there’s a lot of techno-optimism in this community, but certainly not sufficient examples that recreating self-sustaining life in human-engineered settings is possible. Feels like an incredibly risky bet to me as well.
It’s a complex interaction for sure, and gets into some thorny questions that inevitably run into making evaluations of lived (nonhuman) experiences we can’t possibly claim to understand. Using longterm scales makes it clear that this issue will determine whether billions of trillions of individuals get to experience life. It’s clear that certain land dynamics lead to more life, so if there’s more inhabitable space on Earth’s surface it means there’s more room for life.
Then those with decision making power have to take a philosophical stance as to whether to ensure more possibility space for life or make twisted conclusions about QALYs we don’t really understand…
Thanks for your thoughtful comment. We definitely view ecosystem collapse as a serious reason to track the state of biodiversity more carefully. While the value of diversity at the species level may not ultimately rank as important, the services ecosystems play in the larger eco-human web are essential in ways few people truly recognize.
We did a full write up here: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/5iuyqnm2uKcutbaku/resilience-and-biodiversity which captures the most salient points our group wanted to make at the time, though there’s so many layers to be considered.
I think there’s a ton of benefit of spending time in communities that center around learning and intentional relating. You could look at the Global Ecovillage Network or www.numundo.org. I also would promote designing your own learning journey based around a project or research question and using that as an excuse to network with amazing people and hopefully offer them some useful synthesis in the end. I think designing something that centers around a research question thats important to you will lead you to pursing things enthusiastically and actually following through. It’s not typical ‘volunteering’ but when I’ve done things in this spirit it’s led to some amazing unexpected outcomes with rippling effects.
I appreciate your willingness to put this aspect of your lived experience into writing and share it. I hear that’s its not inclusive of every angle or experience—and think the forum can be a really helpful place to find people going through similar experiences. Mostly commenting to support the processing, naming, and sharing of the vast, deep, and sometimes confuddling experience that is community building in a goal-oriented, highly calculating community that is very much in the thick of teenage growing pains.
For the last few months I’ve been considering what it would look like to create an EA-curated learning hub that offered the best resources to level up in various skills related to EA. To clarify—are you looking for resources to build these aptitudes or more a breakdown of subskills within each aptitude?The project as I’ve envisioned would focus on curating existing tools, resources, practice outlets more than content creation. I wasn’t sure if this had been done in any areas outside of reading lists, the few AI courses I’ve seen, the Animal Welfare careers course, and Effective self help’s synthesized research on behavior change.
Amazing, thanks for surfacing these resources Brendon. Will dig in and follow up with any further learnings or questions I feel may be generally applicable. As someone who does not spend much time using financial language, I appreciate the array of resources you’ve shared.
Which DA software systems are worth looking closer at? Have you done any preliminary analysis to know? I would be keen to find one worth using…
I imagine you can source entrepreneurial minded folks in more promising places than high schools—likely there are masters programs that teach a course on entrepreneurship, say as part of a environment, policy, or food systems related program, that would have early to mid range professionals who often graduate with less clarity/job leads than expected from a masters program (speaking from anecdotal knowledge). But connecting with a few professors at universities would likely shed much more light.
We’re doing an in person social next week in Boulder if you want to come say hi :)
I’m glad you mentioned this—I was just in conversation with another EA/systems thinking advocate and we saw some valuable potential to cross pollinate. Where are you based? We may scheme a bit on how to create intersection points if you’d be interested.
I would love to see how you’d solve that equation now, compared to when you first wrote it. Glad your teacher knew where to point you!
Hello! I’m one of the folks who only recently found out about EA but have been hacking my own independent version for years… It’s incredible to find what I had hoped was in existence after so long. (My portal key was this podcast episode: https://samharris.org/podcasts/228-doing-good/)
It feels like walking into a room of strangers but realizing, ‘Now these are my people’. The most parallel experience I’ve had was being invited to an Ecoversities gathering a few years back, arriving in a Costa Rica and within a few hours feeling a sense of soul belonging. (If you believe in rooted, whole-self development.. Here they are http://ecoversities.org/)
My passion is supporting young people in finding their path and their autonomy—and I’m in the process of interviewing folks who do feel they’ve found a way to live an inspired, impactful life about how they got there. Anyone here want to participate? *
*Disclaimer: You don’t to have all your everything figured out, would love to talk to most anyone who’s found their way here.