Introducing Dialogues + Donation Debate Week
TL;DR: Donation Debate Week (21-28 November) has started! Just in time for it, we’ve added the Dialogue feature built by LessWrong, which allows you to create and publish a conversation with another user.
Consider using this thread to set up dialogues with people who disagree with your donation views!
Donation Debate Week: discuss donation choice and how we should vote in the Donation Election
Donation Debate Week is a chance to stress-test your own thinking about donations, help others make better donation decisions, and move the needle in the Donation Election.
Do the pre-votes in the Donation Election seem off to you? Do you think people who read the EA Forum could improve their donation choices in specific ways?
Write about it for Donation Debate Week!
(If pre-votes seem off, that’s probably tracking a disagreement you have with many people about which donation opportunities are most cost-effective. See also some outdated information about where people in EA tend to donate.)
Your own donations might also do more good if you redirected them.
Read what people write for Donation Debate Week and consider sharing your donation plans to get feedback.
Some specific ways to participate in Donation Debate Week
(Not an exhaustive list!)
Comment on this post to find a dialogue partner for a debate about donation choice (or how people should vote). This could help you test the arguments that drive your personal donation choices and to clarify your uncertainties. (Example dialogues are here.)
Here are some example comments you could use to set up a Donation Debate Week dialogue:
“I think GiveWell’s Top Charities Fund is my best bet for a global health donation. Change my mind!”
“I can’t decide whether AI safety should be my top longtermist cause. Help me clarify my cruxes?”
“I’m skeptical of wild animal welfare work. Anyone want to debate with me? (Note: I might not end up having enough time.)”
“Is AI safety no longer neglected? I don’t want to donate because of this feeling. Up for having a dialogue with someone who disagrees.”
Write posts aimed at shifting how people think about donation choice (or where they’re voting).
(like this post arguing that the majority of OpenPhil’s neartermist funding should go to animal welfare).
Read what others are writing.
Or, as always, ask a question, write a quick take, comment on other people’s posts, and upvote posts and comments you appreciate.
Voting for the Donation Election begins on December 1st, but it doesn’t close until December 15th, so don’t worry too much if your posts aren’t ready for this week.
How dialogues work
We’ve just added this feature, so it might be buggy (contact us or comment here if you find bugs!) and we will probably be changing it a bit in the future. There’s also a chance that we’ll remove it entirely at some point if it isn’t getting much use.
Finding a partner for a dialogue
The first step to creating a dialogue is to find someone (or a small group of people) to have a dialogue with. Here are some suggestions for how you could find dialogue partners:
Asking someone you know, or private-messaging
Commenting on a post you’re interested in discussing with someone.
Commenting here if you’d like to talk about donation choice
Posting a quick take (inviting people to change your mind, discuss your uncertainties, or anything else)
Setting up the dialogue
To create the dialogue, hover your mouse over your profile in the top right corner.
After you click on “New dialogue” you will get the following pop-up:
Title your dialogue. You can change this later. Add the participant(s). (You can add more participants later.) Click “create dialogue”. The other participants will get notified.
Writing and editing your dialogue
Next you’ll see the dialogue editor. Here, you can write and edit your dialogue collaboratively. Nothing is public or final until you decide to publish. The other participants will be able to see everything you write (even in your drafting box).
To write the body of the dialogue, use the drafting box with your username on it. Write your comment and click submit to insert it above the drafting boxes. You’ll be able to see the other participants’ comments as they write them.
Once you have both started writing, you can:
Suggest edits to the other participants’ comments by typing in their writing box or in one of their already submitted comments.
Move your comments around in the dialogue, or suggest moving your partner’s. To do this, hover over your submitted line of dialogue, and click and drag the square which appears above the top left corner.
You don’t have to write your dialogue in one sitting. However, to avoid your dialogue being deleted between sessions, make sure you “save as draft” when you exit the dialogue editor. You can find the “save as draft” button to the left of the publish button, right at the bottom of the page. You will get notifications when your co-author submits new comments.
When your dialogue is finished, any of the participants can publish the dialogue. You will appear as co-authors on the finished post. Your dialogue will be treated like a normal post.
Example dialogues on LessWrong:
Example dialogue (a recreation of a discussion that happened before we shipped this post)
I.e. it will appear on the Frontpage (rather than a special dialogues section)