What if there were already foreign nukes on US soil? 2022-08-12T22:34:45.601Z
A retroactive grant for creating the HPMoR audiobook (Eneasz Brodski)? 2022-05-03T14:50:23.830Z
The Bunker Project: are there considerations for social cohesiveness? 2022-03-11T02:53:05.438Z
Lakin's Shortform 2021-12-03T20:00:50.232Z


Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Criticism of EA Criticism Contest · 2022-07-14T18:40:48.877Z · EA · GW

I've known many EAs. Many have been vegan and many have not (I'm not). I've never seen anyone "treat [someone] as non-serious (or even evil)" based on their diet.

I've had this happen fwiw.

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Apply to join SHELTER Weekend this August · 2022-06-24T17:49:59.884Z · EA · GW

I think #3 is the most important question and the most likely way that shelters fail

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Open Philanthropy's Cause Exploration Prizes: $120k for written work on global health and wellbeing · 2022-05-25T18:35:25.072Z · EA · GW

Should no overlap with FTX's project ideas competition be assumed? (Links: Announcement, Awards)

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Most students who would agree with EA ideas haven't heard of EA yet (results of a large-scale survey) · 2022-05-21T12:38:13.521Z · EA · GW

Hm… of 7.4% of students who are familiar with EA, only 17.6% of those students (1.3%/7.3%) are pro-EA and 82% are not. What fraction did we expect here?

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Some potential lessons from Carrick’s Congressional bid · 2022-05-19T21:00:39.900Z · EA · GW

There's a weird detail I see in this post that seems to overemphasize the campaign's success:

Yes, Carrick lost. But he came in second out of nine, despite several factors pushing pretty strongly against him. Had things shaken out differently on a few key factors, he could have won.


So the fact that Carrick came in second, despite several (in the future, mostly avoidable) factors strongly pushing against him, and no comparable unique factors pushing in his favor, makes me more optimistic about the prospects of any future EAs who decide to run. To be concrete, my personal best guess is that >30% of American EAs would have at least a decent shot (say, >20%) of making it into Congress if they chose to dedicate themselves to their local community and spend time practicing the appropriate communication skills.

However, Carrick only received half as many votes as the winning candidate (results). Maybe this wasn't immediately clear as the data was tentative, but I find it hard to update much on this data.

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Bad Omens in Current Community Building · 2022-05-12T16:04:44.212Z · EA · GW

Can confirm that other groups/subcultures have begun to see EA as a deceitful cult because of stuff like this

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Doing good easier: how to have passive impact · 2022-05-04T01:15:42.487Z · EA · GW

One of the best passive impact examples I know is Eneasz Brodski's recording of HPMoR. (Also, can we retroactively reward this?)

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on A retroactive grant for creating the HPMoR audiobook (Eneasz Brodski)? · 2022-05-03T15:26:56.649Z · EA · GW

update: Eneasz has confirmed that there has not been

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on A retroactive grant for creating the HPMoR audiobook (Eneasz Brodski)? · 2022-05-03T15:15:50.156Z · EA · GW

ah, yes, this is the obvious thing to do. Ty, I've messaged him over email and facebook.

update: he has confirmed that there has not been

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on How many EAs failed in high risk, high reward projects? · 2022-04-27T23:15:30.095Z · EA · GW

What we learned from a year incubating longtermist entrepreneurship

Comment by ChrisLakin on [deleted post] 2021-12-15T17:58:36.857Z

have you tried starting first with having the schedule that's probably going to happen? Consider it a prediction rather than a schedule

Comment by ChrisLakin on [deleted post] 2021-12-15T17:57:49.010Z

My model of research seems like it happens in hours-long continuous threads, rather than 30 min blocks (let alone blocks that you can specific in advance)

Comment by ChrisLakin on [deleted post] 2021-12-15T14:18:03.478Z

It seems that your main work is research (correct me if wrong), so I'm surprised you work in 30 min blocks

Comment by ChrisLakin on [deleted post] 2021-12-15T04:07:26.817Z

Gee! Are there any other learnings you wish to add to this post?

