Comment author: hollymorgan 21 February 2018 01:39:07PM 1 point [-]

Vaguely interesting data point: In January 2018 I listed ~240 people in London who I considered - based on personal acquaintance - to be members of the EA community ("EAs"). Compare that with only 66 Londoners taking the EA Survey 2017.

Lots of caveats that mean you shouldn't assume the current global EA community has ~6,680 (=240/66*1837) members e.g. although I'm now a group leader, I imagine there are dozens/hundreds of EAs in London who I don't know; I expect the London community is growing faster than others because it's a popular destination for young, talented, ambitious people; I don't know what proportion of survey takers identified as EAs; I think EA London promoted the survey more than any other group did etc.

Still. Vaguely interesting data point.

Comment author: turnercore 12 February 2018 04:46:43PM 1 point [-]

That was great, I've read about a lot of those things already, but it gave me some more reading material. Fantastic!

The one I'd never really heard anyone say was "An awareness of the risks of developing expensive new habits / increased standards of living i.e. huge future expense for temporary boost in happiness thanks to the hedonic treadmill." - Where did that idea come from?

In response to comment by turnercore on Open Thread #39
Comment author: hollymorgan 13 February 2018 12:41:50AM 0 points [-]

I suppose a variety of places, and it's just particularly relevant to people who try to donate what they can. The term "hedonic treadmill" I probably first encountered via or David Pearce.

Comment author: hollymorgan 31 January 2018 11:07:05PM 3 points [-]

What's your current Room For More Funding / how can we get updates on your current RFMF?

Comment author: BenMillwood  (EA Profile) 18 November 2017 09:20:23AM 0 points [-]

Is "Part 3. Specific lessons on running a large local community" still on the way?

Comment author: hollymorgan 19 November 2017 07:25:29PM 0 points [-]

Link to the job ad for the Strategy Director role is now above (or here).

"Part 3. Specific lessons on running a large local community" is still on the way and I'd be surprised if it was written by the end of the year now - apologies.

Comment author: hollymorgan 05 November 2017 01:46:05AM 2 points [-]

I suggest summarising your reasoning as well as your conclusion in your tl;dr e.g. adding something like the following: "as neglectedness is not a useful proxy for impact w/r/t many causes, such as those where progress yields comparatively little or no ‘good done’ until everything is tied together at the end, or those where progress benefits significantly from economies of scale."

Comment author: MichaelPlant 28 October 2017 12:54:40AM *  6 points [-]

So many different boxes to reply to! I'll do one reply for everything here.

My main reflection is that either 1. I really haven't personally had much discussion of inclusivity in my time in the EA movement (and this may just be an outlier/coincidence) or 2. I'm just much more receptive to this sort of chat than the average EA. I live among Oxford students and this probably gives me a different reference point (e.g. people do sometimes introduce themselves with their pronouns here). I forget how disconcertingly social justice-y I found the University when I first moved here.

Either way, the effect is I really haven't felt like I've had too many discussion in EA about diversity. It's not like it's my favourite topic or anything.

Comment author: hollymorgan 28 October 2017 02:56:17PM 2 points [-]

FWIW, I read your comments as a useful data point ("Huh. Here's someone who's been pretty involved in EA for a year or two [not certain that's accurate] and hasn't come across many discussions of diversity/inclusion.")


Effective Altruism London - Strategic Plan & Funding Proposal 2018

This is Part 4 of a 4-part write-up, broken down as follows: Part 1. Impact assessment Part 2. General lessons on how to build EA communities Part 3. Specific lessons on running a large local community [pending] Part 4. Future plans and a request for funding   This document can be read as... Read More
In response to Open Thread #39
Comment author: hollymorgan 27 October 2017 09:12:18PM *  17 points [-]

I made a list of what I call "life gems" - those rare and precious things in my life that were easily introduced and have enabled me to "level up" in the amount of positive impact I create. It's obviously not exhaustive, but I started it ~3 months ago and have been adding to it since as things occur to me.

