6 common mistakes in the effective altruism community

byBenjamin_Todd3y3rd Jun 20169 comments


Over the last year, I've written six posts about mistakes in the effective altruism community. I thought it would be helpful to collect them all here:



I think if you put all of these together, the message is that:

  • Probably more people should be aiming to do direct work. In particular, at startups and in less explored cause areas.
  • Probably fewer people should be aiming to earn to give.
  • When donating, we should be doing more to quickly fund startups.

I'm unsure how large the shift from earning to give to direct work should be, but if you're undecided between the two, then (1) find out your specific options and reassess (i.e. compare specific job offers rather than broad classes) (2) ask where you have the greatest comparative advantage compared to the community, then if still undecided (3) consider leaning towards direct work.