Kaleem Ahmid. Entrepreneur in Residence at EV.
Previously a Community Builder at Northeastern and in Boston. Previously a Visiting Scholar at JHU Center for Health Security. EAGxBoston 2022 and EAGxNYC 2023 organiser.
Yep, thanks !
took me ~5min
The world of Zakat is really infuriating/frustrating. There is almost NO accountability/transparency demonstrated by orgs which collect and distribute zakat - they don't seem to feel any obligation to show what they do with what they collect. Correspondingly, nearly every Muslim I've spoken to about zakat/effective zakat has expressed that their number 1 gripe with zakat is the strong suspicion that it's being pocketed or corruptly used by these collection orgs.
Given this, it seems like there's a really big niche in the market to be exploited by an EA-aligned zakat org. My feeling at the moment is that the org should focus on, and emphasise, its ability to be highly accountable and transparent about how it stores and distributes the zakat it collects.
The trick here is finding ways to distribute zakat to eligible recipients in cost-effective ways. Currently, possibly only two of the several dozen 'most effective' charities we endorse as a community would be likely zakat-compliant (New Incentives, and Give Directly), and even then, only one or two of GiveDirectly's programs would qualify.
This is pretty disappointing, because it means that the EA community would probably have to spend quite a lot of money either identifying new highly effective charities which are zakat-compliant, or start new highly-effective zakat complaint orgs from scratch.
I started research into farmed animal welfare in Muslim countries and I think this is a useful way to share little updates along the way, and also to track any ideas I come up with so I can refer back to them when I need to compile my findings. Because I'm also working on a grant looking into effective Zakat, and I think I'll end up doing the same thing for that, I'm going to be numbering farmed animal welfare quick takes with FAW# and Effective Zakat quick takes with EZ#.
Before starting with this project, I was operating under the assumption that there is a huge amount of good to be done in getting muslims to reduce/cease their consumption of meat. I still think that is the case. However, the reason I though this was to do with animal welfare - I thought that the conditions of farmed animals are so bad, and there are plenty of mentions of the importance of the kind treatment of animals throughout the islamic literature (including in the texts pertaining to Halaal slaughter) that there is a clear argument to be made that factory farmed meat should be rejected by muslims.
I have come to realise that there is a MUCH stronger argument against the consumption of meat for muslims, which is that many (if not most) slaughter techniques employed in the industrialised abattoirs are probably not halal compliant.
Finished reading it: I enjoyed it a lot, thanks !
I’d held off on Chip Wars because I had assumed it’d be too surface level for the average EA who listens to 80k and follows AI progress (e.g. me) but your endorsement definitely has me reconsidering that
Thanks ! :)
Thank you :)
Looking for non-fiction book recommendations: what've you enjoyed reading recently ?
I had a similar thought a (few) year (s) ago and emailed a couple of people to sanity check the idea - all the experts I asked seemed to think this wouldn't be an effective thing to do (which is why I didn't do any more work on it). I think Alex's points are true (mostly the cost part - I think you could get high enough intensity for it to be effective).