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NickFitz comments on To Grow a Healthy Movement, Pick the Low-Hanging Fruit - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: NickFitz 07 June 2018 11:14:36AM *  5 points [-]

Thanks both, great point. We focused the description in this study on the effective giving and career choice aspects of EA, and the results may well be different depending on the framing -- it'd be worth replicating with something like x-risk. Here's the full description (built from ea.org):

"What is Effective Altruism? Thinking carefully about how to do good. Effective altruism is about answering one simple question: how can we use our resources to help others the most? Rather than just doing what feels right, we use evidence and careful analysis to find the very best causes to work on.

Most of us want to make a difference. We see suffering, injustice and death, and are moved to do something about them. But working out what that ‘something’ is, let alone doing it, is a difficult problem. Which cause should you support if you really want to make a difference? What career choices will help you make a significant contribution? Which charities will use your donation effectively? If you don’t choose well, you risk wasting your time and money. But if you choose wisely, you have a tremendous chance to improve the world.

Effective altruism considers tradeoffs like the following: Suppose we want to fight blindness. For $40,000 we can provide guide dogs to blind people in the US. Or for $20 per patient, we can pay for surgery reversing the effects of trachoma in Africa (a disease which causes blindness). If people have equal moral value, then the second option is more than 2,000 times better than the first."