Seed funding nonprofits: a high-risk, high-reward approach (Founders Pledge) 2020-08-31T15:25:16.420Z · score: 49 (18 votes)
2020 Top Charity Ideas - Charity Entrepreneurship 2020-08-18T14:37:46.589Z · score: 85 (40 votes)
Request for proposal - EA Animal Welfare Fund 2020-05-28T03:02:42.645Z · score: 35 (17 votes)
Charity Entrepreneurship’s 2020 research plans 2020-04-03T03:33:33.820Z · score: 55 (23 votes)
EA Animal Welfare Fund is looking for applications until the 6th of February 2020-01-22T10:44:26.552Z · score: 29 (11 votes)
Should We Try to Change Animal Welfare Laws in India or Taiwan?- Charity Entrepreneurship's Approach Report 2020-01-08T18:45:06.028Z · score: 26 (15 votes)
Are you working on a research agenda? A guide to increasing the impact of your research by involving decision-makers 2019-09-24T11:00:12.377Z · score: 60 (29 votes)
Application Process for the 2019 Charity Entrepreneurship Incubation Program 2019-09-17T07:32:36.941Z · score: 47 (26 votes)
Are China and India the most promising countries for animal advocacy? A systematic country comparison 2019-08-09T10:22:22.243Z · score: 63 (31 votes)
Did corporate campaigns in the US have any counterfactual impact? A quantitative model 2019-06-24T20:27:32.077Z · score: 30 (11 votes)
35 Independent Pieces of Evidence for Why New Corporate Campaigns Might (or Might Not) Work 2019-05-23T15:30:00.889Z · score: 49 (20 votes)
How to improve your productivity: a systematic approach to sustainably increasing work output 2019-05-20T18:25:24.097Z · score: 49 (26 votes)
Top Charity Ideas 2019 - Charity Entrepreneurship 2019-04-16T10:16:48.999Z · score: 63 (32 votes)
Which asks should be prioritized in animal advocacy? - Charity Entrepreneurship 2019-03-29T13:14:23.918Z · score: 25 (9 votes)
From humans in Canada to battery caged chickens in the United States, which animals have the hardest lives: results 2018-11-27T22:28:25.444Z · score: 86 (39 votes)
Food fortification of factory farmed animals’ food - CE ask report 2018-11-09T12:45:43.890Z · score: 13 (7 votes)
Is it better to be a wild rat or a factory farmed cow? A systematic method for comparing animal welfare. 2018-09-17T23:55:51.869Z · score: 49 (29 votes)


Comment by karolinasarek on Charity Entrepreneurship’s 2020 research plans · 2020-04-07T20:49:12.481Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW
Really impressed by your work so far, thanks for sharing this. 

Hey Edo, I'm glad to hear that you find our work useful.

I'm curious about how you are using multiple researchers for this. Most steps can be done in parallel, but I wonder- how much do you rely on multiple views on the same analysis, and how do you go about it? 

We have one lead researcher for each cause, responsible for conducting comprehensive research in their area; this way, they become experts in their respective fields. But we also want to capitalize on the fact that we are one of only a few organizations conducting research in multiple causes. We’re in a unique spot to learn and cross-apply methodologies and practices from other causes, as Neil Buddy Shah illustrates. Animal advocacy can cross-apply from global health research e.g. a comprehensive system to grade the quality of evidence. In turn, global health can learn from animal advocacy e.g. how to answer questions when there is little information, or when the evidence-base is low. For this reason, after the initial draft of a report is completed, it is peer-reviewed by a researcher from a different cause. On top of that, we have a senior staff member whose work is dedicated to thoroughly reviewing the reports. He looks for contradictory research; challenges crucial assumptions; double-checks key inputs in the CEA; verifies that the strength of evidence has been adequately expressed in the report based on its source; etc. At the end, I analyze the conclusions of the report. So for example, I consider whether any crucial considerations have been missed; if the evidence is strong enough to warrant the conclusion; and if equal rigor has been applied across different charity ideas. We also engage external research reviewers and experts in the field.

I'm always looking to improve our systems, so I'm open to suggestions on how we can do things better.

