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Tell us about your recent EA activities: thread 2 2014-11-27T14:37:51.671Z · score: 2 (2 votes)

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Comment by vincent_deb on What is the expected effect of poverty alleviation efforts on existential risk? · 2015-10-03T00:36:52.930Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

This is useful but doesnt entirely answer William's question. To put it another way: suppose GiveDirectly reduced extreme poverty in East Africa by 50%. What would your best estimate of the effect of that on xrisk be? I'd expect it to be quite positive, but havent thought about how to estimate the magnitude.

Comment by vincent_deb on My Cause Selection: Michael Dickens · 2015-09-18T15:23:11.746Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I expect there's a high probability (maybe 50%) that factory farms are just as bad for chickens as they are for humans, and a somewhat lower probability (maybe 25%) that they are just as bad for fish. I expect it's more likely that factory farms are worse for humans than that they're worse for chickens/fish, so in expectation, they're worse for humans, but not much worse.

Woaha, I didn't realize that anyone thought that, it would make me change my views greatly if I did.

Comment by vincent_deb on My Cause Selection: Michael Dickens · 2015-09-18T15:21:42.267Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Can you talk more about what convinced you that they're a good giving opportunity on the margin?

I asked Tobias Pulver about this specifically. He told me about their future plans and how they'd like to use marginal funds. They have things that they would have done if they'd had more money but couldn't do. I don't know if they're okay with me speaking about this publicly but I invite Tobias or anyone else at REG to comment on this.

I heard - all be it second hand, and last year - of two people involved, Lukas Gloor and Tobias Pulver, saying that thought that the minimal share of GBS/EAF manpower - 1.5 FTEs - that was being invested in REG was sufficient.

Comment by vincent_deb on Impact purchase round 3 · 2015-06-18T17:23:55.755Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Is the number of reads really relevant? How come? I figure people who read content generally don't act on it, and certainly not in high impact ways.

Comment by vincent_deb on Impact purchase round 3 · 2015-06-18T17:22:29.646Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

What do you think the average (mean) expected value of an EA group is?

Comment by vincent_deb on May in EA Projects · 2015-06-12T01:34:07.410Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Machine learning group looks cool: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1582428355359588/?fref=ts

Comment by vincent_deb on An update on Project Healthy Children · 2015-06-12T01:33:19.433Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I look forwards to seeing it there! Will it be a slightly different version taking into account feedback?

Comment by vincent_deb on June Open Thread · 2015-06-10T18:33:07.084Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Obligatory link: To Inspire People to Give, Be Public About Your Giving

Comment by vincent_deb on June Open Thread · 2015-06-10T18:31:45.374Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Yes, I agree. 'Effective altruist' appears to me to be a label picking out a very particular and narrow movement and group of people, despite the broadness of the words we happen to have adopted as a label.

Comment by vincent_deb on An update on Project Healthy Children · 2015-06-10T18:29:34.974Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Like the GoogleDoc you posted before, I think this would get the best response on the Giving What We Can blog, or as a quick link on the Effective Altruists facebook group :-) It could go in a forum open thread too!

Comment by vincent_deb on June Open Thread · 2015-06-04T15:57:08.582Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

George Monbiot – an effective altruist in spirit

What makes you say that? Could someone pitch effective altruism to him? He's a UK author, right?

Comment by vincent_deb on June Open Thread · 2015-06-04T15:56:13.409Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

It works for me now - but I've since noticed other Vox articles doing the same thing for a few minutes, then working again. I'm using Google Chrome too, trying it on a Mac now, but maybe it is a browser issue.

Comment by vincent_deb on Room for more funding: Why doesn’t the Gates foundation just close the funding gap of AMF and SCI? · 2015-06-04T15:55:14.236Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Looks like a very in-depth analysis, congratulations. What I've read so far has effectively reassured me that room for more funding isn't ultimately a worry here and that global health is an excellent cause taking it into account. Do link to the final Giving What We Can blog version here, though I imagine most of us who are interested will spot it there and in the newsletter.

Comment by vincent_deb on Solving donation coordination problems · 2015-06-03T03:13:50.578Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I agree insofar as having clear measures for success for suborganizations or projects which sometimes don't get met, resulting in suborganization sometimes getting shut down, would give me a good deal more confidence as a donor.

Comment by vincent_deb on June Open Thread · 2015-06-03T03:11:41.127Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

That Vox article gives an infinite looping error - is there another copy of it?

Comment by vincent_deb on June Open Thread · 2015-06-01T15:20:31.137Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

What were the referrers for the forum traffic, and which ones increased?

Comment by vincent_deb on Should you give your best now or later? · 2015-05-28T00:05:04.580Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Nice; thanks.

Comment by vincent_deb on Should you give your best now or later? · 2015-05-14T15:59:04.778Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Is there a link for Wozniak?

Comment by vincent_deb on Should you give your best now or later? · 2015-05-14T15:58:39.897Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Many tycoon personality types favour other charities where they're the main patron. This is pure speculation but others may want to leave room for typical individual donors, as these charities are particularly well suited to them.

Comment by vincent_deb on Dissociation for Altruists · 2015-05-14T15:55:47.122Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I don't.

