Links from Last three months

Risk-neutral donors should plan to make bets at the margin at least as well as giga-donors in expectation

[Disclosures and disclaimers: I do work for the Future of Humanity Institute, and significant consulting for Open Phil. I have previously worked at MIRI, and consulted for 80,000 Hours/CEA. I have advised the EA Giving Group DAF regarding donations, and suggested to Paul Christiano that he facilitate the donor lottery... Read More

Contra the Giving What We Can pledge

Yesterday, there was a Facebook thread discussing arguments against the Giving What We Can (GWWC) pledge, where people promise to donate 10% of all future income to charity ( ). The thread didn't seem very productive, but I do think there are strong arguments against the pledge, at least... Read More

Building Cooperative Epistemology (Response to "EA has a Lying Problem", among other things)

This is in response to Sarah Constantin's recent post about intellectual dishonesty within the EA community. I roughly agree with Sarah's main object level points, but I think this essay doesn't sufficiently embody the spirit of cooperative discourse it's trying to promote. I have a lot of thoughts here, but they... Read More

Donor lottery details

On January 15 we will have the drawing for the donor lottery discussed here . The opportunity to participate has passed; this post just lays out the details and final allocation of lottery numbers. If you regret missing out, I expect there will be another round, and it would be useful... Read More

Why donate to 80,000 Hours

If you have a broadly effective altruist approach, we think 80,000 Hours is an attractive donation opportunity from a number of perspectives. In this post, we’ll sketch some of these perspectives, and our current funding needs. This post is intended as a summary – full details on our plans and... Read More

EAs write about where they give

Several organizations like GiveWell, ACE, and CEA do posts on where their staff are making personal donations. This is a sampling of donation decisions, and the reasons behind them, from some EAs who don’t work at any of those organizations. I’ve selected a range of people whose opinions I thought... Read More

Why I Took the Giving What We Can Pledge

Many people ask me how I became involved in effective altruism. It all started with God. In the fall of 2010, I read Richard Carrier’s Sense and Goodness Without God and Nicholas Everitt’s The Nonexistence of God . I can’t say that I believed in God prior to reading these... Read More

Where I Am Donating in 2016

Part of a series for My Cause Selection 2016. For background, see my writings on cause selection for 2015 and my series on quantitative models . Introduction In my previous essay, I explained why I am prioritizing animal advocacy as a cause area. In this essay, I decide where to... Read More

Saving expected lives at $10 apiece?

On this forum, I have referred several times to a paper showing striking cost-effectiveness of getting prepared for global agricultural catastrophes. It is now published here . I acknowledge several EAs who reviewed the paper. The abstract is below; we also analyze return on investment and find extremely high values.... Read More

Principia Qualia: blueprint for a new cause area, consciousness research with an eye toward ethics and x-risk

Hi all, Effective altruism has given a lot of attention to ethics, and in particular suffering reduction. However, nobody seems to have a clear definition for what suffering actually is , or what moral value is . The implicit assumptions seem to be: We (as individuals and as a community)... Read More

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