Comment author: Denkenberger 18 June 2018 03:58:00AM 0 points [-]

Nice idea! The free health care in the UK helps make it low cost, though is there a probationary period for immigrants?

Comment author: Khorton 18 June 2018 09:02:46AM *  0 points [-]

No, your free (edit: pre-paid for most immigrants) health care starts when you start working/studying and register with a GP. If you need to apply for a visa, you will likely pay an NHS surcharge as part of your visa application.

Comment author: Jiri_Nadvornik 13 June 2018 07:58:05AM *  1 point [-]

Hi Saulius. CZEA retreat organizer here.

Thank you for this report.

We did "concept explaining somewhat differently:

  • a) people could fill out form w/ list of concepts they can/want explain several days earlier. They also had links to recommended articles for many of concepts offered.
  • b) during activity we projected on a screen list of groups (~3 people learning, one teaching) and what is their concept for this session.
  • c) after 15 minutes we hit the gong and projected list of new groups with new topics.

It seems to me that Circling and Hamming circles need the people to feel close and trusting each other. We thought about doing Hamming circles on Saturday evening but decided to do something else because the atmosphere was not right. How well it worked for you?

Comment author: Khorton 13 June 2018 06:11:44PM 1 point [-]

I didn't attend, but someone told me the circling thing was awkward.

Comment author: Greg_Colbourn 11 June 2018 01:40:02PM 0 points [-]

vague idea of how things ought to be, rather than a conscious attempt to maximize success.

I would say it’s a bit more than vague ;) I think it’s important to have someone who really understands and shares the goals of the project. Someone who doesn’t get EA is not likely to care about it much beyond seeing it as a means to get paid. It would then be largely up to part time volunteers (the other Trustees) to direct the project and keep it aligned with EA. This scenario seems more likely to lead to stagnation/failure to me.

less of the skills we tend to have (such as a flair for optimization)

I think a flair for optimisation is needed in any kind of ops role. The more you optimise, the greater your capacity (/free time).

and even more of the skills we tend not to have (consistency, hotel-related metis)

Conscientiousness would be required. But there are a fair amount of EAs with that trait, right?

optimizing for initial success seems more important than optimizing for future expansion.

In practice I think these are mostly the same thing. The more initial success there is, the more likely expansion is. The point I was making is that the manager will have a large stake in the course the project takes, so it will depend on what they make of it (hence meaning it should be seen as an exciting opportunity. I mean yeah, there will be some amount of “boring” (mindfulness promoting?) tasks - but it could be so much more fun than “Hotel Manager in Blackpool” initially sounds).

less external validation of managerial capability than a similarly qualified external candidate, who might be a hotel manager already!

In many ways this won’t be a typical hotel (non-profit, longer term stays, self-service breakfast and lunch, simplified dinner menu, weekly linen/towel changes, EA evening events etc), so I’m not sure how much prior hotel experience is relevant. Really anyone who is a reasonably skilled generalist, passionate about the project, and friendly should be able to do it.

I expect you'd need to offer a higher salary to attract the same level of talent

Salary is open to negotiation (have amended ad).

require separating the hotel manager and the community mentor

I think that once everything is set up, the day-to-day management of the hotel itself won’t require full time hours. Would prefer to have one full time employee rather than two part-time employees, but as I’ve said previously, I am open to splitting the role.

division of labor

As mentioned above, part of optimisation can be outsourcing tasks you are less good at (or don’t like doing). e.g. hiring someone else to do the cooking or laundry (depending on how much you value your time/money).

Comment author: Khorton 11 June 2018 05:17:40PM *  3 points [-]

"In many ways this won’t be a typical hotel (non-profit, longer term stays, self-service breakfast and lunch, simplified dinner menu, weekly linen/towel changes, EA evening events etc), so I’m not sure how much prior hotel experience is relevant. Really anyone who is a reasonably skilled generalist, passionate about the project, and friendly should be able to do it."

I think this is where we disagree. It's taken me years to develop the (rather basic) domestic skills I have. I think it would be quite a challenge for someone like me, who can competently manage a household, to competently manage a hotel with 17 people. For example, when I organized EA London's weekend retreat and oversaw the housing, cooking and cleaning for 25 people, it was really hard and I made some significant mistakes.

