All of Eddie Liu's Comments + Replies

What are the key claims of EA?

I was just thinking about this the other day. In terms of pitching effective altruism, I think it's best to keep things simple instead of overwhelming people with different concepts. I think we can boil down your moral claims to essentially 3 core beliefs of EA: 

  1. Doing good is good. (Defining good)
  2. It is more good to do more good. (Maximization)
  3. Therefore, we ought to do more good. (Moral obligation)

If you buy these three beliefs, great! You can probably consider yourself an effective altruist or at least aligned with effective altruism. Everything else is downstream of these 3 beliefs and up for debate (and EAs excel at debating!).  

Is working for Meta a good or bad option?

I'm not confident in the belief that Meta as a company causes more harm than good. If you look closely at most of the criticism, it's generally overblown. 

For example, the headline of the 2021 Facebook Leak is "Instagram Harms Teenagers!" but the reality is more complicated - https://www.npr.org/2021/10/06/1043138622/facebook-instagram-teens-mental-health . Cambridge Analytica too: https://mobiledevmemo.com/cambridge-analytica-was-a-false-panic-its-time-to-move-on/

I'm more convinced of the overall harms of social media (esp. in regards to teen... (read more)

5RyanCarey1mo
See also: https://80000hours.org/2013/07/show-me-the-harm/ [https://80000hours.org/2013/07/show-me-the-harm/]
2Annieclo1mo
I agree with you eddie.
Introducing Effective Self-Help

Depending on the study design, it can actually be relatively cheap! Just use Amazon Mechanical Turk or Positly to get participants. Of course, some study designs would be  20x harder than others. I imagine that testing different self help interventions would be rather hard but smaller surveys would be really easy. 

Momentum 2022 updates (we're hiring)

Seriously! This has gotta be one of the best update/recruiting posts I've ever seen on EA Forums. Wishing you guys the best! 

2NickFitz4mo
Thanks so much Eddie!
Who are your role models?

Personally, I found this article to be full of inspiring people for me - https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/27/magazine/global-life-span.html 

Here are my notes I took on the article at the time: 

  • Pattern is that science discovers something important, a long time passes, then a crusader spreads it to the masses.
  • Variolation (an early form of vaccination): Invented in 1000s, 700 years later, popularized by Mary Montagu, an aristocrat in 1716. IMPACT! 
  • In 1858, a JOURNALIST published an expose denouncing MILK as a liquid poison. Pasteur invented past
... (read more)
Many Undergrads Should Take Light Courseloads

I agree with this advice in general. I'd add a caveat that it might be a good idea to prioritize taking courses where you can make smart, like-minded friends. For example, a Computer Science class with a lab component where you work in small groups to get assignments done.