Comment author: Maxdalton 30 January 2018 12:14:47PM 4 points [-]

[Writing personally] This post seems to argue (at least implicitly) that scale is bad if it is the only metric that is used to assess a cause area or intervention. I think this is clearly correct.

But I don't think anyone has used scale as the only metric: 80,000 Hours very explicitly modify it with other factors (neglectedness, solvability), to account for things like the "bottlenecking" you discuss.

There's a separate thing you could mean, which is "Scale, neglectedness, solvability is only one model for prioritisation. It's useful to have multiple different models for prioritising. One alternate model is to assess what the biggest bottleneck is for solving a problem." (Note that this does not really support the claim that scale is misused: it's just that other lenses are also useful.)

I respect the inclination to use multiple models, and I think that thinking in terms of bottlenecks is useful for e.g. organizational prioritization. I think it's harder to apply to cause prioritization because we face so many problems and potential solutions that it's hard to see what the bottlenecks are. It may be useful for prioritizing how to use resources to pursue an intervention, which seems to be how you are mostly using it in this case.

Overall, I worry that your title doesn't really reflect what you show in the text.

Comment author: cubup 20 November 2017 10:52:29PM -2 points [-]

i like this post

Comment author: Maxdalton 22 November 2017 08:23:21AM 2 points [-]

Hi cubup, Just in case you're a newbie who doesn't understand why you're being downvoted: If you just want to express approval/disapproval for a post, you can use the thumbs up/down at the bottom of articles. Please try to keep comments for something more substantive. :)

Comment author: Joey 06 November 2017 11:21:21PM 2 points [-]

We have not posted a job ad with a 50k set salary, but as I mentioned above, in the late interview stages we often ask what salary candidates are looking for without specifying a number for the job beforehand.

Comment author: Maxdalton 07 November 2017 08:54:44AM *  3 points [-]

[My views, not my employer's.] Just a data point, but I interpreted "We have experimented with different levels of salaries between 10k and 50k USD and have not found increasing the salary increases the talent pool in the traits we would like to see more of." to mean that you had advertised salaries between 10k and 50k. I don't know if others would have misinterpreted it in the same way.

Does that statement instead mean "When we asked people who made it through to late interview stages what salary they required, candidates who asked for 50k salaries were not on average better qualified than those who asked for 10k salaries."? If it does, this suggests that of relatively well-qualified candidates who thought that CS would meet their salary requirements, salary didn't seem to affect quality between 10k and 50k. But you might be missing some better-qualified candidates who required a 45k salary, but thought that CS wouldn't be able to meet that requirement, or who felt uncomfortable asking for such a salary given that they knew other people at the organisation took lower salaries. So I worry that there will still be some effect of shrinking the applicant pool that you're not accounting for.

(Maybe you advertised the salary as a range (20k to 50k), then asked candidates where they wanted to be on the range. In that case, I think my worry is slightly weakened, but that people might still feel uncomfortable asking for the higher end, given CS's reputation for people taking low salaries.)

Comment author: astupple 20 October 2017 11:04:27PM 3 points [-]

This is fantastically helpful, thank you so much for taking the time.

Makes me ponder the value of an "EA Curator." There's such an overwhelming amount of mind-bending content in the EA universe and its adjacent possible. This list of podcasts clearly only scratches the surface, yet I find myself wondering how I'm going to fit this in with the dozens of other podcast episodes, audiobooks, and print books I have on my plate, let alone other modes of discovery (and worse, how this at some point impinges on the time I have to do actual work on ideas that are so important).

Many EA's have lists of books.... perhaps there could be an EA Reddit thread for simply voting up or down inspiringly-EA books, articles, blog posts, podcast episodes, etc?

Or, just a list of EA lists? Rob Wiblin's list of podcasts indexed along with anyone else's podcast list? Bonus for a method to vote individual lists up or down?

Comment author: Maxdalton 21 October 2017 06:25:46AM *  3 points [-]

Watch this space. CEA is working on putting together a set of ~20 interesting articles and talks that have come out of EA in recent years.

