Founder @ Red Cell EA
192 karmaJoined Working (6-15 years)


Weaver is a Rationalist and EA writer and a full time active duty Army Officer. He is a part of Philly Rats and EA Philly(barely) and you can read all of his writing through his author website: http://storyweaver.quest/ (links to Royal Road fiction)

Sect Leader is an attempt to shovel EA principles into a fantasy narrative(a nod to HPMOR), everything else is just for fun.

I'm founding two companies:

Riverfolk Publishing which is an indie imprint, initially for myself. We've expanded to four authors and our first book launches in September.

Red Cell EA, which is an EA focused consultancy. This is still in the planning stages.

How others can help me

I'm looking for startup grants to see if Red Cell EA can turn into viable full time work.

How I can help others

I can help you if you need help writing fiction, getting published or anything LITRPG.


Operational Training


Topic contributions

Answer by Weaver13

I have a professional background in this and even that is telling me that this is a wait and see thing. However what we can do is look at what aid agencies are doing. 

This is not a neglected area generally. Agencies like catholic charities, UN World Food Program(WFP) and other similar ones can and will set up Internally displaced person camps(IDP) - (camps in country)- or Refugee camps - (outside of country). 

In this area, the African Union is strong and they would be the lead element of any type of foreign aid, perhaps with coalition partners like  America, Italy, Germany, Japan, etc. 

But let's back this up. Let's say that you're a resident of Darfur. Your country borders Chad, the CAR and South Sudan. You have a spouse and children and the means to leave(a car? a plane ticket?) Where would you go? Perhaps to Ethiopia? Drive through Chad to Nigeria? What are you willing to risk to do it? Will you walk hundreds of miles to get to a camp that you're not sure will be there?

What would you need? Water, food, shelter, etc. Camps would get that. 

Now what could you individually do? You could donate money to an organization or sponsor the Visa of a Sudanese refugee.

If you knew someone who had a plane/pilot service you could arrange a flight to pick up refugees and move them out of country. Someone I work with did this to get his translators and their families out of Afghanistan.

If you had logistical skills? You could go work for WFP or one of the aid agencies.

Can you drive/maintain a bus? You can figure out a way to help out with this.

Do you speak arabic? The camps will need translators. Do you speak arabic, english and another language? Even better.

I love the idea of creative interventions. I do. There are aid agencies on the ground with experienced people to do this the way they have been doing it for a while. 

If I was looking or a creative intervention that would get me shot, I'd buy a plot of land in Ethiopia or Chad and setup a refugee camp, with aid stations leading to it. That's a lot of money though and that's a short term plan.

I would start by asking agencies working in the area them what their pain points are. They might have trouble with funding, staffing, etc. That would direct my next steps.

Answer by Weaver5

About how to run an EA organization with the intent of it being a part time investment of time. 1-2 days per month with a potential 4-12 day stretch once a year. I had this idea when I talked to Ulrik Horne about how he could slowly start up a biosecurity/bio shelter project.

I think it's a good idea for an organization that can pay for 1-4 full timers and then flex once a month to work on projects together. This is what organizations like the Army Reserves does for building a capability/capacity that is needed but not imminently.

Pretend that you're a Texan vaccine distributor. 

You have the facility to produce en mass, something that once given out will no longer make a profit, so there's no incentive to make a factory, but you're an EA true and true so you build the thing you need and make the doses. Now you have doses in a warehouse somewhere.

You have to take the vaccine all over the admittedly large state, but with a good set of roads and railroads, this is an easily solvable problem, right? 

You have a pile of vaccine, potentially connections with Texan hospitals who thankfully ALL speak English and you have the funding from your company to send people to distribute the vaccine. 

There may or may not be a cold chain needed so you might need refrigerated trucks, but this is a solvable problem right? Cold chain trucks can't be that more expensive than regular trucks?

So you go out and you start directing the largest portion of vaccines to go to the large cities and health departments, just to reach your 29 million people that you're trying to hit. You pay a good salary to your logisticians and drivers to get the vaccines where they need to go.

In a few days, you're able to effectively get a large chunk of your doses to where they need to go, but now you run into the problem of last mile logistics, where you need to get a dose to a person.

That means that the public has to get the message that this is available for them, where they can find it and how they can do it. God forbid there be a party that is trying to PSYOP that your vaccine causes Malarial cancer or something because that would be a problem.

You'll have your early adopters, sure but after some time the people that will follow prudent public health measures will drop off and the lines will be empty. 

You'll still have 14 million doses, which have they been properly stored? This is of course accounting for the number of Texans who just won't get a vaccine or are perhaps too young.

