Update, 12/7/21: As an experiment, we're trying out a longer-running Open Thread that isn't refreshed each month. We've set this thread to display new comments first by default, rather than high-karma comments.
If you're new to the EA Forum, consider using this thread to introduce yourself!
You could talk about how you found effective altruism, what causes you work on and care about, or personal details that aren't EA-related at all.
(You can also put this info into your Forum bio.)
If you have something to share that doesn't feel like a full post, add it here!
(You can also create a Shortform post.)
Open threads are also a place to share good news, big or small. See this post for ideas.
How do EA's in SF think about local civic action and altruism? That seems a priori like a place with A) a lot of EAs and B) a place with LOTs of local problems. Here's a good Atlantic article that's worth reading in full on the problems of SF: theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/06/how-san-francisco-became-failed-city/661199/
And for reference here's a post I penned recently in response to the call for EA critiques that emphasizes the importance of local as well as global altruistic action: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/LnuuN7zuBSZvEo845/why-the-ea-aversion-to-local-altruistic-action
Hi everyone! I'm Hyunjun and I live in Boston. I first came across effective altruism while reading about utilitarianism in college classes, but I just recently heard about this organization. Excited to be here!
Also, a bit of a shameless plug: I'm in the early stages of building a product that makes it much easier for people to invest their money in a socially responsible way while meeting their financial goals. If you've ever felt frustrated when thinking about how your personal investments could better line up with your values and you live in the US, I'd... (read more)
This morning, the stock and crypto market has seen large declines. BTC and ETH has fallen 17-20%.
This comment is supposed to be “maybe this is relevant news, and like, put this on your radar or something”, I’m not really an expert in any of the above.
Hi is there a way to get stats on EA membership and activity by location? I can't seem to place that from the individual local chapters pages, which might be for the best since that'd be a pain to scrape one by one, and ideally there'd be a simple table with chapter location and number of members (total is fine, ideally would have a subcategory for a common definition of active members). Anyone know where one might find such a thing?
How do you practice charity beginning at home? Do any EA folks give a set percentage of their giving locally? Has anyone seen statistics on typical breakdowns? Is the EA recommended giving percentage 100% to the globally highest impact charities? A EA member passed along this GiveWell post. It seems very intuitive to me that getting your own life, household and community in order is a good thing. It also seems like the more that you get your immediate life and those in it in order, the more you can support people in need further away.
Who are the EA folks most into the AI governance space? I'd be curious to their thoughts on this essay on the superintelligence issue and realistic risks: https://idlewords.com/talks/superintelligence.htm
Ideas to improve the Effective Altruism movement include:
* include scoring, ranking, and distance measures of the altruistic value of the outcome of all personal behaviors, including all spending behaviors.
* research the causal relations of personal behaviors and the altruistic value of the consequences of personal behaviors.
* treat altruistic value as a relative and subjective metric with positive, null, and negative possible values.
* provide public research and debate on the size and certainty of altruistic values assigned to all common human behav... (read more)
Hi, everyone, I'm Muireall. I recently put down some thoughts on weighing the longterm future (https://muireall.space/repugnant/). I suspect something like this has been brought up before, but I haven't been keeping up with writing on the topic for years. It occurred to me that this forum might be able to help with references or relevant keywords that come to mind. I'd appreciate any thoughts you have.
The idea is that, broadly, if you accept the repugnant conclusion with a "high" threshold (some people consensually alive today don't meet the "barely worth ... (read more)
Hi all, this is my first post on the forum and I apologize for the shameless plug, but I just recently came into an opportunity to work on a large project focusing on climate change and emerging technologies relating to it ending with a presentation to the leadership of a fund with ~50 billion dollars in assets under management and the ability to put reasonable portions of that to work every year.
My influence is likely to be quite limited, however if anyone has special insight into hydrogen production, green VC firms, carbon storage tec... (read more)
Hi everyone, I'm new to the EA community. My husband introduced me here, since I'm facing a career choice dilemma about helping others. I'm currently in tech, but wanted to change to a career in Coaching or Therapy.
Why the switch: I care deeply about reducing individual human suffering and I enjoy working with people 1:1. I don't see myself in tech for my whole productive years. Causes I care the most: mental health in the workplace, career happiness, and connecting to one's true self.
My dilemma: I'm debating between a career in coaching vs. th... (read more)
Hi EA community, I've been EA adjacent for a while both online and IRL. I saw the request for critiques of the EA movement on Marginal Revolution which inspired me to come over here and finally sign up. I do have to say though that with so many problems in the world today, any effort that's getting people to go forth and do some good in the world is, well, a good thing! So it'll take a bit of work to come up thoughtful critiques.
By the way, is there a EA member directory? I'd be curious to learn more about why people participate in the movement. Perhaps th... (read more)
Hi! My name is Dev and I'm 17 years old. I'm a current high school graduate about to start university in the fall of 2022. Looking forward to interacting here. I'm currently interested in a lot of areas - including global priorities research, AI alignment, existential and s-risk, and energy poverty - but I'm currently trying to figure out the best path I could take since I'm at quite an early stage in my career. Of these topics, I'd say I'm most well-informed about energy poverty and I'm currently reading Superintelligence to get a better idea of AI alignment. Not sure what I want to do to have the most impact as of yet, but I welcome anyone who might want to have a conversation.
