Comment author: obtainer_of_goods 20 July 2018 02:29:59PM 1 point [-]

This is my first comment, but I'm currently writing and hoping to post some detailed reports later. Are there any restrictions on new users posting? I haven't tried posting yet, so I'm not aware if there are currently any restrictions in place but will there be new restrictions on new users in the future other than the karma system?

Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 20 July 2018 03:16:16PM 2 points [-]

Currently I believe we have a threshold of 14 karma to post. If you have a post you'd like to submit before you've reached that level, you can write to the moderators at and we'll review the post and give you posting ability if approved.

Good question about whether this will be the same in the new system - we'll make a decision about that, but the default is to keep the threshold similar.

In response to Open Thread #40
Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 08 July 2018 08:24:24PM *  17 points [-]

The EA Forum Needs More Sub-Forums

EDIT: please go to the recent announcement post on the new EA Forum to comment

The traditional discussion forum has sub-forums and sub-sub-forums where people in communities can discuss areas that they’re particularly interested in. The EA Forum doesn’t have these and this make it hard to filter for what you’re looking for.

On Facebook on the other hand, there are hundreds of groups based around different cause areas, local groups and organisations, and subpopulations. Here it’s also hard to start rigorous discussions around certain topics because many groups are inactive and moderated poorly.

Then there are lots of other small communication platforms launched by organisations that range in their accessibility, quality standards, and moderation. It all kind of works but it’s messy and hard to sort through.

It’s hard to start productive conversations on specialised niche topics with international people because

  • 1) Relevant people won’t find you easily within the mass of posts

  • 2) You’ll contribute to that mass and thus distract everyone else.

Perhaps this a reason why some posts on specific topics only get a few comments even though the quality of the insights and writing seems high.

Examples of posts that we’re missing out on now:

  • Local group organiser Kate tried X career workshop format X times and found that it underperformed other formats

  • Private donor Bob dug into the documents of start-up vaccination charity X and wants to share preliminary findings with other donors in the global poverty space

  • Machine learning student Jenna would like to ask some specific questions on how the deep reinforcement learning algorithm of AlphaGo functions

  • The leader of animal welfare advocacy org X would like to share some local engagement statistics on vegan flyering, 3D headset demos, before sending them off in a more polished form to ACE.

Interested in any other examples you have. :-)

What to do about it?

I don’t have any clear solutions in mind for this (perhaps this could be made a key focus in the transition to using the forum architecture of LessWrong 2.0). Just want to plant a flag here that given how much the community has grown vs. 3 years ago, people should start specialising more in the work they do, and that our current platforms are woefully behind for facilitating discussions around that.

It would be impossible for one forum to handle all this adequately and it seems useful for people to experiment with different interfaces, communication processes and guidelines. Nevertheless, our current state seems far from optimal. I think some people should consider tracking down and paying for additional thoughtful, capable web developers to adjust the forum to our changing needs.

UPDATE: After reading @John Maxwell IV's comments below, I've changed my mind from a naive 'we should overhaul the entire system' view to 'we should tinker with it in ways we expect would facilitate better interactions, and then see if they actually do' view.

In response to comment by remmelt  (EA Profile) on Open Thread #40
Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 10 July 2018 03:34:40PM 4 points [-]

CEA is thinking along these same lines for the new version of the Forum! The project manager is planning to reply with more detail in the next day or so.

Comment author: Jamie_Harris 01 July 2018 09:14:02AM 0 points [-]

Minor question, but when I tried downloading something from my internet browser blocked it and didn't give me any obvious options for allowing the download. I'm not exactly techy and so this sort of thing scares me - how confident are you that I can download things off the site without giving my laptop viruses etc?

If people use other sites to access free books I'd also be keen to know!

Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 05 July 2018 02:16:11PM 0 points [-]

I get ebooks and audiobooks through my library's online system. is the one our library uses, but check your library's site for which one is local to you.

Comment author: MichaelPlant 13 April 2018 11:04:39PM 1 point [-]

The economic impact of vegetarianism or veganism is only one factor in the decision of whether one should become a vegetarian or vegan, but an important one

I'm confused by this. If you genuinely think your purchase decisions will make no difference to what happens to animals, then you might as well go ahead and order the big bucket at KFC with a guiltless conscience.

Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 14 April 2018 11:43:52AM 8 points [-]

I took this to mean "even if you don't expect your choice to have economic impact, like your friend ordered the KFC bucket but doesn't want to finish it and asks if you'd like some, there are still other factors to consider like norm-setting and your own cognitive dissonance."

Comment author: RandomEA 04 April 2018 12:50:05PM *  0 points [-]

Whether this discount rate is accurate is another question – given the relative abundance of cash available to EA orgs (through OpenPhil and Good Ventures), a rate as high as this is surprising.

It's worth noting that Open Phil does not currently fund EA movement building organizations, so not all EA organizations have access to a large amount of money.

Edit: It turns out I'm wrong. See the reply to this comment.

Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 04 April 2018 01:15:30PM 10 points [-]

That post is from 2015 and I don't think it's currently accurate. For example, Open Phil has granted to CEA and CFAR since that time.

Comment author: arikr 24 March 2018 06:57:30PM 6 points [-]

Possible suggestion (for Julia): Posting the thread a day or two in advance will allow people to submit questions early (and vote on which questions they want to see answered), so that Holden's time can be maximized by giving him more questions to answer on Monday. So that he's not waiting on Mon, ready to answer questions but with no unanswered questions available.

(This only applies if you think that otherwise there might not be enough questions posted to fully utilize the 3 hours)

Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 29 March 2018 07:07:07AM 1 point [-]

Thanks! We'll consider that for the future.

Comment author: DonyChristie 08 January 2018 05:27:06AM 2 points [-]

For more speculative things, we want to put part of the money towards a project that a friend we know through the Effective Altruism movement is starting. In general I think this is a good way for people to get funding for early stage projects, presenting their case to people who know them and have a good sense of how to evaluate their plans.

What is the project (at the finest granularity of detail you are comfortable disclosing)?

Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 12 February 2018 04:13:47PM 1 point [-]

We didn't end up giving to this, as the project's founder happily got a grant from elsewhere.

The project is a coaching service for EAs that we see as a complement to 80k's work - ongoing sessions aimed at developing professional skills and productivity, rather than a single session aimed at choosing a career path as 80k does. It's currently in beta/word-of-mouth stage, but I expect the founder will do a public writeup at some point.

Comment author: callum_calvert 23 December 2017 06:27:32PM 2 points [-]

Thanks for writing this.

On EA Grants: Will you allow individuals to fund EA Grants in the future? This could either be letting individuals add to CEA's pot of funding for grants, publishing the rejected grants so that individuals can fund them independently or putting the applications on EA funds.

On EA Funds:

"Potential expansion of EA Funds on offer and investigation of different models for running and >using funds"

What types of funds and models might this investigation include?

Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 24 December 2017 03:38:45PM 0 points [-]

Just wanted to note that most of our staff are out of the office for the next few days, but will answer when they return!

In response to EA Forum FAQ
Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 08 November 2017 04:31:06PM 2 points [-]
In response to comment by adamaero  (EA Profile) on EA Forum FAQ
Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 14 November 2017 06:52:02PM 2 points [-]

Sorry it's not working for you! Does it not have a "comment" button that's clickable, or do you click it and nothing happens?

Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 14 November 2017 05:06:07PM 5 points [-]

This is a random idea: I wonder if the kosher market would be a good place for a plant-based meat company to get started. Since a plant-based meat would be pareve (neither meat nor dairy), it could be combined with dairy, which means customers who keep kosher might have particular interest in plant-based meat replacements.

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