Comment author: RyanCarey 27 November 2017 02:18:29PM 1 point [-]

This points to another feature of the landscape model: entrepreneurs are locally situated by their existing background knowledge, and this is part of what lets them do what they do. Attempts to “move” them are likely to both meet with resistance and be ultimately counterproductive.... So what we need is much more granular cause prioritization, ideally right down to the size of a problem that can be worked on by an individual or team.

Or maybe we just need to work with people who are actually cause neutral?

Comment author: Benito 25 November 2017 05:34:38PM *  3 points [-]

I agree with Jess, I'd love to hear more about the decision making. I think that the EA Grants programme has been the highest impact thing CEA has done in the past 2-3 years, and think it could be orders of magnitude more impactful if they can reliably expect to get funding for good projects. That would require that (a) it is done regularly and (b) people can know the reasons CEA uses to decide on what projects to fund.

Responding to why building online tools for intellectual progress takes multiple people's full time jobs: The original reddit codebase that LW 1.0 forked from was on the order of 4 years of 4 people's full time work, so say at least 10 person years of coding (we have had so far maybe 1 person year of full time coding work, and LW 2.0 has an entirely original codebase). While we're able to steal some of their insights (so we built a lot of the final product directly without having to fail and rebuild multiple times) LW 2.0 is building a lot of original features like an eigenkarma system, a sequences feature, and a bunch of other things that aren't currently in existence. We have still not yet built 50% of the features the site will have once we stop working on it.

Then also there's content curation and new epistemic and content norms to set up which takes time, and user interviews with writers in the community, and a ton of other things. The strategic overview points in the sorts of directions we'll likely build things.

Comment author: RyanCarey 26 November 2017 05:49:32AM 0 points [-]

I'd love to hear more about the decision making. I think that the EA Grants programme has been the highest impact thing CEA has done in the past 2-3 years, and think it could be orders of magnitude more impactful if they can reliably expect to get funding for good projects.

I agree with this. Although note that a lot of things would have to happen for EA grants to get more than 1 order of magnitude better. (They might have to make several improvements e.g. larger grants, more frequent grants, better recruitment of grantees, etc etc.)

Comment author: Jess_Whittlestone 25 November 2017 10:52:54AM 1 point [-]

Did SlateStarCodex even exist before 2009? I'm sceptical - the post archives only go back to 2013: http://slatestarcodex.com/archives/. Maybe not a big deal but does suggest at least some of your sample were just choosing options randomly/dishonestly.

Comment author: RyanCarey 25 November 2017 02:43:05PM 3 points [-]

They could also be referring to earlier writing by the same author at other addresses.

Comment author: Jess_Whittlestone 25 November 2017 11:02:23AM *  2 points [-]

This may be a bit late, but: I'd like to see a bit more explanation/justification of why the particular grants were chosen, and how you decided how much to fund - especially when some of the amounts are pretty big, and there's a lot of variation among the grants. e.g. £60,000 to revamp LessWrong sounds like a really large amount to me, and I'm struggling to imagine what that's being spent on.

Comment author: RyanCarey 25 November 2017 02:34:00PM *  2 points [-]

60k GBP doesn't sound like too much to me to revamp LessWrong at all.

  • probably years of time were spent on design/coding/content-curation for LW1, right?
  • LW has dozens of features that aren't available off the shelf
  • Starting the EA forum took a couple months of time. Remaking LessWrong will involve more content/moderator work, more design, and an order of magnitude more coding.

So it could easily take 1-2 person-years.

Comment author: RyanCarey 14 November 2017 01:41:21AM 4 points [-]

Thanks for writing this. I agree that reference management is really useful for paper-writing, and I have come across a bunch of these resources repeatedly. I get the impression people vary a bunch in how much they use subject-specific databases and the structured queries. I usually get by pretty well with Google Scholar. I don't encounter too much noise with the machine learning and biology work that I tend to read, although I can imagine they would be super useful if I was publishing a literature review.

The video at the start is a cool blog post structure. I wonder if anyone else will try it...

Comment author: Gregory_Lewis 09 November 2017 01:22:42AM *  8 points [-]

I am wiser, albeit poorer: the bet resolved in Carl's favour. I will edit this comment with the donation destination he selects, with further lamentations from me in due course.

Comment author: RyanCarey 09 November 2017 11:39:01AM 5 points [-]
7

The Threat of Nuclear Terrorism MOOC [link]

Just this week, a free five-week MOOC on arms control, the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism begins. It's taught by former secretary of defense William Perry, and his first MOOC was awesome, so I'd recommend checking it out. The deadline for the first assessment (an assignment where you write a mere paragraph)... Read More
Comment author: RyanCarey 13 October 2017 04:01:48AM 2 points [-]

A major risk to the project is people hold on too strongly to their pre-Project views Update: lower credence

Sounds more like increased credence to me. People allowed their charity preferences to move but stuck to their pet causes and pet research areas...

Comment author: RyanCarey 11 October 2017 01:57:19AM 0 points [-]

Maybe you would start with a small part of the defense bureaucracy?

Comment author: RyanCarey 10 October 2017 02:18:07AM 6 points [-]

Hey Zack,

I agree that we lose a bunch by moving our movement's centre of gravity away from poverty and development econ. But if we do the move properly, we gain a lot on the basis of the new areas we settle in. What rigor we lost, we should be able to patch up with Bayesian rationalist thinking. What institutional capital we might have lost from World Bank / Gates, we might be able to pick up with RAND/IARPA/Google/etc, a rather more diverse yet impressive group of possible contributors. For organization, yes a lot of experience, like that of Evidence Action, will be lost, but also much will be gained, for example, by working instead at technology think tanks, and elsewhere.

I don't think your conclusion that people should start in the arena of poverty is very well-supported either, if you're not comparing it to other arenas that people might be able to start out in. Do you think you might be privileging the hypothesis that people should start in the management of poverty just because that's salient to you, possibly because it's the status quo?

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