Last month in EA projects

As be­fore, here are up­dates from the last month in EA pro­jects from .im­pact, the venue for com­mu­ni­cat­ing and col­lab­o­rat­ing on these. They come from our last meet­ing on Google Han­gouts; we didn’t get round to post­ing the meet­ings in be­tween this and the first one we posted, but as always they can be found here, as can the agenda for the next gen­eral up­dates meet­ing—which is hap­pen­ing on Sun­day 7 June, and to which any­one’s very wel­come! It’s at 9pm UTC (2pm Pa­cific, 5pm Eastern, 10pm Lon­don) and a Google Han­gouts link to join will be posted in the Face­book event at that time.

Two weeks af­ter each gen­eral meet­ing we also now have a ‘spe­cial’ meet­ing—a deep dive into a par­tic­u­lar pro­ject, a meet­ing es­pe­cially fo­cused on new peo­ple, or any­thing else that seems worth­while. The next one will be on Sun­day 24 May, again at 9pm UTC, and will be a deep dive into this year’s an­nual EA sur­vey.

10 May 2015 pro­ject up­dates meeting


Tom Ash

Haseeb Qureshi

Randy Carlton

Jacy Reese

Eric Bruylant

Matiss Apinis

Eliz­a­beth Van Nostrand

Matthew Gentzel

Mar­cus Davis

Erik Engelhardt

Pro­ject Updates


  • Sam’s pro­posal, which we’ll im­ple­ment this meet­ing un­less peo­ple dis­agree:

    • Next .im­pact meet­ing make peo­ple opt-out of tak­ing on ac­tion points

    • Ask at the be­gin­ning of the meet­ing that any­one who 100% definitely does not want to come away from the meet­ing with one or more ac­tion points of things to do over the next 2 weeks speaks up now.

  • Just one AP per per­son is a good start

    • Dur­ing the meet­ing try to find at least one thing for each per­son to do that suits them.


      • We will find suit­able task for most peo­ple.

      • In the short term the benefits of more get­ting done due to more peo­ple would be roughly can­cel­led out by the cost of less get­ting done as things are de­layed as they get given to vol­un­teers who do not have the time for them.

      • Peo­ple will get more in­volved and in the medium term and .im­pact would grow quicker.

  • Peter ap­plied to EA Ven­tures for the .im­pact fund

  • Tom cre­ated Wel­come to the .im­pact hack­pad wiki (pinned to top) & .im­pact Fre­quently Asked Ques­tions . Po­ten­tial AP: Both could use a lot of edit­ing—any­one up for it?

  • Set up VA ser­vices on fan­cy­hands and odesk which .im­pact pro­jects can use, paid for via the .im­pact fund ( Ozzie Gooen kindly added his credit card to both ). Email Ozzie if you’d like to use these for now.

  • Eliz­a­beth Van Nos­trand is com­piling de­scrip­tions & newslet­ters for EA orgs. Ask Tom about .im­pact, so Tom cre­ated a .im­pact newslet­ter au­to­mat­i­cally send­ing out things on the blog (and any­thing else we want). Linked from the .im­pact site, join at http://​​eep­​​bmDrGL

    • How do we add blog posts? What pro­cess should any­one read­ing this fol­low if they want to?

Eliz­a­beth’s project

  • Real­ised that there were many open spaces for in­volve­ment in EA, so com­piled in­for­ma­tion about all the or­gani­sa­tions

    • Sugges­tion: put on EA Forum

EA Face­book group

Peter’s been think­ing about im­prov­ing the EA “fun­nel” as a whole and is plan­ning to help im­prove it through .im­pact, in­clud­ing hiring some­one part time. On this, it strikes me that the EA Face­book group could be put to bet­ter use if a lit­tle time was spent think­ing about this. It’s very pop­u­lar, and seems to be a com­mon first stop for peo­ple get­ting in­ter­ested in EA, who of­ten ask ques­tions and are un­fa­mil­iar with ex­ist­ing EA knowl­edge and re­sources. (Ex­am­ples of im­prove­ments would be sim­ple things like a FAQ or ways to point peo­ple to steps along the fun­nel.)

