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Do Prof Eva Vivalt's results show 'evidence-based' development isn't all it's cut out to be?

I recently interviewed a member of the EA community - Prof Eva Vivalt - at length about her research into the value of using trials in medical and social science to inform development work. The benefits of 'evidence-based giving' has been a core message of both GiveWell and Giving What We Can since they... Read More
12

Rob Wiblin's top EconTalk episode recommendations

Over the last ten years I’ve listened to a ludicrous 600 hours of EconTalk episodes. It’s an incredible podcast, maybe the best ever in my view. Don’t have 600 hours to catch up on the back catalogue? Fair enough. I love the show, but not every episode is a winner.... Read More
18

How accurately does anyone know the global distribution of income?

Cross posted from the 80,000 Hours blog .   How much should you believe the numbers in charts like this? People in the effective altruism community often refer to the global income distribution to make various points: The richest people in the world are many times richer than the poor. People... Read More
7

In some cases, if a problem is harder humanity should invest more in it, but you should be less inclined to work on it

One criteria in the 80,000 Hours problem framework is 'solvability'. All else equal, it is more effective to dedicate yourself to a problem if a larger percentage of the problem will be solved by each additional person working on it. So far so good. However, this can lead to something counterintuitive. Here is an... Read More
27

Philosophical Critiques of Effective Altruism by Prof Jeff McMahan

Prof Jeff MacMahan  is White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford University - this article of his is from The Philosopher's Magazine. I think it's both insightful and entertaining, and appreciate McMahan taking the time to write it. In light of the fact that Prof McMahan recently made the full... Read More
11

Why don't many effective altruists work on natural resource scarcity?

If you ask a random sample of young educated people what they are most concerned about, future 'resource scarcity' - especially natural resources - often rates highly. About 10% of the people I have coached for 80,000 Hours have expressed strong interest in this cause. In this survey of EU... Read More
11

Let's conduct a survey on the quality of MIRI's implementation

Many people here, myself included, are very concerned about the risks from rapidly improving artificial general intelligence (AGI). A significant fraction of people in that camp give to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute , or recommend others do so. Unfortunately, for those who lack the necessary technical expertise, this is... Read More
14

The most persuasive writing neutrally surveys both sides of an argument

A piece of advice for people posting here and elsewhere: what you write will be more convincing and higher quality if you set out to survey the considerations on both sides of a disagreement. This is because readers will be able to weigh the arguments on either side against one... Read More
13

How you can contribute to the broader EA research project

A common request I get working at 80,000 Hours asks how people can contribute to effective altruist related research while students, or working in another career. I often find this hard to answer because I don't have an suitable project to hand. All of the research groups have found that... Read More
20

If tech progress might be bad, what should we tell people about it?

I want to draw attention to a tension effective altruists have not dealt with: Almost all of our written output takes as a strong assumption that economic growth and technological advancement are good things. Many intellectuals think this is actually unclear. Why might economic growth or technological advancement be neutral,... Read More

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