Links from This month
21

Effective Altruism is Not a Competition

In the past, some people have suggested that we “gamify” effective altruism some more, and create points for doing altruistic-y things, like donating our money or volunteering our time. I think this could be a good idea, but rather than seeing individual scores, I’d much rather see a collective team... Read More
19

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
18

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
18

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
18

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
17

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
14

My Donations for 2016

[Cross-posted from by blog .] The following explains where I plan to donate in 2016, with some of my thinking behind it. This year, I had $10,000 to allocate (the sum of my giving from 2015 and 2016, which I lumped together for tax reasons; although I think this was... Read More
12

How Should I Spend My Time?

Back in 2013, I was in my final year of college and wanted to think seriously about what I do. I drafted up 11 initial options (though I now feel like my initial list was kind of shortsighted), narrowed it down to 5 options that I more thoroughly assessed ,... Read More
11

Proposal for an Pre-registered Experiment in EA Outreach

Can talking about GWWC for 90 minutes actually get somebody to take the Pledge?   Note: I timed myself so I will not take more than 30 mins on the first draft (and hopefully less than an hour on this post overall)   Surface analysis of Giving What We Can... Read More
10

A review of what affective neuroscience knows about suffering & valence. (TLDR: Affective Neuroscience is very confused about what suffering is.)

Part 1 A significant fraction of the EA movement is concerned with suffering, and all else being equal, think there should be less of it. I think this is an extraordinarily noble goal.  But what *is* suffering? There are roughly as many working definitions of suffering in the EA movement... Read More

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