Sep 09, 2018
I have started a Discord server for near-term effective altruists. (If you haven’t used Discord before, it’s a pretty standard chat server. Most of its functions are fairly self-explanatory.)
Most of my effective altruist friends focus on the far future. While far-future effective altruists are great, being around them all the time can get pretty alienating. I don’t often argue the merits of bednets versus cash transfers, which means I get intellectually sloppy knowing I won’t be challenged. I’m slow to learn about new developments relevant to near-term effective altruism, such as discoveries in development economics. Many of the conversations I participate in work from assumptions I don’t share, such as the assumption that we have a double-digit chance of going extinct within the next twenty years.
I suspect that many other near-term effective altruists may be in the same boat, and if so I encourage them to come participate. Even if not, I hope this server can be a fun and interesting place to learn more about effective altruism and connect to other effective altruists.
“Near-term” is hard to define. I intend it to be inclusive of all effective altruists whose work and priority cause areas do not focus on the far future, whether they work on global poverty, animal welfare, mental health, politics, meta-charity, or another cause area. I ask that far-future effective altruists and people whose priority cause area is AI risk or s-risks do not participate. This runs on the honor system; I’m not going to be the Near Term EA police. There are lots of people who are edge cases and I ask them to use their best judgment.
The server is intended to be welcoming to new effective altruists, people who aren’t certain whether they want to be effective altruists or not, and people who are not currently in a place where it makes sense for them to donate, volunteer, or change careers. If you’re wondering whether you’re “not EA enough” to participate, you probably are welcome!