saulius's Shortform

by saulius13th Aug 201911 comments
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I sometimes meet people who claim to be vegetarians (don't eat meat but consume milk and eggs) out of the desire to help the animals. If appropriate, I show them the website and explain that the production of eggs likely requires more suffering per calorie than most of the commonly consumed meat products. Hence, if they care about animals, avoiding eggs should be a priority. If they say that this is too many food products to give up, I suggest that perhaps instead of eating eggs, they could occasionally consume some beef (although that is bad for the environment). I think that the production of beef requires less suffering per calorie, even though I'm unsure how to compare suffering between different animals. In general, I'm skeptical about dietary change advocacy, but my intuition is that talking about this with vegetarians in situations where it feels appropriate is worth the effort. But I'm uncertain and either way, I don't think this is very important.

A tip for writing EA forum posts with footnotes First press on your nickname in the top right corner, go to Edit Settings and make sure that a checkbox Activate Markdown Editor is checked. Then write a post in Google docs and then use Google Docs to Markdown add-on to convert it to markdown. If you then paste the resulting markdown into the EA forum editor and save it, you will see your text with footnotes. It might also have some unnecessary text that you should delete.

Tables and images If you have images in your posts, you have to upload them somewhere on the internet (e.g. and write a code like ![imageName]( "imageName") in your markdown. Of course, the image address should be changed to your image. Currently, the only way to add tables is to make a screenshot of a table and add an image of it.

As I understand it, there will be a new EA forum editor some time soon and all this will not be needed anymore but for now this is how I make my EA forum posts.

If you have images in your posts, you have to upload them somewhere on the internet (e.g.

If you've put the images in a google doc, and made the doc public, then you've already uploaded the images to the internet, and can link to them there. If you use the WYSIWYG editor, you can even copypaste the images along with the text.

I'm not sure whether I should expect google or imgur to preserve their image-links for longer.

Thanks for the gdocs to markdown tip. I didn't know I could do that, but it'll make writing posts for LW and EAF more convenient!

What's the syntax for footnotes?

Main text[^1]


This displays as:

Main text[1]

  1. footnote ↩︎

You can also write "in-line" footnotes: See this guide to footnote syntax.

There was an interesting discussion on whether EA organizations should reveal the authors of posts they publish here. You may want to check it out if this is relevant to you (not just the linked comment, but also the replies.)

If I were to read one of EA-related books (e.g. Doing Good Better, The Most Good You Can Do, The Life You Can Save, The Precipice, Superintelligence, etc.), I would consider writing/improving a summary of the book in wikipedia while reading it, in a way that conveys main points well. It could help you to digest the book better and help others to understand the ideas a bit. You could do it in english as well as maybe in some other language. To see whether it’s worth putting in the effort, you can check out Wikipedia pageview statistics of the books I mentioned and others here (it doesn’t include some views that come from redirects though). It seems that the page Superintelligence is the most viewed one out of these with an average of 4,597 monthly visitors.