Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 17 February 2018 03:26:50AM *  0 points [-]

There seems to be some confusion about scale--from importance--in regard to neglectedness (ITN). One should also consider how pervasive the medical condition is in the world. How common is it? Is it a very rare medical condition? Does it affect a certain cohort? Just something to keep in mind.


PS ~ When describing EA to others, a big question is, "What is 'effective' charity?" A common misunderstanding is mistaking 'effective' charities to be preordained or forced. As any EA knows, evaluation is key. Better understanding will come when using complementary diction, such as "scale" and "solvability" (see at least the first link above).

In response to comment by adamaero  (EA Profile) on The almighty Hive will
Comment author: Arepo 02 February 2018 11:01:45PM *  0 points [-]

Keep in mind such insurance can happen at pretty much any scale - per Joey's description (above) of richer EAs just providing some support for poorer friends (even if the poorer friends are actually quite wealthy and E2G), for organisations supporting their employees, donors supporting their organisations (in the sense of giving them licence to take risks of financial loss that have positive EV), or EA collectives (such as the EA funds) backing any type of smaller entity.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 14 February 2018 03:37:45PM *  0 points [-]

I'm interpreting what your saying as one going without insurance, and having an arrangement with a much wealthier individual (friend) to cover them in case of an accident or medical procedure. If so, I believe that's ineffective altruism--even if the benefactor is E2G--and too idealistic.

Now, I assume most university students have their parents pay for their insurance (or get it significantly reduced though a state or university program). And I assume most professionals E2G are working for a company with a health insurance plan.

With that in mind, I think it wouldn't be worth it to start an EA insurance program. There wouldn't be enough people. And I don't believe the wealthier individuals would be inclined to doll out routine medical tests and high cost surgery to the less wealthy participants just because they claim to be EA.

I am speaking as someone who does not have an EA meetup/club nearby. I assume you're talking as if one does have comfy surroundings and support of nearby EAs (read: close EA friends).

Lastly, if I became a high-payed CEO or whatever, I wouldn't be supporting friends in place of them having an insurance program. To assume that other EAs would is unrealistic. Why do their wealthy lives matter more than someone else's in a different place? Each dollar of benevolence towards such a friend is a dollar not going to help someone at the other end. Money is mutually exclusive.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 05 February 2018 01:42:31AM 1 point [-]

Charity Navigator already exists. GuideStar too. If people would just use those, it would be better than something like 2/3 of Americans not looking into the causes they support. If an American is so set on rich country charities, just mentioning or encouraging those tools would be enough.

An American charity evaluator would have to compete with the charity ranking sites too. I don't think it would get off the ground very easily.

I also don't think it would be associated with Effective Altruism. Doesn't make sense if it's just based on location.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 02 February 2018 04:28:50AM *  0 points [-]

Of the three Black Mirror episodes I've seen, this reminds me of Nosedive:

I'm not saying such a program would succumb to such a weird state in our culture. Just a fun little aside. Regardless, I think if the EA insurance program happened, it would be awesome! That goes to say, there's a lot of different ideas in this article. I don't think our emerging movement is big enough...even for an insurance program. What do I know about starting an insurance firm? Nada.

Although, I do not trust people solely concerned about AI safety ;)

In response to comment by casebash on Why I left EA
Comment author: Lila 20 February 2017 01:03:10AM 3 points [-]

To the extent that we decide to devote resources to helping other people, it makes sense that we should do this to the maximal extent possible

I don't think I do anything in my life to the maximal extent possible

In response to comment by Lila on Why I left EA
Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 29 January 2018 03:57:06AM 0 points [-]

So you don't want to raise your kids so that they can achieve their highest potential? Or if you're training for a 5K/half-marathon, and you don't want to make the best use of your time training? You don't want to get your maximal PR? I digress.

I do not believe in all the ideas, especially about MIRI (AI risk). Although, in my mind, EA is just getting the biggest bang for your buck. Donating is huge! And organizations, such as GiveWell, are just tools. Sure, I could scour GuideStar and evaluate and compare 990 forms--but why go though all the hassle?

Anyway, honestly it doesn't really matter that people call themselves "effective altruists." And the philosophical underpinnings--which are built to be utilitarian independent--seem after the fact. "Effective Altruism" is just a label really; so we can be on the same general page: Effective Altruism has Five Serious Flaws - Avoid It - Be a DIY Philanthropist Instead

There's some statistic out there that says two-thirds or something of donors do no research at all into the organizations they give to. I hope that some people just wouldn't give at all ~ nonmalfeasance.

In response to comment by adamaero  (EA Profile) on Effective Volunteering
Comment author: Khorton 25 January 2018 10:52:38PM 0 points [-]

"the misnomer self-care" I'm also not about the name for this category of motivation. Can you think of a better name for it?

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 27 January 2018 09:16:10PM 0 points [-]

I don't think it's something that can be defined. An experience is unique. The outcome is unknown. Sure, you could come up with some general ideas: * activist networking (potential EAs ~ i.e., guiding an altruistic person into being effective--or at least pondering the core question: How to do the most good?) opposed to getting someone who hasn't volunteered a day in their life * the power of a positive role models * general methods or how to approach new things or refining work ethic, such as always finding work to do--even if it's cleaning, preparing or planning the next task * unknown "career capital" (e.g., learning how to use power tools which will greatly improve my chance of gaining an electrical engineering internship at a power tool company years later) * unknown unknown

That is why, I simply like to use Experience. It's multidimensional--not fit for a spreadsheet. Although, there are different types of volunteer positions too. I'm really only discussing unskilled volunteer opportunities. They're usually not a formal "position" per se.

