This morning, Reddit began this year's April Fools prank, r/place, where communities of Reddit users can collaboratively draw images in a 1000 x 1000 pixel space by placing 1 pixel every 5 minutes. This has been done once before, and resulted in this viral image which was seen by many people around the world.

Contributing to draw the EA logo seems like a relatively low-effort, high-reward way to promote EA! Of course, this is with the caveat that if you're doing other high-impact work right now, it might not be the best use of your time to sit around drawing pixels every 5 minutes. I for one am in a car on the way to EAGxBoston, so I'll be working on it.

I drafted up a template for drawing the effective altruism logo. My thought is that we can start in the bottom right and work up to the whole lightbulb, then do the text as a stretch goal. If anyone has suggestions for a better way to organize this, let me know! Feel free to spread the word to Discord servers etc. that might be interested.

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While the OP's effort didn't end up working, a much smaller alternate effort has been somewhat successful. The logo is at (1644,570) and coordination is at r/EffectiveAltruism.

Note that I don't actually believe this is a good use of our time; it is unlikely to result in any sort of outreach without text next to the logo, and not only does it seem unlikely that text will persist, but also the small size means it will likely get no play when the final r/Place image gets shared around online. Nevertheless, it seems like a number of EAs are interested in doing this, so I thought it might be relevant to post their success here.


EDIT: I crossed out the above because we had to relocate to (1906,587). However, we have successfully been able to put up the EA logo plus the url! I'm impressed by the effort that some of our redditors have.

While it may not exactly be the best use of any one person's time, and there was somewhat significant effort (by 2–3 redditors) put into negotiating with nearby subreddits, it appears that a discord channel of relatively few EAs has been successful at this communications project. Please check out the image live by clicking the coordinates above, or you can see a screenshot here.

The intention from here is to defend the text from trolls so that it makes it to the final canvas when the r/Place event ends.


EDIT 2: The EA logo+text is now located at (957,1772). We are stable in this new location, thanks to help from several surrounding communities. You can see what we look like by clicking the coordinates link.

The letters are being typed out next to the logo now with surprisingly little resistance! Holding on to it may be difficult, but we've already secured a spot on the timelapses that millions will see on youtube this way (though they will have to look at the right time in the right place of course)

I added a few pixels! I don't mind doing this, the cost is low, but it's really inefficient, especially since the envisioned image is often complete when I check, so there's often nothing to do. Also, like it's Saturday and I want to go outside.


I spent some time checking this out:

  • This event, r/Place, lasts 87 hours, ending April 4, 5pm GMT.
  • Right now, there is enough people actively maintaining the logo that it is possible some further "investment" seems justified. From a quick check, there's like 10-20 people doing this. So a quick guess is that amounts to 10 to 40 person-hours a day.

It's likely this activity can be scripted and produce dramatically more output. 

Like, there's a Python script that seems dodgy, but probably can be adapted. This uses multiple accounts. 

So if someone can put together some script, get just 5 Reddit accounts on it, we can have one computer doing the work of ~20-80 people, since the script's choices are "perfect" and work 24/7. This might take a few hours of one person's time to setup and coordinate.

Taking this farther, if you organize say 50 Reddit accounts, and set it up on appropriate computers, we can paint a much fuller logo, like the one the OP envisioned, or at least add the words "Effective Altruism".


This comment you are reading is definitely "someone else should do this" thought. I probably will go outside and do other stuff. I feel bad people are working on this for EA and tried to respect their intentions.

Meh, never mind. I get the feeling that unlike some Internet communities, most people in EA actually have important things to do. I spent a while placing pixels and got burnt out pretty quickly myself :)

Yeah I would love to do this too but I feel like we’d need to do it in collaboration with another subreddit/community, I was thinking r/neoliberal as they have quite a few EAs and do charity drives for malaria nets. Want to help me out and spread the word there?

We're making progress! Resources to join are in this forum post:

Current Progress:

[comment deleted]2y1