justsomeea

Posts

Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions

Comments

AMA: Rob Mather, founder and CEO of the Against Malaria Foundation

Do you have any thoughts on the fact that more and more EAs now focus on the long-term future instead of eg global health and development?

Doing good is as good as it ever was

tl:dr Telling people working on near term causes isn't very effective makes it less fun for them to work on those causes. This could be a problem if they can't convince themselves to work on long term causes.


My impression is the community as a whole or at least prominent figures/organizations in the EA movement have shifted their focus in the last couple of years. They have more or less explicitly said that working on x- or s-risks is much more important than working on global poverty etc. See for example Wills last TED talk, the 80,000 Hours job board ("Top recommended problems" vs. "Other pressing problems"), this survey: https://youtu.be/SpPvPve4qao?t=450, the change of priorities of the EA-Foundation...


Not everyone was able to go along. Some people just have problems to get excited about x- or s-risks. It doesn't trigger the emotional reaction like global poverty or factory farming. Obviously those people could still keep working on those cause areas but after they are told from people they highly respect, that this is probably less than 5% as effective as working on x- or s-risks, it might not be as much fun as it used to be. It might even feel wrong to consider oneself an effective altruist if you work on something that the/some leaders of the movement obviously don't consider very important (in comparison). I actually wonder myself why global poverty is still considered an EA cause. Is there any EA (besides maybe Michael Plant) who argues that it could even come close with regards to effectiveness when compared to x- or s-risks? Is the only reason for keeping near term cause areas to get new people into the movement or because of possible long term effects (increase the circle of concern... )? If we keep cause areas considered to be 1/20 as effective as the top cause areas, why not add new cause areas that are considered 1/20 as effective as global poverty?


Ok, I guess I might have lost the thread already, so I better stop rambling...