Luke Muehlhauser’s blog

Reflections on Our 2018 Generalist Research Analyst Recruiting

In February 2018, Open Philanthropy announced new openings for “generalist” Research Analyst (RA) roles, and we have since hired 5 applicants from that hiring round. This was one of our top priorities for 2018.

In this post I summarize our process and some lessons learned. I am hoping that in addition to our general audience, this post might be useful to others looking to hire a similar talent profile, and to potential future generalist RA applicants to Open Philanthropy.

Supporting a New Technology Security Policy Think Tank

Today, Georgetown University announced our support for the launch of a new think tank dedicated to policy analysis at the intersection of national and international security and emerging technologies. The Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) is led by Jason Matheny, former Assistant Director of National Intelligence and Director of Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the U.S. intelligence community’s research organization.

Read our full grant page here.

New web app for calibration training

In October 2016, we wrote:

we are contracting [a developer] to build a simple online application for credence calibration training: training the user to accurately determine how confident they should be in an opinion, and to express this confidence in a consistent and quantified way.

That online application is now available:

Play “Calibrate Your Judgment”

Note that you must sign in with a GuidedTrack, Facebook, or Google account, so that the application can track your performance over time.

We expect many users will find this program to be the most useful free online calibration training currently available.

History of Philanthropy Case Study: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and State EITC Programs

Suzanne Kahn, a consultant who has been working with us as part of our History of Philanthropy project, recently finished a case study on the role of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in state-level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) programs. This report is a follow-up to her earlier report on CBPP’s founding and early growth, and investigates CBPP’s claim that CBPP “created the concept of state EITCs and… developed state issue campaigns to secure their adoption. Before we started this work, no state had its own EITC; today, 26 do.”

The report finds that:

New Report on Consciousness and Moral Patienthood

As we’ve written previously, we aim to extend empathy to every being that warrants moral concern, including animals. And while many experts, government agencies, and advocacy groups agree that some animals live lives worthy of moral concern, there seems to be little agreement on which animals warrant moral concern. Hence, to inform our long-term giving strategy, I’ve prepared a new report on the following question: “In general, which types of beings merit moral concern?” Or, to phrase the question as some philosophers do, “Which beings are moral patients?”

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