This worries me because a large majority of the EAs I meet in London are worse at cooking/cleaning/household management than I am. If I'm not currently capable of the task, and most EAs are less capable than I am, then I wonder who CAN do the job.

There are a couple of things I might be wrong about: maybe people are better at domestic tasks outside of London, or maybe there are one or two exceptional candidates (and that's really all it takes!). But based on my experience, I really don't think "anyone who is a reasonably skilled generalist, passionate about the project, and friendly should be able to do it" - or at least, not to a high standard, not right away.

Comment author: Khorton 09 June 2018 10:28:04AM 2 points [-]

What are the forum norms around advertising?

Comment author: Greg_Colbourn 07 June 2018 04:15:37PM *  1 point [-]

I think 80k make a good case for why it's important to have EAs in ops roles here.

Comment author: Khorton 07 June 2018 09:58:12PM 2 points [-]

Several of the reasons listed in that article don't matter for the hotel because the hotel manager will be the only full time member of staff. For example, the hotel manager won't be likely to switch into other roles/be promoted at the same organization and won't need to communicate with other staff about EA-specific things. Additionally, the article suggests that being involved in the EA community is a benefit, but not the only thing to consider when hiring. That sounds about right to me.

I would seriously consider splitting up the hotel manager role and the community mentory person. It's hard enough to find an awesome cook who can do 17 people's laundry, keep everything clean, pay all the bills, and keep everything legal. Requiring them to be one of a couple thousand EAs IN THE WORLD sounds really hard.

Comment author: Khorton 06 June 2018 10:58:36PM 2 points [-]

This is so interesting! I'd love more details about your methods. For example, for the different identifiers (black/white, Christian/atheist), how many of each group were surveyed? How was the survey group recruited? How significant were the results and what was the effect size? Any extra details would be helpful so I know how much to update.

Comment author: Greg_Colbourn 05 June 2018 10:50:26PM *  1 point [-]

I did factor in a £200 flight home once a year and mid-price phone contracts and laptops (just realised that the budget spreadsheet wasn't visible with the link before; it should be now). Netflix premium (£9.99/month) allows 4 simultaneous streams, so perhaps there could be one or two hotel accounts (I'm hoping to keep the hotel TV-free though, so there are no actual TVs). Doesn't look like Spotify has anything equivalent (but really, there is Soundcloud; and pretty much any music you can think of is on YouTube, and there are ways to play it ad free and in the background from a phone). But yes, I do expect that some people will want some over-budget luxuries, which they will hopefully be able to otherwise pay for.

Although of course it would be somewhat problematic if someone was spending a lot of their own money on extra luxuries (say they were spending an additional £5k/year. As mentioned in the OP with the digital nomad example, the cost-effectiveness of their funding would effectively be halved).

Comment author: Khorton 06 June 2018 12:57:48PM *  1 point [-]

I've just looked over the budget (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bTwMRAD4TQjvHZ0eRCsN4uFdN5Se4zdcP1ikFOKj6-4/edit?usp=sharing). I really like how thorough and detailed it is. I am concerned that it may be overly optimistic, though - I'm sure other expenses will come up. For example, here are some things I use regularly that I don't see money set aside for:

-Tampons

-Medications (prescription or not)

-Razors

-Moisturizer/lotion

-Sunblock

-Contact lenses and solution

-Stationery

-Haircuts

Comment author: Khorton 06 June 2018 11:08:06AM 1 point [-]

"We believe this program has potential to found 1-3 GiveWell incubation/ACE recommended equivalent charities a year." How many applicants are you expecting to mentor each year? Or put another way, what percentage of new charities you support do you expect to become top charities?

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

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

Comment author: Khorton 04 June 2018 10:07:37PM 6 points [-]

"is £25/week enough for phone, laptop, clothes, travel, entertainment, and all other non-food-or-housing expenditure" No, but that's probably okay. I have a friend who received a similarly stipend during an internship and supplemented it with savings.

I'd expect people to want to travel occasionally for personal reasons (eg home for Christmas) and need to occasionally pay for new phones or laptops (several hundred pounds, once every couple years). They might also find something like Spotify Premium, Netflix, or Headspace useful. The point is, £25 a week is unrealistic for a middle class Brit, but again, I think it's fine to expect people to freelance or use savings for these extra expenses.

View more: Next