On the other hand, skilled volunteer opportunities require more time. And that's where I lose the scent of the trail. I'm just a college student.

I personally believe that just making money "paid work or skill-building" would outweigh local volunteering here in the States (unless living in a major city). But I'm not acknowledging the fact that just convincing one person (such during a local volunteering opportunity) to become an EA would make much more of an impact. But then again that's unknown--a second unknown. Not only is the Experience itself unknown; it's unknown who I can convince (what I like to think of as "convert" ~ a lifestyle change in my mind).

I've never been able to convince a friend, family or classmate about EA. That's why all I really think these days is about informing people about the suffering of chickens within our borders and of absolute poverty abroad. Marginal efforts, yet worthy of mention. Something worth the breath rather than complaining about professors ;)

And putting up posters! around campus specifically geared towards university students. Seems to me, page 67, that Solomon makes a good point about using more pathos than logos: Singer And His Critics (1999).

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 25 January 2018 10:35:10PM 0 points [-]

Here in Wisconsin, unless you're living in Milwaukee or Madison, there are few genuine volunteer opportunities. Sure, one can mow the lawn of a church or dust shelves at the local library--but non-altruistic activities usually outweigh the free grunt labor.

I used to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. I considered each time there genuine. I helped with three houses over three summers (age 15 16 17--before they had an age requirement). Hammering nails, putting up siding, painting, etc. At age 22, after taking the student GWWC pledge and becoming vegetarian, I decided I could still volunteer locally for Habitat. EAs can still volunteer locally. Even if, I believe, the greater more important struggle is lessening absolute poverty. And so I volunteered, twice for a fourth summer. For the experience (or the misnomer "self care").

Although, in my hometown, Habitat changed. They now get the workers of large companies (and the company pays for their time). I still pounded some nails, moving though the rafters like a monkey; a few other odd jobs too--but I really wasn't needed anymore.

Even before, not every weekend was there a bunch of work to do, and one could always clean up the site and do prep work for the next phase. But today (for the Habitat in my hometown) it's different. They have a large pool of workers. I was "extra." And everyone else was getting paid!

In the end, the picture isn't that bleak. There is always an opportunity to do good. It just won't be formally defined or published. Informally, one can post on Craigslist to shovel snow for elderly or disabled people. Or ask a librarian to put up EA posters. And that's where I'm at right now. I'm looking for EA posters specifically for university students (to put up in academic buildings). Audience targeting is crucial.

This is good for freshman or sophomores, but not upperclassmen: But no pictures!

Banners here don't give enough information, no web links:

All the rest are brochures, having too much information for a large poster:

In response to EA Forum FAQ
Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 08 November 2017 04:31:06PM 1 point [-]
Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 02 March 2017 11:11:54PM 4 points [-]

March 2 Update: We have a volunteer who is taking on this project. As a result, Joey and I broke down the project more to the following questions:

1.) What were the top twenty foreign aid foundations (including government agencies) from 1975 to 2000 in terms of total grant dollars given to foreign aid (e.g., DFID, USAID, Gates/GAVI)? Scoring them relative to each other, how would you score them on a 1-5 scale with 5 being most accurately described as "hits based" and 1 being most accurately described as "proven evidence-backed"? (Also, is this a useful dichotomy?) Please try to provide justification for rankings.

2a.) Looking back at the list of top twenty orgs by size, pick the top five orgs by size that are more "hits based" and the top five orgs by size that are more "evidence-backed".

2b.) From each of these orgs, look at their top 10 grants by grant size. Of these, pick two grants that are likely to be the highest impact and two grants that are likely to be of average impact (relative to the ten grants from that org). You can look at there website, wiki page, and stated granting strategies to get a sense of this. (There will be 40 grants considered total.) Briefly describe the outcomes of the grant and the grant size. Present these grants shuffled and as blinded as possible (no org name) to Joey and me so that we can independently rank them without knowing whether they came from hits based orgs or not.

2c.) Using your own research, as best as possible, try to quantify the impact of these grants.

2d.) Combining our judgments, come to an overall assessment as best as possible as to the relative success of "hits-based" and "evidence-based" orgs.

We also have a bonus question that is much lower priority but might be of potential interest down the road:

3.) Can VC firms be described as pursuing a "hits based" strategy? How much due diligence do they put into their investments before making them? How does this due diligence compare to OpenPhil? Is there anything from learning about VC strategy we can use to inform EA strategy?


Joey and I separately estimated how long it would take to do (1) + (2). We then averaged our estimates together and then multiplied by 1.5 to adjust for the planning fallacy. We came up with a total of 70 hours. Since this is more than we originally thought, we decided to up our pay from $1500 to $2000.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 14 March 2017 06:24:56PM *  0 points [-]

I am sorry. It appears that a GuideStar Premium account is needed. (Or the questions will need to be changed--specifically the time period of the first question.) Or maybe there is a research tool/engine that I'm not aware of.

Anyway, here is a little bit of headway:

Anyone, please feel free to continue. Anyone can edit the document 100%. (You will also be able to see other's work in real time, which can always be reverted back.)

Comment author: vipulnaik 26 February 2017 02:10:09AM 0 points [-]

Hi Dony,

The submission doesn't qualify as serious, and was past the deadline. So we won't be considering it.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 07 March 2017 11:45:12PM 1 point [-]

Perhaps, next time have a due date that falls at midnight or 11:59 something. I too missed the deadline. Or maybe put one word before 12PM: noon.

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