Jacy: I’m one of the mod­er­a­tors. We’re always look­ing for ideas like this. We have one pinned post and a side­bar de­scrip­tion.


  • Banned post to­day

  • Jacy: one is­sue that comes up is what sort of con­tent we should al­low

    • Tried to have a rule that you have to ex­plain things, eg why a link is rele­vant to EA

    • Jacy: would it be good to have a writ­ten policy?

      • Eliz­a­beth: share a writ­ten policy she has for Seat­tle with Jacy Reese

      • Eric: con­sider phras­ing in a pos­i­tive way, eg. ’Civil dis­course is ex­pected’ rather than ’you must not be un­civil’

    • Jacy: dis­cus­sion of weird/​offputting topics

    • Eric: [missed some of this] bans could just be cool­ing-off pe­ri­ods

      • Randy: I like the cool off pe­riod and tak­ing the Face­book dis­cus­sion to an­other fo­rum that is more ap­pro­pri­ate/​long-form.

    • Tom: *writ­ten*, ex­plicit rules peo­ple can check against would be good.

    • What are the pro­ce­dures? E.g. when ad­mins dis­agree? It’s not a democ­racy, or like what a ma­jor­ity of ad­mins want hap­pens.

      • Jacy: ad­minis­tra­tion has evolved or­gan­i­cally. But if peo­ple think it’d be good to have writ­ten rules or vot­ing pro­ce­dures that’d be good.

        • Do think this would be good

      • Jacy: could re­quire 46 for bans

        • Erik: from ex­pe­rience, would sug­gest just get­ting 2 who agree first, and then dis­cussing oth­ers with ex­am­ple first.

          • Jacy: the 46 would be good for non-urgent

    • Jacy: if any­one knows of any other move­ments which man­age similarly large

  • Im­prove­ments and uses welcome

  • What should go in the side­bar?

    • Matiss: rules of discourse

    • Matiss: what is EA? a clear, short in­tro­duc­tion

    • Eric: if you want to get in­volved, here’s what to do, here are ways to raise money like birth­day fundraisers

      • http://​​effec­tivealtru­​​ac­tions (and the things long to)

      • Bet­ter than just hav­ing peo­ple read about cool stuff and then not go onto read stuff

      • Char­ac­ter limit con­cern

        • Laun­dry list of or­gani­sa­tions would be a good one to cut

        • 3rd point of

        • AP Eric: make on wiki and send to Jacy

      • Matiss: link to EA Wiki

  • Jacy: how about pinned post?

An­nual EA Survey

  • Main up­date to come in other meet­ing—Peter Hur­ford to add de­tails/​FB event once up.

  • David Moss is pub­lish­ing 2 posts seek­ing sug­ges­tions from the com­mu­nity, the first to come by ???

Wear­able EA

From Fran­celle:

  • For the past sev­eral weeks I’ve been play­ing around with wear­able EA de­signs, and have shared these con­cepts with a few oth­ers in EA and re­lated cir­cles.

  • Eager for your feed­back.

  • Eric: I like them, I’d definitely wear a pa­per­clip one!

  • Ozzie: not sure how to make the cross sign intuitive

EA Wiki

  • Draft: http://​​wiki.effec­tivealtru­​​w/​​in­dex.php?ti­tle=Effec­tive_Altru­ism_Wiki

  • Me­di­aWiki+a load of use­ful ex­ten­sions set up (plus gad­gets and wid­gets, in­clud­ing em­bed­ding sup­port for google docs/​sheets and hack­pad)

  • Fore­ground skin set up as de­fault, mod­ified color scheme to fit EA Hub theme

  • Con­tent im­ported from old wiki

  • Ini­tial ver­sion of char­ity/​or­ga­ni­za­tion in­fobox made. Sugges­tions for what to in­clude use­ful.

  • Am reach­ing out to peo­ple sug­gested by tom for web de­sign help (pri­mar­ily with the main page, also pos­si­bly in­foboxes), my web de­sign/​html is not great and it’s not some­thing I en­joy. Help ap­pre­ci­ated.

  • Main stick­ing point is SSO, which is needed to stop spam­bots and make it easy for ed­i­tors, and needs work from the dru­pal end. May need web dev at­ten­tion to up­date an old ex­ten­sion if the cur­rent plan does not work.

