Comment by peter_hurford on Why we should be less productive. · 2019-05-09T15:36:10.673Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · EA · GW

It's almost like you're actually allowed to live your life!

Comment by peter_hurford on I want an ethnography of EA · 2019-05-03T16:12:22.979Z · score: 17 (7 votes) · EA · GW

I've been really interested by the amount of times I've found myself and/or others surprised by seeing that the EA community does something that nearly all other communities do (e.g., infight, unfairly exclude an outgroup, unfairly prefer something or someone high status). I think better awareness of this could be valuable and we may be able to learn a good deal more from the successes and failures of other communities.

Comment by peter_hurford on Reasons to eat meat · 2019-04-22T15:48:57.985Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW
Going vegan seems much harder again, though - maybe as hard as giving 20% or 25%?

I agree that this also feels the same to me (I give ~20% but I'm not vegan). Though, again, probably feels much different to other people.

Comment by peter_hurford on Reasons to eat meat · 2019-04-21T21:57:24.497Z · score: 33 (18 votes) · EA · GW

This post tickled my brain in a funny/good way, so thanks for that. I'm still left a little dumbfounded. My thought is if you think of taking EA actions from a units-of-good-accomplished-per-unit-of-personal-sacrifice perspective, donating 10% of my income and giving up meat feel about equally hard to me (and I do both), though I imagine this feels very different for other people and I don't know what norms are appropriate to make/enforce around how much and what kinds of sacrifices people should make.

Comment by peter_hurford on Who is working on finding "Cause X"? · 2019-04-15T21:03:41.917Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Right now everything I mentioned is in https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/6cgRR6fMyrC4cG3m2/rethink-priorities-plans-for-2019

We're working on writing up an update.

Comment by peter_hurford on Who is working on finding "Cause X"? · 2019-04-15T21:02:56.185Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Yep :)

Comment by peter_hurford on EA Forum Prize: Winners for February 2019 · 2019-04-15T03:21:24.170Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Speaking as one of the judges, I read a lot of the forum anyway because I find a broad selection of content to be relevant/interesting, and I find judging to be a trivial additional time burden (maybe ~10min a month).

Comment by peter_hurford on Who is working on finding "Cause X"? · 2019-04-14T23:30:00.489Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I'd refer you to the comments of https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/AChFG9AiNKkpr3Z3e/who-is-working-on-finding-cause-x#Jp9J9fKkJKsWkjmcj

Comment by peter_hurford on Who is working on finding "Cause X"? · 2019-04-14T23:29:39.824Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · EA · GW

We're also working on understanding invertebrate sentience and wild animal welfare - maybe not "cause X" because other EAs are aware of this cause already, but I think will help unlock important new interventions.

Additionally, we're doing some analysis of nuclear war scenarios and paths toward non-proliferation. I think this is understudied in EA, though again maybe not "cause X" because EAs are already aware of it.

Lastly, we're also working on examining ballot initiatives and other political methods of achieving EA aims - maybe not cause X because it isn't a new cause area, but I think it will help unlock important new ways of achieving progress on our existing causes.

Comment by peter_hurford on Who is working on finding "Cause X"? · 2019-04-11T06:52:46.770Z · score: 5 (13 votes) · EA · GW

Me.

Comment by peter_hurford on Who in EA enjoys managing people? · 2019-04-11T06:44:05.664Z · score: 17 (9 votes) · EA · GW

Me.

Comment by peter_hurford on Why animal charities are much more effective than human ones · 2019-04-09T17:43:20.041Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

It's a rather weak consideration though. I think I'd most rather invest in more research to figure out these comparisons.

Comment by peter_hurford on Announcing EA Hub 2.0 · 2019-04-09T17:35:07.428Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · EA · GW
Could we host the annual survey on the hub? Or base some of the responses on the hub index? That could both lead more people to visit and register on the hub and also reduce the effort to fill the survey

Historically it has flowed the opposite direction - the Survey has been an exceptional way to get people to populate data on the Hub.

