Comment author: Dale 10 August 2018 10:59:48PM *  -3 points [-]

Interesting data!

Sounds like churn is much lower with men. Unless it is much more expensive (in terms of advertising etc.) to get new men, which looking at the '1+' row doesn't seem to be the case, or women are more productive, this suggests you have a higher Customer-Lifetime-Value / Customer-Acquisition-Cost ratio with men. If this is the case then, to the extent you can, you should re-allocate your efforts at the relevant margin towards attracting more men.

Comment author: DavidNash 10 August 2018 11:33:17PM 3 points [-]

It may be a bit short sighted to try and grow in a way that leads to 0.1% of people being interested in effective altruism rather than 5%.

It seems to be a mistake that both the atheist and skeptic communities have made in the past.

Comment author: DavidNash 10 August 2018 08:27:44PM 3 points [-]

There is also some data from Facebook groups that might add context.

On the EA London group with 1797 members the split is 43.8% women and 54.7% men.

For the London animal group with 495 members the split is 50.6% women and 46.9% men.

Comment author: evemccormick 09 August 2018 05:02:38PM 9 points [-]

Hey, thanks for this :)

EA Cambridge (UK) has been tracking gender ratios at events for several years now, and we have fairly complete data for the last year. As far as I know, this hasn't yet been written up or shared in any formal way, but that is something I would like to do in the near future.

On the topic of pub socials, I don't find the gender bias surprising. The pub socials which we started running this year, aimed at non-students and postgrads, were almost always heavily male-dominated. Other types of pub social that we've run, targetted at newcomers, people somewhat engaged, and people deeply engaged in the community respectively, have similarly been male-dominated. At least two women, despite being deeply involved in the EA Cambridge community, have mentioned to me that they do not feel comfortable at pub socials. So while I think there are probably several reasons why fewer women attend socials in general (e.g. to do with women often feeling less comfortable in situations where they're expected to talk on a topic, especially when they're new), pub environments might compound the problem.

Very much looking forward to reading the results of your research about what motivates men and women to attend events :)

Comment author: DavidNash 09 August 2018 07:03:06PM 10 points [-]

Looking at other social events not at pubs the ratio has been similar, ranging from picnics, hikes, Disney movies, restaurants, education/animal focused topics.

In response to Open Thread #40
Comment author: Jared_Winslow 30 July 2018 11:41:48PM 3 points [-]

Hello everyone! I'm new to the EA Forum and it'd be great if I could get some karma so I can start contributing more. :)

This next fall I am running a university EA group. Is there anyone who has run an EA group that has any advice for me other than the basic information on EA Hub? What types of events were the most fun? What types of events were the most effective in gaining members or discussing issues?

Comment author: DavidNash 31 July 2018 11:15:20AM 2 points [-]

Hey Jared, you may get more of a response in the group organisers group.

In response to Open Thread #40
Comment author: RandomEA 12 July 2018 04:03:49PM 4 points [-]

Should EAs work on reducing food waste?

According to USDA statistics, a significant percent of food purchased by consumers goes uneaten (15% of chicken, 35% of turkey, 20% of beef, 29% of pork, and 23% of the edible portion of eggs). If consumers wasted less food, they would purchase less meat/eggs/dairy, which would lead to fewer animals suffering on factory farms.

One factor that could be driving food waste is confusing date labeling. For example, an egg container may have a 'Sell By' date meant to help retailers manage their inventory, but a consumer who sees the label and date some time after purchasing might throw the eggs away thinking they are no longer safe to eat. One possible solution is a federal labeling law that limits producers to listing the freshness date and the expiration date (and requires them to use specific easy to understand phrases when listing either). However, there are several reasons that working towards such a law may be a bad use of resources. First, legal change may be unnecessary as it appears the food industry may voluntarily adopt such a system. Second, it's unclear how much labeling reform reduces food waste (I was unable to find any studies in my brief search). Third, it may be that the primary benefits of reducing animal product consumption are the long term effects, in which case reductions in consumption driven by factors other than concern for animals may be much less impactful. Of course, there may also be other ways to reduce food waste (to which the first two concerns would not apply).

In response to comment by RandomEA on Open Thread #40
Comment author: DavidNash 13 July 2018 09:10:54AM *  0 points [-]

I think there was some data that showed the majority of waste happened before a product got to a supermarket, and that switching to plant based/clean meat would be more efficient than cutting waste between shop and bin.

On page 37 of this report it says, for poultry, 11% of feed energy gets converted into human food.

If 15% of the 11% gets wasted that seems less of priority than the original 89% that is lost, although maybe it would be a more tractable and neglected area to work on.

In response to Open Thread #39
Comment author: danbakke 26 June 2018 02:28:47AM 0 points [-]

Hey, everyone! What do you think about ocean plastics in terms of tractable, impactful, and neglected solutions?

