Posts

Sentience Institute 2017 Accomplishments, 2018 Plans, and Room for Funding 2017-12-14T20:57:48.618Z · score: 11 (11 votes)
Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA 2017-10-26T13:20:40.239Z · score: 38 (71 votes)

Comments

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Sentience Institute 2017 Accomplishments, 2018 Plans, and Room for Funding · 2017-12-16T01:33:07.162Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Thank you Kieran! I will look into global numbers for farmed bait fish and fish mortality, and either update the sheet on that or qualify it with info about this if I cannot find/make estimates. Will update our US estimates too, and also qualify about these numbers being vertebrates. :)

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-11-01T00:54:51.014Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Since I'm already working on inclusionary practices myself, there's not much else to do but private or public discussion.

The private discussions I have had explicitly around the issue have varied a lot in their content and purpose and can be characterized as any of the following or a combination thereof: Listening to people's experiences; sharing my own; discussing solutions; actively (beyond just listening) supporting people who were treated poorly; sharing information and concern about the issue with people in a better or still good position to do something about it; trying to discuss why this or more specific issues of exclusion are a problem with people who prefer the status quo; or endeavoring to show people why something they did was a problem and what they should do differently.

Dealing with a bewilderingly amateur situation myself and working to privately help the people responsible to understand the problem and improve took a month out of my life, and with a really important counterfactual, and that's strictly in time spent on the issue that I don't think I would have had to lose in e.g. the animal advocacy community, and not accounting for the emotional toll. I have good reason for (cautious) optimism that that was fruitful but also a red flag restraining that optimism and regardless only time will tell.

Basically I've spent a huge amount of time on those private and often solution-oriented conversations and have been hanging over the precipice of burnout with the community since day 1 several years ago. (The broader community at least, not the animal advocacy sub/intersected-community. And disclaimer that there are great individuals throughout the broader community who are my friends and/or whose presence in the community I am so happy for, etc.) And I'm definitely not alone in that.

I can do more to have private conversations with people in better positions than myself to make change here (such as people who are looked up to in the community by the people whose behavior could be more inclusionary, or donors to EA orgs), and I might if this post and the discussion here doesn't inspire other people to take more action on this issue, which is my hope.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-11-01T00:09:10.276Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I think we score quite a bit worse on "feeling" than most altruistically-driven communities and individuals, men included.

[Edit: Point being, yes we're lacking in feeling, but "thinking vs. feeling" is not a tradeoff we have to make to increase our A (or our gender parity, which isn't an inherent problem but is tightly related to our problems). EA's whole purpose is to combine both and we should aim to recruit people who score high on both, not just one or the other. Sorry for the excessive edits.]

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-30T19:29:30.075Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Risk does come with greater publicity of such behavior, but that's part of the point of making it more public (in addition to the information value for people who want to avoid or address it). This is the first I've ever publicly said something about these issues in EA, after three years of many private conversations that seem to have resulted in limited or no impact. Greater publicity means greater accountability and motivation for action, both for the people who behave poorly and the people who let them do so without consequence.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-29T18:46:57.114Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Regarding your "red flags":

1) The post does not advocate for identity categories over competence, but competence over identity categories. As I've argued, we're missing out on a lot of people because they don't match irrelevant criteria.

2) No skepticism of questionable claims has been suspended. You are welcome, as others have, to point out what claims are too confident and why. You'll note that I've edited the post to qualify a claim I made that a commenter pointed out is debated in the literature, and an implication I made that a commenter convinced me I made too confidently.

You are also welcome to provide arguments for the position you seem to take that the status quo (or an even more exclusive community, which we may be becoming) is better than a more inclusive community. Bringing up the risk is a valuable contribution to this discussion and I really appreciate it. Let's go further with our analysis of tradeoffs and discuss specific steps we can take to become more inclusive while limiting the risks in either direction, and let's have a healthy skepticism of the status quo.

3) A dismissal of the whole project of inclusion because of the risk that it will go too far is itself something of a silencing of dissenting opinions and an abandoning of free speech. As I said very explicitly in my comment about free speech, the term is often used to justify speech that pushes people out and reduces the diversity of opinions in the community and the freedom that people have to speak. The question is where the line is -- and it's probably a blurry, messy one -- and how we should address transgressions of it to keep our debates as free and productive as possible.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-29T18:33:47.629Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I already commented this on your earlier, similar comment, but since you're repeating this here I will too so it's not missed:

I entirely appreciate the concern of going too far. Let's just be careful not to assume that risks only come with action -- the opposite path is an awful one too, and with inaction we risk moving further down it.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-29T16:55:13.204Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · EA · GW

I entirely appreciate the concern of going too far. Let's just be careful not to assume that risks only come with action -- the opposite path is an awful one too, and with inaction we risk moving further down it.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-29T14:58:56.561Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Animal advocates definitely discuss inclusion in their movement(s) more, or at least more productively. A small organization was even established in the space recently to increase racial inclusion in the movement. EA discussion on the issue has led to far less action and results in a lot more pushback and hostility. If EAs do discuss it more, I'd say the excess is in people expressing frustration and that not going anywhere.