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Ben's Shortform · 2021-12-11T00:05:37.658Z · EA · GW

I got this sense, but I could be wrong--

Does it need to start big to get big? Could you start small-- just you, just one or a few articles perhaps? I.e.

e.g. started pretty recently and is well-known now

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Aiming for the minimum of self-care is dangerous · 2021-12-11T00:02:00.441Z · EA · GW

FYI when I read the title and skimmed the hover-preview (~first paragraph) of this essay, I didn't at all realize you meant psychological minimum

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on EA Internship & Research Opportunities for Undergraduates · 2021-12-08T21:25:33.802Z · EA · GW

On the form linked it might be nice to ask for some kind of rough expiration date. I.e. how long is this opportunity relevant-- a few days, a few months, indefinitely? This way hopefully you can automate the upkeep a bit.

Also would be great to turn this into a newsletter

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on EA Internship & Research Opportunities for Undergraduates · 2021-12-08T21:23:14.555Z · EA · GW

The 'Education status' part of the form linked seems vague to me. E.g. Does "Who is this opportunity open to?: Undergraduate" mean in undergrad or to hold a bachelors? Moreover, what does "Recent Grad" mean? 

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Seeking a Collaboration to Stop Hurricanes? · 2021-12-04T19:42:19.613Z · EA · GW

ok, what's your call to action- collaborators? funding? any specific questions you're looking for insight into?

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Wikipedia editing is important, tractable, and neglected · 2021-11-29T00:48:36.270Z · EA · GW

What edits have you (or anyone you know) made that seem to have been valuable?

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Why Planning Events Early Can Be Important · 2021-11-27T02:41:05.556Z · EA · GW

Another point to add: It's possible that last-minute planning of a retreat might make some people (read: women) hesitant to suddenly spend a lot of time with people they don't know that well.

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Should I go straight into EA community-building after graduation or do software engineering first? · 2021-11-27T01:51:15.973Z · EA · GW

FYI If finances are any constraint for you, community building is going to have a really hard time paying you much (as is the case for past and present full-time community builders).

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Using Networks to Facilitate Effective Consumption · 2021-11-23T20:37:16.850Z · EA · GW

start small

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Using Networks to Facilitate Effective Consumption · 2021-11-23T14:47:19.465Z · EA · GW

These kinds of things seem like they happen incrementally-- they evolve, rather than coming into being as the result of a grand plan. What is the simplest, quickest way you could make Version 0 of this exist today?


Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on We need alternatives to Intro EA Fellowships · 2021-11-21T14:39:52.583Z · EA · GW

That said, I'm not sure I'd trust that anyone who just did one if those was really well acquainted with the ideas or way of thinking.

Yeah I would probably have more experienced community builders fly in to help out.

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Sleep: effective ways to improve it · 2021-11-21T14:36:04.878Z · EA · GW

I think it's pretty weird that Melatonin is #1 in your list. I think it's weird to suggest exogenous supplementation of something like that without an explanation of why melatonin is low to begin with. The efficient market hypothesis, but applied to your own biochemistry. Chesterton's fence, etc.

The body isn't a machine- as if you can just give it the right amounts of the right compounds and it  will perform optimally.

Comment by ChrisLakin on [deleted post] 2021-11-19T02:26:21.826Z

It took me 112 seconds start-to-writing-this-comment for what it's worth. (Update the title accordingly maybe lol? I would've been more likely to click if you said '112s' than '30s'.)

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Sleep: effective ways to improve it · 2021-11-19T02:21:12.185Z · EA · GW

ty for the app! do you know of one for iOS?

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Sleep: effective ways to improve it · 2021-11-19T02:20:21.933Z · EA · GW

On the vitamin D side: In I'm pretty skeptical of reductionist viewpoints in general such as here, ~"the single compound of 'vitamin D' placed into supplements has nearly the same effect as broad-spectrum UV on skin affects the body". I wouldn't be surprised if broad-spectrum UV had plenty of other effects that we have no idea how to look for, or for example if "UV → {this specific compound that is put in supplements}" is a poor approximation (maybe broad-spectrum UV causes the production of plenty of compounds that are also great, and we're only inclined to supplement one).

E.g. Vitamin D2 could be an easy way to go wrong here (I've only ever criticism about the effectiveness of D2). If Vitamin D supplementation works at all, I would bet on D3, but I haven't seen you make this distinction.

