I'm the executive director of The Center for Election Science (www.electionscience.org). We study and advance better voting methods. I also started Male Contraceptive Initiative but am no longer there. I first learned about EA in 2016 and went to my first EA event in 2017. My formal education is in the social sciences and law. You can find my writing and resources at www.aaronhamlin.com. Also at: https://twitter.com/aaronfhamlin, https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaronhamlin


Why I find longtermism hard, and what keeps me motivated

I'm also a heavy sympathizer towards longtermism. But I don't know that the dilemma needs to be framed as an either/or. Many of the endeavors I've personally gotten behind—bringing new reversible male contraceptives to market and fundamentally improving elections—impact the short-to-mid-term future as well as the long-term future. 

That's because these interventions have the ability to have a positive impact now, plus their staying power impacts the future. That contrasts with interventions that deal with consumables or models where you have to keep adding the same large inputs to sustain future good.

Of course, these interventions aren't the only ones. We can think of others such as with charities like SENS. That fits the category because any technology developed doesn't go away and creates benefit into the far future. Good Food Institute has many of these features as well because it focuses on technology that can permanently affect the market yet can also affect people and animals now.

Of course, one may argue that these types of interventions may be somewhat erroneous given they could happen anyway. Even if that's the case, speeding along their timeline helps many people (or other sentient beings) who may not have been helped at all. Or absent the intervention, they wouldn't be helped to the same extent given how far along the intervention was in time.

Perhaps this is a way to have your cake and eat it too.  You could focus on interventions that affect the near-term and the future rather than just the future. This way, you're also much more likely to see the interventions blossom or at the very least see their buds begin to form during your lifetime. And getting to see at least part of the excitement firsthand is a nice bonus.

The Center for Election Science Appeal for 2020

We may have a campaign in 2021 (our initial play is riskier here), but we can't say yet for sure. We have other cities lined up for 2022. What I can say is all the cities we have in mind are over 750,000 people and are all very well known. We've laid out a strategic plan involving polling and legal analysis to factor in where to prioritize given our available funding. We're working for a surprise win in 2021 to excite our funders.

The Center for Election Science Appeal for 2020

Thanks! You're right. There's so much to be said for making an approach as simple as possible.

The Center for Election Science Appeal for 2020

Thanks! We look forward to continuing our impact. I'm always impressed with our team and what we're able to do with our resources.

Dan Hageman's Shortform

This is really good news and reduces the barrier to utilize a great giving tool. Thanks so much for sharing this!

Where are you donating in 2020 and why?

Sometimes membership dues can be deductable with a nonprofit but normally not in exchange for a service. For example, you could likely deduct ACLU membership dues. But they're not requiring membership in exchange for a service. I'd find the Alcor deduction much more questionable given that the only folks who get memberships are the ones who are being cryopreserved.

List of EA-related organisations

This is actually a more complicated response. One of my next essays will be on this topic, so thanks for asking!

Where are you donating in 2020 and why?

Congrats on your giving! I would maybe add a note of caution if you were anticipating deducting fees to Alcor on your taxes. Even though they're a c3, they're providing a service to you. An analogy would be deducting fees for a YMCA gym membership, which is also not tax deductible.

I also say this being an Alcor member myself. Also, here's a resource on charitable giving and taxes I put together that may be useful: https://medium.com/@aaronhamlin/your-guide-to-charitable-giving-and-taxes-a7c0f44c922

Note that I don't count my payments for membership/cryopreservation towards my giving.

List of EA-related organisations

It's interesting that you were working on this as this exact issue came up during a project I was working on with Dan Hageman on directing folks to EA-aligned charities for employer gift matching. You can see the criteria that we set, though we don't have a more exhaustive list that you're attempting.

List of EA-related organisations

Would you be able to add The Center for Election Science? We would fall under Far Future or Other, though preferably Far Future.

The Center for Election Science (CES) - Empowers voters through voting methods that strengthen democracy. CES accomplishes its mission through research and collaborating to pass ballot initiatives for approval voting. CES maintains that approval voting elects more consensus-style candidates and is more likely to maintain governmental stability over a long time frame in addition to providing near-term benefit.


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