Angelina Li

Data Analyst @ Centre for Effective Altruism
779 karmaJoined Nov 2021Working (0-5 years)Berkeley, CA, USA


Hiya! I work on data stuff at CEA. I used to be the content lead on the EA Global team at CEA, and before that I did economic consulting. Here's an old website I might update at some point.

Think I'm making a mistake? Want to give me feedback? Here's my admonymous.


Got it, thanks for the response!! Really appreciate it :)

On shrimp sizes:

Ah, I missed that you were inferring number of individuals affected based on production tonnage. It sounds like 14g is your estimate for the size of an individual 'headless peeled shrimp's?

If so: I can't quite tell whether all electrically stunned shrimp end up being counted as "production", or if e.g. some are not in good enough condition to be used in production. If the latter is true (if a big portion of electrically stunned shrimp do not end up in production), could you be undercounting the number of individuals actually affected here?

This does seem like a nitpick though, and perhaps getting better evidence on how efficacious electric stunning is at improving shrimp welfare is the most relevant thing!

On adherence:

That makes sense! If you had the time, I'd be curious to know what your plan for monitoring adherence levels in the farms you partner with? No worries if you don't have the capacity to respond!

For example, $500,000 lets you triple the number of backchannel diplomatic exchanges between the U.S. and China on strategic nuclear issues.

Huh! Is this a specific live funding opportunity you are tracking, or just an example of a specific outcome that philanthropic nuclear funding has generated before? Curious if you can elaborate, if not too sensitive!

I'd also be curious for your reasoning on why you aren't working on shrimp paste, if you have time!

Congrats on what looks like a really successful first 2 years! I'm a big fan :)

I said this elsewhere, but the collaboration of many folks in the effective animal advocacy space that has led to work like this makes me really happy. (I think of the RP / CE / SWP collaboration here as an awesome success story for EA!)

Some questions on your electric stunning guesstimate:

  • The shrimp weights you're using (14g) seems kind of low compared to the estimated mean weights RP published recently (which have central estimates of 17g for L. vannamei and 36 for p. monodon). What are these based on? I think these could have a somewhat significant effect on your bottom line # of shrimp stunned
  • Looks like you're directly using the agreed upon % of shrimp to be stunned, when going from [population of shrimp in each region] -> [number of shrimp you think SWP will affect].
    • I'm wondering if you want to adjust this for the predicted follow through rate, which I think is a bit more similar to how folks have done corporate campaign evaluations in the past? (I'm not very familiar with the current literature / best practices here though!)
    • Do you have any tentative evidence on what the follow through / adherence rate is for stunning compared to the agreements made?

Are there folks working on plant based shrimp paste alternatives, and/or other ways of working on reducing demand for shrimp paste?

This seems like potentially a very neglected area of intervention for animal motivated entrepreneurs (i.e. a gap I wouldn't expect the market to organically fill):

  • My guess is the consumers are generally less wealthy than the average plant-based alternative consumer in Western countries
  • Doesn't feel as much of a 'fancy' ingredient vs beef or other expensive meats
  • Shrimp are less sympathetic animals :(

I'd be really excited for folks to work on this! I'm not sure if you think there are a few people on the ball already, or if basically no one is owning this right now?

This was super interesting, thank you so much for your work on this! In general I really admire RP's foundational work on shrimp welfare. The fact that RP, CE and now Shrimp Welfare Project have put in so much high quality work into this area makes me feel proud of the broader EA ecosystem / feels like a real success story. Personally speaking, RP and SWP's work on shrimp welfare has made me care significantly more about this cause area.

I had some thoughts while digging through your models and methodology:

1/ On acetes japonicus:

Wow, if I naively divide up the total number of acetes japonicus from this spreadsheet with your median 27T total shrimp killed per year figure, I think this implies A. japonicus might make up 70% of the raw number of shrimp killed via farming per year?

  • That seems huge! FWIW I think maybe this could be one of the headline results, since it took me some time to realize this.
  • Do you or others have thoughts on the relative sentience or moral weights of A. japonicus in particular? Sounds like SWP are thinking about this a bit?
  • This very nitpicky, but I'm surprised how low precision the generic estimated mean weight in grams estimates you're using to go from tonnage of A. japonicus -> number of individuals (0.005 to 0.07g) — since these account for so many individuals, I'm curious if there are ways to refine this? 

2/ On landed catches:

The FAO global capture database refers to the total retained catches, which includes “landed” and “non-landed” catches (FAO-Fisheries Division, personal communication, May 27, 2021). That is, it includes the mass of animals that are captured, whether they arrive at the port (“landed”) or not.

However, in most cases, countries are only able to report the quantities of landed catches (FAO-Fisheries Division, personal communication, May 27, 2021). That is, it is likely that FAO’s Fishery Statistical Collections on Global Capture Production does not contain data about shrimp (and other animals) that were captured, killed, and used prior to landing, either because they were consumed on board, or used as bait. Similarly, captured shrimp that got spoiled onboard are typically dumped before landing, and therefore, are not reported either. Lastly, landed weight data do not account for shrimp that are unintentionally lost when handling at sea or when landing.

Did you try to make any adjustments for countries that don't report non-landed catch weights, or otherwise bound your uncertainty over this? For instance I could imagine finding the average landed to non-landed catch ratio amongst all regions where you have the data, and bump up total tonnage stats by that percentage for countries where you only have the landed catch weights.

(Or at least, it would be interesting to know if the landed to non-landed tonnage ratio is more like 2:1, 10:1, 1000:1, etc.)

On a similar note, I'm not sure if "total catch weight" includes individuals caught as part of bycatch?

Where did you get the 35 trillion number from? Did you mean something closer to 27T (the median estimate for the "Total number of shrimp (farmed and wild-caught, 2020)")?

including the sorry state of nuclear security philanthropy

I'd be interested in hearing more about this! I'd be curious how nuclear security work is funded in general (almost entirely government funding? Or a wider mix than people might expect?), and what you think are the biggest problems with nuclear security philanthropy today?

Can I check my understanding here? It sounds like:

In a hiring process, later screens are less correlated with applicant future performance than earlier screens (because in general, applicants who do well in your first form screen will do more similarly in the interviews than your applicant pool overall). This does seem like an interesting phenomenon that I hadn't thought about before, thanks :)

I guess I'm confused what hiring managers are supposed to do about this effect, though. I skimmed the chapter you link but it seemed more relevant for correcting for this when e.g. trying to correct for this when measuring the effectiveness of different interview tools in the wild.

Would be curious for your off the cuff thoughts (but this is mostly just for my curiosity so no worries if you're busy :) )

I found this reflection interesting and in general really like hearing your thoughts on hiring, Joseph :)

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