51Joined Oct 2015


I think that more research is definitely warranted. EAs can bring a unique perspective to something like climate change, where there are so many different types of interventions which probably vary wildly in effectiveness. I don't think enough research has been done to rule out the possibility of there existing hugely effective climate change interventions that are actually neglected/underfunded, even if climate change as a whole is not. And since people who care about climate change are typically science-minded, there's a chance a significant chunk could be persuaded to fund the more effective interventions once we identify them.

Great post, thanks for collecting these! Just want to mention that the David Coman-Hidy talk on ending factory farming is on the 12th, not the 8th.

Is it possible to contribute to research if I've never worked on a similar research project and have no relevant expertise?

I think an alternative system that would be more difficult to set up but likely more effective if successful would be an accountability team. The meetings would be similar to this but with more people--a google hangouts where everyone takes turns stating what they did and didn't get done last week and what they intend to do next week. Not sure about other people but I would feel more pressure to complete my tasks if I had to admit 'failure' in front of a group rather than one person. The team could have a page online somewhere where everyone's current intentions would be posted, and maybe people could even livestream themselves working on the page if they committed to working on something at a particular time (this would be helpful to me because I like having that kind of commitment). Then people could be assigned buddies within the group to bug them about their intentions if they want.

As a counterexample to "Engaging in collaborative truth-seeking goes against our natural impulses to win in a debate, and is thus more cognitively costly": collaborative truth-seeking as described here is more intuitive and natural to me personally than debating.

I see your point and definitely agree on the importance of not becoming a movement focused on its own growth. However, I think an equally important concern is that the movement should include a truly diverse array of viewpoints and values, which may include people who value emotion more highly. Also, emotionally-driven/logic-driven is a spectrum, and in my experience EAs tend to be on the extreme side of logic driven. So appealing to more emotionally-driven donors may really mean appealing to donors closer to the middle of that spectrum.

This seems like a great idea. Making effective altruism open and welcoming to all sorts of people is definitely an important goal. One thing I've been considering (which I'm surprised I don't see more discussions of in the community) is doing different types of fundraising for AMF, through which I could have conversations with potential donors about effective giving. Seeing someone actively doing something for a specific cause, rather than just discussing philosophy and logistics, seems like something that would appeal to more emotionally-minded donors.