Welcome to the EA Forum! Kudos to you for your generosity! You’ve probably already joined Giving What We Can, but you may also be interested in Bolder Giving (giving high percentages, but not focused on effective giving).
Since you can deduct state taxes and interest on a mortgage, I would guess you are already exceeding the $14,000 standard deduction. So then I think it would be important to donate every year to make sure you are saving taxes on the money you make in the top bracket. Here is a post that might be helpful. There are also quite a few posts (e.g. this recent one) on investing with an EA mindset.
Rural to urban migration: Unskilled (subsistence) farmers migrate to cities and start working in factories. Over night, this increases their productivity many times over.
Perhaps tangential, but unless the urban workers are fed by imports, in order to allow rural to urban migration, the country needs agricultural improvements so that people can feed a lot more than themselves. So I think the green revolution technologies of fertilizer, pesticides, and improved crop varieties (mentioned by the OP) are quite important beyond the direct food supply improvement, and the penetration of these is much lower in Africa.
Wealth is accumulated money, while GDP is per year. Debt is also accumulated, while deficit is per year.
The fun bucket is a good one, and I think another good bucket for many EAs is the multitasking bucket, e.g. treadmill desk, stationary bicycle (desk or video gaming), resistance exercising while on the phone, etc.
I think the case for it under a symmetric person-affecting view (like presentism or necessitarianism) is much weaker compared to, say, global health and poverty work, for which we have far more robustly cost-effective interventions.
Two analyses here indicate expected cost per life saved in the present generation from both AGI safety and alternative foods for nuclear winter, abrupt climate change, etc to be lower than global health. There are orders of magnitude of uncertainty in the X risk interventions, but still little overlap with the global health cost effectiveness distributions, so I think it is fairly robust.
Humans thrive in climates as diverse as Bahrain and St. Petersburg — climates that vary in average over 16 degrees centigrade.
Or go up to Fairbanks, Alaska where I live, and add another ~8 C to the range!
I really like your idea of a GCR response fund-I was thinking about something similar (though did you mean it was in category b) not a)?). It seems that there could be quite a few EAs who think that contributing to AI is the highest priority, but if there were a global catastrophe, they might recognize that it could jeopardize all the work on AI and there are things we could do to make it go better.
Thanks to everyone who helps make these events possible. I assume UC Berkeley in the summer that accommodated ~1000 people in 2016 was not more expensive, so you would describe it as less suited to the event? Why is that? It had the large advantage of very inexpensive housing in the dorms. That is understandable if CEA only wants to subsidize a certain number of tickets, but I would think there are significant number of additional people who would pay the full cost. I’m interested in the estimate of the percent reduction in value to the first ~600 participants associated with a larger conference and how that was weighed against the value that additional participants could get. With fewer EAGx events, I expect the value of the latter would be larger this year than other years.
I generally agree, and as I mentioned in the comments to the article you refer to, we might also be able to redirect some of this enthusiasm to actual EA organizations that do some work relevant to climate change, such as FLI, CSER, and ALLFED. Disclosure: I direct ALLFED.
Since ALLFED was mentioned… Yes, it is good to see more fields using the EA framework. The paper mentioned the green revolution, which many EAs have noted as being highly effective. There was not quantitative analysis about further interventions related to plant pathology to see if they might be competitive with GiveWell interventions for the present generation. As for the longterm future, they mentioned extreme risks, such as those that could affect the entire grass family (much of grazing fodder, wheat, rice, corn (maize), sugarcane, etc.) and we at ALLFED are concerned about that, especially if it were a coordinated global attack. But in terms of preventing a catastrophe like that (as opposed to the resilience work that ALLFED does), I have not seen any quantitative cost-effectiveness analyses.
