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Comment by nekoinentr on Empirical data on value drift · 2018-04-27T19:26:55.911Z · score: 10 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Good.

If you feel you've become much less EA, I wonder what many others who were very into it must feel. From the outside you seem extremely involved - .impact/Rethink Charity do a huge amount with limited resources, and it seems like you do substantial volunteering with them, which doesn't seem like putting little of yourself into EA. Thanks for what you do.

Comment by nekoinentr on Empirical data on value drift · 2018-04-26T17:35:46.736Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Please do share that data when you get a chance. You guys have a lot of fascinating data in those survey results, and while I understand you have limited time/resources, it would be a shame to see them go untapped.

Comment by nekoinentr on Empirical data on value drift · 2018-04-26T17:34:38.849Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Maybe your college EA idealistic self expectation's were never that likely, so you shouldn't beat yourself up about them.

Comment by nekoinentr on Opportunities for individual donors in AI safety · 2018-03-12T17:31:45.997Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

It's no big deal, but your formatting is a little different from the normal forum formatting - it might be worth requesting .impact provide a button to clear extraneous formatting via the issues link at http://effective-altruism.com/ea/vm/ea_forum_faq/

Comment by nekoinentr on Viewing Effective Altruism as a System · 2018-01-04T07:34:04.300Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

For example, suppose you see an idea for an effective charity on Charity Science. You contact them and they provide you with advice and link you up with potential cofounders.

Have they done this for anyone?

Comment by nekoinentr on 2017 LEAN Impact Assessment: Qualitative Findings · 2018-01-04T07:25:35.498Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Surely if someone gave you a few hundred dollars to sustain a staff member such as yourself to spend a few man days leveraging volunteer tech & design effort, you'd do it? So less a matter of prioritizing things and more a matter of the EA Community Fund covering low hanging fruit like this so you don't have to take time you presumably don't have laboriously convincing someone that this is worth those few hundred dollars.

Comment by nekoinentr on Donation Plans for 2017 · 2018-01-04T07:22:12.701Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

For more speculative things, we want to put part of the money towards a project that a friend we know through the Effective Altruism movement is starting. In general I think this is a good way for people to get funding for early stage projects, presenting their case to people who know them and have a good sense of how to evaluate their plans.

Agreed. Thanks for the work you do supporting things that'd otherwise not happen!

Comment by nekoinentr on An Argument for Why the Future May Be Good · 2017-07-21T00:53:49.584Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · EA · GW

The Foundational Research Institute site in the links above seems to have a wealth of writing about the far future!

Comment by nekoinentr on An Argument for Why the Future May Be Good · 2017-07-20T14:47:31.242Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

On premise 1, a related but stronger claim is that humans tend to shape the universe to their values much more strongly than do blind natural forces. This allows for a simpler but weaker argument than yours: it follows that, should humans survive, the universe is likely to be better (according to those values) than it otherwise would be.

Comment by nekoinentr on Hi, I'm Luke Muehlhauser. AMA about Open Philanthropy's new report on consciousness and moral patienthood · 2017-07-20T14:43:23.479Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

IMO, the philosophers who accept this understanding are the so-called "type-A physicalists" in Chalmers's taxonomy.

I'm not wholly sure I understand the connection between this and denying that consciousness is a natural kind. The best I can do (and perhaps you or thebestwecan can do better? ;-) ) is:

"If consciousness is a natural kind, then the existence of that natural kind is a separate fact from the existence of such-and-such a physical brain state (and vica versa)"

Comment by nekoinentr on Changes to the EA Forum · 2017-07-07T23:50:14.342Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Another change:

(3) Tagging users so they get notifications. I tried tagging "Tee", who posted here about moving up to the Executive Director role at .impact, in my previous comment. But I couldn't find a character like @ that allowed me to do this.

(Is there a place to post feature suggestions like this?)

Comment by nekoinentr on Changes to the EA Forum · 2017-07-07T23:47:33.257Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I presume CEA tech staff will make the branding changes, but is the plan for them also to make the longer term changes, or would that continue to be the .impact community? I don't understand what roles CEA has taken on as of this announcement and what role .impact continues to have? It sounds from the first paragraph like .impact has decided to transition primary responsibility for forum maintenance and improvements to CEA, but the third last paragraph suggest otherwise - could someone from that community comment?

Comment by nekoinentr on How can we best coordinate as a community? · 2017-07-07T23:36:47.719Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

One reason this is that, because there are donors with money on the sidelines, if the organisations were able to find someone with a good level of fit, they could fundraise enough money to pay for their salaries.

