Propose and vote on potential tags

by MichaelA1 min read4th Aug 2020139 comments


EA Forum (Meta)Community ToolsCommunity

(I have no association with the EA Forum team or CEA, and this idea comes with no official mandate. I'm open to suggestions of totally different ways of doing this.)

Update: Aaron here. This has our official mandate now, and I'm subscribed to the post so that I'll be notified of every comment. Please suggest tags!

The EA Forum now has tags, and users can now make tags themselves. I think this is really cool, and I've now made a bunch of tags. 

But I find it hard to decide whether some tag ideas are worth including, vs being too fine-grained or too similar to existing tags. I also feel some hesitation about taking too much unilateral action. I imagine some other forum users might feel the same way about tag ideas they have, some of which might be really good! (See also this thread.)

So I propose that this post becomes a thread where people can comment with a tag idea there's somewhat unsure about, and then other people can upvote it or downvote it based on whether they think it should indeed be its own tag. Details:

  • I am not saying you should always comment here before making a tag. I have neither the power nor the inclination to stop you just making tags you're fairly confident should exist!
  • I suggest having a low bar for commenting here, such as "this is just a thought that occurred to me" or "5% chance this tag should exist". It's often good to be open to raising all sorts of ideas when brainstorming, and apply most of the screening pressure after the ideas are raised.
    • The tag ideas I've commented about myself are all "just spitballing".
  • Feel free to also propose alternative tag labels, propose a rough tag description, note what other tags are related to this one, note what you see as the arguments for and against that tag, and/or list some posts that would be included in this tag. (But also feel free to simply suggest a tag label.)
  • Feel free to comment on other people's ideas to do any of the above things (propose alternative labels, etc.).
  • Make a separate comment for each tag idea.
  • Probably upvote or downvote just based on the tag idea itself; to address the extra ideas in the comment (e.g., the proposed description), leave a reply.
  • Maybe try not to hold back with the downvotes. People commenting here would do so specifically because they want other people's honest input, and they never claimed their tag idea was definitely good so the downvote isn't really disagreeing with them.

Also feel free to use this as a thread to discuss (and upvote or downvote suggestions regarding) existing tags that might not be worth having, or might be worth renaming or tweaking the scope of, or what-have-you. For example, I created the tag Political Polarisation, but I've also left a comment here about whether it should be changed or removed.


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Political Polarisation

I already made this tag, but maybe it should be removed.

Arguments against its existence: 

  • Not currently a very commonly discussed topic in EA
  • Arguably related to the tag Policy Change
  • Maybe there's some other tag that would do a better job covering this and related matters. Super rough ideas: Cultural Forces; Culture, Politics, & Norms; Institutions & Norms

Arguments for its existence:

  • Some EAs seem quite interested in this
  • Interest may be increasing: There were 3 posts on the topic just this year, which each got decent to large amounts of attention
  • There may also be a lot of interest in this on LessWrong? If so, this may ultimately spill over to more interest here?
  • My shortform collection of posts on the topic got 17 karma

I like Lists, so get me a List of Lists for my tag List.

There are a number of good posts that are basically lists of links to different articles (like this one). It would be nice to be able to easily access them.

6MichaelA8moI very much share this affection for lists. I think Collection and Resources [] might cover this? E.g., those reading lists from Richard Ngo have each been given that tag. Do you think there's still a gap for a List tag, or a way the description of the Collection and Resources tag should be adjusted?
6Larks8moAhh yes, that covers it. I looked through the list of tags to check if there was already something on there; I guess I missed that one.

Now vs Later, or Optimal Timing, or Optimal Timing for Altruists, or some other name.

This would be intended to capture posts relevant to the debate over "giving now vs later" and "patient vs urgent longtermism", as well as related debates like whether to do direct work now vs build career capital vs movement-build, and how much to give/work now vs later, and when to give/work if not now ("later" is a very large category!). 

This tag would overlap with Hinge of History, but seems meaningfully distinct from that.

Not sure what the best name would be. 

... (read more)
9JP Addison8moPatient Philanthropy seems like the general category. Not all of it will be about the debate as to whether it's right, but it seems like a tag that encompasses questions like, "given that I want to give later, how do I do that" seems good.
4MichaelA8moThanks for highlighting patient philanthropy as an option, and good point that it'd be good for this tag to not just be about the debate but also how to implement the patient approach. I've now made this tag, though with the name Patient Altruism []. I haven't heard that term used, but it makes sense to me as a generalisation of patient philanthropy to also account for how to use work, not just how to use donations. I've now also written a shortform post [] arguing for the term. One worry I have is that by saying Patient Altruism rather than Patient vs Urgent Altruism, this tag puts virtuous connotations on one side but not the other. But the version with "vs Urgent" is longer, it perhaps doesn't as naturally include posts about how to take the patient approach, and I've only heard the term "urgent longtermism", not "urgent philanthropy" (though I do suggest use of the terms "urgent philanthropy" and "urgent altruism" in that shortform post [] ).

When tags were introduced, the post said to "submit new tag ideas to us using this form." I made a bunch of suggestions (don't remember what they were) and probably some other people did too. Could someone who has access to results of that form paste all those suggestions here?

4MichaelA8moThat sounds like a great idea! I think ideally they’d be pasted as separate comments, so they can each be voted up or down separately. (Not saying you were suggesting otherwise.)

UPDATE: I've proposed the change to the tag.

Proposal: Change the EA Global tag to EA Conferences.

Since many of the tagged posts are relevant to EA Student Summit, EAGx's etc. and the description itself is conference posts. 

Markets for Altruism or Market Mechanisms for Altruism or Impact Certificates or Impact Purchases (or some other name)

Tentatively proposed description: 

The Markets for Altruism tag is for posts relevant to actual or potential market-like mechanisms for altruistic or charitable activities. An example would be certificates of impact

See also EA Funding.

The posts listed here would fit this tag. Some other posts tagged EA Funding might fit as well.

I'm unsure precisely what the ideal scope and name of this tag would be. 

2JP Addison5moI like it. Impact Certificates is more recognizable, but Markets for Altruism is more general. I think I agree with your favoring it.
2MichaelA5moCool, thanks for the input - given that, I've now made the tag, with the name Markets for Altruism :)

I've added a Meta-Science tag. I'd love for some help with clarifying the distinction between it and Scientific Progress.  

