Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 07 August 2018 05:43:48PM *  1 point [-]

Man, sounds like a tough situation, I'm so sorry you are going through this.

In addition to all the other stuff in this thread, it might be valuable to read some history in order to try & acquire perspective. I don't know very much history myself, but perhaps a good analogy would be the recent Arab Spring protests. My vague understanding is that a lot of the Arab Spring countries ended up worse off than they were to start with, despite the good intentions of the people protesting. "Color revolutions" in the former Soviet Union could be another analogy--here is an article I found on Google. Perhaps you could gather examples of countries which did/did not succeed in peacefully reforming their government, and try to understand which separates the successful countries from the unsuccessful ones. (Or see if some academic has already attempted this.)

This is a really fascinating video which attempts to show that the bad behavior of autocratic governments is simply a matter of all the individuals involved following their incentives. Maybe the book that inspired the video has some solutions to the problem? This post might have ideas? Chapter 14 of this book? Paying higher salaries is another interesting idea for tackling corruption. If getting books is hard, you might try this free online course created by some prominent economists. The sections on corruption & democracy could be relevant, and maybe the "people" section?

Comment author: Farhan 08 August 2018 05:32:48PM 0 points [-]

Hi John,

I'll definitely look into all that you've suggested. You're absolutely right in trying to acquire perspective about these events in order to understand better how to react if these things happen again in the future, which it very well might. I value your input and hope to give you some feedback on it one day. I'd like to message you and maybe have a chat about the contents of the material you've advised.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 06 August 2018 09:47:59PM 1 point [-]

All that I have to add is, welcome to EA, we're happy to have another person around, stay safe out there.

Comment author: Farhan 07 August 2018 10:20:42AM 0 points [-]

Thank you. I'm happy to have found this community. I'll try my best.

Best wishes.

Comment author: KathrynMecrow 06 August 2018 02:16:01AM *  12 points [-]

Hi Farhan,

My information here may be outdated. However, when I worked in Bangladesh I worked with Dr. Kamal Hossain and Associates who at the time provided pro bono legal advice and may be able to offer legal support, particularly if you have video evidence of the incidents (, I think the value added of contacting Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch may be fairly low, as incidents like these have already been logged and published, but if you have any further evidence, I would definitely get in touch with them.

Above all and my reason for posting here, I am sure you are already aware, but please be very careful when contacting any of these organizations or publishing material on these incidents to take measures to protect your identity and your safety generally. You may wish to contact the Centre for Social Activism, a Bangladeshi human rights organization who supports activists in Bangladesh for advice before proceeding with contacting external organizations (including the ones I recommend) as they will have much more information on the current political, civil landscape than I do). I am fairly confident on CSA as they are one of the peer reviewers in the United Nations UPR process (although I still urge caution). You may contact me at if you wish for me to submit materials on your behalf so as to remain anonymous (as I am not currently working or living in Bangladesh).

On a personal level, thank you for posting here and I am terribly sorry to hear of these incidents. The thoughts of my family are with yours and your loved ones during these difficult times.

Comment author: Farhan 06 August 2018 07:40:40PM 2 points [-]

Hi Kathryn,

Your input is extremely valuable. Thank you so much. I will definitely look into the resources you suggested. The whole situation is becoming very complicated, and is hard for a civilian without inside information to understand all that is happening now, as it is no longer a non partisan protest. It seems the best thing I can to is learn as much as I can about the current circumstances. Thank you for your email, if it's okay, I will contact you and give you updates on my progress and the developments regarding the events. I'll also take proper measures to ensure safety as you mentioned, it is very important indeed, also for us to have a more effective impact on helping to improve the situation.

Your support means so much to us. Again, thank you so much.

Comment author: hollymorgan 05 August 2018 11:30:35PM *  1 point [-]

Emailing international news outlets sounds like a good start to me but I expect you know a lot more than me about the most useful action to take here. For all the strengths of this community, rapid response to crises is generally not one of them, and while I hope that some of the other readers are able to offer useful expertise/networks, I want to set realistic expectations of how we might be able to help and I encourage you to continue reaching out to other communities and organisations (e.g. perhaps Amnesty International...I would be very surprised if they haven't caught it on the news by now, but perhaps it helps them to be in contact with more locals who are keen to work with international support?) I'm struggling to think of the right words here but basically I just want to say: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Comment author: Farhan 06 August 2018 07:25:33PM 0 points [-]

Your support gives us courage Holly. I struggle to find the words to describe my gratitude for your empathy. Let's hope things get better. I'll try my best to seek out the most effective courses of action. Honestly, the responses from this forum exceeded my expectations. I'm grateful. Let's hope more solutions emerge with time.

Comment author: Cullen_OKeefe 05 August 2018 04:47:36PM 7 points [-]

Thanks for sharing this with us, Farhan. Like Holly, my heart goes out to you and the people of Dhaka.

I wish I was in a better position to help. This feels a bit feeble, but I'm sharing it just because there's a small probability that it helps. The EA community has done a little work on traffic safety. Obviously, this is quite different from the root problem of political corruption. However, given the entanglement of the corruption/violence with the traffic safety catalyst here, perhaps some of the listed organizations would amplify the concerns being voiced and bring more attention to Bangladesh—both the traffic issue and the resulting protests/crackdown.