Comment by peter_hurford on Long-Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant recommendations · 2019-04-09T05:36:27.927Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · EA · GW
I actually think that as long as you communicate potential downside risks, there is a lot of value in having independent granting bodies look over the same pool of applications.

Yes, this is a great idea to help reduce bias in grantmaking.

Comment by peter_hurford on Long-Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant recommendations · 2019-04-09T05:34:49.121Z · score: 58 (29 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the transparent answers.

The plan seemed good, but I had no way of assessing the applicant without investing significant amounts of time that I had not available (which is likely why you see a skew towards people the granting team had some past interactions with in the grants above)

This in particular strikes me as understandable but very unfortunate. I'd strongly prefer a fund where happening to live near or otherwise know a grantmaker is not a key part of getting a grant. Are there any plans or any way progress can be made on this issue?

In some cases the applicant asked for less than our minimum grant amount of $10,000

This also strikes me as unfortunate and may lead to inefficiently inflated grant requests in the future, though I guess I can understand why the logistics behind this may require it. It feels intuitively weird though that it is easier to get $10K than it is to get $1K.

Comment by peter_hurford on Long-Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant recommendations · 2019-04-08T21:16:28.327Z · score: 69 (31 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks Habryka for raising the bar on the amount of detail given in grant explanations.

Comment by peter_hurford on Long-Term Future Fund: April 2019 grant recommendations · 2019-04-08T21:15:25.084Z · score: 54 (28 votes) · EA · GW

This comment strikes me as quite uncharitable, but asks really good questions that I do think would be good to see more detail on.

Comment by peter_hurford on Why animal charities are much more effective than human ones · 2019-04-08T18:00:35.076Z · score: 15 (10 votes) · EA · GW

Your opinions might change as you take into account the full ranges of possible estimates, relative robustness, and longer-term effects. I'm pretty uncertain about the relative value of global poverty work vs. animal work, even given a non-speciesist account. See "
Global poverty could be more cost-effective than animal advocacy (even for non-speciesists)"
for a sketch of what I'm talking about.

Comment by peter_hurford on How x-risk projects are different from startups · 2019-04-05T21:38:16.730Z · score: 15 (5 votes) · EA · GW

You may also enjoy "Can we apply start-up investing principles to non-profits?" (Answer: not really)

Comment by peter_hurford on The Case for the EA Hotel · 2019-04-01T15:04:09.392Z · score: 15 (6 votes) · EA · GW

To be clear, I'm quite glad you attempted the model and I agree there's no need to apologize for it.

Comment by peter_hurford on EA Forum Prize: Winners for February 2019 · 2019-04-01T15:02:55.120Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I'll disclose that as one of the voters, I found this post very interesting and helpful, but I didn't value it as much as the specific research content that won the top three prizes. (Though note that I recuse myself from voting on content from Rethink Priorities.)

Comment by peter_hurford on EA Forum Prize: Winners for February 2019 · 2019-04-01T06:21:45.353Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Do note that while CEA distributes the prize, CEA employees are only a minority of the overall judges that cast votes for the winner of these prizes.

Comment by peter_hurford on The Case for the EA Hotel · 2019-04-01T04:34:38.314Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I do worry that the EA Hotel gives people too easy of an excuse to not have to do the hard thing of finding something outside of EA. This kind of phenomenon came up in the comments of the widely acclaimed "getting a job in EA is hard" post.

Comment by peter_hurford on The Case for the EA Hotel · 2019-03-31T22:30:28.309Z · score: 11 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I agree EAs underrate going into non-EA projects to buy themselves skills and also time to work on their project as as side-project while it gains traction. However, I've been a bit surprised how frequently this doesn't seem to have worked and people go into non-EA projects and never come back to EA. I'd be curious to learn more about that and whether the EA Hotel can be a better option.