On motivation:

  • The System 1 / System 2 framework

  • Audiobooks - I otherwise struggle to get through books (h/t Sarah Morgan?)

  • Token payments to an EA friend every time I continue a bad habit or fail to sustain a regular, good habit (h/t Niel Bowerman and Sam Hilton)

  • Planning when exactly I will work on tasks so that my current to-do list is always short, otherwise I am tempted to do the quick - and usually less important - tasks in order to shorten the list as quickly as possible (h/t Sam Hilton)

On rationality:

  • The 'regression to the mean' phenomenon (h/t Toby Ord)

On practical ethics:

  • The idea of astronomical waste (h/t Ben Hoskin and Nick Bostrom)

  • The idea that if you're not sure where your meat comes from, the harm of factory farming is so great that you should hardly ever take the chance - this is what first made me a vegetarian (h/t a conversation with Marc Crosby although it may be significant that it was still me who came up with the argument)

  • Figures comparing direct suffering caused by various animal foods (h/t Brian Tomasik)

  • The implication of the prevalence of r-selected species for wild animal suffering (h/t probably Oscar Horta, David Pearce or Brian Tomasik)

  • "A quick test of the assertion that enjoyment outweighs pain in this world, or that they are at any rate balanced, would be to compare the feelings of an animal engaged in eating another with those of the animal being eaten." (h/t Brian Tomasik and Schopenhauer)

  • Graphs comparing what we'd be prepared to pay for an extra QALY for ourselves, vs what we actually pay for ourselves, vs what the NHS would pay for others, vs what various HIV treatments/prevention methods cost, vs what deworming costs (h/t Toby Ord)

  • The idea that contributing to collective action has value because of the small chance that you tip the balance (h/t Toby Ord)

  • The idea that you should choose a cause to focus your career on before thinking about your comparative advantage, because the scale of the differences between causes dwarfs the scale of the differences in your future talents (h/t 80,000 Hours)

  • The idea that doing good now through donating and direct work at the expense of investing in yourself long-term implies a surprisingly low confidence in the altruism of your future self (h/t Robin Hanson)

  • The idea that the way you evaluate a startup is different from the way you evaluate an established organisation (h/t Rochelle Harris and CEA)

On normative ethics:

  • The realisation that deontology and virtue ethics collapse into consequentialism much more easily than one of the other ways around

On metaethics:

  • The argument that "If nihilism is true, it doesn't matter what I do, so I might as well assume it's false." (h/t DanielLC)

On teamwork:

  • The notion of having a 'blaming mindset' - giving it a bad name helps me to recognise and stop it (h/t Adam Freeman)

  • The notion that everyone is just fighting a hard battle (h/t Will Jefferson and Ian Maclaren)

On my social life:

  • The notion of permanent singlehood as a lifestyle choice

On money:

  • An awareness of the risks of developing expensive new habits / increased standards of living i.e. huge future expense for temporary boost in happiness thanks to the hedonic treadmill

On everything:

  • Committing to weekly reviews with someone else that include the question "How can we improve this process?" (h/t Niel Bowerman and Sam Hilton)

It's a good exercise. It helps you have more realistic expectations of how much future self-improvement you can expect, or how often you will be able to really help someone else improve. The content is interesting too, as indications of what efforts you and others could make to help someone else become more impactful.

Comment author: hollymorgan 27 October 2017 06:30:27PM *  0 points [-]

Nick Beckstead reviews audiobooks here.

His top 8 (in rough order):

  1. The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker

  2. The Power Broker by Robert Caro

  3. Moral Mazes by Robert Jackall

  4. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

  5. Science in the Twentieth Century: A Social-Intellectual Survey by Steven Goldman (The Great Courses)

  6. The Moral Animal by Robert Wright

  7. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman

  8. Honorable mention: The podcast EconTalk by Russ Roberts

Comment author: hollymorgan 27 October 2017 06:20:44PM 1 point [-]

In mid-March 2017, EA Wikipedia page views hit 3-4 times as many views as any day in preceeding or succeeding months...What happened in March?

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