Cause prioritization for downside-focused value systems

This post outlines my thinking on cause prioritization from the perspective of value systems whose primary concern is reducing disvalue. I’m mainly thinking of suffering-focused ethics (SFE) , but I also want to include moral views that attribute substantial disvalue to things other than suffering, such as inequality or preference... Read More

EA Funds hands out money very infrequently - should we be worried?

From the EA Funds website, here is the amount of money unallocated in each fund: Long-Term Future : $348,167 Global Development : $497,957 Animal Welfare : $75,109 EA Community : $206,271 Some of them haven't disbursed any funds in quite a while. I asked the CEA team about this and... Read More

How scale is often misused as a metric and how to fix it

One of the big criteria used for cause area selection is scale and importance of the issue. This has been used by 80,000 Hours and OpenPhil amongst others. This is often defined as the size and intensity of the problem. For example, if an issue affects 100,000 people deeply, that... Read More

The almighty Hive will

I’ve been wondering whether EA can’t find some strategic benefits from a) a peer-to-peer trust economy, or b) rational coordination towards various goals. These seem like simple ideas, but I haven’t seen them publicly discussed.  I’ll start from the related and oversimplifying assumptions that  a) there’s a wholly fungible pool of... Read More

New Effective Altruism course syllabus

I've developed a new course called 'The Psychology of Effective Altruism' (Psych450) that I'm teaching this spring term here at University of New Mexico.  The syllabus (including an extensive list of required and optional readings and videos) is here:  https://www.primalpoly.com/s/syllabus-draft-jan24d.docx   Feel free to borrow any of this material if you teach... Read More

Effective Volunteering

Summary   What is “effective volunteering”? A group from EA London met biweekly from September to November 2017 to try to develop a straightforward method for someone to decide where s/he should volunteer. We thought Effective Altruists might want to volunteer for a combination of these reasons: (a) direct impact,... Read More

Ongoing lawsuit naming "future generations" as plaintiffs; advice sought for how to investigate

Juliana vs. US is an ongoing lawsuit. Notably, it names "FUTURE GENERATIONS" as plaintiffs in the case. I don't know much law, but I hear precedents are important, and so maybe EA's concerned about the long-term future should be especially interested in ensuring that this case sets a good one.... Read More

Could I have some more systemic change, please, sir?

In this short post I outline a very simple (new?) way of estimating the expected value of systemic changes when you are very uncertain of how much they'd cost. It seems to have the result of making systemic changes look much more viable than they otherwise would. Suppose we want to... Read More

69 things that might be pretty effective to fund

Opinions are mine. If you comment on one of these items, please quote the item in full at the start of your comment. Other people can then upvote and downvote other comments depending on whether you think it’s worthy of funding. Below I list 69 pretty effective funding opportunities. These... Read More

AI alignment prize winners and next round [link]

From Announcement: AI alignment prize winners and next round :  We (Zvi Mowshowitz, Vladimir Slepnev and Paul Christiano) are happy to announce that the AI Alignment Prize is a success. From November 3 to December 31 we received over 40 entries representing an incredible amount of work and insight. That's... Read More

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