Comment by peter_hurford on The Case for the EA Hotel · 2019-03-31T22:23:54.473Z · score: 29 (13 votes) · EA · GW

Just wanted to say I found this to be the most persuasive case for giving to the Hotel so far, by a large margin. I think it's great to create an environment where people can do projects and fail safely -- even if those projects are not directly impactful, I'd be they form the basis for learning and improving toward doing an impactful project at a later date.

I'd encourage more argumentation along these lines (and less along other lines that the Hotel has done so far).

Comment by peter_hurford on EA Hotel fundraiser 4: concrete outputs after 10 months · 2019-03-31T03:14:47.200Z · score: 19 (11 votes) · EA · GW

(BTW note that Saulius is an employee of Rethink Charity as well as Derek, and wrote those two posts while working with us.)

Comment by peter_hurford on Identifying Talent without Credentialing In EA · 2019-03-13T19:07:44.184Z · score: 10 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I can reply on behalf of Peter and I approve this message.

Comment by peter_hurford on Identifying Talent without Credentialing In EA · 2019-03-12T16:03:49.182Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Having a reliable work-sample test and interview process allows me to hire fairly confidently without much regard to credentials.

Comment by peter_hurford on After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation · 2019-03-12T15:54:45.134Z · score: 24 (15 votes) · EA · GW
The most common reaction I've heard to people who discussed their choice to pursue ETG or direct work outside of EA (for example, studying public health with an eye toward biosecurity or neglected tropical diseases) hasn't been "okay, good for you, too bad you don't work at an EA org". It's been "that's really wonderful, congratulations!"

I'm really glad that's been your experience and I acknowledge that maybe my experience isn't typical.

My experience has been more pessimistic. Honestly, I usually encounter conversations that feel more like this:

Bob: “Hi, I can donate $10,000 a year to the EA movement. GiveWell says that could save 4-5 lives a year, and it’s quite possible we could even find better giving opportunities than GiveWell top charities. This is super exciting!”

Alice: “Pff, $10K/yr isn’t really that much. We don’t need that. You should do direct work instead.”

Bob: “Ok, how about I research biosecurity?”

Alice: “Nah, you’d probably mess that up. We should just let FHI handle that. We can’t talk about this further because of infohazards.”

...Obviously this is dramatized for effect, but I've never seen a community so excited to turn away money.

Comment by peter_hurford on What Are Some Disagreements in the Area of Animal Welfare? · 2019-03-11T16:17:25.705Z · score: 12 (5 votes) · EA · GW

There's a bunch listed on this Sentience Institute page.

Comment by peter_hurford on What to do with people? · 2019-03-07T00:39:18.605Z · score: 9 (8 votes) · EA · GW

I think the framework of "try to figure out what EA most needs and do that" could be helpful, but can go wrong if over-applied. Personal fit is important. Comparative advantage is important. Spreading out talent is important too. If our movement was 100% ETG, that would be really bad. But if you're some EA person and you're having trouble figuring out what to do and can't get an EA job or enter into some flashy academic field, doing ETG is a lot better than just feeling dejected. But right now the message I hear from EA has not always been in line with that.

Comment by peter_hurford on What to do with people? · 2019-03-07T00:36:56.703Z · score: 21 (8 votes) · EA · GW

Yeah, GiveDirectly feels like the kind of thing that could take hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. If we ever do run out of funding opportunities, which I don't think we will any time soon, that's a really good problem to have.

Comment by peter_hurford on What to do with people? · 2019-03-06T16:25:16.400Z · score: 22 (14 votes) · EA · GW

"Earning to give" feels like a pretty endlessly scalable use of people. What do you think?

Comment by peter_hurford on Profiting-to-Give: harnessing EA talent with a new funding model · 2019-03-04T21:37:15.466Z · score: 4 (5 votes) · EA · GW

A classic argument against social benefit companies is that they tend to do neither for-profitting or social benefitting that well - it would be more efficient to optimize for one or the other. What do you think of that?

Comment by peter_hurford on Profiting-to-Give: harnessing EA talent with a new funding model · 2019-03-04T21:37:07.619Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I'd point out that your A and B are not mutually exclusive - I do a for-profit ETG job but also donate a significant amount of time to my own EA organization.

