+1, a friend of mine thought it was an official statement from CEA when he saw the headline, was thoroughly surprised and confused
(Your crossposting link goes to the edit page of your post, not the post itself.)
Woop! Congrats to all the prize winners. Great posts!
Conceptually related: SSC on Joint Over- and Underdiagnosis.
I think this is a good comment about how the brain works, but do remember that the human brain can both hunt in packs and do physics. Most systems you might build to hunt are not able to do physics, and vice versa. We’re not perfectly competent, but we’re still general.
+1 on being confused, I’ve heard good things about CC. Just now checking the wikipedia page, their actual priorities list is surprisingly close to GiveWell priorities lists (macronutrients, malaria, deworming, and then further down cash transfers) - and I see Thomas Schelling was on the panel! In particular he seems to have criticised the use of discount rates on evaluating the impact of climate change (which sounds close to an x-risk perspective).
I would be interested in a write-up from anyone who looked into it and made a conscious choice to not associate with / to not try to coordinate with them, about why they made that choice.
+1 Distill is excellent and high-quality, and plausibly has important relationships to alignment. (FYI some of the founders lately joined OpenAI, if you’re figuring out which org to put it under, though Distill is probably its own thing).
That all makes a lot of sense! Thanks.
I think it does, it just is unlikely to change it by all that much.
Imagine there are two donor lotteries, each one having had 40k donated to them, one with lots of people in the lottery you think are very thoughtful about what projects to donate to, and one with lots of people in the lottery you think are not thoughtful about what projects to donate to. You’re considering which to add your 10k to. In either one the returns are good in expectation purely based on you getting a 20% chance to 5x your donation (which is good if you think there’s increasing marginal returns to money at this level), but also in the other 80% of worlds you have a preference for your money being allocated by people who are more thoughtful.
This isn’t the main consideration—unless you think the other people will do something actively very harmful with the money. You’d have to think that the other people will (in expectation) do something worse with a marginal 10k than you giving away 10k does good.
I think there are busy people will have the connections to make a good grant but won’t have the time to write a full report. In fact, I think there are many competent people that are very busy.
You’re right that I had subtly become nervous about joining the donor lottery because “then I’d have to do all the work that Adam did”. Thanks for reminding me I don’t have to if it doesn’t seem worth the opportunity cost, and that I can just donate to whatever seems like the best opportunity given my own models :)
I also think this sort of question might be useful to ask on a more individual basis—I expect each fund manager to have a different answer to this question that informs what projects they put forward to the group for funding, and which projects they’d encourage you to inform them about.
Also it may be the case if someone who the grant-makers would be excited about had applied, they would had given them support, but there weren’t such applicants. (Note that Bay Area biosec got the the grant)
When I spoke to ~3 people about it in the Bay, none of them knew the grant existed or that there was an option for them to work on community building in the bay full time.
CEA doesn’t run any regular events, community spaces, or fund people to do active community building in the Bay that I know of, which seemed odd given the density of EAs in the area and thus the marginal benefit of increased coordination there.
+1 this seems really quite weird
(fyi, you don’t need to add ‘[link]’ to the title, the site does it automatically)
Yep, seems like a database error of sorts. Probably a site-admin should set the post back to its original post date which is December 1st 2017.
I think that references are a big deal and putting them off as a ‘safety check’ after the offer is made seems weird. That said, I agree with them being a blocker for applicants at the early stage—wanting to ask a senior person to be a reference if they’re seriously being considered, but not ask if they’re not, and not wanting to bet wrong.
Do you have rough data on quantity of tweets over time?
I think it is easy to grow too early, and I think that many of the naive ways of putting effort into growth would be net negative compared to the counterfactual (somewhat analagous to a company that quickly makes 1 million when it might’ve made 1 billion).
Focusing on actually making more progress with the existing people, by building more tools for them to coordinate and collaborate, seems to me the current marginal best use of resources for the community.
(I agree that effort should be spent improving the community, I just think ‘size’ isn’t the right dimension to improve.)
Added: I suppose I should link back to my own post on the costs of coordinating at scale.