Comment by vincent_deb on Suggestions thread for questions for the 2015 EA Survey · 2015-05-14T15:53:37.889Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

This would make it especially valuable to get people on the fringes of EA (who've been exposed but not wholely 'signed up') to take the survey. I remember it was open to them and anyone else last year.

Comment by vincent_deb on Suggestions thread for questions for the 2015 EA Survey · 2015-05-14T15:52:15.436Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

W/r/t the diet question, I think that's incredibly valuable and useful information for EAA.

That's likely true, but I presume the reason for considering removing it was that people would feel uncomfortable/judged/guilty and so stop completing the rest of the survey, which would be a large cost. Last year I was happy or even keen for people to know all my other answers, but didn't want to be judged on failing to be vegetarian.

Comment by vincent_deb on The Outside Critics of Effective Altruism · 2015-04-23T02:20:55.385Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

As to why this is a critique: I worry that the marketing strategy for EA whitewashes how radical its underlying premise truly is: that we owe the same duty to someone across the world as we do to someone right in front of us. Fully embracing that premise can lead us to extraordinarily counterintuitive (and unpalatable for many) places.

That I agree with. Obscuring/whitewashing it may be tactically wise however, and I think there's been some posts here about whether EA really is consequentialist.

Comment by vincent_deb on The Outside Critics of Effective Altruism · 2015-04-22T19:18:53.259Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

all of those Ivy league graduates who went to work in the charity industry were behaving unethically.

It's better to say they were behaving suboptimally.

Comment by vincent_deb on The Outside Critics of Effective Altruism · 2015-04-22T19:17:39.466Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

If there were I'd expect them to be well-researched and discussed by non-altruists. I haven't heard of any, and would expect to have.

Comment by vincent_deb on The Importance of GWWC Cohort Data · 2015-04-20T05:41:55.940Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Fixed.

Comment by vincent_deb on The Importance of GWWC Cohort Data · 2015-04-19T00:24:36.690Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I’m sorry it’s been a little while since the previous one (done by Nick Beckstead).

Here is that impact analysis. It's well worth a read, particularly the section 'Overview of GWWC’s performance so far' as this speaks to many of Dale's questions.

Comment by vincent_deb on EA Advocates announcement · 2015-03-25T15:28:07.399Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

As I understand it, it's one of the core things that EA Outreach is working on in advance of Will's book - they raised funds for doing so as part of their funding announcement here. So it would still be using these people for EA Outreach projects.

Comment by vincent_deb on EA Advocates announcement · 2015-03-25T02:33:29.762Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Are you only going to use people who sign up to promote things the Centre for Effective Altruism is working on, like the books by Will and Peter that EA Outreach is working on (and in Will's case is even written by the founder)? Are there any specific non-Centre for Effective Altruism things that you plan to promote?

Comment by vincent_deb on Can we set up a system for international donation trading? · 2015-03-03T16:23:51.463Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Neat idea to simply set up a spreadsheet for it.

Comment by vincent_deb on January Open Thread · 2015-01-22T18:20:29.739Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

A big question but why?

Comment by vincent_deb on I am Samwise [link] · 2015-01-09T15:59:13.225Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I've heard people who've worked at EA organisations say that the people doing that work struck them as some of the most altruistic, because it didn't have the rewards or glory or fun associated with more visible work.

Comment by vincent_deb on The Outside Critics of Effective Altruism · 2015-01-08T09:56:11.099Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Here is someone's initial exploration of a potential criticism: https://www.facebook.com/groups/effective.altruists/805005126222513/?notif_t=group_activity

(A poll about whether a nonprofit with a charismatic and intelligent leader and an unfalsifiable premise of how their charities does good would succeed in getting funding from the EA community.)

Comment by vincent_deb on Effective Altruism Outreach needs your donations this Christmas! · 2014-12-16T09:59:45.887Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Have you written up anything about the 1:1 tools for EA.org anywhere?

Seconded. Also, what are the current ways in which proto-EAs can get one-on-one interaction, and what are the things that we can leverage to increase this?

Comment by vincent_deb on Effective Altruism Outreach needs your donations this Christmas! · 2014-12-13T19:21:06.188Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Currently the only person we know who is working on this full time is Tyler Alterman from Leverage, and we work so closely with him that he practically feels like part of the team!

Interesting - is what Tyler or Leverage are doing written up anywhere?

We've been talking with Tom Ash and looking for ways that we can best collaborate with effectivealtruismhub.org, which hosts many .impact projects.

Likewise interesting - what are the options for this?

We've been talking with some of the German EAs about their plans to create "superteams" to work on new EA projects.

Would this be the sort of thing that EA Ventures might fund, or are you imagining slightly different sorts of projects?

Comment by vincent_deb on Open thread 5 · 2014-11-22T12:06:32.305Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Yes, that was a good argument that EAs aren't obligated to be vegetarian, even if reasonable people can disagree about the numbers.

Comment by vincent_deb on Open thread 5 · 2014-11-19T14:38:27.864Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

[Your recent EA activities]

Tell us about these, as in Kaj's thread last month. I would love to hear about them - I find it very inspirational to hear what people are doing to make the world a better place!