Comment by peter_hurford on Making discussions in EA groups inclusive · 2019-03-04T20:24:56.180Z · score: 31 (17 votes) · EA · GW

I'm not OP but my thoughts -- I agree that when I see _a lot_ of downvotes on a seemingly reasonable post that had a decent amount of work and thought put into it and _no one_ explains why, I think there is a collective action problem that could discourage future contributions and weaken discourse. So while I wouldn't think any one individual should be obligated to explain their downvotes, I think the community in aggregate does have such an obligation in these cases where there are a lot of downvotes and there is no clearly obvious reason why (e.g., obvious spam).

Comment by peter_hurford on After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation · 2019-03-03T21:30:13.991Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I agree - I just felt like it was well covered already by Luke's comments.

Comment by peter_hurford on After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation · 2019-03-03T19:05:39.439Z · score: 14 (8 votes) · EA · GW

Yes. Earning to give is a good choice and I've not suggested otherwise.

Comment by peter_hurford on After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation · 2019-03-03T08:11:03.561Z · score: 44 (33 votes) · EA · GW

I really wish we (as an EA community) didn't work so hard to accidentally make earning to give so uncool. It's a job that is well within the reach of anyone, especially if you don't have unrealistic expectations of how much money you need to make and donate to feel good about your contributions. It's also a very flexible career path and can build you good career capital along the way.

Sure talent gaps are pressing, but many EA orgs also need more money. We also need more people looking to donate, as the current pool of EA funding feels very over-concentrated in the hands of too few decision-makers right now.

I also wish we didn't accidentally make donating to AMF or GiveDirectly so uncool. Those orgs could continually absorb the money of everyone in EA and do great, life-saving work.

(Also, not to mention all the career paths that aren't earning to give or "work in an EA org"...)

Comment by peter_hurford on After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation · 2019-03-03T08:08:28.131Z · score: 25 (14 votes) · EA · GW

I agree that a failure to get funded does not imply funding constraints, but I definitely do think that many EA orgs, especially early ones, could benefit from more people with money looking to donate. There tends to be a large information asymmetry where you need to establish a clear track record and/or have someone spend a lot of time evaluating you before you can get funded. This is hard for early organizations to make happen.

I also think there are other systematic failures in EA where the best orgs do not always get fully funded.

Comment by peter_hurford on After one year of applying for EA jobs: It is really, really hard to get hired by an EA organisation · 2019-03-01T20:36:44.815Z · score: 15 (7 votes) · EA · GW

I'd like to make this into a norm, but it does also pose a barrier for funding constrained EA organizations by increasing the costs of hiring.

Comment by peter_hurford on EA Survey 2018 Series: Cause Selections · 2019-02-22T01:22:29.889Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · EA · GW

You might also like seeing this report from last year on how cause preferences have changed.

Comment by peter_hurford on Rodents farmed for pet snake food · 2019-02-21T16:05:39.265Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

This is definitely an interesting idea (two interesting ideas, I guess) worth exploring more. I worry though that some issues that might hold up these ideas are (1) these things generally being harder to compare, (2) not having any knock-on / flow-through effects of encouraging better behavior toward animals more specifically, and (3) companion animals being an important influence for people going veg.

Let me know if you'd want to look into this. :)

Comment by peter_hurford on Will companies meet their animal welfare commitments? · 2019-02-18T19:13:54.963Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Hi... Peter here, I co-lead Rethink Priorities along with Marcus A. Davis...

We’re currently funded by the EA Animal Welfare fund, the EA Foundation, and several EA individuals. We are still fundraising to continue to produce articles like this and in many other topics in farmed and animal welfare. You can see our current plans and fundraising needs here: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/6cgRR6fMyrC4cG3m2/rethink-priorities-plans-for-2019

Comment by peter_hurford on Will companies meet their animal welfare commitments? · 2019-02-03T20:19:48.114Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I don't think it would be a super great idea to popularize weaknesses in corporate campaigns, as this would risk weakening corporate campaigning.

