[Feedback Request] The compound interest of saving lives 2020-12-22T13:50:13.388Z
MaxG's Shortform 2020-12-04T11:02:37.091Z


Comment by maxg on [Feedback Request] The compound interest of saving lives · 2020-12-22T20:56:03.056Z · EA · GW

I like the framing of "optimum population trajectory",  that's an idea I haven't encountered before. Thanks! 

Comment by maxg on [Feedback Request] The compound interest of saving lives · 2020-12-22T20:50:09.604Z · EA · GW

Hey Max, thank you for the links! I guess now I have some quality reading material over the holidays :) 

Comment by maxg on I made a video on engineered pandemics · 2020-12-22T13:27:54.920Z · EA · GW

Good thinking! Attention spans are short enough these days so 15min seems plenty :) 

Comment by maxg on I made a video on engineered pandemics · 2020-12-22T10:37:15.578Z · EA · GW

Hi! Just watched the video and I think it's super well produced, good job.

I was surprised how you managed to summarise a lot of the knowledge I already had on this topic in under 15 minutes.

Furthermore, I have talked to lots of people who mentioned that EA seems underrepresented in video format. YouTube seems like a good opportunity here that could be used more. Regarding this, I think this is valuable work. Also I like that you didn't give it the Effective Altruism "stamp". There should be more discussion on when it's appropriate to publicly advertise EA as a concept and when it's better to just introduce a topic we're concerned about without explicitely relating it to EA. This is related to the idea of external movement building:

Comment by maxg on MaxG's Shortform · 2020-12-14T10:39:53.886Z · EA · GW

Hi Aaron, great question.
Let's get the obvious out of the way: For people who are still in university, in study-intensive subjects, it's a great advantage to use a Spaced Repetition System like SuperMemo. To me it feels empowering not to have to worry about forgetting. It's a common experience to feel very frustrated to study so much for an exam, only to forget most of it afterwards. This doesn't happen to me anymore, because I just know the algorithm will take care and as long as I do my daily repitions, my knowledge will get transfered into long-term memory. 

Another obvious use case is learning languages. An SRS can greatly help you to learn a language much faster and this seems to be the most common usage. 

One not so obvious advantage is about creativity/innovation. In my understanding, creativity has a lot to do with connecting ideas from different fields, ones you wouldn't initially notice as being related to each other. Imagine you study two different domains, e.g. Biology and Economics. Actively remembering important information from both of those might result in two at first glance disparate ideas appearing in your mind in close succession. This is what leads to creativity, you making the connection between those. This is less likely to happen if you store your information mostly externally, e.g. in Evernote. 

To answer your question more straightforward: So far, I have found it most useful for studying medicine in University and learning French/Spanish.

Comment by maxg on MaxG's Shortform · 2020-12-04T10:54:31.658Z · EA · GW

Hey there, I was just wondering if there are any fellow EAs who are using SuperMemo?

Spaced Repetition Systems (SRS) have generally become more popular over the last years. As a medical student, I have personally read tons of stuff about effective learning and how to win the fight against forgetting. I have probably spent hundreds of hours with Anki, which might be more familiar to people.

For a few months now, I've been trying out SuperMemo ( Especially with the feature of Incremental Reading, I feel like many people in the EA community could benefit from using it.

Main features:

  • allows you to remember facts with the best Spaced Repetition Algorithm I know of
  • read hundreds of articles/papers "at the same time" by making incremental progress on each one
  • have all your reading sorted by priority and connected in a knowledge tree structure

Furthermore it can potentially be used for things like boosting creativity and incremental writing

The biggest hurdle to overcome when starting SuperMemo is the learning curve. For a beginner, it can be a bit unintuitive and many people initially dislike the UI.

Luckily, the community seems to be growing pretty well right now and there is more and more high quality information online (see There are even people who can help you get started and offer 1on1 teaching.

I'm just wondering if any of you have heard about SuperMemo or maybe have personal experience?