It seems to me (and I’m not alone, of course) that concern for the long term renders the sign of the value most of the classic EA interventions ambiguous.
I expanded on this here: What consequences?
See also: Giving more won’t make you happier
Running while listening to podcasts/audiobooks is so great.
fwiw I’ve found martial arts to be easier to stick with than the other exercise types I’ve tried, because they’re very fun / I actually look forward to upcoming sessions.
I’ve gotten a lot (physically & psychologically) from training Muay Thai.
I’ll probably switch over entirely to Brazilian jiu-jitsu within a few years as it’s a bit easier on the body (no striking) & can be practiced until late middle age.
Tyler Cowen included this in today’s Marginal Revolution links.
My impression is that many people who are highly involved in EA do not attend EA Global (some EA organization staff do not attend, for example), so I would be pretty skeptical of using it.
On the “group membership” dimension, attending EAG is less important for EA org staff as they have other signifiers of membership in the group.
In fact, I did do explicit modeling of costs and benefits, which made it look a lot more equivocal on whether it was worth the time. I’m glad I went with just going with what successful people do, because the modeling was shit. Looking back now, it totally got wrong where most of the benefit of Doing Good Better came from, and I think that’s systematically true.
Did Will say where most of the benefit from Doing Good Better came from? (Didn’t see it in the transcript)
Thanks for this helpful comment!
Curious what you think of Thiel’s experience with law school and BigLaw (a):
This is not what I set out to do when I began my career. When I was sitting where you are, back in 1989, I would’ve told you that I wanted to be a lawyer. I didn’t really know what lawyers do all day, but I knew they first had to go to law school, and school was familiar to me.
I had been competitively tracked from middle school to high school to college, and by going straight to law school I knew I would be competing at the same kinds of tests I’d been taking ever since I was a kid, but I could tell everyone that I was now doing it for the sake of becoming a professional adult.
I did well enough in law school to be hired by a big New York law firm, but it turned out to be a very strange place. From the outside, everybody wanted to get in; and from the inside, everybody wanted to get out.
When I left the firm, after seven months and three days, my coworkers were surprised. One of them told me that he hadn’t known it was possible to escape from Alcatraz. Now that might sound odd, because all you had to do to escape was walk through the front door and not come back. But people really did find it very hard to leave, because so much of their identity was wrapped up in having won the competitions to get there in the first place.
Just as I was leaving the law firm, I got an interview for a Supreme Court clerkship. This is sort of the top prize you can get as a lawyer. It was the absolute last stage of the competition. But I lost. At the time I was totally devastated. It seemed just like the end of the world.
About a decade later, I ran into an old friend. Someone who had helped me prepare for the Supreme Court interview, whom I hadn’t seen in years. His first words to me were not, you know, “Hi Peter” or “How are you doing?” But rather, “So, aren’t you glad you didn’t get that clerkship?” Because if I hadn’t lost that last competition, we both knew that I never would have left the track laid down since middle school, I wouldn’t have moved to California and co-founded a startup, I wouldn’t have done anything new.
Looking back at my ambition to become a lawyer, it looks less like a plan for the future and more like an alibi for the present. It was a way to explain to anyone who would ask – to my parents, to my peers, and most of all to myself – that there was no need to worry. I was perfectly on track. But it turned out in retrospect that my biggest problem was taking the track without thinking really hard about where it was going.
Ought recently published a technical progress update on their recent research.
Does law school make sense for EAs?
See also: What can a technologist do about climate change? (a)
Which also happens to be one of the most beautiful websites I’ve ever seen.
Also here’s a recent take from Romeo:
Burnout is on the rise because people are confusing screen time with leisure time. NOTHING that occurs on the screen is rejuvenating by giving your Sympathetic Nervous System a break. Video games and Netflix are optimized to be engaging = emotional agitation. Social media and news feeds induce comparison mindset, outragism and dopamine spirals. Worse, the fact that these tasks are interspersed throughout the day means you don’t get the longer time blocks that are necessary for your SNS to actually calm down. Instead you are periodically jolted. Sleep problems increase when such a block of time doesn’t occur before rest.
What gets measured gets managed, rescue time is helpful even if you don’t do anything in particular with the data.
Before you yell at me yes creating art is an exception. But doing this one tab away from a distraction is more stressful than the alternative. I get a decent amount more writing done in places without wifi.
Cool, I think a lit review of this territory would be valuable. (You’ve already got a start on one with this comment!) Could be an interesting opportunity to work with Elizabeth / deploy the methodology she’s working on.
I’ve worked at places where I’ve tracked time actively, places where I’ve tracked time passively (e.g. with RescueTime), and places where I haven’t tracked time at all.
I still get some value from RescueTime, but overall time-tracking has felt like a distraction on net, based on my experience so far. (YMMV etc.)
… the objective gain could vary significantly from reported hours given that most people don’t track their time. I’m introducing time tracking to more of my clients, so I may get more objective hour reports soon.
Some considerations against time-tracking here (a), e.g.
“Part of the problem is simply that thinking about time encourages clockwatching, which has been repeatedly shown in studies to undermine the quality of work.
In one representative experiment from 2008, US researchers asked people to complete the Iowa gambling task, a venerable decision-making test that involves selecting playing cards in order to win a modest amount of cash.
All participants were given the same time in which to complete the task – but some were told that time would probably be sufficient, while others were warned it would be tight.
Contrary to an intuition cherished especially among journalists – that the pressure of deadlines is what forces them to produce high-quality work – the second group performed far less well. The mere awareness of their limited time triggered anxious emotions that got in the way of performance.”
Have two lunch times with half the attendees at each? (Instead of one time with all the attendees)
Related (a). Disturbing & seems credible.
A huge part of community building in professional associations is going to an annual conference and getting to catch up with your peers, EAG is that way for those of us who don’t live in largely populated EA cities.
+1 to the analogy of EA Global as a professional association’s annual conference.
Thank you for this fantastic comment.
5. Group membership is in significant parts determined by who attends EAG, and not by who attends EAGx, and I feel somewhat uncomfortable with the degree of control CEA has over that
Strongly agree. EAG attendance is a Schelling point for who is “an EA” and who isn’t, even if EAG organizers don’t endorse this, and even if “being an EA” isn’t an endorsed and/or fully coherent concept.