Comment by karolinasarek on Charity Entrepreneurship’s 2020 research plans · 2020-04-07T20:48:56.555Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW
Also, is there anything that the EA community can do to assist the research process? If so, what could be the most valuable?

Thanks for this question and for facilitating this research group! It seems like a fascinating project, and I cannot wait to see updates from it.

Researching marginal ideas on our priority list would be most valuable (ideally using the same process so it is comparable). Ideas that almost made it to our priority list probably have the highest odds of being better than the idea we recommend, so researching them might change what charities will be started. To get more granular, it would be really helpful to conduct crucial consideration research that may determine whether an intervention merits deeper research. As an example, here are the first ideas that didn’t quite make the list for each cause:
1. Mental health and subjective well-being: Addressing mundane, suboptimal happiness through conditional cash transfers for using gratitude journals

2. Animal welfare: Developing and advocating for pre-hatch sexing to reduce the suffering of male chicks
3. Family planning: Informing parents and girls about future economic opportunities

4. Health and Development Policy: Improving health systems through community monitoring of health problems (e.g. through scorecards, planning meetings, etc.; regional comparison/competition for outcomes-focused government)

You can read about each of these possible interventions in more detail in the linked Idea Prioritization reports.

Comment by karolinasarek on EA Animal Welfare Fund is looking for applications until the 6th of February · 2020-02-06T18:06:34.228Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Hey Abraham!
Thanks for asking for clarification.

One can submit an application until the end of the 6th of February (24:00 GMT).

Comment by karolinasarek on What should Founders Pledge research? · 2019-09-24T11:01:01.187Z · score: 10 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for asking this question. I support and follow the approach of asking relevant people in the space for input to a research agenda. I am happy to see that other organizations are also doing it.

Meta-thoughts on how to approach this selection task would also be handy.

Your question inspired me to write a short post on a methodology of systematically integrating stakeholders' and decision-makers' input into the research agenda. You might find this meta-methodology helpful.

Out of the areas you mention, I'd be very interested in the following:
Animal product alternatives 6/10

Pain relief in developing countries 6/10
Improving science 9/10

Ideas not included on your list:
GiveWell recently published its list of areas they are planning to explore. I think some of them might be of interest to donors focused on improving the welfare of the current generation of humans and high-income countries’ problems.

  • Tobacco, alcohol, and sugar control
  • Air pollution regulation
  • Micronutrient fortification and biofortification
  • Improving government program selection
  • Improving government implementation
  • Immigration reform
  • Mosquito gene drives advocacy and research
  • Mental health (interventions comparison)
  • Sleep quality improvement

As you know, GW’s research is very diligent. Consequently, it takes a long time to finalize. I would be interested in having preliminary research conducted by other organizations.

Regarding donors focused on animal welfare:

  • Producers’ outreach, for example,. providing subsidization for farmers interested in higher-welfare farming
  • CRISPR-based gene drives to address wild animals’ suffering
  • WAS intervention comparison
  • Affecting law and law enforcement focused on welfare improvements for chicken and fish in Asia
  • Insects’ welfare, intervention comparison, for example, reduction of the production of silk, painkillers for insects used in research, etc.

I am currently working on CE’s agenda for the next year in the area of global poverty/health, animal advocacy, and mental health. I will be able to list more areas and research questions worth investigating that CE cannot cover this year at the end of September. I am narrowing down a list of research ideas from 400 ideas (in three cases). Let me know if you are interested in hearing more about it.

Comment by karolinasarek on Did corporate campaigns in the US have any counterfactual impact? A quantitative model · 2019-09-17T11:45:44.571Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks Saulius for pointing this out. We spent a considerable amount of time trying to find a more relevant number, but that was the closes proxy we've found. If you have any other source we could use, that would increase the accuracy of the estimate.

Comment by karolinasarek on Did corporate campaigns in the US have any counterfactual impact? A quantitative model · 2019-09-17T11:39:12.249Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · EA · GW

When analyzing 35 Independent Pieces of Evidence for Why New Corporate Campaigns Might (or Might Not) Work, I’ve found some commonalities:

  1. Follow-through rate is lower in the case of companies that affect the highest number of hens.
  2. Financial situation: When companies broke or delayed the commitment, they blamed the recession or claimed that there were insufficient consumer demand and lack of funds for making the necessary changes on farms.
  3. ACE claimed that the success of the campaigns depends on the public perception of targeted issues. I have not fack-check that though.

