Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 25 May 2018 02:55:21PM 2 points [-]

Basically, you can sell an e-book for a small amount, like $0-5. The e-book is way more detailed than a typical blog post, but is way less detailed than a full book you'd buy for ~$30 at your local bookstore. You get a small amount of money and can also collect emails and use them to build a list for further marketing. This is a pretty common thing a lot of online entrepreneurs seem to do.

Comment author: Khorton 25 May 2018 06:57:12PM 0 points [-]

If you're short on time, you might be able to have someone ghostwrite it for a lump sum or co-write it with you for a share of the profit.

Comment author: Khorton 17 May 2018 05:04:40PM 4 points [-]

Anyone choosing between these alternatives may find our volunteering decision tool useful:

Comment author: kieuk 14 May 2018 02:54:25PM 0 points [-]

Since Kathy is sadly gone*, is there a potential new coordination point for coordinating our tracking methods? If you think it's best to coordinate privately, you can find me on Facebook (David Mears)


Comment author: Khorton 14 May 2018 05:29:49PM 2 points [-]

I think Julia Wise is a point person for tracking these incidents.

Comment author: Khorton 14 May 2018 12:06:12AM *  0 points [-]

What you're calling "value drift," Evangelical Christians call "backsliding." The idea is you've taken steps toward a countercultural lifestyle in line with your values, but now you're sliding back toward the mainstream - for an Evangelical Christian, an example would be binge drinking with friends. Backsliding is common and Evangelicals use many of the techniques listed above to counteract it.

Evangelicals heavily emphasize community. Christians are encouraged to attend services, join a small group Bible study, socialize with each other, and marry other Christians.

I also remember being encouraged to establish good habits and stick with them - for example, reading the Bible every morning.

We also, of course, begin with a public commitment to Christianity. And community members will pull you aside and have a chat with you (read: judge you) if they think you're in danger of backsliding.

I've seen all of these strategies work, although some have undesirable side effects.

Comment author: Khorton 11 May 2018 04:23:58PM 1 point [-]

This story did not make me a more effective or altruistic person, as far as I can tell.

Comment author: MichaelPlant 06 May 2018 08:43:29PM 3 points [-]

It seems strange to override what your future self wants to do,

I think you're just denying the possibility of value drift here. If you think it exists, then committment strategies could make sense. if you don't, they won't.

Comment author: Khorton 06 May 2018 09:48:00PM 3 points [-]

I disagree - I think you can believe "value drift" exists and also allow your future self autonomy.

My current "values" or priorities are different from my teenage values, because I've learned and because I have a different peer group now. In ten years, they will likely be different again.

Which "values" should I follow: 16-year-old me, 26-year-old me, or 36-year-old me? It's not obvious to me that the right answer is 26-year-old me (my current values).

Comment author: Khorton 06 May 2018 10:25:38AM 1 point [-]

Can you explain what you mean by "dedication"? In this post, it seems to mean something like "caring a lot and acting accordingly" - is that what you meant?

In response to comment by [deleted] on Giving Later in Life: Giving More
Comment author: jamie_cassidy 04 May 2018 05:46:25AM *  1 point [-]

Hey Thomas, I have a spreadsheet to highlight the disparity rather than a source, I can send it to you'd if you like? As an illustrative example though let's imagine we have a 30 year old person with $50k saved up. They can either donate this to charity and continue to rent, or use it as a deposit (down-payment) to buy the same house, which let's say is valued at 500k. The numbers will depend by city, but let's assume mortgage interest rate of 4.5%, rental yield of 3% and an average house price increase of 3% per year.

If you have a 450k mortgage on a 30 year schedule, you will pay a total of $773k in mortgage repayments (450k in capital repayments and 323k in interest) and at the end of the 30 years you will own a house worth $1.21 million. If you choose to rent, you will pay $713k in rental payments over the 30 years and obviously at the end you will not own anything. The most difficult part of this calculation is the amortization schedule for mortgages, but there are websites that will do this work for you such as this one;

Does this mean that housing is mispriced? I don't think so. Firstly there is a huge tax advantage to owning your own house vs renting. This is because you don't pay any tax on the rent you avoid paying. However, if you buy an investment property under the same terms and rent it out, you will have to pay income tax on the rent received. Second, in my example investors make 6% a year (pre-tax) owning housing in the long run. This compares with 8-10% by owning stocks in the long run. In general property is considered a safer asset than stocks, so a lower return makes sense, but given government bonds usually return 3-4% and they are much safer than property, a return of 6% or even higher seems reasonable.

Do people make a lot of money by investing in housing? This is a separate question to that of inefficiency and the answer is generally yes they do! One of the huge drivers of wealth inequality (Piketty) is that wealthy people have their money invested in long term assets like property and stocks, where the return is 6-10%. Meanwhile most working and middle class people have a substantial amount of their capital sitting in current (checking) and savings accounts earning 0-2%.

Comment author: Khorton 04 May 2018 09:22:18AM 3 points [-]

Several of your assumptions - for example, about taxes - are country-specific. Property tax for owners, closing costs, and tax breaks for homeowners vary from country to country. You also didn't include time or money costs from maintenance, which I expect to be substantial. Your core argument - young EAs should build up savings - could be right, but has already been discussed at length. For example, see

Comment author: DonyChristie 04 May 2018 04:36:18AM 1 point [-]

Someone just try and build something.

Comment author: Khorton 04 May 2018 09:13:11AM 0 points [-]

Agree. It's a good enough idea that I'd like to see a first draft.

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.)

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