(My source is observation -- I have been heavily involved in both communities for several years.)

In terms of wider society, it's an issue that people and institutions from governments to non-profits that exist to solve the issue to tech companies are putting a lot of discussion and action into. BLM isn't something separate, it's part of the discussion in wider society. And IIRC US companies spend $8bn on diversity programs annually. (How effectively they're spending it is another matter, but the point is it's getting a lot of attention.)

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-29T03:50:40.275Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · EA · GW

The same person, in response to the point "Don’t dismiss or trivialize the altruistic concerns ordinary people have," said:

Agree – this is one of the most alienating parts of EA groups I have come across. Charity snobbishness has become quite extreme in some contexts I’ve been in, and I found it to be a somewhat closed-minded approach to altruism generally. At one point, I became persuaded by this attitude and even noticed myself becoming judgmental with the people around me. It was only when my mum told me she thought I had become more judgmental, and not for the better, that I took initiative to really analyse why I was behaving like I was, and to understand that this is not a way to do the most good for people around you nor for trying to encourage people to give their time and money more effectively. I think many people in EA should take a step back and realise that in their attempt to do the most good, they are acting in a closed-minded way, which is actually preventing them to be able to achieve the most good they can.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-29T03:40:34.685Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · EA · GW

Someone who prefers to remain anonymous shared with me that there were multiple issues that made her and other women interns feel excluded at an EA organization, but she felt it was too intimidating to bring them up because the staff seemed too tight, including the women, and the interns felt too separate from them.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-29T03:02:20.316Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I like this idea. It will be skewed towards people who aren't turned off by the culture, as those who are will have less interest in, and in some or many cases may not even be exposed to, the survey, but getting more systematic info on people's feelings here would be very useful.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T22:07:48.663Z · score: -3 (6 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks, clarified.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T21:45:21.343Z · score: 5 (8 votes) · EA · GW

Julia,

I appreciate the work you've done and continue to do on community-building. It seems though that there is a lot more productive work that can done than can be achieved by one part-time role, and that there are angles we're not addressing.

For instance, we could bring in someone who can advise on all forms of communication from job postings to website UX to social media content and strategy; assist with speaker recruitment and selection and provide feedback for presentations at conferences; and conduct reviews of inclusionary performance in organizations' hiring and management practices, in outreach efforts, and in local communities' practices.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T21:01:47.515Z · score: 2 (9 votes) · EA · GW

An explanation of what you mean by "turn out OK" would be helpful. For instance, do movements that err more towards social justice fare worse than those that err away from it (or than those that sit at the status quo)?

Whether that's the case for the atheism movement or the open source community is a heavy question that merits more explanation.

Actually, I would think that any overshooting you see in these communities is a reaction to how status-quo (or worse) both of those communities are. Note for instance that when women are not collaborators on a project (but not when they are), their open-source contributions are more likely to be accepted than men's when their gender is not known but despite that they're less likely to be accepted than men's when their gender is known.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T13:24:49.050Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

If people have to opt into it, we can assume the people who currently misuse their votes won't.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T13:23:56.414Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I think that's a huge part of the reason why we overrepresent people the demographics we do. But offloading responsibility onto part of the pipeline below us isn't sufficient, least of all when we can source from other pipelines.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T13:22:23.325Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · EA · GW

The problem is that those thoughts, as I noted, become actions, just actions we can usually only see as systematic trends. Just because someone does not say "women are incompetent" does not mean they aren't underestimating women's competence and e.g. hiring them less than he should. Taking action on this just requires a more systematic approach than explicit discrimination does.

I agree that in terms of what works, just pointing out bias doesn't seem to help and can even backfire, as I mentioned, which is why I provided a list of other possible solutions.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T12:57:49.410Z · score: -1 (10 votes) · EA · GW

I can't address all of this but will say three quick things:

I'm broadly skeptical of the social psychology research you cite

I appreciate it's weakness, but it's at least some evidence against people's intuitions and in addition to the literature on how those intuitions are demonstrably false and discriminatory it should update people away from those discriminatory beliefs.