I am a plastics manufacturing engineer with EA on the brain. Here are the assumptions I've found based on my research so far:

We dump lots of plastic into our oceans, it destabilizes economies in some places and also poisons food/water supplies, i.e. high cost to humanity. Consumers are interested in buying products with post-consumer recycled content for a small price difference because they know that it reduces plastic that would otherwise go into the ocean. Brands are interested in creating these products to pique consumer interest. Manufacturers are interested in making these products but are limited by technology in terms of how much recycled content can be added. Our current recycling technology is not as advanced or capable as it could be. Steering technology can be an efficient path for Effective Altruism under some circumstances. If I can work for a business, start a business, or conduct research for an organization that improves recycling technology, I can benefit humanity in a highly leveraged way (i.e. assist in diverting millions or tens of millions of pounds of plastic from the ocean each year).

Question 1: is there anything philosophically or economically wrong with my assumptions? check them please! Question 2: is there something else I can work on that would be better? Question 3: is there a different place I should ask these questions? Question 4: can anyone point me to a contact who is knowledgeable about any of these topics? Question 5: is there anyone else who is working on ocean plastic, especially in a scaleable way?

Thanks for the help.


In response to comment by danbakke on Open Thread #39
Comment author: DavidNash 06 July 2018 09:48:33AM 0 points [-]

You may get more of a response here.

In response to Open Thread #39
Comment author: jelsen 23 May 2018 03:52:13AM 0 points [-]

Greetings Do-gooders,

I'm wondering if this is an appropriate place to ask for college advice. I read Doing Good Better and 80000 hours, and am interested in joining the movement but haven't finished college. I have an associate's degree (from a community college) but I'm having a hard time deciding on a major/school.

I struggle with math and am unsure I'd be able to complete a math-intensive major. 80000 hours advises alternatively majoring in a liberal art or business. I'm trying to decide between studying a liberal art (e.g. political science) at my state's flagship school or business/accounting at a less-selective school (I couldn't get into flagship business school, but I could study business/accounting as an "individualized major" outside their business program (with some classes in the business school), there's also a marketing major and economics major outside the business school).

Any advice anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

In response to comment by jelsen on Open Thread #39
Comment author: DavidNash 23 May 2018 08:21:54AM 0 points [-]

The FB group on career discussions might be a good place to ask - with more people paying attention to it.

Comment author: beah 18 May 2018 01:34:52AM 1 point [-]

[I hope it's not bad form to comment on a post from 2016 -- here it goes!]

Michael -- I'm a newcomer to EA. I find it very compelling but I've been troubled by the assumption that saving (or even generating) current (and future) lives is more valuable than improving existing lives. So I was excited to stumble upon your work. It has given me some intellectual basis for what was previously mostly intuition. What I have not been able to find is this: for someone who more or less shares your priorities / worldview, what should we be doing with our time and money? Can you point me to any resources on this? I imagine they exist but I'm having trouble finding them. The EA community has done an amazing job of evangelizing its favorite causes in a really accessible way (GiveWell etc); is anyone doing the same for causes that rank highly for those with alternative flavors?

Comment author: DavidNash 18 May 2018 10:35:58AM *  2 points [-]
In response to Open Thread #39
Comment author: some_arts_student 14 January 2018 07:18:13AM *  0 points [-]

Is there any forum online where individuals can put their personal circumstances/choices/options up for discussion? Kind of like the 80 000 Hours coaching service, but since they don't have the resources to advise everyone, more of a crowd-sourced effort where someone could say "I'm in this situation, considering X, Y or Z, can anyone provide opinions/experiences/perspectives/alternatives I may not have thought of?"

I was kind of hoping this forum would be like that, but it seems like it's more academic - and the posts are very interesting and high-quality, so I wouldn't want to see it spammed up with thousands of personal questions. But is there anywhere else on the internet where people can ask this stuff? I have literally been asking careers counsellors since high school how I can make an impact on the world, and they havenĀ“t necessarily had the best info.

Comment author: DavidNash 23 April 2018 02:59:25PM 0 points [-]
In response to Open Thread #39
Comment author: LivBoeree 23 April 2018 12:41:10PM 6 points [-]

Hi all, Liv here (REG co-founder). I've just joined the forum for the first time and don't have enough karma to post in the main thread yet, but hopefully someone very well-versed in climate change intervention rankings will see this:

I'm looking for feedback on the following prioritisation list

This list is being referenced by a potentially very high impact and well-intentioned individual I'm in conversation with, but it IMO it contains a number of surprises and omissions. Does anyone have a more EA-vetted ranking of interventions they could direct me to? Feel free to PM me, thanks.

In response to comment by LivBoeree on Open Thread #39
Comment author: DavidNash 23 April 2018 02:55:35PM 1 point [-]

Could also post to the effective environmentalism group on FB as well.

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