Comment author: aaronhamlin 09 August 2017 06:41:24PM 0 points [-]

Given that these all seem to connect with aging issues, I wonder how open the EA community would be to tackling aging as an illness. The foundation that focuses on this is the SENS Foundation ( Aubrey deGrey is the leading figure behind this focus (

Comment author: aaronhamlin 09 August 2017 04:10:12AM 0 points [-]

Giving games are a great interactive activity and an awesome idea. A big component that may be being overlooked here is how participants vote on the charities. That plays a role in how the winner is determined as well as how the results are reflected. The voting method can also play a role in how participants assess candidate charities. To expand on the role of the voting method in giving games, I've put together an article. I hope this information brings even more success to giving games:

Comment author: aaronhamlin 09 August 2017 03:59:58AM 0 points [-]

I have friends who are middle-income who also focus on retirement (as you reference as an issue). Unlike many EA folks, they are more unclear about how giving fits with their long-term financial plan. To address this, I've written an article that goes into retirement accounts and US tax law. To some extent, it's more conservative than the traditional pledge described in its current form, while in other ways it's more aggressive. Feel free to have a look and consider how you think it fits:

In response to Open Thread #36
Comment author: aaronhamlin 04 August 2017 05:18:39AM 0 points [-]

This is a topic I've thought about and just searched to see if anyone had posted on it. I've also written a moderately in-depth article on it here:

My personal background is that I run two nonprofits and am a licensed attorney. I think about charitable giving a lot. I also put money into retirement while balancing giving.

P.S. That you think about donor advised funds is a good sign! Those are so awesome that I dedicated an entire article to them:

Comment author: aaronhamlin 09 July 2017 03:54:37AM *  0 points [-]

Another approach is to work to advance voting methods that are robust to vote splitting. Vote splitting is, after all, what we're talking about here. In this context, the focus is on vote splitting within swing states. Vote splitting is when multiple candidates have a similar ideology and because of the single selection voters are required to provide under plurality voting, the vote divides between those candidates. This creates an advantage for candidates who don't have a similar competitor and randomness when both leading candidates have a similar competitor.

The most straightforward way this is being addressed currently is through an inter-state compact called the national popular vote plan ( The issue with that is that at the end of the day there can still be vote splitting at the national level because the system still uses plurality (choose one) voting.

An alternative that would fix that is approval voting ( This allows the voter to choose as many candidates as they want and can use current ballots and machines. It is highly robust to vote splitting and allows the voter to support their favorite candidate no matter what, even if that candidate isn't' viable. The other advantage of this method is that it is precinct summable, which means you can take state totals and then use those totals to get national totals. You don't need the raw ballot data to be collected in a central location. It also allows for hybrid counting for if certain areas still use plurality voting. Because of these properties, this would be an excellent candidate for an improved national popular vote plan.

As a note, there was no spoiler effect in the 2016 election. As noted in other comments, the vote pairing approach requires trust. Also, an alternative candidate method, instant runoff voting/ ranked choice voting does not let you vote your favorite every time and is not precinct summable. One of the challenges of approval voting is its current lack of use in government elections, which would mean acquiring a track record in localities and states before use at the national level. For disclosure, I'm the executive director of The Center for Election Science, which promotes approval voting.