[Edit: I appreciate that I should generally behave as though my community will behave well, and as such I should not have requested that people upvote even if I just asked them to "upvote if [they] find the post useful." I want to be sure to flag in this response though the incredibly poor way in which people who disagree with claims and arguments in favor of diversity and inclusion are using their votes, in comments and on the whole post. It's worth explicitly observing that identity-driven voting here is not equal among opposers and supporters, but seems clearly dominated by opposers.]

I appreciate your suggestions a lot, but caution you to be careful of your own assumptions. For instance, I never suggested that a Diversity & Inclusion Officer should be the person most passionate about the role instead of most smart about it.

To emphasize though, so it doesn't get lost behind those critical thoughts: I thoroughly appreciate the suggestions you've contributed here.

[Edit: Apologies for some excessive editing. I readily acknowledge that in an already a hostile environment, my initial reaction to criticism regarding an important issue that is causing a lot of harm is too defensive.]

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T01:17:53.202Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · EA · GW

While I thoroughly appreciate your thoughts here and I'm glad you voiced them, I think you started on a miscommunication:

I don't think the fact that there are costs to this, as anything, is controversial (though I know its cost-effectiveness is), and it sounds to me like Tyler just meant "intrinsic benefits," in addition to the instrumental benefits to EA community-building. If he thought improving diversity and inclusion in the community had no cost, I would think he'd say its case is irrefutable, not that these benefits merely "strengthen" its case.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T01:01:14.998Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · EA · GW

The difficulty for movements against discrimination (between humans) in a lot of modern society lies in that definition of what constitutes "clear" discrimination. For instance, people don't say explicitly discriminatory things as much as they used to, but they still hold discriminatory beliefs that make them e.g. mistrust, discredit and undervalue others, and we can for the most part only assess e.g. hiring bias by looking at whole samples, not at any one individual.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T00:55:17.115Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I see, we're just thinking of "combative" differently.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T00:42:58.648Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I agree that that qualification suggests his view on the contribution of biology to the gender gap is weaker than his otherwise definitive framings suggest. [Edit: Sentence here removed because I'm too tired and my thoughts are not in order, will get sleep before responding to any more comments. Replacement: He's still presenting it as a black-and-white issue if he's only presenting one side.]

Google may have had that conversation on prejudice going, but he is very oversimplistic and offers the essentialist view as so definitive that his solutions are the right ones, that Google is the "biased" party for talking about prejudice, and that it isn't worth even mentioning that evidence demonstrating a bias against women exists (if he even knows or believes that), not to mention that the evidence for the real-world effect of prejudice is far more vast and robust than his evidence for biological causes. And he does all this when the essentialist view has been so dominant and people are only talking so much about prejudice because they're trying to overcome the essentialist thinking that so inhibits people. (Sure, there are differences, but there are even more misconceptions, as well as oversimplistic and deterministic assumptions about what real differences mean.)

[Edit for clarification and additional analysis: In a context of prejudice, presenting stereotypes is a delicate matter even if you think them sufficiently biologically valid and are content to make simplistic inferences about their real-world effects. Doing so without acknowledgement of the prejudices people experience which line up with these stereotypes and which harm them serves to reinforce those stereotypes and prejudices.]

So it's not an appropriate way to contribute to the conversation -- at best it's reacting to perceived overshooting by retreating to a flawed status quo.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T00:18:44.383Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Moving you to my answer to the same question above to for further discussion :)

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-27T00:16:36.668Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · EA · GW

Regarding discussion style: I think several EAs are great at discussions where they're fully critical of each other but aren't combative (e.g. they don't raise their voices, go ad hominem, tear apart one aspect of an argument to dismiss the rest, or downvote comments that signal an identity that theirs is constructed in opposition to). I think it's possible to get all the benefit of criticism and disagreement without negative emotions clouding our judgement.

I think the key may be to work against the impulse to be right, or the impulse that someone who disagrees with you is your enemy. I'm much better than I used to be at seeing disagreement as the route to everyone in the discussion getting closer to the truth, though unfortunately that takes a constant drive to improve. (It does help a lot to just remind myself that the person I'm disagreeing with -- in most cases at least -- is on my team in the bigger picture.) Doing more to penalize combative behavior and reward constructive behavior -- like how downvotes and upvotes are supposed to be used in this forum -- seems like a feasible solution.