TLDR; The EA Forum (EA as a whole?) should ready for attention/influx due to political money in about a 12 month horizon from this comment (so like 2023ish?). So maybe designing/implementing structure or norms, e.g. encouraging high quality discussion, using real names is good.
There is a news cycle going around that SBF will increase political spending for 2024.
... (read more)
A lot changes now.
Future is really now.
What's up EAers. I noticed that this website has some issues on mobile devices - the left bar links don't work, several places where text overlaps, tapping the search icon causes an inappropriate zoom - is there someone currently working on this where it would help if I filed a ticket or reported an issue?
Hello, I'm new to this forum, met a bunch of EA folk in London at the EA Global drinks a couple of weeks ago, and have been EA adjacent for a while, so happy to chat and link up on projects of mutual interest. Most of my personal giving is in humanitarian and development, also investing in green tech through crowdfunding platforms.
I'm currently Head of Global Health Communications & Stakeholder Engagement at UK's National Institute for Health & Care Research (NIHR) , previously over 20 years senior leadership in universities, research institutes, international NGOs, charities and funders, mainly in bioscience, health, and international development. Full career history on https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-wilson-323b591b/
I am active in various science communication networks and rationalist/ish groups. I enjoy football and samba. I blog at https://pathfindings.substack.com and I'm currently writing a popular (I hope!) science book on advances in bio-gerontology and the future of humanity. If you want to get a flavour of some of my writing, I just cross-posted a recent blog on https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/h2EaaDchr9QYuKz9z/rabbits-robots-and-resurrection.
Are shortforms supposed to show up on the front page? I published a shortform on Sunday and noticed that it did not appear in the recent activity feed, but older material did.
Also, does anyone else think that the shortform section should be more prominent? It's a nice way to encourage people to publish ideas even if they're not confident in them, but my most recent one has gotten little to no engagement.
Upcoming posts about not yet created EA project or institution called “EA common application”.
I know a writer/”founder” who wrote up documents related to an “EA common application”.
Importantly, their vision seemed to get serious interest and funding—but they later exited or got kicked off the project.
I have access to these documents written by this person.
In the last few months, EAs have asked for these documents to read and distribute to others. Some requests have come from people I have never met.
There seems to be a lot of interes... (read more)
Just introducing myself! I've been an advocate of EA for a number of years but I'm new to the forum. I've spent a while reading though various posts and it's great to see a forum with such a reasonable, open minded and friendly tone.
Like most people here I'm really interested in how humanity responds to existential threats (e.g. climate change) and global living standards (e.g. economic development in poorer regions). My background has been working in a start up - so I feel very comfortable starting projects, getting things off the ground, discovering something doesn't quite work and then consigning it to the failure list :P
If anyone has a great idea that they want help getting off the ground then I'd love to hear from you. I'm hoping to have more free time to devote to projects soon as I'm leaving my job as a Financial Director to go back to university to retrain as a computer scientist :)
Is there like some statistics on this forum? Particularly distribution of votes over posts?
Hi there, I first came across EA last summer after someone suggested it might be a good fit for what I'm working on.
I'm building a platform for community-based disaster risk manangement and resilience. https://www.thrivespring.com/
The events of the past two years have made it very clear that we live in an increasingly complex and unpredictable world. Our interdependent global supply chain is brilliant when everything is working as expected, but it is vulnerable to black sky hazards that can cause cascading failures across multiple sectors. Cros... (read more)
It's been a while since I started my research on how to donate cost-effectively. That journey led me to GiveWell, TheLifeYouCanSave, Animal Charity Evaluators and, eventually, to the EA Community. I am so grateful for all the valuable resources, tools and concepts I could find thanks to the effective altruism movement. This has allowed me to start refining my mindset to maximise the positive impact, not only of my donations, but all my actions.
However, I have not found any way to donate tax-efficiently from my country (Spain). The chariti... (read more)
I chose a pseudonym (-dunce scout), as I'm starting a blog with same name. There isn't a popular blog (or one that I know of), that talks about simple/big ideas like lesswrong or SSC or EA forum -around here. (I'm based in Kerala; I'll write mostly in ENG, maybe both ENG/MAL for region-relevant posts? Then again, typing MAL is hard)
The blog will be a guide/map to these sites. Occasionally, I'll digest the more large/complex posts -in an original way?; maybe write/think on simple things and show a new way to think through.
I somehow stumbled upon lesswrong, and added it to bookmarks. (This maybe through stumbleupon when it was free and available on the chrome web store; I think I was in 5th/6th grade when that happened) Never read it though. When covid/online classes happened, I got time. I started with Rationality A-Z since the posts had catchy headings. Soon realised that most posts are going over my head. Then, after a week or so I started with Codex and really enjoyed reading it. (except for the much more than you need to know series) I did read some of Rationality A-Z, but not to completion. Enjoyed hpmor, replacing guilt by Nate Soares, and few other posts on lesswrong b... (read more)
Hello! I am here to get feedback on a blog post I wrote recently (Wild Animal Suffering Should be Effective Altruism's Flagship Cause (substack.com)). I wrote it for my blog, but I ended up emailing openphil for feedback, and a rep told me to go ahead and share it here.
