What consequences?

This is the first in a series of posts exploring consequentialist cluelessness and its implications for effective altruism: This post describes cluelessness & its relevance to EA; arguing that for many popular EA interventions we don’t have a clue about the intervention’s overall net impact. The second post will examine... Read More

New study finds psilocybin leads to increased altruism 6 months later

Cross-posted to the Enthea site. Griffiths et al. 2017  was published recently; it had some impressive findings. The study looked at psilocybin administration alongside a regimen of nonsecular spiritual practices (meditation, introspective journaling). The study compared a group who received a very low (placebo-level) dose of psilocybin & "standard" support from spiritual practice guides... Read More

Upcoming drug policy reform conferences

Cross-posted to the Enthea site. Two relevant conferences coming up this October –  Horizons : New York, October 6th to 8th Reform : Atlanta, October 11th to 14th Based on our investigation so far, US drug policy reform appears to be an impactful and tractable cause area – I'd be... Read More

Feedback requested: drug policy ballot initiative survey

We've received a kind offer to run some polling for free, and we're looking for input on what questions to ask (background on this project here ). Draft questions below, feel free to make comments in this doc or in the thread. --- Framing: "Would you vote for or against the... Read More

Cost-effectiveness analysis: drug liberalization holds promise as a mental health intervention

Cross-posted to the Enthea site . In a nutshell: If it polls well, a California ballot initiative that increases medical access to psychedelic drugs is a promising intervention in terms of DALYs averted. We estimate the cost-per-DALY-averted to range from $52,000/DALY to $442,000/DALY, with a best-guess estimate of $119,000/DALY. Full... Read More

Enthea: recommended reading on psychedelics

Cross-posted to the Enthea site. Also, there's an atom feed now. Psychedelics have been receiving a lot of attention recently. Rather than write up another summary of psychedelic history and research, here are links to the best introductory writings we've seen so far: The case for psychedelics  ( a ) in ... Read More

Introducing Enthea

In advance of EA Global San Francisco, I'm launching Enthea , a research project assessing the humanitarian impact of psilocybin.  All that's on the site so far is a landing page with a statement of intent, which I've cross-posted below. Over the next few months, I'll be updating the site... Read More

Reading recommendations for the problem of consequentialist scope?

Determining which scope of outcomes to consider when making a decision seems like a difficult problem for consequentialism. By "scope of outcomes" I mean how far into the future and how many links in the causal chain to incorporate into decision-making. For example, if I'm assessing the comparative goodness of two... Read More

Should Good Ventures focus on current giving opportunities, or save for future giving opportunities?

Around this time of year, GiveWell  traditionally spends a lot of time thinking about game theoretic considerations – specifically, what funding recommendation it ought to make to Good Ventures  so that Good Ventures allocates its resources wisely. (Here are GiveWell's game theoretic posts from 2014  & 2015 .) The main considerations... Read More