Generally, I imagine meta-science as being more focused on specific aspects of the academic ecosystem and scientific progress to be related more to the general properties of scientific advances. There is clearly an overlap there, but I'm not sure where exactly to set the boundaries. 

2vaidehi_agarwalla5moI think the overlap would be a if say, in the field of survey methodology, someone discovers a new way to measure bias in surveys - this would be a meta-science improvement but also scientific progress in the field of survey methodology

Would be good if tags always had descriptions/definitions of the things they're for.

4MichaelA7moAgreed. I think people creating tags should probably always add those descriptions/definitions. One thing I'd note is that anyone can add descriptions/definitions for tags, even if they didn't create them. This could be hard if you're not sure what the scope was meant to be, but if you think you know what the scope was meant to be, you could consider adding a description/definition yourself.

(Update: I've now made this tag.)


Arguments against

Arguments for:

  • I'd guess there are at least 5 relevant posts
    • Some posts with the above-mentioned tags might be relevant
  • I'd guess there'll be more relevant posts in future
  • I'd guess at least a few EA forum users would appreciate seeing a collection of posts on this

Update: I've now made this tag.

[Something about war, armed conflict, or great power conflict]

Arguments against:

Arguments for:

  • Arguably a very important subset of International Relations, which might warrant a tag of its own.
  • Arguably not entirely a subset of International Relations, as things like civil/intrastate armed conflicts could also be important. (But maybe any EA Forum post that covers that would in practice also cover other Internatio
... (read more)

What do you think about a tag for posts that include Elicit predictions? I'd like to see all posts that include them and it might be a tiny further reminder to use them more.

4MichaelA3moThis seems plausibly useful to me. Obviously it’d overlap a lot with the Forecasting tag. But if it’s the case that several posts include Elicit forecasts but most posts tagged Forecasting don’t include Elicit forecasts, then I imagine a separate tag for Elicit forecasts could be useful. (Basically, what I’m thinking about is whether there would be cases in which it’d be useful for someone to find / be sent a collection of links to just posts with Elicit forecasts, with the Forecasting tag not covering their needs well.) But maybe a better option would be to mirror LessWrong in having a tag for posts about forecasting and another tag for posts that include actual forecasts (see here [])? (Or maybe the latter tag should only include posts that quite prominently include forecasts, rather than just including them in passing here and there.) Because maybe people would also want to see posts with Metaculus forecasts in them, or forecasts from Good Judgement Inc, or just forecasts from individual EAs but not using those platforms. And I’d guess it’d make more sense to have one tag where all of these things can be found than to try to have a separate tag for each. (That’s just my quick thoughts in a tired state, though.) It could also be handy to have a tag for posts relevant to “Ought / Elicit” - I think it’d probably be good to bundle them together but note Elicit explicitly - similarly to how there’s now tags for posts relevant to each of a few other orgs (e.g. Rethink Priorities, FHI, GPI, QURI). So maybe the combination of a tag for posts that contain actual forecasts and a tag for Ought / Elicit would serve the role a tag for posts containing Elicit forecasts would?

I think it wouldbe useful to be able to see all the posts from a particular organisation all at once on the forum. For the most part, individuals from those organisations post, rather than a single organisation account it can be difficult to see e.g. all of Rethink Priorities' research on a given topic

Curious to hear if people think it's better to have tags or sequences for group these posts?

2vaidehi_agarwalla3moNew issue: How do we deal with name changes ? (E.g. EAF became CLR, .impact became rethink charity) I think it's nice to have a single tag (the new name) for continuity but sometimes an org had a different focus or projects associated with the old name. Maybe it's enough to mention in the tag description "previously called X"?
2MichaelA5moUpdate: I've now made tags for Rethink Priorities, Future of Humanity Institute, and Global Priorities Institute. I believe I've tagged all RP posts. I wasn't very thorough in tagging FHI or GPI posts. Other people can tag additional FHI and GPI posts, and/or add tags for other orgs.
2MichaelA6moI think something like this would be a good idea :) Some thoughts: * One downside could be that we might end up with quite a few of these tags, which then clutter up the tags page. * Maybe it'd be best if the Forum team can set it up so there's a separate, collapsable part of the tags page just for all the organisation tags? * That might also make it easier for someone who's looking for org tags in general (without knowing what specific orgs might have tags) to find them. * Most EA organisations probably already have pages on their site where you can find all/most their research outputs. E.g., Rethink Priorities' publications page []. * But one thing tags allows you to do is (from the home page of the forum) filter by multiple tags at once. So you could e.g. filter by both the Rethink Priorities tag and the Wild Animal Welfare tag, to find all of Rethink's posts related to that topic. * That said, I've never actually used the approach of filtering by multiple tags myself. * And the lists of publications on an org's site may often be organised by broad topic area anyway. Though this could still be useful if you want to see if an org wrote something related to a concept/topic they probably wouldn't organise their pages by (perhaps because it's cross-cutting, slightly obscure, or wasn't the main focus of the post) - e.g., if you want to see whether Rethink has written anything related to patient altruism []. * I think tags might be better than sequences for this purpose. One reason is the above-mentioned benefit of allowing for filtering by both org and some tag. Another reason is that these posts usually won't really be sequences in the usual sense - it won't be the case that the order of publication is the most natural or
2vaidehi_agarwalla5moI agree that tags seem better than sequences. I think rather than specific tags, it may be better to just have them regular tags. This would solve the issue about which organisations get org tags. I think it's okay for people to tag their own early stage projects or orgs even if they aren't very big (I'm biased here as I have some projects which I would like to be able to link people to). I don't think there's a lot of risk - having a tag doesn't mean your project is endorsed by EA or anything, it's just a organisational tool. I think this is probably the best strategy! Also congrats on starting at Rethink :)
0JP Addison6moA possibility would be to add the organization as a coauthor for all official posts.

I'm surprised that "cost-effectiveness evaluation" doesn't exist yet.

Some others that it's weird enough that they don't exist yet: "meta-charities", "advocacy", "pandemic preparedness".

A couple of tags that would apply to all of my posts: "aging research", "scientific research".