  • To dis­cuss: SMW, Vi­su­alEdi­tor, Scribunto

    • SMW definitely

    • Vi­su­alEdi­tor—Ozzie thinks we have a rel­a­tively tech­ni­cal au­di­ence. Some think the non-vi­sual ed­i­tor would be kind of con­fus­ing.

    • Scribunto lets you do lua script­ing. Lean­ing to­wards ex­clud­ing.

  • How much should I just do things that make sense to me, will peo­ple point out if I do some­thing silly/​am not aware of some re­source?

    • Yes, do that, peo­ple should try

    • Ozzie: if have ques­tions, these meet­ings are good,

  • Ozzie: awe­some job. Lots of praise. Se­conded, thirded, etc. by oth­ers.

  • Ozzie: what are met­rics for suc­cess? can we make pageviews pub­lic?

  • Po­ten­tial APs:

    • Con­tent (adding or­ga­ni­za­tion in­foboxes, lots of pos­si­bil­ities), de­sign for the main page

    • Help with sin­gle sign on /​ OAuth—for some­one some­what fa­mil­iar with web de­vel­op­ment

      • Ozzie: could use the .im­pact fund, would be happy to foot the bill—Will look into configuring

      • De­ci­sion: Ozzie and Eric will work out

Wor­ld­wide EA Dona­tion Rout­ing Mechanism

  • We’ve learnt a lot about effi­cient cross-cur­rency trans­fer and conversion

  • Ozzie and Randy will talk out­side this meet­ing, af­ter the 18th.

Hub website

  • Sprang for .org af­ter ask­ing if it was worth it on the .im­pact FB group

  • Oliver Habryka got in touch ask­ing to host some pages he was putting to­gether on EA Hub. Ended up mak­ing sense to put them on http://​​www.bayra­tional­​​ linked from the hub groups page, but it’s worth men­tion­ing we’re gen­er­ally open to host­ing stuff.

List of startup ideas, with com­ments and upvotes


  • Team is open to donat­ing equity to EA/​.im­pact if we would like to take on a some­what es­tab­lished startup

Outreach to non-EA so­cieties and groups

  • Tom cre­ated pro­ject page for this, in­clud­ing some com­ments on promis­ing lo­cal so­cieties from people

Non-English lan­guage EA outreach

Im­prove EA Pres­ence on Wikipedia

Small EA task suggester

  • De­cided where to host, fea­tured on EA Hub’s ’Ac­tions’ tab at http://​​effec­tivealtru­​​actions

  • De­cided ready enough to launch—soon now, not yet, Chris Conte mak­ing some changes

  • This may now end up pow­er­ing the EA Ac­tions in­ter­face and badges we con­sid­ered for EA Profiles

  • Could this be in­te­grated into EA chap­ter meet­ings for those look­ing to get in­volved fur­ther w/​ EA?

  • Matiss sug­ges­tion: let peo­ple sign up to get reg­u­lar emails with new actions

Pos­si­ble APs

  • Pro­gram­ming ones on pro­ject page

EA Read­ing Group


Cur­rently read­ing Think­ing and De­cid­ing by Jonathan Baron

Reg­u­lar EA Digest

  • Evan Gaens­bauer: Mailchimp?

  • Tom in­tro­duc­ing Michal and Agata to take some work on as they were plan­ning some­thing similar

Lo­cal Effec­tive Altru­ism Net­work (in­clud­ing Creat­ing EA lo­cal pres­ences)

  • Pro­duc­tive dis­cus­sion with Jon Courtney

  • Scope for some­one to get in­volved in run­ning this—any­one in­ter­ested? Let any­one you know who might be.

  • Sev­eral now hold­ing ac­tive, well-at­tended mee­tups, with large groups, etc.

  • Done: send re­sources, an­swer ques­tions, set up mailing lists and groups, etc.

  • More of the new groups start­ing to have meetups

Par­tial Char­ity Science updates

  • Ex­pe­rience Poverty main dates done

  • Some­one may run an ex­per­i­ment with face-to-face asks, po­ten­tially door-in-the-face ones. What’d be a good ex­per­i­ment? And in par­tic­u­lar what’d be a good ask?

