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Posts about the EA community and projects that focus on the EA community

Quick takes

66
1mo
5
Some reflections on the Manifest 2024 discourse: 1. I’m annoyed (with “the community”, but mostly with human nature & myself) that this kind of drama gets so much more attention than eg typical reviews of the Manifest experience, or our retrospectives of work on Manifund, which I wish got even 10% of this engagement. It's fun to be self-righteous on the internet, fun to converse with many people who I respect, fun especially when they come to your defense (thanks!), but I feel guilty at the amount of attention this has sucked up for everyone involved. This bit from Paul Graham makes a lot more sense to me now: > When someone contradicts you, they're in a sense attacking you. Sometimes pretty overtly. Your instinct when attacked is to defend yourself. But like a lot of instincts, this one wasn't designed for the world we now live in. Counterintuitive as it feels, it's better most of the time not to defend yourself. Otherwise these people are literally taking your life. Kudos to all y'all who are practicing the virtue of silence and avoiding engaging with this. 2. While it could have been much, much better written, on net I’m glad the Guardian article exists. And not just in a "all PR is good PR" sense, or even a “weak opponents are superweapons” sense; I think there's a legitimate concern there that's worthy of reporting. I like the idea of inviting the journalists to come to Manifest in the future. 3. That said, I am quite annoyed that now many people who didn’t attend Manifest, may think of it as "Edgelordcon". I once again encourage people who weren't there to look at our actual schedule, or to skim over some of the many many post-Manifest reports, to get a more representative sense of what Manifest is like or about. 4. If Edgelordcon is what you really wanted, consider going to something like Hereticon instead of Manifest, thanks. 5. Not sure how many people already know this but I formally left Manifold a couple months ago. I'm t
13
6d
I'm extremely excited that EAGxIndia 2024 is confirmed for October 19–20 in Bengaluru! The team will post a full forum post with more details in the coming days, but I wanted a quick note to get out immediately so people can begin considering travel plans. You can sign up to be notified about admissions opening, or to express interest in presenting, via the forms linked on the event page: https://www.effectivealtruism.org/ea-global/events/eagxindia-2024 Hope to see many of you there!!
70
4mo
50
Please people, do not treat Richard Hannania as some sort of worthy figure who is a friend of EA. He was a Nazi, and whilst he claims he moderated his views, he is still very racist as far as I can tell. Hannania called for trying to get rid of all non-white immigrants in the US, and the sterilization of everyone with an IQ under 90 indulged in antisemitic attacks on the allegedly Jewish elite, and even post his reform was writing about the need for the state to harass and imprison Black people specifically ('a revolution in our culture or form of government. We need more policing, incarceration, and surveillance of black people' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Hanania).  Yet in the face of this, and after he made an incredibly grudging apology about his most extreme stuff (after journalists dug it up), he's been invited to Manifiold's events and put on Richard Yetter Chappel's blogroll.  DO NOT DO THIS. If you want people to distinguish benign transhumanism (which I agree is a real thing*) from the racist history of eugenics, do not fail to shun actual racists and Nazis. Likewise, if you want to promote "decoupling" factual beliefs from policy recommendations, which can be useful, do not duck and dive around the fact that virtually every major promoter of scientific racism ever, including allegedly mainstream figures like Jensen, worked with or published with actual literal Nazis (https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/arthur-jensen).  I love most of the people I have met through EA, and I know that-despite what some people say on twitter- we are not actually a secret crypto-fascist movement (nor is longtermism specifically, which whether you like it or not, is mostly about what its EA proponents say it is about.) But there is in my view a disturbing degree of tolerance for this stuff in the community, mostly centered around the Bay specifically. And to be clear I am complaining about tolerance for people with far-right and fasc
198
1y
6
