I currently lead EA funds.

Before that, I worked on improving epistemics in the EA community at CEA (as a contractor), as a research assistant at the Global Priorities Institute, on community building, and Global Health Policy.

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, opinions are my own, not my employer's.

You can give me positive and negative feedback here.


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Topic contributions

Answer by calebp19

Hi Markus,

For context I run EA Funds, which includes the EAIF (though the EAIF is chaired by Max Daniel not me). We are still paying out grants to our grantees — though we have been slower than usual (particularly for large grants). We are also still evaluating applications and giving decisions to applicants (though this is also slower than usual). 

We have communicated this to the majority of our grantees, but if you or anyone else reading this urgently needs a funding decision (in the next two weeks), please email caleb [at] effectivealtruismfunds [dot] org with URGENT in the subject line, and I will see what I can do. Please also include:

  • Please also include the name of the application (from previous funds email subject lines),
  • the reason the request is urgent,
  • latest decision and payout dates that would work for you - such that if we can’t make these dates there is little reason to make the grant.

You can also apply to one of Open Phil’s programs; in particular, Open Philanthropy’s program for grantees affected by the collapse of the FTX Future Fund may be particularly of note to people applying to EA Funds due to the FTX crash.

Great post - I really enjoyed reading this.

I would have thought the standard way to resolve some of the questions above would be to use a large agent-based model, simulating disease transmission among millions of agents and then observing how successful some testing scheme is within the model (you might be able to backtest the model against well-documented outbreaks).

I'm not sure how much you'd trust these models over your intuitions, but I'd guess they'd have quite a lot of mileage.

I've only skimmed these papers, but these seem promising and illustrative of the direction to me: 

The first two bullets don't seem like small UI changes to me; the second, in particular, seems too adversarial imo.

Fwiw, I don't think that being on the 80k is much of an endorsement of the work that people are doing. I think the signal is much more like "we think this person is impressive and interesting", which is consistent with other "interview podcasts" (and I suspect that it's especially true of podcasts that are popular amongst 80k listeners).

I also think having OpenAI employees discuss their views publicly with smart and altruistic people like Rob is generally pretty great, and I would personally be excited for 80k to have more OpenAI employees (particularly if they are willing to talk about why they do/don't think AIS is important and talk about their AI worldview).

Having a line at the start of the podcast making it clear that they don't necessarily endorse the org the guest works for would mitigate most concerns - though I don't think it's particularly necessary.

I think this is a good policy and broadly agree with your position.

It's a bit awkward to mention, but as you've said that you've delisted other roles at OpenAI and that OpenAI has acted badly before - I think you should consider explicitly saying that you don't necessarily endorse other roles at OpenAI and suspect that some other role may be harmful on the OpenAI jobs board cards.

I'm a little worried about people seeing OpenAI listed on the board and inferring that the 80k recommendation somewhat transfers to other roles at OpenAI (which, imo is a reasonable heuristic for most companies listed on the board - but fails in this specific case).

Companies often hesitate to grant individual raises due to potential ripple effects:

The true cost of a raise may exceed the individual amount if it:

  • Necessitates adjustments to other salaries via organizational policies
  • Sets precedents for other employees
  • Sparks salary discussions among colleagues

An alternative for altruistic employees: Negotiate for charitable donation matches

  • Generally less desirable for most employees
  • Similarly attractive to altruists (Assumption: Current donations to eligible charities exceed the proposed raise)

This approach allows altruists to increase their impact without triggering company-wide salary adjustments.

Fwiw I think that posts and comments on the EA Forum do a lot to create an association. If there wasn't any coverage of Hanania attending Manifest on the forum, I think something like 10x+ fewer EAs would know about the Hanania stuff, and it would be less likely to be picked up by journalists (a bit less relevant as it was already covered by the Guardian). It seems like there's a nearby world where less than 1% of weekly active forum users know that an EAish organisation at a commercial venue run by EAish people invited Hanania to attend an event - which I personally don't think creates much association between EA and Hanania (unlike the current coverage).

Of course, some people here might think that EA should be grappling with racism outside of this incident, in which case opportunities like this are helpful for creating discourse. But insofar as people think that Manifest's actions were ok-ish, it's mostly sad that they are associated with EA and make EA look bad, meaning they personally don't want to attend Manifest; I think debating the topic on the forum is pretty counterproductive. My impression is that the majority of people in the comments are in the latter camp.

If you think that it's important that Manifest knows why you personally aren't attending, emailing them seems like a very reasonable action to me (but of course, this doesn't achieve the goal of letting people who don't organise the event know why you aren't attending).

The Labour Party comes to mind - though I have not verified the claims myself and idk if this is what Richard had in mind.–present

That all makes sense. I will very likely have a think about who to refer.

It's probably good to note that Manifold is not an EA organisation, and Manifest (iiuc) was not funded by EA funders or branded as an EA event (though I think Manifest was trying to channel some of the EA vibe, and many attendees were involved in EA in some way).

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