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Alex_Barry

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Thanks for taking the time to write this up and share it Jessica!I just also want to highlight a couple of other resources available for those planning retreats:

Often each doc is written from a fairly specific perspective, so it can be useful to look through a few different ones to get a feel for the different options available.(I think there are also some more floating around, but I am doing a bad job of tracking them down at the moment).


Hey Jeffrey,

Great to hear you are interested in starting an EA group! I hope your event today goes well, and apologies for the delayed response. I work on the CEA group team to provide support to EA groups. Here are some of my thoughts for new groups starting out:

It is key that anyone leading a local group has a solid understanding of effective altruism, so that they can answer questions from community members, and avoid potentially giving anyone a misleading impression of EA. This means having a level of knowledge at least equivalent to the EA handbook, or Doing Good Better. If you feel you don’t yet have this level of knowledge, then we recommend you take some time to grow your knowledge now, and start your group later. If you're not sure, we're happy to talk with you about what makes sense to do, just get in contact at groups@centreforeffectivealtruism.org.

We have collected together a common set of resources we expect to be of use to many groups in this Google drive folder and there are also resources hosted on the EA Hub as mentioned by Michal.

For guidance on group strategy also see this page on effectivealtruism.org which contains many links to other helpful resources, and for information about getting CEA funding for your group see here.

We also recommend new groups fill out this Google form, to help us at CEA keep track of the groups, and provide you with more personalised support.

Finally to get more regular information about running a group we recommend signing up for the monthly EA groups newsletter, as well as the group organisers’ Facebook group, and the group organisers’ Slack.

I'm not quite sure what argument you are trying to make with this comment.

I interpreted your original comment as arguing for something like: "Although most of the relevant employees at central coordinator organisations are not sure about the sign of outreach, most EAs think it is likely to be positive, thus it is likely to in fact be positive".

Where I agree with first two points but not the conclusion, as I think we should consider the staff at the 'coordinator organizations' to be the relevant expert class and mostly defer to their judgement.

Its possible you were instead arguing "The increased concern about downside risk has also made it much harder to ‘use up’ your dedication" is not in fact a concern faced by most EAs, since they still think outreach is clearly positive, so this is not a discouraging factor.

I somewhat agree with this point, but based on your response to cafelow I do not think it is very likely to be the point you were trying to make.

But should we not expect coordinator organizations to be the ones best placed to have considered the issue?

My impression is that they have developed their view over a fairly long time period after a lot of thought and experience.

Just to clarify, when I say that my sense is that there are two types of EA, I mean that I sense that there are two types of effective altruism, not that I sense that there are two types of effective altruists.

Ah I see. for some reason I got the other sense from reading your comment, but looking back at it I think that was just a failing of reading comprehension on my part.

I agree that the differences between global poverty and animal welfare are more matters of degree, but I also think they are larger than people seem to expect.

I am somewhat confused by the framing of this comment, you start by saying "there are two types of EA" but the points seem to all be about the properties of different causes.

I don't think there are 'two kinds' of EAs in the sense you could easily tell which group people were going to fall into in advance, but that all of your characteristics just follow as practical considerations resulting from how important people find the longtermist view. (But I do think "A longtermist viewpoint leads to very different approach" is correct.)

I'm also not sure how similar the global poverty and farm animal welfare groups actually are. There seem to be significant differences in terms of the quality of evidence used and how established they are as areas. Points 3, 4, 7, 9 and 10 seem to have pretty noticeable differences between global poverty and farm animal welfare.

As far as I can tell none of the links that look like this instead of http://effective-altruism.com work in the pdf version.

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