6JP Addison7moI'd be in favor of all of those tags, except "pandemic preparedness" which I currently think is too overlapping with "Biosecurity".
3MichaelA7moI'd say "scientific research" is probably covered by Scientific Progress [], Research Methods [], and tags about specific areas scientific research can be done in?
3MichaelA7moI think I'm in favour of a Cost-Effectiveness Evaluation tag. (Or maybe Cost-Effectiveness Analysis? I think that's the more common term?) That seems similar to Impact Assessment (a tag I made last month), so some of my thoughts on that tag [] might also be relevant. But I think Cost-Effectiveness Analysis is probably different enough from existing tags to be worth having.

EA vs Non-EA Orgs

Proposed tag description:

The EA vs Non-EA Orgs tag is for posts that include arguments for or against pursuing jobs at organisations that explicitly identify with the "effective altruism" label, relative to jobs at other organisations. The tag is also for posts that include discussion of whether and why members of the EA community may be biased in one direction or the other on this question, and how to address that (e.g., how to raise the status - within the EA community - of high-impact work at non-EA orgs). 

This tag is not intended

... (read more)
4JP Addison23dI like it. Maybe "Working at EA vs Non-EA Orgs?"
2MichaelA23dCool, done []. I think that that name is clearer, but thought brevity was substantially preferred for tag names. But I'm personally more inclined towards clarity than brevity here, so I'll use your suggested name. Someone can change it later anyway.

Scalably Using People or Scalably Using Labour or Task Y or something like that

Proposed description:

There are often discussions of how good or bad EA is at efficiently allocating many people to valuable work, the consequences of EA's strengths or weaknesses on that front, how to improve, and how this all might change as EA grows. 

See also Career Choice, Get Involved, Movement Strategy, Community Tools, Criticism (EA Movement), EA Hiring, and Markets for Altruism. 

Notes on that description:

  • I'll obviously add the links to the "See also" tags if I a
... (read more)
4JP Addison23dI'm pro. I'd call it Task Y, though I wouldn't be surprised if there was a reason not to.
2MichaelA23dCool, given that, I've now made the tag []. I've called it Scalably Using People rather than Task Y, with the key reason being that Alex originally described Task Y as being a single task. More generally, I think that the description of Task Y wouldn't neatly cover things like the vetting-constrained discussion or Jan's discussion of hierarchical network structures [] , and I'm hoping for this tag to cover things like that as well. So I see Task Y as a subset of what I'm hoping this tag will cover. I'm definitely open to people suggesting alternative names, though.

Industrial Revolution

We already have a variety of related tags, like History, Economic Growth, and Persistence of Political/Cultural Variables. But the Industrial Revolution does seem like perhaps the single most notable episode of history for many/all EA cause areas, so maybe we should have a tag just for it?

Some posts that would warrant the tag:

... (read more)
2JP Addison24dMy guess is that a better tag would be "History of Economic Growth". Because I can't picture a case where someone wants to find things about the industrial revolution but not all of economic growth. (Unless they're doing a specific research project, but that sounds pretty niche.) But even still, I'd tentatively lean towards economic growth being enough. But I think that depends on how fine-grained our tagging system should be, which I don't have a strong opinion on.
2MichaelA24dThis seems reasonable. I was also unsure about my suggestion, hence popping it here rather than making it. I'll hold off for now, at least.

Cultural Evolution

One relevant post:

I haven't searched my memory or the Forum for other relevant posts yet.

This would overlap somewhat with the tags for Memetics and Persistence of Political/Cultural Variables.

2JP Addison24dI'm in favor.
2MichaelA24dCool - done [].

Update: I've now made this tag.

Persistence of Political/Cultural Variables (or Cultural Persistence, or Cultural, Political, and Moral Persistence, or something like that)

First pass at a description: 

It's often important to have a sense of the persistence of political/cultural variables - such as democracy, authoritarianism, concern for human rights, a concern for animal welfare, or norms conducive to scientific progress or free markets. This can inform our predictions of what the future will be like and our views on the importance of changing those v

... (read more)
4Aaron Gertler1moSeems reasonable to me. Want to go ahead and create it?
2MichaelA1moDone! []

One consideration I just thought of, which I do not recall seeing mentioned elsewhere, is that the optional number of tags depends somewhat on the typical tag use case.

  • Clicking on an article's tags to find other related articles
    • As only a small % of tags apply to any given article, and this % will fall as the number of tags increases, article tag spaces will not become too 'busy'. 
    • Hence there should be many tags, so that each article can be tagged as usefully as possible.
  • Clicking on the tag list to find a specific topic
    • There are already so many tags it
... (read more)
2MichaelA2moGood points. Maybe the ideal for future will be to have hierarchies/categories of Forum tags? LessWrong now does this [] (though I haven't looked at their system in detail).

Longtermism (Cause Area)

We have various tags relevant to longtermism or specific things that longtermists are often interested in (e.g., Existential Risk). But we don't have a tag for longtermism as a whole. Longtermism (Philosophy) and Long-Term Future don't fit that bill; the former is just for "posts about philosophical matters relevant to longtermism", and the latter is "meant for discussion of what the long-term future might actually look like".

One example of a post that's relevant to longtermism as a cause area but that doesn't seem to neatly fit in ... (read more)

2EdoArad5moAgreed. Perhaps Longtermism(Philosophy) is redundant because it could be Longetrmism (Cause Area) + Moral Philosophy - if so, I'd suggest changing the name instead of opening a new tag
4MichaelA5moHmm, I think I'd agree that most things which fit in both Longtermism (Cause Area) and Moral Philosophy would fit Longtermism (Philosophy). (Though there might be exceptions. E.g., I'm not sure stuff to do with moral patienthood/status/circles would be an ideal fit for Longtermism Philosophy - it's relevant to longtermism, but not uniquely or especially relevant to longtermism. But those things tie in to potential longtermist interventions.) But now that you mention that, I realise that there might not be a good way to find and share posts at the intersection of two tags (which would mean that tags which are theoretically redundant are currently still practically useful). I've just sent the EA Forum team the following message about this: So I'll hold off on making a Longtermism (Cause Area) tag or converting the Longtermism (Philosophy) tag into that until I hear back from the Forum team, and/or think more or get more input on what the best approach here would be.

Update: I've now made this tag.

