I massively agree with most of this and when talking to people about careers I try to help them find a field that fascinates them and has the potential to be leveraged in the future. At the risk of over simplifying, EA organisations seem to be “experience-constrained” which can’t be solved by just getting smart graduates to work in EA jobs.
I think I disagree slightly that there needs to be a “task Y”, it may be the case that some people will have an interest in EA but wont be able to contribute. Just as there people who have an interest in evidence based medicine but don’t get an opportunity to contribute to medical journals or become doctors. The aim of EA isn’t to make use of all resources available, even if it may seem like a lost opportunity not to.
Also I think the EA community is a subset of the EA movement, and lots of people have positive impact whilst rarely or never engaging online/in person and it might be a mistake to focus on just the community part. This post though might lead to people being happier to focus on their own field and potentially reengaging when it makes sense to.
The author has a tweet about what inspired the piece
The Long Time project
Seth Baum at GCR
Toby Ord and FHI
Looking at other social events not at pubs the ratio has been similar, ranging from picnics, hikes, Disney movies, restaurants, education/animal focused topics.
It feels like there are a range of different communities for EA, both on and offline. I’ve never really looked into philosophy and most of my conversations with people revolve around practical things to do and rarely does it go into existential risk/invertebrates and there is a lot more focus on system change/mental health in terms of more popular fringe ideas.
Also there are quite a few people who dip in and out of the community and will turn up once a year or just read the latest updates which seems good to me, everyone has different priorities and tasks taking up their time.
This isn’t really to persuade you, just to highlight to anyone reading that there doesn’t seem to be one type of community, and that you don’t have to be in or out, you can just use the tools provided for free.
If there was any community that it might apply to, it’s probably effective altruists.
The EA forum is a forum with just two categories so it functions more like a news board, which means most conversation ends up happening in bespoke Facebook groups for various causes, careers and interest groups. Facebook has a similar problem of losing good posts and conversations, which might have been stickied in a traditional forum with multiple categories and sub-categories.
There may be advantages to having these discussions happen on Facebook as people might be more likely to check, although it does make it hard to find out where the conversations are happening.
Similar to Milan I agree with the main point of your comment and also think that the EA community conforms less than the majority of communities.
Maybe ironically, I also think that there is a relative lack of experience with communities in general among a lot of people interested in EA, which makes it harder for people to know what is expected, such as using group slang, strong identities, close connections and group ‘rituals’ which are very common in most communities.
Just in reply to the graph section—this post made me think about possible reasons for the discrepancy between computer science and law/medicine.
This may be a community based thing but I haven’t seen anyone advocating for lying in the UK and haven’t heard of it much online either apart from one persons experience in California.
I agree with all the examples you have and think everyone should learn more about honest persuasion, but I’m not sure the myths to be bust are with the EA community rather than some peoples perception of the community.
The first part about Trump makes sense, he is more interested in having good ratings and pleasing people than carrying out any specific policy agenda, and I’m not sure he’d want to put the 12 hour days in to achieve it, so his presidency might just be generic republican.
I think the part about Europe doesn’t match what I see where I live in one of the ‘muslim no-go’ areas. Overall crime is roughly similar and much lower when you look at the long term trends. It seems like the majority of people are concerned with just living their lives and only a few pay that much attention to news/politics.
A lot of the things highlighted seem to have always existed in Europe, far right militias, gun smuggling, crime, more dangerous areas.
Only a third of people who voted for Brexit put migration as their top concern, for half it was sovereignty and some people who will just treat it as a vote against the current government.
It also seems like Brexit and Trump have raised EU support in most EU countries. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/eu-approval-european-union-brexit-popularity-uk-bertelsmann-foundation-a7430266.html
I think it’s important to look at long term trends rather than the soundbites that hit the news from both left and right as they will always look for the strange and scary rather than give a good overview of how the world is changing.