310 karmaJoined May 2022



Having run through the analogy, EA becoming more like an academic field or a profession rather than a movement seems very improbable.

I agree that “try to reduce abuses common within the church” seems a better analogy.

JWS, do you think EA could work as a professional network of “impact analysts” or “impact engineers” rather than as a “movement”?

Ryan, do you have a sense of what that would concretely look like?

If we look at other professionals, for example, engineers have in common some key ideas, values, and broad goals (like ‘build things that work’). Senior engineers recruit young engineers and go to professional conferences to advance their engineering skills and ideas. Some engineers work in policy or politics, but they clearly aren’t a political movement. They don’t assume engineering is a complete ethos for all major life decisions, and they don’t assume that other engineers are trustworthy just because they are engineers.

I share your appreciation for EA ideas and think they’ll have longevity. I don’t know that there is a way to push back against the pitfallls of being a social movement instead of just being a collection of professionals. But I agree with Ryan that if there were a way to just be a group of skilled colleagues rather than “brethren”, it would be better. Social movements have the pitfalls of religions, tribes, and cults that most professions do not and fall prey to more demagogues as a result.

I understand the usage of “should” in this context. I was noting that it reads oddly to me, like a possible typo, and could be written to read more clearly.

For context on my own vote: I’d give the same answer for talking about monogamy.

  • People should clearly be able to say “my partner(s) and I are celebrating my birthday tonight” and “it’s my anniversary!” and look at this cute picture of my metamour’s dog!” and then answer questions if a colleague says, “what’s a metamour?” Just like all colleagues should be able to talk about their families at work.

  • People should be aware that it’s risky to spend work time nerding out about dating, romantic issues, sex, hitting on people, etc. People should be aware that mono people in the Bay have often reported feeling pressured or judged for not being poly. But just like with any relation type, discussing romance at work is very likely to make someone feel uncomfortable and junior people often won’t feel like they can say so.

That seems much less good than appearing in the SwapCard list of attendees where everyone is scheduling 1:1s already, but I agree that a cheap version of the thing here is very doable even without SwapCard

A hard thing here: For any project where “learn to work with external partners and train them to work with us” might be a good goal, there is usually a clear, higher priority and time-sensitive outcome in play, like “Make a hire for this role.” The time trade-offs are real, so the lower-priority goal doesn’t happen.

This may be the wrong long-term play. I am inclined to agree with you that more successful external partnerships would be valuable, but I see why orgs take the more obvious win in the short-term.

I think about optimization and scale of impact for my donations, but not for my day to day work (anymore). I am most productive and useful when I’m focused on helping the people I encounter on a given day, however I can help them. When I’m looking for general opportunities to help my neighbors, friends, colleagues, and family on an individual level, by offering whatever bit of helpful energy I have to give at a given moment, I get consistently positive feedback about giving useful help, and I am energized.

When I used to let my peers or managers or myself push me to justify how I help people, Optimization mindset led me to burn tons of energy trying to find “the most good” I could to, but actually doing almost nothing useful.

Seconding this: In my city, A TRO (temporary restraining order) is very easy to get:

“If the judge is convinced that a temporary restraining order is necessary*, he or she may issue the order immediately, without informing the other parties and without holding a hearing.”

*IMO, local judges are very lenient with TROs, issuing them “just in case” the complaint is valid, and reserving more conservative judgements for the actual hearing, 14+ days later.

Typo? “I believe there is a reasonable risk should EAs:”

Do you mean “a reasonable risk if EAs” or “a reasonable risk that EAs should not…”

The wording is confusing to me

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