Aaron Gertler

I moderate the Forum, and I'd be happy to review your next post.

I'm a full-time content writer at CEA. I started Yale's student EA group, and I've also volunteered for CFAR and MIRI. I spend a few hours a month advising a small, un-Googleable private foundation that makes EA-adjacent donations. I also play Magic: the Gathering on a semi-professional level and donate half my winnings (more than $50k in 2020) to charity.

Before joining CEA, I was a tutor, a freelance writer, a tech support agent, and a music journalist. I blog, and keep a public list of my donations, at aarongertler.net.


The Farm Animal Welfare Newsletter
Replacing Guilt
Part 8: Putting it into Practice
Part 7: Increasing the Accuracy of Our Judgments
Part 6: Emerging Technologies
Part 5: Existential Risk
Part 4: Longtermism
Part 3: Expanding Our Compassion
Part 2: Differences in Impact
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Style guide

This doesn't seem like the right place. I've written my thoughts on tagging norms in a few places, but it would be good to collect that (plus others' thoughts) in one place. I'll talk to Pablo and see about one of us creating this resource.

Meanwhile, if you have thoughts on tagging policy, feel free to mention them in replies to this comment (or to create a question post to collect others' thoughts — though I'm not sure how much discussion is required here, as I think our tagging norms/policy will end up being pretty simple).

anonysaurus30k's Shortform

This is a good thing to call attention to! One of the reasons we add older EA content to the Forum is to make sure it exists in one more easily accessible place, in case another site or service goes down.

Khorton's Shortform

Do you consider this intuition to be a reason that people should be wary of making this type of argument? Or maybe specifically avoid the word "colonize"?

Maybe something like "populate the galaxy" would be better, as it emphasizes that there are no native populations whose members would be harmed by space colonization?

How have you become more (or less) engaged with EA in the last year?

That's a good update to hear! (It's cool that you came back to this comment to note whether your expectations were met.)

The EA Forum Editing Festival has begun!

We have two categories ("Moral Philosophy", "Long-Term Risks and Flourishing") which capture lots of material relevant to longtermism.

As for the cause area section specifically:

  • AI is its own cluster because we currently have an enormous number of articles about it. If we only had one article about AI risk, I'd put it under "Global Catastrophic Risks" and that would be that.
  • The "Global Catastrophic Risks (other)" cluster feels well-defined to me in a way that a "longtermist" cluster wouldn't. When I look at the "Other" cluster, most of the seemingly "longtermist" causes are still things that many people work on hoping to achieve substantial change within their lifetimes, for the sake of present-day people — anti-aging research, land use reform, climate change...
    • If you ask me about a cause area in that section, I can fairly confidently say whether or not it counts as a GCR. In many cases, I wouldn't be able to say whether or not it counted as "longtermist". (And as you mention, many of the areas could be prioritized for longtermist or non-longtermist reasons.)

I think of longtermism as a common value system in EA. Many causes seem especially valuable to work on given a longtermist value system, but few such causes require a longtermist value system to make sense. (But I spend less time thinking about this kind of thing than you do, so I'm open to counterpoints I might not be considering.)

The EA Forum Editing Festival has begun!

I've added a link to your "tag proposal" thread (rather than this article, which isn't meant to be a permanent resource).

The EA Forum Editing Festival has begun!

The clusters aren't in alphabetical order — only the articles within clusters.

The clusters are arranged according to a couple of heuristics that I value about equally:

  1. Try to make the columns of roughly equal length
  2. Have the "other" cluster near the bottom-right of the section (seems natural for that to be the last thing people look at)
  3. Have related clusters close together (e.g. "effective giving" and "career choice")

I'd prefer to have all the cluster names aligned horizontally, as on the LW Concepts page, but our extremely varied column lengths discourage that for now (this might change as we continue to add new articles, look at new ways to sort the page, etc.)

If anyone has an idea for making the page better-sorted and/or more evenly arranged, I'm all ears. Graphic design isn't my forte and the current version is quite rough.

The EA Forum Editing Festival has begun!

I think of tags as being for "posts that involve X in some way", which encompasses posts written by and about a given organization.

I do think that org update posts are a good way to use an org's tag. If someone is interested in The Humane League, they might want to see what THL was doing in a given month. It's easier to use the tag for this than to make someone filter through all the monthly update posts to see which ones mention THL. (The downside is that many posts tagged with an org won't have much info about it — are you worried about that kind of tag use not being relevant enough?)

The case when I wouldn't use an org is when that org's work is very briefly referenced in a way that doesn't have much to do with them (e.g. someone cites an 80K problem profile as a source for some claim — that doesn't seem like a statement "about" 80K).

As this conversation continues and I arrive at a firmer definition of an org tag policy, I'll try to make it clearly visible in a few places.

The EA Forum Editing Festival has begun!

On point #2: Here's what I had suggested on my post about organization tags:

Choose an organization. Add that organization’s tag to every post about their work, every cross-post from their website, etc. (If they have no tag, create one!) You can find these posts by entering the org’s name into the searchbar.

In general, I think it's better to have more posts tagged rather than fewer, and I'd consider "paid work by an employee of X" to be "work paid for by X" and thus, in some sense, "the work of X".

The EA Forum Editing Festival has begun!

That's exactly the reason I linked to this list of high-karma, untagged posts as a starting point for people to work on. (And... it's already down at least 80% from where it was — good job, people!)

By changing the "threshold" number at the end of that URL, you can see untagged posts at any level of karma. That's a good way to find posts that may be especially worth tagging. (I've added this notice to the "how can you help" section — thanks for the suggestion.)

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