Announcing the EA Behavioral Science Newsletter 2021-09-01T03:56:55.677Z
Research summary: A Meta-Review of Interventions that Influence Animal-Product Consumption 2021-08-13T06:46:43.608Z
A spreadsheet with titles and links for over 1900 YouTube EA videos 2021-07-26T02:05:00.418Z
Review: What works to promote charitable donations? 2020-08-24T01:42:05.967Z
Opportunity to support a Covid19 related survey collaboration 2020-03-28T01:02:15.612Z
Requesting support for the StandAgainstCorona pledge 2020-03-17T00:47:40.298Z


Comment by Peterslattery on Does the Forum Prize lead people to write more posts? · 2021-09-21T04:06:22.931Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this and the related work! Interesting to see the relatively small/insignificant effect on post frequency. I don't want to spend much time commenting here so I'll be very concise with my quick thoughts. They are just for the sake of feedback mainly so don't take them too seriously!

  • I still think [55% confidence] that prizes probably do have an effect, mainly on those considering writing posts. The effect might not enough to justify doing them monthly though. However, annual prizes seem more likely to be cost-effective to me.
  • Your 'prize posts' also curate good content and that is valuable for forum readers, I think
  • I'd like an annual prize for the top posts/comments over the year, potentially with a crowdsourced component (i.e., forum users nominate/vote). 
  • I like the creative writing prize and similar. I think it makes me many times more likely to produce creative content (which sadly doesn't overcome my time or ineptitude  :P)
  • I like the idea of using prizes to spotlight and incentivise specific types of content.
Comment by Peterslattery on A Website for Aggregating and Visualising EA Data · 2021-09-13T00:40:12.974Z · EA · GW

Awesome work!  I remember when Ivan mentioned your project to me.  Really cool to see it come to fruition.  I like the idea of a central data repository and would benefit from it. I think that having an accompanying visualisation like this could add value to the annual EA survey data. 

I also think that creating data visualisations could also help to increase the dissemination and impact of EA research.  I'd like to see more work there too.

Comment by Peterslattery on What are examples of technologies which would be a big deal if they scaled but never ended up scaling? · 2021-09-06T23:27:32.209Z · EA · GW

Thanks, this was particularly useful for me!

Comment by Peterslattery on [deleted post] 2021-09-01T22:46:52.116Z

[Offering feedback for why this was downvoted. Note that I didn't downvote you although I did have a somewhat neutral/negative experience when reading your post] 

This seems like a well-intentioned but poorly executed post. It sounds like an advertisement for a very niche opportunity.  You don't explain the opportunity very clearly and the post doesn't flow very well. 

I have posted similar things in the past and they were relatively poorly received. I think that forum readers want generally want something that is either insightful/helpful and/or of general interest. 

In future, you might want to consider asking for feedback on a draft to check the reading experience.

I hope this helps - I know it is annoying when you get downvotes without feedback. Thank you for taking the time to share this regardless :)

Comment by Peterslattery on Who do intellectual prizewinners follow on Twitter? · 2021-08-25T23:58:49.485Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this this, it is useful information. 

30% of IPWs follow at least one EA-adjacent influencer.

This is more than I would have expected so I am quite pleased!

Comment by Peterslattery on Lessons from Running Stanford EA and SERI · 2021-08-23T04:05:24.651Z · EA · GW

Great work Kuhan, both overall and with this post!  Thank you for taking the time to do it.

Comment by Peterslattery on Research summary: A Meta-Review of Interventions that Influence Animal-Product Consumption · 2021-08-21T23:40:58.561Z · EA · GW

Thanks Rowan!

Comment by Peterslattery on A spreadsheet with titles and links for over 1900 YouTube EA videos · 2021-08-20T05:21:07.937Z · EA · GW

Thanks Chana - I had a look but I think that the videos on this channel are a bit too technical and diverse for me to add to the spreadsheet. 

Comment by Peterslattery on [PR FAQ] Adding profile pictures to the Forum · 2021-08-10T05:06:27.289Z · EA · GW

I am weakly in favour. In short: I agree with the downsides raised. However, I think (partly from my research about website design) that pictures of people usually lead to audiences feeling a better connection and more willingness to collaborate. I think that that that benefit would outweigh the downsides. 

