Lizka

Content Specialist @ Centre for Effective Altruism
Working (0-5 years experience)
7295Joined Nov 2019

Bio

I run the non-engineering side of the EA Forum (this platform), run the EA Newsletter, and work on some other content-related tasks at CEA. Please feel free to reach out! You can email me. [More about my job.]

Some of my favorite of my own posts:

I finished my undergraduate studies with a double major in mathematics and comparative literature in 2021. I was a research fellow at Rethink Priorities in the summer of 2021 and was then hired by the Events Team at CEA. I've since switched to the Online Team. In the past, I've also done some (math) research and worked at Canada/USA Mathcamp.

Some links I think people should see more frequently:

Sequences
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Forum Digest Classics
Forum updates and new features
Winners of the Creative Writing Contest
Winners of the First Decade Review
How to use the Forum

Comments
254

Topic Contributions
195

I'm really grateful for this post and the resulting discussion (and I'm curating the post). I've uncritically used neuron counts as a proxy in informal discussions (more than once), and have seen them used in this way a lot more. 

It helped me to draw out a diagram as I was reading this post (would appreciate corrections! although I probably won't spend time trying to make the diagram nicer or cleaner). My understanding is that the post sketched out the rough case for neuron counts as a proxy for moral weight as predictors of the grey properties below (information-processing capacity, intelligence, extent of valenced consciousness, and the number of morally relevant thresholds crossed by the organism), and then disputed the (predictive power of the) arrows I've greyed out and written on. 

No, although they can't join without logging in. 

I'm definitely not an expert, but I'll chime in: 

  • Here's the  Forum wiki page on donation matching, which collects lots of related posts. 
  • Presumably the best case for a donation match is a match such that: 
    • The "matcher" would not use the funds altruistically if they don't spend them on the match (see also What should "counterfactual donation" mean?)
    • The match's limit won't run out (at least, without your involvement), or others would use the match less effectively (e.g. if there's $100 in matching funds going to any charity, and you think others might direct the funds to PlayPumps)
    • Where the donations are not restricted to a particular project that's less than half as effective as where you'd be donating otherwise (e.g. you were going to donate $100 in total, and you'd go for GiveWell by default, and someone says they'll match you for $100 if you give your $100 to PlayPumps — you should probably not do this).
    • [There are probably other criteria that I'm not thinking about right now!]

Thanks for posting this! 

At a skim, this looks related to Passing Up Pay by Jeff Kaufman, and Should effective altruism have a norm against donating to employers? by Owen Cotton-Barratt. I don't remember what was in those posts, exactly, but imagine that readers who find this interesting might also find the discussion on those posts useful. 

This seems really cool — thanks for setting it up! 

Lizka6dModerator Comment113

We’re issuing Sabs a 1-month ban for breaking the norms repeatedly in the comment above, despite our warning 10 days ago. Specifically, we think that Sabs violated the following norms: 

  • The comment above is unnecessarily insulting and harsh. 
  • It was not helpful for good discourse. I don’t believe that speculating about mental illness in this way is appropriate unless there’s a good and stated reason for it.
  • The comment deadnamed and misgendered Torres, and was not corrected after I pointed this out.[1]

On the point brought up by some Forum users, that the comment is informative: extremely critical content — including fairly vague negative impressions of someone — can be very useful to surface. But I think it’s very important for us to uphold the Forum’s norms about kindness, civility, staying on topic, and honesty, especially when the typical reader might be predisposed to suspending them because of past experiences with someone involved. 

There was some discussion about this two years ago (again relating to Torres). Some relevant excerpts from Aaron’s comments from this thread

One complication in this situation is that [Torres] doesn’t have a good reputation among the Forum’s users, some of whom have had unpleasant personal interactions with [them] (myself included, several times over). But I don’t want our norms about personal accusations to depend on how popular or pleasant the targets are. If you were accusing me of calling you a Nazi, I’d hope you would link to evidence, and I want the same standard to hold for [Torres]. 

And

To the extent that someone’s problematic interpersonal behavior is being discussed on the Forum, I still believe we should try to actually show evidence. Many Forum readers are new to the community, or otherwise aren’t privy to drama within the field of longtermist research. If someone wants to warn the entire community that someone is behaving badly, the most effective warnings will include evidence. [...]

Imagine showing a random person from outside the EA community* (say, someone familiar with Twitter) [this comment] and [this comment], as well as the karma scores. That person might conclude “[commenter] was right and [Torres] was wrong”. They might also conclude “[Commenter] is a popular member of the ingroup and [Torres] is getting cancelled for wrongthink”.

And

While some users contribute more value to Forum discussion than others [...], I associate the pattern of “giving ‘valued’ users more leeway to bend rules/norms” with many bad consequences in many different settings.

  1. ^

    I think my original comment might have been unnecessarily ungenerous — it’s sometimes genuinely hard to track name and pronoun changes, and I should have more readily assumed that this was an honest mistake in Sabs’s original comment. However, the fact that they haven’t edited their original comment since I pointed the error out is concerning and makes the deadnaming and misgendering seem much more deliberate. 

Welcome to the effective giving subforum!

This is a dedicated space for discussions about effective giving. 

Get involved:

  1. ^

    Threads can be casual! This will only appear in this subforum or for people who've joined the subforum. 

Lizka7dModerator Comment3017

Writing as a moderator. I think this comment is unnecessarily harsh and insulting, and also deadnames and misgenders Torres. It clearly violates Forum norms.

We generally assume that deadnaming or misgendering is an honest mistake, but given that the discussion around this post has been referring to Torres by their preferred name and pronouns, I find this less plausible.

I also find the focus on mental illness inappropriate.

Please correct the name and pronouns in this comment. I'll be discussing with the rest of the moderation about potential further action.

Lizka11dModerator Comment84

As a moderator, I think a previous version of this comment was rude and clearly violated many Forum norms. Another comment also violates Forum norms.

While I appreciate the edit, this is a warning, if you leave another comment like these, you will probably receive a ban.

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