This is very helpful to understand where you are coming from. Local groups have 2124 regular attendees (more than an event every 2 months or more than 25% of events, which appears to be more selective than your criterion, and not all groups would have filled out the survey). Then there are ~18,000 main EA Facebook group members (and there would be some non-overlaps in other EA-themed Facebook groups), but many of them would not actually be contributing to online discussions. Of course there would be overlap with the active local group members, but there could be people in neither of these groups who are still in the community. Giving What We Can members are now up to 4,400, who I would count as being part of the EA community (though some of those have gone silent). 843 out of the 2576 people who took the 2018 EA survey had taken the GWWC pledge (33%). Not all of the EA survey takers identified as EA, and not all would meet your criterion for being in the community, but if this were representative, that would indicate about 13,000 EAs. Still, in 2017, there were about 23,000 donors to GiveWell. And there would be many other EA-inspired donations and a lot of people making career decisions based on EA who are not engaged directly with the community. So that would be evidence that the number of people making EA-informed donations and career decisions is a lot bigger than the community, as you say. The 80k newsletter has >200,000 subscribers do you have a different term for that level of engagement? I would love to hear others’ perspectives as well.
Thanks for the feedback-now I have broken it into two paragraphs. It’s not clear to me whether to use the reference class of average person in the developed country versus reference class of EA community. I was not envisioning someone who has read 5+ years of EA content and is making career and donation decisions as the “EA network.” Then I would agree that the EA community would be a better reference class for EA network. I was envisioning for the EA network more people who have heard about EA through an EA community contact, and might’ve had a one hour conversation. How would you define the EA community and how large do you think it is?
Thanks for writing this-it is important to think about. However, I have very different impressions of the ratio of impact of people in the EA community versus the EA network. Comparisons have been made before about the impact of an EA and, e.g., the average developed country person. If we use a relatively simple example of charity for the present generation, if we say the impact to a typical developed country charity is one, and a typical less developed country charity is 100, and 1% of the charity goes to less developed countries, that would have an impact per dollar of 1.99 (false precision for clarity). However, if the EA donates to the most effective less developed country charity, that could have a ratio of 1000 (perhaps saving a life for $5000 vs $5 million), or about 500 times as effective as the average US money going to charity (in the average, very little would go to GiveWell recommended charities). Then there could be a factor of several more in terms of the percentage of income given to charity (though it appears not yet), so I think the poverty EA being three orders of magnitude more effective than the mean developed country giver is reasonable. If you switch to the longterm future, then an extremely tiny amount of conventional money goes to high impact ways of improving the long-term future, so the ratio of the EA to mean would be much higher.
I’m not sure how to quantify the impact of the EA network. It very well could be significantly higher impact than the mean developed country person, because the EA community members will generally have chosen high-impact fields and therefore have connections with EA network people in those fields. However, many people’s connections would not be in their field, and the field as a whole might not be very effective. Also, the EA community tends to be especially capable. So depending on the cause area, I would be surprised if the typical EA community member is less than one order of magnitude more effective than the typical EA network member. So then the impact of the EA community would be larger than the EA network (which I believe you are saying is 9x as many people and I think this is the right order of magnitude). Then there is the question of how much influence the EA community could have on the EA network. I would guess it would be significantly lower than the influence the EA community could have on itself. I still think it is useful to think about what influence we could have on the EA network because it is relatively neglected, but I don’t think it should be as large a change in priorities as you are suggesting. If we could bring more professionals into the EA community through your suggested groups, I think that could be high impact.
Thanks—very helpful. I’m curious if you think the U.S. allowing lots of immigration to stay more powerful than China to possibly reduce the chance of great power war is a terrible idea.
The results of a small survey on the longterm future potential reduction of agricultural catastrophes are in here, and results of a small poll on the longterm future potential reduction of catastrophes that disrupt electricity/industry are in here. I agree—lots of uncertainty.
I like how comprehensive this is.
I guess I’m concerned that if the scenario continues of less-developed countries catching up with developed countries that an adjustment based on differing present day incomes would be too strong. Have you tried contacting the authors to find out what they actually did?
Thanks for making everything explicit. I see that the original paper uses 1% and 2% pure time preference, which means that roughly it has a time horizon of 100 and 50 years, respectively. If India continues to grow at the roughly 1.8%/yr GDP per capita real of the last decade, it will become as rich per capita as the US is now in about 130 years. Are you adjusting for this with your income adjustment?
Thanks—fixed the link.
An intervention that reduced overwinter colony mortality in the United States by just 5% would prevent at least 400 million premature bee deaths.
I assume that is per year. It sounds like it might not be too hard to become an animal millionaire (saving a million animals’ lives).