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Andrew McKnight

1395 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Andrew McKnight 1395 days ago
Editing Policy - Major Changes
[These are notes that I wrote August 2012 and were not really meant for anyone but myself. Collapse recovery scenarios is what makes really bad GCRs into extinction risks, so I thought it would be good to know about existing bunker facts. I had engineered pathogens (which I refer to as "bioterrorism"), world nuclear war, and maybe asteroids in mind. A little bit embarrassing but there's a few good ideas and sources in there, I think.]
1398 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Andrew McKnight 1398 days ago
Andrew M Barely started posts for E2G4FF 
Editing Policy - Radical changes
[These are barely started posts for my earning to give for the far future blogging attempt]
Ambition causes strategic gaps but is still anchored to the present
No matter how crazy unusual and ambitious your goals are, you still  need to deal with yourself. Self improvement continues to matter, your  health, your savings, your routine. This is the place you still have in  common with muggles though you've abandoned the every day goals they  aspire to.
On top of this, the same analogy goes for society and  the far-future. No matter how crazy unusual or ambitious your goals or  the goals society should have, society still needs to manage itself.  Avoid catastrophy continues to matter, which includes a stable economy,  the ability to direct unexpected resources at a problem, how it governs  itself. This is the place your utopian dreams and plans has in common  with the traditional forms of stable society though you've abandoned the  everyday future results society aspires to.
Paying to reduce risks from a specific GCR
How could I best donate money to prevent damage from a specific GCR  like synthetic pathogens or super-volcanoes? For each of these causes, I  could give to the upper-meta EA organizations, give to GCRI, or FHI.  These organizations should make generic progress towards solving these  issues, but I'm interested in finding the options that are specific  enough to have different giving targets for each cause.
STrategies involve:
  • Finding an organization whose direct and only mission is reducing the GCR
  • Fund analysts to break down the issue (like x-risk into anthropogenic x-risk, or dystopic futures)
  • Form an organization that can interface with related orgs, like GCRI did
1398 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Andrew McKnight 1398 days ago
Andrew M E2G Styles
Editing Policy - Medium changes
[This is an unfinished blog post attempting to split up and name some earning to give styles based on the budgeting breakdown in Funnel Budgeting.]
Lumpers vs Tricklers
Lumpers give at the end of the  year and tricklers give monthly. These styles lie on the general  frequency dimension. Extremes include a save-and-bequest model on the  lumper side and Bitcoin transaction stream on the trickler side.
Budgeters vs Surplusers
Budgeters  give from their budget. Thresholders give from their unbudgeted surplus  money. A Fractional Surpluser breaks their surplus money into targets  and then puts their money into each target at a specific fraction, per  target. A Full Surpluser has charity as their only target, but other  options would be 50/50 charity/savings, or 20/40/40  charity/travel/savings.
I'm undecided on the appropriate giving  frequency but lean towards monthly, am currently budgeting but will  transition to surplus giving, and am leaning towards keeping travel and  savings in my budget and so would be giving everything over a threshold.
So in 2014 I'll likely be a Fully Surplusing Trickler wrt E2G.
1398 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Andrew McKnight 1398 days ago
Andrew M Effective Altruism for Canadians
Editing Policy - Radical Changes
[This is meant to be information that is only relevant to Canadians. Something like this could be written for each country.]
Tax Refunds
  • Canadians can only get refunds on donations to Canadian charities and charities the Canadian government has donated to.
  • The first donation of over $1000, the government will give you a "super-credit" which gets you $250 back on your tax return.
  • A method for donating to American charities is through Tides Canada.
  • They take 10% + $50 but you get your tax return.
  • Gifts need to be quite substantial. Something like $1500 is the minimum.
EA Orgs in Canada
  • Effective Fundraising
  • Against Malaria Foundation
1398 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Andrew McKnight 1398 days ago
Andrew M Earning to Give for the Far Future
Editing Policy - Minor changes
[I was going to start blogging on earning to give for the far future (E2G4FF Blog) and this was the intro post.]