A summary of the article is that wild animal suffering would become much more relevant as correlated with certain engineering problems as ecosystem design and microbiome control, and that this gives it desirable properties as a future "flagship". Therefore, we should invest in popularizing i... (read more)
I've known about the ideas behind EA for a while now, but have just recently become aware of how much concrete organizing is going on and how many resources the movement now has.
I've got academic training in a lot of skills that are useful to EA organizations, such as cost-effectiveness analysis, decision science, and preference elicitation. My reading in the EA literature has given me a few ideas about how I might some day put those skills to work for this cause. I'm definitely open to research and project collaborations if you think I might be useful to you -- or even if you just want someone to brainstorm with!
Somewhat new EA here - I'm thinking of wearing EA gear at an upcoming livestreamed collegiate poker tournament. Any thoughts on whether that's a good idea? Seems good for the EA brand as long as I don't do/say anything too out of line (?)
Thoughts on how to talk about EA to other competitors/interviewers would be much appreciated too
Also a disclaimer that I don't expect to do very well on the tournament hahaha, I'm a pretty recreational player
Hello! My name is Garrett, and I am from Seattle, Washington. I have been involved in EA for about a year and was introduced to it by my closest friend while at school. He and I have both always been directly involved in humanitarian aid projects around the world for most of our lives (it's how we met, actually), and after returning from a service trip in Lesbos where he had been shaken by the suicide of a small child there he began to wonder about the effectiveness of his efforts. This then put him on the road to finding EA. When he ran across it, he shared it with me, and I immediately fell in love with everything about EA. I was the director of the university's service department at the time and was responsible for activities involving hundreds of students, and was frustrated with what I perceived to be inefficient and ineffective university policies governing funding and activity options. EA was simply too relatable to pass up. I've been heavily involved ever since, although my schooling has prevented me from attending many of the conferences that I wish to attend one day in order to make more of your acquintances. Until then, I am happily engaged in furthering the ... (read more)
This seems like a great article and thought provoking:
... (read more)
- There's a lot of attention on meta EA and EA money. The FTX grants, which might total ~$100M in a year, seem big. These grants are extremely important for the cultural effects and could be enormously impactful.
- Scott moved out $8.6 billion last year. If just 10% of that was directed toward very impactful causes, what would the value of that be?
- Did Scott or her staff encounter EA? Did this happen, and if so, what did they
Hi everyone. I'm a therapist & academic philosopher based in Boston. I do individual therapy and also teach philosophy at Bentley University. Further info here: https://www.jmaier.net/about-me.html
I look forward to hearing more about ideas/suggestions about how to direct my own giving. I have a strong interest in promoting effective mental health interventions at scale. I've written about this a bit in a blog for Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/philosophy-and-therapy. Looking forward to learning from folks on this forum.
Hey everyone! Just joined EA a few months ago and was very fortunate to attend EAGx Bostone recently! I could not be more excited about discovering this community!!!
I’m doing two fellowships and working on a marketing project team in my university EA USC group.
I feel very strongly about utilitarianism, am interested in physics, and as a result came to longtermism several years ago on my own. I actually wrote a book called “Ways to Save The World” essentially about innovative broad strategies to sustainably, systemically reduce existntial risk. Really excited to share it with the EA community and have my ideas challenged and improved by fellow highly intelligent, rational do-gooders!
Hi all! I'm new to the EA forum. My husband's been involved in EA for years, and I am finally in a place to want to join in as well. Specifically, I'm an efficiency consultant, specializing in operations and productivity improvement. I would love to take my talents to the EA world to make charities and the people involved more impactful.
Hello! I am the Affective Altruist, and I am building a little dating website for EAs. I'm starting off with WordPress to keep it simple. Consider this a fun side project of mine, and friendly competitor to reciprocity.io. ^_^
Is anyone interested? What simple features would you want from such a site? Should I make a top-level question asking this?
My general advice for people building projects that require network effects is to think about how to 100% of a small market before you try to tackle the entire market. Peter Thiel has written about this dynamic in Zero to One. Can you get all EAs in your city/region perhaps?
I had a conversation with my partner yesterday about how we want to do good better, but at the same time nobody can do 100% and taking care of yourself is important. She described to me a concept that is a simple but important change from how I have understood EA, and I'd like to share it. While I normally thought of doing good better as
what she described was
This isn't a ... (read more)
Hi everyone! I generally go by Velociraptor online, but if you find that too silly, please call me Lu. I had a pretty awful experience burning myself out trying to do too much volunteer work during the peak of covid, and when I was seeking more reasonable and high-impact ways to return to helping, I stumbled across effective altruism a few months ago. The ideas have really appealed to me, although I'm still uncertain about some aspects (mostly the global focus, I'm generally a proponent of local efforts as participants tend to have more in-depth knowledge ... (read more)
Hi Everyone, this is my introduction post. I've put some info in my bio, so I'll elaborate on it here. You can find out a little more about me here https://snlawrence.com/.
