Given the recent increased interest in finding Effective Altruist inspirational art, I wanted to write a couple of short posts recommending some art with EA relevant themes that I like and think should be better known by EAs.
The first one is the song “Childlike Faith in Childhood’s End” by Van Der Graaf Generator. This will maybe be the more polarizing one, like much prog rock, the lyrics are awkwardly purple in a way that will make them come off as either embarrassingly sincere or embarrassingly pretentious depending on your charity towards it. Nevertheless, there are lines and parts in it that I find resonant, even genuinely moving, especially the ending, and overall I kind of love this song.
I’m not the most passionate or hardcore transhumanist, but thematically I think of it as a great existentialist transhumanist, even longtermist anthem. I have a special personal appreciation for its context as well. It is the closing track on one of my favorite albums from the band, Still Life, which is named for an anti-immortality song from this album. I don’t fully agree with the concern that song expresses, but I respect and am interested in the move of prominently featuring the track on the album, but ending the album with a hopeful transhumanist epic, especially in light of my own rocky historical relationship with immortalist rhetoric. This one is very much a matter of personal taste I think, but at least if you have similar music taste to me, I'd recommend this one as essential.