Speaking for myself, not CEA, I'd also encourage you and others to use the EA forum as a place for linking to great EA content. I don't think we should just flood the forum with content - one of the great things about the forum is that it tends to have higher quality posts than e.g. Facebook. But linking to good content allows both for curation and discussion.

Comment author: Jon_Behar 06 October 2017 01:58:25PM 6 points [-]

Any thoughts on why the grants were so concentrated by cause area? EA Community and LT future got 65% and 33% respectively, while Global Health and Development and Animal Welfare each got just 1%. Was this a function of the applications (number or quality) or the evaluation process (values, metrics)? Would you have predicted this going in?

Comment author: Maxdalton 09 October 2017 05:15:53PM 2 points [-]

With regards to animal welfare, we passed on several applications which we found promising, but couldn't fully assess, to the Open Philanthropy Project, so we may eventually facilitate more grants in this area.

I would not have predicted such an extreme resource split going in: we received fewer high quality, EA-aligned applications in the global development space than we expected. However, CEA is currently prioritising work on improving the long-term future, so I would have expected the EA community and long-term future categories to receive more funding than global development or animal welfare.

In response to comment by Roxanne_Heston  (EA Profile) on EAGx Relaunch
Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 24 July 2017 10:31:51PM 4 points [-]

the people we'd like to have do direct work in many cases already exist in the EA sphere but don't have the affordance or nudge to dedicate themselves to EA work full-time.

Would you view the large number of rejected EA Grants proposals as evidence against this view and toward a view of funding constraints? (Of course, you can answer "yes" to that question and still think the view I quoted is accurate because of a larger balance of evidence pointing toward the quoted view.)

It's cool to see CEA thinking systematically about the entire funnel of EA talent.

In response to comment by Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) on EAGx Relaunch
Comment author: Maxdalton 25 July 2017 07:44:32AM *  10 points [-]

The main reason that we could not interview more people for EA Grants at this stage is that we had a limited amount of staff time to conduct interviews, rather than because of funding constraints.

I think you are right that the number of excellent EA Grants proposals suggests that small projects are often currently restricted by receiving funding. However, I think that this is less because there is not enough money, and more because there aren't good mechanisms for matching small projects up with money. You could say it is funding-mechanism-constrained. Of course, EA Grants is trying to address this. This was a smaller trial round, to see how promising the project is, and work out how to run it well. We will reassess after we've completed this round, but I think that it's very possible that we will scale the program up, to begin to address this issue.

[I'm working for CEA on EA Grants.]

In response to comment by Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) on EAGx Relaunch
Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 25 July 2017 05:27:06AM 0 points [-]

large number of rejected EA Grants proposals

Is there info about this somewhere?

Comment author: Maxdalton 25 July 2017 07:26:32AM 4 points [-]

[I work for CEA on EA Grants.] We received over 700 applications, and we only offered interviews to roughly the top 10% of applicants. (We'll do a more detailed writeup once the process is over.)

Comment author: praline 13 June 2017 01:55:12PM 1 point [-]

Hoping to secure PhD study and have an EA-related research proposal. I've noticed the application characters limit is quite strict, so quite likely won't be able to explain much of the proposal in that. Should I attach it to my CV or should I just explain it very very briefly in the application?

Comment author: Maxdalton 13 June 2017 01:58:46PM 3 points [-]

You should write it briefly in the application. As the form mentions, the character limit is deliberately strict to encourage you to focus on the most important issues.

Comment author: joshjacobson  (EA Profile) 13 June 2017 07:14:52AM 1 point [-]

Have you already raised the funds for this? EA Ventures failed a while back primarily because there was not the money, and those in charge of it found that they had a much more difficult time raising funds than they expected.

Comment author: Maxdalton 13 June 2017 11:14:21AM 1 point [-]

Yes, this project is fully funded, from donations from a large donor given for this purpose.

Comment author: Denkenberger 11 June 2017 01:45:24AM 3 points [-]

Great idea! Do you want a 16 page CV or a 2 page resume? If CV, how do you want one to anonymize publications?

Comment author: Maxdalton 12 June 2017 07:21:16AM 1 point [-]

Thanks! Please use the resume.

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