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Hi !

I just started reading the book  "The good it promises, the harm it does" and I think it'd be more enjoyable/useful to do this as part of a weekly discussion group. 

I'm planning on doing this virtually, and I think ideally it would be 3-8 people per group (I'm happy to facilitate the formation of additional groups if more than 8 people are interested in participating). My current plan is do discuss one chapter per week, each discussion lasting 60-90 min, but I'm open to being convinced that there are better formats. 

(Whilst writing this, I've seen that The Seattle EA group beat me to this idea (except theirs is in person)- good job!)

If you're interested in joining this virtual discussion group, please indicate your interest using this very quick form. 

I'll be closing the form on the 3rd of March. 

Amazon.com: The Good It Promises, the Harm It Does: Critical Essays on  Effective Altruism: 9780197655702: Adams, Carol J., Crary, Alice, Gruen,  Lori: Books




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An update/discovery I've made after skimming the whole book: It's actually mostly/all about farmed animal welfare and how people in the farmed animal advocacy space think EAs working on farmed animal welfare are skrewing up the movement. I'm pretty disappointed because I was hoping there would be substantive critiques of EA as a framework (which I don't think I was wrong to assume? The only thing about the book which suggests that its about farmed animals is the cow on the cover - there is no mention of the specific focus in the blurb or in the foreword or subtitle.)

Based on this realization, am I right to assume you are no longer interested in coordinating this book club?

*I* am still interested in doing it but I thought it'd be good to let people know in case they wanted to change their mind about participating. 

Do you still think it is worthwhile given the skim?

I think although you might not gain any insight into specific critiques of the EA framework from reading it, it is probably still good to get a sense of the different types of critiques people have of EA in this specific domain (which many/most EAs don't have a detailed understanding of). I think I'm also hopeful that there are some broadly applicable critiques which might still apply across other cause areas we work in. 

Really appreciate the reasoning transparency here!

Based on this realization, am I right to assume you are no longer interested in coordinating this book club?

I came to the same realization after discussing it with a few members of our local group, but given my interests in animal advocacy, I think it'd be personally valuable for me to engage with.

Do you still think it is worthwhile given the skim?

If there is anyone who ends up making a reading group discussion guide or a list of discussion prompts (whether it's comprehensive or not!), I'd love to check it out and add it to my collection of EA syllabi!

Thanks for setting this up @Kaleem! I hadn't heard of this book until a colleague of mine mentioned your post in our local group's (EA Philadelphia's) Discord.

Edit: Link to book PDF removed

Does the copyright allow you to share this?

I would recommend against sharing this publicly otherwise

Thank you for pointing this out Lorenzo - I've removed the link from my comment.

I'm really glad that you are reading this book! I've enjoyed it myself. 

Would you consider asking people to buy a copy of the book if able (or to ask for funding to buy it through their local group)? Academic volumes do not typically bring in high revenues for their authors, so every purchase counts.

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