Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 16 September 2018 12:28:15AM *  0 points [-]

Part of my origin story is here: Doing vs Talking at EA Events.

I wrote my full origin story somewhere on Quora. In a nutshell, I didn't see everyone's live as having much of any meaning. I didn't see my life as meaningful. I tried thinking about what what I will eventually do, work wise. But I couldn't think of what that would be. I wanted to start working towards being an expert at whatever work that was to be. And so, I figured in my preteen years, that I really didn't have a purpose.

Long story short, as an auxiliary sort of life, I decided to live for others. Again, temporarily I would live for the worst off people. Their circumstances had to be much worse. I didn't know the word "poverty" at the time, but that was just it. I knew I could live to help at least one of those people. That would make all the difference: Even in a life devoid of meaning, I could make some sort of impact for at least one person at the opposite end of the spectrum--maybe even not directly (face-to-face). Somehow.

In high school, in about 2012, I started looking into how to best combat poverty. Since then, I've learned the difference between relative and absolute poverty, signed the GWWC pledge and almost donated a kidney. I will soon be Earning to Give. That's all I truly want to do. I follow Habermas's discourse ethics as a systematic theory; I am a deontologist.

I wish I knew some stories about specific people in poverty. I recall a few from memory, but the detail is lacking. I recall something about this woman purchasing rice, kilos, and...

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 10 September 2018 12:08:35AM *  7 points [-]

Discord lets you separate servers into different channels for people to talk about different things. There is already an EA Discord, of course new and near term EAs are welcome there. I think it would be bad if we split things like this because the more the near term EAs isolate themselves, the more and more "alienated" people will feel elsewhere, so it will be a destructive feedback loop. You're creating the problem that you are trying to solve.

Also, it would reinforce the neglect of mid-term causes which have always gotten too little attention in EA.

I ask that far-future effective altruists and people whose priority cause area is AI risk or s-risks do not participate.

Yeah, this isn't good policy. It should be pretty clear that this is how groupthink happens, and you're establishing it as a principle. I get that you feel alienated because, what, 60% of people have a different point of view? (perish the thought!) And you want to help with the growth of the movement. But hopefully you can find a better way to do this than creating an actual echo chamber. It's clearly a poor choice as far as epistemology is concerned.

You're also creating the problem you're trying to solve in a different way. Whereas most "near-term EAs" enjoy the broad EA community perfectly well, you're reinforcing an assumption that they can't get along, that they should expect EA to "alienate" them, as they hear about your server. As soon as people are pointed towards a designated safe space, they're going to assume that everything on the outside is unfriendly to them, and that will bias their perceptions going forward.

You are likely to have a lighter version of the problem that Hatreon did with Patreon, Voat with Reddit, etc - whenever a group of people has a problem with the "mainstream" option and someone tries to create an alternative space, the first people who jump ship to the alternative will be the highly-motivated people on the extreme end of the spectrum, who are the most closed-minded and intolerant of the mainstream, and they are going to set the norms for the community henceforth. Don't get me wrong, it's good to expand EA with new community spaces and be more appealing to new people, it is always nice to see people put effort into new ideas for EA, but this is very flawed, I strongly recommend that you revise your plans.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 10 September 2018 02:57:35AM 1 point [-]

Is the other Discord not publicly viewable? I've never heard of it.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 09 September 2018 10:01:13PM 0 points [-]

I do not understand.

quite a bit of danger in rapid movement growth of attracting people who might dilute the EA movement and impair the building of good infrastructure down the road (see this video* and paper**).

Things I do get: Building a movement with ignorant people may not be good. But becoming veg*an or signing the GWWC pledge and following through is all it really takes. Every EA doesn't have to be super knowledgeable.

Users on a website is one thing. For example, each StackExchange needs a healthy balance of participants for good questions and equally good answers. But effective giving is really all I see that matters.

Sure, it's not directly EA. But so what? Effective giving is related to EA. It doesn't have to be EA. Or maybe I just didn't read closely enough.

Note to self:

*Movement Development - Kerry Vaughan - EA Global 2015

**How valuable is movement growth?

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 08 September 2018 11:11:11PM 0 points [-]

I hope it has a locked top title bar of "EFFECTIVE ALTRUISM FORUM" so it shows what I'm looking at to other people (even when scrolling down the page).

Comment author: Gleb_T  (EA Profile) 13 August 2016 05:54:59PM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure I know of many studies of charities that show they have negative effects. Do you have any citations of such studies?

