saulius

My name is Saulius Simcikas. I am a researcher at Rethink Priorities. I currently focus on topics within farmed animal welfare. Previously, I was a research intern at Animal Charity Evaluators, organised Effective Altruism events in the UK and Lithuania, and earned-to-give as a programmer.

Comments

Propose and vote on potential tags

When tags were introduced, the post said to "submit new tag ideas to us using this form." I made a bunch of suggestions (don't remember what they were) and probably some other people did too. Could someone who has access to results of that form paste all those suggestions here?

What is the most effective intensive farming video to convert meat eaters?

Also, I just want to share my experience that I tried to convert my family members as well when I first became vegan but then I realized that the chance of succeeding is low and that this isn't at all a good use of my time because I could help animals much more and with less effort by e.g. donating money to effective animal charities. Your situation might be different, but if your brother doesn't seem receptive right away, I'd recommend not pushing it too much. Vegans have a bad reputation of being too pushy in this way and I think that it's important to not reinforce it. Nowadays, I almost never bring up the topic of veganism myself, and I am very casual about it, and I only talk about it if people ask me about it. Ironically, I feel that this may be more effective. E.g., I noticed that multiple people I dated just happened to go vegan while we were together, despite me hardly ever talking about it. I think that my quiet example may have been an influence. Maybe it just showed to them that it is possible and no big deal. That said, I've heard at least one story of a son arguing a lot with his father and in the end convincing him to go vegan.

Also, I see that you want to convert them to vegetarianism. I think vegetarianism is not great from animal welfare perspective because conventional eggs might be one of the worst commonly-consumed foods for animals. E.g. see http://ethical.diet/ It could be argued that beef less bad than eggs. Hence, I think it makes more sense to advocate for lacto-vegetarianism which excludes eggs, but includes diary products, or something else.

I don't know if any of these things needed to be said to you, but I thought I would say them just in case.

What is the most effective intensive farming video to convert meat eaters?

Vegfund has some recommendations here. Personally, I always thought that What Cody Saw was very good, and I heard it being recommended by some animal advocates. I showed it to a friend once and she was moved by it and considered going vegan but didn't in the end. However, this was a while ago and now I see that Mercy For Animals have taken down the original video so maybe there is a reason not to use it.

EA Forum feature suggestion thread

It's not just about ranking. It's also about how much karma individual users have and (most importantly) about how worthy-of-reading a post looks when you open it based on its karma. I think that the situation where all votes made before the new system are worth one karma point is no less confusing than a system where they are worth two karma points.

EA Forum feature suggestion thread

Do you mean to do this to comments written by other people? Because you can already do this for your own comments by editing them and making more comments. But even that is problematic if anyone already voted on the comment.

EA Forum feature suggestion thread

Double the karma weight of votes made before the new karma system was implemented. All votes used to be worth one point. For example, let's take an old post like this. It currently has 43 karma and 43 votes (probably all of them are upvotes). For comparison, my newest post has 53 karma and 16 upvotes. If you think about it, that old post is clearly more endorsed by the community. There were fewer readers when it was posted and a very high percentage of them chose to upvote it and probably many would have strongly upvoted if that was an option. Nowadays, even a regular upvote by high-karma users is worth two points. Posts like that old post do not appear in forum favourites and other places like that but they should. If you doubled the karma of such old posts, the karma for that old one would be 86 instead of 43 - a much better representation of how much the community endorses that post. Ah, maybe you should even triple the karma weight. Posts like this would then actually make forum favourites and I think they should.

saulius's Shortform

There was an interesting discussion on whether EA organizations should reveal the authors of posts they publish here. You may want to check it out if this is relevant to you (not just the linked comment, but also the replies.)

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