Characteristics that don't correlate with follow-through:

  1. No correlation between the number of pledges and the % of cage-free eggs in a given country before the campaign. Meaning that campaigns do not seem to be simply riding already existing trends.

I wouldn't be surprised if those factors were somewhat predictive:

  1. If the pledge was made voluntary form the company or was forced upon by strong negative campaign.
  2. If a given company gave itself some wiggle room in the phrasing of their commitments, which they could later be used as a justification for breaking their commitments.
  3. What brand and public image they try to create
Comment by karolinasarek on 35 Independent Pieces of Evidence for Why New Corporate Campaigns Might (or Might Not) Work · 2019-06-06T08:16:09.333Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the suggestions! As we were discussing above, combining this estimate with a prior estimate using Bayes’ rule might be a solution here. Taking the uncertainty of the model into account, we indeed score this approach quite poorly when it comes to the evidence-base aspect of it. We have a different research template for approaches than the one you linked. I expect to publish the whole report on corporate outreach pretty soon.

Comment by karolinasarek on 35 Independent Pieces of Evidence for Why New Corporate Campaigns Might (or Might Not) Work · 2019-06-06T08:15:24.851Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

When it comes to the step between research questions and the probability distribution, full research, answering each question, can be seen in the full report. In the report, we also address some of the concerns you have with the judgement calls on each of the “qualitative” parameters.

Each update incorporates the weight we put on this factor, the directionality and strength. Those factors, again, rely on other information. With the example, you cited ”what ACE thinks makes an effective campaign” vs “probability that all companies defect in a Prisoner's Dilemma scenario". For example, ACE’s opinion on the importance of public support when launching corporate campaigns is formed based on the intervention report they have researched in November 2014, and as they currently claim “is not up to our current standards.”. The landscape has changed since then. As of recent, we can observe that there is a strong track record of successful corporate campaigns in countries where the society didn’t have sympathetic views toward animals (e.g. Lithuania or Japan). I think we can rely more and more on rigorous and generalizable conclusions from research on real-life examples and on the application of game theory to predict the behaviour of the companies.

I agree I wish we had enough time to flesh out the reasoning for each of the factors. Sadly, due to limited time we are constantly having to make trade-offs about whether we should put time into explaining the reasoning more deeply to the broader community vs discussing with the CE candidates vs researching more to get a deeper internal understanding. We generally plan on going deeply into these factors with the specific entrepreneurs looking to start this project or others, who are going to work/are working in the field in the near term, but not publish much more on the topic publicly after our full report.

Comment by karolinasarek on 35 Independent Pieces of Evidence for Why New Corporate Campaigns Might (or Might Not) Work · 2019-06-05T11:08:40.900Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you for the suggestion. I agree that we can’t extrapolate the conclusion about predicted follow-through rate based on what percentage of companies have followed through on the commitment so far. I looked at it again, and I think that if analyzed correctly it still provides valuable information, so I will leave it in the model, but I’ll move it to the section on updates based on qualitative data and change the values based on the information below.
I think that a good proxy for the information is whether the top 20 biggest companies are making progress and will eventually switch is if they responded to EggTrack. We can break it down to:
* Companies that passed their deadline:
Whole Foods (2004) - 100% follow-through
Costco (2018) - as of July 2017, 78% and 100% converted to liquid
*Those that didn’t respond to EggTrack are Walmart, Albertsons, McDonald’s, Target, Sysco, ALDI, Burger King, Tim Hortons, Southeastern, and Wendy's.
* Those that did respond and reported progress: Kroger (21% as of 2017), Publix (50%), SUPERVALU (as of 2016, 12%)
* Those in 20 that I do not have information on US Foods, IGA, Inc., Associated Grocers of Florida.

I will estimate the value in this cell based on this information unless you have info that could fill in the gaps.

I generally think that with all very uncertain estimates, whatever the result, it should be only treated as a cautious update and be combined with prior estimates of value.

