JP Addison

4955 karmaJoined Working (6-15 years)Cambridge, MA, USA


Head of the CEA Online Team, which runs this Forum.

A bit about me, to help you get to know me: Prior to CEA, I was a data engineer at an aerospace startup. I got into EA through reading the entire archive of Slate Star Codex in 2015. I found EA naturally compelling, and donated to AMF, then GFI, before settling on my current cause prioritization of meta-EA, with AI x-risk as my object-level preference. I try to have a wholehearted approach to morality, rather than thinking of it as an obligation or opportunity. You see my LessWrong profile here.

I love this Forum a bunch. I've been working on it for 5 years as of this writing, and founded the EA Forum 2.0. (Remember 1.0?) I have an intellectual belief in it as an impactful project, but also a deep love for it as an open platform where anyone can come participate in the project of effective altruism. We're open 24/7, anywhere there is an internet connection.

In my personal life, I hang out in the Boston EA and Gaymer communities, enjoy houseplants, table tennis, and playing coop games with my partner, who has more karma than me.


Topic contributions

Working questions

A mental technique I’ve been starting to use recently: “working questions.” When tackling a fuzzy concept, I’ve heard of people using “working definitions” and “working hypotheses.” Those terms help you move forward on understanding a problem without locking yourself into a frame, allowing you to focus on other parts of your investigation.

Often, it seems to me, I know I want to investigate a problem without being quite clear on what exactly I want to investigate. And the exact question I want to answer is quite important! And instead of needing to be precise about the question from the beginning, I’ve found it helpful to think about a “working question” that I’ll then refine into a more precise question as I move forward.

An example: “something about the EA Forum’s brand/reputation” -> “What do potential writers think about the costs and benefits of posting on the Forum?” -> “Do writers think they will reach a substantial fraction of the people they want to reach, if they post on the EA Forum?”

You can do this on the search page. (I agree it would be better for that option to appear on the user page filtering — it's a natural thing to want to look for.)

JP Addison
Moderator Comment4

The moderators have removed personal information from the above comment. The Forum's policy is to allow anonymity, and even if you believe someone has misbehaved or misled, it is still not allowed to identify them or related parties.

I believe it should work if you search "foobar Vasco Grilo"

A thought I want to leave for posterity and because I just linked this conversation to someone: I really would like the comment hiding to also hide agree/disagree votes. I'm nervous about people feeling more pressure to disagree-vote in this world.

Also while I'm at it I should note that, as evidence of the feature being under-baked: someone reported it to me as a bug 😅

Ah, I see. I don't hate that at all.

If I were defending my past decision, I'd say that you'd probably hover over the usernames after reading and before you reply.

Again without defending past!me's decision, we deliberate thought it would be a bad idea to have some of the participants able to see karma and some unable to. Karma is an important part of the social landscape that some people would be missing.

I'll write down the request. I tried previewing what it would look like and it's not perfect

so we'd probably need OWID to make a dedicated preview page.

Hiding karma would be specially relevant for people with low karma, who are new to the forum?

At the time we wrote the feature, we wanted to experiment with it for only some posts, and generally we often roll(ed) out features to power users first. Rather than having someone new to the site who just happened to discover it but wouldn't be able to model the costs/benefits of turning on the feature.

I assume it can be disabled later one (in the post editor moderation options)?

No, actually. On the basis that karma does actually contribute a lot to the way people interact with comments, we wanted to avoid changing the system midway through a thread.

(TBC this really was a long time ago and I don't necessarily endorse the decisions that past!me made here.)

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