I was introduced to EA through an interview with William MacAskill on Sam Harris' meditation app, Waking Up. In the interview, William mentioned 80000 hours, which I then googled after. I began reading through their key idea and career review articles and was quickly convinced of the value of doing impactful work over my career. The articles are well written, well researched and very hon... (read more)
Hi, call me Rahela. I'm working in Anima International and Open Cages PL, as IT manager. In free time I write my personal blog about animals, effective helping, ethics and life on the countryside. I also host a podcast about similar topics. You can find me here https://hodowlaslow.pl/.
I found EA, thanks to my colleagues from Anima International. Before that I was working 13 years in fashion industry, as a designer thinking all days what am I doing here. Took me a long time to became pragmatic, not fanatic. (I was radical vegan 4 years ago).
You can contact me about some fundraising topics and IT if you need some help.
I love meditation and cats. Try to meditate with 3 cats! Feel free to contact me.
Thoughts/comments on potential new series of posts ("Gates are Open, Come In")?
Someone I know has benefited a lot from interactions with major EA funders (for reasons that aren't clear, the funders just seem communicative and benevolent).
This person is thinking of writing up a series of posts about their experiences, in a positive, personally generous way, to provide value and insight to others.
They would share actual documents (they wrote) as well as describing their views of communications and key points that seem important to their interacti... (read more)
The new effectivealtruism.org homepage looks fantastic.
It does, but why is CEA capitalizing "effective altruism" now? 😕
I'm a PhD student using non-invasive brain stimulation to enhance human attention. I'm convinced that using non-invasive brain stimulation to enhance human intelligence has massive potential in improving productivity across the global economy.
Unlike its productivity-enhancing counterparts (invasive brain stimulation and artificial intelligence) it is vastly underfunded, making it an ideal target for effective altruism!
Compared to current AI human intelligence is already general, so enhancing it can be applied to all aspects of society.... (read more)
Hi! Long time listener, first time caller. I currently work in operations in higher ed and I just know I can be doing the same exact job in the EA community and be making much more of an impact and have more of an opportunity to test my skills and grow into related fields. I actually just applied for a position at CEA which would be a dream! I'm curious if any one else from the community came into EA from student affairs or enrollment management and if so what are you doing now and how was the transition?
:wave I'm Seth Ariel Green, I mostly write here: https://setharielgreen.com/blog/, I'm a freelance writer currently based in New Orleans, about to go finish up a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail that I mostly completed last year. Long-time lurker, might start posting, looking forward to getting into it with y'all
I like the new colored icons on posts with certain tags (e.g. Farmed animal welfare, Existential risk) 😀
Hello everyone, my name is Emre. I am the co-founder and director of Kafessiz Türkiye, a farmed animal advocacy organisation in Turkey. Looking forward to learning from you all!
I am a human rights activist from Russia. I work as a ML scientist at a medical tech startup in Germany. When the war with Ukraine started 8 years ago, I decided to record an antiwar video as a reply to Ukrainian students. It was my first time trying to organize a protest, and it was way scarier than just participating. What if one of the students got expelled for this? What if at the rally I'd organize in their support someone got accused of hitting a cop? Suddenly it looked like my little initiative could turn into a years-long nightmare. I decided to do it and was very glad to discover that an Open Russia journalist had the same idea and we could merge our efforts.
No one got in trouble for the recording, but it didn't change anything, either. So I went looking for more effective ways to help Ukraine and free my own country. As protests in Russia dwindled, I decided that building a friendly AI was my best bet. I got into machine learning, read most books on MIRI's reading list and was in the middle of a MIRI interview when COVID struck and they stopped hiring programmers. My plan no longer called for staying in Russia, so I moved to Germany last year, to stop supporting Putin's war and oppression with my taxes.
Hello there !
I'm David, 31, French, father of 2 - recently moved to Madagascar.
I would be really interested to get in touch with EA community members in Madagascar. Also I believe there's also an opportunity to spread the movement here, given the poverty and inequalities issues are really tangible here.
Currently, I hold the role of Chief Technology Officer at Baobab+, a social business aiming at enabling access to energy, digital and finance products. We distribute our products in rural areas in Africa, and sell all our products in "pay as you go" (Similar to leasing) to make them affordable to the most (typical cost < 0.5 usd / day) .
Customers, proving their trustworthyness with good repayment enter a virtuous circle and get access to larger products (e.g. basic phone or a fridge) or loans.
I would be thrilled to study a bit closer the impact we're having compared to other initiatives.
Why I Am (Not) a LongTermist
I am copy and pasting my newest endeavor to meditate on the meaning of "long-termism." https://whatiscalledthinking.substack.com/p/why-i-am-not-a-long-termist?s=w
The Long-Term is like the Maimonidean conception of God—you know it when you don’t see it.
