Posts

Potential effects of habitat fragmentation on wild animal welfare 2020-08-11T07:54:00.000Z · score: 19 (9 votes)
A list of EA-related podcasts 2019-11-27T15:57:22.260Z · score: 75 (39 votes)

Comments

Comment by m_allcock on EAGxVirtual Unconference (Saturday, June 20th 2020) · 2020-06-14T11:43:59.542Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the comment. I REALLY like the way you put it in the first paragraph. You've put the idea into better words than I could have done. If it goes down well at the unconference, I'll be in touch. It will be helpful to chat to an audio engineer.

Comment by m_allcock on EAGxVirtual Unconference (Saturday, June 20th 2020) · 2020-06-14T11:41:27.146Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I agree with the paragraph about interviewing the most engaged people.

Thanks for your offer of help. If the response from the unconference is positive, I will be in touch with you to see if there is a way that you can contribute.

I agree with audio quality being a priority, especially with a remote interviewee. If the response from the unconference is positive, I was thinking of applying for funding for good quality hardware and software from e.g. the EA meta fund. As well as interviewing people who already have a good quality microphone, another option which I have hear other podcasters have success with, is to send a microphone to the interviewee by post and have them send it back (or to the next interviewee) after the interview.

Comment by m_allcock on EAGxVirtual Unconference (Saturday, June 20th 2020) · 2020-06-14T11:28:54.881Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the feedback. A comment like this is useful at this stage as I'm trying to get an understanding for whether people would listen to this sort of thing.

Comment by m_allcock on A list of EA-related podcasts · 2020-06-11T14:52:30.673Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Ace! this is the first time I've heard of that podcast. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by m_allcock on EAGxVirtual Unconference (Saturday, June 20th 2020) · 2020-06-11T14:51:29.657Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I've added a link now. After all, I need to turn up my "willingness to shamelessly self-promote" dial if I'm going to get this podcast off the ground!

Thanks for your interest in being an interviewee. I'll keep a log of those who are interested and will be in touch if the project has enough interest to get up and running.

Comment by m_allcock on EAGxVirtual Unconference (Saturday, June 20th 2020) · 2020-06-10T16:09:28.719Z · score: 46 (39 votes) · EA · GW

"Everyday EA" - A new EA podcast

Summary:

I am in the very early stages of creating a new EA podcast with the working title: Everyday EA. The podcast would be informal interviews with people in the EA community (broadly) who are not particularly well known, yet are doing valuable work, even if they aren’t yet the most successful person in their field. I’d like to use this session to get feedback on the initial idea, to talk to people who have podcasting experience, and to search for possible collaborators.

Details:

Many people in the community see the great research, writing, advocacy, and altruism of others and do not feel like they have enough to contribute so lose motivation to contribute at all. They only see the most successful people and think “I cannot achieve that”. This means that we are missing out on a large number of great minds who could help humans and animals now and in the future. I’d like to start a podcast project that promotes the voices of "everyday EAs": relatable role-models in the EA community who, while not necessarily being at the very top of their respective field, are having a meaningful impact that should be celebrated.

Many people (especially EAs?) consume many hours of podcasts. The small number of EA-specific podcasts (The Future of Life Institute podcast, 80,000 hours podcast, to name a few. I compiled a longer list here.) mostly involve interviews with very successful people. I think there is space for a more approachable and relatable podcast.

Benefits to the EA community:

  • Create relatable role-models: Make EA relatable through conversations with people who share the listeners’ worries and feelings of inadequacy.
  • A platform for early-career EAs to promote their thinking/writing/skills to the EA community.
  • A platform to promote diverse experiences and thoughts to broaden the reach of EA.

Key questions and uncertainties:

  • Is a podcast the best way to address these problems?
  • How could the impact of the podcast be maximised? Episode length, themes, who to interview?
  • What level of knowledge should we assume in the audience?
  • Would you like to work on this project with me (as an interviewee, co-host, or producer)?

If you have any suggestions about this idea but cannot make it to the unconference, please reply to this comment or reach out to me via private message.

