Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 20 September 2017 07:12:52AM 2 points [-]

This post was very useful. I'm moderately familiar with this topic but I learnt a number of new important facts. Keep it coming!

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 07 September 2017 03:04:05AM 0 points [-]

Definitely. I note that in endnote #3, but it definitely should be pointed out. The heavier moderation started in December 2015.

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 07 September 2017 09:32:30PM 0 points [-]

Sorry I missed the endnote. I think in that case, where the change is most naturally interpreted as neutral or positive, it's worth giving it a stronger caveat than a footnote, for people just skimming the numbers. :)

Comment author: Tom_Davidson 07 September 2017 07:38:46PM 4 points [-]

Great podcasts!

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 07 September 2017 08:18:15PM 1 point [-]

Glad you like them! Tell your friends. ;)

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 07 September 2017 02:11:56AM *  1 point [-]

I'll give a shout out to A Farewell to Alms (2007) by the economist Gregory Clark.

It's something of a precursor to the more often read The Better Angels of Our Nature, Sapiens and Capital in the 21st Century, and in important respects better than all of them. It really changed my view of the world and history when I was young.

The later sections are speculative at best, but the first two thirds on a long term history of how humanity has gradually escaped poverty are top shelf.

If you want to dig deeper into this topic and especially the under-rated endogenous growth theory I can strongly recommend reading Invisible Wealth: The Hidden Story of How Markets Work by Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz.

I should also give a shout out to the book that got me into EA when I was 13: Writings on an Ethical Life by Peter Singer.

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 07 September 2017 02:08:24AM 1 point [-]

Regarding the rate of EA Facebook group posts - a year or two ago there was an effort to introduce moderation to slow the rate of low quality posts (often from entirely new people) that added noise and reflected poorly on the group. The lower engagement there seems to be a sign of success and professionalisation rather than slow movement growth.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 06 September 2017 11:28:30AM 1 point [-]

Ok, done. Thanks. Impact-adjusted numbers are fairer, since that is what you are actually targeting, though there is some subjectivity in the impact adjusting process.

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 06 September 2017 05:24:22PM 2 points [-]

Thanks. It's not so much that it's a matter of what we're targetting - I think some of these plan change are more than 100x more valuable than others. If you take the raw number of customers a company has, when some customers spend 100x more than others, the total number of customers could look good while the business is actually shrinking. Our raw plan change figures are dominated by the smallest, least important plan changes so could be quite misleading in future.

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 06 September 2017 07:27:09AM *  2 points [-]

I strongly recommend using the impact-adjusted plan change metric rather than the unadjusted one for 80,000 Hours. Those figures:

Sep 2014 to Aug 2015 - 184.8

Sep 2015 to Aug 2016 - 631.3

Sep 2016 to Aug 2017 - 1202

There's also our newsletter growth. New subscribers each year:

2014 - 262

2015 - 23,000

2016 - 76,000

2017 so far - 57,000.

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 06 September 2017 07:18:40AM *  0 points [-]

You should really add non-'global health and development' OpenPhil grants as that's now almost as much as all the other donations here listed together (e.g. $105m since the start of 2017, vs $60m through all of 2016 and little before that). Easy to get all the data here: .

Adding in that the growth rate looks much faster.

Comment author: Austen_Forrester 04 September 2017 02:25:08PM 0 points [-]

For "far future"/"long term future," you're referring to existential risks, right? If so, I would think calling them existential or x-risks would be the most clear and honest term to use. Any systemic change affects the long term such as factory farm reforms, policy change, changes in societal attitudes, medical advances, environmental protection, etc, etc. I therefore don't feel it's that honest to refer to x-risks as "long term future."

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 05 September 2017 11:21:30PM 1 point [-]

The term existential risk has serious problems - it has no obvious meaning unless you've studied what it means (is this about existentialism?!), and is very often misused even by people familiar with it (to mean extinction only, neglecting other persistent 'trajectory changes').

Comment author: Buck 01 September 2017 11:48:09PM 7 points [-]

I wish that you hadn't truncated the y axis in the "Cause Identified as Near-Top Priority" graph. Truncating the y-axis makes the graph much more misleading at first glance.

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 02 September 2017 01:20:51AM 4 points [-]

I didn't notice that when I first read this. It's especially easy to mis-read because the others aren't truncated. Strongly suggest editing to fix it.

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