I can't imagine any social networking service working well without profile pictures. I think the forum is in part a social networking service to connect EAs around similar ideas with the hope that they communicate and work together.

Comment by Peterslattery on [PR FAQ] Improving tag notifications · 2021-08-10T04:54:42.951Z · EA · GW

I'd use/appreciate this I think.

Comment by Peterslattery on [PR FAQ] Sharing readership data with Forum authors · 2021-08-10T04:51:15.831Z · EA · GW

Same. Useful also from an org impact perspective. E.g., over x people have viewed our posts (might be combined with website views etc)

Comment by Peterslattery on A spreadsheet with titles and links for over 1900 YouTube EA videos · 2021-08-06T00:52:21.834Z · EA · GW

Thanks, have added

Comment by Peterslattery on Part 4: Intra-organizational and non-tech agencies · 2021-08-06T00:51:31.548Z · EA · GW

Great, glad it was helpful!

Comment by Peterslattery on New blog: Cold Takes · 2021-08-06T00:45:06.849Z · EA · GW

Great, really glad to hear. Let me know if you want my help! Are you aware of this group - you could also probably get or even hire some good help there. 

Comment by Peterslattery on I Created Free Content Training for Nonprofit Orgs · 2021-08-04T03:42:48.786Z · EA · GW

Thanks Linda, I will be in touch!

Comment by Peterslattery on Part 4: Intra-organizational and non-tech agencies · 2021-08-03T06:54:25.257Z · EA · GW

Some quick responses, sorry if unclear:


Why didn't you apply for funding from EA meta or similar to hire an agency to fund the website?

This didn't seem like a live opportunity (I have never heard of it happening). I don't think we would have received any funding if we had applied. We would also have needed to cost the project, find an agency first etc. 

suppose a low bono agency is available. In a case like this you'd still need to apply for funding for the former and, based on the estimations in part 2, it would be 50-66% cheaper than existing for-profit agencies at most - so if that discount wouldn't have made you a) feel the project was worth paying for out of your own pocket or b) make you optimistic enough about the prospects of getting funding to apply to eg EA meta, then the argument would be that the work you wanted done was low enough value that it wouldn't have been a good use of the movement's money to subsidise an agency to work do pro bono work for you.

This model has lots of frictions, uncertainties and double handling - we need to explain the issue to the org to price the work, then apply for the funding by explaining what we want, then get back to the agency to start the work if we are approved. We probably also need to report back to the funder later on. Seems better to have have more certainty and do things more quickly.

I think we would consider paying a low-bono agency if we knew they would do a good job.  Speed and certainty of outcome are very important. 

Having made a very theoretical argument, I want to hear from someone who's actually been in that position whether you think that counterfactual is valid, and if not, why not.

The free/donor funded agency option appears to be much easier and less effortful overall. I imagine that READI would be more likely to apply for that than seeking funding for a low bono org to do the work.  To be clear, I am imagining that we apply for help with problem x, the funded agency reviews that request, prioritises it, and then rejects us or informs us they can help us at x time. 

The free/donor funded agency  approach seems to distribute responsibility more effectively as they invest time with funding and resource rather than the more time poor startup/EA  org.  

The challenges of nontechnical EAs are pretty trivial. Today, I could probably have saved a few hours of my time if I could get help to get analytics working on our github page (it may not be working yet either!). I don't want to have to explain my issue to a third party and apply for funding every time I have an issue like that!

Comment by Peterslattery on Give in Public Beta is live · 2021-08-03T01:54:56.483Z · EA · GW

Thanks for doing this! I personally think that this could be a good idea and useful website. Getting people to talk about donating effectively on social media seems like an important intervention in service of increasing effective giving. I know that one CEO of an effective charity said that this was one of the two areas that they would most like more research on. 

I recommend that you try to work with Givewell, EA funds or GWWC if possible. If you could validate that key organisations think this is useful then you might be able to get funded/paid to do it. 

Currently, I'd be keener for you build the tracker in/for a pre-existing donation platform rather than doing something standalone where you have to build your own brand and so on to get people using the website. That's assuming the people in charge thought it would useful, of course.

