Finance Director @ Animal Charity Evaluators
191 karmaJoined Aug 2014Berkeley, CA, USA



I'm the Finance Director at Animal Charity Evaluators. I co-founded and co-led EA Madison (Wis.) and have been involved in effective altruism since 2013.


I agree we should try using accessible language (when it doesn't compromise our message). It makes our ideas more easily spread to people from various backgrounds (e.g. not just tech people), non-native English speakers, younger people, etc.

I think it'd be great if more EA orgs made this an official part of their style guides/voice guidelines/similar. Was just thinking about this again when I was reading an 80k piece ( that used the term "sandboxes", when "test environment" is probably clearer to a wider audience.

"Avoid “sex sells” tactics"—the link there doesn't work.

Re: others organizing special events on the forum--

I think if CEA came up with a process for that, which included CEA promoting the event organized by a non-CEA person, that might help this happen.

There could be a "forum special event" form, where someone can suggest a theme, write up a description, and get feedback from CEA on it. Maybe the feedback would be to clarify the description, or to suggest a specific time for the event to be synchronized (or not) with related other events. E.g. if there's an insect welfare conference happening at time X, it might work well to have an insect welfare forum fortnight soon after that.

And then the promotion could be to include the event announcement in the EA Newsletter or pin the announcement post to the home page of the forum for a bit.

Formatting thing: you may have meant to indent some bullets under "Work on any single area can gain from our working on multiple areas:"

I think this b/c it ends with a ":"

From my basic understanding of Open Phil, it does seem like Dustin & Cari have given up the reins to a large extent? Open Phil has hired lots of staff who are making the granting decisions, although maybe Dustin & Cari have a large influence over the cause areas.

Cool, thanks for doing this!

I'm curious to know the main differences in purpose between this and the Impactful Animal Advocacy newsletter. One obvious one is that the latter is monthly and via email and this is more frequent and on the forum. Other differences?

Thanks for offering these fellowships! I have a couple questions:

  1. Are they still ongoing; is there a new form people can use to apply?
  2. Would you be open to supporting small remote EA orgs' ~weeklong staff retreats in the Bahamas?

I agree re: "rare" v "obscure". "Obscure" to me means weird (in a negative way) in addition to uncommon. "Rare" just means uncommon. Diamonds (non-synthesized) are valued highly because they're seen as rare, for example. People don't use the word "obscure" to describe diamonds.

That said, neither word may turn out to be good to use in advertising.

There are at least ~70 EA-aligned or adjacent organisations (including national/local/university groups)

Did you mean to say not including national/local/university groups? There are about 300 national/local/university groups (according to Ben West at CEA), and I would guess ~70 is about the number of orgs which identify as EA-aligned.

Hi Elliot, I would agree that organizing a single small meetup is pretty simple, low risk like you said, but organizing an ongoing, engaged group of people who are excited to show up again and again, and encouraging them to make high-impact life changes (like changing their area of study, career, or donating significantly) is much harder. At least it was for me. It takes ongoing motivation/commitment, good organizing skills, fresh ideas for activities or discussion topics, etc. I think we did pretty well for a few years but then moved across the country. I'm appreciative of the folks who picked up coordinating the group, but do think it was challenging for them as well.

All that said, there are some great resources out there (like Catherine Low, as you mentioned), a Facebook group for group organizers, etc. So it's definitely doable for someone who can make that ongoing commitment. I'd just be wary of pitching it as a very simple thing to do. Organizers should be aware of what they're getting into if they want to have a long-lasting successful group :)

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