Can you (very roughly) quantify to what extent this is the case for EA organisations? (I imagine they will vary as to how donor-rich vs. potential-hire-rich they are, so some idea of the spread would be helpful.)

Comment by nekoinentr on Hi, I'm Luke Muehlhauser. AMA about Open Philanthropy's new report on consciousness and moral patienthood · 2017-07-07T23:26:43.949Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

but understanding that consciousness is a contested concept rather than a natural kind is itself a significant leap forward in the debate. (Most philosophers haven't gotten that far.)

Who do and do not agree with that, then? You and thebestwecan clearly do. Do you know the opinions of prominent philosophers in the field? For instance David Chalmers, who sounds like he is amongst these(?)

Comment by nekoinentr on Hi, I'm Luke Muehlhauser. AMA about Open Philanthropy's new report on consciousness and moral patienthood · 2017-06-29T06:39:29.635Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

The idea of a natural kind is helpful. The fact that people mean different things by "consciousness" seems unsurprising, as that's the case for any complex word that people have strong motives to apply (in this case because consciousness sounds valuable). It also tells us little about the moral questions we're considering here. Do you guys agree or am I missing something?

Comment by nekoinentr on Hi, I'm Luke Muehlhauser. AMA about Open Philanthropy's new report on consciousness and moral patienthood · 2017-06-29T05:16:09.864Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I don't think I understand what you mean by consciousness being objective. When you mention "what processes, materials, etc. we subjectively choose to use as the criteria for consciousness", this sounds to me as if you're talking about people having different definitions of consciousness, especially if the criteria are meant as definitive rather than indicative. However presumably in many cases whether the criteria are present will be an objective question.

When you talk about whether "consciousness is an actual property of the world", do you mean whether it's part of ontologic base reality?

Comment by nekoinentr on Can we apply start-up investing principles to non-profits? · 2017-06-29T03:20:19.105Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I wouldn't have thought that hits-based giving should be a general strategy, as it's one highly specific way of having an impact. I can understand 80,000 hours developing it as a way to understand their own impact; it fits when you're giving in-depth advice to a few individuals on their whole careers, but that's an atypical case.

Comment by nekoinentr on The Effective Altruism Newsletter & Open Thread – February 2016 · 2016-02-14T19:49:51.420Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

What luck have the big EA charities (GiveWell and CEA come to mind as the obvious candidates) had with building up a non-EA donor base? (By which I mean one which wouldn't otherwise donate to what'd generally be considered EA picks, like GiveWell recommendations, meta charities, etc.)

Comment by nekoinentr on The Effective Altruism Newsletter & Open Thread - 23 November 2015 Edition · 2016-01-04T20:01:29.604Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Not sure if this is the proper place to post.

I think it'd be a good place to post; it's an open thread!

Comment by nekoinentr on Giving What We Can needs your help this Christmas! · 2015-12-08T00:55:11.228Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · EA · GW

103:1 is an incredible fundraising ratio - how are you able to convince people to donate so much with such a small investment, apparently just a small amount of staff time, and how would others go about replicating this? If people could replicate your methods around the world it'd be highly desirable for them to do so.

Comment by nekoinentr on September Open Thread · 2015-09-17T14:29:47.532Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Oh, seems it was David Barry, I should read the whole thread before commenting!

Comment by nekoinentr on September Open Thread · 2015-09-17T14:28:33.105Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

As for multiple categories, well that was one of the top few criticisms of LessWrong, the site that this forum was built from. At the time of starting the forum, there was a resounding call for all the content to be lumped together into one feed.

My understanding was that the LessWrong split between Main and Discussion led to some undesirable effects, no? I recall hearing someone (maybe Peter Hurford and Tom Ash?) suggest that the Forum is to the FB group as LW Main is to LW Discussion.

Comment by nekoinentr on September Open Thread · 2015-09-17T14:24:12.080Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I don't know if this is a violation of EA Club rules, but I heard there was an 'EA Private' group on FB for this exact purpose

Comment by nekoinentr on How to get more EAs to connect in person and share expertise? · 2015-08-20T15:33:36.229Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I'm not sure I agree, that would lose some of the information signal of upvotes.

Comment by nekoinentr on Efective Altruism Quotes · 2015-08-15T01:23:38.542Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Someone should do a review of it, for instance on the EA Forum

Comment by nekoinentr on Efective Altruism Quotes · 2015-08-01T17:08:58.972Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Has anyone else finished Nick Cooney's book? I thought it was excellent, like his others. I'd recommend it as something to give people new to EA.