Comment by Peterslattery on EA Survey 2020: Cause Prioritization · 2021-08-02T07:20:58.528Z · EA · GW

Unfortunately, if we were basing it on open comment "Other" responses, it would be extremely noisy due to low n, as well as some subjectivity in identifying categories.


Thanks for explaining. I see what you mean. If it seems worth it (i.e., more people than me care!), you could potentially add a closed ended 'other potential cause areas' item. These options could be generated from the most popular options in the prior year's open ended responses.  E.g., you could have IIDM and S-risk as close ended 'other options' for that question next year (in addition to n other common responses) . You could keep the 'open ended other potential cause areas' as an 'Are there any other causes you feel should be priorities for the EA community that we haven't mentioned' open ended option. You could also grow the closed ended items list year as  needed each year. 

I agree this would be interesting. I'm particularly interested in examing differences in attitudes between EA and non-EA audiences. Examining differences in cause ratings directly might be more challenging due to a conceptual gap between EA understanding of certain causes and the general population (who may not even be familiar with what some of these terms mean). I think surveying more general populations on their support for different things (e.g. long-termist interventions, suitably explained) and observing changes in these across would be valuable though. 

Yes, I agree

Another way to examine differences in cause prioritisation would be to look at differences in the charitable portolios of the EA community vs wider donors, since that aggregate data is more widely available.

Thanks - this link is interesting. Great to see that religious institutions get the most. That's definitely ideal :)

I hadn't thought about comparing donation portfolio trends. That could be very useful data if we had good data!

Comment by Peterslattery on Should EA have a career-focused “Do the most good" pledge? · 2021-07-30T05:10:06.891Z · EA · GW

Thanks for writing this. I had a similar idea. I tentatively believe that some version of a volunteer pledge (e.g., try to give at least 10% of your time to high impact volunteer or paid work) is probably a good idea. I'll respond in the future with some further thoughts and and argument. I don't really understand why people your idea is a bad at present, so it might be useful to get more feedback. 

Comment by Peterslattery on CEA Update: Q2 2021 · 2021-07-30T05:04:59.683Z · EA · GW

Thanks! Great to see all of these developments!

Comment by Peterslattery on EA Survey 2020: Cause Prioritization · 2021-07-30T03:58:15.431Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this. It is very interesting to see the changes over time and across engagement levels.  In future, I'd like to see changes in the 'other causes'  over time and across engagement level, if possible. For instance, it would be interesting to see if causes such as IIDM or S-risk are becoming more or less popular over time, or are mainly being suggested by new or experienced EAs.

I think that it would be very interesting if we could compare  the EA communities results on this survey against a sample of 'people who don't identify as EAs' and people who identify as being in one or more 'activist groups' (e.g., vegan/climate etc)  and explore the extent of our similarities and differences in values (and how these are changing over time). This in turn could inform decisions  about how to communicate and collaborate with such audiences, where relevant. 

Comment by Peterslattery on Part 1: EA tech work is inefficiently allocated & bad for technical career capital · 2021-07-30T00:42:12.709Z · EA · GW

Thanks for mentioning. Yeah, that makes sense. I think that you could limit it to a certain portion of the work (say no more than 25% of work can be subsidised etc). I'd be ok with the external funding alternative if it didn't add too much extra friction.

Comment by Peterslattery on A spreadsheet with titles and links for over 1900 YouTube EA videos · 2021-07-30T00:40:03.231Z · EA · GW

Thanks! I checked that and noticed that I had made a mistake. To fix I reverted the sheet to a previous version.  Basically, if I deduplicate column A it removes title duplicates but this misaligns the titles and the urls. If I deduplicate columns A and B together the process finds no duplicates. This is probably because the duplicate titles have different urls.  

I think I will just keep those duplicates  for now as that seems better than the alternatives.


I removed the Ryan link. f you see anything in the new sheet please comment there or here.

Comment by Peterslattery on Part 4: Intra-organizational and non-tech agencies · 2021-07-29T01:25:58.465Z · EA · GW


would you say that that a 50-66% discount would have made the difference?

