13 musings from EA Global

  1. An awful lot of people are interested in effective altruism.
  2. A lot of people want to use journalism as a tool for magnifying EA’s impact.
  3. A lot of EAs (including very senior ones) are absolutely terrified of journalists and think that shutting them out is a good thing to do.
  4. There are more women in EA than I realised/expected, though they are still underrepresented.
  5. There is a lot of interesting work going on at the intersection of agriculture / climate resiliency / global development / existential risk reduction.
  6. The Barbican is a fantastic conference venue.
  7. A sizeable number of people worry that effective altruism is too dominated by discussion of AI safety.
  8. There are a lot of very bright and motivated students in EA. They are much better at networking than I ever was.
  9. We are very lucky that Kremer et al did a meta-analysis of water treatment, despite GiveWell previously deeming it to be cost ineffective. We need to figure out how to encourage more of this kind of work.
  10. Despite the large amounts of attention longtermism gets, the bulk of EA money in the next few years is expected to fund work in global health and development.
  11. Vegan food, when prepared well, is very good. Meat substitutes have got a lot better in the last couple of years, but vegan food that doesn’t try to imitate meat (which is often food inspired by Asian cooking) is always better.
  12. EA needs to adopt a “startup mindset” of aiming for high-value outcomes, even if they are unlikely to be achieved. It needs to get very comfortable with the idea of failure.
  13. Will MacAskill is absolutely ripped.

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