I love the idea of a book about practical everyday altruism, and I think you absolutely have the stories to back it up!
When I think "community builder", I think of someone who's running an EA group longterm, potentially for years. I think this policy works for one-off events but how does it work for longterm community builders?
I'm really impressed that you identified so many people who advised you throughout your project. Congratulations on all the work you've achieved so far, and I'll be interested to read any updates at the end of the year.
Yes you're right, when this was posted I had seen several recent posts about how 1-1s should be the majority of your time at EAG, so I was pushing back against that idea generally rather than this specific post. Obviously I had no idea at the time that no one else was going to choose to comment! I actually think this post is pretty good - it's certainly structured very well and easy to read which is very nice to see.
Julia, I really appreciate you explaining your role here. I feel uneasy about the framing of what I've read. It sounds like the narrative is "Owen messed up, Julia knew, and Julia messed up by not saying more". But I feel strongly that we shouldn't have one individual as a point of failure on issues this important, especially not as recently as 2021. I think the narrative should be something closer to "Owen messed up, and CEA didn't (and still doesn't) have the right systems in place to respond to these kinds of concerns"
I am such an EA Philippines fangirl, I hope you flourish! Congratulations on a great year!
I appreciate you splitting this into a series, it makes this meaty set of critiques much easier to digest!
I'm surprised this post didn't consider any of the benefits of longtermists being part of EA
This is a great post Catherine, thanks for sharing your findings!
From an applicant perspective, I would love to see these changes. Strong upvote.
Another suggestion for fellow native speakers: if someone asks you "Can you repeat that?", don't rephrase what you said, just repeat the exact same words in the same order.
Lots of people are perfectly capable of understanding what you said, you just said it too fast!
We've paid the contractors for our home renovations via bank transfer, I think it's pretty common in that industry.
I'd love for EA Global events to become more conducive to small group conversations. Right now they feel heavily focused on 1:1s. I'd love for it to be easier to book a conversation or find a place to sit with 2-4 people I have a common interest with.
On the other side, I will say that considering your audience before publishing is a good norm. If you don't currently do that, taking 5 minutes to think about "Who do I want to read this post? What do I want them to do?" could be a good change in routine. For posts without any editing or consideration of audience, I think more informal platforms like Shortform or Facebook can be better suited.
I think work tests depend on the industry. For example when I was working as a teacher, my interview usually included teaching a real class of students, but in the Civil Service I've never been asked to do anything more than prepare a presentation.
The argument I've found most persuasive is "it's easier to fight back against an unjust government if you're healthy/have more money".
Yes, I was surprised not to see policy work in LMICs on this list to be honest!
I'm the same way with tags, I like posts to be accurately placed within the tag
Is there really a tradeoff? Once you've read a post/comment and thought about what its karma should be, it takes hardly any time to click the button! I agree it might be altruistic of you to read low-karma posts sometimes and upvote them if they're good, but I don't think "selecting what to read" is what's being described here
I vote mainly based on the first
There's a lot of "criticize EA" energy in the air this month. It can be useful and energising. I'm seeing more criticisms than usual produced, and they're getting more engagement and changing more minds than usual.
It makes me a little nervous that criticism can get more traction with less evidence than usual right now. I'm trying to be conciously less critical than usual for the moment, and perhaps save any important criticisms for the new year.
I really appreciate that you not only gave feedback to your applicants, but also included common pitfalls in this article!
I haven't come across any headhunters for EA orgs before. What % of people you approach would you say work for an EA-affiliated org already?
Only GiveWell's Unrestricted Fund supports GiveWell's operations https://www.givewell.org/our-giving-funds
Yes I don't think you sound stupid at all Elizabeth, I think EA comes across reasonably well in the piece and the kind of person who'd be interested in effective giving might Google it because of you.
GiveWell has identified several new giving opportunities! They're just not listed under "top charities" at the moment. See info on their aims for next year here: https://blog.givewell.org/2022/11/23/giving-recommendations-2022/
Here's another example I think went well, although I don't know the people involved! https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/apr/25/how-we-met-i-had-another-date-lined-up-on-tinder-but-i-realised-i-wanted-to-be-with-ben
I appeared on a radio program on behalf of EA London in 2018 and don't regret it. I thought the coverage was fair to positive.
I still also don't think everything's fine, but unsure to what extent EA is worse than the rest of the world, where things are also not fine on this front.
FWIW this is exactly how I feel about gender-based issues in EA!