Fellowships or EA-Aligned Fellowships or Research Fellowships or something like that

Stefan Schubert writes:

It could be good if someone wrote an overview of the growing number of fellowships and scholarships in EA (and maybe also other forms of professional EA work). It could include the kind of info given above, and maybe draw inspiration from Larks' overviews of the AI Alignment landscape. I don't think I have seen anything quite like that, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Maybe this would be partially addressed via a tag ... (read more)

(Update: I've now made this tag.)

Institutions for Future Generations

This is arguably a subset of Institutional Decision-Making and/or Policy Change. It also overlaps with Longtermism (Philosophy) and Moral Advocacy / Values Spreading. But it seems like this is an important category that various people might want to learn about in particular (i.e., not just as part of learning about institutional decision-making more broadly), and like there are many EA Forum posts about this in particular.

(Update: I've now made this tag.)

China (or maybe something broader like BRICS or Rising Powers)

Rough proposed description:

The China tag is for posts that are about China, that address how China is relevant to various issues EAs care about, or that are relevant to how one could have an impact by engaging with China.

See also Global Outreach and International Relations.

It seems perhaps odd to single China out for a tag while not having tags for e.g. USA, Southeast Asia, ASEAN, United Nations, Middle Powers. But we do have a tag for posts relevant to the Europ... (read more)

Update: I've created the tag "Discussion Norms"

Community Norms/Discussion Norms

Very Bad Description: Posts that discuss norms on how EAs to interact with each other. 

Posts this tag could apply to: 

... (read more)
2MichaelA5moMy quick, personal take is that: 1. A tag for Discussion Norms seems useful and distinct from the other tags you mention. It also wouldn't have to only be about discussion norms for intra-EA interactions - it could also be about discussion norms in other contexts. 2. "Community Norms" and "Posts that discuss norms on how EAs to interact with each other" feel very broad to me, and it's harder for me to see precisely what that's trying to point at that isn't captured by one of the first three other tags you mention. 3. But I have a feeling that something like Community Norms/Discussion Norms could have a clear scope that's useful and distinct from the other tags. Maybe if you just try flesh out what you mean a little more in the description it'd be clear to me? 4. Maybe what you have in mind will often relate to things like being welcoming, supportive, and considerate? If so, maybe adjusting the tag label or description in light of that could help?
2vaidehi_agarwalla5moI think Discussion Norms makes sense! Discussion Norms: Posts about suggested or encouraged norms within the EA community on how to interact with other EAs, which may often relate to being supportive, welcoming and considerate. It's still not great, if you had any feedback I'd be keen to hear it!

Anyone have thoughts on this tag? I'm skeptical, but might be more inclined if I saw more applications that were good. Also if it had a description that described it's naturalness as a category in the EA-sphere. (If this were a business forum it would obviously be good, and maybe it is in this Forum — I'm not sure.)

2MichaelA6moMy quick take is that it does seem like it at least needs a description that explains why it warrants an EA Forum tag. I'd wonder, for example, whether it's meant to just be about scaling organisations (e.g., EA orgs), or also about scaling things like bednet distribution programs. (Or maybe those two things are super similar anyway?)

Do we need both Longtermism (Philosophy) and Long-Term Future?

4MichaelA7moPersonally, I think those two tags have sufficiently large and separate scopes for it to make sense for the forum to have both tags. (I didn't create either tag, by the way.) But the Longtermism (Philosophy) tag has perhaps been used too liberally, including for posts that should've only been given tags like Long-Term Future or Existential Risk. Perhaps this is because the Longtermism (Philosophy) tag was around before Long-Term Future was created (not sure if that's true), and/or because the first two sentences of the Longtermism (Philosophy) tag didn't explicitly indicate that its scope was limited to philosophical aspects of longtermism only. Inspired by your comment, I've now edited the tag description to hopefully help a bit with that. The tag description used to be: The tag description is now: (The second sentence could perhaps be cut.) For comparison, the tag description of Long-Term Future is:

(Update: I've now made this tag.)

Cooperation & Coordination or [just one of those terms] or Moral Trade

(I think I lean towards the first option and away from Moral Trade.)

Proposed description: 

The Cooperation & Coordination tag is for posts about whether, when, and how people - especially effective altruists and others aiming to do good - should cooperate and coordinate. Such posts will often draw on ideas related to game theory, moral trade, moral uncertainty, and how to think about and measure counterfactual impact. 

See also Movement St

... (read more)
4JP Addison8moI lightly think both is better than either one on its own.
2MichaelA8moOk, I've now made this tag [] and used the name that includes both terms :)

(Update: I've now made this tag.)

Improving Institutional Decision-Making (or similar)

Argument against:

  • Arguably overlaps somewhat with the existing tags Forecasting, Policy Change, Political Polarisation, International Relations, Direct Democracy, and European Union
  • It might make more sense to instead change the name and description of Policy Change so it more clearly covers improving institutional decision-making as well

Arguments for:

  • Seems substantially distinct from any of the above tags, including Policy Change
  • A major topic in EA (e.g., one of 80k's main
... (read more)

(Update: I've now made this tag, with the name Epistemic Humility and a description noting it can be about other, broadly related things as well.)

Social Epistemology & Epistemic Humility or [just one of those terms] or [some other label]

Some posts that might fit this tag:

2JP Addison8moI really like Social Epistemology except for the crucial flaw that I haven't heard it called that before. Without the ability for people to recognize it, I think it's worse than Epistemic Humility. (Normally I'd prefer the more general term, rather than a term for one strategy within the space.)
2MichaelA8moDo you mean you haven't heard the term social epistemology, or that you haven't heard epistemic humility specifically (or debates around that) referred to by the term social epistemology? I'd envision this tag including not just things like "How epistemically humble should we be, and how should we update given other people's statements/beliefs?", but also things like when we should give just our conclusions vs also our reasoning if we're concerned about information cascades [], and to what extent publicly stating explicit estimates will cause anchoring [] by others. Those things could arguably be seen as about epistemic humility in that they're about how to communicate given how other people might handle epistemic humility, but saying they're about social epistemology (or something else) seems more natural to me. (That said, I think I'm only familiar with the term social epistemology from how it's occasionally used by EAs, and the Wikipedia article's lead section makes me uncertain if they're using the term in the standard way.) Maybe the best tag label would be Epistemic Humility & Social Epistemology, to put the term that's more common in EA first? That's a longer label than average, though. FWIW, both my suggestion of this tag and my suggestion of the term social epistemology for it were prompted by the following part of Owen Cotton-Barratt's recent post [] :
2JP Addison8moI have now read the post that contains Social Epistemology. I also wasn't clear before, but I was biasing towards one shorter label or another.

