Comment author: weeatquince  (EA Profile) 08 August 2018 11:17:18AM 5 points [-]

Marek, well done on all of your hard work on this.

Separate from the managed funds. I really like the work that CEA is doing to help money be moved around the world to other EA charities. I would love to see more organisations on the list of places that donations can be made through the EA Funds platform. Eg, REG or Animal Charity Evaluators or Rethink Charity. Is this in the works?

Comment author: MarekDuda 08 August 2018 02:34:55PM 3 points [-]

Thanks Sam!

Yes, it is. We are currently focussing on operational robustness, but after that we see no reason not to expand the offering to cover most of the organisations EAs give to.

Comment author: MvdSteeg 08 August 2018 09:55:50AM 0 points [-]

Thanks for the update!

I'm glad to see the fund balance is up to date now. One piece of the puzzle that does still seem to be missing to me is an indication of how much money the fund managers expect to be able to allocate effectively, as without this the fund balance can only be interpreted relative to past balances and past grants.

I was also curious if there are any plans to register as a non-profit in other countries than the US and the UK. Looking at the registration process for the Netherlands this doesn't seem like a lot of work, and would increase effectiveness of Dutch donations by up to 80% (if I got the math right). Are there some obstacles here that I fail to see which prevent CEA/EA Funds from applying in other countries? Even if you had only a handful of donors per country it seems worthwhile.

Comment author: MarekDuda 08 August 2018 02:31:11PM 1 point [-]

By your first question do you mean whether there is a $ amount ceiling after which the fund managers expect the marginal effectiveness of further grants to drop off? I think if this was the case, the managers would have a good reason to wait to grant until more effective options appear again.

On your second point, we would want to have the platform a little more stable operationally before adding further jurisdictions, as this would increase the complexity non trivially. Nevertheless we do hope to be able to register elsewhere in due time and the Netherlands would likely be our first target.


EA Funds - An update from CEA

CEA sees the EA Funds platform  as a key piece of community infrastructure, not only for the convenience offered to donors who wish to give to one of the four managed Funds, but also for its ability to take tax deductible donations in the UK and US (the countries where the... Read More
Comment author: Jon_Behar 01 August 2018 01:43:18PM 5 points [-]

Nick says these latest grants "disburse all the EA Funds under my management." However, the grant amounts are ~10-15% less than the available cash the funds were reported as holding at the end of March, and the funds have presumably raised more money since then. Can Nick or someone from CEA please clarify?

Comment author: MarekDuda 02 August 2018 05:18:40PM 7 points [-]

Hi Jon, yes this is due to the numbers reported in March including the accounts payable - money not yet held in cash but expected to come in. We later realised that some of the transactions we were expecting to come in were not real donations, but rather several people making large 'testing' donations which then did not get paid. We have resolved these issues, and will be reporting Fund balances in cash terms going forward, however it did mean that the March numbers ended up being inflated.

We will be publishing a post in the coming weeks going into detail on the work we have been doing in the back end of Funds and releasing an update to the site which automatically pulls the Fund balances from our accounting system.

Comment author: MarkusAnderljung 01 August 2018 09:51:52AM 2 points [-]

There are links missing from the EA Community Fund post to the OpenPhil writeups on 80k and CEA.

Comment author: MarekDuda 02 August 2018 09:20:31AM 1 point [-]

Fixed. Thanks, Markus!

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 24 July 2018 11:03:43PM 6 points [-]

Hey Nick,

I'm excited to hear you've made a bunch of grants. Do you know when they'll be publicly announced?

Comment author: MarekDuda 25 July 2018 03:58:32PM 6 points [-]

Hi Peter, should be in the next few days, we're just finalising the details on CEA side.

Comment author: RandomEA 19 July 2018 01:36:51PM 3 points [-]

The post says that no user has more than 1,000 karma. But Peter_Hurford has more than 8,000 karma. I'm bringing this up not to quibble but rather because I'm wondering whether the threshold was meant to be set differently or perhaps users will lose some fraction of their karma during the switch.

Also, for link posts, I think it might be a good idea to require cross-posting the summary or an excerpt.

Comment author: MarekDuda 19 July 2018 01:48:03PM *  3 points [-]

Yes, that is a little ambiguous. It is trying to say that no user is at the 3-point level (if you have 25,000 karma or more). Currently no user is above the 2-point level for regular up/downvote and 8-point for the strong up/downvote. We have no plans to adjust the karma in the switch.

Re link posts, that does seem like a good idea. We will be publishing a much more detailed 'Proposed Moderation Standards' post closer to launch.

[edited for clarity]


EA Forum 2.0 Initial Announcement

At the request of Ryan Carey, who set up the EA Forum, CEA took over its running last year, as announced in this post . Here we give an update on what we plan to do with it. These are our initial thoughts - we’d welcome feedback on how they... Read More
In response to Open Thread #40
Comment author: remmelt  (EA Profile) 08 July 2018 08:24:24PM *  18 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: MarekDuda 11 July 2018 03:08:14PM 5 points [-]

As Julia mentions below, over the last few months we have been been putting a lot of thought into how to improve the Forum ahead of its re-launch later this year. The ‘sub-forum model’ was what we also arrived at as a desirable potential vision.

Due to hoping to relaunch the Forum in a relatively short timeframe, and the availability of the LW2 codebase for us to work with, our initial goal is to release a direct clone of LW2 rebranded for use as the EA Forum 2.0. The LW2 format already addresses some of the issues and feedback we have had about the current functionality. However, over the medium term (after we release the new version in the next few months) we expect to do further work on implementing various functionality improvements, including investigating the viability of a sub-forum model.

We will be publishing an official announcement regarding the EA Forum relaunch in the next few days, and I would hope we could use the comments section there to serve as the main schelling point for user feedback and ideas on what we should focus on after the initial release.

Comment author: MarekDuda 04 April 2018 06:42:02PM 20 points [-]

Hello, speaking in my capacity as the person responsible for EA Funds at CEA:

Many of the things Henry points out seem valid, and we are working on addressing these and improving the Funds in a number ways. We are building a Funds ‘dashboard’ to show balances in near real time, looking into the best ways of not holding the balances in cash, and thinking about other ways to get more value out of the platform.

We expect to publish a post with more detail on our approach in the next couple of weeks. Feel free to reach out to me personally if you wish to discuss or provide input on the process.

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