11379 karmaJoined Jun 2017


UK Civil Servant and prolific tweeter (@EAheadlines)


Okay, sorry for misreading, the poll makes much more sense now! I've edited the first part of my comment at it doesn't make much sense

As a government employee, I have a duty to speak candidly internally and not to share restricted information externally. I suspect most organisations have weaker but similar norms about the difference between how you speak to colleagues and externals.

Answer by KirstenFeb 05, 20244

My first question would be: is the particular suicide hotline you're looking at currently turning people away/making people wait a long time because of lack of volunteers? If so, every extra person could be very valuable.

If not, you might be replacing a less skilled volunteer. The question then becomes, how often would you save a life when they wouldn't? That's a hard question and it's not easy for me to know the answer, but it's probably not every night. Lots of people call a hotline with their mind already made up one way or the other.

What’s more, in areas that use primarily observational data there’s a really big gap between fields in how often papers even try to use causal inference methods and how hard they work to show that their identifying assumptions hold.

Just highlighting this paragraph because I think it's extremely important. As a policymaker, the vast majority of research I see from think tanks etc include poorly justified assumptions. It's become one of the first things I look for now, in part because it's an easy prompt for me to spot a wide range of issues.

Thanks for sharing your story, and for your family's sacrifice for the sake of those who need it most

-13 karma from 5 votes for a comment that doesn't seem to break any Forum norms? Odd

You're right about the effort involved, but when these are real people who you are discussing deanonymizing in order to try to stop them from getting jobs, you should make the effort.

I raised some awkward questions, without offering any answers, conclusions, or recommendations.

I don't feel like you raised discussion with no preference for what the community decided. When I gave my answer, which many people seem to agree with, your response was to question whether that's REALLY what the EA community wants. I think it's a bit disingenuous to suggest that you're just asking a question when you clearly have a preference for how people answer!

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