Global priorities research and macrostrategy.

I wanted to use these tags when asking this question, but they don't seem to exist.

There is a tag on cause prioritization. But I think it'd be more useful if that tag was focused on content that is directly relevant for prioritizing between causes, e.g. "here is why I think cause A is more tractable than cause B" or "here's a framework for assessing the neglectedness of a cause". Some global priorities or macrostrategy research has this property, but not all of it. E.g. I think... (read more)

4MichaelA4moI've now made a tag for Global Priorities Research []. I currently think that anything we would've wanted to give a Macrostrategy tag to can just be given a Global Priorities Research tag instead, such that we don't need a Macrostrategy tag, but feel free to discuss that in the "Discussion" page attached to the GPR tag.
2MichaelA8moI'm tentatively in favour of Macrostrategy. A big issue is that I don't have a crisp sense of what macrostrategy is meant to be about, and conversations I've had suggests that a lot of people who work on it feel the same. So I'd have a hard time deciding what to give that tag to. But I do think it's a useful concept, and the example post you mention does seem to me a good example of something that is macrostrategy and isn't cause prioritisation. I feel like a tag for Global Priorities Research is probably unnecessary once we have tags for both Cause Prioritisation and Macrostrategy? But I could be wrong. (Also I'm just offering my views as inputs; I have no gate-keeping role and anyone can make whatever tags they want.)

(Update: I've now made this tag.)

Moral Uncertainty

Argument against:

Argument for:

  • Arguably an important subset of Moral Philosophy
  • I'd estimate there's at least 10 posts on the topic
4JP Addison8moI'd be in favor.
2JP Addison8moWhat's the intended difference between Meta-Ethics and Moral Philosophy?
2MichaelA8moAs I understand it, ethics is often split into the branches meta-ethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. I'm guessing the Moral Philosophy tag is meant to cover all of those branches, or maybe just the latter two. Meta-Ethics would just cover questions about "the nature, scope, and meaning of moral judgment" (Wikipedia []). So some questions that wouldn't fit in Meta-Ethics, but would fit in Moral Philosophy, include: * Should we be deontologists or consequentialists? * What should be considered intrinsically valuable (e.g., suffering, pleasure, preference satisfaction, achievement, etc.)? * What beings should be in our moral circles [] ? Whereas Meta-Ethics could include posts on things like arguments for moral realism vs moral antirealism. (I'm not sure whether those posts should also go in Moral Philosophy.)

I noticed there's no Consciousness tag, so I was going to create one, but then I saw the Sentience tag. Perhaps that should be renamed "Sentience / Consciousness", and/or its description should be tweaked to mention consciousness?

(I'm putting this here so it can be up- or down-voted to inform whether this change should be made. I think the tag pages will later have the equivalent of Wikipedia's "Talk" pages, at which point I'd put comments like this there instead.) 

(Update: This got 2 upvotes, and continues to seem to me like a good idea, so I updated

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I've edited this post to include our official mandate at the top. Thanks for creating it, MichaelA!

[Any 80,000 problem areas and career paths - or the additional problem areas and career ideas they mention - that are not directly covered by existing tags]

I haven't yet looked through these problem areas and career paths/ideas with this in mind, to see what's not covered by existing tags and what the arguments for and against creating new tags for these things would be. 

(Feel free to comment yourself with specific tag ideas drawn from the 80k problem areas and career paths, or the additional ones they mention.)

8MichaelA8mo(Update: I've now made this tag [].) Nanotechnology or Atomically Precise Manufacturing Arguments against: * Maybe a little niche? * Somewhat well-covered by Existential Risk []? Arguments for: * Not super niche * 80k highlight this a potentially important area (though it's not one of their top priorities) * The small set of (maybe-not-trustworthy) estimates we have [] suggest nanotech/APM is decently likely to be among the top 10 largest existential risks we know of (given usual ways of classifying things), and perhaps smaller only than AI and bio
2MichaelA8mo(Update: I've now made this tag [] .) Space (or maybe Space Governance, or Space Governance & Colonisation, or something along those lines) "Governance of outer space" is mentioned by 80k here [] . Would perhaps just be a subset of Long-Term Future. But perhaps a sufficiently large and important subset to warrant its own tag. Some posts this should include: * Will we eventually be able to colonize other stars? Notes from a preliminary review [] * Space governance is important, tractable and neglected [] * Off-Earth Governance [] * An Informal Review of Space Exploration [] * Maybe Lunar Colony [] * Maybe Does Utilitarian Longtermism Imply Directed Panspermia? []

(Update: I've now created this tag.)


Argument against: This is arguably a subset of the tag Moral Philosophy.

Arguments for: This seems like an important subset, which there are several Forum posts about, and which some people might appreciate a specific tag about (e.g., if they're beginning to grapple with meta-ethics and are less focused on moral philosophy as a whole right now).

Some posts this should include:

... (read more)

Change My View!

I found r/ChangeMyView recently and I think it's the bee's knees. "A place to post an opinion you accept may be flawed, in an effort to understand other perspectives on the issue."

There are already a good deal of questions and posts inviting criticism on this forum, and this tag could organize them all for the people who enjoy a good, clean disagreement/discussion. It could be used especially (or only) for ideas with <50% certainty.

The subreddit itself is a cool place to go, but many issues are more fruitfully discusse... (read more)

(Update: I've now made this tag.)


Some posts this could cover:

  • Introducing the Legal Priorities Project
  • Various posts tagged International Relations, Global Governance, AI Governance (e.g., posts by GovAI and/or Cullen O'Keefe), Policy Change, Improving Institutional Decision-Making, or European Union

Arguments for:

  • I have a sense it could be useful to have a tag for each major field/discipline that many EAs are from and/or that is relevant to many EA areas.
    • The key reason is that this could maybe help people find posts relevant to their backgrounds, and thin
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The Economics tag would be for posts focusing on topics in the domain of economics, making particularly heavy use of concepts or tools from economics, or highlighting ways for people with economics backgrounds to do good.

