The Monthly EA Newsletter – May 2016 Edition

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Hi there,

Apparently y’all liked the jokes in the last edition. So we’ll keep things light! 

In this edition, definitely check out the update by 80,000 Hours. Lots of new material on helping people decide what to do professionally. Someone send it to Cruz and Kasich? 

And maybe a CFAR gift voucher to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee? 

*Drops mic*

El Team
Articles and Community Posts
Pablo Stafforini has compiled a big list of EA blogs. So many cool blog names! 9 points to Gryffindor if you know a blog that isn’t listed there. Just let Pablo know and he’ll get those points transferred right away. (GiveDirectly is really expanding these days.)

Check out this very interesting article on the (underwhelming) philosophical critiques of effective altruism, written by Oxford philosophy professor Jeff McMahan.

Michelle Hutchinson has just started a series of posts on Giving What We Can. Find out what their stance on cause neutrality is and why they focus on poverty. Stay tuned!

Our very own Georgie Mallett gathered a few stories from 7 different local EA groups.
Updates from EA Organizations
80,000 Hours

80k uploaded a full rewrite of their career guide along with a recorded video version and launched new profiles of different major problems people can work on as well as a quiz to help people choose between them. They have also created an introductory campaign for new newsletter subscribers, reorganized their website and offered 5 workshops at EAGxBoston, Harvard and MIT. (Sooo.. what have you been doing lately?)

Next week, they’ll start a campaign to drive traffic to their new career guide – when you see it getting promoted online, do share it, so your friends get a chance to read some really useful advice! They'll thank you later.

Animal Charity Evaluators

ACE published an intervention report on undercover investigations and some updates to the way they conduct quantitative cost-effectiveness estimates. They are also looking for people to write guest blog posts on effective animal advocacy topics. If interested, contactLeah Edgerton, ACE’s Digital Media Manager.


Following their annual self-evaluation, GiveWell posted their plans for 2016. GiveWell also published an interim review of Sightsavers’ work on deworming. Sightsavers is applying to be a GiveWell top charity.

Giving What We Can

For World Malaria Day, Giving What We Can launched the Just One Net campaign to help make it easier for members and supporters to talk about effectiveness. People from across 33 countries bought 5,305 nets through the Against Malaria Foundation. This is enough to protect 9,550 people from mosquitoes, and tentative estimates suggest the campaign will have prevented five deaths.

Global Priorities Project

Their report, Global Catastrophic Risks 2016 with their partners at the Global Challenges Foundation, was picked up in international print, radio, and TV including the BBC, The Times, and SkyNews. They also responded to parliamentary consultations on research prioritization and artificial intelligence.

Open Philanthropy Project

The Open Philanthropy Project described both their progress in 2015 and their plans for 2016. In particular, potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence will be a major priority this year and their are planning to dedicate significant capacities to this cause.

The Open Philanthropy Project also published write-ups on several recent grants in the areas of macroeconomic stabilization policy, criminal justice reform, and scientific research, which are all available here.
What is Effective Altruism?

If you’re new to EA, you may be wondering what “effective altruism” is all about. Well, you’re in luck! Here’s the link to the (well-written) Wikipedia article. You’re welcome.

In short, EA is a growing social movement founded on the desire to make the world as good a place as it can be, the use of evidence and reason to find out how to do so, and the audacity to actually try.

The EA FAQ site and the EA Handbook are good introductory resources too.
Job Postings

Yale Assistant Professor of Political Science Allan Dafoe is seeking research assistants for a project on the political dimensions of the existential risks posed by advanced artificial intelligence. More details on the FHI website.

Join GiveDirectly as a software engineer and help reshape global giving. Money, money, money.. must be funny.. in the rich man's world.

GiveWell is hiring a Director of Operations to lead and build the team responsible for non-research functions at GiveWell and the Open Philanthropy Project.

The Humane League is looking for a Director of Communications.

FYI: Check out this Facebook group full of job postings.
Other Announcements

The Center for Applied Rationality (CFAR) will be running 4 free programs this summer, all of which are currently accepting applications.

If you are interested in writing Wikipedia articles on topics related to EA, get in touch with Vipul.

Here’s an update on finding a new EA hub. If you have any feedback, let Eric know.
Timeless Classics

In this excellent article Topher Hallquist makes the case for effective altruists to embrace the label “cosmopolitanism” more consciously. 
Go forth and do the most good!

Let us know how you liked this edition and how we can improve further.

See you again on June 2!

Georgie, Michał, Pascal and Sören
– The Effective Altruism Newsletter Team

The Effective Altruism Newsletter is a joint project between the Centre for Effective Altruism, theEffective Altruism Hub and .impact
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Getting tax-deduction in the Netherlands for donations to international EA charities is not straightforward. I've done some research made a write-up to explain how it works.

Summary: Some charities have a tax-deductible status (ANBI) in the Netherlands. If not, you can use Transnational Giving Europe or make a donation to Effective Altruism Foundation in Switzerland marked for regrant.

Full write-up (Dutch)

(Hasty) translation


The en-wiki article about effective altruism says this:

There is significant variation in the degree to which effective altruists concern themselves with the welfare of non-human animals. Most oppose practices such as factory farming; many promote vegetarian or vegan diets.

Is it true, that > 50% of people in the effective altruism movement oppose practices such as factory farming? I don't know if that's actually the case. Has there been a survey or something about it?

Hey everyone,

So, I've recently completed building an API to anonymously record donations made to charities, with the intention of allowing organisations like Giving What We Can and EAHub to automatically update the donation records of their members and to measure their impact (I figured there must be an easier way than individuals manually entering their donations).

At the moment I'm going to start working on integrating it with those organisations, and charities that are the most popular with effective altruists, but I'd also really be interested to hear any suggestions for possible applications for it that I could build?

Maybe something like a web application that exports all your donations to a CSV file?

Or maybe a Facebook plugin (is that what they're called?) that displays your donation total on your profile page?

I'm all ears.

It's currently set up to record a donor ID, a charity ID, the amount donated, a reference number, the date, and the time the database record was created.

Here's giving a shoutout to Giving What We Can for making their calculations for the lifetime value of a member public - I've been finding them very useful recently for evaluating the value of projects!

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