I find this thought experiment really weird because I don’t think EAs living together should be centrally managed. It seems really obvious to me that EA as a movement faces less risks when a few friends who met through EA decide to move in together, rather than when people apply to an ‘EA house’ with social programmes where they don’t know anyone.
Like, if a couple living in the EA Hotel break up, there’s a good chance they’ll both continue to living there and it’ll be very awkward. If you’re in a flatshare, I’d expect one of them to move out ASAP. The social norms are just so different.
Thanks Max for being willing to talk about your finances online. I know that’s a sensitive topic.
“Max is a researcher working on invertebrate sentience and suffering who was living in Vancouver. He has recently worked with Rethink Priorities on this subject and has been successful in getting funding from the EA community for his research. Max also started working part-time for Animal Ethics as of September 2019. … Max suspects that he would have ran out of money to pay rent if not for the Hotel”
Was Max working for these organisations the whole time and they just don’t pay people enough to make rent? Or were these seperate gigs with gaps in between, and the gaps are what threatened his financial security?
I’d prefer charities to pay their staff a living wage rather than the Hotel subsidise living costs.
I think this comment is really lovely, and a very timely message. I’d support it being turned into a top-level post so more people can see it, especially if you have anything more to add.
Thanks, that’s really interesting! I was especially surprised by “If I thought there was a <30% chance of AGI within 50 years, I’d probably not be working on AI safety.”
I don’t know what they teach in AP statistics, but as an extra data point, these topics weren’t all covered in my MA Public Policy ‘quantitative research methods’ class (at least not in depth)
Definitely agree with the main point though—taking that class has really seriously changed the way I read papers.
What evidence would persuade you that further work on AI safety is unnecessary?
I’m a little surprised this has been downvoted. I don’t have strong feelings either way about regional/national EA groups regranting to local community building, instead of CEA.
Thanks for posting. I’ve been using this at work today and it’s been working very well.
I’d be interested to understand the numbers particularly for local group leader funding as well. I don’t really care if all the psychology researchers are located in Oxford, but I really care if all the local group leaders are.
I upvoted this because I think this data is a good way to start an important conversation, although I’m uncertain about the conclusions.
J-PAL is based at MIT—maybe that would be eligible?
In general, I’d look for specific research programmes, charities or think tanks based at a university, rather than giving the university an unrestricted donation.
Do we have any evidence that younger people are more longtermism eg in their voting than older people?
You could also try reforming a legislative house to focus on future generations. The House of Lords (UK)/Senate (Canada) is already meant to take a more long-term ‘sober second thought’ on legislation, and there’s widespread discontent about the current function of both. They could be ripe for reform.
“As I consider the program’s future, my top priority is to ensure that we serve our current grantees reliably and continue to follow through on our existing commitments.”
I’m really glad to hear this, as well as hearing that you’re considering closing the program. There aren’t usually good incentives for providing consistently good service or for eliminating your own job. I’m glad you’re trying to do it anyways.
Thanks for responding Ben :)
Thanks for the explanation. I can understand why you’d want to publish all of the interview results in one post.
However, when that post is titled ‘feedback for CEA’, it looks like you believe that you’re responsible for the friendliness of the EA community. It’s… kind of offensive? In my view, CEA has very little to do with how friendly or unfriendly I am. This sort of information should be shared on the Forum as feedback for us, rather than treated primarily as feedback for CEA.
It would probably have been easiest to make the distinction between feedback on community health and feedback on CEA by posting to separate articles, but it could have also been accomplished in the introduction.
(Along the same lines, I’d like more detail on specific positives and negatives about community health, especially in London. I feel like local community members are the ones who need to take the feedback forward, so we need to have access to as much quality information as possible.)
I’m glad to see this! I feel a bit confused about some of the areas that were included in the discussion. Why did you decide to include EAs being considered nice, or EAs being considered unwelcoming, in a document that’s primarily about CEA’s successes and failures?
XR = Extinction Rebellion, a UK-based environmental activism group
A friend pointed out that it would probably be good for EA community health if 80k catered to people with a wider variety of values.