Posts

GWWC January 2021 Newsletter 2021-01-26T01:23:39.628Z
Giving What We Can & EA Funds now operate independently of CEA 2020-12-22T03:47:48.140Z
Social change happens one person at a time – so start multiplying your impact! 2020-12-22T01:25:33.132Z
GWWC Pledge Drive: Give a gift to the world and make a new years resolution to help others 2020-12-03T05:47:44.757Z
Don’t wait: The case for giving sooner rather than later 2020-12-02T02:35:11.208Z
How to buy happiness (for you and others) 2020-12-01T23:33:20.914Z
Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) released their 2020 recommendations (with Wild Animal Initiative added to their top charities) 2020-11-25T00:26:05.158Z
GiveWell have released their 2020 recommendations (including a new top charity) 2020-11-19T23:18:22.979Z
What quotes do you find most inspire you to use your resources (effectively) to help others? 2020-11-18T06:46:53.385Z
Promoting Effective Giving and Giving What We Can within EA Groups 2020-11-09T01:38:50.680Z
Effective Giving Advocacy Challenge 2020-10-27T01:29:13.387Z
Companies pledge to donate at least 10% of profits to effective charities 2020-10-23T03:56:48.665Z
People Who Give: Stories of people pledging to donate effectively. Discover their motivations, recommendations, and more. 2020-10-23T00:51:01.966Z
Charity Navigator acquired ImpactMatters and is starting to mention "cost-effectiveness" as important 2020-10-14T21:43:07.931Z
lukefreeman's Shortform 2020-09-28T23:49:34.160Z
5,000 people have pledged to give at least 10% of their lifetime incomes to effective charities 2020-09-27T05:54:37.543Z
Cause/charity selection tradeoffs 2020-08-24T04:56:24.124Z
Positly wants to accelerate social science research and have a greater impact within the EA community… and you can help 2018-07-06T02:58:42.938Z

Comments

Comment by lukefreeman on Being Inclusive · 2021-01-22T02:10:10.324Z · EA · GW

This is in part why we're giving more attention and resources to Giving What We Can. Donating is something that is very accessible to many people and can be very impactful. Creating a culture where people give more and give more effectively is a way of fostering the values of compassion and critical thinking.

We're working on developing more information on how people can use their time to be an advocate or a volunteer. There's been some great work done on this in the effective animal advocacy movement also.

I look forward to seeing more work in the space of making more of EA more accessible to more people, helping us create more positive change in the world.

Comment by lukefreeman on The Folly of "EAs Should" · 2021-01-22T01:45:18.744Z · EA · GW

I really liked this post. I especially like the similarities with the LGBT+ movement and that being large and weird is also fine 😀 

Comment by lukefreeman on Forecasts about EA organisations which are currently on Metaculus. · 2021-01-22T00:49:33.900Z · EA · GW

This is missing the Giving What We Can one:

Comment by lukefreeman on What myths or misconceptions prevent people from supporting EA organizations that work on animal welfare or long-termist causes? · 2020-12-17T23:32:27.319Z · EA · GW

Hi RandomEA,

That section of the website discusses why a fund can be a good option and then lists the funds that are available on EA Funds (the four EA Funds plus the Regranting organisations listed on EA Funds, minus CEA's Community Building Grants as we felt that was less targeted towards a general public audience that would typically visit that page).

Hope that helps to clarify.

Best,

Luke

Comment by lukefreeman on What are the most common objections to “multiplier” organizations that raise funds for other effective charities? · 2020-12-10T03:03:52.849Z · EA · GW

For what it's worth – Giving What We Can also noticed a bump in pledges that came from The  Life You Can Save book relaunch (and people specifying that is how they found out). There's often spill over like this that isn't directly tracked by the organisation doing the multiplying.

Comment by lukefreeman on What are you grateful for? · 2020-12-03T00:25:47.449Z · EA · GW

Oh, so many things! I'm really grateful for all the support I've received from the team at CEA, GWWC members, the broader EA community, and a number of close friends in this community who've been a rock to me (in particular those in Sydney: James Harrison, Peter Slattery, Neil Ferro and Sophia Cyna).

I'm grateful for the qualities I value being embodied by so many people: thoughtfulness, compassion, passion, intentionality, open-mindedness, and humility.

I'm grateful for the open door policy that so many people have. The number of times the right connection or conversation has been a single email away is amazing.

I'm grateful for the hope for the future that I get knowing how many people care deeply about working towards ensuring it's prosperous.