Some posts that would fit:

... (read more)
1evelynciara3moYeah, this would work. A general econ tag could focus on values other than economic growth, including equity and preventing hyperinflation.

How about a tag for global governance and/or providing global public goods? This is arguably one of the most pressing problems there is, because many of the problems EA works on are global coordination problems, including existential risk (since existential security is a global public good).

3MichaelA8moI'd agree that a tag for Global Governance would be good (thanks for suggesting it!). This could cover things like: * how much various moves towards more global governance would help with existential risks and other global and/or transgenerational public goods issues * E.g., these [] two posts [] * how much various moves towards more global governance could increase risks of totalitarianism * how to best implement or prevent various moves towards global governance * etc. Personally, I don't see much value in a tag for something like providing global public goods. This is partly because that matter is common to so many different EA issues. Relatedly, I don't think many posts are especially focused on global public goods provision, relative to a huge portion of other posts. But that's just my tentative two cents. If no one suggests otherwise or does it themselves, I'll probably create a Global Governance tag in a couple days.
2MichaelA8moUpdate: I've now made this tag [].

Please separate global development from global health.

Global health is one part of global development, which can include political, economic and humanitarian interventions. I write on politics in developing countries, but I'm probably the only one on the forum so I don't need my own tag.


Arguments against:

  • Perhaps somewhat niche?
  • My current independent impression is that cluelessness, or some of the ideas or implications that people associate with it, is a confused and not especially useful idea, and that we shouldn't really worry about it
    • (I definitely think we're very uncertain about a lot of things and should take that very seriously, but that doesn't require the term "cluelessness")
    • (See also)

Arguments for:

  • Many smart longtermist and/or philosophically minded EAs seem to think cluelessness is a really important idea, and I think
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Nonlinear Fund

Maybe it's too early to make a tag for that org?

Instrumental vs. epistemic rationality

Some brief discussion here.

These terms may basically only be used on the LessWrong community, and may not be prominent or useful enough to warrant an entry here. Not sure.

Metaethical uncertainty and/or Metanormative uncertainty

These concepts are explained here.

I think it's probably best to instead have an entry on "Normative uncertainty" in general that has sections for each of those concepts, as well as sections that briefly describe (regular) Moral uncertainty and Decision-theoretic uncertainty and link to the existing tags on those concepts. (Also, the entry on Moral uncertainty could discuss the question of how to behave when uncertain what approach to moral uncertainty is best, which is metanormative uncertainty.) This... (read more)

Subjective vs. objective normativity

See here and here

Disentanglement research

Defined here:

Off the top of my head, I'm not sure how many posts would get this tag. But I know at least that one would, and I'd guess we'd find several more if we looked.

And in any case, this seems to be a useful concept that's frequently invoked in the EA community, so having a short wiki entry on it might be good (even ignoring tagging).

Related entries: (read more)

2MichaelA1dAnother suggestion: Research distillation or Research debt or similar We could have: 1. an entry for this and another for disentanglement research (with links between them) 2. one entry covering both 3. one entry that's mainly on one topic but briefly mentions/links to the other 4. neither What I have in mind is what's discussed here: [] Off the top of my head, I'm not sure how many posts would get this tag. But maybe some would? And in any case, this seems to me to be a useful concept that's sometimes invoked in the EA community, so having a short wiki entry on it might be good (even ignoring tagging). But I'm less confident I've heard this mentioned a lot in EA than I am with disentanglement research. This is obviously very similar to the idea of a research summary []. But I think that these terms and the Distill article add some value. And the research summary tag is currently only for research summaries, not for discussion of the value of or best practices for distilling research or making summaries. Related entries: [] []

Tag portal question/suggestion:

Many tags are probably relevant for more than one of the categories/clusters used on the tag portal. For example, Economic growth is currently listed under global health & development, but it's also relevant to Long-Term Risk and Flourishing and to Economics & Finance and probably some other things.

Currently, I think each tag is only shown in one place on the portal. That might be the best move.

But maybe they should instead be mentioned in every place where they're (highly) relevant, and where people might expect to ... (read more)

Crypto or something like that

Some EAs are working on or interested in things like crypto and blockchain, either as investment opportunities or as tools that might be useful for accomplishing things EAs care about (e.g., mechanism design, solving coordination problems). Maybe there should be a tag for posts relevant to such things. I'd guess that there are at least 3 relevant Forum posts, though I haven't checked. 

There are also at least two 80,000 Hours episodes that I think are relevant:

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2EdoArad18dI would prefer Blockchain, as it is more general than cryptocurrency and doesn't confuse people with the field of cryptology
2MichaelA18dGood points. I've now created the tag and used the name Blockchain [].
2JP Addison18dReasonable because the generality, though I think the cryptography ship has long, long since sailed.
2JP Addison18dSeems good. Maybe we should crosspost one of the recent articles on Sam Bankman-Freid.
2MichaelA18dI've now created the tag []. Feel free to make those crossposts and give them the tag, of course :) (I won't do it myself, as I have little knowledge about or personal interest in blockchain stuff myself.)

Non-Humans and the Long-Term Future

Why I propose this:

  • The following sorts of topics come up decently often:
    • Is longtermism focused only on humans?
    • Should longtermists focus on improving wellbeing for animals?
    • Should longtermists focus on improving wellbeing for artificial sentiences?
    • Are existential risks just about humans?
  • Topics like "Will most moral patients in the long-term future be humans? Other animals? Something else? By how large a margin?" also come up sometimes (though less often)
  • I think it'd be good to collect posts relevant to those things

Examples ... (read more)

Positive futures (or Utopias, or Ideal futures, or something like that)

Proposed description:

The positive futures tag is for posts that discuss things like what a particularly good long-term future might look like and what sorts of ideal long-term futures we might want to aim towards. Reasons to care about this topic include that: 

  • How positive the future might be influences how important reducing existential risk is
  • Positive visions for the future could motivate work to reduce existential risks
  • Thinking about what we want the future to look like might he
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Fermi Paradox

Arguments for having this tag:

  • Seems a potentially very important macrostrategy question
  • There are at least some posts relevant to it

Arguments against:

  • Not sure if there are more than a few posts highly relevant to this
  • Maybe this is not a prominent enough topic to get its own tag, rather than just being subsumed under the Space and Global Priorities Research tags
4Aaron Gertler2moThis is currently a wiki-only tag. I doubt many posts are relevant to this, and I suspect that "Space" should work for all of them, but we're still in the process of figuring out how useful a tag has to be to be worth adding to the tagging menu.

