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Reading through lukefreeman's question was uplifting. I'm guessing we could compile similar lists (i.e. art and music). Not sure if this has been done before so here goes, "what music do you find most inspires you to use your resources (effectively) to help others?". 




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"Two Thousand Years" by Billy Joel.

This is our moment
Here at the crossroads of time
We hope our children carry our dreams down the line
They are the vintage
What kind of life will they live?
Is this a curse or a blessing that we give?


There will be miracles
After the last war is won
Science and poetry rule in the new world to come
Prophets and angels
Gave us the power to see
What an amazing future there will be

I don't think music affects my behavior a lot, but I really like this song.

Haha - wow!

I came across this playlist about the end of the world, might be of interest.

Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) has its own playlist: Atomic Songs

So-Low Growth
Haha - 15 hours of end of the world music sounds up my street! Here's one I like, Charles Bradley, "The World is Going Up in Flames." 
Thanks for the rec- I've added that one to  my EA playlist
Thank you for sharing this playlist! I added some songs from the Linkin Park album A Thousand Suns, which deals with x-risk.
Thanks for sharing these- I've added some of them to my playlist.
This is awesome, thank you! Another song on the X risk / end of the world theme is Tom Lehrer's 'We'll All Go Together When We Go', though that's more comedy than inspirational.

"A Satisfied Mind", by Johnny Cash

(The lyrics are somewhat lengthy so I won't copy-paste them here)

A reminder about the limits of money (especially when used on ourselves) and the importance of living the examined life.

I find Where The Hell is Matt? 2008 to be the most beautiful video I've ever seen. For years straight it always brings joyful tears of love and compassion to my eyes. The mesmerizing song and the shots of people from all around the world dancing without any bigger purpose but to celebrate life itself remind me of the immense value that happiness has.

I just came across 'Ordinary Pleasure' by Toro y Moi, the lyrics of the chorus: 

Maximize all the pleasure
Even with all this weather
Nothing can make it better
Maximize all the pleasure
Maximize all the pleasure
Even with all this weather
Nothing can make it better
Maximize all the pleasure

Ooh, good question! I have a playlist I sometimes listen to when doing EA work, to keep me going/inspired.

Most of the songs aren't specifically EA related, though, just vaguely... humanist-y? (What my husband calls 'atheist worship music').

Picking out a few of the more thematically appropriate ones:

  • 'Every Little Thing' by Peter Doran. (A nice anticonsumerist/minimalist piece that helps keep me motivated to donate)
  • 'Oh Virtus Sapientiae' by Hildegard von Bingen. (A hymn by a medieval nun, extolling the virtues of wisdom)
  • 'Glory Hallelujah' by Frank Turner. Not a religious song, despite the name. I particularly like the later verse/s:

"...If we accept that there's an end game and we haven't got much time,
Then in the here and now we can try and do things right.
We'd be our own Salvation Army, and together we'd believe
In all the wondrous things that mere mortals can achieve."

I'm always on the lookout for more songs for my playlist, so keen to hear everyone's suggestions.

I love this question! I have a couple favourites.

"I.G.Y" by Donald Fagen. It's about International Geophysical Year. The lyrics have techno-utopian visions:

"On that train all graphite and glitter / Undersea by rail / Ninety minutes from New York to Paris"

"Here at home we'll play in the city / Powered by the sun"

...even AI alignment (and anti-aging?):

"A just machine to make big decisions / Programmed by fellows with compassion and vision / We'll be clean when their work is done / We'll be eternally free yes and eternally young"

And I just find the chorus so uplifting and inspiring:

"What a beautiful world this will be / What a glorious time to be free"


"Well Rested" by Kero Kero Bonito. This has more of an environmentalist / "Mother Earth" theme. But it also has a more general longtermist theme of perserverence and ensuring civilisation is "well rested" (which I interpret as being wise and resilient).  The final lines are especially powerful to me:

"We have survived a hundred apocalypses / Doomsday hasn't come yet / You cannot stop civilisation"

It's also just an epic song that gets me up dancing!

Also worth mentioning here, especially with the holidays coming up- Raymond Arnold's 'Secular Solstice' album. I particularly like 'Brighter than Today' and 'Five Billion Years'

"Thank You", by Dikta

In a language learned when no one was listening
I try my best to tell you how I feel
Somehow I am sure, and this I believe in
This is real

From my heart, I sing to you, and I'm hoping
That you'll understand what I'm trying to say
You found a place inside of me, and I'm grateful
For each day

A broken wing cannot stop me me from flying
I leave no footprints when you're around
"Know yourself", you said, and you made me so proud of
What I've found

Oh my god, I'm losing it
I'm finally going out of it
My senses tingle, I can hardly breathe

Oh my god, I'm losing it
I'm finally going out of it
I feel my heart, I'm suddenly alive

Thank you
Thank you for the world, the world, the world
Thank you for the life you're making me see
Inside of me

This song is not explicitly about altruism (or effectiveness) but to me it is connected in the sense of ecstatic revelations emerging from introspection leading to an engagement with the world.

"I'd Love to Change the World", by Ten Years After

Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity
Tax the rich, feed the poor
'Til there are no rich no more

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you

Population keeps on breeding
Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy
Life is funny, skies are sunny
Bees make honey, who needs money, No none for me

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you

Oh yeah!

World pollution, there's no solution
Institution, electrocution
Just black and white, rich or poor
Senators stop the war

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you

The lyrics of this song are both angry and sardonic but I can't help but relate to the feeling of "I'd love to change the world / But I don't know what to do" — very EA!

Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 9:14 PM

Here's my brand new EA music playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5TyxPYMTFv8rhdY2NoQVM4

There's a somewhat related discussion, including people's recommendations,  over on LessWrong: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/jyDTh9vnmczuNNxgt/rational-humanist-music

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