First session is my preference, but I am happy to be considered for either.

Comment by m_allcock on Physical Exercise for EAs – Why and How · 2020-01-13T12:11:58.966Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I can also vouch for the Stronglifts 5x5 programme.

Training with a team and focusing on improvement (e.g. weight lifted, running time for a given distance, rock climbing grade), where improved health and well-being is the secondary benefit, has helped with my motivation a lot.

Comment by m_allcock on A list of EA-related podcasts · 2019-12-03T18:56:46.182Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Sentience Institute released a new podcast on effective animal advocacy just today!

Comment by m_allcock on A list of EA-related podcasts · 2019-11-28T16:38:43.667Z · score: 14 (8 votes) · EA · GW

Done. Thanks for the nudge to put a little more time into it.

Comment by m_allcock on Are there any celebrities promoting EA? · 2019-10-22T08:59:33.583Z · score: 7 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Singer/songwriter Jose Gonzalez has promoted EA a number of times, mentions it in his twitter bio, and performed at last years' EA Global London.

Actor and director Joseph Gordon-Levitt contributed to an EA Global too. I am unsure as to how much he has promoted EA outside of this though.

Comment by m_allcock on Effective animal advocacy movement building: a neglected opportunity? · 2019-06-25T13:52:10.816Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Great post, Jamie. Thank you. Perhaps having a well-made online course on EAA would be helpful for bottleneck (1). It could be a go-to resource for new employees and volunteers at EAA organisations and be helpful for activist to get an eye for effectiveness.

Downsides are that it would take quite some time to make.

I would be moderately interested in getting involved with the creation of this if it's thought to be a worthwhile project. Udemy is the first platform that springs to mind for this.

Comment by m_allcock on Why are you here? An origin stories thread. · 2018-08-15T21:26:04.848Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

That's for the inspiring story, and to all the previous commenters.

My memory is one of my most failing attributes, but this post has encouraged me to contribute to this forum for the first time after being an occasional spectator, so here goes.

In early 2016, I was playing table-tennis with my older brother. Table-tennis is a unique game because it takes a lot of concentration, yet it is possible to have a fully engaged conversation with your opponent at the same time. Back and forth, we talked. I said something like this:

“I’m gonna start a PhD soon. I’ll earn a small stipend. Based on how much living has cost over the last few years, I’ll still have a lot left over. Then I’ll graduate and earn more money, and have more left over. Other people surely need this surplus money more than me. So I should give some of it away.”

At the same time, I was trying to make better financial decisions, and was dabbling in financial investment. So I asked my brother a question:

“With this leftover money, is it best to give it to charity now or to invest it and give it later?”

We threw around some ideas about compound interest, duty to help now, problems now being worse than problems later, and that we might learn more later to give in a more impactful way. We didn’t get very far with the discussion, so I Googled it. The words “Effective Altruism” kept cropping up, and I found my way to Peter Singer’s TED talk.

I was already convinced by Peter Singer’s anti-speciesist arguments against eating animal products, as I had been vegan for about a year, so it was intriguing to hear about other philosophical stances he argues for. His talk piqued my interest in EA, which, with the aid of our local EA group, has slowly drawn me further and further into its logical and compassionate underworld.

I had dabbled with various social and intellectual movements previously, but had always felt something not quite right. Some were to insular, some too tribal, some lacking in good intellectual practices, with misaligned incentives. What I loves about EA, that other groups I have dabbled with in the past, is its ability to self criticise, to learn, to change its mind, to accept that we might be wrong, and that other people might be right, but to try to listen to all parties, and to get as close to the right answers as we can be. I also was drawn in by the idea that this movement is not be bound to an arbitrary cause, rather it is about finding correct answers to one of the most fundamental questions we face: how can we do the most good?

Since then, I have met some of the best people I know, I have changed my mind a lot, and I have improved in many areas of my life. I am now the chair of my city's local group, I volunteer for an EA-aligned organisation, and I am planning on moving from researching mathematics to something closer to what the world needs once I finish my PhD. I can’t wait!