Head of marketing @ 80,000 Hours
1254 karmaJoined Feb 2020Working (0-5 years)Bethnal Green, London, UK


Hello, my name's Bella Forristal. I work at 80,000 Hours, as a marketer. I'm interested in animal advocacy, moral circle expansion, and normative ethics. Previously, I worked in community building with the Global Challenges Project and EA Oxford, and have interned at Charity Entrepreneurship. Please feel free to email me to connect at :)


Awesome, I got the UK ebook! I'm so excited to see this launched and I hope people love the book!

My favourite feature isn't on here at all, which is making yourself automatically unavailable during sessions/talks you've said you're going to!

This is so cool to see! Thanks for putting it together and for posting :)

Just an FYI, Week 11 refers to the 80,000 Hours career guide, but actually links to our key ideas series, which we've now stopped updating.


Thanks for sharing this — it feels like you really didn't "have to" in some sense, but I appreciated some of the insight into how the process is going and reading your learnings!

Thanks for your thoughtful comment, & thanks for providing some more explicit/concrete examples of the kind of thing you'd like to see more of — that was really helpful!

(And I hadn't read that article you linked before, or thought about the "missing middle" as a frame — thanks!)

I think I'm now more confident that I disagree with the argument you've laid out here.

The main reason is that I disagree with your claim that we'd be able to do more good by reviewing our methodology & de-emphasising neglectedness.

I basically just think neglectedness is really important for what I'm trying to do when I'm trying to do good.

I think there are really compelling arguments for working on e.g. immigration policy and criminal justice reform, that are going to appeal to a much broader audience than the one on this Forum. You don't need to be, like, a 'moral weirdo' to think that it's unnacceptable that we keep humans in near-indefinite imprisonment for the crime of being born in the wrong country.

And I think the core strength of EA is that we've got a bunch of 'moral weirdos,' who are interested in looking at ways of doing good for which there aren't clear, emotionally compelling arguments, or that don't seem good at first. E.g. when improving education, everyone thinks it seems good to provide teachers and textbooks, but fewer people think of removing intestinal parasites. [1]

I recognise this isn't anywhere close to a watertight defence of the current main focus of longtermists versus the other kinds of interventions you highlighted, but I think it's the core thing driving why I don't currently buy the argument you laid out here :)

[1] putting aside for one second the arguments about whether this actually works, lol! Was just the first example that came to mind of something deeply "unsexy" that EAs talk about.

Hi! I enjoyed reading this; thanks for writing and posting it!

I'd make a tentative guess that many (most?) longtermists would totally agree with a ton of the substantive claims in this post — or at least I do — such as: 

  • Substantive equality, as defined in this post, is the right way to think about equality
    • (Though I'll register that I personally find discussions about equality to often be pretty confusing/unhelpfully framed, when we don't agree on a) what quantities should be equal, b) how they're currently distributed, and c) and what it would look like for them to be equal)
  • Systemic marginalisation matters, and should be taken very seriously
  • The developing world is hugely important when thinking about building a better future (& will become more so over time)

I think one way we could make discussions about the kinds of issues you've brought up here go better would be to make them more concrete and explicit about the kinds of things we'd like to see more of versus less of.

Here's my attempt to summarise the 'my claim' section (do you think this seems right?)

  1. 'Systemic issues [such as] weak national institutions and widening inequalities to systemic biases with regards to their race and gender (as well as ableism, cis-heteronormativity, etc.) and...anti-immigration stances...are quite likely to persist into the future if they are not strategically and intentionally addressed.'
  2. [Just paraphrasing for brevity] Longtermists should think more carefully about what this means for their work.
  3. 'It is not good enough to work only towards ensuring that the longterm future exists...we ought to strive to ensure that those who will live then live sufficiently well.'
  4. 'The currently pursued longtermist interventions by the community are too narrow, almost entirely focused on preventing or mitigating x-risks.'

I feel like I'd be much better able to figure out whether I agreed with your argument here, if I had a few examples of the kinds of things you'd be interested in seeing longtermists do more of to 'broaden' the interventions we pursue.

I think some of them I'd really support, and others I'd be less excited about — at least in part because my impression is that lots of methods we know of for fighting inequality are pretty popular with mainstream movements for doing good (so they're less neglected than weirder stuff EAs tend to do). 

Thanks again for your post! :D

Answer by BellaJul 28, 20235

Might it be worth applying to Oxbridge for another subject anyway? (Not sure how different the options are).

Are we worried beak trimming ban is net neg? Because of increased pecking/deaths from cannibalism & infected wounds.


Banning CO2 slaughter and mutilations seems... way ahead of anything I would have guessed might happen soon. I would've guessed that at least a ban on dehorning is way outside the range of plausible things that would be done for animal welfare.

Nice, that helped clear this up for me!

I think there is a typo here:

(1-0.8)% of vaccinated and as yet uninfected people would be.

Should say:

(1-0.8)*x% of vaccinated and as yet uninfected people would be.


(else I'm still confused, heh.)

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