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 08 September 2018 09:04:40PM *  0 points [-]

One doesn't need studies to determine which charities have negative effects. (That's not true for the reverse obviously.)

Play Pump is the archetype. There are plenty others, especially in Haiti.

Gleb_T, go on GuideStar. If you're truly interested in finding the charities with negative effects, there are transparent charities that do more harm then good. Additionally, some have enormous administrative/advertising fees, a vice in itself. I was reading a 990 Form for a charity in Florida with over 85% put to advertising!

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 08 September 2018 07:56:46PM *  0 points [-]

I'm about to put on a Giving Game for passerbyers in the middle of a student center building. AKA Speed Giving game at a tabling booth. It will go on for however long my schedule will allow. This will be 3-4 hours at a time. (I am the only explicit-EA at my uni.)

I plan on having a stack of $2 bills and three fish bowls for three different charities. Not many students will participate. (I've volunteered for the Engineers Without Borders booth in the same place, and few stop to see our stand. They are mainly going downstairs to eat.)

From what I've read about Giving Games, the majority of people choose the effective charities. Although, I was told at my one and only EA meetup, that I could do two or three effective charities--just having them be different cause areas. This is what I plan to do. Do you see advantages of putting, say, the Make-A-Wish Foundation in there as a choice? To me it's just common sense to choose the stringently evaluated charities over non-transparent, little traction, etc--type charities.

And so I don't want to insult other people's intelligence. The results of Giving Games with an "ineffective" charity, that I've read, show that the majority of people pick the more effective charities. It seems the "bad" charity is there as a token. It appears the cause-area style of Giving Game is better (than winner-takes-all, tiered or proportional games for university students).

Comment author: zdgroff 03 September 2018 06:44:20AM 1 point [-]

I feel your desire for doing at a meet up, because I ran a student group in college where I worried there was a lot of talk and too little action. I think there could be versions of "talking" that are closer to "doing," though—for example, presenting on recent projects or donation decisions, thereby giving members a chance to feel good about good they've done recently and creating a norm of action. This would probably avoid some of the problems with short-term freelancing laid out in other comments. Hope this idea helps!

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 08 September 2018 05:03:38PM *  1 point [-]

What continuous objective tasks did members do in that group?

I see one "problem" mentioned in a comment. It was said how doing freelance work could potentially be a inefficient way to make money. I'd be happy to know what other problems you see in the comments that are directly about freelancing. I didn't see another about freelancing itself.

Second, this is long-term freelancing. Nothing about what I said is short-term. This is a continual-regularly scheduled sort of meetup. Ideally, I expect to do it weekly.

(Aside, "I feel your desire for doing at a meet up," doesn't make sense to me. What are you trying to say?)

Comment author: JamieWoodhouse 18 June 2018 09:14:20AM 2 points [-]

One of my favourite on-line, easy, direct volunteering initiatives is via From an EA perspective the benefit may be hard to quantify - as it's 2nd / 3rd order. Aim is to help a variety of local NGOs / charities become more effective through using donated satellite imagery to build open source maps. The local teams can then immediately use these maps + local people can take them on and enhance. Initiatives supported include disaster response as well as longer-term poverty / health / human rights interventions. Ping me at @jamiewoodhouse if you want to know more. Great post by the way - thanks.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 31 August 2018 02:53:23AM 0 points [-]

This is a very concrete action. Thank you.

Comment author: RayTaylor 05 July 2018 05:41:45PM 0 points [-] has high value direct work - do contact us!

(poverty prevention / recovery from GCR catastrophe)

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 31 August 2018 01:57:59AM 0 points [-]

We are currently not recruiting.

Comment author: rohinmshah  (EA Profile) 29 May 2018 08:24:05PM 2 points [-]

What are some examples of direct work student groups can do? My understanding was that most groups wanted to do direct work for many of the reasons you mention (certainly I wanted that) but there weren't any opportunities to do so.

I focused on field building mainly because it was the only plausible option that would have real impact. (Like Greg, I'm averse to doing direct work that will knowably be low direct impact.)

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 31 August 2018 01:51:54AM *  1 point [-]
  • Helping out at a fundraiser, esp. supporting an effective charity like AMF or SCI

  • Volunteering as a group either locally or collectively on

  • Doing contract work online (though UpWork for example)

Since so many GWWC signers are into software development and engineering, it makes sense that someone in the industry could start a weekly group that involves helping students and potentially doing freelance work online.

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