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Thursday, January 9th 2020
Thu, Jan 9th 2020

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23Pablo_Stafforini13d I don't know if there is a designated place to leave comments about the EA Forum, so for the time being I'm posting them here. I think the current homepage [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/] has a number of problems: * The 'Community Favorites' section keeps listing the same posts over and over again. I don't see the point of having a prominent list of favorite posts in the home page that changes so little. I suggest expanding the list considerably so that regular visitors can still expect to see novel posts every time they visit the homepage. * [Note: in light of Oli's comment [https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/HfSfZ2ekXaryadBrB/pablo_stafforini-s-shortform#JwhC4dJGvAaiz2ZSB] below, I'm retracting this bullet point.] The 'Latest Posts' section sorts posts neither by karma nor by date; rather, it seems to rely on a hybrid sorting algorithm. I don't think this is useful: as someone who checks the home page regularly, I want to be able to easily see what the latest posts are, so that when I go down the list and eventually come across a post I have already seen, I can conclude that I have seen all posts after it as well. With the current sorting algorithm, there's no way for me to insure that my browsing session has exhausted all the posts seen since the previous session. * I find it hard to understand the meaning of the 'Community' category. The description says that it consists of "posts with topical content or which relate to the EA community itself". But that description also draws a contrast to "Frontpage posts, which are selected by moderators as especially interesting or useful to people with interest in doing good effectively." This contrast suggests that 'community' posts are simply posts that haven't been curated, as opposed to posts with a focus on the EA community. In other words, there are two separate distinctions here: that between curated vs. non-curated posts, and that betw
3EdoArad13d I think that some causes may have increasing marginal utility. Specifically, I think that it may be true in some types of research that are expected to generate insights about it's own domain. Testing another idea for a cancer treatment is probably of decreasing marginal utility (because the low hanging fruits are being picked up), but basic research in genetics may be of increasing marginal utility (because even if others may work on the best approaches, you could still improve their productivity by giving them further insights). This is not true if the progress in a field relies on progressing along a single "dimension" (say, a specific research direction that everyone attempts), or if researchers in that field can easily and productively change their projects and expertise. It is true if there are multiple dimensions available, and progress along a different dimension wields insight for others to use.