Comment author: Dale 02 April 2016 09:37:34PM 1 point [-]

It seems like the advice is basically "represent Africa as being high status, not low status". We also want to get across the message that people in the third world have serious problems that we can very effectively solve. If person A can easily solve person B's problems, but person B can do nothing to help or harm person A, then person A is (much) higher status than person B. Why try to hide this reality? We generally don't give charity money to our superiors or equals.

Perhaps there is an instrumental reason to pretend that this relationship is more egalitarian that it actually is. But while you reference data suggesting that traditional marketing is ignored by most people, you don't present any data suggesting that other approaches work better.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 07 March 2016 04:55:25AM *  1 point [-]

You definitely don't need a 4.0 from Harvard to work at budge-bracket firms. In fact, at least one of the firms you listed hired literally no-one from Harvard in their latest analyst class! I would say that all undergraduates looking to get into finance should apply to all the bulge-brackets, not none of them.

Depends on what you mean by "apply." If it's someone who just read this guide, has been studying finance for a few weeks and goes ahead to fill out the online app for the next internship program, there are much better ways for them to make use of their time, unless they're very well qualified on paper. These positions are insanely competitive and they mostly go to either people with extensive networks and contacts in the firm, or people from target schools.

If it's someone who has networked with people in the firm and has contacts/alumni who will push their resume forward, then they should apply, but at that point the person will have learned enough to surpass the bounds of this guide's advice.

Many of the big banks run affirmative action programs; it is easier to get hired if you are not a white male. Indeed, I know one bank's HR complained that there were no good black undergraduates for them to hire because their competitors had been offering them internships and scholarships since freshman year.

True, but some people believe there is difficulty in terms of long term acceptance and fit in the industry. And small firms don't have affirmative action programs.

You should probably mention that IB is full of jocks

How many investment bankers do you know?

every EA who tried it has dropped out because of poor culture fit.

How many? If the number of EAs who tried it was small, then this isn't good evidence. It's not even clear to me that "being an EA" is a sufficiently descriptive reference class.

Either way, I should definitely not mention that fact, because that will give people biases and preconceptions. When they are learning about a career for the first time, they should start out with good, neutral sources, not secondhand rumors about people dropping out.

You are double-counting: buyside research is the same as asset management. But when people say 'equity research', they typically mean sell-side.

I have seen people talk about both buyside and sellside ER.

Comment author: Dale 02 April 2016 09:34:45PM 0 points [-]

These positions are insanely competitive and they mostly go to either people with extensive networks and contacts in the firm, or people from target schools.

This is not my experience at all. I know many people who got jobs at top banks despite (seemingly) no connections or prestige. They are more meritocratic than you give them credit for (and the average applicant is worse!).

True, but some people believe there is difficulty in terms of long term acceptance and fit in the industry.

Yes, some people believe that. On the other hand, I've seen people be promoted to senior positions, over more qualified people, explicitly because the firm needed more 'diversity'. You shouldn't deter people from applying to the industry on the basis of "some people believe" while not even mentioning the fact that they receive objective advantages that will help them.

I agree that this applies much less at smaller firms.

How many investment bankers do you know?

40 or so? I did work in investment banking for a while.

It's not even clear to me that "being an EA" is a sufficiently descriptive reference class.

You're writing a "Finance Careers for Earning to Give" guide and don't consider "being an EA who is interested in applying to banks" a relevant reference class? These weren't a random sample of EAs, these were EAs who thought working in IB might be a good idea for them.

Though perhaps it has worked out for some more recently and I just don't know who they are.

Either way, I should definitely not mention that fact, because that will give people biases and preconceptions. When they are learning about a career for the first time, they should start out with good, neutral sources, not secondhand rumors about people dropping out.

No, if everyone trying something (EtG in a bank) decided it was a bad idea, that is definitely valuable information. It's not a rumor, Ben could tell you who they are. We don't want neutrality, we want accuracy.

I have seen people talk about both buyside and sellside ER.

People in the industry? Who?

Comment author: Dale 07 March 2016 03:36:15AM 0 points [-]

Woah I strongly disagree with much of this. For example

If you are new to finance, inexperienced and unsure of what you are doing (and don’t have a 4.0 from Harvard), your time is probably better spent looking for work and connections with smaller and less prestigious companies [than applying to bulge-bracket firms].

You definitely don't need a 4.0 from Harvard to work at budge-bracket firms. In fact, at least one of the firms you listed hired literally no-one from Harvard in their latest analyst class! I would say that all undergraduates looking to get into finance should apply to all the bulge-brackets, not none of them.

Many minorities and women do make it big in even the most competitive areas of finance, although some people believe it is harder for them. A web search will get you more info and websites on this topic.

Many of the big banks run affirmative action programs; it is easier to get hired if you are not a white male. Indeed, I know one bank's HR complained that there were no good black undergraduates for them to hire because their competitors had been offering them internships and scholarships since freshman year.

Investment banking

You should probably mention that IB is full of jocks and every EA who tried it has dropped out because of poor culture fit.

Hedge funds and asset management Equity research: Analyzing stocks and making recommendations for investors (sell side) or working for investors to select investments (buy side).

You are double-counting: buyside research is the same as asset management. But when people say 'equity research', they typically mean sell-side.

