With all the recent press around Will Macaskill and What We Owe the Future, in addition to the winter 2022 press buzz for Sam Bankman-Fried and the FTX Future fund, it really seems like we are entering a new chapter in the Effective Altruism movement.
As someone loosely involved with the community for over a decade, things certainly seem quite different than they did in the past. Ofcourse, the changes happened gradually but aside from the increase in funding and popularity, EA itself, including its norms, values and messaging seem vastly different.
I made the following chart to highlight some of the differences as I perceive them.
|Issue:||EA 1.0 (2011-2021)||EA 2.0 (2022- )|
|Primary cause area by public attention:||Global Health & Poverty||Existential Risk|
|promoted cause of choice:||Anti malaria mosquito nets||Artificial Intelligence|
|Theoretical/ empirical support:||Limited to what can be empirically demonstrated with a high degree of confidence||Focus on theoretical speculative arguments|
|Focus of concern:||Mostly people alive today||Mosty future people|
|Accessibility and palatability of core ideas:||Not intuitive but understandable and seen as praiseworthy||Not intuitive, hard to understand and seen as problematic|
|Connection with politics:||Non-political||Trying to influence politics|
|Perceived level of power and influence:||Minimal||High|
|Relationship with money:||Money is scarce and frugality is expected||Money is abundant and lavish spending is accepted|
|Most highly involved EAs work:||For normal businesses||For EA organizations|
|Career impact of working for an EA org:||Requires sacrifice of remuneration and career capital||Equal or greater compensation and career capital than working at a non-EA org|
|Most highly involved EAs socialize:||With non-EAs||With other EAs|
This chart is intended to be neutral but obviously these changes are not neutral. With so much evolving, lots of people are going to be thrilled with the direction of EA while others are going to be frustrated.
If we are going to accept the categorization of the changes highlighted in the chart as true and significant, what do people in this community think of them…
Are you happy with them? frustrated by them?
Will they help EA gain more popular support? Will they help EA have more impact?