The Divine Face, like the distant future, is hidden. But Moses is permitted to see the back of God’s face. Similarly, today’s super-forecasters cannot know the future, but they can see the back of the future.
Of God we know nothing, says Franz Rosenzweig, but our ignorance is ... (read more)
Hi all! Recently found this community and I'm really impressed with the discourse here!
This is kind of meta and not about EA per se, but from a community-builder's perspective I was wondering how this forum is moderated (self or otherwise), and how it was built up to such a vibrant space! Are there other forums like this (I know lesswrong runs on a similar-looking community blogging model)? Have there been any moderation challenges?
I read through some of these posts (https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/tag/discussion-norms) but would appreciate any o... (read more)
Hello, at age sixteen some combination of debating a pastor about universalism, visiting worship centers of various faiths, and Rick and Morty killed my religion. With nothing remaining that seemed worthwhile, I booked a ticket to Singapore and began wandering around odd destinations for the next few years in variable states of despair. I tried to construct a new sense of meaning through pragmatic mythicalism, the idea that untestable ideas can still be believed in based on their utility. I decided it would be useful to believe that the well being of people are worth fighting for, but still felt miserably alone.
Then I discovered EA, or rather it discovered me as I was ranting half-crazed to someone about the fermi paradox and great filters to which someone replied "oh yeah, those are called existential risks in effective altruism," to which I replied "what the HELL is effective altruism?"
Then there was no turning back. The concept that a community exists with such a purposeful drive to improve lives gave me a rope to grasp as I clawed my way back to life like it matters. The ideology granted me a beacon to strive towards, but lacking interaction or connection with the communi... (read more)
Hello everyone! I'm a member of the Polish EA community. Over the last few days we've witnessed an outpouring of support for Ukraine which is amazing. But among the information overload, both donors as well as those in need, may find it difficult to single out credible forms of help.
We’re aiming to create a database of verified information to make sure people can make the biggest impact when donating.
This FORM allows those of you who have information about existing initiatives to submit them for our evaluation. Please, spread it in your groups / communitie... (read more)
Sam Harris and Rob Reid just put out this podcast that seems very relevant to this community:
[The After On Podcast] 58: Recipes for Future Plagues | Kevin Esvelt #theAfterOnPodcast
https://podcastaddict.com/episode/136135023 via @PodcastAddict
Basically, the US government is trying to find all the pandemic-capable viruses it can, and it will then POST THEIR FULL GENOMES ONLINE.
This is potentially a catastrophically stupid blunder that we intend to make but have not made yet. The recommended actions from Rob are to tell USAID directly at https://www.usaid.gov/contact-us, tweet at them, if you live in a state with a senator on the subcommittee on state department and USAID management (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/committees/SSFR/14) contact your senator, contact Washington State University if you have a relevant tie, and otherwise spread this, get attention, apply whatever leverage you have.
Twitter thread from Kevin Esvelt (professor at MIT, speaker at EA global on mitigating catastrophic biorisks):
(X-posting from LW open thread)
I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but does anyone know what point Paul's trying to make in the following part of this podcast? (Relevant section starts around 1:44:00)... (read more)
Hi, I'm Jonny, a software engineer based in London. I've recently come across EA and am looking to re-align my career along a higher impact path, most likely focusing on AI risk, however I've still not fully bought into longtermism just yet so am hedging by also considering working on climate change or global health. I look forward to using this forum to try and answer some of my questions and clarify my own thinking.
Hi everyone, I am Oisín from Ireland. I am relatively new to EA (about 4 months), and am currently in university studying Theoretical Physics (3rd year), though I'm pretty sure I won't graduate with a first to be quite honest. The general field of EA I would currently be most invested in is animal welfare/advocacy. I am also in the middle of the AAC training course and finding it intruiging. Would you know how someone with my sort of degree could be useful in EAA (effective animal advocacy) or other areas of EA? Thanks for all the advice
Hello I'm Timothy from Germany I just joined the forum after finding out about EA through Peter Singer a couple of days ago. I am just 18 years old so I still have my whole career ahead of me. I'm currently thinking about what to study and what to do in the next six months before university will start. Any suggestions welcome, especially for what to do in the next six months.
Hi Timothy, it's great that you found your way here! I am also from Germany and am happy to report that there is a vibrant German EA community (including an upcoming conference in Berlin in September/October that you may want to join).
Regarding your university studies, I essentially agree with Ryan's comment. However, while studying in the UK and US can be great (I've done both!), I appreciate that doing so may be daunting and financially infeasible for many young Germans. If you decide to study in Germany and are more interested in the social sciences than in the natural sciences, I would encourage you (like Ryan) to consider undergraduate programs that combine economics with politics and/or philosophy. Based on my own experience, I can particularly recommend the BA Philosophy & Economics at the University of Bayreuth, though you should also consider the BSc Economics at the University of Mannheim (which you can combine with a minor in philosophy or political science).
In case you are interested in talking through all this sometime, feel free to reach out to me and we'll schedule a call. :)
Would it be beneficial for the EA community to have dedicated financial planners who help community members invest for personal and altruistic goals (i.e. investing to give), kind of like 80K advising? I see that we have some financial planners registered on EA Hub.
