Hey all! I'm a student living in Shanghai, China, and I have been keeping up with EA for two years. I have basic knowledge about EA theory and read a lot of posts on this forum. I was recently looking at local groups to join and notice that there aren't any EA groups in China. This is concerning to me because 

(1) China plays a huge role in politics and problems such as A.I. risk and climate emissions as listed on the CEA website 

(2) Chinese charities are becoming less and less effective with corruption issues popping up everywhere, and 

(3) I believe that many Chinese citizens and educators would be willing to invest in this cause given the size of China and its many problems. Imagine the impact we could have if we got China connected to the global EA community.

Thus, I would like to start a national EA group in China. I think that because there is so little awareness of EA here, this group should focus on recruiting new members and spreading awareness about EA. We could then start doing introductory courses in Chinese and translate important messages. If this is done correctly, it would mean a lot to the cause because China has so much untapped potential to participate in this cause. 

I have one or two connections to EA people in China, but they don't seem very available. I was wondering whether anyone would be up to co-organize this EA group. It would require some commitment but it would be very impactful and once things get running, it would be easy to recruit more organizers and create a self-sustaining system.

Ideally, a co-organizer would have more knowledge and experience than me in EA. They would have some connections to Chinese effective altruists, maybe be able to speak Chinese for communication purposes (I can speak both Chinese and English, so language is not a big deal). 

If anyone has had experience with starting a group from scratch, feel free to share some tips and things you would have done differently. Similarly, if anyone has connections to effective altruists in China, that would be great.

Once I find co-organizers, I would expect to start discussing the plan for creating this group, including setting up a website, email, contact information, and the way the group is structured. We would start recruiting members who are already involved or interested in EA, and get China connected to the global EA community!




Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 3:23 PM

I'll message you privately. I have some thoughts about this.

EDIT: Rephrased.

当我看 Will MacAskill 或者其他 EA 学家讨论跟 EA 有关的哲学传统时,我发现他们提到的历史比较偏向欧洲。他们参考许多古代欧洲文献,但很少提及古代亚洲文献。我个人不能对这些 EA 过于批判,因为这个问题是典型的英语母语和西方课程的影响。但这仍然会导致分析和讨论不完整。我也会内疚自己有这样的忽略。


您是否会特别推荐任何其他书籍或章节,以扩展EA, 以更好的方式与我们的中国同事联系?


在我的认知里,中式哲学好像没有“effective altruism"类似的说法,像你提到的墨子应该是政治学家,但是他重要的地方是提出了对儒家思想的反驳。直到现在普遍的意识还是被儒家文化限制了,中国人像林语堂说的一样,其实是以家庭单位的individualism,大家都是看好自己的,很少会想到charity donation或者“有效的帮助别人”这个概念,所以我暂时没有什么书可以推荐的。






"Rather than “translating” effective altruism into new languages, it seems better to think in terms of creating a local movement from scratch that’s inspired by the ideas of effective altruism, but is highly adapted to the local context. Imagine that Will MacAskill was Chinese: then what would he have written?"


"Initial efforts to expand effective altruism into new languages should focus on making strong connections with a small number of people who have relevant expertise, via person-to-person outreach instead of mass media."



"Value Lock-In: The Hundred Schools of Thought" (What We Owe The Future, Chapter 4)

Try to run the group as independently from the global organization as possible, and to add as many "Chinese characteritics" as possible. But given both the role of Marxism and cibernetic governance in CCP ideology, I would say that utilitarianism could be welcomed as long as it is not identified with Western politics.

Good luck and take care!