Probably not as we were unfunded and unwilling to self fund to any great extent. What would have helped would be a source of work we could reliably outsource to for free or for a 90% subsidy. I could imagine that we might self-fund up to 1000aud say, for a website/work valued at 10,000 Aud. But that's just speculation. It's hard to say what we might have done as we didn't even consider paying for a website/tech support in the current landscape.

To play Devil's advocate, that seems like a relatively fine-grained cost-benefit analysis in a movement where a) there's now a lot of money floating around and b) we think the best projects are multiple orders of magnitude more valuable than a typical non-EA charitable project.

Can you please clarify?

If there are other considerations that would make you think an EA tech agency would have made a bigger difference in practice, can you describe in your own words what they were?

Not sure if I understand this question fully but a big one is efficiency - We have spent probably 50-100 hours using GitHub to update and maintain our current website and that was substituted for time where we could have been adding more value as a researchers etc. At EAA I spent a reasonable amount of time  (100 hours or more) working with Drupal to learn how to update and manage that website. I imagine that an experienced tech person would have been many times more efficient (and happier too) if they did this work instead of us!

Comment by Peterslattery on A spreadsheet with titles and links for over 1900 YouTube EA videos · 2021-07-29T00:54:15.279Z · EA · GW

Thanks Emma! I had a second pass and removed ~ 200 more duplicate urls and titles. Let me know if you have more suggestions!

Comment by Peterslattery on Part 4: Intra-organizational and non-tech agencies · 2021-07-27T06:57:34.278Z · EA · GW

So with READI  - we are a volunteer org with no funding for tech support and limited capacity to even figure out what we need and manage a new tech project.  We have ~1 hour a week to meet, then a few hours a week of time communicating and working on our research projects and/or getting funding. 

Seeking funding and planning a better website would take up a big chunk of that time each week. It might be worth us paying something for that if we had an affordable and reliable option (e.g., a trusted low cost/subsidised EA tech agency). 

However,  it definitely seems like a risk and potential waste of time and money to try to pay a contractor. I am not even sure where would be a good place to look. I know that it can take a lot of time from my start-up days and also that it doesn't always work out (it didn't the last time I paid for a website).

If we had more time we could try to find a volunteer. However, they might not be useful enough to justify the time put into getting them onboarded. We had a few people sort of helping with tech things but they mostly dropped off the radar or ended up needing to focus on other things. 

With EAA it was something similar I think (note that I wasn't one of the key people so this is more speculative).  There was some tech support available from volunteers but then it stopped and it was hard to determine what was needed to solve the various issues that existed and how to hire for/fund that role. (Reminds me that another issue with decentralised/volunteer tech development is that there are many different codebases/stacks used and inefficiencies in handovers, or lack of).

With the other charities, I don't know why they didn't hire tech  support. I think that one issue is that they want to keep overheads down for marketing reasons. Another is the risk of such work. It could go bad or break something.  They possible also didn't have much headspace for innovation. I think that most of these orgs had just enough capacity to keep the charity going but not much more than that.

Comment by Peterslattery on What novels, poetry, comics have EA themes, plots or characters? · 2021-07-26T04:30:34.742Z · EA · GW

I don't know of any but I will mention that I would really like if there were fiction books with characters whose lives were infused with EA concepts and challenges (e.g., how to prioritise and have  a high impact life and all the challenges entailed in that). I'd probably prefer if such books didn't discuss EA as a movement though. I'd prefer them to be more about the idea of doing as much good as you can (but not in a way that was clearly linked to EA or even necessarily agreed with mainstream EA).    

Comment by Peterslattery on Part 4: Intra-organizational and non-tech agencies · 2021-07-26T03:56:19.079Z · EA · GW
  • Individuals who have or have previously had one-off project ideas: reveal thyselves, so we can attempt a headcount! Would you feel sufficiently more optimistic about getting your ideas implemented if donor-funded developers were potentially available that you’d be likely to propose more such ideas or otherwise contribute more if it meant they were implemented sooner/more reliably?


Yes.  There are lots of ideas that I would consider exploring or doing if I knew that I could apply and have a reasonable chance of getting the needed tech support, that I would immediately rule out as infeasible at present. 