As a meta comment, I think I’m less concerned about an error in one of the parameters than you seem to be because of the different goals of the research. My goal is to reach broadly good conclusions about which intervention should be executed from a given list of options given a limited amount of time, rather than get the right answer to a specific question, even if it takes me an extremely large amount of time. I think that using cluster approach is superior in such cases. If you are using cluster approach, the more perspectives you take into account the lower the odds of your decision being wrong, and so I trade other aspects (eg. number of interventions compared in a given time frame and how accurate a single estimate need to be) differently. One contradicting factor also cannot overpower the whole decision, etc. A completely different method should be used when we are trying to have as accurate beliefs about the world as possible vs getting to a good decision.

Comment by karolinasarek on Top Charity Ideas 2019 - Charity Entrepreneurship · 2019-06-05T10:40:11.577Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

When evaluating cost-effectiveness of interventions or charities, GiveWell only looks at how the action affects the most important metric that the charity is trying to adress. For example, when analysing the cost-effectiveness of SMS vaccine reminders, they only take into account the effect on the vaccination rate, but not on breastfeeding rates, which is also promoted by the intervention. We look at the effect on multiple disperse metrics, including health effects, reduced birth rate, woman empowerment, effect on animal welfare and the environment, etc. Additionally, we have not yet determined that condom distribution is going to be the intervention the charity is going to pursue. We are also considering SMS for reproductive health, community reproductive education, advance provision of EC etc.

Comment by karolinasarek on 35 Independent Pieces of Evidence for Why New Corporate Campaigns Might (or Might Not) Work · 2019-05-27T18:59:33.559Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I agree that there is no obvious way to model it and the method would even depend on the goal of the model, and it might not necessarily cross-apply to seemingly similar cases.

The estimate reflects a probability distribution of the percentage of corporations that have pledged a welfare improvement that will follow through on those pledges. Note here that it doesn’t inform about what percentage of companies in a country that the organization operate will implement the improvement, but rather the percentage of companies out of companies that have already pledged. Here the 39% - 50% is the most plausible outcome, but the model also includes, for example, the small probability of just 5% of companies following-through. We are also trading the accuracy of the result for the value of the information it provides. Of course, I feel fully confident that the true outcome will be somewhere between 0% and 100%, but this result is not that informative when we need to make a call.

I was modelling in mostly having in mind CE’s asks recommendations: food fortification and management of DO levels. That enabled us to narrow it down and make it more generalizable. I agree it won’t be generalizable for other asks, like the one that you used or even for the broiler asks for the same reasons.

Given your aims, you can use my estimates but just give any prior estimate, given that presumably, your priors aren't flat or 1.

An alternative to that method might be estimating number of animals affected rather than percentage of corporations since presumably animals aren't distributed evenly across corporations and so it seems possible that you might hit >x% of animals with x% of corporations. That would require modelling it for a very specific case if you want to get a “usable” result.

Comment by karolinasarek on Top Charity Ideas 2019 - Charity Entrepreneurship · 2019-05-27T18:57:46.652Z · score: 8 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the suggestions. For our poverty year we mainly focused on GiveWell priority programs although considered some interventions in the hits based area. Next year we plan on writing up some views comparing hits based giving to evidence-based giving and how we think they compare in expected value.

Comment by karolinasarek on Top Charity Ideas 2019 - Charity Entrepreneurship · 2019-05-27T18:57:23.489Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Yes, we do have reports on both of those ideas. I will link it here as soon as they are published.

Comment by karolinasarek on How to improve your productivity: a systematic approach to sustainably increasing work output · 2019-05-27T18:54:56.418Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you for the recommendation. Yes, we took some ideas or their variations from that book.

Comment by karolinasarek on How to improve your productivity: a systematic approach to sustainably increasing work output · 2019-05-27T18:33:17.976Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks, I will definitely post the results. I also encourage others to test it as well, so we have more generalizable data.