Comment by peter_hurford on Will companies meet their animal welfare commitments? · 2019-02-01T23:05:30.404Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Yeah, I'm quite confident that corporate campaigns use a lot of shaming, for example see the "I'm Not Loving It" campaign against McDonalds that is currently running.

Comment by peter_hurford on Cost-Effectiveness of Aging Research · 2019-01-31T21:41:00.880Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA · GW

You may find our research on the cost-effectiveness of researching and developing vaccines to be a useful point of comparison, if you have not seen it.

Comment by peter_hurford on EA Community Building Grants Applications Open · 2019-01-31T20:54:43.509Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · EA · GW

"We are waiting on the completion of an impact evaluation for the previous grants before deciding upon significantly scaling the project." Is there an intended timeline for this evaluation?

Comment by peter_hurford on High-priority policy: towards a co-ordinated platform? · 2019-01-14T21:06:14.761Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

One clear strategy would be acting via OpenPhil, which can put a lot of money into policy advocacy.

Comment by peter_hurford on Climate Change Is, In General, Not An Existential Risk · 2019-01-11T23:56:08.165Z · score: 16 (12 votes) · EA · GW

I really like the writing and material in this post. :) Have you considered the possibility that global warming may introduce instability that could exacerbate other potential conflicts, leading to potential existential crises from nuclear war? Perhaps this is too indirect and unlikely, but my understanding is that EAs that worry about climate change as an x-risk envision this kind of two-step x-risk scenario.

Rethink Priorities Plans for 2019

2018-12-18T00:18:31.987Z · score: 61 (40 votes)

Open Thread #40

2018-07-08T17:51:47.777Z · score: 8 (10 votes)

Animal Equality showed that advocating for diet change works. But is it cost-effective?

2018-06-07T04:06:02.831Z · score: 23 (20 votes)

Cost-Effectiveness of Vaccines: Appendices and Endnotes

2018-05-08T07:43:43.262Z · score: 8 (9 votes)

Cost-Effectiveness of Vaccines: Exploring Model Uncertainty and Takeaways

2018-05-08T07:42:53.369Z · score: 10 (9 votes)

What is the cost-effectiveness of researching vaccines?

2018-05-08T07:41:10.595Z · score: 9 (8 votes)

How much does it cost to roll-out a vaccine?

2018-02-26T15:33:03.710Z · score: 6 (6 votes)

How much does it cost to research and develop a vaccine?

2018-02-24T01:23:33.601Z · score: 7 (7 votes)

What is Animal Farming in Rural Zambia Like? A Site Visit

2018-02-19T20:49:45.024Z · score: 15 (14 votes)

Four Organizations EAs Should Fully Fund for 2018

2017-12-12T07:17:14.418Z · score: 39 (42 votes)

Is EA Growing? Some EA Growth Metrics for 2017

2017-09-05T23:36:39.591Z · score: 19 (17 votes)

How long does it take to research and develop a new vaccine?

2017-06-28T23:20:04.289Z · score: 11 (11 votes)

Can we apply start-up investing principles to non-profits?

2017-06-27T03:16:49.074Z · score: 33 (24 votes)

The 2017 Effective Altruism Survey - Please Take!

2017-04-24T21:01:26.039Z · score: 10 (10 votes)

How do EA Orgs Account for Uncertainty in their Analysis?

2017-04-05T16:48:45.220Z · score: 8 (10 votes)

How Should I Spend My Time?

2017-01-08T03:22:46.745Z · score: 13 (13 votes)

Effective Altruism is Not a Competition

2017-01-05T02:11:23.505Z · score: 25 (27 votes)

Semi-regular Open Thread #35

2016-12-30T22:28:48.381Z · score: 9 (9 votes)

Why I Took the Giving What We Can Pledge

2016-12-28T00:02:57.065Z · score: 17 (17 votes)

The Value of Time Spent Fundraising: Four Examples

2016-12-23T04:35:25.797Z · score: 7 (7 votes)

What is the expected value of creating a GiveWell top charity?