As an example, right now READI has a pretty basic website that a few of us had to learn to make and maintain.  It is probably costly  our credibility and engagement to have such a basic website  and I would really like to improve it.

At one time during the SCRUB project we were in contact with various people in health and government overseas about about helping them with their Covid-19 response (based on ongoing work we were doing (funded through one of our employers) for  the Victorian Government.

 Our website for that work probably severely undermined us as and we had no easy way to resolve that short of spending thousands to hire a dev (which we didn't have time or expertise to do anyway).

Many things we could do now (for instance, analytics, tracking reads shares and downloads, presenting information on our website) are bottlenecked by our limited access to relevant tech resources. 

Some other related data points:

Effective Altruism Australia lacked the resources to make desired improvements to their website for many years (to the best of my knowledge).

At one point I was volunteering to help a few EA charities and organisations with their websites. Some of those organisations told me that they had no capacity at all to improve their website. At least one (maybe more, can't remember) didn't even have google analytics and therefore lacked the most basic information about their audience's behaviour and composition. 

The decreased bounce conversion rates and their lack of ability to track audiences and strategies probably cost them a lot of donations.

  • Other staff (eg marketers, designers, and others mentioned in the previous section): do you feel like the arguments presented in this sequence generalise to your type of work, such that it would make sense for EA orgs to outsource it to an agency?

As I mentioned in my response to your first sequence post - I am very keen on the agency idea for areas like marketing, PR, datascience, statistics/research design, research and video production etc. I'd strongly consider using and even joining a EA focused agency in the future.

Comment by Peterslattery on Part 1: EA tech work is inefficiently allocated & bad for technical career capital · 2021-07-26T02:57:56.030Z · EA · GW

Thanks so much for writing this. I have just skimmed the overall arguments but from what I have absorbed I tend to agree with you that there is a need to  centralise tech resources.

Some quick comments/thoughts:

I have been involved in a few organisations and volunteer organisations and all would have benefitted greatly from access to tech expertise. I know others who told me they had similar issues with their organisations. 

Based on my experiences I suspect that if we had well funded and centralised tech support for EA orgs there would be many more websites and tech products and many of those that exist now would be greatly improved. 

Going beyond tech: I think that there is a general need for EA consulting networks, organisations and agencies (e.g., tech, marketing, research, statistics) to help incubate and support the many 'topic 'focused groups (e.g., career advice, animal suffering reduction, charities etc). Also to help disseminate best practice from the experienced EA orgs into the new orgs. The arguments in your post also seem applicable there too (and I see you mention something related in your last post).  However, I am far from knowledgeable or expert here so not at all confident that there isn't something I am missing .

Finally,  I'd like if someone explored if a hybrid model is viable for tech and other agencies. Basically, they could consult for EA orgs at a budget or for free but subsidise this by also consult for non-EA orgs at full price. That model could have a lot of benefits and enable faster scaling, higher salaries etc.

Comment by Peterslattery on New blog: Cold Takes · 2021-07-26T00:57:53.739Z · EA · GW

I don't know if I missed that before but I just listened to it now. Agree that it is very good. Thanks! I just subscribed to the podcast. I look forward to listening to it when walking/working etc. 

Comment by Peterslattery on Promoting Effective Giving and Giving What We Can within EA Groups · 2021-07-19T00:20:19.687Z · EA · GW

Thanks for sharing your slides. It is very helpful to have them to work off.

Comment by Peterslattery on New blog: Cold Takes · 2021-07-16T00:59:03.948Z · EA · GW

Thanks Aaron!

Sorry if that sounded like it was stating the obvious :P

Glad to hear about the pending changes to, that sounds great.

I didn't really mean to implicate CEA when I talked about the EA community. I was more so thinking of EAs like myself who tend to  default to always producing a long report/post to relay their findings and never consider adding a video or infographic.  

I agree you that video takes a lot more work and that that's a major barrier.

It makes sense to me that curation should be your focus. I'd mainly like to see more work from other orgs and intellectual leaders on video creation and also more funding for that work to make the curation easier.  

I really like what Luke is doing at Giving What We Can with video (and in general) and that's the sort of thing that I would like to see that as more of a norm.