Overall I think this is pretty complex to make such general reductionist prescriptions (e.g. take 'Vitamin D3, X IUs everyday in the morning…") unfortunately. 

((Also, we might live in a world where the supplement Vitamin D3 is fairly ineffective, but it still causes the blood biomarker to increase, confounding all studies everywhere.))

I used to supplement Vitamin D3 for a few years, but I stopped when I heard about all of these subtle ways that it could be ineffective (or harmful). Instead, I took more walks outside, and I took my shirt off while in sunlight more often. I have also noticed I feel much better this way, quite calmer, and I suspect quite a bit more productive on these days, and I've never gotten that from a supplement.


On the light exposure side: 10,000 lux is still an order of magnitude less than sunlight!  Also, I doubt these lamps emit any UV, and I expect that a lot of the effect of sunlight comes from UV and that which we cannot see.

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on We need alternatives to Intro EA Fellowships · 2021-11-19T02:02:05.204Z · EA · GW

Another structure I've been considering is converting the fellowship into a class. (At CMU student-taught classes are part of the culture and pretty common.) But I'm less excited about this than the idea I outlined in my other comment.

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on We need alternatives to Intro EA Fellowships · 2021-11-19T02:00:14.685Z · EA · GW

Hey Ashley, I'm glad someone else is thinking about this too. Here at CMU I've been thinking about this too, particularly because CMU students are so busy. I think we miss people who would otherwise be engaged because of the current structure of the intro fellowship.

What I've been thinking about is running something like an 'EA Expo Day' in the beginning of the semester. It would be a full day with talks and workshops with plenty of capacity. At the same time it would be early in the semester before students get busy. I have a hunch that more people would attend an Expo Day like this than complete the fellowship.

I'm also thinking about ways of making the fellowship more decentralized and fluid, and I intend to experiment with this next semester.

I'd love to coordinate with you on this if you want to do something together within PA!

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Sleep: effective ways to improve it · 2021-11-17T15:32:42.678Z · EA · GW

Yeah, time constraints as expected. I think I found the title of this post a bit strong then.

Also, I would be surprised if light exposure + Vitamin D approximates daytime sunlight at more than 50% effect.

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Sleep: effective ways to improve it · 2021-11-16T01:23:54.062Z · EA · GW

recording oneself sleeping for snoring/sleep apnea seems huge. 


(sorry for the comment spam. I have lots more ideas too, feel free to email me,

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Sleep: effective ways to improve it · 2021-11-16T01:22:55.775Z · EA · GW

What about the effects of daytime sunlight on sleep? (I would be hesitant about confounding sunlight exposure with vitamin D supplementation, I think it's unlikely that they're equivalent.)

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Sleep: effective ways to improve it · 2021-11-16T01:21:48.287Z · EA · GW

I'm surprised you haven't mentioned temperature. E.g. buying a chilipad brought down my night-time insomnia by ~80%. (And I live in the northeast, too!)

Recently I've moved my bed directly next to my air conditioner, which has been great

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Sleep: effective ways to improve it · 2021-11-16T01:19:22.777Z · EA · GW

Have you investigated the effect of night-time darkness? 

Also of blocking blue/green light? Though there's only a handful of studies -  found a 58% increase in night-time melatonin (blocking just blue, though separately it might do well to block green too)

I think I have some more notes lying around somewhere if you need them

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Can we get #TeamHumans going · 2021-11-07T01:47:09.126Z · EA · GW

it is hard to think of what is 'videoable/showy' while while also effective. it seems to be different objectives unfortunately, but maybe this works out better in the long run as that's how they get their audience

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Listen to more EA content with The Nonlinear Library · 2021-11-05T14:42:29.574Z · EA · GW

Would love if you could do this for the EA Intro Fellowship syllabus (e.g. here's one syllabus, but note that the syllabus is continuously updating between semesters and different universities use different syllabi)

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on Effective Altruism, Before the Memes Started · 2021-10-31T00:41:20.943Z · EA · GW

I'm surprised no one else has mentioned:

Comment by Lakin (ChrisLakin) on An update in favor of trying to make tens of billions of dollars · 2021-10-15T14:19:55.026Z · EA · GW

I wonder what a reasonable cost-effectiveness/ROI estimate is for funding EAs trying to make billion-dollar startups.