Comment by karolinasarek on How to improve your productivity: a systematic approach to sustainably increasing work output · 2019-05-27T18:32:54.149Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you for the suggestion. I'm always open for ideas on productivity improvements, especially if they directly affect charity entrepreneurs ;)

We generated a list of 100 ideas and prioritized them based on things like expected effect on the general population, on me and Joey, ease of testing, etc. As far as I remember, rotating positions from sitting on an office chair to standing to sit on a ball or laying on a couch are more strongly recommended than any single one of those. I think testing all of the tools you can use to be physically active would be an interesting separate experiment in itself. Have you ever tried a mini-stepper? How did you find the effects of a treadmill compared to a mini-stepper?

Comment by karolinasarek on Top Charity Ideas 2019 - Charity Entrepreneurship · 2019-04-23T17:39:45.085Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Fixed, thanks!

Comment by karolinasarek on Some information on the use of fish oil in aquaculture · 2019-04-01T15:41:34.586Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you for compiling information on fish oil used in fish feed. As part of the research at Charity Entrepreneurship, I recently published a report exploring fish feed optimization as a potential intervention. We had mostly focused on fishmeal, so you might be interested in complementary research. A lot of crucial considerations that we've explored are also applicable to fish oil. You can find the whole report here.

Comment by karolinasarek on Which asks should be prioritized in animal advocacy? - Charity Entrepreneurship · 2019-04-01T13:02:18.552Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Water quality including dissolved oxygen is affected by three main categories of causes; one of which is the biological loading and water treatment systems applied by the farmer that includes management of oxygen level. DO level is affected by multiple stable factors (like temperature) but also sporadic factors including overfeeding, swimming activity or CO2 increase, so it is important that the baseline dissolved oxygen level has a safety margin for temporary increases in DO requirements.

Comment by karolinasarek on An integrated model to evaluate the impact of animal products · 2019-01-10T22:22:07.885Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

CE has rating that include wild fish and wild fish caught for human use.

Comment by KarolinaSarek on [deleted post] 2019-01-01T00:55:17.586Z

Thank you for the relevant questions.

Is this only from the animal products the child would have eaten themself? Should the consumption from that child's descendants be included?

Yes, in our preliminary analysis we only include effects in the first generation, adjusted for the possible increase in consumption by other family members due to increased income. We will analyse the impact of prevented consumption in the next generation, but give it smaller weight than direct effect in the first birth averted.

FWIW, TLYCS recommends PSI and DMI, and DMI is one of GiveWell's standout charities, and both do family planning work.

We are aligned more with GiveWell’s methodology and consider their recommendations more representative. Family planning is one of many interventions DMI does with considerably less resources spent on it compare to other interventions.

What is even more important, DMI (and PSI) don’t work with impact on animal welfare in mind. That leads to choice of countries (Burkina Faso, DRC, Mozambique) that are one of the least promising form the perspective of their effect on animals (we have a report on priority countries coming out soon).

Comment by KarolinaSarek on [deleted post] 2019-01-01T00:54:11.969Z

We are very skeptical about being able to make any progress on far future effects of population given the time cap we put on this report and our general skepticism towards being able to make accurate far future predictions. We use something closest to a "weighted quantitative model" but would only do a more explicit model of this for the top charity ideas we investigate deeper.

Comment by KarolinaSarek on [deleted post] 2019-01-01T00:53:19.448Z

Broadly we have not considered WAS due to separate reports/views on how to deal with that (coming out soon). In short, epistemically, we tend to take a cluster view, one of which would be a cluster concerned with flow through effects. We think wild animal suffering will often be the most important consideration within flow through effects and we expect flow through effects to carry between 1% and 25% of our endline evaluation of the intervention’s promisingness. Overall, we think the effects other interventions have on wild animal suffering should be considered as a non-trivial factor, but not a dominating one. We will analyze it thoroughly in the next stage of research if this intervention would make to top 3 after shallow research of all asks we consider.

Comment by karolinasarek on Is it better to be a wild rat or a factory farmed cow? A systematic method for comparing animal welfare. · 2018-12-04T20:43:15.064Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

1) As you correctly observed, we didn’t adjust welfare points for population size and odds of feeling pain in this spreadsheet. But we just publish another report summarizing our animal prioritization research where we aggregated information about baseline welfare points, population size, odds of feeling pain, neglectedness, and amount of suffering caused by a smaller number of specific reasons.