Thanks for taking the feedback onboard. With that said, I'd be more than happy for other people to take on the responsibility of creating/curating more videos and let you keep focusing on improving the forum!

I can't really overstate how much I like the current forum. It is so enjoyable to engage with that I have to limit my time using it. Thanks for all your work on it.

Comment by Peterslattery on How to Stop The Deadliest Animal on Earth (new A Happier World video) · 2021-07-15T00:08:39.380Z · EA · GW

Really great to see this and also the video channel more generally. Thanks for doing it! I just subscribed and look forward to watching and sharing your work.

Comment by Peterslattery on New blog: Cold Takes · 2021-07-15T00:07:32.217Z · EA · GW

Thanks for responding Aaron. Yeah, that sounds like a better idea. I'd like to see that happen.

Thanks for mentioning the ongoing funding/networking. I was unaware. I am really glad to hear and keen to watch and share more EA videos! I'll also try to help the new channels if I have time.

In addition to seeing more video content on longtermism on YouTube I would also really like if there were a few good videos on the website. Perhaps in time, there could be a whole series covering the key concepts discussed on the website.  

I wonder if the EA community have a little bit of typical mind fallacy. We are usually the people who quite like reading long in-depth articles/post and also have time to do it. This may leads us to set up all of our content to be geared towards similar types of people in similar situations and miss some people who might be more receptive a different approach. 

I really liked the development of good podcast/audio content (which I give credit to 80k for). The next thing I'd love to see is videos on key concepts. Particularly short and catchy videos that pull people in and make them interested enough to start engaging with our deeper content.

Comment by Peterslattery on Book Giveaway Impact Analysis (Doing Good Better in NZ) · 2021-07-14T01:49:45.800Z · EA · GW

Thanks Ivan, this is really excellent and interesting.  It makes me update towards believing that book giveaways are impactful.  With that said, you probably have some sample bias (i.e., the people who responded to the survey are probably different from those who didn't in meaningful ways). That probably means that the impacts are somewhat smaller than the survey suggests.

 If you are still running the survey, it would be interesting to give people who ask for the free book the option to complete a presurvey so you have some pre and post measures. Also, I think that you might have forgotten to link to Appendix B.

Comment by Peterslattery on New blog: Cold Takes · 2021-07-14T01:36:33.740Z · EA · GW

Thanks Holden. The first post was excellent. Really keen to read more of your work. 

The target audience for many posts will be people who are interested in EA-ish topics, but don't necessarily have any background in them. Sharing the blog and/or its posts in ways that are likely to find readers like that would be appreciated.

This is probably not a very useful suggestion but I will make it anyway on the off chance that it is.

Given the target audience and your request for help to grow it have you considered doing some videos in parallel? I think that you could probably reach a pretty large audience on YouTube who are interested in EA-ish topics (particularly stuff around the future and AI) but not really connected to the the forum and EA community.

I think that this audience is probably quite hard to reach/engage (at least initially) with a blog posts or long articles (that feels like work for a lot of people). However, I think that they can probably be engaged relatively easily by short videos, similar to those made by crash course and kurzgesagt. I might be underestimating the work involved though - I have no experience here. 

For instance,  I think that your first post could be the basis for an awesome video that could change a lot of people's predictions about i) how the future might play out and ii) what they should focus on by implication. I imagine that your blog/forum post will have the same effect for readers but will reach a lot fewer people.  A video linking to the post could increase reach while also keeping fidelity pretty high.

One reason I make this suggestion is that I would really like see/watch more engaging short videos on EA related concepts/themes. I like crash course and kurzgesagt etc but feel as thought there isn't anything good out there that is really communicating EA ideas effectively via video. For instance,  this seems to be the only engaging video intro to longtermism that I can find.  

I also think that it would be really good to have a very knowledgeable person, like yourself, lead such a project rather than risk having someone start transmitting key EA ideas with lower fidelity.

More generally, I'd be interested to hear if anyone i) disagrees with any of my thoughts, ii) thinks that  we have already good a pretty good outlet for disseminating EA concepts and themes via video iii) has had similar ideas or wants to set something up. 

