Angelina Li

Data Analyst @ Centre for Effective Altruism
1360 karmaJoined Nov 2021Working (0-5 years)Berkeley, CA, USA
www.admonymous.co/angelinahli

Bio

Hiya! I work on data stuff at CEA. I used to be the content lead on the EA Global team at CEA, and before that I did economic consulting. Here's an old website I might update at some point.

Think I'm making a mistake? Want to give me feedback? Here's my admonymous. You can also give feedback for me directly to my manager, Oscar Howie.

Comments
103

No pressure to respond, reading this made me curious about some other stuff:

  • I'm curious how you've updated via this project re: your own fit for starting a charity in this space? Do you have plans to continue trying your hand at starting charities?
  • Separately, if you're looking for next project ideas, I'm extremely not an animal welfare expert, but I'd be quite interested for someone to look into the shrimp paste market. I have no useful advice on who should do what in this space though, and probably Ren's opinions are much better than mine on this. (https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/vq5pHzrxLgABAwkhD/shrimp-paste-might-cause-more-animal-deaths-than-any-other)
  • Please correct me if this is mistaken, it sounds like the cofounder match between you two was: Ren as the research-y wing / domain expert, and you as maybe the more execute-y wing / person with more time and keenness to make this happen (sounds like this was part time for Ren, unsure if this was a part time level project for you?). Sorry if those impressions are wrong! If they are ~correct, I'm curious how well that structure worked for you!
  • I'm curious if you have reflections on the strategy of attempting to "blend into industry". When I hear animal advocates talk about this kind of strategy, it makes me feel slightly uneasy, because it seems to maybe imply some level of deceptiveness. I'm tempted to hold out that uneasy feeling, weigh that against the truly immense suffering at stakes, and conclude that this is a feature of the world being bad and having to make sad tradeoffs. (And I worry this whole worry is silly or naive in the face of so much suffering.) But then a voice in my head gets a bit worried about naive utilitarian tradeoffs and sacrificing integrity. But maybe the high integrity move here is to find products that really are positive sum for farmers, and choose to emphasize the parts that you genuinely believe are beneficial. I don't know! Would be curious for your thoughts :)

This is a really cool writeup! I really enjoyed reading it, thanks for sharing and congrats on failing fast on your first charity -- it sounds like you did a bunch of ambitious work and made a tough call fairly quickly :)

I really enjoy your writing style, things I appreciate:

  • You write with such a high degree of reasoning transparency, I feel like I could really follow your takes on what happened and why throughout, e.g. the story of "Ren made this spreadsheet with these constraints, and these were the results and why we chose this focus area" - super narratively clear. I feel like you give detail / add color in a way that really helps with epistemic legibility, which I really appreciate / admire :) https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/jbE85wCkRr9z7tqmD/epistemic-legibility
  • A bunch of moments made me laugh out loud despite the sad underlying topic, e.g., "We also made sure to enjoy our trip and tried some Turkish coffee and petted some of the stray cats." (Awwww), "Also, we realized that some of our questions could be answered using publicly available aerial imagery and spatial data. This was a perk of Ren being a data nerd." (Hahaha 💜 love data nerdery)
  • Like others I appreciate how candid this writeup is and your willingness to share vulnerable moments with the forum :) I feel like I've gained better models of what early stage outreach startups go through by reading this post, thank you

I found this post heartbreaking and moving to read. <3 Thank you for writing it, and for trying to help the children you mention in the post!

Thanks Vasco!

You have a graph for the "Number of EA Forum posts with 2+ upvotes (per month)". I think it would be better to have graphs for the number of posts per month and their mean karma.

Curious why — what insights do you hope to gain from this / are there specific questions you have about the Forum that you're hoping to answer with this data?

You have a graph for the "Overall EA Newsletter subscriber count (at the start of each month)". Have you considered having one for the number of subscribers of the EA Forum Digest?

Thanks, we've considered this but haven't prioritized so far. I'd be interested to know if there was a particular reason you think this would be useful, or if it's more that generally having this sort of data available to people would be nice? (Both seem like reasonable motivations ofc!)

Congrats, Niel and all! I imagine this has been in the works for a while, but even so am very impressed how quickly 80k has managed to appoint a new CEO after Howie's departure - that's great & a credit to everyone who made it happen.

Good luck in your new role Niel!

I'm pretty excited about funder circles as a structure for medium-high but not UHNW donors to scale their impact and find support. Good luck!

Quick PSA:

  1. CEA has a public dashboard which contains metrics on most of our projects!
  2. We’ve just launched a few updates:
    1. The EA Forum, EAG, and EAGx data now refresh daily.
      1. This is most relevant for the Forum data, to help answer questions like “what is happening with the Forum ~right now”.
      2. All other sections are updated on a ~monthly cadence.
    2. We’ve added data on our community building grants program to the Groups section.

Feedback is appreciated as always!

I'm pretty excited about a vision of principles-first EAIF that helps drive forward better cause prioritization within EAIF, and resonated with this paragraph:

  • I think that we could make EA much better than it currently is - particularly on the “beacon for thoughtful, sincere, and selfless” front.
    • I don’t think EA has done much “noticing what is important to work on” recently.
      • Historically, EA has many thoughtful people who have discovered or were early adopters of novel and important ideas.
      • I don’t think many people have recently tried to bring those people together with the express goal of identifying and working on pressing causes.

But I'm not sure how many exciting grants you expect to find within bucket 2 — scanning through the EAIF grants database, I can't really identify anything within the last year that seems like it would push the frontier of "helping EA notice what it is important to work on".

How successful do you expect to be at soliciting grants within this area / do you have a plan on how to go about with this? (Feel free to object to the premise too.)

Thanks so much Peter! I really enjoyed this post, thanks for writing it — and I'm gratified to see lots of people mentioning this post in the Forum Donation Election.

1. Re this paragraph from the "talent pipelines" section:

Between RP and other organizations we support (IAPS, Apollo, and Epoch), I estimate we employ directly or indirectly (via fiscal sponsorship) 40 people working to reduce existential risk from AI, which I take to be somewhere between 3% to 10% of the entire global workforce aimed at this.

I am assuming that unrestricted donations to RP won't go to your fiscally sponsored projects, is that correct? i.e. unrestricted donations go to "RP core".

I'm wondering if you could also clarify how funding to your special projects / general operations team works, and if this is covered via donations to RP vs donations earmarked for a fiscally sponsored project? Thanks!

2. In general, since I don't see you listing operational costs (staff+other) as specific line items in the above, I am assuming your project budget estimates already factor in operational costs?

Thanks for writing this, I enjoyed reading your thoughts!

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