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.)

Comment author: RandomEA 03 May 2018 04:28:51AM 0 points [-]

I agree that most people who would stop pursuing their project if they receive negative feedback via the EA Forum (with upvotes being an indicator of the level of community agreement), but people on the EA Forum may understate how negatively they view the project (for reasons of politeness). And even the mildly negative feedback may cause significant embarrassment for the person (which could deter people from asking for money publicly).

The platform would allow candid rejection of a bad idea without the embarrassment. It would also make it more likely that a good idea that starts from a bad idea will be funded. On a public platform, people with limited time may be inclined to dismiss a greatly improved version of a previously rejected idea. By contrast, if CEA allows for a resubmission on the grounds of significant improvement, the evaluators would know to give the new proposal serious consideration.

Comment author: MichaelPlant 01 May 2018 09:50:02PM *  4 points [-]

I think this idea is interesting but I'm unconvinced of the form you've chosen. As I've understood it seems to involve quite a lot of vetting and EA time before projects reach it to stage where they can ask people for funding. What's your objection to having an EA equivalent of GoFundMe/Kickstarter where people can just uploads their projects and then ask for funding. I imagine this could also work on the system that projects are time-limited and if they don't receive the funding they seek all the money gets returned to potential donors.

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.

13

Should there be an EA crowdfunding platform?

The Problem As noted in two   recent discussions, there may be many promising EA projects that are unable to secure sufficient funding. The cause seems to be that there are few funding sources for new projects: the Open Philanthropy Project focuses on larger grantees, EA Grants and EA Funds appear staff... Read More
Comment author: RandomEA 25 April 2018 08:19:31PM 12 points [-]

I was planning to give some feedback on the 2017 survey instrument after the last post in that series, which I had assumed would finish before the 2018 survey was released. Since my assumption was wrong (sorry!), I'll just post my feedback here to be considered for the 2019 survey:

  1. One major aspect of EA is the regularly produced online content on this forum and elsewhere. It might be useful to ask about the average number of hours a week people spend reading EA content as that could help people evaluate the value of producing online content.

  2. You could also ask people whether they've attended an EA Global conference. The responses could be used as a proxy to distinguish more involved and less involved EAs, which could be used in analyzing other issues like cause area preferences.

  3. For the question about career path, you could add advocacy as a fourth option. (80,000 Hours treats it as one of the four broad options.)

  4. For the same reasons that race was included in the 2017 survey, it could be useful to ask about parental education (as a proxy for socioeconomic background).

  5. You could ask people how many of their acquaintances they have seriously attempted to persuade to join EA and how many of those did join. This could provide useful data on the effectiveness of personal outreach.

  6. Another question that may be worth asking: "Have you ever seriously considered leaving EA?" For those that answer yes, you could ask them for their reasons.

  7. I think it could be useful to have data on the percent of EAs who are living organ donors and the percent of EAs who intend to become living organ donors. The major downside is that it may cause people to think that being a living organ donor is part of EA.

  8. Borrowing from Peter Singer, I propose asking: "Has effective altruism given you a greater sense of meaning and purpose in your life?"

  9. You could also ask about systemic change: "How much do you think the EA community currently focuses on systemic change (on a scale of 1 to 10)?" and "How much do you think the EA community should focus on systemic change (on a scale of 1 to 10)?" You could include a box for people to explain their answers.

  10. Lastly, you could ask questions about values. A) "Do you believe that preventing the suffering of a person living in your own country is more important than preventing an equal amount of suffering of a person living in a different country? Assume that there is no instrumental value to preventing the suffering of either and that in both cases the suffering is being prevented by means other than preventing existence or causing death." B) "Do you believe that preventing the suffering of a human is more important than preventing an equal amount of suffering of a non-human animal? Assume that there is no instrumental value to preventing the suffering of either and that in both cases the suffering is being prevented by means other than preventing existence or causing death." C) "Do you believe that preventing the suffering of a person living in the present is more important than preventing an equal amount of suffering of a person living several centuries from now? Assume that there is no instrumental value to preventing the suffering of either and that in both cases the suffering is being prevented by means other than preventing existence or causing death." D) "Do you believe that it is bad if a person who would live a happy life is not brought into existence?"

Comment author: RandomEA 23 April 2018 03:24:41PM 2 points [-]

It seems to me that this passage is conflating two distinct issues:

1) whether your decision not to purchase one pound of chicken will shift the demand curve for chicken by one pound i.e. whether it will cause producers to know that there is now one fewer pound of demand for chicken at the current price

2) how much that shift in the demand curve will change the quantity produced i.e. how much the production of chicken will decrease given that producers will lower the price of chicken and that the demand for chicken will be greater at that lower price (thus partially offsetting the reduction in demand that you caused)

The argument that MacAskill makes is related to the first issue, but the evidence he cites from Compassion for the Pound is related to the second issue. I think MacAskill is correct on the first issue, but I do not think that the evidence he cites supports his position.

Comment author: RandomEA 23 April 2018 02:19:34PM 6 points [-]

What percent of those who drifted from the 50% category ended up in the 10% category instead of out of the movement entirely?

And would the graph of the number of people remaining in the 50% category over time look roughly linear or was drifting concentrated at the beginning or near the end? What about for the 10% category?

Comment author: KevinWatkinson  (EA Profile) 04 April 2018 11:39:29AM 2 points [-]

The March 2018 animal welfare fund update is here if you would like to add it.

Comment author: RandomEA 04 April 2018 12:56:54PM 3 points [-]

The EA Funds website says that the Animal Welfare Fund only has $75,109 (also noted in the post), while the document you linked says it has $750,000+. If the latter is accurate (and does not include money committed but not yet donated), then EA Funds could be improved by providing more frequent updates on the amount of money in each fund (with real time updates being ideal).

Comment author: RandomEA 04 April 2018 12:50:05PM *  0 points [-]

Whether this discount rate is accurate is another question – given the relative abundance of cash available to EA orgs (through OpenPhil and Good Ventures), a rate as high as this is surprising.

It's worth noting that Open Phil does not currently fund EA movement building organizations, so not all EA organizations have access to a large amount of money.

Edit: It turns out I'm wrong. See the reply to this comment.

1

Would an EA world with limited money fund costly treatments?

During EA Global London 2017, Emilia Wilson gave an interesting five minute talk , which I've transcribed below: I'll just start by saying that this is kind of an ethics project, but it's also about movement building. And if either of those are your interest, please do come talk to... Read More
Comment author: RandomEA 25 March 2018 01:50:13AM 2 points [-]

Why is "spreading one's time over a wide range of projects and getting large amounts of benefit from minimal amounts of time" called "the 90/10 approach"?

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