Comment by Peterslattery on A do-gooder's safari · 2021-07-14T00:49:18.880Z · EA · GW

[Someone strongly downvoted this. Please feel free to leave a comment or send a message to explain why as otherwise I can't update correctly!]

Comment by Peterslattery on A do-gooder's safari · 2021-07-14T00:45:37.397Z · EA · GW

Thanks for the response Owen. I understand about the epistemic status.

I guess I'm interested in the situations where you think an abbreviation would be helpful. 

I imagine that I meet some new EA and I am trying to get to know them. After the standard where did you hear about EA, what cause areas are you most interested in, I might want to ask about the sort engagement they have with EA and doing good. At this point it would be useful to be able to reference the dimensions you have outlined and similar.  I.e., 'So what sort of EA are you? How do you rate yourself on [abbreviation]?'

As this example might suggest, I think that an abbreviation could make such conversations more likely to occur by making the dimensions you have outlined easier to recall and communicate and increasing the probability that they disseminate widely.  

Do you want someone to make an EA personality test based on this?

I don't think that it is a high priority thing to do but I think that an EA/do-gooder personality test could be quite useful in the future for understanding differences between do-gooders (within and outside EA), connecting people to the right projects/causes, and building the right sorts of teams (i.e., with a balance of across key dimensions).

I know for example that Spencer Greenberg uses personality tests to help people determine fit for entrepreneurship and we could have something similar.   

Comment by Peterslattery on A do-gooder's safari · 2021-07-12T03:45:41.264Z · EA · GW

Thanks for this. Very useful. If you ever plan a future iteration, I think that making an abbreviation could be really helpful. 

For instance, I like the way we can say OCEAN for the big five personality traits or ENTP for the Myers Briggs. I think that this could be good to have something similar for differentiating people within EA circles.  

As a start, I think you (maybe) have these variables: temporal focus, abstraction, reflectiveness, impatience, perfectionism, and conformism, so PARTIC? Super catchy :) 

Throw in laziness (how much you want to work) and egoism (how much you need to gain/get credit from  do-gooding) and you get PARTICLE. 

Comment by Peterslattery on Can money buy happiness? A review of new data · 2021-07-09T06:59:09.694Z · EA · GW

Thank you both for writing!  Very interesting. Great team :) 

the association between money and happiness was strongly moderated by individuals' answers to "How important is money to you?" This raises an interesting question about causality: do people value money because they know it makes them happier, or does it make them happier because they value it?

I would like to know more about the differences in the happiness between the groups who answer that "How important is money to you?" question differently. Is there anything out there that I should look at? With the data you have, can you for example, plot a graph showing how the happiness of bottom quartile of money valuers (i.e., those attaching very low value to money) scales with income and compare it to the top quartile?

Comment by Peterslattery on EA needs consultancies · 2021-07-09T06:14:15.383Z · EA · GW

Thanks. I agree! On the point of not knowing about the link, I'll mention that I think it is all too often the case that useful EA resources remain relatively unknown. 

I occasionally find out about a resource after it would have been very helpful for me. Even when I know resources are out there I can't often remember where I found them.

With that in mind, I think we could do better/more awareness raising for good resources. I think that EA forum posts are good for that because the forum is well indexed easily searchable. Posts can also be found via a google search. Hence the suggestion for  posting about it in the forum. I'd also recommend mentioning it wherever it is relevant (e.g.,  as a comment in any new posts by consultants new to EA for example).

Comment by Peterslattery on EA needs consultancies · 2021-07-09T06:04:16.513Z · EA · GW

Excellent! Sorry,  I didn't know about this. I will promote it to a few relevant people.

Comment by Peterslattery on Key Lessons From Social Movement History · 2021-07-07T06:40:46.508Z · EA · GW

Thanks Jamie, that's fair enough! I'll share this as it is. If you have the bandwidth it would be great to keep the dissemination options in mind and plan for accessible outputs for the future. I don't want to say much more but my opinion is that you can probably communicate the findings with the same fidelity via a video as a document/blog post. In either case you are hoping that people will dive into the report for the full details after you give the summary but often they just focus on the key points/highlights/section headers regardless. However, in the case of the video its probably likely people will stay watching and also that more people will watch. I don't have citations for that but I know for instance that videos are much more likely to go viral on LinkedIn for example. Anyway, it's just a thought. Keep up the great work!

