21.637Z · EA · GW

One reason I might be finding this post uncomfortable is that I'm pretty concerned about the mental health of many young EAs, and frankly for some people I met I'm more worried about the chance of them dying from suicide or risky activities over the next decade than from x-risks. Unfortunately I think there is also a link between people who are very focused on death by x-risk and poor mental health. This is an intuition, nothing more.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on My Most Likely Reason to Die Young is AI X-Risk · 2022-07-05T10:53:43.175Z · EA · GW

One reason I might be finding this post uncomfortable is the chart it's centered around.

The medical information is based on real people who have died recently. It's a forecast based on counting. We can have a lot of confidence in those numbers.

In contrast, the AI numbers are trying to predict something that's never happened before. It's worth trying to predict, but the numbers are very different, and we can't have much confidence in them especially for one particular year.

It feels kind of misleading to try to put these two very different kinds of numbers side by side as if they're directly comparable.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on My Most Likely Reason to Die Young is AI X-Risk · 2022-07-05T10:49:54.259Z · EA · GW

I find this post really uncomfortable. I thought I'd mention that, even though I'm having a hard time putting my finger on why. I'll give a few guesses as a reply to this comment so they can be discussed separately.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Future Fund June 2022 Update · 2022-07-04T18:59:27.948Z · EA · GW

If they haven't responded yet, they lost it, or they responded but it get caught in your spam filters. You should definitely re-email, it's been months since they gave decisions.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on The Future Might Not Be So Great · 2022-07-03T20:04:01.800Z · EA · GW

I agree with this comment. I find the implication that Jacy's views deserves equal or greater weight than the testimony of multiple women troubling.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on The Future Might Not Be So Great · 2022-07-02T09:18:42.507Z · EA · GW

Hi Jacy, you said in your apology "I am also stepping back from the EA community more generally, as I have been planning to since last year in order to focus on my research."

I haven't seen you around since then, so was surprised to see you attend an EA university retreat* and start posting more about EA. Would you describe yourself as stepping back into the EA community now?

*https://twitter.com/jacyanthis/status/1515682513280282631?s=20&t=reRvYxXCs2z-AvszF31Gng

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on The Future Might Not Be So Great · 2022-07-01T15:29:10.095Z · EA · GW

It's briefly referenced in this recent post, though I don't think this is what John was talking about.

https://jacyanthis.com/some-early-history-of-effective-altruism

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on The Future Might Not Be So Great · 2022-07-01T10:05:10.974Z · EA · GW

I've also been surprised to see Jacy engaging publicly with the EA community again recently, without any public communication about what's changed.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on What alternatives to intro fellowships have groups actually tried? · 2022-06-30T15:37:32.981Z · EA · GW

I got into EA London via a 6-session investigation into "Which charities are most effective at advancing equality and justice?" It gave me a really good perspective into the EA mindset when it comes to charity evaluation.

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on "Two-factor" voting ("two dimensional": karma, agreement) for EA forum? · 2022-06-25T11:47:31.820Z · EA · GW

I would find this helpful - I'm tired of being downvoted when I provide useful information to support an argument that people overall disagree with!

Comment by Kirsten (Khorton) on Job, skills, and career capital suggestions for 18-year-old · 2022-06-23T11:37:01.914Z · EA · GW

I agree with the other commenters. I also wouldn't underestimate the value of your current job! Hopefully at this job you can notice, and also ask your boss and coworkers, some of the things you're particularly good at and interested in.

For example, you may find you are particularly good at working with customers, or planning ahead and making the most of your time during your shift, or spotting ways to potentially improve the fruit stand. Try to keep track of any little stories or examples of how you've been helpful, as they can be useful at helping you figure out what type of job you might like to try next and also in interviewing for that next job.