Simulation Argument

Arguments for having this tag:

  • Seems a potentially very important macrostrategy question
  • There are at least some posts relevant to it

Arguments against:

  • Not sure if there are more than a couple posts highly relevant to this
  • Maybe this is not a prominent enough topic to get its own tag, rather than just being subsumed under the Global Priorities Research tag
4Aaron Gertler2moThis is currently a wiki-only tag. I doubt many posts are relevant to this, but we might make it usable again — we're still in the process of figuring out how useful a tag has to be to be worth adding to the tagging menu.

EA fellowships

I think it might be useful to have a post on EA fellowships, meaning things like the EA Virtual Programs, which "are opportunities to engage intensively with the ideas of effective altruism through weekly readings and small group discussions over the course of eight weeks. These programs are open to anyone regardless of timezone, career stage, or anything else." (And not meaning things like summer research fellowships, for which there's the Research Training Programs tag.)

I think this'd be a subset of the Event strategy tag.

But I'm not sure i... (read more)

Update: I've now made this tag.


Proposed description: 

The ITN tag is for posts about the Importance, Tractability, Neglectedness framework that is frequently used in effective altruism, or about highly related matters. This could include posts critiquing the ITN framework, discussing in abstract terms how it should and shouldn't be applied, and discussing other factors that could be considered alongside or instead of ITN. 

This tag is not necessarily meant to capture the much larger set of posts which in some way use the ITN framework. 


... (read more)

Advanced Military Technology (or some other related name)

Proposed description:

The Advanced Military Technology tag is for posts about military technologies that are on the cutting-edge, that are in the process of development, that appear to be on the horizon, or that could plausibly be developed in future. This could include both "entirely new" technologies and substantial advances in existing technologies.

See also Armed Conflict, Autonomous Weapons, and Differential Progress.

Other tags that this overlaps with include: AI Governance, Atomically Precise Man... (read more)

2JP Addison5moI agree with whoever upvoted the other of the two tags you made this day but not this one. I would want to see more posts that formed a natural cluster around this concept. The one example is good, but I can't recall any others.
2MichaelA5moYeah, that makes sense. I'll hold off unless I encounter additional relevant posts.

(Update: I've now made this tag.)

Impact Assessment (or maybe something like Impact Measurement or Measuring Impact)

Proposed rough description: 

The Impact Assessment tag is for posts relevant to "measuring the effectiveness of organisational activities and judging the significance of changes brought about by those activities" (source). This could include posts which include impact assessments; discuss pros, cons, and best practices for impact assessment; or discuss theories of change or forecasts of impacts, against which measured impacts could later b

... (read more)
2MichaelA7moIn addition to the three tags mentioned as “See also”, this tag would perhaps overlap a bit with the tags: * Forecasting * Org Update * Cause Prioritization * Community Projects * Criticism (EA Cause Areas) * Criticism (EA Movement) * Criticism (EA Orgs) * Data (EA Community) * EA Funding

Maybe some of the existing tags related to politics & policy should be deleted, and a tag for Politics & Policy should replace them?

Some relevant tags that might be on the chopping block: Improving Institutional Decision-Making, Policy Change, Political Polarisation,  International Relations, Direct Democracy, and Global Governance.

I think I'm moderately against this idea, as I think the sub-topics are large/important enough to warrant their own tags, even if there's a lot of overlap. But I thought I'd throw this idea out there anyway. 

1MichaelA8mo(If you hate the above idea but also hate disrupting my delicious karma, feel free to downvote that comment and upvote this one to keep the universe in order. Or vice versa, I guess, if you're a maverick.)

Global Catastrophic Risk

Argument against:

  • Obviously very related to Existential Risk, and to various other tags like Civilizational Collapse & Recovery and Nuclear Weapons

Argument for:

Some posts that might fit this tag but not the Existential Risk tag:

... (read more)

"Economic Policy" or "Macroeconomic Stabilization"


  • Macroeconomic stabilization is one of the areas that Open Phil works on, but it's not frequently discussed in the EA community. This tag could be specific to macro stabilization or it could encompass all areas of economic policy (aside from economic growth, which already has a tag).
  • Land use reform already has a tag.


Can I create a tag called "EA Philippines", for posts by people related to EA Philippines, such as about our progress or research?  I'd like to easily see a page compiling posts related to EA Philippines. I could create a sequence for this, but a sequence usually implies things are in a sequential order and more related to each other. But our posts will likely be not that related to each other, so a tag would likely be better.

A counterargument is I currently don't see any tags for any EA chapter, except for EA London updates, But these aren't about EA... (read more)

