Collection of good 2012-2017 EA forum posts

by saulius4 min read10th Jul 20208 comments

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Collections and resourcesEffective Altruism ForumHistory of effective altruism
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I feel that older EA forum posts are not read nearly as much as they should. Hence, I collected the ones that seemed to be the most useful and still relevant today. I recommend going through this list in the same way you would go through the frontpage of this forum: reading the titles and clicking on the ones that seem interesting and relevant to you. Note that you can hover over links to see more details about each post.

Also note that many of these posts have lower karma scores than most posts posted nowadays. This is in large part because until September 2018, all votes were worth only one karma point, and before September 2014 there was no karma system at all. Furthermore, the forum readership used to be lower. Hence, I don’t advise to pay too much attention to karma when choosing which of these posts to read. Most of these posts had a significantly higher karma than other posts posted around the same time.

To create this list, I skimmed through the titles (and sometimes the contents) of all posts posted between 2012 and 2017. I relied on my intuition to decide which posts to include. Undoubtedly, I missed some good ones. Please feel free to point them out in the comments.

Also note that in some cases the information in these posts might be outdated, or no longer reflect the opinions of their authors.

Communication

General reasoning

Cause-prioritization

Long-term Future

Advice on how to think about altruism

Movement strategy

Donating money

Miscellaneous

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I agree the old posts get neglected, thanks for putting this together.

I'd also nominate more of Greg's old posts: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/users/gregory_lewis

Such as this one: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/tPtY46ucbnMfNJjFE/expected-value-estimates-you-can-take-somewhat-literally

We should have some sort of e-book with some of the "best picks" by year

Thanks, this is a great contribution!

I'd like to nominate Paul Christiano's On Progress and Prosperity. It best fits under Cause-prioritization or Long-term future.

(As an aside, I think it would be valuable to have a similar list highlighting the best posts from Paul Christiano's Rational Altruist blog. They are all from 2014 or older.)

Just stumbled across a great 2015 post by Rob Wiblin entitled What is a 'broad intervention' and what is a 'narrow intervention'? Are we confusing ourselves?

It's a better, more concise version of a post I was planning to write myself, so accidentally finding it saved me some time!

Thanks for this collection!

Another 2017 post I quite liked and have often drawn on in my thinking or in conversation is Act utilitarianism: criterion of rightness vs. decision procedure.

Just remembered another 2017 post I liked and reference often (with the memory triggered by referencing it again): Considering Considerateness: Why communities of do-gooders should be exceptionally considerate.

Really enjoyed this collection.

One more long-term-future post from that era that I'd recommend is Beckstead's A proposed adjustment to the astronomical waste argument. I think that's been influential in a lot of people's thinking (I see it cited often), including mine.

Also, regarding Beckstead's Improving disaster shelters to increase the chances of recovery from a global catastrophe (which you link to), he also wrote a good paper on the same topic.

Thanks! I'm adding all the articles from Movement Strategy into my reading list