Comment author: Farhan 06 August 2018 06:43:59PM 1 point [-]

Heyy Cullen

Your sharing this is not feeble at all. Your empathy and concern goes a very long way. Thank you so much. For now maybe reaching out for more international coverage is the best we can do. The conflict has become political. I'm afraid this may have to be resolved internally as a nation. Watching helplessly is just so difficult at this point. I hope with more searching more solutions will emerge. It's just so annoying that the problems in third world countries are so fundamental, and may take generations to improve in the grand scheme of things.

Comment author: hollymorgan 05 August 2018 11:10:54AM 9 points [-]

Farhan, I'm so so sorry this is happening, this is horrific. I've reached out to a couple of organisations who may be in a position to help and will let you know if that's the case. But I expect many other people here will have better ideas and I hope they can offer useful advice. Much love to you for trying to mobilise more support on this (and for reining in what must be a heartbreaking urge to just scrawl "THIS IS AWFUL AARGHH HELP??!!" in order to put together such an informative post).

Comment author: Farhan 05 August 2018 01:46:15PM 3 points [-]

Thank you so much Holly. It just feels so relieving to know there are people who care. Hearing you say you've contacted some organisations gives me so much hope. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need more details or footage over the crisis. I'm so eager to start a brainstorming session here, because I'm at a loss for ideas on how to act as productively as possible. We're emailing international news outlets but I'm unsure over how effective it proves to be. Violence is continuing here and there does not seem to be any signs of it subsiding. I'm dreading that Dhaka may be becoming a war zone. As far as solutions go, I can't think much further than international intervention. I hope more people see this post so that there is more to discuss. I believe this place is brilliant for constructive thinking.

Best regards.


Bangladesh is in Desperate Need For Effective Altruists

Hello all, I've only recently come across the effective altruism community, and I have to say that I'm thrilled to see so many people actively seeking the best ways to make positive impact. It's absolutely refreshing and pushes one to do the same, reminding one that our time here on... Read More
In response to comment by Farhan on Open Thread #40
Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 22 July 2018 09:55:09PM 2 points [-]

This is really sweet to hear. :) I wish you the best and hope you find a lot in the effective altruism community.

In response to comment by Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) on Open Thread #40
Comment author: Farhan 29 July 2018 04:32:40AM 0 points [-]

Thank you so much Peter! :)

In response to Open Thread #40
Comment author: Farhan 21 July 2018 05:55:00PM *  9 points [-]

Just a newbie exploring the forum!

Hi, I'm new here!

By the looks of it, there is SO much to learn about effective altruism and I absolutely love that. I've really come to accept learning as a never ending process and it's liberating to look at learning that way.

I'm hoping to earn some Karma points so I can make my own posts here and interact with members of this lovely forum, to continuously learn and maybe contribute sometimes along the way.

I've totally bought into the concepts of effective altruism, with the ideals of working as a community to edge closer to a better society resonating with me. I'm so excited about EA that I've decided that I want to help host an Effective Altruism Global X in my home country, Bangladesh.

I know for a fact that not many people know about effective altruism in Bangladesh. I've seen there is a listed group from Bangladesh in Effective Altruism Hub and I've mailed them to get in touch, but I have not detected much activity from them prior to sending them an email.

I just feel that concepts such as "Earning To Give" and "Cause Neutrality" are ideas that more people should know about. So many people do not fully understand the potential for impact each individual holds, they underestimate their potential to do good and do not invest their time in finding out what they can do with their career to have more impact. So many incredibly intelligent people, due to lack of information that could have been easily available, prematurely decide that earning money is the best they can do with their lives.

I absolutely believe that coming across 80,000 Hours was one of the luckiest moments in my life. The way they use scientific evidence to make a person understand the sheer capacity in one's hands, whether through donating effectively, advocacy, or direct work as explained in parts 2 and 3 of the career guide, inspires people to go out there and dedicate their lives to learning and doing good better.

Bangladesh, a lower-middle income country, is an area that desperately needs more effective altruists. Also derived from the career guide, in identifying proper problem areas, they should be large enough in scale, neglected, and solvable. Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is the most overcrowded city in the world according to a 2017 post by the Telegraph, and 5th in the world in population density according to Wikipedia. Dhaka is a regular in the Economist Intelligence Unit's annual rankings of the "Least Liveable Cities" in the world. Dhaka came 2nd in 2014. Whether the misfortune of the people of Bangladesh is due to a weak government, swayed by corruption, or a lack of unity by the people, one thing is clear, that spreading the ideals of effective altruism has potential for massive impact in Bangladesh. The facts are that even if an effective altruist group exists in Dhaka, they have not been active and there is a huge opportunity to turn some heads and galvanize the doers of the society with the effective altruism movement, so that we can stride towards the development of our society that has been overdue now.

I'm very excited to meet more wonderful people, and learn many new things. It keeps me awake at night to think of what a success an effective altruist community fostered in Bangladesh could prove to be. I have not yet applied to be an organizer, because I thought I should maybe get at least a little bit involved with the community.

Lots of things to look forward to, and that is always how life should be.