An Argument for Why the Future May Be Good

In late 2014, I ate  lunch with an EA who prefers to remain anonymous. I had originally been of the opinion that, should humans survive, the future is likely to be bad. He convinced me to change my mind about this. I haven’t seen this argument written up anywhere and... Read More

Effective altruism is self-recommending

A parent I know reports (some details anonymized): Recently we bought my 3-year-old daughter a "behavior chart," in which she can earn stickers for achievements like not throwing tantrums, eating fruits and vegetables, and going to sleep on time. We successfully impressed on her that a major goal each day... Read More

Why I left EA

I don't intend to convince you to leave EA, and I don't expect you to convince me to stay. But typical insider "steel-manned" arguments against EA lack imagination about other people's perspectives: for example, they assume that the audience is utilitarian. Outsider anti-EA arguments are often mean-spirited or misrepresent EA... Read More

Where I Am Donating in 2016

Part of a series for My Cause Selection 2016. For background, see my writings on cause selection for 2015 and my series on quantitative models . Introduction In my previous essay, I explained why I am prioritizing animal advocacy as a cause area. In this essay, I decide where to... Read More

Why we need more meta

Peter Hurford recently wrote a popular post "EA risks falling into a meta-trap. But we can avoid it."  Many people seemed to infer from the post that we're doing too many meta activities, and I've now seen the post cited several times as a reason not to donate to meta-charities.... Read More

Is the community short of software engineers after all?

It often seems like software engineering is the most over-represented career in the community. On this ground, at 80,000 Hours we've discouraged more people from going into the area, in order to increase the diversity of skills in the community.  However, recently the following organisations have been trying to hire EA-aligned... Read More

Why the Open Philanthropy Project Should Prioritize Wild Animal Suffering

Cross-posted to my website . Like the last time I wrote something like this, my suggestions here could apply to any large foundation. But most large foundations don’t care at all about what I say, and the Open Philanthropy Project cares at least a tiny bit about what I say,... Read More

Direct Funding Between EAs - Moral Economics

News: EA Global Googleplex participants - I’ll be giving an ignite talk introducing the long vision for Moral Economics! Edit: Here is the talk More news: Giles created a new #Moraltrade channel on Slack, which is being used during the Sunday US UK online EA workathons - in person for... Read More

Independent re-analysis of MFA veg ads RCT data

If you would like to get people to stop eating animals, there are a lot of things you could do: protest meat-serving restaurants, hand out leaflets, show online ads, lobby companies to do "meatless mondays", etc. To compare these, it would be useful to know how much of an impact... Read More

If you don't have good evidence one thing is better than another, don't pretend you do

One of the most common criticisms of people involved in EA from people who are not, is that we come across as arrogant and overconfident about our ideas even when we know very few concrete facts about the alternatives. I think that is a fair criticism. One of the most... Read More

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