Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 15 September 2018 05:55:39PM *  1 point [-]

If you look at these graphs ending in January 2017 I think you'll agree that a polynomial of degree 3 (cubic) seems like the best fit: .

If that's right we would expect something like 5,000 members by now.

It occurs to me now that all of these trend-lines are a bit biased towards forecasting rapid growth, as they finish right at the end of the 2016 holiday campaign which absorbed substantial resources. This was the highest period of growth, and likely not sustainable. It might be more reasonable to put the end-date in ~April and then we can fit the trend-line to a less cyclical curve.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 17 September 2018 03:48:56AM 1 point [-]

Luckily we have metrics that can evaluate goodness of fit and don't have to rely on our eyeballs. :)

More seriously, thanks a bunch for putting this together. I want to revisit the original growth metrics post sometime in January 2019 (I think Jan-Dec metrics are better than Aug-Jul metrics) and I'll definitely include this post.

In response to Open Thread #41
Comment author: jai 04 September 2018 03:27:52AM 9 points [-]

I've been asked to post "500 Million But Not a Single One More" on the EA Forum so that it's easier to include in a sequence of EA-related content. I need 5 karma to post - and the most straightforward way to get that seems like straight-up begging.

Just so this comment isn't entirely devoid of content: This Week In Polio is a great way to track humanity's (hopefully) final battles against Polio and one of my go-to pages when I'm looking to feel good about my species.

In response to comment by jai on Open Thread #41
Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 04 September 2018 08:09:33AM 1 point [-]

You made it!

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 29 August 2018 04:02:23AM 2 points [-]

Thanks for sharing these reflections. I really appreciate them and it's exciting to see all this progress. I think some additional context about what the Human Level AI multi-conference is would be helpful. It sounds like it was a mix of non-EA and EA AI researchers meeting together?

Comment author: riceissa  (EA Profile) 25 August 2018 02:07:44AM *  3 points [-]

So far almost all DLW work by me has been contract work paid by Vipul, and my guess is it will stay like this for the foreseeable future. We have not sought other sources of funding, but are interested in receiving funding (for my ongoing work).

As mentioned in the post, the intended audience is something like "people who think about effective giving, flow of money in the non-profit world, real-world decision making, and similar topics". To give some examples:

  • Ryan Carey has a GitHub repository with data analysis of Open Phil's grants data. (Last updated 2018-02-11.)
  • Here is another example, but part of a closed Facebook group so I won't describe it. (Probably last updated around 2018-01-14.)
  • Michael Dickens wrote a post entitled "Where Some People Donated in 2017" recording where some EA and EA-peripheral people donated. (Last updated 2018-02-14.)
  • In June 2017, there was a Facebook event called "What's Up With the Open Philanthropy Project?" The event looked at some of Open Phil's work, compiling some documents about some of Open Phil's grants in the process. Looking at the timestamps, I think the Google Docs were created when the meetup began, and were filled in during the course of the meetup. (Last updated 2017-06-09.)

I think in all the above cases, either the current version of DLW or an improved version in the future performs a superset of the data collection/analysis, is continually updated, and provides a single location for all the data and analysis.

Vipul has also made comments (1, 2) and at least one post using in part data collected by DLW, to make observations or answer people's questions.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 27 August 2018 07:50:41PM 1 point [-]

I've found the service to be pretty valuable so far, though mainly for keeping track of OpenPhil. I have funded $645 of work on this (via Vipul to Issa) so far.

Comment author: Dunja 15 August 2018 08:30:45AM *  0 points [-]

Oh damn :-/ I was just gonna ask for the info (been traveling and could reply only now). That's really interesting, is this info published somewhere online? If not, it would maybe be worthwhile to make a post on this here and discuss both the reasons for the predominantly male community, as well as ideas for how to make it more gender-balanced.

I'd be very interested in possible relations between the lack of gender balance and the topic of representation discussed in another recent thread. For instance, it'd be interesting to see whether non-male EAs find the forum insufficiently focused on causes which they find more important, or largely focused on issues that they do not find as important.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 15 August 2018 05:27:28PM 1 point [-]

We haven't posted a gender breakdown by group yet. I can see if there may be ways to follow this up as part of our forthcoming 2018 EA Survey work.

In response to comment by joel on Open Thread #40
Comment author: joel 14 August 2018 04:24:34AM 1 point [-]

UPDATE: After scraping the initial post data, there are 200+ posts with 50 or more likes. (Obviously the group has gotten quite a bit more active over the past couple years!)

Not sure if there's a maximum length for a forum post, but regardless, this strikes me as probably too many "top posts" to feature. Would it be better to limit it to the top 50 posts? Top 100? Welcome any input on this.

In response to comment by joel on Open Thread #40
Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 14 August 2018 05:50:57AM 1 point [-]

Top 50 sounds good to me. Thanks for doing this.

Comment author: saulius  (EA Profile) 13 August 2018 11:24:40AM 1 point [-]

I'm not sure how to look into this more. Note that the 1.17 billion figure is from the U.S. Goverment report so that should be dependable, at least for the lower bound. I think some more information could be gained by going to a baitshop, looking around and asking some questions (how many fish average person buys, is the industry on the decline, etc.). I myself can not do that because I'm not in the U.S.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 13 August 2018 04:11:46PM 0 points [-]

One could potentially survey a representative fisherperson population?

Comment author: Khorton 11 August 2018 10:10:54PM 1 point [-]

I'm not sure where to find that - can you link to it or post an extract here?

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 13 August 2018 04:49:43AM 3 points [-]

As a baseline, the overall population of the survey was 73% male.

Of those who indicated they were members of the EA Forum, they were 79% male.

Of those who indicated they were member of a local group, they were 72% male.

Of those who indicated they were member of the EA Facebook Group, they were 72% male.

Of those who indicated they were member of GivingWhatWeCan, they were 76% male.

Of those who indicated they were a user of LessWrong, they were 85% male.

(For simplicity only, these responses drop people who don't indicate they are EA, don't answer either question (gender or membership), and don't pick either "Male" or "Female" as their gender. All answers are rounded to the nearest percent. Also, keep in mind the sampling bias of needing to have seen and filled out the survey in order to be counted - this may mean that we don't correctly reflect an unbiased census of the entire population as a whole.)

Comment author: Dunja 10 August 2018 08:24:21AM 1 point [-]

Thanks a lot for this post, that's really interesting and highly relevant. I'd be curious to see also the proportion of women in online forums such as this one. And of course, I'm super interested in possible reasons behind the tendencies you describe.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 11 August 2018 06:44:29PM 4 points [-]

I'd be curious to see also the proportion of women in online forums such as this one.

We have that in the EA Survey data.

Comment author: RandomEA 09 August 2018 04:32:59AM 2 points [-]

Two significant limitations are high rates of respondent attrition and the likely influence of social desirability bias and/or demand effects, as it was likely clear (post-workshop) which were the desired responses.

It seems to me one indication of social desirability bias and/or selective attrition is that there is a nearly half point shift in the average response to "I currently eat less meat than I used to for ethical reasons." On the other hand, it's possible students interpreted it as "I currently plan on eating less meat than I used to for ethical reasons."

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 09 August 2018 01:59:26PM *  1 point [-]

I wonder if it is possible to add a check for this in a future survey. Maybe ask them if they intentionally conserve their water usage to save the environment? There should be no reason for that to change from pre- to post- without a change in social desirability or attrition.

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