Links from This month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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