From a 2 min brainstorm of “info products” I’d expect to be action guiding:
Metrics and dashboards reflecting the current state of the organization.
Vision statements (“what do we as an organization do and thus what things should we consider as part of our strategy”)
Market forces (e.g. price’s of goods)
One concrete example is from when I worked in a business intelligence role. What executives wanted was extremely trustworthy reliable data sources to track business performance over time. In a software environment (e.g. all the analytic companies constantly posting to Hacker News) that’s trivial, but in a non-software environment that’s very hard. It was very action-guiding to be able to see if your last initiative worked, because if it did you could put a lot more money into it and scale it up.
This seems true that there’s a lot of way to utilize forecasts. In general forecasting tends to have an implicit and unstated connection to the decision making process—I think that has to do w/ the nature of operationalization (“a forecast needs to be on a very specific thing”) and because much of the popular literature on forecasting has come from business literature (e.g. How to Measure Anything).
That being said I think action-guidingness is still the correct bar to meet for evaluating the effect it has on the EA community. I would bite the bullet and say blogs should also be held to this standard, as should research literature. An important question for an EA blog—say, LW :) - is what positive decisions it’s creating (yes there are many other good things about having a central hub, but if the quality of intellectual content is part of it that should be trackable).
If in aggregate many forecasts can produce the same type of guidance or better as many good blog posts, that would be really positive.
This is great, I also had struggled reading Moral Mazes and I appreciate the selected quotes.
For a more readable, modern treatment of the subject I strongly recommend Power: Why Some People Have It—And Others Don’t. The author draws heavily from Moral Mazes as well as other case studies.
Off the cuff:
Temperance movement in the United States
Much of the radical left movement from the 60s to the 70s (ex. Students for a Democratic Society → Weatherman)
Another useful line of inquiry might be factoring out what success for a social movement looks like, find social movements that “succeeded”, and see what happened to the social movements they were competing against.
+1 for noting mistake and for noting the importance of being bold, and asking questions and sharing models even when you’re uncertain.
Your use of the Epistemic status tag—which I think /u/gwern pioneered? - seems good for balancing the value of sharing models while preventing polluting the “idea space” with potentially misleading/untrue things.