I have a quick question: if I want to have maximum impact to mitigate climate change, what's the best use of a small monthly donation? I was planning to pay the extra money to my utility company every month for renewable energy, but I figured there might be a more effective use of that same money. Any suggestions?
Hello EA world! My name's Zach. I'm a writer by trade and for passion, and I'm stoked to be here.
I found this community after asking Google "what are some jobs that do good for the world."
Currently, I work for an ad agency (owned by an AI company) company as a Creative Copywriter. It's a new job, but I already know that this kind of writing contributes to a destructive economic system (not that it's all bad, but it's definitely destructive.)
After that Google search, I found 80,000 as many other have, and now I'm looking for my next steps. That might mean a... (read more)
I'm proud to announce that some months after my boss, Peter Wildeford, rudely overtook me on the Metaculus leaderboards, I've finally achieved higher EA Forum karma than him! 🎉🎉🎉
Hello, my name is [name redacted] and I'm a new member here. Or, more accurately, I've been here for a little over a month but I haven't introduced myself yet because writing on a public forum is mildly anxiety-inducing for me. However, I have lately been attempting to become better at things I'm bad at by doing things that make me uncomfortable; this has included applying for an internship at Redwood Research despite not feeling terribly qualified, spending an afternoon using food to entice college students into discussing the merits of not eating meat despite being socially anxious, and now making an introduction post despite my instinctive aversion to doing so.
I am an undergraduate at a non-prestigious state university in the US studying computer science and math. I'm also working part-time as a research assistant to a professor working on a reinforcement learning project. The latter is a fairly recent development, and I find it a somewhat astounding one; about a year ago I was expecting to spend my time at university using scholarship funds to eke out a meagre existence, whereas now I will be making enough money that I could eat out 2-3 times per day (not that this seems like t... (read more)
I’m Attila Suba a blues singer and the founder of an international climate action project from Amsterdam called the Green Revolution.
We want promote the science behind How wealth reduces compassion. That is why our project focus on decentalization of power.
Because of our impending climate catastrophe, we created a project for funding and coordinating the global mobilization transforming our consumer society, capturing vast amount of CO2 while lifting people out of poverty.
We are reaching out to the world leading climate scientist commun... (read more)
Last year there were 2062 Frontpage posts and 82 Personal Blogposts. By default, Personal Blogposts are hidden from view — you have to search for them in All Posts or change your settings to view them.... (read more)
Just wanted to flag that AI scientist Timnit Gebru has written a tweet thread criticizing the AI safety field and the longtermist paradigm, quoting the Phil Torres Aeon essay. I would appreciate it if someone could put out a kind, thoughtful response to her thread. Since Gebru is a prominent, respected person in the mainstream AI ethics research community, inconsiderate responses to her thread (especially personal attacks) by EA community members run the risk of making the movement look bad.
Thanks for noting! Habiba responded: https://twitter.com/FreshMangoLassi/status/1485769468634710020
This response feels like it is making unnecessary concessions in an attempt to appease someone who will probably never be satisfied. For example, Habiba says
But this is not at all obvious! There are strong arguments that the contemporary 'harms' of tech are vastly overstated, and even if they were not, it seems unlikely that we should be working on them, given their vastly lower scope/neglectedness/tractability than other issues EAs focus on. I would be very surprised if any credible CBA suggested that short-term tech harms were a better cause area that third world poverty, factory farms and existential risks.
Similarly, Habiba contrasts
But these by no means need to be in conflict. I think any reasonable evaluation of EAs will find many who are quite unemotional, and do do a lot of number crunching - the later is, after all, a core part of cost-effectiveness estimates, and hence the EA movement. But that doesn't mean they don't "truely care" - it's that number-crunching is the best way of executing on that caring.
Despite what see... (read more)
Your comment has aged well.
Hello all. I'm Dave, I'm in my late 20s and I've been on an existential crisis since I've come across EA and related topics. I don't know what to do to help since I don't have any degree, I don't live in a rich country, and also because I don't think there's much we can do on the long-term. Namely if we keep inventing these magic-like technologies which will grant us power that no human being is wise enough to hold. I don't have anyone to talk to, and even if it did I wouldn't want to destroy their sanity, as I'm already on my way of destroying mine. Any advice or perspectives would be appreciated. Thank you
You're not alone in finding these topics mind-boggling and distressing!
If you'd like to talk to people and there's not an EA group near you, you could join the EA Anywhere group: https://eahub.org/group/effective-altruism-anywhere-2/
There's also the EA Peer Support group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ea.peer.support
I'm new here. My name's Carlos and I'm an anthropologist and social scientist looking for new career perspectives after my PhD. I would love to join a company or NGO to have a positive impact on the world. I'm interested in animal rights, fighting poverty and universal basic income. It's a pleasure to be here and to learn with you. Thanks for reading me
I am writing to say that I might be doing “moderately-high temporal resolution scrapes of some subset of EA Forum content".
