Interesting, unfortunately teammates are only available on the $500 per month version :-(
Suggesting a tried and true model is a major plus!
A URL shortening service. It would be nice if, for example, ea.link/sydney took you to the group page for Sydney, ea.link/cost-effectiveness provided a link to a nice landing page for reading more about cost effectiveness and ea.link/forum linked to the ea forum. The Czech EA association currently owns the ea.link URL, but no-one has picked up this project yet.
What would you use it for?
I definitely think this is worth experimenting with to see if we can effectively identify those who should pursue a particular path.
Suggestion: Include a footnote in the main post so that we can see.
Also, will this feature also be coming to the LessWrong forum?
Maybe it’s just a result of EA deciding to focus on fidelity rather than speed of movement growth + decreasing marginal returns on outreach
Maybe post this as a separate question?
I thought I’d share my impressions as someone who has spent significant time at the EA hotel
I think this makes them a particularly easy and promising target for people who tend to abuse that kind of trust relationship and who are looking for social influence.
Most of the people at the EA hotel have been involved in the movement for a while, so they already have reasonably well-developed positions already
it’s plausible that the EA Hotel could form a geographically and memetically isolated group that is predisposed for conflict with the rest of the EA community in a way that could result in a lot of negative-sum conflict.
The EA hotel has a limit of 2 years free accommodation (although it is possible exceptions might be made). Most people tend to stay only a certain number of months given that it is Blackpool and not the most desirable location. Further, there are regularly visitors and there is frequent change over in the guests. I actually feel more memetically isolated in Australia than when I was at the EA hotel; especially since visiting London is relatively easy.
Generally high-dedication cultures are more likely to cause people to overcommit to to take drastic actions that they later regret
None of the projects that I am aware of having being undertaken at the EA hotel seemed to be especially high risk. But further than this, whoever is running the checkins will have an opportunity to steer people away from high risk projects.
Thanks for writing this. I think that it would be good if there was at least some EA investment in climate change so a) we gain a better understanding of the issue b) we are in a better position to shift resources this direction if we receive evidence that it is likely to be worse than we expect c) we gain the opportunity to spread EA ideas into the climate change movement
I’m not proposing a huge amount of investment, but I’d love to see at least some.
I agree with the commentators that it is worthwhile keeping in mind that some of the political pressure may in fact be correct, but I also feel that this post is valuable because it helps highlight the kinds of pressures that we are subject to.
I think, for good or bad, EA is much more vulnerable to pressure from the left-wing because the institutions we interface with and the locations where most EAs are based lean that way.
To what extent do you think people are born that way and to what extent do you think they become it? If they are more born that way, how do we get such people involved? And if they become it, how do we make that happen?
I think this is an excellent idea and that someone should pursue this. I’m sure plenty of people have considered paying someone else to manage the negotiation for them before, but the risk is always that the fees don’t outweigh the increase in wage you would have gotten negotiating by yourself. Here, since the money is going to charity, this risk is much less of a concern because at least it is doing something and the world has improved even if you don’t earn a single extra dollar.
I’m actually donating to the Patreon, but here are the arguments against that are most persuasive to me:
One argument I’ve heard raised is that the EA hotel is a rather expensive way of testing the idea of supporting EAs with low-cost living. Perhaps it would have been better to have started with a smaller scale experiment such as a group house and perhaps funding the EA hotel is too costly a way of learning about the potential of such projects.
Another is that the EA hotel should be more selective about who it admits, unlike its current very minimally low bar in order to achieve sufficient expected return. Some people may believe that the current approach is unlikely to be cost effective and that the hotel as it is currently structured is therefore testing the wrong thing. In this case, spending a few hundred thousand pounds on informational value could be seen as waste. Worse, we can imagine that after such a failure, funders would be extremely reluctant to fund a similar project that was more selective. In this case, the thing that we’d want to test might never actually be tested.
A third option is that people might not want to donate because they don’t believe that other people will donate. Let’s suppose that you believe the hotel needs to run for at least another year before it could build up the kind of track record for it to be sustainable and you have the option to donate one month’s worth of funding. It seems that donating one month’s worth of operating expenses might allow the hotel to do one month’s worth of good regardless of whether it later collapses or not, so perhaps this is irrelevant.
However, there may be two ways in which you may be trying to leverage your donation to have more than just direct impact. Firstly, if the hotel survives to the point where it builds up a track record to justify for others to fund it, counterfactual value is generated to the extent that the hotel is better than the other opportunities available to those funders. And by allowing this opportunity to exist, you would get to claim part of this value. Secondly, we can imagine extreme success scenarios where the hotel turned out to be so successful that the EA community decided to copy the concept around the world. Again, you could claim partial responsibility for this.
But, the key point is that if you think other funders won’t be forthcoming, you’ll miss out on these highly leverage scenarios. And if these are the reasons you’d want to fund the hotel, you might decide it’s best to fund something else instead.
This is an interesting idea, but I’m skeptical as I think it underestimates the difficulties in co-ordination. Givewell has had difficulty with volunteers due to unreliability. Another datapoint is the shift in .IMPACT (now Rethink Charity) from relying on volunteers to relying on paid staff. Volunteer hierarchical organisations will be hit by these issues doubly hard as they are relying on volunteers for both management and object level work. I would love to be proven wrong though.
I’m not saying everyone should go into this, just that a portion should
Impact investing to encourage companies to do more on AI Safety is a particularly fascinating idea. I’m curious how much your influence depends on the number of shares. Obviously if you own 20% of a company you’re likely to be heard, but is there much difference between owning 1 share vs. 100?