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The numbers that I am confused about are in the high 5 figures and low 6 figures, about an order of magnitude bigger than $10,000. I don't think assuming a salary of $30/hour helps me understand or explain these numbers. I brought up volunteering vs. paid work in the OP, and I think this was probably misleading-- sorry about that.

However, on that point:

I agree that we don't want EA groups to only be run by the financially privileged. But this concern needs to be balanced against the fact that EA in general, and EA university group organizing in particular (probably) already selects for high SES people, and there may be better ways of making participation in EA accessible to everyone. There is already some level of SES barrier for college students maneuvering themselves into a position to start receiving funding for this work, so you are already getting a filtered sample by the time the money starts flowing. This is a difficult problem to solve, but I hope people are conscientious of it. 

If you PM me I'm happy to send you the list. Like I said in the post, I don't believe it would be productive to post it publicly.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm sure I would have also felt shame and guilt if I were in your situation, though obviously this is not what we want to happen!

My general feeling about situations like this is that there are some grants that are better off not being shared publicly, if the context allows for it (this depends on many complex social factors). Wealthy people spend money on all kinds of outlandish things all over the world yet receive comparably little opprobrium simply because this spending is rarely public. It's unfair for you to be exposed to the vitriol from regular people expressing their frustration with inequality.

I'm reluctant to say too much about your particular circumstance (given I don't have context, and this is quite a personal thing), but I think if it were me, I might look for ways to tactfully omit discussion of the grant when first getting to know non-EAs socially. Not because it *is* shameful but just because it may unconsciously make some people uncomfortable. If it does come up, I think there is a way to "check your privilege" while also expressing confidence that you did nothing wrong. I've found in my experience, ironically, if I express contrition about something, people are more likely to actually think I did something shameful. Whereas if I sound confident, they tend to have a positive impression of me. These aren't necessarily bad people, that's just how humanity is.

While socializing with EAs is wonderful, I agree that it is better to have a diverse social circle including non EAs too!

Strongly agree. Thanks for writing this!

The Velvet Underground & Nico might be a better comparison for Pet Sounds. I have some similar feelings about that album as for Pet Sounds-- of course there are huge differences in the sophistication of the production, compositions, and sound quality-- but I think some similarities in apathetic-sounding vocals (at least to me), influence on later artists, slow songs, light psychedelia. I doubt I'd put either in my top 30, but I do go out of my way to listen to TVU&N sometimes. It's got some of that "raw" quality.

I've felt flummoxed for a while about Pet Sounds. I first tried listening to it in high school (after learning of its acclaim) and couldn't make it through. When I listen to it now, over a decade later, I feel I can clearly hear and appreciate the "symphonic" quality of the songs, and the care and craft that went into the production, instrumentation, and compositions. It's not difficult for me to believe that it was a major leap forward and I think it's not too difficult to hear how influential it's been. A song I love, "John Allyn Smith Sails" by Okkervil River is partly an adaptation of "Sloop John B". 

Moreover, when I listen to Pet Sounds with 'audiophile brain' the sounds, melodies, and harmonies all sound great. But I just don't enjoy listening to the album. The vocals sound detached and clinical to me. For such an acclaimed and highly-ranked album, I feel it doesn't have many raw emotional hooks.

Compare to others on the top of the lists Holden linked: Marvin Gaye, Nirvana, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Dylan. Their songs have some powerful emotional energy that Pet Sounds seems to lack-- and will typically make you feel something, even if it's not your cup of tea. To me, Pet Sounds sounds like the odd one out, so I still feel confused why it's so high on these lists. 

Also, I would definitely rank A Love Supreme much closer to the top. 

Re: net neutrality, I have no insider knowledge, this is just my personal opinion as an observer.

Little has changed since the NN repeal precisely because there was a relatively strong outcry at the time. It's hard to think of another issue that polls with 60-80% support across both parties.

Practically, "little has changed" in the sense that AFAIK in these 4 years no ISP has switched to a business model based on charging internet companies for access to "fast lanes". IMO this is only because introducing tiered pricing would likely generate significant backlash, and ISPs have good reason to believe that, given the outcry at the time of repeal.

The downsides of NN include unpredictable tail risks of a kind of lock-in that is very hard to undo.

At the time of repeal, I think there were basically two categories of "sky is falling" rhetoric. (1) rational actors trying to drum up public opposition despite knowing that the worst-case scenario is unlikely, and (2) media actors who jumped on the NN bandwagon, simply because it generated engagement.

Doesn't make sense for (1) to state "I was wrong" takes because nothing in these past 4 years falsifies the claim that eroding NN could gradually lead to an ossified internet with (much more) rent-seeking ISPs. (2) probably wouldn't recant anything since "we were wrong" stories seem like ineffective clickbait.

In short, I think nothing bad has happened yet because people were so fired up about NN in the first place, and because practically a rent-seeking ISP would need more time to capitalize on the repeal.