Links from Last three months

Save the Date for EA Global Boston and San Francisco

There will be three 2017 Effective Altruism Global conferences: two smaller, topic-based events in Boston and the UK, and one broader community-focused event in California. Boston: Frontiers of Effective Altruism June 2-4, Harvard University Science Center , Cambridge MA EA Global Boston will focus on pushing the boundaries of effective... Read More

EA should invest more in exploration

[Epistemic status: strongly stated, weakly held] When faced with problems that involve ongoing learning, most strategies involve a balance between "exploration" and "exploitation". Exploration means taking opportunities that increase your knowledge about how good your opportunities are, whereas exploitation means putting resources into what you currently believe is the best... Read More

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

Changes to how 80,000 Hours prioritises the world's problems

80,000 Hours recently rewrote its approach for comparing problems against one another. This is how we give people advice on which problems are most 'pressing', and so are most promising for people aiming to have a large social impact with their career. We recommend checking it out. This framework is... 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

Hard-to-reverse decisions destroy option value

This post is co-authored with Ben Garfinkel. It is cross-posted from the CEA blog . A PDF version can be found here . Summary: Some strategic decisions available to the effective altruism movement may be difficult to reverse. One example is making the movement’s brand explicitly political. Another is growing... Read More

Act utilitarianism: criterion of rightness vs. decision procedure

A useful distinction for people thinking about act consequentialism in general and act utilitarianism in particular is the distinction between a criterion of rightness and a decision procedure ( which has been discussed by Toby Ord in much more detail ). A criterion of rightness tells us what it takes... Read More

Concrete project lists

There are lots of important project ideas in EA that people could work on, and I’d like to encourage people to explore more . When I was looking for projects to work on, I had difficulty thinking of what needed doing apart from obvious projects like raising money for GiveWell-recommended... Read More

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

Outcome of GWWC Outreach Experiment

Summary   I ran a 20-day pre-registered experiment where 6 different participants who have not recently talked about Giving What We Can were asked to contact their friends to talk about Giving What We Can. A total of 14 people were contacted, 6 expressed interest, and as of 2/8/2017, 0... Read More

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