Comment author: 26david26 28 January 2018 08:28:12AM 0 points [-]

Thanks very much for posting all this detailed information. A quick question about making 80000 hours referrals your main metric: my impression from their website is that they are very over-subscribed. So do you have an estimate of the value of getting someone coached (replacement effects etc)?

I notice in your impact assessment for Sjir you talk almost exclusively in terms of getting people involved in EA rather than 80kh referrals, so maybe this is not relevant to your analysis.

Another quick comment: the google doc `See Remmelt’s considerations.' seems to need permissions changed (can't currently access).

Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 20 March 2018 01:03:56PM *  0 points [-]

Hi David, only just saw your comment (I wonder how I can turn on notifications for posts).

At the moment, 80,000 Hours have even closed applications for coaching. We also haven't been able to get a referral link set up through CEA Groups, who strongly recommended to us to use successful 80K referrals as the key metric.

Most of our efforts right now are going to building a committed and active core community. For our monthly community events, we ask people registering to fill in the hours spend on EA, % of income donated and what cause area they would currently see themselves working on. Aside from that, we keep track of people that we think belong to our core community based on multiple criteria, track gender and student/non-student diversity, note down anecdotes of impactful decisions that we might have helped others in making and (new) projects that we've supported. This system is definitely not perfect since we miss important data points but I can consistently incorporate this in my work routine.

Perhaps we should have made a more concerted effort to refer to 80K coaching. Instead, the more natural thing to do in conversation seemed to be to either discuss promising cause areas and career opportunities with a good fit and to point to the career guide.

You raise a good point on replacement effects that I hadn't given thought. I haven't made an estimate on the value of 80,000 Hours referrals and would be interested in seeing one made by someone else.

(also turned on sharing for See Remmelt's considerations)

Comment author: SiebeRozendal 02 March 2018 03:53:54PM *  2 points [-]

Could you be a little more specific about the levels/traits you name? I'm interpreting them roughly as follows:

  • Values: "how close are they to the moral truth or our current understanding of it" (replace moral truth with whatever you want values to approximate).
  • Epistemology: how well do people respond to new and relevant information?
  • Causes: how effective are the causes in comparison to other causes?
  • Strategies: how well are strategies chosen withing those causes?
  • Systems: how well are the actors embedded in a supportive and complementary system?
  • Actions: how well are the strategies executed?

I think a rough categorisation of these 6 traits would be Prioritisation (Values, Epistemology, Causes) & Execution (Strategies, Systems, Actions), and I suppose you'd expect a stronger correlation within these two branches than between?

Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 02 March 2018 06:18:36PM *  0 points [-]

Yeah, I more or less agree with your interpretations.

The number (as well as scope) of decision levels are arbitrary because they can be split. For example:

  • Values: meta-ethics, normative ethics
  • Epistemology: defining knowledge, approaches to acquiring it (Bayes, Occam's razor...), applications (scientific method, crucial considerations...)
  • Causes: the domains can be made as narrow or wide as seems useful for prioritising
  • Strategies: career path, business plan, theory of change...
  • Systems: organisational structure, workflow, to-do list...
  • Actions: execute intention ("talk with Jane"), actuate ("twitch vocal chords")

(Also, there are weird interdependencies here. E.g. if you change the cause area you work on, the career skills acquired before might not be as effective there. Therefore, the multiplier changes. I'm assuming that they tend to be fungible enough for the model still to be useful.)

Your two categories of Prioritisation and Execution seem fitting. Perhaps some people lean more towards wanting to see concrete results, and others more towards wanting to know what results they want to get?

Does anyone disagree with the hypothesis that individuals – especially newcomers – in the international EA community tend to lean one way or the other in terms of attention spent and the rigour with which they make decisions?

Comment author: SiebeRozendal 02 March 2018 03:56:43PM *  1 point [-]

I think it would be better to include this in the OP.

Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 02 March 2018 05:19:34PM 0 points [-]

Will do!

Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 02 March 2018 03:29:17PM *  0 points [-]

To clarify: by implying that, for example, a social entrepreneur should learn about population ethics from a Oxford professor to increase impact (and the professor can learn more about organisational processes and personal effectiveness), I don't mean to say that they should both become generalists.

Rather, I mean to convey that the EA network enables people here to divide labour at particular decision levels and then pass on tasks and learned information to each other through collaborations, reciprocal favours and payments.

In a similar vein, I think it makes sense for CEA's Community Team to specialise in engaging existing community members on high-level EA concepts at weekend events and for Local Effective Altruism Network to help local groups get active and provide them with ICT support.

However, I can think of 6 past instances where it seems that either CEA or LEAN could have potentially avoided making a mistake by incorporating the thinking of the other party at decision levels where it was stronger.


The Values-to-Actions Decision Chain: a rough model

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the rough model described below. The text is taken from our one-pager on organising the EAGx Netherlands conference in late June.  EDIT: By implying below that, for example, a social entrepreneur should learn about population ethics from a Oxford professor to increase impact (and the professor can... Read More
Comment author: MarkusAnderljung 23 February 2018 08:07:29AM *  6 points [-]

The org's I can remember off the top of my head are: EA Sweden (that's me), EA Geneva, EA London, EA China, EA Netherlands (used to have full-time staff, but don't anymore) and EA Australia.

I'm excluding CEA, EAF and Rethink Charity here.

Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 23 February 2018 12:02:16PM 4 points [-]

On EA Netherlands: a major reason why we chose to switch part-time is because we had to look for other income sources (i.e. two of us were working full-time and didn't manage to raise enough funding to cover our basic living costs).


Proposal for the AI Safety Research Camp

Ways in which you can contribute: Give your feedback below or in the  GDoc Apply  to take part in the Gran Canaria camp on 12-22 April  (deadline: 12 February) Join  the Facebook group   Below, we share our plans to launch an AI Safety Research Camp this year (a repost... Read More
Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 18 November 2017 09:30:04AM 3 points [-]

Just want to say I value that this topic is now openly discussed and considered. A few 'bad apples' (or to put it in more nuanced terms, people who're trying to get their sexual desires/needs met without considering the needs and feelings of the other person enough) in our community can kill off the open, supportive and trusting atmosphere I often experience myself.

An intuition I wanted to bring up: if we'd slam down too hard on the topic of rape, this might create a taboo the other way where it's hard to discuss a possible incident with someone who instigated it because of the shame and social punishment associated with that.

I don't have much experience here but here's a thought: many milder forms of harassment in the EA could plausibly arise from males having poor social awareness and encountering difficulty and frustration trying to date one of a few girls they come into contact with (this seems the most common case to me but there are others as you mentioned).

Setting out 'bright line' rules would still help them gauge when they're going to far. However, this is only one tool, and a rather crude one at that (since it reacts to incidents on the extreme end of the spectrum as they happen, rather than prevention on the lower end).

Personally, I want to work on empowering fellow men to be more emotionally involved and understanding and to seek out and build healthy relationships (such as by hosting circling sessions and practicing non-violent communication together).

Noting that I've scanned through your post and haven't gone through your arguments extensively enough.

Comment author: EschersDemon 04 November 2017 07:41:54PM 3 points [-]

Thanks a lot guys. I'm starting to understand the value of all this information for other organizers (like myself).

Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 06 November 2017 03:41:32PM 0 points [-]

Thanks for letting us know. I'm glad to hear that long write-ups like this one can give useful insights to other organisers.


Reflections on community building in the Netherlands

Authors : Remmelt Ellen and Sjir Hoeijmakers Here, we share our key lessons since launching the community-building organisation Effective Altruism Netherlands this year, as well as our plans for 2018. We want your feedback: both in the comments below and if you see us at EAG London. Below, we have... Read More

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