This comment/notification is mainly for forum technical admin, and anyone interested in these scrapes or the potential products of such a project.
Precedents for this scraping include this post, this question, the existence of the API and it's discussion here, and general open source/discussion principles, or something.
Feel free to discuss!
For more information, I've very quickly written rambling, verbose thoughts in a reply to this c... (read more)
Effective altruism seems to focus like a laser on the most valuable problems for human suffering, but what if we extend the metaphor further, and to increase the impact make it a pulse laser? (Part of my inspiration was debt jubilees) I think this could have a few effects:
Hi, I'm new here. I am writing from Calgary., Canada. I'm a Ph.D. student in the area of Communication and Media Studies. Interested in AI and media
Anyone know how to embed links into text in the "User Profile" section?
So make it look like this:
Instead of this:
Just can't seem to do it!
As per this comment, "winter" doesn't feel like the best term for this time of year given we have people from both hemispheres on the Forum
Here is a forum bug that has been bugging me since forever: My own comments show up as new comments, i.e., the post comments bubble lights up in blue. But this shouldn't be the case; I already know that I left a new comment.
This summer, I became incredibly interested in effective altruism and as a high school student and someone from a low-income background, I felt like there were limited options on how to get involved in EA.
I would love to start a project supporting the EA movement for high school/secondary students. Here are my ideas!
1. A website similar to 80 000 hours, mentioning career planning and how to plan your undergraduate career to align with EA principles.
2. Hosting an EA conference for youth in a virtual format.
3. Having an EA council with mentorship from more established members in the space to work on the projects mentioned above and produce content.
Hello! I am slowly seeping into the Forum floorboards, dripping down the comments section, leaving meandering mumblings along an electronic thread. Most of my thoughts are obscure and dubiously specific. Expect errors; I do. And, I value dialogue not for compromise, but to send feelers out in all directions of the design-space. Those lateral extremes bind the constraints of good ideas, found only after pondering a few dozen flops! I'm glad to turn them around, to find any lucky inspirations. Most domains are a straight path up my alley; I follow specific problems into each arena, in turn.
Hi! I got recommendation to join the forums because of my reflections about what I should focus on in my career. Is it allowed to write a post on the forum which is not making a specific proposition but rather is asking for advice and providing discussion points for commenters? Or should that be posted as a question?
Had the chance to speak to venture capitalist, former poker pro and Effective Altruist Haseeb Qureshi about EA and Web3 - including earning to give and how crypto can facilitate effective giving. You can give it a read here: https://golem.foundation/2021/12/03/interview-HQureshi.html.
Hi, I've been interested in EA for years, but I'm not a heavyhitter. I'm expecting to give only dozens of thousands of dollars during my life.
That said, I have a problem and I'd like some advice on how to solve it: I don't know whether to focus on shortterm organizations like Animal Charity Evaluators and Givewell or longterm organizations like Machine Intelligence Research Institute, Center for Reducing Suffering (CRS), Center on Longterm Risk (CLR), Longterm Future Fund, Clean Air Task Force and so on. It feels like longterm organizations are a huge gamb... (read more)
I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on whether it is more ethical to eat 100% grass-fed beef/lamb from trusted suppliers in Australia (i.e. CCTV in slaughter houses and minimal transport) or more tofu/beans?
The pros of tofu/beans are clearly that it does not require taking the life from a cow or lamb who wants to live (although note that it takes lots of meals to cause the death of one cow), and also that it dramatically reduces carbon emissions.
The pros of instead eating 100% grass-fed beef/lamb are that it ma... (read more)
Just watched the new James Bond movie No Time to Die - the plot centers around a nanobot-based bioweapon developed by MI6 that gets stolen by international terrorists (if I'm understanding the plot correctly; it was confusing). Maybe someone can write a review of it that focuses on the EA themes?
I am the founder of Sanctuary Hostel a unique cross border eco friendly animal rescue/ hostel/ community garden project.
After taking a trip all over Mexico i noticed the animals were not treated well there, so i decided to move there and build an animal rescue. After arriving i decided a rescue was not enough. The existing rescues fail because they rely solely on donations and they dont really solve the problem they are a band aid.
I felt community and worldwide involvement was needed so i decided combining a hostel would help with that as well as a communi... (read more)
Greeting. My name is Anna and I am a digital producer. I am glad that there are so many of us here :)
Hi guys, my name is Nathaniel and I'm new to this forum. I found out about EA a few months ago because I've been thinking in these terms my whole life (how to maximize positive output to the world) and it's great to see there's a whole community centered around that question. I'm studying an undergrad in sustainable energy engineering at SFU and I'm hoping to have a career somewhere in the intersection between this field and computer science (computational sustainability). I haven't done a lot of research into this yet but it seems like an area with so muc... (read more)
I'm Gabe Newman from Canada. My wife got involved in EA earlier this year and I've been skulking on the sidelines, reading and thinking. I'm almost 50 but also a student again as I am getting my MSW (little midlife crisis). I'm still trying to figure out where and how to apply my skill set. I have lots of experience with micro NGO projects which are sustainable but I'm not sure how easy they would be to study, so EA is a bit of a new way of thinking for me. I've typically enjoyed Keep It Simple Stupid projects. But lately I have had a couple incredible com... (read more)
It seems like there's been a proliferation of AI safety orgs recently; I'd like to see a forum post describing all of them so people can easily find out more about them and who's hiring.
