This is not an idea, it’s an event that has already been planned. If this post was ‘I think getting world leaders to use psychedelics would improve the long term future’ or ‘How we could decriminalize psychedelics in California’ or even ‘I’m hosting an event—how can I make it more useful?’, I’d be more okay with it.
Facebook. Twitter. Your telephone. There are plenty of ways to talk to other EAs.
I think potentially the disagreement is whether the Forum should be a one-stop-shop for everything EA or whether it should be reserved for a particular kind of information about EA. I think the EA Forum should be used for sharing ideas with the EA community and receiving useful feedback. I don’t think this post is a good example of that.
(Also, I definitely didn’t think Aaron was acting in bad faith! He said he was selling a thing to the EA community and I agreed he was selling a thing to the EA community. I have no problem with that, just keep it off the Forum.)
“I think self-promotion of both for-profit & non-profit projects that are being undertaken for EA reasons should be fair game for the Forum.”
Maybe. This post did not convince me that the business was created ‘for EA reasons.’ And contrary to Forum standards, it was written to persuade, not to inform—otherwise why would there be no studies listed that found no effect or a negative effect? This is the kind of behaviour I expect from a promotional website, not the EA Forum.
Edit : If the goal is to give doctors a good experience before they prescribe it, that makes a lot of sense and could potentially do a lot of good… But I don’t know any practising doctors in the EA community, so this is definitely the wrong place to advertise!
This feels inappropriate. I don’t want to be sold things on the EA Forum.
What level of audit are we talking about? Are we just talking about someone who ensures people aren’t giving money to (undeserving) friends and family? Or are we talking about scrutinizing the decisions to some extent?
I want more information, but I don’t want information shared about me without my consent! I would definitely not work somewhere that shared my CV and application notes without my consent. This proposal is also illegal in Europe.
I would take your response more seriously if you hadn’t told everyone who commented that they had misunderstood your post.
If everyone’s missing the point, presumably you should write the point more clearly?
I was trying to figure out why I dislike this post so much, and I think this is why—the assumption that people in EA are correct and everyone else is incorrect, combined with a lack of depth when explaining why certain things topics are criticized, and missing several important critiques. (Normally I don’t mind incomplete posts, but I think the tone combined with the list not being very good really bothered me.)
I think I agree, but why do you think so?
Their website suggests it wasn’t independent.
‘The primary issue for OPIS is the ethical imperative to reduce suffering. Linked to the effective altruism movement, they choose causes that are most likely to produce the largest impact, determined by what Leighton calls “a clear underlying philosophy which is suffering-focused”.’
I enjoy managing at my policy job, and I’m actively working on growing that skill set, but I’m not sure how closely that aligns with your sub questions. I second the comment below—what kind of answer are you looking for?
Compensation is also good in case you ever retire and someone else with different financial needs takes over (but it doesn’t seem super important—there are other things you could solve first).
I think on a post with 100+ comments the quality of decisions is more likely to be bottlenecked by the quality of feedback than the quantity. Being able to explain why you think something is a bad idea usually results in higher quality feedback, which I think will result in better decisions than just getting a lot of quick intuition-based feedback.
I would be in favour of this fund using ~5% of its money to pay for staff costs, including a permanent secretariat. The secretariat would probably decrease pressure on grantmakers a little, and improve grant/feedback quality a little, which makes the costs seem worth it. (I know you’ve already considered this and I want to encourage it!)
I imagine the secretariat would:
-Handle the admin of opening and advertising a funding round
-Respond to many questions on the Forum, Facebook, and by email, and direct more difficult questions to the correct person
-Coordinate the writing of Forum posts like this
-Take notes on what additional information grantmakers would like from applicants, contact applicants with follow-up questions, and suggest iterations of the application form
-(potentially) Manage handover to new grantmakers when current members step down
-(potentially) Sift through applications and remove those which are obviously inappropriate for the Long Term Future Fund
-(potentially) Provide a couple of lines of fairly generic but private feedback for applicants
I’m happy that people are pushing back on some of these grants, and even happier that Habryka is responding to graciously. However, I’m concerned that some comments are bordering on unhelpfully personal.
I’d suggest that, when criticising a particular project, commentors should try to explain the rule or policy that would help grant-makers avoid the same problem in the future. That should also help us avoid making things personal.
Examples I stole from other comments and reworded:
-“I’m skeptical of the grant to X because I think grantmakers should recuse themselves from granting to their friends.” (I saw this criticism but don’t actually know who it’s referring to.)
-“I don’t think any EA Funds should be given to printing books that haven’t been professionally edited.”
-“I think that people like Lauren should have funds available after they burn out, but I don’t think the Long-Term Future Fund is the right source of post-burnout funds.”
Downvoted for an unnecessarily unkind tone.
I would give him feedback, but frankly I find his proposal too confusing to critique. I’ve read it twice over three days now. At first, I thought he was referring to social institutions, especially because he used an example about driving. Then he claimed businesses are willing to do late-stage innovation and charities should fill in the gap.
What does he want innovated? Private institutions like charities and businesses, or public institutions?
If he had given any references to this allegedly thriving literature or any concrete examples of how one idea could go from academic to charity to business, that would have been more helpful. If he’s just talking about people trying out academic ideas in, say, schools, we already do that, so that’s not a very exciting argument for me.
If organizers really value the tech support you provide, why are you phasing it out?
I’m confused. This post is arguing that the EA Hotel is a good way to encourage new projects, but from what I’ve seen, only a small minority of residents are founding projects. Many seem to be studying and/or blogging; a few are working for established EA organisations.
It would be helpful if you could also list how long each person stayed at the hotel. Some of these people seem to have produced very little for 10 months, but maybe they were only there for one month!