(Giving this thread another go after it didn't get any responses last month.)

Comment by vincent_deb on Happy Birthday, Giving What We Can! · 2014-11-18T14:53:06.955Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you, that review of 2011 and 2012 looks like a very interesting, detailed read. It does seem to cast doubt on the exponential growth model that I was excited about which is a shame, but I still think that could happen. I couldn't see information about how many GWWC members would be donating significant sums without GWWC on my first read, am I missing that? Will it be in the next impact review?

Comment by vincent_deb on Happy Birthday, Giving What We Can! · 2014-11-17T09:24:05.699Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Ah, great that they make this public - where would I find it, and the working behind it to answer my question?

Comment by vincent_deb on Kidney donation is a reasonable choice for effective altruists and more should consider it · 2014-11-16T10:13:00.392Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

I would be interested to hear whether readers do or don't consider doing this.

Comment by vincent_deb on Happy Birthday, Giving What We Can! · 2014-11-16T10:12:11.385Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Cool, it would be great if they could sustain exponential growth! I imagine this may happen from people getting into these ideas and then telling their friends, who tell their friends, who tell their friends, and so on. That seems a good hypothesis to explain the exponential trend.

Does GWWC know how many of these members would have been donating significant sums without GWWC? Presumably they share this information with donors? I realise this is hard to work out, as people who are interested in these ideas would likely have come across GiveWell and EA at some point anyway.

Comment by vincent_deb on Effective Altruism at Your Work · 2014-11-13T15:49:56.542Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Finding an 'excuse' to talk about EA like this seems like a good idea.

Comment by vincent_deb on Aim high, even if you fall short · 2014-11-07T13:21:26.171Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Yes this is pretty good - not quite as good as dairy, but close.

Comment by vincent_deb on Open Thread 4 · 2014-11-05T08:07:47.043Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

[Your recent EA activities]

Tell us about these, as in Kaj's thread last month. I would love to hear about them - I find it very inspirational to hear what people are doing to make the world a better place!

Comment by vincent_deb on Outreaching Effective Altruism Locally – Resources and Guides · 2014-10-31T06:30:23.965Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I'm pleased to hear that!

Comment by vincent_deb on Outreaching Effective Altruism Locally – Resources and Guides · 2014-10-29T08:55:23.456Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Do you know of any work that has been done comparing the effectiveness of outreach to other activities effective altruism supporters can take? I refer specifically to the limited kind of outreach suggested here, such as opening a local chapter, and not the kind of outreach Peter Singer is capable of.

Perhaps weeatquince could ask someone from The High Impact Network to comment?

Comment by vincent_deb on Should Giving What We Can change its Pledge? · 2014-10-24T07:33:32.159Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

GWWC has also done quite a bit of work in learning how to create a cohesive community and encourage people to join, which might be quite time-consuming to replicate.

I'm not sure how strong that rationale is. You could use the same reasoning to argue that GWWC should be the only organisation where people make commitments or donation plans, and that other pledging organisations like The Life You Can Save should be subsumed into it which does not seem plausible. What does GWWC's work on maintaining a cohesive community and encouraging people to join on the ground involve, and what are the reasons why this couldn't be done through another platform like the Donation Registry or something else cause-neutral?

Comment by vincent_deb on Should Giving What We Can change its Pledge? · 2014-10-23T13:53:59.919Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I can see it's hard and I'm sure you put a lot of thought into it. I'd suggest making it as direct as possible - if "people in developing countries, now and in the years to come" means "present and future people in developing countries", you could say that.

Comment by vincent_deb on Should Giving What We Can change its Pledge? · 2014-10-23T08:01:51.100Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I do feel as though GWWC is and should remain an important haven for those committed to poverty, who - in other EA orgs - often seem to be looked on as incomplete or fledgling EAs, an attitude which surely wouldn't help if it developed within GWWC as well.

Very much agreed, that's why I was concerned to see this comment. Having an influx of people to the members groups who think that donating to poverty charities is many many times less good than giving to AI work or meta causes could create that sort of attitude, making the old members feel crowded out.

I think '10%' would look much better than 'ten percent'

Agreed.

'now and in the years to come' could be shortened to 'hereafter'

This seems a good change which clarifies the meaning.

Comment by vincent_deb on Should Giving What We Can change its Pledge? · 2014-10-23T01:22:53.169Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I'm in favour of the change - you know this, but I'm saying it here because I'm concerned that only people with strong disagreements will respond to this post,

I think it'll pull the other way - I've felt awkward about explicitly stating my disagreement, whereas it's much easier to say 'Great!'

I think ultimately having a broader pledge will better represent the views of those who take it and the community, and agree that having a clear action which becomes standard for all EAs could be very beneficial.

I don't find this a convincing reason, because GWWC doesn't need to represent every view in any particular community (be it 'EA' or something else altogether - and many GWWC members have identified with GWWC rather than EA as such). And there can be a clear action for EAs to take (like donating) without that going through GWWC, and conversely pledging 10% is not the best candidate for a clear next step following someone first encountering EA after reading Peter Singer's book on it.