MichaelPlant comments on Should there be an EA crowdfunding platform? - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: MichaelPlant 01 May 2018 09:50:02PM *  4 points [-]

I think this idea is interesting but I'm unconvinced of the form you've chosen. As I've understood it seems to involve quite a lot of vetting and EA time before projects reach it to stage where they can ask people for funding. What's your objection to having an EA equivalent of GoFundMe/Kickstarter where people can just uploads their projects and then ask for funding. I imagine this could also work on the system that projects are time-limited and if they don't receive the funding they seek all the money gets returned to potential donors.

Comment author: Evan_Gaensbauer 01 May 2018 11:37:26PM 1 point [-]

I think you mean "unconvinced"?

Comment author: MichaelPlant 02 May 2018 01:27:11PM 0 points [-]

thanks. edited.

Comment author: RandomEA 02 May 2018 03:45:42AM 0 points [-]

The proposed system has two vetting steps: approval by the evaluators and the CEA veto.

The main reason for the CEA veto is to prevent unilateralist's curse and reputational harm.

The main reason for the approval process is to give potential donors more information. If this was the only reason, then it would make sense to make this step voluntary. But this step also helps CEA decide whether to veto (for example by seeing if there are a few very negative ratings), which is why it's mandatory in the proposed system.

I agree with you that there's a large opportunity cost to the EA time that would be spent, which is part of why I'm unsure as to whether the proposed system would be a good idea.

Comment author: Khorton 02 May 2018 01:18:46PM 1 point [-]

Do you think that an unvetted/community-vetted crowdfunding platform would be worse for reputation risks than the EA Forum? (I think the forum is a good comparison because it is public, but most often visited by people quite involved in EA.)

Comment author: RandomEA 03 May 2018 04:28:51AM 0 points [-]

I agree that most people who would stop pursuing their project if they receive negative feedback via the EA Forum (with upvotes being an indicator of the level of community agreement), but people on the EA Forum may understate how negatively they view the project (for reasons of politeness). And even the mildly negative feedback may cause significant embarrassment for the person (which could deter people from asking for money publicly).

The platform would allow candid rejection of a bad idea without the embarrassment. It would also make it more likely that a good idea that starts from a bad idea will be funded. On a public platform, people with limited time may be inclined to dismiss a greatly improved version of a previously rejected idea. By contrast, if CEA allows for a resubmission on the grounds of significant improvement, the evaluators would know to give the new proposal serious consideration.