The EA Hotel is now the Centre for Enabling EA Learning & Research (CEEALAR)

post by CEEALAR (EA Hotel) · 2020-01-29T14:08:24.000Z · score: 9 (29 votes) · EA · GW · 31 comments

This post is to announce the rebranding of the EA Hotel to the Centre for Enabling EA Learning & Research (CEEALAR). Whilst a bit of a mouthful, the new name better describes our charitable purposes and objectives. We are in the process of registering as a charity in England & Wales with the Charity Commission.

In order to preserve links, eahotel.org will remain up, and redirect to our new website ceealar.org. We also have another domain, eablackpool.org, that also redirects to ceealar.org.

This forum account is the old EA Hotel account with its name changed. Our Facebook group has also been re-named.

We are fundraising.

31 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Jonas Vollmer · 2020-01-29T14:33:34.694Z · score: 38 (18 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

This is great news, congrats on making this happen!

I guess you are doing this partly for legal reasons? I'm curious, have you considered going for "Athena Hotel" (the previous name of the hotel) as the main name of the project, regardless of what the legal entity is called? Might be easier to memorize/pronounce. I worry that otherwise, EAs will continue referring to CEEALAR as "EA Hotel", which could be a missed opportunity given that there's some reputational risk involved with the hotel.

Edit: More generally, it seems desirable to have a shorthand name for the hotel that's easier to spell, pronounce, and remember than "CEEALAR".

Some ideas: Athena Hotel, Athena Centre, Blackpool Hotel, Blackpool Centre, Learning & Research Centre.

(Someone pointed out to me that "Athena Hotel" might work particularly well because Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom.)

comment by Pablo_Stafforini · 2020-01-29T15:02:28.208Z · score: 50 (21 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I second the suggestion to put at least a bit of thinking into coming up with more memorable, pronounceable and authoritative alternatives, if it's not too late already. Really, this is an acronym that will last for years or decades, will be written and uttered thousands of times, and will often be the very first thing someone will see or hear when exposed to the organization.

comment by SamuelKnoche · 2020-01-29T15:52:55.036Z · score: 15 (7 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Though the hotel isn't trying to have a big public presence so a boring name like CEEALAR might be just right.

comment by CEEALAR (EA Hotel) · 2020-01-29T15:41:14.252Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

We did put a fair bit of thinking into it! Open to suggestions, but they will have to be quick (our reapplication to the Charity Commission has been considerably delayed already. Note that the lawyer we consulted about our application liked the name).

comment by Pablo_Stafforini · 2020-01-29T16:09:39.829Z · score: 57 (24 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Some concrete problems I see with your choice:

  • The name of an organization should ideally consist of two or three main words, perhaps four if there are strong enough reasons. Yours has six.
  • The acronym formed by the name should ideally be pronounceable and aesthetically pleasing. I'm not sure CEEALAR is pronounceable. I don't think it's pleasing.
  • The rules for generating the acronym should ideally be consistent. Either all articles and prepositions are included (e.g. CFAR) or none are (e.g. CEA). In 'Centre for Enabling EA Learning and Research', CEEALAR includes 'and' but excludes 'for'.
  • [Note: Greg tells me that the name needs to be intelligible to the Charity Commission, so I retract this bullet point] The name need not provide a full description of the nature of the organization, or even be intelligible to newcomers. Those are desiderata, but may be trumped by other considerations. Consider, e.g., 80,000 Hours: no one would ever guess what they do just from the name alone, but it is still adequate, and much better than, say, Career and Coaching Services for Young Effective Altruists (CACSYEA).

I'll try to think of some concrete suggestions later, but all of Jonas's proposals look superior to CEEALAR, in my opinion. If you don't like the word 'Hotel' because of its for-profit connotations, how about replacing it with 'House'?

You may also want to consider creating a poll on an EA Facebook group, just like other EA orgs which went through a process of rebranding did in the past (e.g. Stefan Torges created one such poll a couple of months ago asking for alternatives to 'Foundational Research Institute').

I hope this doesn't come across as overly critical. Congratulations for putting in all the time and effort required to get the (former) EA Hotel registered as a proper charity!

EDIT: See also Ryan's comment [EA(p) · GW(p)].

comment by Greg_Colbourn · 2020-01-29T16:50:29.020Z · score: 11 (7 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)
Congratulations for putting in all the time and effort required to get the (former) EA Hotel registered as a proper charity!

Thanks!

poll on an EA Facebook group

We did do this for the initial naming. It seems like a very lengthly process though, looking at the example of FRI. I'll also note that the names that got to the top of the latest poll I've seen (from 14 Dec) don't seem that great (but then my judgement perhaps isn't the best in this area, given the reception so far to "CEEALAR"!)

comment by Khorton · 2020-01-30T00:27:50.881Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Sometimes you can "operate as" something different than your legal name. Could be an option here.

comment by Larks · 2020-06-05T16:10:56.028Z · score: 10 (3 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)
I'm not sure CEEALAR is pronounceable. I don't think it's pleasing.

