Comment author: Jamie_Harris 01 July 2018 09:14:02AM 0 points [-]

Minor question, but when I tried downloading something from my internet browser blocked it and didn't give me any obvious options for allowing the download. I'm not exactly techy and so this sort of thing scares me - how confident are you that I can download things off the site without giving my laptop viruses etc?

If people use other sites to access free books I'd also be keen to know!

Comment author: michaelchen 02 July 2018 11:53:00AM 2 points [-]

As long as you use a good adblocker (such as uBlock Origin) to get rid of any sketchy ads, I'm fairly confident that the site is pretty safe. If you're unsure if the file you downloaded is safe, you can upload it to If you're using Chrome and that's what's blocking the download, apparently you can go to your downloads list and click "Recover malicious file."

Comment author: Henry_Stanley 16 June 2018 10:54:07PM 0 points [-]

That's strange; what are you using to view the page?

Comment author: michaelchen 17 June 2018 06:30:15AM *  0 points [-]

Sorry, should have said that I was using Microsoft Edge. It works fine on Firefox and Chrome. On Internet Explorer it's just a blank white page, but that's because the entire domain ( is just a blank white page on IE.

Comment author: michaelchen 16 June 2018 01:14:53PM *  0 points [-]

I'm getting "Error: Unexpected call to method or property access." for the first two code snippets.

Comment author: michaelchen 21 March 2018 11:29:20PM 1 point [-]

Are there new terms for EA and x-risk in Chinese besides 有效利他主义 and 生存危机, by the way?

Comment author: michaelchen 23 July 2017 02:08:01AM 1 point [-]

Are further results out yet? (e.g., where Tim Telleen-Lawton donated, or whether Michael Nielsen got the $60K)

Comment author: MichaelPlant 15 May 2017 09:25:03PM 1 point [-]

Yeah, that seems plausible, but I'd like GW to set it out and argue for it, rather than for me/us to have to try and guess to work it out. I've searched and

And still can't find it.

Comment author: michaelchen 16 May 2017 12:24:51AM *  2 points [-]


  • "According to the median GiveWell staff member, averting the death of a child under 5 averts about 8 DALYs (“Bed Nets”, B57)"
  • "each 5-or-over death prevented gets a weight of 4 “young life equivalent” units (“Bed Nets”, B62)"
  • "averting 1 DALY is equivalent to increasing ln(consumption) by one unit for three years (“Bed Nets”, B72)"

I think this "young life equivalent" is the same as what GiveWell calls in other places the "life equivalent."

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 12 April 2017 05:35:16AM *  4 points [-]

Hi Ben, thanks for retracting the comment.

The broader concern I share is the risk of data moving from experts to semi-experts to non-experts, with a loss of understanding at each stage. This is basically a ubiquitous problem, and EA is no exception. From looking into this back in 2013 I understand well where these numbers come from, the parts of the analysis that make me most nervous, and what they can and can't show. But I think it's fair to say that there has existed a risk of derivative works being produced by people dabbling in the topic on a tough schedule, and i) losing the full citation, or ii) accidentally presenting the numbers in a misleading way.

A classic case of this playing out at the moment is the confusion around GiveWell’s estimated 'cost per life saved' for AMF, vs the new 'cost per life saved equivalent'. GiveWell has tried, but research communication is hard. I feel sorry for people who engage in EA advocacy part time as it's very easy for them to get a detail wrong, or have their facts out of date (snap quiz, how probable is each of these in light of the latest research: deworming impacts i) weight, ii) school attendance, iii) incomes later in life?). This stuff should be corrected, but with love, as folks are usually doing their best, and not everyone can be expected to fully understand or keep up with research in effective altruism.

One valuable thing about this debate has been that it reminds us that people working on communicating ideas need to speak with the experts who are aware of the details and stress about getting things as accurate as they can be in practice. Ideally one individual should become the point-person who truly understands any complex data source (and gets replaced when staff move on).

Comment author: michaelchen 15 April 2017 08:08:16PM 0 points [-]

What are the answers to the snap quiz btw?

Comment author: michaelchen 12 December 2016 01:11:48AM 0 points [-]

Justified text is kind of bad when the line width is narrow (as it is phones), because it leads to awkwardly wide spaces.

Dunno if you fixed this already, but changing from portrait to landscape sort of zooms in instead of keeping the text size the same and making the page wider.

Comment author: Kerry_Vaughan 08 November 2016 05:38:37PM -2 points [-]

GiveWell's classic April Fools joke

This post was controversial, but I laughed long and hard and really enjoyed seeing a more human side from them.

Comment author: michaelchen 10 November 2016 02:16:16AM 0 points [-]

The link "View test writeup" seems broken. It brings me to a login page rather than the actual joke post. Did they take it down?

Comment author: michaelchen 10 August 2016 04:46:36PM 0 points [-]

By the way, I just noticed that I have to be at least 18 to sign the affidavit in this will.

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