Comment by nekoinentr on Direct Funding Between EAs - Moral Economics · 2015-07-28T19:41:19.149Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

AFAIC donations within a bounded range can be received by non-US citizens in US soil, even in non-favorable Visa conditions.

I think you mean AFAICT - as far as I can tell. It's normally better to spell these acronyms out for writing of this sort.

While I'm commenting, does this hold in other places EAs might want to move (I suppose this means the UK, Canada, Australia, Switzerland and perhaps Thailand?)

Comment by nekoinentr on Giving What We Can's response to recent deworming studies · 2015-07-23T23:19:08.079Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

good job beating out GiveWell

Does speed realistically make that much difference? I don't see what good it would do for GiveWell to start rushing to get responses out first.

Comment by nekoinentr on Peter's 2015 Q2 Personal Review · 2015-07-23T23:17:16.169Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

My goal for Q2 was to not get too involved in Charity Science or .impact so I could keep my focus. I succeeded in that goal and both organizations ended up doing very well anyway!

That does appear plausible AFAICT, and focus is good. But they might have done even better with more involvement from you! Perhaps it's predictable that when posting to an EA forum you'd get advice to focus more on EA projects (inevitably at the expense of others). Hacker News would doubtless tell you to drop anything EA in favour of laser-like focus on your top secret startup. (Very tantalising! Can you give any hints?)

AFAICT the Charity Science fundraising experiments have a few full-time people working on them, so maybe there's little you could add as a part-timer, but I don't know how many people would do your .impact work if you didn't? It's great that you've managed volunteers coding some fixes and features for this very forum, but you can only get so much out of volunteers in general.

Comment by nekoinentr on Looking for EA work for your spare time? Look at (and add to) this list! · 2015-07-15T02:44:38.105Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Yeh, anyone could organise this by posting in their Google group and Facebook haunts. I'd be interested to see an objective take on that too.

Comment by nekoinentr on The career questions thread · 2015-07-04T12:58:30.559Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

True, the chances of someone doing a very similar startup aren't 100% (though they're not 0%). I was more thinking that there's more of a shortage of people doing EA movement building than of people doing startups, and partly as a result of this a marginal extra person doing EA work is more valuable.

Comment by nekoinentr on The career questions thread · 2015-06-20T16:37:38.793Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

As a distant observer, your .impact EA work seems unlikely to get replaced, whereas there are plenty of people doing startups - are you worried that adding a startup to your earning to give might squeeze EA work out?

Comment by nekoinentr on The career questions thread · 2015-06-20T16:36:16.011Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · EA · GW

80k advice often seems geared to people with quite a particular educational background. I'm keen on earning to give even if my earnings can only be moderate (a different course seems better if they might end up lower than that). But while I'm unusually smart I don't like school, don't have very good A levels (Bs and Cs), and prefer to be self-directed - so I decided to skip university to do self-employed start-up business work. However I figure I could go back, or perhaps do an accelerated business course. How can someone in my general situation best get an outside view of their expected mean/median earnings, if they're willing to do any job to maximise these?

Comment by nekoinentr on 2015 Summer Welcome Thread · 2015-06-17T14:17:28.262Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

What about the books by Nick Cooney (already out I think?) and Larissa MacFarquhar? It's worth everyone remembering to mention them when we're giving lists.

Comment by nekoinentr on We are living in a suboptimal blogosphere · 2015-06-14T16:22:23.528Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Posting at Slate Star Codex is not open, so potentially great bloggers are not incentivized to come up with their ideas, but only to comment on the ones there.

Thouht it wasn't open at all?

Comment by nekoinentr on [Discussion] What have you found great value in not doing? · 2015-06-14T16:21:19.873Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

This seems potentially important advice for etg-ers.

Comment by nekoinentr on [Discussion] What have you found great value in not doing? · 2015-06-14T16:20:31.580Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I'm curious as to others experience with this. I check less than once a day but am not sure thats optimal.

Comment by nekoinentr on Giving What We Can needs your help! · 2015-06-01T21:20:55.264Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Good point, that sounds plausible - I attempted to capture it in my poll in reply to Ben's but it has so far not reached many people who actually gave to GWWC.

Comment by nekoinentr on Map of Open Spaces in Effective Altruism · 2015-06-01T21:18:08.611Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Aha cool, that's a helpful explanation, as it's not what I was thinking of as mentoring. It's more like person-to-person introduction or local outreach.