Comment by Peterslattery on EA needs consultancies · 2021-07-07T06:32:06.663Z · EA · GW

Jakob and Jona, what do you think about crowdsourcing/creating something like this for EA relevant consultants and posting about it on the forum when filled? See my response above to Ozzy for context. Jakob, I'll send an email as well just to make sure you see it. I hear that people tend to be busy at Mckinsey!

Comment by Peterslattery on EA needs consultancies · 2021-07-07T06:26:29.217Z · EA · GW

I really like this idea, as you might have guessed.  The best solution of all probably involves RP working in collaboration with CE where you merge RP's experience of consulting for EA orgs with CE's ability for training up new people to set up organisations. I think that RP could also think about how to i) get more people in to learn about their processes and ii) how to support those people to take that knowledge and found new research organisation that focus on different regions, topics or methods but can keep much of the prior learning


Comment by Peterslattery on EA needs consultancies · 2021-07-07T06:21:47.106Z · EA · GW

Thanks Ozzy, that's useful. I don't have time to respond in full or say much more, but I will mention:

  • After reflection I still think that the catalyst needs to be something that solves the coincidence of wants issue (i.e., consultants don't know who would hire them if they took the time to advertise and work in this space and orgs don't know who they can hire or if it would go well).
  • I think that next steps that could help could be as simple as i) someone creating something like this for consultants in EA and posting about it on the forum when filled and ii) the next time someone does a survey of EA leaders they could ask them to benchmark how much more they to spend annually on consultants if they had the talent available, and for what exactly, then share that on the forum also.
  • I think that you go narrower after the first two steps are done as right now we don't have much to work with. Though maybe Luke's suggestions are evidence enough to form narrow directories in those areas, or to have them as  'specialisations' in the initial database?
  • I think that a talent agency is a great idea. I can imagine a 'head-hunter/recruiter' with contacts across both the organisations and the consulting networks would help to accelerate things.
  • Agree that working in existing orgs is a good idea for potential org founders. I am warming more to the RP incubator idea!
  • I agree that doing things as a sole contractor is probably easier but that's also a lot more stressful for many people as you assume full responsibility for the work and need to be across all of the accounting and other aspects. It's probably got some of the issues of being a sole founder in that it asks a lot of one person. It probably works well in a lot of cases though.
Comment by Peterslattery on EA needs consultancies · 2021-07-07T06:07:12.466Z · EA · GW

The slides look good Michael. I also think that there is a lot of value in delivering research training and improving skills in the community -  being an EA is basically doing applied research on how to do good better! By the way, here is a quick prioritisation template that Alexander Saeri and I developed based on the SNS/INT framework. There are also other tools on the linked website around intervention prioritisation that might be useful - feel free to take and adapt the spreadsheets if you want to create tools. 

Comment by Peterslattery on Key Lessons From Social Movement History · 2021-07-02T03:58:37.530Z · EA · GW

Thanks Jamie, this is quite useful.  I am thinking about how to best disseminate it more widely. I know a lot of passionate vegan activist who would probably benefit from reading it but I suspect that few of them will engage with the post at this level of detail. 

It might help if there was some sort of teaser to get people to get attention and engage potential readers. 

Would it be possible to create a one page plain language summary, an infographic/sharable  image or a short video of you summarising what you did and what you found? 

Also, just as a comment, I think that the idea that social movement activism can have unintended bad consequences is particularly under appreciated amongst some vegan activists.  

Something like the the  80k 'failed social interventions list' but animal advocacy focused, would be a very valuable resource (for me anyway) to influence vegan advocacy approaches.

Comment by Peterslattery on Anki deck for "Some key numbers that (almost) every EA should know" · 2021-07-02T01:07:25.668Z · EA · GW


Comment by Peterslattery on EA needs consultancies · 2021-07-02T01:00:50.777Z · EA · GW

Thanks so much Peter!  READI could never compete with Rethink Priorities but we might be interested in some coopetition :) I will send you an email!