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Arepo comments on EA Hotel with free accommodation and board for two years - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Arepo 04 June 2018 10:15:51PM 7 points [-]

Hey Greg, this is a super interesting project - I really hope it takes off. Some thoughts on your essay:

1) Re the hotel name, I feel like this should primarily be made with the possibility of paying non-EAs in mind. EAs will - I hope - hear of the project by reputation rather than name, so the other guests are the ones you're most likely to need make a strong first impression on. 'Effective Altruism Hotel' definitely seems poor in that regard - 'Athena' seems ok (though maybe there's some benefits to renaming for the sake of renaming if the hotel was failing when you bought it)

2) > Another idea for empty rooms is offering outsiders the chance to purchase a kind of “catastrophic risk insurance”; paying, say, £1/day to reserve the right to live at the hotel in the event of a global (or regional) catastrophe.

This seems dubious to me (it's the only point of your essay I particularly disagreed with). It's a fairly small revenue stream for you, but means you're attracting people who're that little bit more willing to spend on their own self-interest (ie that little bit less altruistic), and penalises people who just hadn't heard of the project. Meanwhile, in the actual event, what practical effect would it have? Would you turn away people who showed up early when the sponsors arrived for their room?

If you want an explicit policy on using it as a GCR shelter, it seems like 'first come first served' would be at least as meritocratic, require less bureaucracy and offer a much more enforceable Schelling point.

3) As you say, I think this will be more appealing the more people it has involved from the beginning, so I would suggest aggressively marketing the idea in all EA circles which seem vaguely relevant, subject to the agreement of the relevant moderators - not that high a proportion of EAs read this forum, and of those who do, not that many will see this post. It's a really cool idea that I hope people will talk about, but again they'll do so a lot more if it's already seen as a success.

4) You describe it in the link, but maybe worth describing the Trustee role where you first mention it - or at least linking to it at that point.

Comment author: Greg_Colbourn 05 June 2018 10:07:41PM 4 points [-]

Hey, thanks for the comments.

1) Think it's fine to leave it as the Athena. Keeps things simple. The hotel wasn't failing as such, more that the previous owners have now retired and for a while had been happy to just have old regulars stay. The few public reviews it has are good.

2) You're probably right about "first come first served" being best for use of the hotel as a GCR shelter. Realistically, I wouldn't expect many EAs to make it to Blackpool from elsewhere in such an event, but they would be welcome.

3) I don't want to personally spam it too much, but I'd be grateful if others promote it to various groups they think are relevant. Especially UK groups (so far there haven't been that many UK people interested. Maybe something to do with the North-South divide?), and uni groups (as Richard mentions below).

4) Have added in footnote [7a].

Comment author: Khorton 04 June 2018 10:29:42PM 0 points [-]

I agree with all of these points, esp #2.