Generally, when we are calculating the cost-effectiveness of a given intervention we take into account the number of welfare points “gained” (baseline welfare points changed counterfactually by the intervention) multiplied by odds of feeling pain and number of animals affected.

We also need to adjust for length of life. For example, if the baseline welfare points per year for a cow is -20 and for broiler chicken is -56, but beef cow spends 402 days on a farm, their WP would be multiplied by the percentage of year they spend on the farm, so 402 days / 365 days in a year = 110%, and broiler chicken spend 42 days, then WPs would be multiplied by 12% resulting in:
Cow: -22 welfare points per lifetime of an individual
Broiler chicken: -6.72 welfare points per lifetime of an individual.

2) The range is the minimum and maximum values of welfare points as rated by our external reviewers. “Total welfare score” (second column) is an average of internal and external reviewer’s ratings.

Comment by karolinasarek on Is it better to be a wild rat or a factory farmed cow? A systematic method for comparing animal welfare. · 2018-11-29T21:40:00.069Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW
Please link to the examples here when they are finished, thanks!

We had applied this system to 15 different animals/breeds and recently posted the summary of our research here.

Comment by karolinasarek on Is it better to be a wild rat or a factory farmed cow? A systematic method for comparing animal welfare. · 2018-11-29T21:39:21.987Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW
Some examples of this model being applied would be very helpful for understanding the model.

We had applied this system to 15 different animals/breeds and recently posted the summary of our research here.

Comment by karolinasarek on From humans in Canada to battery caged chickens in the United States, which animals have the hardest lives: results · 2018-11-29T21:29:50.270Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · EA · GW

We pulled the data on odds of feeling pain from Open Phil’s report on consciousness and moral patienthood. The probability of consciousness (as loosely defines by examples in the report) for a given species were estimated based on proxies like last common ancestor with humans, neurobiological features, nociceptive features and other behavioral/cognitive features. In our system, we based weighting of different criteria based on multiple factors including proxying ethical value accuracy (metric and ethical value, encapsulation, directness and gamability) and cross-applicability, including cross-animal applicability. You can read more on that in our previous post.

Comment by karolinasarek on Food fortification of factory farmed animals’ food - CE ask report · 2018-11-12T21:24:12.320Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Short response:

Some farms (e.g. GAP farms) do have better nutritional practices, although there is not great specific data from them. That being said, there is other evidence that both calcium has an impact and theoretical reasons why a large number of farms would not supplement well. Farms do experiment with food a lot but not generally with welfare in mind. It’s not currently an issue at the front of consumers’ minds.

Longer response:

One of the requirements for Global Animal Partnership (GAP) certified farms is "Hens must be provided with sufficient calcium in their diet to maintain hen's health and eggshell quality." There are approximately 20 chicken farms signed up to this program and they might provide an adequate level of calcium. Welfare of hens is measured individually for every farm, but according to my knowledge, they are not conducting any studies. Fortunately, evidence base for calcium and phosphorus supplementation is pretty strong. For example, according to this analysis for hens at age 462-543 days of life increasing dietary calcium

from 24-25 to 36-40 g/kg decreased mortality by 5.5% (22.8% -> 17.3%) and improved egg production, shell weight (SW) and shell thickness (ST)

from 36-40 g/kg to 49 g/kg by next 5.4% (17.3% - 11.9%) but did not affect egg production but increased SW and/or ST.

Farmers do prepare their own fortified feed premixes, but it is unlikely that they provide an adequate level of nutrients because the currently recommended dosage is not optimal. One study compared turkey's health benefits of currently recommended by National Research Council (NRC) dosage of phosphorus and diets that were 0.06% higher than NRC recommended levels; 0.1% higher than the medium diet, and 0.1% higher than the high diet.In addition to lower body weights, turkeys fed with the NRC recommended diet had higher incidences of bone fractures and reduced the walking ability, indicating that feeding nonphytate phosphorus at levels above NRC recommended levels resulted in improved growth and better skeletal integrity compared to NRC recommended levels. Similarly, the level of calcium can affect skeletal properties and body weight. For example, Tatara et al. (2011) reported improved skeletal properties and increased body weights in turkeys provided with 95% or more of NRC recommended calcium compared to those provided with 85% of NRC recommended calcium. (source, page 281)

Additionally given that economically, phosphorus is the third most expensive component in a non-ruminant diet after energy and protein, it is less likely that chickens in the standard farm have an adequate level of this mineral. One of the biggest feed distributors, DSM, that additionally seems to focus on animal welfare outside of the profitability of having healthy animals, supplement feed with vitamins, but not dietary minerals like calcium.

