Rational Animations’ owner and scriptwriter: https://www.youtube.com/c/RationalAnimations
I know how to turn this into a cool story. I’m going to try. If I end up giving up, I will post the idea as a reply to this comment.
Here’s some more evidence I got in favor of the fact that this is a particularly good book to give to new people. So far, the Rational Animations video about the “Rethinking Identity” section is the channel’s most appreciated video in terms of comments, both on Reddit and YT. Also, I’m seeing comments suggesting that at least some people deeply understand and incorporate the message. On r/videos, which is a pretty generalist sub, I’m finding some uplifting (for me) interactions:
I’ve seen some criticism of this book in EA/Rationality spaces and in some Amazon reviews about the fact that it uses too much internet culture as examples and ties too much with current internet discourse. But I think this is potentially something good. It could achieve at least three things: 1. provide real examples (in a non-aggressive way) that are likely to be somewhat associated with people’s identities, thus maybe making them break from this pattern. 2. Be a guide and act as example on how to achieve non-inflammatory non-mind-killing discourse on potentially sensitive topics, and 3. be read more because it ties deeply with how discourse is happening on the internet in recent years. Before obtaining real-world evidence I wouldn’t necessarily bet on the fact that it achieves these positive effects, but after seeing reactions in the wild I’m more positive. The negative examples I’ve seen are fewer and generally downvoted.
I’ve returned home, and my simulated self is not disintegrated, because he can’t compare these metrics with other posts, so he should be fine.
This is really cool, and definitely an improvement. I already know it will finish destroying my sanity! :) I can’t wait to return home, use the pc, and be utterly disintegrated. I’m especially excited about the prospect of discovering lots of views accompanied by very little engagement.
Thank you :) yes I’ve also asked for feedback in that group on the scripts of our next two videos
Rational Animations’ writer here. I am just chiming in to say (albeit 20 days later) that we’re interested in animating some of the EA introductory articles. We are also interested in adapting blog posts by Holden or anyone else writing about important/interesting stuff.
Before doing more core EA content, though, I want to improve some more. And potentially have someone (paid) always to edit, fact check, and PR-sanity-check my scripts. For now, I will fly pretty close to EA with some videos, but I will avoid EA branding till I’m exceedingly sure that Rational Animations’ contribution will be a net positive. Which is probably at least a period of a few months.
Update: as a result of feedback here and in other comments (and some independent thinking), we made a few updates to the channel.
Made new thumbnails without the clickbaity feel that the previous ones had.
Changed titles (I did that already weeks ago, but it’s worth mentioning again).
Removed the arm from the cover photo.
Removed mentions of EA from the channel description. For now, I will associate the channel with EA and LW the least I can. I will mention names of specific EA topics (e.g. Longtermism) only when I think it’s really necessary. And it will be probably never necessary to mention the EA movement itself. In this way, I can focus on improving with a lighter heart since the probability of causing PR damage is now lower. Obviously, I’ll have to relax these constraints in the future if I want to increase impact.
Hidden the weakest of the two “digital circuits in Minecraft” videos.
I have also read CEA’s models of community building, which were suggested in some comments.
The future direction the channel will take is more important than previous videos, but still, I wanted to let people know that I made these changes. I wanted to make a post to explain both these changes and future directions in detail, but I don’t know if I’ll manage to finish it, so in the meanwhile, I figured that it would probably be helpful to comment here.
I’m trying to write a script that integrates the concept of my article here, and I read yours attentively only a few minutes ago to see if there were ideas to integrate. I found it beautiful so thank you for linking it. I also got a similar experience as the one you describe getting while listening to Popcorn. Mine was with World of Warcraft when I was 12. I remember thinking “imagine how sad would it be if I was born in a world without World of Warcraft”. Obviously there would have been way sadder things about being born, say, two centuries earlier, but it’s still true that I would have missed out on something irreplaceable .
This looks super interesting to me. We can, in a sense, simulate a longer history of Effective Altruism and see what patterns there are.
Oh sure, without a doubt, if there is a better video to be made with little additional effort, making that video is obviously better, no denying that.
I asked that question because you said:
I don’t think the video is high enough quality for it to be a good thing for more people to see it
And that’s way more worrying than “this video could be significantly improved with little effort”. At least I would like to start with a “do no harm” policy. Like, if the channel does harm then the channel ought to be nuked if the harm is large enough. If the channel has just room for improvement that’s a different kettle of fish entirely.
I refrained from liking the video on YouTube and don’t expect to share it with people not famililar with longtermism as a means of introducing them to it because I don’t think the video is high enough quality for it to be a good thing for more people to see it
I think your feedback in the other comment is mostly correct, but… aren’t those relatively minor concerns? Do you think the video actually has net negative impact in its present form? Some of your criticism is actually about Bostrom’s paper, and that seems like it had a fairly positive impact.
Oh yeah I’m already talking with Jeroen :)
I feel like this is the most central criticism I had so far. Which means it is also the most useful. I think it’s very likely that what you said is also the sentiments of other people here. I think you’re right about what you say and that I botched the presentation of the first videos. I’ll defend them a little bit here on a couple of points, but not more. I will not say much in this comment other than this, but know that I’m listening and updating.1. The halo effect video argues in part that the evolution of that meme has been caused by the halo effect. It is certainly not an endorsement.2. The truth is cringe video is not rigorous and was not meant to be rigorous. It was mostly stuff from my my intuitions and pre-existing knowledge. The example I used made total sense to me (and I considered it interesting because it was somewhat original), but heh apparently only to me.Note: I’m not going to do only core EA content (edit: not even close actually). I’m trying to also do rationality and some rationality-adjacent and science stuff. Yes, currently the previous thumbnails are wrong. I fixed the titles more recently. I’m not fond of modifying previous content too hard, but I might make more edits. Edit to your edit: yes.
I don’t really get this feedback. Does reality say that people are actually more negative about Longtermism if it is introduced in this way? I’m a big fan of technological advancement and I expect my audience to be sort of similar. Also, what about engagement? I’m ok getting more criticism if it means more engagement (provided correctness of the content, and still all within reason). Does this make sense? In a previous version of the script there were also emulations in the mix! My experience says that on YT you ought to optimize for being the least boring you can be (in a good way, without causing drama etc.), not the opposite (without sacrificing correctness etc etc). And also enhance your personality BIG TIME, not suppress it. I think, in general, it is emerging that there are two goals here that are more or less in conflict: safety and engagement (safety and capability? :O). I need to take time to think how to actually blend them.
Yes, Animator has already taken note from previous feedback, and she is integrating it in the new animations. Same for gender parity (although you’ll probably see that later).
Thanks a lot! This is definitely going to be helpful :)
This is very very helpful feedback, thank you for taking the time to give it (here and on the other post). Also, I’m way less anxious getting feedback like this than trying to hopelessly gauge things by upvotes and downvotes. I think I need to talk more to individual EAs and engage more with comments/express my doubts more like I’m doing now. My initial instinct was to run away (post/interact less), but this feels much better other than being more helpful.
Hey, thanks a lot for this comment. It did brighten my mood.I think I’ll definitely want to send scripts to CEA’s press team, especially if they are heavily EA related like this one. Do you know how can I contact them? (I’m not sure I know what’s the CEA’s press team. Do you mean that I should just send an e-mail to CEA via their website?)