Regarding the grab-bag: That was my intention, to get the ball rolling. I hope for others to bring in their own thinking on prioritization and implementation.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-26T23:45:38.571Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Unfortunately since the respondents would be members of the EA community, it would be hard to control that data for cultural fit in order to get at how robustly EA people from each demographic are. People have stuck around in the community for reasons other than how EA they are or can be, as I hope I've shed some light on.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-26T23:19:31.160Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Danke schoen :)

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-26T23:12:46.910Z · score: 4 (17 votes) · EA · GW

The histories of many forms of prejudice are histories biological essentialism and biological determinism. Even if such claims are now made out of a "willingness to explore" alternative hypotheses despite this long history of precisely being an unwillingness to explore the much newer hypothesis of prejudice, they tend to be over-simplistic, as in the memo, and tend to have the effect -- if not also the intention -- of dismissing the other, newer hypothesis of prejudice, which is robustly supported by data that the memo's author fails to include.

That's not to say it's a black and white matter of total biological similarity or total culturally-imposed disparities and prejudice. That's what the author of the memo implies, and I disagree. The evidence that prejudice is a major problem that is holding people back is substantial nonetheless.

Some of his suggestions for ways to reduce the gender gap are worth considering, and charitably he's not exceptionally prejudiced and is able to analyze information that has found its way to him, but is just very poorly informed and has no willingness to explore the alternative explanation of prejudice. At most charitable this still enables that prejudice.

Given the extent of my knowledge, which is just the words in the memo, I can agree he's not an outright asshole, and I should have phrased my side note about this example of zero tolerance with a heavy hand differently. It may even be a poor example, as I would say corrective action should have been taken in his case before he was fired if it wasn't, which I don't know about either way.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-26T20:55:08.574Z · score: -4 (5 votes) · EA · GW

I couldn't find it unfortunately, and was just relying on the veracity of that rather detailed extract and the credibility of the source publication. I considered not putting that in at all since what matters is that the prejudiced view doesn't seem to have backing, but I figured this was still information, worth a "may be more likely" even if I couldn't confirm that it's been demonstrated.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-26T20:49:13.969Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I haven't thought about prioritization yet, and was hoping other people would discuss that here. Since a lot of these are actions individuals can take, it will vary a lot by what roles an individual plays and what they have the most room for improvement in.

That said... toning down jargon, I suspect you'd agree, is probably pretty cost-effective, as I would think is toning up the visibility of people from underrepresented groups. A Diversity & Inclusion Officer who could review and advise on social media communications, ads, community recruitment, website UX, conference speakers, talk content and descriptions, job postings and hiring processes, etc, and who could establish metrics and goals for and conduct annual reviews on inclusionary practices, sounds easily worth their salary, at the very least as an experiment for a year.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-26T20:38:07.449Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks! I added a note about the debate.

I'm not sure what your comments about critical discussion style are referring to in the post.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-26T20:23:07.006Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · EA · GW

I believe sexuality is a demographic we do well on.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-26T20:18:23.843Z · score: 8 (14 votes) · EA · GW

I only hold this view weakly, but yes, I'm worried that, as you put it, "E first, A second" people are less likely to stick around.

I don't think "A first, E second" people are necessarily easier to get in the first place though, as they are more likely to already have a calling (and so to have less personally to gain) and to be committed to other altruistic pursuits that are hard for them to drop as "ineffective."

That said, I've seen significant movement among heavily committed farmed animal advocates towards thinking more about and acting in the interest of maximizing impact... though farmed animal advocates are often already doing that advocacy because they're already thinking about effectiveness: they see the issue as massively important and very tractable. So I suppose realistically I'm putting most of my investments in people who are A first, but still clearly already E.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-26T19:55:07.611Z · score: -1 (8 votes) · EA · GW

That doesn't seem like what I'm doing. Georgia doesn't seem to be disagreeing with my post's overall argument (that EA would benefit from diversity; she actually seems to explicitly agree with that in her last paragraph), and she doesn't explicitly agree or disagree with the argument of that specific paragraph (that diversity tends to be net beneficial for groups). The quote you cite is about a "clear" effect on groups, from the evidence she evaluates, and I might not have the same bar for robustness that she's thinking of with that claim.