    • Tom: I think the key way to make it more sci­en­tific and use­ful would be to do some­thing which gets suffi­ciently fre­quent pos­i­tive re­sponses. More rapid re­sponses would also be more use­ful in terms of pro­vid­ing re­sults sooner, and more im­por­tantly let­ting them ad­just the ex­per­i­ment based on these.

    • Randy: Can we ask a few peo­ple at­tempt­ing Ex­pe­rience Poverty to go out on the street, lay­out the food they plan to eat for the day, and at­tempt asks?

  • Com­ment from Randy (via Face­book post): Can we cover .im­pact vol­un­teers for build­ing EA mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als and adding EA ac­tion points to ex­ist­ing (viral) ma­te­ri­als?

EA Forum

Ryan Carey is look­ing for an­other mod­er­a­tor.


- https://​​​​OAGr/​​rulebook


- Pro­ject-spe­cific lint­ing, writ­ten in golang

Free Discussion

Next .im­pact meeting

Peter Hur­ford to add de­tails/​FB event once up.

Any­one else can add top­ics here, or ask about any­thing they’d like to

Bay Area Hackathons

Sugges­tion from Matiss: char­ity gift cards

If you give peo­ple a dona­tion as a gift, have a card or to­ken you can give them.

  • Peo­ple who are already EAs could use this as an ad­vo­cacy tool to non-EAs or just to gift to other EAs.

    • Ozzie: “For your birth­day, I’m al­low­ing you to donate money to Givewell that I would have oth­er­wise given to Givewell”

Char­ity Science con­sid­er­ing, but not a pri­or­ity. We made http://​​www.char­i­ty­​​christ­mas-cards.html . Would be helpful for Matiss to ask around to find de­mand: find how many EAs would use them.

Matiss: Yes, un­til next .im­pact meet­ing: Add idea with points dis­cussed this meet­ing to .im­pact pro­ject board, ask around EA groups thoughts on idea, de­mand for it.

Ozzie or Tom (for­got): Send some­one to a page where they have a to­ken cor­re­spond­ing to sum of money that can get donated to what­ever effec­tive char­ity they want [money trans­fer cod­ing is­sue]?

  • Randy: Could help with com­ing up with a trans­fer sys­tem?

Ozzie: could give the re­cip­i­ent choice of char­ity, like a giv­ing game, op­por­tu­nity to in­form peo­ple about cost-effec­tive char­i­ties.

  • Ozzie: You could also ask for such a gift to you from a non-EA, e.g. on your birth­day.

    • Ozzie: It would be cool to make a web­site where you could choose whom to gift, what char­i­ties they should spend on.

Haseeb: Peo­ple might not feel good if it looks too much like a re­cruit­ment tool. It should sup­ple­ment what gifts and giv­ing is about. It should feel like a good gift, not just EA per­sua­sion.

  • Ozzie: you re­ally don’t have to men­tion effec­tive al­tru­ism in the gift card

Eric [on who gets the credit as dona­tor so you don’t get faux dona­tion in­fla­tion]: i’d pro­mote com­mu­nity norms about gifted dona­tions ’count­ing as’ dona­tions by the re­ceiver of the gift oth­er­wise you get to dou­ble count everything

  • Matiss: Yeah, it has to count only for one per­son and that’s the re­ceiver of the gift, oth­er­wise it doesn’t seem like a gift.

  • Randy: Need to sort out an­a­lyt­ics to de­ter­mine whether im­pact is hap­pen­ing or just echocham­ber­ing EA dona­tions be­tween EAs that would have donated oth­er­wise as non-gifts.

Matiss: Some­one men­tioned that there would have to be an ex­pira­tion term if the per­son who re­ceived it didn’t use it. What hap­pens then—re­fund to giver or de­fault char­ity op­tion offered by sys­tem or cho­sen by giver.

  • Ozzie: De­fault op­tion cho­sen by giver re­quires more cod­ing but gives more choice/​func­tion­al­ity.

  • Eric: Rea­son­able de­fault could be split be­tween GiveWell top recom­men­da­tion, al­though cho­sen by giver could work as well.