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Practical political action on global health

The Boston Effective Altruism group is doing a lobbying project this season, starting with a guest speaker, a meetup to write letters to our Congresspeople, and later including a visit to our senator’s office. We think other EA groups should consider doing this too. This post is written with US... Read More
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Vote Pairing is a Cost-Effective Political Intervention

Summary Vote pairing is a practice whereby individuals agree to swap votes. Wikipedia summarizes it as: In United States presidential elections, vote pairing usually comes in the form of voters from "safe" states, or non-swing states, voting for third-party candidates, and voters from swing states voting for their second-preference candidate. This form of vote pairing... Read More
16

What Should the Average EA Do About AI Alignment?

I'm trying to get a handle on what advice to give people who are convinced AI is a problem worthy of their time, *probably* the most important problem, but are not sure if they have the talent necessary to contribute. A trending school of thought is "AI Alignment needs careful,... Read More
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A Recipe for Minimal Moral Conduct Regarding the Disposition of One's Personal Resources

A Recipe for Minimal Moral Conduct Regarding the Disposition of One's Personal Resources (Without relying on tithes or percentages)   1. If we agree that we should live modestly, live in modest dwellings, and not indulge in multiple vehicles, second homes, expensive jewelry, luxury vacations, etc. (Accept for the moment... Read More
33

Some Thoughts on Public Discourse

Thanks to Ben Hoffman and several of my coworkers for reviewing a draft of this. It seems to me that there have been some disagreements lately in the effective altruism community regarding the proper role and conduct for public discourse (in particular, discussions on the public Web). I decided to share... Read More
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In some cases, if a problem is harder humanity should invest more in it, but you should be less inclined to work on it

One criteria in the 80,000 Hours problem framework is 'solvability'. All else equal, it is more effective to dedicate yourself to a problem if a larger percentage of the problem will be solved by each additional person working on it. So far so good. However, this can lead to something counterintuitive. Here is an... Read More
21

Why I left EA

I don't intend to convince you to leave EA, and I don't expect you to convince me to stay. But typical insider "steel-manned" arguments against EA lack imagination about other people's perspectives: for example, they assume that the audience is utilitarian. Outsider anti-EA arguments are often mean-spirited or misrepresent EA... Read More
14

CHCAI/MIRI research internship in AI safety

The Center for Human-Compatible AI (CHCAI) and the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) are looking for talented, driven, and ambitious technical researchers for a summer research internship.   Background: CHCAI is a research center based at UC Berkeley with PIs including Stuart Russell, Pieter Abbeel and Anca Dragan. CHCAI describes... Read More
7

The Moral Obligation to Organize

This post is coauthored with Sophie Hermanns, PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge and a visiting fellow at Harvard University   Effective altruists are very interested in moral obligations and have developed a set of norms mainly focused on charitable giving and the use of our careers. For example,... Read More
13

Daniel May: "Open Science: little room for more funding"

Cross- posted to the Oxford Prioritisation Project blog. Read and comment on the Google Document version of this post here . Feedback from the EA community is how we improve. Summary I consider open science as a cause area, by reviewing Open Phil’s published work, as well as some popular... Read More

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