So you appeal to the state government to pass a law that all 8th graders need to have this once in a lifetime vaccine and in a miracle, they make it a law. You move the needle a little bit. 7.5 Million Texans are under 18, but those might be the easiest to get as they're actively interacting with the government at least in the capacity of education.

And as you might guess, this isn't about Texas. This is every country.

I love to see things like this spun up. As African countries are the primary recipient of this kind of vaccine I would expect that (It makes sense to me) we have to think about the big problems.


Let's assume that there are no cultural issues and everyone was able to communicate fairly, right? Now you're dealing with the tyranny of distance and the last mile problem. Not only that, but you're dealing with the last mile problem four times and that is just getting the vaccine to where it needs to be. I'm going to go out on a limb here and state that the vaccine cold chain which is common in some vaccines may weigh in. 

In brief: If a vaccine needs to be kept at a certain temperature to administer it, then there had to be a chain of custody that is refrigerated. Now imagine that you have to truck vaccines 1000 km from the capital of Tanzania to the northern reaches.

Secondarily you have the problem of setting up health clinics where recipients will show up FOUR times. I wish this was already a once and done, but hey if we can eliminate Malaria in my lifetime? I'll call up several thousand friends.

Cultural and Language Barriers:

Assuming you have solved the first problem, then you run into the issue that some people may be avoidant to the vaccine or you need to translate the material into Somali or another smaller language. This is where I'm going to go into recommendations and recommend that we pair this with a messaging campaign on the most used platform in that country. This will be highly specific, but say if Nigeria is mostly on the radio, then a few radio spots about the rollout would go a long way.


There are already aid orgs and EA orgs inside of Africa with good talent that we can reach out to for some on the ground assistance setting this up. LEEP(https://leadelimination.org/) may already have a network of trusted agents in country that you can lean upon and Family Empowerment Media(https://www.familyempowermentmedia.org/) does messaging already. I would start by asking those two if they could help start this.

Additionally it would benefit the local economy to produce the vaccines in Africa, this would also solve some of the cultural issues since it's made there. This would solve some of the logistical issues with getting the vaccine there, but not all.

Thanks for this. This comes from a relatively top down (but locally administered) org structure which may not reflect exactly on other organizations. 

We do have a structure that the commanders/decision makers may not always be present when we discuss things due to them needing to speak to higher echelons or other commitments and this may not reflect outside of a governmental structure.

I'm adding the handbook to my reading list, though and hope to update this when I do. (Rough that it costs so much though!)

Answer by Weaver3

Toxic Charity and Dead aid(though both have problems)

Yes, since the other half of what I do is operations. My understanding at least from the requests from the High Performance Network is that this is an in demand skillset.

I've also spoken to a few people on interview about how to effectively work in Africa, or at the very least how to get to a place where you can do a trial project. I wouldn't be in EA if I didn't want to help people, I just wish we were a bit more effective at it as a government. 

For instance: there's been times when Teams I've trained have the skills but not the funding to do something that the host nation needs, whereas the Italian Civil Affairs or CIMIC team had the funding so we just asked them if they wanted it.

I debated for a minute if I should do this and just did it. Thanks to Lizka, because I just copied her format.

You know what would be a great way to teach this. Just make up an info hazard type event. Tabletop war game it. Say the thing is called a mome rath and it's anti-memetic or something(Go read worth the candle). Have the experts explain how they would treat the problem, and use that as a guide for how to interact with info hazards.

Maybe I am focused on the government piece of this but there's probably damaging information that would hurt national security if it got out. That's why we have classification systems in place. If we can't even have the experts talk about it, then we need to really think about why that is and give them a softball to explain it. (Then think about why they're thinking this, etc.)

Look, there is a risk. We just need to be able to explain it so that people don't go looking at the door of forbidden knowledge thinking, "I really need to know everything in there." When really what is behind the door is just a bunch of formulas that the current batch of 3d printers know not to make.

Counterpoint: make it boring and now one will be interested. Instead if Rokos Basilisk, think of calling it IRS-CP Form 23A.

I think that the short hand of "this person vouches for this other person" is a good enough basis for a lot of pre-screening criteria. Not that it makes the person a shoe in for the job, but it's enough to say that you can go by on a referral. 

You might say, this is a strange way to pick people, but this is how governments interview people for national security roles. They check references. They ask questions. 

I imagine more questions would be asked to the third party who is 'personally referring' the applicant, leading to a slightly different series of interviews anyway. In my experience, people have to work a lot harder to get a job, than to keep one. I know that it's true with everyone that referred me to just about every position. Then if I perform badly it looks poorly on them, but after a certain time, I'm the one referring people onwards, so I have to make my own assessment of if I'm willing to put my reputation on the line.

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