However I did like the joke about The Goldman Sachs!

Comment author: Dale 08 December 2015 12:20:45AM 8 points [-]

Hey Michelle,

In the past we've discussed how desirable it would be for GWWC to release cohort data to allow potential donors to properly evaluate how much value GWWC creates. Without it its hard for us to estimate the lifetime value of new members. While it seems clear GWWC is positive value, we need to be able to compare it to other effective charities. At the time it was suggested that you would release this data; any chance we could see it in time for this giving season - or if not, in the new year?

12

The Triumph of Humanity Chart

Cross-posted from my blog here . One of the greatest successes of mankind over the last few centuries has been the enormous amount of wealth that has been created. Once upon a time virtually everyone lived in grinding poverty; now, thanks to the forces of science, capitalism and total factor... Read More
Comment author: Julia_Wise 20 October 2015 06:12:39PM 0 points [-]

2) Did you mean to say "developing" or "developed"?

I'd actually like to see more variety of both religious and non-religious people in this movement. Among the large number of people whose faith emphasizes helping the poor, GiveWell-type research could be quite interesting. I agree that religiosity is declining in developing coutnries, but in the US 60% of people identify religion being important to them and are nowhere near proportionately represented in this movement.

It's certainly true that our current demographics are skewed in various ways, but I don't see that alone as a good reason to seek to perpetuate the skew.

Comment author: Dale 20 October 2015 11:37:58PM 0 points [-]

It's certainly true that our current demographics are skewed in various ways, but I don't see that alone as a good reason to seek to perpetuate the skew.

Well, you might think that they're skewed because it is cheaper/easier to attract atheists than theists, so we should collect the low-hanging fruit focus on atheists.

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 18 October 2015 03:20:56PM 0 points [-]

Nice ideas!

1) On cause prioritization, I think there are already a number of ways that people can improve the effectiveness of their causes, and this is not the unique value proposition that the EA movement offers. I think what we offer that is unique is cause prioritization and data-driven evaluation, not improvement of other causes. I think we should stick to where we provide the most value.

2) I hear your point about the long run in targeting non-religious people, but I think we all see that developing countries - where the vast majority of donors are located - are turning more secular over time. Moreover, the kind of appeal that the EA movement has is most impactful for people who already value truth and reason. This is not to say we should not orient toward attracting religious people as well, just making an argument for effectiveness of outreach. If we want to be most effective in our outreach, I'd say targeting non-religious people is most impactful.

3) Yup, agreed.

4) Yup, agreed.

Comment author: Dale 20 October 2015 11:36:45PM *  0 points [-]

developing countries ... are turning more secular over time.

Right but that effect is very gradual. It's been going on for hundreds of year; over the time horizon of any EA marketing campaign it will have been only a de minimis impact.

Comment author: Larks 20 October 2015 01:00:30AM 0 points [-]

I retracted a suggestion for someone to donate after I learned that their income is lower than my consumption

Suppose Bill Gates spends £1m on personal consumption a year and donated $100m. Is it wrong for him to suggest others to donate to charity too?

As a rough heuristic, it is not reasonable to ask others to commit to a higher ethical standard than myself.

I agree with this entirely. But sacrifice is not virtue! There's nothing virtuous about limiting your own standard of living; virtue consists in living well and helping others. It is the donating 20% that measures (in part) my ethical standard, so I wouldn't ask others to donate more than 20% - but I'd be happy to suggest they do the same.

In response to comment by Larks on EA's Image Problem
Comment author: Dale 20 October 2015 11:33:51PM 0 points [-]

It is the donating 20% that measures (in part) my ethical standard

You seem to be somewhat contradicting yourself. You're criticizing others for equating sacrifice with virtue, but then measuring virtue as the percentage that you sacrifice! What matters is how much you help people. If you donate $3,500 to buy bed-nets, you've (in expectation) saved a life. It doesn't matter whether that was 10% of your income or 1% or 0.1%. The important thing isn't the percentage donated, it is the total amount donated. By asking someone earning less than you to donate 20% (or whatever it is you donate), you are asking them to do less good than you do. To be asking the same of them as you do of yourself, you would have to ask they donate a higher percentage, or increase their income.

Comment author: LKor 16 October 2015 12:29:59AM *  0 points [-]

To expand on my last point: my understanding of effective altruism is that it is expansive. Generous. About becoming "more the people we wished we were". I do not see it as a movement that ridicules or comes from schadenfreude or is punitive. The AM hack is the result of horribly unethical business and software practices, and its fallout is causing a lot of suffering. That's why I think it's bad for EA's image if 'we' are seen to be joking about it.

Comment author: Dale 20 October 2015 11:23:57PM *  0 points [-]

its fallout is causing a lot of suffering.

Committing adultery causes a lot of suffering. Punishing people for anti-social behavior is an important part of any society, to incentivize good behavior. To the extent that western societies hardly punish this behavior at all, despite the huge amounts of suffering it causes, appropriately disincentivizing it could be an extremely effective way of improving the world.

Comment author: kierangreig 15 October 2015 11:42:47PM 0 points [-]

Hey Dale,

The system only works for GiveWell/Charity Science recommended charities.

Comment author: Dale 20 October 2015 11:21:28PM 0 points [-]

Are you thinking of adding other EA charities at some point in the near future?

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