Comment by nekoinentr on Map of Open Spaces in Effective Altruism · 2015-05-31T20:23:57.900Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Interesting. What was your story?

Comment by nekoinentr on Solving donation coordination problems · 2015-05-28T05:08:45.468Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Here are the figures from Ben's poll so anyone can refer to them:


" how many folks have held off donating to GWWC in order to see whether their fundraiser hits its goal without their donations (so that their donation would have been replaceable/had no counterfactual impact)? "

I donated 0 (0%)

I refrained from donating PRIMARILY for the above reason 1 (3%)

I refrained from donating AT LEAST IN PART for the above reason 13 (45%)

The above reason didn't affect my decision at all 15 (52%)


And here are the figures from my poll with a fuller set of options:


I donated money that'd otherwise have gone to direct support of the global poor 0 (0%)

I donated money that'd otherwise have gone to help others 0 (0%)

I donated money that wouldn't have otherwise have gone to help anyone else (e.g. I'd have spent it on myself) 1 (8%)

My main reason for not donating was the thought that my donation wouldn't raise GWWC's counterfactual spending 0 (0%)

My main reason for not donating was not being sufficiently convinced that increasing GWWC's spending would do the most good 12 (92%)

I thought donating would raise GWWC's counterfactual spending and this would do the most good, but nonetheless didn't donate 0 (0%)


Of course these polls aren't fully comparable, as saying "I refrained from donating AT LEAST IN PART for the above reason" means only that you think it's one reason for not donating, and as 'Larks' points out there are two possible ways of cashing out "My main reason for not donating was the thought that my donation wouldn't raise GWWC's counterfactual spending":

  • My donation would cause others to donate less
  • My donation would cause CEA central to transfer resources away from GWWC but only one of these is what Ben was talking about.
Comment by nekoinentr on Giving What We Can needs your help! · 2015-05-28T00:12:09.626Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

It'd be good to hear from more GWWC donors. So far "not being sufficiently convinced" is in the double digits (perhaps predictable given most Effective Altruists appear to donate to the charities that GiveWell thinks do the most good, and this is the most plausible explanation of that). But only 1 person has voted for something else, "I donated money that wouldn't have otherwise have gone to help anyone else". Not that I didn't want to know people's reasons for not donating and wouldn't welcome more about these, but I was equally curious to understand why people did donate.

Comment by nekoinentr on Questions about Effective Altruism in academia (RAQ) · 2015-05-27T19:28:24.049Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Broadening it out a little, many EA organisations (at the very least GiveWell, CEA and Leverage Research) are heavily research-focused, and in some cases founded and staffed by people who were on the academic track and wanted to be academics or researchers. So it's worth considering them at the same time, partly as a related alternative which will appeal to some of those interested in this thread.

Comment by nekoinentr on Where I'm giving and why: Peter Hurford · 2015-05-27T17:20:13.511Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

@PETER_HURFORD, seconded. I don't know how to put this properly but I hope you've moved past any analysis paralysis!

Comment by nekoinentr on On everyday altruism and the local circle · 2015-05-27T16:50:31.829Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

it does strike me that emphasis on things that can be codified and argued over probably means that fora like this don't encompass important aspects of EA, such as the forces that motivate many of us.

Yes the tendency to spend all our energy on ("abstruse"?) intellectual battles which I'm guilty of myself has other problems besides.

Comment by nekoinentr on Map of Open Spaces in Effective Altruism · 2015-05-27T16:35:26.866Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

That is well worth doing. There are instructions on doing this somewhere on their website https://impact.hackpad.com/ .

Comment by nekoinentr on Giving What We Can needs your help! · 2015-05-27T16:32:49.307Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Oh I didn't know you could do polls! Testing them out with one with a fuller set of options:

[pollid:4]

Comment by nekoinentr on Request for Feedback: Researching global poverty interventions with the intention of founding a charity. · 2015-05-27T16:25:29.832Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Presumably it's not wholly uneducated, given you've been looking into this issue :) Would you have time at some point to share what's feeding into that estimate (even if it's more a partial list of factors rather than being a full defense)?

Comment by nekoinentr on Impact Purchase: Round 2 · 2015-05-22T19:57:55.319Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

It might put people off submitting projects - I think one ought to ask for permission in these cases.

Comment by nekoinentr on Should I be vegan? · 2015-05-22T19:56:39.281Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

That seems perfectly reasonable, and like your energy and willpower is plausibly better spent on other things (says I, as a possibly rationalising meat eater).