3MichaelA3moQuick thoughts: * There's been some discussion of "country-specific tags" (and region-specific tags) here [] * I think perhaps decisions about general principles for country-specific tags and general principles for EA-chapter-specific tags should be made in tandem * E.g., because it'd be a bit weird to have both a tag for the Philippines as a country (e.g., about the relevance of that country for EA cause areas) and a tag for EA Philippines * Maybe the best option would be to just have country- or region-specific tags that also serve sort-of like EA-chapter-specific tags, unless there are e.g. more than 10 posts relevant to that EA chapter specifically, or more than 20 posts that'd be in the whole tag? * (This is just one possible, quickly thought up principle) * But I'm not actually sure what the principles should be * E.g., if something like the above principle is adopted, I'm not sure what numbers should be used (I chose 10 and 20 pretty randomly) * And I'm not sure how that sort of principle should interact with the option of region-specific tags * E.g., maybe it'd be best to just have a tag like Southeast Asia, and let that play roles similar to that that would be played by country-specific and EA-chapter-specific tags for each country in that region? * Or maybe if there's a tag for Southeast Asia, that's so broad that it then becomes useful to have an EA Philippines tag (but without there being need for a Philippines tag)?
1BrianTan3moI think it's a good idea to go with a Philippines tag rather than an EA Philippines tag. Both are quite interchangeable because 100% of past posts (there's 5 of them) related to the Philippines are also written by people in EA Philippines, and 100% of past posts by EA Philippines are related to the Philippines. I think this will continue for quite a few years for ~80-100% of posts, since we expect only a few people to not be affiliated with EA Philippines but still be writing about the Philippines. I think that 90-100% of posts by EA Philippines will relate to the Philippines. I also agree that for national EA groups, rather than have an EA-chapter-specific tag as well as a country-specific tag, we should just have the country-specific tag. I don't understand how a post related specifically to an EA chapter wouldn't also be related to the country, so I think one country tag (rather than a country and a chapter tag) is enough. I would prefer to just have a Philippines tag already rather than a Southeast Asia tag. This is because: 1. I think we'll hit 10 posts soon, i.e. by the midpoint of 2021 1. We already have 5 past posts that could be tagged under Philippines 2. I have ~3 more posts coming up (likely this month) that would also be tagged under Philippines 2. Therefore rather than tagging these posts as under Southeast Asia, then having to move them to Philippines after we hit 10 posts, I'd rather we just have them tagged as under the Philippines already. I think the principle should be like "If there are 5 or more posts already for a specific country or EA national chapter, and if you would want to create a tag for easier visibility of posts related to that country/chapter, then you should create a tag for that specific country already." Let me know what you think of this principle!
3MichaelA3moThat sounds good to me :) (Though of course this is just one person's thoughts - I have no official role in the EA Forum; I'm just a nerd for tags.)
3BrianTan3moAlright. I've gone ahead and made the Philippines tag here [], along with a description for it. I've also tagged all 5 pasts posts on this topic already. The description I wrote could be a template for how other country-specific tags should be like. I felt that the description you wrote for China didn't apply as much to the Philippines tag. If you or anyone else wants to let me know if the description is alright, or if I should change anything, let me know!
3MichaelA3moThe description looks good to me! And I agree that it seems like it could be a useful example/template for other country-specific tags to draw on.

Country-specific tags

I just saw "creation of country specific content"as an example among the higher rated meta EA areas in the recent article What areas are the most promising to start new EA meta charities - A survey of 40 EAs. What do you think about introducing tags for specific countries? E.g. I'd already have a couple of articles in mind that would be specifically interesting for members of German/Austrian/Swiss communities.

3MichaelA4moPersonally, I think: * it probably makes sense to have at least some tags to mark that posts are relevant to particular countries/regions * but that this should probably be something like 2-20 tags, just in the cases where there are several posts for which the tag would be useful * Rather than e.g. a tag for every country (which I'm not saying you proposed!) Relevant prior tags and discussion There are already tags for China [] and the European Union []. The tag description for the China one (which I wrote) could perhaps be used as a model/starting point for other such tags: And when I proposed the China tag [] , I wrote:
1meerpirat4moYes, I also had something like 5-15 tags in mind. Your proposal for China makes sense to me, though I had a more "internal" perspective in mind, where EAs from the US/UK/Australia/Germany/Canada/etc. could get an overview of articles that are relevant for their specific country and are maybe indirectly encouraged to add something. So I'd write it as Looking at the EA Survey results [] on geographic distribution, I'd maybe do * US * UK * Austria-NZ * Germany-Austria-Switzerland * Canada * Netherlands * France * Scandinavia * Southeast Asia * Latin America

Should we have a tag for "Feedback Request"?

We in EA Philippines have made 2 posts (and have another upcoming one) already that were specifically for requesting feedback from the global EA community on an external document we wrote, before we post this document for the general public. See here and here as examples from EA PH, and this other example from a different author. 

I think it happens quite often that EAs or EA orgs ask for feedback on an external document or on a writeup they have rough thoughts on, so I think it's worth having this tag.

A pote... (read more)

1BrianTan4moAnother potential argument in favor of having a tag for Feedback Request is it might encourage EAs to share work with each other and get feedback more often, which is likely a good thing. In my workplace at First Circle, we have a process called "Request for Comment" or "RFC" where we write documents in a specific format and share them on an #rfc slack channel, so that people know we want feedback on a proposal or writeup in order to move forward with our work. This was very effective in getting people to share work, get feedback on work asynchronously rather than via a synchronous meeting, and to streamline and house one place for feedback requests. Maybe a tag for "Feedback Request" could also streamline things? For example, if an EA wants to see what they could give feedback on, they could click this tag to check out things they could give feedback on. It could also be good practice for authors of feedback requests to put a deadline on when they need feedback on something by. This is so people backreading know if they should still give feedback if a deadline has passed.
2EdoArad4moI made a tag for requests [], which I think applies here if there is a specific request for feedback with timeframe. I'll write a short post about it now.
2MichaelA4moYeah, I think I'd personally lean towards letting the thing Brian is describing be covered by the Requests (Open) tag. This is partly because, as Brian notes, "lots of authors (or most authors) would want feedback on their posts anyway, and it's hard separating which ones are feedback requests and which ones aren't." I'm also not really sure I understand the distinction, or the significance of the distinction, between that wanting feedback on an external doc before sharing it more beyond the EA community and wanting feedback on a post before that, or an adapted form of that, is shared beyond the EA community. (One part of my thoughts here is that I think a decent portion of posts may ultimately make their way into things shared beyond the EA community, and sometimes the authors won't be sure in advance which posts those are. E.g., MacAskill's hinge of history post [] is now an academic working paper.) That said, I've also appreciated the existence of Slack channels where people can solicit feedback from colleagues. (I've appreciated that both as an author and as a person who enjoys being helpful by giving feedback.) And the EA Editing & Review facebook group [] seems to demonstrate some degree of demand for this sort of thing in EA. So maybe there's a stronger case for the tag than I'm currently seeing. (OTOH, maybe the need could be well-met just by using the Requests (Open) tag and posting in EA Editing & Review?) If a Feedback Request tag is made, perhaps it'd be worth linking in the tag description to Giving and receiving feedback [] , Asking for advice [], and/or Discussion Norms [
1BrianTan4moOh cool, yeah I guess this works!

Sorry if offtopic but how do I remove a tag after wrongly using it?

5MichaelA8moIf you mean un-tagging a page, you vote down its relevance by hovering over the tag on the page and clicking the < arrow. If the relevance score gets to or below 0, the tag is removed. If you mean deleting a tag entirely (not just from one page), I think you'd have to message the EA Forum team? More info on tags here [] and here [] .