Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 19 June 2018 02:46:10AM 3 points [-]

it might also be nice if there was a repository of info on why some common cause areas are not generally recommended by EA

Good idea. I had been experimenting by adding summaries at the top of some articles (for example this one on aging) and was trying to figure out how opinionated the Wiki should be. Right now I was trying to err on the side of being less opinionated. If you have any thoughts on this issue, I'd definitely be curious to hear them.

I'm unsure how one would incentivize such info being added though.

We're hoping to eventually and slowly create a volunteer pool to do this kind of work. This seems like the kind of tasks volunteers have done well on in my past experience. Furthermore, given funding, we'd even be able to pay for the assistance.

Comment author: Yannick_Muehlhaeuser 20 June 2018 05:37:59AM 1 point [-]

was trying to figure out how opinionated the Wiki should be

Certainly an important question. 80k certainly explains why they don't recommend certain careers and it's important for them to continue to do so. In my opinion we should make our reasons for considering a cause effective very clear, so they can be challenged. In practice, of course, how such an entry depends strongly on the wording. I would prefer to word it like "Cause X has traditionally been considered not neglected enough/not tractabe/too small by EA organisations. ... According to that reasoning you'd have to show Y to establish X as an effective cause. ..." instead of "X is not effective, because ...".

Comment author: Yannick_Muehlhaeuser 13 May 2018 08:56:25PM 2 points [-]

Thank you, this was very helpful. I think to possibility to do volunteer work remotely is something that should be stressed more and also communicated in EA local groups more frequently.

Comment author: Denise_Melchin 06 May 2018 09:15:30AM *  16 points [-]

I’m curious what kind of experiences people in the dedicated group actually had that put them off if you could elaborate on that.

I share the impression that dedication is less encouraged in EA these days than five years ago. I’m also personally very disappointed by that since high dedication felt like a major asset I could bring to EA. Now I feel more like it doesn’t matter which is discouraging.

My guess is that this is because high dedication is a trait of youth movements and the age of the median and perhaps more importantly the most influential EAs has gone up in the mean time. EA has lost its youth movement-y vibe.

I’m also interested whether the other movements you’re comparing EA to are youth movements?

Comment author: Yannick_Muehlhaeuser 06 May 2018 06:14:33PM 6 points [-]

I share the impression that dedication is less encouraged in EA these days than five years ago

Not sure i agree with this. Certainly there is less focus on donating hug sums of money, but that may also be explained by the shift to EA Orgs now often recommending direct work. But i think the EA community as a hole now focusses less on attracting huge ammounts of people and more on keeping the existing members engaged and dedicated and influencing their career choice (if i remember correctly the strategic write-ups from both CEA and EAF seem to reflect this).

For instance, the recent strategy write-up by CEA mentions dedication as an important factor:

We can think of the amount of good someone can be expected to do as being the product of three factors (in a mathematical sense): 1. Resources: The extent of the resources (money, useful labor, etc.) they have to offer; 2. Dedication: The proportion of these resources that are devoted to helping; 3. Realization: How efficiently the resources devoted to helping are used

But i agree that there is a lot of focus on 'talent' and dedication seems to take a second role behind it. This may be defensable but i think that we could probably stress dedication a bit more, because talking about 'dedication' may turn less people of than talk about 'talent'. To me talent seems more like something you have while dedication seems like something that 'merely' requires willpower. I would generaly be more worried about 'lacking talent' than 'lacking dedication', but I don't really know how many people share that intuition.

Comment author: [deleted] 06 May 2018 05:20:21PM *  7 points [-]

Thanks for the post. I'm sceptical of lock-in (or, more Homerically, tie-yourself-to-the-mast) strategies. It seems strange to override what your future self wants to do, if you expect your future self to be in an equally good epistemic position. If anything, future you is better informed and wiser...

I know you said your post just aims to provide ideas and tools for how you can avoid value drift if you want to do so. But even so, in the spirit of compromise between your time-slices, solutions that destroy less option value are preferable.

Comment author: Yannick_Muehlhaeuser 06 May 2018 05:48:51PM 4 points [-]

There's probably something to be gained by investigating this further, but i would guess that most cases of value drift are because a loss of willpower and motivation, rather that an update of one's opinion. I think the word value drift is a bit ambigious here, because i think the stuff you mention is something we don't really want to include in whatever term we use here. Now that i think about it, i think what really makes the difference here are deeply held intuitions about the range of our moral duty and so for which 'changing your mind' doesn't alway seem appropriate.

Comment author: Yannick_Muehlhaeuser 04 May 2018 09:19:57PM *  1 point [-]

Reading the book as Epub in iBooks, in enumerations there are often certain sentences that have a bigger font size than the normal text (for instance in the section "A Proposed Adjustment to the Astronomical Waste Argument"). I can't post a picture here but i don't think it was intendet to be that way. Hope that helps.

Comment author: Yannick_Muehlhaeuser 02 May 2018 12:33:27PM 6 points [-]

If i could only recommend one book to someone should i recommend this or Doing Good Better? Not really sure about that. What do you think?

Comment author: Yannick_Muehlhaeuser 02 May 2018 12:29:43PM 1 point [-]

Very helpful post. As someone running an german EA group i didn't really find anything that doesn't apply to us in the same way it did for you.

One interesting thing is your focus on 1on1 conversations: We have never attempted something like this, mostly because we thought it would be at least a bit weird for both parties involved. Did you have the same fear and where proven wrong or is this a problem you run into with some people?

Comment author: Yannick_Muehlhaeuser 24 April 2018 08:52:52AM 3 points [-]

Thank you very much for this important work. This should be an important consideration for everyone and an important factor in career planning. I'll make sure to say something about that in our local EA group at some point.