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) 12 September 2018 04:13:46AM *  -2 points [-]

As I stated already, "harsh" is a question of tone, and you clearly weren't talking about my tone. So I have no clue what your position is or what you were trying to accomplish by providing your examples. There's nothing I can do in the absence of clarification.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 12 September 2018 07:50:18PM *  -1 points [-]

Diction and pronouns have tone (e.g., "you're reinforcing" vs a more modest "that could reinforce"). With that, expressing certainty, about predictions (e.g., "whenever a group of people") is another way I saw the original comment as harsh--unless you're an expert in the field (and a relevant study would help too). I, for one, am no anthropologist nor sociologist.


I'm not debating if here. You asked how, and I quoted the statements I saw as the most harsh + most questionable. [I'm trying to say this lightly. Instead I could have made that last bit, " + furthest from the truth". But I didn't, because I'm trying to demonstrate. (And that's not what I really mean anyway.)] I never said you are wrong about _ _ _ _ _. I said, it may not be true; it may be true.

You seem to still think the original comment was not harsher than necessary by your own definition of tone. Either way, I'm guessing Mrs. Wise gave you much less confusing pointers with her PM.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 11 September 2018 09:39:13PM *  -1 points [-]

EA Chicago posts their events on the Facebook page. I don't live in Chicago...(simple as that)

OK, but has nothing to do with whether or not we should have this discord server... why bring it up? In the context of your statements, can't you see how much it looks like someone is complaining that there are too many events that only appeal to EAs who support long-term causes, and too few events for EAs who support near-term causes?

~ completely missed the point. Additionally, the analogy is fine. There is seldom such a thing as an absolute analogy

It's not that the analogy was not absolute, it's that it was relevantly wrong for the topic of discussion. But given that your argument doesn't seem to be what I thought it was, that's fine, it could very well be relevant for your point.

I was answering your question related to why your first reply was "harsher than necessary".

I figured that "harsh" refers to tone. If I insult you, or try to make you feel bad, or inject vicious sarcasm, then I'm being harsh. You didn't talk about anything along those lines, but you did seem to be disputing my claims about the viability of the OP, so I took it to be a defense of having this new discord server. If you're not talking on either of those issues then I don't know what your point is.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 12 September 2018 12:55:09AM -1 points [-]

They were examples to how I saw how your post as "harsher than necessary". You've diluted these mere examples into a frivolous debate. If you believe you were not harsh at all, then believe what you want to believe.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 10 September 2018 03:46:43AM *  0 points [-]

All three of those are merely cases of you disagreeing with my claims or my confidence in them. I thought I was being tone-policed, but you are just saying that I am wrong.

Too many times on Facebook groups, I have to see local events that I can't attend.

The fact that people are unable to attend something is one of the problems with the server that is being promoted here. I'm not in favor of anything in EA that does this, if someone ever tries to exclude near-term EAs from their event then give me a ping and I will argue with them too!

Too many times I see EA posts that have no relevance to my involvement in EA.

Theoretical physicists are not upset by the presence of discussion on experimental physics, and the ones who disbelieve in dark matter are not upset by the presence of discussion from people who do. If lots of posts aren't relevant to you, the right answer is presumably to ignore those posts; I and so many other EAs do it all the time, it's easy.

If you want more content that is relevant to you... that's perfect! Make it! Request it! Ask questions about it! Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

Perhaps think about it like the difference between the Physics Stack Exchange chat and the Electrical Engineering (EE) Stack Exchange chat. They're very close to the same. EE is based in physics obviously. But they're separate.

The physics stack exchange doesn't try to exclude engineers, and they didn't make it because they thought that engineers were "alienating"; if they operated on that basis then it would create unnecessary annoyance for everyone. They separate because they are different topics, with different questions that need to be answered, and the skills and education which are relevant to one are very different from those that matter for another. But "near-term Effective Altruism", just like "long-term Effective Altruism", is a poorly specified bundle of positions with no common methodological thread. The common thread within each bundle is not any legitimate underlying presupposition about values or methodology that may form the foundation for further inquiry, it is an ex post facto conclusion that the right cause is something that happens to be short- or long-term. And while some cause conclusions could form a meaningful basis for significant further inquiry (e.g., you selected poverty as a cause, so now you just want to talk about poverty relief), the mere conclusion that the right cause is something that matters in the near or long term does not form any meaningful basis, because there is little in the way of general ideas, tools, resources, or methodologies which matter greatly for one bundle of causes but not the other.

But not only is the original analogy with physics and engineering relevantly incorrect, it's specifically pernicious, because many EAs already implicitly have the misconception that supporting near-term or long-term causes is a matter of philosophical presupposition or overarching methodology; in fact it is probably the greatest confusion that EAs have about EA and therefore it wouldn't be wise to reinforce it.

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 11 September 2018 08:51:51PM *  0 points [-]

@kbog: Most of your responses with respect to my reply do not make sense. Example, EA Chicago posts their events on the Facebook page. I don't live in Chicago...(simple as that)

The physics stack exchange doesn't try to exclude engineers

~ completely missed the point. Additionally, the analogy is fine. There is seldom such a thing as an absolute analogy. With that, it doesn't follow that somehow the analogy is wrong related to these elusively implicit misconceptions by EAs about EAs.

So to sum up, you're reading in way too far to what I wrote originally. I was answering your question related to why your first reply was "harsher than necessary".

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 10 September 2018 02:25:20AM 2 points [-]

What statements were "harsher than necessary"?

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 10 September 2018 03:12:25AM -4 points [-]

"so it will be a destructive feedback loop" ~ not necessarily

"you're reinforcing an assumption that they can't get along" ~ unlikely

"whenever a group of people [...] extreme end of the spectrum, who are the most closed-minded and intolerant" ~ very big presumptions


I personally think this chat is a great idea. Too many times on Facebook groups, I have to see local events that I can't attend. Too many times I see EA posts that have no relevance to my involvement in EA. That doesn't mean I'm closed-minded. Most EAs, picking animal suffering or global poverty, are the most open-minded people in my opinion.

Perhaps think about it like the difference between the Physics Stack Exchange chat and the Electrical Engineering (EE) Stack Exchange chat. They're very close to the same. EE is based in physics obviously. But they're separate.

Anyway, my two cents.

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).

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