I'm going to be leaving 80,000 Hours and joining Charity Entrepreneurship's incubator programme this summer! The summer 2023 incubator round is focused on biosecurity and scalable global health charities and I'm really excited to see what's the best fit for me and hopefully launch a new charity. The ideas that the research team have written up look really exciting and I'm trepidatious about the challenge of being a founder but psyched for getting started. Watch this space! <3 I've been at 80,000 Hours for the last 3 years. I'm very proud of the 800+ advising calls I did and feel very privileged I got to talk to so many people and try and help them along their careers! I've learned so much during my time at 80k. And the team at 80k has been wonderful to work with - so thoughtful, committed to working out what is the right thing to do, kind, and fun - I'll for sure be sad to leave them. There are a few main reasons why I'm leaving now: 1. New career challenge - I want to try out something that stretches my skills beyond what I've done before. I think I could be a good fit for being a founder and running something big and complicated and valuable that wouldn't exist without me - I'd like to give it a try sooner rather than later. 2. Post-EA crises stepping away from EA community building a bit - Events over the last few months in EA made me re-evaluate how valuable I think the EA community and EA community building are as well as re-evaluate my personal relationship with EA. I haven't gone to the last few EAGs and switched my work away from doing advising calls for the last few months, while processing all this. I have been somewhat sad that there hasn't been more discussion and changes by now though I have been glad to see more EA leaders share things more recently (e.g. this from Ben Todd). I do still believe there are some really important ideas that EA prioritises but I'm more circumspect about some of the things I think we're not doing as well as we could (
40
2mo
1
Having a baby and becoming a parent has had an incredible impact on me. Now more than ever, I feel more connected and concerned about the wellbeing of others. I feel as though my heart has literally grown. I wanted to share this as I expect there are many others who are questioning whether to have children -- perhaps due to concerns about it limiting their positive impact, among many others. But I'm just here to say it's been beautiful, and amazing, and I look forward to the day I get to talk with my son about giving back in a meaningful way.  
26
2mo
5
Prompted by a different forum:
57
5mo
2
EDIT: just confirmed that FHI shut down as of April 16, 2024 It sounds like the Future of Humanity Institute may be permanently shut down.  Background: FHI went on a hiring freeze/pause back in 2021 with the majority of staff leaving (many left with the spin-off of the Centre for the Governance of AI) and moved to other EA organizations. Since then there has been no public communication regarding its future return, until now...  The Director, Nick Bostrom, updated the bio section on his website with the following commentary [bolding mine]:  This language suggests that FHI has officially closed. Can anyone at Trajan/Oxford confirm?  Also curious if there is any project in place to conduct a post mortem on the impact FHI has had on the many different fields and movements? I think it's important to ensure that FHI is remembered as a significant nexus point for many influential ideas and people who may impact the long term.  In other news, Bostrom's new book "Deep Utopia" is available for pre-order (coming March 27th). 
101
10mo
19
My overall impression is that the CEA community health team (CHT from now on) are well intentioned but sometimes understaffed and other times downright incompetent. It's hard to me to be impartial here, and I understand that their failures are more salient to me than their successes. Yet I endorse the need for change, at the very least including 1) removing people from the CHT that serve as a advisors to any EA funds or have other conflict of interest positions, 2) hiring HR and mental health specialists with credentials, 3) publicly clarifying their role and mandate.  My impression is that the most valuable function that the CHT provides is as support of community building teams across the world, from advising community builders to preventing problematic community builders from receiving support. If this is the case, I think it would be best to rebrand the CHT as a CEA HR department, and for CEA to properly hire the community builders who are now supported as grantees, which one could argue is an employee misclassification. I would not be comfortable discussing these issues openly out of concern for the people affected, but here are some horror stories: 1. A CHT staff pressured a community builder to put through with and include a community member with whom they weren't comfortable interacting. 2. A CHT staff pressured a community builder to not press charges against a community member who they felt harassed by. 3. After a restraining order was set by the police in place in this last case, the CHT refused to liaison with the EA Global team to deny access to the person restrained, even knowing that the affected community builder would be attending the event. 4. My overall sense is that CHT is not very mindful of the needs of community builders in other contexts. Two very promising professionals I've mentored have dissociated from EA, and rejected a grant, in large part because of how they were treated by the CHT. 5. My impression is that the CHT staff underm
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