The evidence is strong enough to research this, ask more deeply, and we are planning to conduct more research to determine the exact level of nutrients in chicken's diet and evaluate the change in welfare points cause by fortification. Interestingly, feed (as well as chickens) is often provided to the farmers by large food companies (e.g. Tyson Foods who contract out the raising of the birds to the farmers, so we will compare the level of nutrients added by Tyson Food to the optimal dosage to determine if the ask is still more cost-effective than other interventions we are investigating.

Comment by karolinasarek on Concrete Ways to Reduce Risks of Value Drift and Lifestyle Drift · 2018-05-06T19:03:47.413Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you, Joey, for gathering those data. And thank you, Darius, for providing us with the suggestions for reducing this risk. I agree that further research on causes of value drift and how to avoid it is needed. If the phenomenon is explained correctly, that could be a great asset to the EA community building. But regardless of this explanation, your suggestions are valuable.

It seems to be a generally complex problem because retention encapsulates the phenomenon in which a person develops an identity, skill set, and consistent motivation or dedication to significantly change the course of their life. CEA in their recent model of community building framed it as resources, dedication, and realization.

Decreasing retention is also observed in many social movements. Some insights about how it happens can be culled from sociological literature. Although it is still underexplored and the sociological analysis might have mediocre quality, but it might still be useful to have a look at it. For example, this analysis implicate that “movement’s ability to sustain itself is a deeply interactive question predicted by its relationship to its participants: their availability, their relationships to others, and the organization’s capacity to make them feel empowered, obligated, and invested."

Additional aspects of value drift to consider on an individual level that might not be relevant to other social movements: mental health and well-being, pathological altruism, purchasing fuzzies and utilons separately.

The reasons for the value drift from EA seems to be as important in understanding the process, as the value drift that led to EA, e.g. In Joey's post, he gave an illustrative story of Alice. What could explain her value drift was the fact that at people during their first year of college are more prone to social pressure and need for belonging. That could make her become EA and drifted when she left college and her EA peers. So "Surround yourself with value aligned people" for the whole course of your life. That also stresses the importance of untapped potential of local groups outside the main EA hubs. For this reason, it's worth considering even If in case of outreach we shouldn't rush to translate effective altruism

About the data itself. We might be making wrong inferences trying to explain those date. Because it shows only a fraction of the process and maybe if we would observe the curve of engagement it would fluctuate over a longer period of time, eg. 50% in the first 2-5 year, 10% in a 6th year, 1% in for the next 2-3 and then coming back to 10%, 50% etc.? Me might hypothesize that life situation influence the baseline engagement for short period (1 month- 3 years). As analogous for changes in a baseline of happiness and influences of live events explained by hedonic adaptation, maybe we have sth like altruistic adaptation, that changes after a significant live event (changing the city, marriage etc.) and then comes back to baseline.

Additionally, the level of engagement in EA and other significant variables does not correlate perfectly, the data could also be explained by the regression to the mean. If some of the EAs were hardcore at the beginning, they will tend to be closer to the average on a second measurement, so from 50% to 10%, and those from 10% to 1%. Anyhow, the likelihood that the value drift is true is higher than that it's not.

More could be done about the vale drift on the structural level, e.g. it might be also explained by the main bottlenecks in the community itself, like the Mid-Tire Trap (e.g. too good for running local group, but no good enough to be hired by main EA organizations -> multiple unsuccessful job applications -> frustration -> drop out).

Becuase mechanism of the value drift would determine the strategies to minimalize risk or harm of it and because the EA community might not be representative for other social movements, we should systematically and empirically explore those and other factors in order to find the 80/20 of long-lasting commitment.