I'm sure other people have answers about why they'd prefer not to have people book meetings based on attraction, but I'd like to say I support this kind of thing being reported to the Community Health team. The EAG team have repeatedly asked people not to use EAG or the Swapcard app for flirting. 1-1s at EAG are for networking, and if you're just asking to meet someone because you think they're attractive, there's a good chance you're wasting their time. It's also sexualizing someone who presumably doesn't want to be because they're at a work event. Reporting this kind of breach of EAG rules seems entirely appropriate!
Thanks for sharing this. I think people have a tendency to overgeneralise about what "men" or "women" care about when having these conversations.
I'd agree I'd favour systems that help people feel confident in the outcome even when it doesn't favour them, and would like to see EA do better in these areas!
In the cases like this I've been most closely involved in, the women who have reported have not wanted to publicise the event, so sometimes action has been taken but you wouldn't have heard about it. (I also don't think it's a good habit to try to maximise transparency about interpersonal relationships tbh.)
To be honest I'm relieved this is one of the top comments. I've seen Kathy mentioned a few times recently in a way I didn't think was accurate and I didn't feel able to respond. I think anyone who comes across her story will have questions and I'm glad someone's addressed the questions even if it's just in a limited way.
I am confident this comes from a good place but I really really dislike that this comment is telling (the friend of) someone who was raped what she should do. People who have been raped can respond however they want, whether they decide to report the situation or not is entirely up to them, and I hate when people act like there is one correct response.
Hey Maya, I like your post. It has a very EA conversational style to it which will hopefully help it be well received and I'm guessing took some effort.
A problem I can't figure out, which you or someone else might be able to help suggest solutions to -
-If I (or someone else) post about something emotional without suggestions for action, everyone's compassionate but nothing happens, or people suggest actions that I don't think would help
-If I (or someone else) post about something emotional and suggest some actions that could help fix it, people start debating those actions, and that doesn't feel like the emotions are being listened to
-But just accepting actions because they're linked to a bad experience isn't the right answer either, because someone could have really useful experience to share but their suggestions might be totally wrong
If anyone has any suggestions, I'd welcome them!
Some skills are dual purpose. Writing clearly helps both with truth seeking and being influential.
This isn't obvious to me - how does being a good writer make you better at truth seeking?
There's also plenty of EA jokes on Twitter! You can start with @EAheadlines :)
I think your short comment + link unfortunately look very similar to many spam comments, especially because there's no obvious link to Effective Altruism
Do you plan to comment in a few weeks, a few months, or not planning to comment publicly? Or is that still to be determined?
There are lots of people who previously considered themselves EA and have moved away, or are EA adjacent, and still post here sometimes. I don't know of any such cases related to the FTX situation though.
Yes, exactly - I don't think it would have made sense for us to try to audit FTX. That's not the role of the EA community.
if the result of ensuring that it is less likely that something like SBF happens again means no one person donates nearly as much to us as he did, that might well be worth it.
That's the key question, and I don't think you've answered it. Would SBF have been less likely to take people's money if there were a light touch EA audit of major donors in place? Or would he have still taken people's money, but not donated it to EA charities? Or would he have still taken the money, still donated it to EA charities, and we would feel even more foolish because we thought we had prevented this possibility? Any of those three stories sound plausible to me, but ultimately I do think it sounds strange to require an audit of someone's business accounts before they buy bednets to save lives
I don't think anyone should be required to share detailed personal financial information in order to donate
Those sound closer to what I'd think of as fraud, although I also wouldn't encourage the fraudulent option in either case! But no, I really didn't think of either of those examples when trying to generate examples of fraud that people might think is morally good
lying to major institutions and governments and other things that might be classified as fraud.
Okay, that's where I misunderstood you - lying to the government is not what I think of when condemning fraud. I think lying to government can be very serious and is often done too flippantly, but it's not what I thought you were defending. In my mind, fraud is primarily about stealing money, and I just couldn't figure out how you were defending that.
I'm confused. Your comment makes it sounds like someone reading this post might one day have to decide whether to commit fraud in order to save a life or do something else extremely morally important.
I can't think of any examples of that in a democracy in the last 50 years*. Can you? If it's so rare that neither of us can think of an example, I think condemning fraud unequivocally is the way to go, to avoid any confusion.
*I actually can't think of any examples at all, but think this kind of example would be most relevant.
Against Malaria Foundation
That's really impressive, love seeing people update their beliefs in real time
"...seeing only comments about polyamory in a situation where women are made feel uncomfortable is plane sad to be diplomatic."