Comment author: vollmer 06 June 2018 04:19:44PM 4 points [-]

This is amazing, congrats on making this happen!

Comment author: james_aung 25 April 2018 03:50:07PM 5 points [-]

Hey! Thanks for the comment.

I think it captures a few different notions. I'll try and spell out a few salient ones

1) Pushes back against the idea that an outreach talk needs to cover all aspects of EA. e.g. I think some intro EA 45min talks end up being really unsatisfactory as they only have time to skim across loads of different concepts and cause areas lightly. Instead I think it could be OK and even better to do outreach talks that don't introduce all of EA but do demonstrate a cool and interesting facet of EA epistemology. e.g. I could imagine a talk on differential vs absolute technological progress as being a way to attract new people.

2) Pushes back against running introductory discussion groups. Sometimes it feels like you need to guide someone through the basics, but I've found that often you can just lend people books or send them articles and they'll be able to pick up the same stuff without it taking up your time.

3) Reframes particular community niches, such as a technical AI safety paper reading group, as also a potential entry-point into the broader community. e.g. People find out about the AI group since they study computer science and find it interesting and then get introduced to EA.

Comment author: vollmer 03 May 2018 01:44:10PM 2 points [-]

I'm still confused: Intuitively, I would understand "Don't introduce EA" as "Don't do introductory EA talks". The "don't teach" bit also confuses me.

My personal best guess is that EA groups should do regular EA intro talks (maybe 1-2 per year), and should make people curious by touching on some of the core concepts to motivate the audience to read up on these EA ideas on their own. In particular, presenting arguments where relatively uncontroversial assumptions lead to surprising and interesting conclusions ("showing how deep the rabbit hole goes") often seems to spark such curiosity. My current best guess is that we should aim to "teach" such ideas in "introductory" EA talks, so I'd be interested whether you disagree with this.

Comment author: vollmer 21 April 2018 02:27:57PM *  0 points [-]

Thanks for writing this! EAF is considering launching a "REG for crypto" by the next giving season; this post might help us getting started.

Comment author: vollmer 10 March 2018 04:08:46PM 0 points [-]

Have you considered using a service that allows for anonymous conversations between you and the other person? This would enable you to respond to and discuss anonymous submissions. (I'm not sure this is needed – just an input.)

Comment author: Evan_Gaensbauer 06 March 2018 04:56:55PM 2 points [-]

I've tried to initiate translation projects for EA into non-English languages in the past. I was looking for EAs who were (close to) fluent in a language and local to where outreach would take place. This was a couple years ago. So, the local EA communities outside the English-speaking world were new, small and didn't have enough people to start up their own translation project. Given the arguments in Ben's post, I don't think necessarily much was lost in not having capitalized on the opportunity to translate EA content into other languages as well.

The most successful case of translation of EA content, and moreover, the generation of brand new EA content, outside of English is in Germany. This was started by EAs who were native speakers of German, and the work of their EA Foundation (EAF). Depending on how much one thinks their circumstances could generalize, it might be best for the movement to work with local groups which successfully develop over a few years to generate new content in other languages. This content could be specialized in its messaging to the culture.

Comment author: vollmer 10 March 2018 03:51:02PM *  7 points [-]

Based on EAF's experience in Germany and Switzerland, I strongly agree with Ben's main points in the post. In the early days we made several mistakes that could have been prevented fairly easily. In particular, it seems hard to correct the perception that EA is not just about donating (to GiveWell top charities). It also remains very difficult to counter the impression that EA is mainly the practical implementation of Singer's views; e.g. Singer's views on infanticide get quoted in many media articles about EA.

Some of the challenges that might have led to this:

  • DGB and Singer's EA book were translated to German, but much of the more advanced content is only available in English.
  • Quickly translating English content is easy. However, it takes much more time to ensure high quality both in terms of language and framings/nuance, and it's even more challenging to keep these translations up to date. See the "fidelity model" blog post referenced above for more discussion of this.
  • The media frequently interview members of the community. Community members are more or less up to date with recent EA publications and would explain EA well, but the media very proactively ask about charitable donations and related issues. It takes a lot of active effort and experience with media interviews to counter this pigeonholing, which is hard to do without much practice. I personally find it pretty hard to give good guidance on this.

So as a conclusion, I think the expansion to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria could have gone much better still, and while I agree it could be the deemed most successful case of translation of EA content, I think it was worse than what we should be aiming for.

Comment author: vollmer 13 January 2018 12:35:18PM 2 points [-]

Great post!

("CEA" in the post refers to "cost-effectiveness analysis" – maybe explain the term the first time you use it? It can be confusing to those who know the Centre for Effective Altruism but not the abbreviation for cost-effectiveness analysis.)

Comment author: vollmer 02 January 2018 10:34:53PM 0 points [-]

Room for more funding update: We've only reached 53% of our minimum target so far (€159k), so we have considerable RFMF at this point. We've extended the deadline of our fundraiser by another 10 days: https://ea-foundation.org/donate/

Comment author: vollmer 02 January 2018 10:06:20PM *  0 points [-]

Great post!

A brief remark / recommendation: Consider replacing "first"/"third" world by "developed"/"developing" world or something more specific. The former terms are a bit dated and are sometimes seen as presumptuous.

(Random article that explains the difference in more detail: https://mic.com/articles/107686/why-you-shouldn-t-call-poor-nations-third-world-countries )

Comment author: vollmer 22 December 2017 10:23:48AM 1 point [-]

Do you still have RFMF?

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Effective Altruism Foundation update: Plans for 2018 and room for more funding

This post provides an overview of the Effective Altruism Foundation’s plans for the coming year. A version of this update was also published on our blog . The Effective Altruism Foundation is a Berlin-based EA meta-charity that fundraises for EA charities, builds the German-speaking EA community, and does research on... Read More

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