Moreover, her post argues

If we look at [the effect of diversity] further, we can decompose it into two effects (one where diversity has a neutral or negative impact on performance, and one where it has a mostly positive impact)

and goes onto explore these effects. The negative ones seem related to something like tribalism (e.g. less identification with the group), and I hope the EA community is able to overcome these avoidable downsides so it can on net benefit from diversity. I didn't mention them in the post because I think we can overcome them given our desire to de-bias ourselves, and given the tools that Georgia mentions we have to overcome them:

The more balanced a team is along some axis of diversity, the less likely you are to see negative effects on performance... recognition of less-obvious cognitive differences (e.g. personality and educational diversity) increases over time... diverse teams end up outperforming non-diverse teams [over time]... the longer a group works together, the less surface-level differences matter

I linked to her whole post so readers could see all of that. Linking directly to the citations I was pointing to in her post would have felt like cherry-picking. I could have given more explanation of her whole post in my own, and if I had spent more time writing this post, I probably would have done that.

[Edit: Georgia made a comment above that suggests she believes the statement without the robustness qualification, so we do have disagreement here.]

Comment by kelly_witwicki on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA · 2017-10-26T16:48:46.497Z · score: -2 (16 votes) · EA · GW

I didn’t mean to imply that — I just cited it as a source for the specific claims in that sentence. The other evidence I cite seems to imply it overall, and she doesn’t seem to account for all of that evidence.

I can’t tag here, but Georgia, if you see this I’d be curious for your opinion on how the totality of evidence weighs, particularly in expectation regardless of how robust it is.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on EA Survey 2017 Series: Demographics II · 2017-10-24T15:20:36.954Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

Also, could respondents not say anything about being e.g. Native American, Middle Eastern, or at least "Other"? I'm sure the structure of these questions has been thoroughly discussed in social sciences literature and I don't think the options shown here are in line with the standard style.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on EA Survey 2017 Series: Community Demographics & Beliefs · 2017-10-03T03:45:55.989Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

In addition to how people "think" about EA as an "opportunity" or "obligation" (and FYI I for one would have been unclear if I saw both "moral duty" and "obligation"), I'd be interested to see how many people "feel" like EA/A is an obligation as opposed to an opportunity.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on EA Survey 2017 Series: Demographics II · 2017-10-03T03:36:34.949Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I would also be interested to see a question for what value people assign to life on Earth at present.

I imagine for instance this is much higher, and may even be the difference between highly positive and highly negative, for EAs who are most concerned with x-risk as compared to those more interested in animal farming. (And more obviously, s-risk, but it would still be interesting to quantify the difference, if just in terms of e.g. "highly negative" to "highly positive".)

Comment by kelly_witwicki on EA Survey 2017 Series: Demographics II · 2017-10-03T03:35:19.550Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Seeing how e.g. depression correlates with cause area preferences would be interesting.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on EA Survey 2017 Series: Demographics II · 2017-10-03T03:29:49.580Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Mentioned this to Tee -- I would love to see both (1) turnover data, and (2) previous (pre-EA) work with or donations to non-profits/other previous altruistic pursuits.

For the latter, the survey could maybe ask how much volunteer time, career hours, and money respondents previously put into charity, maybe in the last year and/or five and/or lifetime before finding EA. It could also offer categories for the charities' cause areas.

Relatedly, whether the respondent was vegetarian or vegan before finding EA would be interesting, and/or some scale about how important they thought issues faced by nonhumans were. Maybe for each of several cause areas (not just the big three) a scale of how important (not necessarily relatively, just "not at all important" to "very important"?) they thought the issue was before coming to EA.

Comment by kelly_witwicki on The Best of EA in 2016: Nomination Thread · 2016-11-11T18:05:47.280Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · EA · GW

What about doing a poll on FB (instead or additionally, idk)? Or a private poll elsewhere? (FB is good because people can comment explanations.)

Comment by kelly_witwicki on The Best of EA in 2016: Nomination Thread · 2016-11-11T18:04:01.196Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

SP's: https://sentience-politics.org/philosophy/the-relevance-of-wild-animal-suffering/

Comment by kelly_witwicki on The Best of EA in 2016: Nomination Thread · 2016-11-11T18:03:51.235Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

And FRI and SP both have articles on wild animals, not sure which is better for purposes here. SP's is a bit more introductory/accessible maybe, and also expresses more philosophical arguments for why we should care; FRI's a bit more academic and does not address some typical introductory reactions.

FRI's: https://foundational-research.org/the-importance-of-wild-animal-suffering/

Comment by kelly_witwicki on The Best of EA in 2016: Nomination Thread · 2016-11-11T18:02:08.723Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · EA · GW

"Altruism, numbers, and factory farms": https://sentience-politics.org/philosophy/altruism-numbers-factory-farms

Sentience Politics recently published a page on the significance of factory farms, which also includes discussion on why it's important to consider numbers and compare suffering.

(Disclaimer, I work at SP/EAF.)