Open Thread 205
This is the weekly visible open thread. Odd-numbered open threads will be no-politics, even-numbered threads will be politics-allowed. This one is odd-numbered, so be careful. Otherwise, post about anything else you want. Also:
1: On the Grants Results thread, Michael A writes:
Thanks for doing this and for this post! I'm one of the guest fund managers on one of the EA Funds (the EA Infrastructure Fund, specifically), and I would really like many of these people to apply to EA Funds for a top up or a substantially larger grant right now (if they haven't already), and for many others to apply later on for "next phases" of these projects or for new projects. https://funds.effectivealtruism.org/apply-for-funding
This can pretty easily be worthwhile in expectation because:
1. It should take 0.5-2 hours to write an application (setting aside time actually planning the project)
2. The actual evaluation process is typically pretty quick too, for both the applicant and the grant evaluators
3. It's faster for things that don't end up funded (so it's relatively unlikely for lots of time to be spent without impactful-in-expectation work ending up funded)
4. EA Funds's impact is probably most bottlenecked by number of good applications received (more so than by fund manager time or money available) (I'm most confident of this for the Long-Term Future Fund and the Infrastructure Fund)
Scott, did you or someone else already heavily emphasise roughly that message to the grantees? If not, could you do so? Let me know if there's any way I can help (I can be reached at michaeljamesaird AT gmail DOT com )
Here are two posts that might be helpful:
List of EA funding opportunities: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/DqwxrdyQxcMQ8P2rD/list-of-ea-funding-opportunities
Things I often tell people about applying to EA Funds: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/4tsWDEXkhincu7HLb/things-i-often-tell-people-about-applying-to-ea-funds
Also, many readers of this comment should probably consider applying too.
(Caveat: This is mostly a message I spam repeatedly in lots of EA-adjacent contexts, rather than something I'm saying because I think lots of these projects in particular sound extremely impactful and funding constrained. And there are many projects listed here that I don't feel very excited about from an impartially altruistic perspective, even if they sound cool from a vaguely-progress-studies perspective. That said, many do sound either likely to be great or *likely enough* to be great that submitting an application is worthwhile in expectation.)
I can confirm that EA Funds are real people and that they’re great (and have lots of money), and that part of my motivation for running a grants program was to connect more people with them.
2: Looking for a Chri…fine, sorry, looking for a Martin Luther King Day gift this year for the rationalist in your life? Engines Of Cognition is a Best Of Less Wrong 2019 book collection out now including essays by me, Zvi, Eliezer, and 30+ other writers. Yes, all the art is AI-generated; it seemed appropriate.