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Comment by Scronkfinkle on Selfish Reasons to Move to DC · 2022-09-06T02:56:59.330Z · EA · GW

+1 to all of this, especially the EA DC community rocking.

Comment by Scronkfinkle on EA Shouldn't Try to Exercise Direct Political Power · 2022-07-22T08:33:13.473Z · EA · GW

To be clear, they were attacking mormonism but not running anti-mormon campaigns. They weren't developing policies that are like in stark contrast to mormonism.

To set this up against something different, consider LGBT candidates. There, revealing this aspect of yourself might actually push the opponent to develop a strong anti-LGBT platform.

I didn't and don't see the same happening for Christian or mormon candidates (i.e., :we are now going to develop very atheist policies and run on a secular platform to counter the Christian candidate"). I similarly don't expect people being like "effective altruism is about using reason and evidence to figure out how to do good, so we will run a campaign that explicitly is against reason and evidence."

I could see them instead running on an anti-elitist/intellectual platform, but this would be the case for any academic running for office too probably. I could also see them running a "we need to take care of our own, not other countries" platform, but that runs along party lines already, so like maybe don't be an R EA candidate.

So I really don't see the risk of them running an anti-EA campaign because you haven't detailed what that might look like, and the versions I've come up with are not actually EA but are normal political division lines.

Comment by Scronkfinkle on EA Shouldn't Try to Exercise Direct Political Power · 2022-07-21T10:50:27.019Z · EA · GW

This is really well written and expresses some of my doubts well.

I do think though that running as EA would not create an opposition to EA. In my view, EA is almost a religion to me, and we can table whether EA could formally be made a religion to provide constitutional protections, but in my view someone running as Christian doesn't face anti-Christian stances from their opponents, and Mitt Romney, despite there being A LOT of discussion about his Mormonism, didn't have opposition running as anti-mormon. I think if you frame EA as a set of guiding principles, like religion, attempts by the opposition to be anti-EA will likely fail, if they are even attempted.

Comment by Scronkfinkle on The FDA demanded my employer bury inconvenient clinical trial data. What should I do? · 2022-04-15T20:23:23.235Z · EA · GW

Whistleblower Aid is the org responsible for helping Frances Haugen whistleblow on Facebook. They seem quite good and staffed with competent attorneys. Unsure of whether they can help you for your particular case or not but surely they can give you a reference for another org that can if not. https://whistlebloweraid.org/#

Comment by Scronkfinkle on Can EA orgs justify heavy spending on upscale discussion/networking events? · 2022-04-01T10:47:53.251Z · EA · GW

Yes and no? Longview Philanthropy does some pretty lavish events that I'm not sure are justified but that might be because they solicit folks who are not necessarily EA and are just looking for interesting giving opportunities. Am not aware of another EA org that has the same degree of lavishess for events.

Comment by Scronkfinkle on We should consider funding well-known think tanks to do EA policy research · 2022-02-20T16:20:04.493Z · EA · GW

Several think tanks in DC are or were funded through Open Phil (e.g. Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, NTI, CSET, Center for New American Security, Carnegie, Wilson Center ). I think some program funding ended maybe because of it not being worth the money, or the specific person they were funding through these houses left, or because the program could get funding elsewhere and the counterfactual was no longer present, but this is conjecture . I'd take a look through Open Phil's database if you haven't.

Comment by Scronkfinkle on Why is Operations no longer an 80K Priority Path? · 2022-01-12T03:30:16.771Z · EA · GW

Excuse the cell phone thumbs :-) Anecdotes ahead Good question! I'm glad that you've written it! I think the bottleneck I'm more familiar with is longtermist operations issues, and I can say at least from my own perspective it is quite severe. Ben's survey, fwiw, will not capture orgs that have funding available but no one to lead the org if he's only reviewing existing orgs. It's a terrible thing to have a great idea and money for a thing and no one who can lead the project or run ops with minimal direction.

For just a taste: in at least the past 24 hours there have been two separate needs for ops roles (senior and mid) in the same org. There are at least 4 other longtermist projects/potential orgs I'm aware of that need an Executive Director (ED) type to lead them. At least in the longtermist space I think value alignment of an ED means more than in other cause areas because the vision and direction of the org have to be aligned (but this is true in climate change, animals, and most causes so maybe this is not unique). If the ED does not fit within your definition of ops than please disregard. To me an ED is fancy ops management person layered with strategic thinking. Also agree with everything Caroline says here.

I think what would be exciting would be more people who have experience managing teams or running ops (in any capacity) leveraging their networks (or building out their networks) and actively seeking ED opportunities or opportunities to create new businesses or orgs or work at new businesses or orgs instead of spending time on 80k job board. This is NOT a criticism of 80k, I just think that people should be more creative and ambitious than, "hmm, I should scan 80k for EA jobs." I think time would be better served spending a few hours actively reaching out to folks on LinkedIn and, if interested in longtermism, other longtermists, and talking to them about how you want to help with "x" (e.g., "I have experience in managing a team of 6 people at my current job but I'd really like to help with longtermist community building.") I've seen it be the case that a lot of hiring gets done through connections (due some mixture of more trust and time restraints) so this can be really great to just be a name that comes to mind when someone is thinking of starting an org. Sorry this also turned into advice but I hope it helps at least one person reading.