In response to Open Thread #40
Comment author: Scott_Alexander 13 July 2018 02:20:50AM 13 points [-]

Vox is looking for EA journalists. This is an opportunity to publicize EA and help shape its public perception. Their ad hints that they want people who are already in the movement, so take a look if you have any writing or journalism related skills.

Comment author: Scott_Alexander 30 October 2014 01:50:31AM *  5 points [-]

I support the change. I mean, I would, as someone who's taken advantage of the ambiguity in the current pledge to donate to x-risk-related causes, but I think even independent of that I support the change.

The GWWC pledge is a good institution. It provides a unified community norm of "at least ten percent" and helps keep people honest. It's a piece of "social technology" that makes effective altruism easier.

As such, if GWWC restricted it to the developing world, I would expect and encourage the animal rights movement and the x-risk movement to get their own similar pledges so that they could benefit from the same social technology.

But at that point, we would probably all wish there was just one pledge. Having multiple ones is unwieldy, unnecessarily fractures the movement, and creates new transaction costs - someone who took the animal rights pledge can't shift their giving to the developing world (or vice versa) in response to new information without unpledging and repledging.

So while acknowledging that GWWC is an organization primarily donated to the developing world, I think that mission could be consistent with it providing the pledge as a service to the broader effective altruism community, especially since its privileged position as host of the pledge gives it extra credibility and standing in the movement, which helps their own cause in the end. I think this would be in keeping with the behavior of other EA organizations who both push their own causes and try to help the movement as a whole with whatever their comparative advantage is.

In response to Open Thread 2
Comment author: Scott_Alexander 15 October 2014 07:41:48AM 5 points [-]

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether the Ebola outbreak is a unique effective giving opportunity compared to better-studied issues like malaria and schistosomiasis? I tried to do a Fermi estimate here but I don't trust it further than I can throw it.