I actually think 'sea-ah-lar' is quite nice sounding, perhaps a distant cousin of Fëanor.

comment by Pablo_Stafforini · 2020-06-06T13:46:04.724Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I meant visually pleasing. I agree it sounds good. (Though I feel that when you know the spelling, it becomes harder to appreciate the euphony, given the incongruity between the two.)

comment by Jonas Vollmer · 2020-01-29T16:06:03.248Z · score: 33 (15 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I was thinking that you can always use a name that's different from the legal name. E.g., GiveWell's legal entity is called "The Clear Fund" but nobody cares/knows. Similarly, the Future of Humanity Institute has a "Centre for the Governance of AI" which isn't a separate legal entity. So it seems like the brand (and/or shorthand term) you use publicly is somewhat independent of the legal name.

comment by RyanCarey · 2020-01-29T16:03:53.694Z · score: 38 (15 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Have you heard of Neumeir's naming criteria? It's designed for businesses, but I think it's an OK heuristic. I'd agree that there are better available names, e.g.:

  • CEEALAR. Distinctiveness: 1, Brevity: 1, Appropriateness: 4, Easy spelling and punctuation: 1, Likability: 2, Extendability: 1, Protectability: 4.
  • Athena Centre. 4,4,4,4,4,4,4
  • EA Study Centre. 3,3,4,3,3,3,3.
comment by rosiecampbell · 2020-01-29T18:58:02.310Z · score: 47 (22 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Just wanted to express support for 'Athena Centre' or 'Athena House'. Or if it needs to be more intelligible to the Charity Commission, maybe something like 'The Athena Centre for EA Study'. (Also, congrats - really excited to see this getting registered as a charity!!)

comment by sky · 2020-01-29T20:15:51.423Z · score: 17 (13 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I think it's worth noting that the acronym for the Athena Center for EA Study is ACES! :)

comment by Sean_o_h · 2020-01-30T09:48:11.669Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Too good - how could you possibly turn this down!

comment by Sean_o_h · 2020-01-29T19:00:45.038Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I like Rosie's suggestions (inspired by Jonas's).

comment by Greg_Colbourn · 2020-01-29T17:35:21.673Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Interesting - you mean this? Worth considering for an alternative name/brand [EA(p) · GW(p)] [Jonas' comment above] down the line a bit.

comment by RyanCarey · 2020-01-29T20:50:07.503Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Yep, that's it.

comment by MarisaJurczyk · 2020-01-29T17:34:42.113Z · score: 13 (9 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I agree that CEEALAR (I'm pronouncing it see-uh-lar, almost like CLR, in my head) looks a little odd and might be hard to remember the acronym for. But I also agree that to get charitable status, dropping "hotel" was probably a good choice. A lot of nonprofits in the US use "house" (e.g. Covenant House) to give more of a charitable vibe. "EA House" already sounds less for-profit, though maybe less distinctive since EA houses are all over the place. Also, Centre gives me think tank vibes, which may or may not be what you're looking for.

If you're tied to the name, I'd recommend dropping the first E to make it CEALAR (Centre for Effective Altruism Learning And Research) to make it more pronounceable, aesthetic, and brief.

Overall, names are hard, and I'm not sure if it's worth stressing as people will probably keep informally calling it the EA Hotel as is.

Props for putting in the work to keep this organization alive and well. It's a wonderful asset to the EA community. :)

comment by Greg_Colbourn · 2020-01-29T17:50:06.157Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)
Props for putting in the work to keep this organization alive and well. It's a wonderful asset to the EA community. :)

Thanks!

CEALAR

I agree that the extra E is a bit jarring at first (someone else has pointed this out too). I worry that without it it's too similar to CEA though; and the "Enabling" also seems useful in helping to describe what we do.

comment by Derek · 2020-01-29T18:05:45.588Z · score: 7 (6 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

But I really think the whole name should be reconsidered.

comment by Derek · 2020-01-29T18:05:21.971Z · score: 6 (7 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

You could keep the name but drop the first 'A': CEELAR. Excluding the 'A' of Altruism isn't great, but I think you're allowed to take major liberties with acronyms. And really, almost anything is better than CEEALAR.

comment by MarisaJurczyk · 2020-01-29T18:52:35.411Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)
I worry that without it it's too similar to CEA though

Valid.

You could keep the name but drop the first 'A': CEELAR

I also like this.

comment by CEEALAR (EA Hotel) · 2020-01-29T14:43:02.114Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

The main reason for the change is to make it immediately obvious that we are a non-profit. The building is still called the Athena Hotel.

comment by Jonas Vollmer · 2020-01-29T14:48:00.582Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks, that makes sense. What do you think about the other points I mentioned?

comment by CEEALAR (EA Hotel) · 2020-01-29T14:58:27.566Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Using the word "Hotel" is problematic as it's generally too associated with "for-profit" unfortunately. The other ideas you mention seem too generic; "Enabling EA Learning & Research" is a very concise summary of what we actually do. We didn't come up with anything better that was a pronounceable acronym.

comment by NunoSempere · 2020-01-30T10:04:56.136Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Center for Assisting EA Study And Research: CAESAR.

Assisting ~ Aiding ~ Abetting

comment by Sean_o_h · 2020-01-30T10:25:30.749Z · score: 22 (8 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Possibility of verbal confusion as this is how most people vocalise 'CSER' (where EA folk also tend to go in the UK).

(We had a 'Julius' for a while, which was excellent).

comment by Sean_o_h · 2020-01-29T18:42:41.315Z · score: 16 (10 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

HEAR - Hub for enabling EA Research. HEALR - Hub for enabling EA Learning and Research.

Or call it the EARL - EA Research and Learning Centre (the 'centre' bit can often easily be dropped from the acronym).

comment by CEEALAR (EA Hotel) · 2020-06-04T19:03:01.934Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Happy to announce that we are now a registered charity!

comment by Ben Pace · 2020-06-05T02:54:38.133Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Congratulations! I'm happy to hear that.

comment by Greg_Colbourn · 2020-01-29T14:35:22.778Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Note we are still offering the same as before, with the caveat that we aren't subsidising people earning-to-give (as was originally envisaged with the EA Hotel). We are still open to short-term visitors.