Comment by lukefreeman on Where are you donating in 2020 and why? · 2020-11-26T00:18:41.934Z · EA · GW

Great question - thanks Michael for asking this!

This year I'm again making mostly infrastructure donations, plus some smaller donations when there's leverage (e.g. sponsoring giving games).

So far that has meant donations to Effective Altruism Australia and the Centre for Effective Altruism (some of which was donor-matched by my wife's employer Adobe, some of which is salary sacrificed as I'm now at CEA), and some donations to individual charities (e.g. GFI, Animals Australia and AMF).

We've also recently signed our wills (after sitting unsigned in a draw for far too long) where some specific gifts and most of the residue of our estate will be split between a few EA infrastructure organisations. If you haven't checked out Effective Legacies for a free will kit or looked into making a bequest, I highly encourage this.

Another highlight of 2020 was making some investments via a trust so that they can be donated tax-efficiently upon liquidation (even if they don't have deductible gift recipient status in Australia, because they are a beneficiary of the trust).

Comment by lukefreeman on Where are you donating in 2020 and why? · 2020-11-25T23:13:36.640Z · EA · GW

Giving to a DAF is definitely within the spirit of the pledge and many members do this. We'll be updating the big long FAQ page soon but in the meantime this is one of the FAQs on the Pledge page.

Comment by lukefreeman on What quotes do you find most inspire you to use your resources (effectively) to help others? · 2020-11-19T23:59:54.746Z · EA · GW

This is great. Did you write this?

Comment by lukefreeman on What quotes do you find most inspire you to use your resources (effectively) to help others? · 2020-11-19T23:55:27.897Z · EA · GW

Indeed! Thanks for all these great contributions! It was a great start to my morning 😍

Comment by lukefreeman on What are some EA-aligned statements that almost everyone agrees with? · 2020-11-17T01:16:57.693Z · EA · GW

Interesting – please keep me in the loop with this research 😀 

I often ask these questions and get 95%+ agreement when teaching a class.

Comment by lukefreeman on Promoting Effective Giving and Giving What We Can within EA Groups · 2020-11-10T08:59:56.253Z · EA · GW

Hi Larks,

Thanks for the input. I'm sorry I'm not entirely following what you are suggesting here.

I'd be very happy to take input on what you would suggest.

The essence of the pledge is to be a useful commitment device that helps people to stick to a commitment knowing that they've promised it to themselves and also to others (e.g. by taking a public pledge where your name is alongside others).

However, we don't want the commitment to be seen as so high that no one would take it on a slight chance that the best thing for themselves and the world would be that they resign. 

I completely agree that broken commitments are bad (as laid out in the document), but shying away from commitments because there's a chance they might be broken is also bad.

I'm very open to any suggestions you have for how to communicate that.

In regards to the "scrupulous to a point of detriment" I'm referring to cases where scrupulousness is detrimental (i.e. Scrupulosity, OCD). If someone has that propensity it is probably better to not make a more ambitious and narrow commitment that there's a chance they might need to resign from (and instead make a softer commitment or one with very very clear caveats).

Thanks again 😀 

Comment by lukefreeman on Promoting Effective Giving and Giving What We Can within EA Groups · 2020-11-09T22:44:08.620Z · EA · GW

Thanks Ofer. What do you think about changing this wording on the guide:

"Some people might be less inclined to do direct work if they take a pledge." -> "Some people might be less inclined to do direct work (due to "lock-in" or not having enough runway/financial stability) if they take a pledge."

"It’s important for people to consider this seriously. Only they can know how they will feel." -> "It’s important for people to consider this seriously, understand their financial situation, and under what conditions it is best to resign."

In terms of the wording of the pledge itself, I lean towards keeping it as is while including the FAQ which includes information about resigning from the pledge (we make promises all the time that have implied conditionality, such as the example about picking up your niece from school, and marriages which most people agree should end if that is best, but that's rarely in the vows).

In cases where someone is particularly scrupulous to a point of detriment I would recommend either not pledging or if they did, to take a Try Giving pledge and renewing it on a regular basis.

I'm very open to further discussion on these points.

Comment by lukefreeman on lukefreeman's Shortform · 2020-09-28T23:49:34.743Z · EA · GW

Covid-19 has reversed years of gains in the war on poverty

This coronavirus affects everyone, but not equally. The young often shrug off the virus; the old often die of it. The rich shrug off the economic shock; the poor cannot. Because of covid-19, the number of extremely poor people (ie, those making less than $1.90 a day) will rise by 70m-100m this year, the World Bank predicts. Using a broader measure, including those who lack basic shelter or clean water and children who go hungry, the ranks of the poor will swell by 240m-490m this year, says the un. That could reverse almost a decade of progress (see article). If a vaccine is found, economies will no doubt bounce back. But widespread vaccination will take years and the very poor cannot wait that long. By then, malnutrition will have stunted a tragic number of children’s bodies and minds.