2016-12-18T02:02:16.774Z · score: 10 (10 votes)

How many hits does hits-based giving get? A concrete study idea to find out (and a $1500 offer for implementation)

2016-12-09T03:08:25.796Z · score: 12 (12 votes)

Thoughts on the Reducetarian Labs MTurk Study

2016-12-02T17:12:44.731Z · score: 13 (13 votes)

Using a Spreadsheet to Make Good Decisions: Five Examples

2016-11-26T02:21:29.740Z · score: 32 (21 votes)

Students for High Impact Charity: Review and $10K Grant

2016-09-27T21:05:44.340Z · score: 15 (17 votes)

A Method for Automatic Trustworthiness in Study Pre-Registration

2016-09-25T04:22:38.817Z · score: 9 (9 votes)

Using Amazon's Mechanical Turk for Animal Advocacy Studies: Opportunities and Challenges

2016-08-02T19:24:58.259Z · score: 12 (11 votes)

Five Ways to Handle Flow-Through Effects

2016-07-28T03:39:44.235Z · score: 12 (12 votes)

End-Relational Theory of Meta-ethics: A Dialogue

2016-06-28T20:11:52.534Z · score: 1 (8 votes)

How should we prioritize cause prioritization?

2016-06-13T17:03:45.558Z · score: 7 (7 votes)

A Case for Empirical Cause Prioritization

2016-06-06T17:32:43.818Z · score: 12 (13 votes)

Global poverty could be more cost-effective than animal advocacy (even for non-speciesists)

2016-05-31T15:02:32.339Z · score: 10 (14 votes)

More Thoughts (and Analysis) on the Mercy For Animals Online Ads Study

2016-05-27T03:00:29.228Z · score: 13 (13 votes)

.impact's pivot to focus projects

2016-04-29T19:59:47.775Z · score: 8 (8 votes)

Is EA growing? A concrete study idea to find out (and a $100 offer for implementation)

2016-02-21T21:42:28.036Z · score: 16 (18 votes)

Do EAs underestimate opportunities to create many small benefits?

2016-01-25T04:20:10.880Z · score: 11 (13 votes)

EA risks falling into a "meta trap". But we can avoid it.

2015-08-25T15:22:26.620Z · score: 44 (51 votes)

Peter Hurford thinks that a large proportion of people should earn to give long term

2015-08-17T15:42:07.612Z · score: 46 (49 votes)

Moral Economics in Practice: Musing on Acausal Payments through Donations

2015-08-12T17:41:12.855Z · score: 6 (6 votes)

Peter's 2015 Q2 Personal Review

2015-07-21T18:17:04.171Z · score: 5 (7 votes)

Join .impact's Third Workathon this Sunday at Noon Pacific

2015-07-19T00:02:18.999Z · score: 2 (2 votes)

Meetup : .impact's Third Workathon

2015-07-18T23:59:31.012Z · score: 0 (0 votes)

Looking for EA work for your spare time? Look at (and add to) this list!

2015-07-12T20:07:20.000Z · score: 9 (11 votes)

Peter's 2015 Q1 Personal Review

2015-04-25T01:33:26.380Z · score: 2 (2 votes)

We might be getting a lot of new EAs. What are we going to do when they arrive?

2015-03-25T15:41:49.269Z · score: 17 (17 votes)

The 2014 Survey of Effective Altruists: Results and Analysis

2015-03-17T00:29:07.352Z · score: 23 (27 votes)

EA is the best choice I've ever made

2015-01-30T20:25:15.191Z · score: 20 (20 votes)

Peter's Personal Review for Oct-Dec 2014

2015-01-03T01:48:41.930Z · score: 6 (6 votes)

EAs on RSS and Reddit!

2014-12-31T17:08:56.986Z · score: 2 (2 votes)

List of Introductory EA Presentations

2014-12-29T06:22:39.597Z · score: 11 (11 votes)