Hi, I'm newish to EA and new (as of today) to the forum! I use she/her/hers pronouns and I'm a college freshman. I've recently been thinking a lot about how I can use my career to help. AI safety technical research seems like the best option for me from the couple hours of research I've done. I'm planning to donate all my disposable income to the EA meta fund. I'm really passionate about doing as much good as I can, and I'm excited to have found a community that shares that! My biggest stumbling block has recently been my mental health, so if anybody has resources/tips they want to share, I'd love to hear them (for reference, I am actively getting treatment, so no worries there)!
My name is Holly, and I'm a 20-year-old freshman student in California. I first encountered the EA community in the International Youth Summit on Energy and Climate Change, Shenzhen, China, and found the forum when I was looking for help to navigate through my future career path. I've been exploring and trying to understand the concept of effective altruism since I grew up in a highly self-interest-driven, bureaucratic environment, but I want to do good to help others and make this world a better place. EA would be a great opportunity for me.
I'm currently an Economics major, and I want to be an Econ professor in the future. (However, I just started to embark on this path to get a P.hD. first, and I found myself a little nervous since the road ahead is a bit unknown for me at this point. I sort of have a weak math background, and I've been trying to improve my skills) I care about people, and I'd love to help them find happiness and the true meaning of their lives, as well as help them to pick up the right mindset to understand the world and live better. This is what I wanna do for my whole life.
Hey, everyone. I don't post here often and I'm not particularly knowledgeable about strong longtermism, but I've been thinking a bit about it lately and wanted to share a thought I haven't seen addressed yet and I was wondering if it’s reasonable and unaddressed. I’m not sure this is the right place though, but here goes.
It seems to me that strong longtermism is extremely biased towards human beings.
In most catastrophic risks I can imagine (climate change, AI misalignment, and maybe even nuclear war* or pandemics**), it seems unlikely that earth would beco... (read more)
Hey everyone, I'm also new to the forum and to EA as of summer 2021. I found EA mostly through Lex Fridman's old podcast with Will MacAskill, which I watched after being reminded of EA by a friend. Then I read some articles on 80,000 hours and was pretty convinced.
I'm a sophomore computer science student at the University of Washington. I'm currently doing research with UW Applied Math on machine learning for science and engineering. It seems like my most likely career is in research in AI or brain-computer interfacing, but I'm still deciding and have an a... (read more)
Hi everyone! I'm a longtime EA but I haven't spent much time on the EA Forum, so taking this opportunity to introduce myself.
Professionally, I'm an economist in California focused on tax and benefit policy. I'm the co-founder and CEO of PolicyEngine, a tech nonprofit whose product lets anyone reform the tax and benefit system and see the quantified impact on society and one's own household (we're live in the UK and working on a US model). I'm also the founder and president of the UBI Center, a think tank researching universal basic income policies. Outside of work, I'm a founding lead of Ventura County YIMBY, which advocates housing density, and I lead the Ventura chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby, which advocates carbon dividends.
I previously spent most of my career as a data scientist at Google, where I first encountered EA when Google.org gave a grant to GiveDirectly in 2012. I then became active in Google's internal EA group, left Google in 2018, took the GWWC pledge in 2019 (which I wrote about here), and got a Master's in Development Economics from MIT in 2020, where I became involved in the MIT EA community. I give primarily to GiveDirectly and GiveWell, though as an avid l... (read more)
Hi, I'm new to the forum and wanted to introduce myself! I'm a product manager in the cybersecurity industry, located in Salt Lake City, UT. I'm currently looking for ways to make more of a positive impact, focused around 1) helping to build up the local EA community and 2) using my career.
I'm relatively early in my career so I have a lot of uncertainties around what cause area to work on and what my personal fit would be for different roles, so I'm trying to find lots of people to talk to in the EA community about product management, data science, or EA startups.
Happy to be here and excited to start contributing!
I noticed something at EAG London which I want to promote to someone's conscious attention. Almost no one at the conference was overweight, even though the attendees were mostly from countries with overweight and obesity rates ranging from 50-80% and 20-40% respectively. I estimate that I interacted with 100 people, of whom 2 were overweight. Here are some possible explanations; if the last one is true, it is potentially very concerning:
1. effective altruism is most common among young people, who have lower rates of obesity than the general population
2. effective altruism is correlated with veganism, which leads to generally healthy eating, which leads to lower rates of diseases including obesity
3. effective altruists have really good executive function, which helps resist the temptation of junk food
4. selection effects: something about effective altruism doesn't appeal to overweight people
It's clearly bad that EA has low representation of religious adherents and underprivileged minorities. Without getting into the issue of missing out on diverse perspectives, it's also directly harmful in that it limits our talent and donor pools. Churches receive over $50 billion in donatio... (read more)