Full article paywalled at The Economist

Comment by lukefreeman on Why doesn't EA Fund support Paypal? · 2020-09-28T10:29:28.159Z · EA · GW

Looks like CEA is on there, but no ability to segment by specific funds. Probably due to it being a single charity. Each of the EA Funds (along with GWWC and other programs) are programs within CEA (a registered charity in the USA and UK).

Similarly other charities with single programs (like GiveDirectly which has Basic Income, USA etc), it looks like you can't specify what program you want it to go to.

Comment by lukefreeman on Can my filmmaking/songwriting skills be used more effectively in EA? · 2020-09-16T00:12:48.649Z · EA · GW

Had no idea this existed... joining!

Comment by lukefreeman on Review: What works to promote charitable donations? · 2020-08-24T05:41:20.518Z · EA · GW

Great work team!

Comment by lukefreeman on Are we neglecting education? Philosophy in schools as a longtermist area · 2020-08-24T04:46:14.524Z · EA · GW

The experience has been really fantastic. Very rewarding, plus it's helped with training my 'socratic questioning' style with adults 😀

Comment by lukefreeman on For those working on longtermist projects, how do you stay motivated in the short-term? · 2020-08-10T04:01:42.426Z · EA · GW

Personally, I find this an argument for being more emotionally motivated by near term outcomes (even while being more philosophically motivated by long term outcomes).

Three ways I've seen this done well (often in tandem):

1. Diversity of attention: Working on a longtermist project while paying attention to to how other parts of their lives (e.g. allocating some donations for addressing more immediate problems, changing diet for moral circle expansion, building relationships, hobbies, creative works) bring them joy and motivation. It could be very demotivating if one is purely "all-in" (devoting huge amounts of time/thought/identity) on something that feels incredibly far away.

2. Focus on near-term outcomes of longtermist projects. For example, you're focused on long term political stability and working on changing the voting system of a local government area and the immediate benefit that provides people.

3. Focus on immediate progress towards longtermist projects. Every project has goals that you reach such as getting funding, publishing a paper, hiring a new colleague, running an event. Take the time to celebrate these wins.

Comment by lukefreeman on A List of EA Donation Pledges (GWWC, etc) · 2020-08-10T02:55:19.520Z · EA · GW

The GWWWC Try Giving pledge (any percent above 1%, any period of time)

https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/get-involved/try-giving/

Comment by lukefreeman on Are we neglecting education? Philosophy in schools as a longtermist area · 2020-07-31T03:32:04.873Z · EA · GW

There's Primary Ethics in Australia that is starting to take off in schools. Some of us in the EA Sydney group volunteered to be teachers (mostly telling stories from a script and facilitating discussion to help kids discuss ethical questions).

Comment by lukefreeman on What is a good answer for people new to EA that request advice on volunteering? · 2020-07-29T20:52:06.163Z · EA · GW

There's also this https://www.eawork.club/

Comment by lukefreeman on What is a good answer for people new to EA that request advice on volunteering? · 2020-07-29T20:50:42.581Z · EA · GW

I think a local opportunity is a nice way for people to meet people around them (e.g. be on welcoming duty at a local meetup) and then remote can be valuable if done well.

We're currently taking volunteers at Giving What We Can also 😀

Here's the expression of interest form: http://bit.ly/gwwc-volunteer

Comment by lukefreeman on Four EA podcast episodes · 2020-07-26T23:16:44.120Z · EA · GW

Have subscribed and downloaded the episodes you mentioned. Looking forward to hearing them 😀

Comment by lukefreeman on Should we think more about EA dating? · 2020-07-26T23:14:22.501Z · EA · GW

Another against:

I also find it very helpful to be very close to people who share a lot of core values but are not entirely aligned/identities aren't too similar. You end up with diversity of thought in your own life. Plus, it's a lot better to bounce off and model the general population when you have people near and dear to you who think differently.

Comment by lukefreeman on Should there be an EA crowdfunding platform? · 2020-04-21T23:39:14.486Z · EA · GW

I'm pleasantly impressed you perpetuated a good social norm by thanking someone for perpetuating a good social norm. Well done and thank you.