WTF are you talking about?
Great question! Here's some context. Effective Altruism is a movement whose members are trying to help others the best way they can. They focus on increasing welfare and on taking evidence seriously when selecting causes and charities to support.
Current effective altruists focus on 4 broad areas:  Humans, Animals, the Far-Future, and Meta activities. An even broader  distinction is whether effective altruists are giving their time or  their money. People usually occupy more than one of these 8 focus-giving  pairs, e.g. focusing on both animal and meta charities, or giving both  volunteering time and some money.
For those serious about giving money who are not already rich, there's a new strategy called 'Earning-to-Give' which is about finding ways to earn money to give to charity.
Working  on a Far-Future cause is both controversial and extremely complicated.  Earning-to-Give is also controversial and psychologically  terrifying. Neither make it easy to feel warm fuzzies because the  consequences are so distant. But knowing people will rationalize away  from Earning-to-Give and giving to Far-Future charities makes it even  more important that someone is picking up the slack. So I'm going to  suppress the excuses and start Earning-to-Give for the Far-Future. Find  out how and help me do by following this blog!
1398 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Andrew McKnight 1398 days ago
Andrew M E2G4FF Blog
[Editing Policy - Minor changes]
I wanted to start blogging specifically on Earning to Give for the Far Future (on e2g4ff.com, which I never bought) but it hasn't really been happening. Here are my attempted posts:
1398 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Andrew McKnight 1398 days ago
Andrew M Funnel Budgeting
Editing Policy - Minor changes
[An almost finished blog post that was supposed to be a set up for talking about E2G Strategies.]
Budgeting is important but annoying, so I have pictures! [Needs the picture. Should be a funnel with little spillover thingies on top.]
Imagine green glittery goo. If you have a steady income, you can imagine it flowing out of a hose or maybe sputtering out every 2 weeks. A personal  budget can be usefully split into three budgeting mechanisms, all of  which can be implemented with a special funnel. There are continuous  funding targets that do not change as your income changes, but need  constant replenishment. There are buffer funding targets that require  filling once and then never again unless they are used. Then there are  surplus funding targets that change as your income changes. Continuous  targets determine the nozzle size, Buffer targets determine the height  of the funnel, and Surplus targets determine the the spillover partition  sizes.
Now we can ask, where should I put a specific funding  target? Let's look at rent. If you don't plan on moving, your rent  budget doesn't need to change as your income changes. If you make more,  that extra money will go elsewhere. If you make less, you'll still have  to pay rent, and so money will need to be taken from elsewhere. This  makes it a good Continuous funding target.
What about travel? One  scheme would be to give yourself a fixed yearly travel budget, but most  people seem to travel using their spare money as well. You could imagine  making it part of the Continuous funds or the Surplus funds. You need  to get the goo from somewhere so to fund your traveling you'd either  widen the nozzle or create a spillover partition.
Does it make  sense to both widen the nozzle and create a partition? This would mean  you fund travel at a fixed rate and also a dynamic rate as a fraction of  your surplus. Most people seem to treat travel this way, implicitly,  and of course you can fund anything any way you want to, but I think the  power of the Funnel model shines through here. You should never have a  nozzle and spillover partition feeding into the same target. Thinking  you need both is a sign that you're conflating two targets. With travel  you might think you need to go on vacation whether you're rich or poor  to avoid burnout, but you also think that your spare money should go to  further travel. In this case it means you should think in terms of two  targets, a fixed Travel Sanity Budget and a dynamic Earned Travel  Budget.
Let's look at savings. Of course, there are many saving  purposes so we can expect to treat each differently. Many people live  paycheck to paycheck, but most people agree you should have enough to  cover K months (4-8?) without a job. This kind of savings is best  modeled as a Buffer fund and so is equivalent to the Funnel height. If  we want 6 months of Buffer savings, this means we need a tall enough  funnel so that even after our incoming goo-flow stops, there will be  enough goo inside to drain for 6 months without running out.

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