10 karmaJoined Oct 2014


"238 EAs in our sample donated 1% of their income or more, and 84 EAs in our sample give 10% of their income."

I was surprised by this. In particular, 22% (127/588) of people identifying as EAs do not donate. (Of course they may have good reasons for not donating, e.g. if they are employed by an EA charity or if they are currently investing in order to give more in the future). Do we know why so many people identify as EAs but do not presently donate?

I would observe that certain positions are going to be rather more or less weird depending upon the social context. An example from my personal experience would be that students are in general very pro-immigration, so talking about open borders doesn't cost me all that many weird points. On the other hand, many/most of the people I talk to on a regular basis are Christians, which means that talk of cryonics is right out and vegetarianism is often seen as contrary to certain (particularly New Testament) teachings. What this all means is that you can probably get away with a fair bit of what is commonly considered to be weirdness, providing you tailor it to the people most closely around you and their expectations of you.

A second point I would make is that, if you have already advocated for a weird position, then even if it feels like this is costing you weirdness points which would be better spent elsewhere, it may well be a bad idea to abandon the positions you have previously advanced. If people see you as a person who advances silly ideas without much evidence and then later has to retract them, this will severely damage your credibility in holding any weird positions at all.

Thank you writing this post. I could have done with reading it a couple of years back, and will aim to keep it in mind in the future.

Hello, I'm Andrew. I'm currently a third year PPE student at the University of Manchester in the UK. I was introduced to EA through Less Wrong, and became actively involved a bit less than a year ago when a friend in Manchester started up a local chapter. I have taken the GWWC pledge and am currently torn between going into academic philosophy (which I would probably enjoy a lot, but may not be terribly effective due to the number of EAs already involved in academia), learning to program and getting a job in software, or getting involved in a think tank in order to advocate for open borders.

In my spare time I enjoy playing the piano, reading, and running while listening to podcasts.