Comment by lukefreeman on EA Survey 2018 Series: Community Demographics & Characteristics · 2019-10-09T03:58:31.575Z · EA · GW

Alas another year goes by and Sydney doesn't make the cut despite hosting another EAGx 😜

Comment by lukefreeman on EA Survey 2018 Series: Geographic Differences in EA · 2019-07-23T08:18:49.308Z · EA · GW

Nice work, again!

In future years I'd be very interested in seeing a citizenship question and a question about what city someone was in when they first became involved in EA. In Australia it's a running joke that we have an EA brain drain to USA/UK, especially for direct work opportunities (noting also that Australia has many fewer direct work opportunities as is also a way to read the data).

Finding opportunities for people to do good without needing to relocate (sometimes leaving a vacuum in community building in the city they are from) is something we're very interested in exploring further.

Comment by lukefreeman on [deleted post] 2019-05-19T21:59:12.277Z

I really love this concept guys and the prototype is fantastic!

I can't get a handle on the full functionality as I'm in Australia so I strongly encourage the US folk here on the forum to download it and have a go as you guys will get the proper experience.

Feedback and user testing makes a big difference for the success of these apps – also bearing in mind when getting feedback from EAs that most people aren't like a lot of EAs so will prefer simplicity over detail.

Keep up the awesome work!!

Comment by lukefreeman on Mind Ease: a promising new mental health intervention · 2018-10-23T22:12:52.479Z · EA · GW

Neat! Where can we sign up to be notified of the iOS and Android versions?

Comment by lukefreeman on EA Survey 2018 Series: Community Demographics & Characteristics · 2018-09-22T23:44:06.742Z · EA · GW

Do you have much data on the ~900 (2/7 of responses) that were invalid and what those reasons are?

Comment by lukefreeman on EA Survey 2018 Series: Community Demographics & Characteristics · 2018-09-22T10:46:53.532Z · EA · GW

Nice work! Very interesting!

33 people said Sydney which ranks us at #11 (between Cambridge and Los Angeles)... do we get a radio button next time ;)

Comment by lukefreeman on Positly wants to accelerate social science research and have a greater impact within the EA community… and you can help · 2018-07-30T08:14:29.954Z · EA · GW

Sorry I seemed to miss this comment earlier 😅

Thanks for pointing it out – fixed now 😀

Comment by lukefreeman on Positly wants to accelerate social science research and have a greater impact within the EA community… and you can help · 2018-07-06T22:45:31.104Z · EA · GW

Thanks Peter – I've written an article that explains the differences generally speaking between different approaches to recruitment: https://www.positly.com/blogs/post/comparing-positly-with-alternative-recruitment-methods

The core difference is our approach: We think a researcher’s job isn’t to figure out complex systems to find quality participants, so we provide best practice research methods directly into our tools. We allow researchers to customise their studies in many ways, but a researcher isn’t required to spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on details such as preventing duplication, calculating incentives, performing quality checks or other measures. Positly does all of this (and more) right out of the box. When we design a feature, we think about the many different contexts in which the feature could be used. Then we try to get to the root of the problem that the researcher has and abstract the solution to the most universally useful feature. Finally, we ensure that the feature behaves in a way that the researcher would expect. Our development process means that all researchers on Positly benefit from a versatile tool that is customisable to their needs. As we develop and release new features, Positly can be applied in different research contexts, all while maintaining a familiar and intuitive interface – freeing time for researchers to do what they do best.

I've currently got some draft comparisons with specific other platforms which I can share with anyone who get's in touch (not posting publicly as I want to make sure they're bulletproof first when making specific comparisons to other companies).

Comment by lukefreeman on How to have cost-effective fun · 2018-07-05T22:48:51.940Z · EA · GW

Thanks for sharing!

The consistent item on my budget that I find we struggle to keep low is eating out, largely because that's the only way we see a lot of people (close friends and family). I wrote about this in my blog post when I limited my food to <$2 a day for a month, food is social and that's a tough thing.

Also, I read your other post about setting your salary based on world's average GDP and was shocked to see rent that low – rent is at minimum 5x that much in Sydney 😳

Comment by lukefreeman on Why Groups Should Consider Direct Work · 2018-06-18T20:14:10.068Z · EA · GW

I'm really interested in what concrete suggestions there are for things that could be direct, effective and engaging for members.

Comment by lukefreeman on EA Hotel with free accommodation and board for two years · 2018-06-06T00:34:23.348Z · EA · GW

I love this idea with so many 😍emojis