Absolutely new to effective altruism since July 2021. Pediatrician working in low resource settings, now Masters student in global health policy, because I wanted to help more people. Here to learn.

Topic Contributions


Growth and the case against randomista development

Is growth the best approach to maximizing the good we can do? What is the effect on the environment? How much consumption is too much?

What if low income countries were granted debt relief, so their policies were not driven by creditors? What about a global minimum wage?  Or tax justice, like a universal minimum corporate tax? And what to do about climate reparations?

None of these ideas are my own, they are from this podcast:

I would also wonder about the EA response to "poor countries don't need charity, they need justice"

"Long-Termism" vs. "Existential Risk"

"Value change" type work - gradually shifting civilizational values to those more in line with human flourishing - might fall into this category too.

This is the first I have seen reference to norm changing in EA. Is there other writing on this idea?

Where is the Social Justice in EA?

I agree with everything here about the social justice movement; it is divisive and often does not work toward collaborative improvement of the world. I perhaps made the mistake of putting "social justice" in my title, to catch more readers, but intended 'social justice' to simply mean diversity.  Many comments have identified the problem with my decision, but I hope I did get more readers, as a consequence.

Where is the Social Justice in EA?

This is great!  Also, I am appreciative to learn you have been working hard on diversity  :)

Where is the Social Justice in EA?

Interesting! He is an outlier. I would be very interested to learn his story, if possible.

Where is the Social Justice in EA?

You are right, I missed the "next" button.  I did wonder why there was so little discussion on the forum about fair and equal society. I believe you made the comment I found which questions its value.

Where is the Social Justice in EA?

you are right,  it is an excellent summary I had not found.

What psychological traits predict interest in effective altruism?

This is excellent. I have a question I hope you include in your ongoing research:

Are these psychological traits fixed, or can they change?

Background: It is possible my case is unique, but I have changed toward these effectiveness-focused, and expansive altruism traits; having discovered EA in June 2021 I have changed my career path, returned to school to pursue an EA career, taken the GWWC pledge, etc. As recently as 7 years ago, I would not have identified with these traits.  Seeing the photo of the dead Syrian refugee boy , Alan Kurdi, (trigger warning for the photo) on the Turkish beach was the turning point for me. Prior, my moral circle was small, and I had not considered the relevance of effectiveness in charitable giving.  

I wonder if other EAs always identified with these traits, had a moment of "enlightenment", or gradually changed. 

Searching for proto-EA communities makes sense for increasing EA, but would it also be helpful to discover if current EAs have changed or evolved into these traits, and what were the factors?

Nuclear attack risk? Implications for personal decision-making

Agreed, it seems to be escalating fast. Although it is debatable whether the attack on Ukraine was expected, what transpires is becoming more obvious, with Putin's thinly veiled threats of retaliation if NATO defends Ukraine. I have seen excellent arguments against No Fly Zone because enforcement of said NFZ necessitates actually shooting down planes.  

Which makes me wonder about the feasibility of a peaceful solution. Sam Bankman-Fried transferred money to the Ukrainian people, and Elon Musk established Starlink over Ukraine.  How effective would this modern guerilla-style be in supporting Ukrainian efforts?  It could provide support for Ukraine without the open state declaration of support which would incite escalation. 

LiaH's Shortform

yes, I agree EAs have different opinions; I was seeking to understand the one I do not follow. Maybe asking for the "general" EA view was the wrong phrasing.

Your reply explains well why an individual or small organization might want to protect patent rights to capitalize, or at the very least preserve investment, to allow for future R&D. 

Where I cannot understand the purpose of securing IP rights, is in situations where there is philanthropic money to fund the R&D.  If philanthropists fund the original R&D, then "someone else can come along and copy whatever it is you spent time and money developing—and sell it at a cheaper cost since they didn't have to pay for most of the research and development", which would ultimately provide the product to more people at a lesser cost. 

The other situation I don't understand the protection of IP rights is for the transnational pharmaceutical corporations in pandemics. Vaccines seem to be the most equitable and effective means (vs closures, restricted travel and trade, or the alternative, unmitigated spread of disease) to save lives and shorten pandemics. While the rapid R&D of mRNA vaccines must have been expensive, the major vaccine producers received public and donated funds for their development, via PPP. Pfizer reported revenue for 2021 of double the prior year, primarily due to vaccine revenue. Their R&D was both funded up front, and presumably recouped.  At what level of profit should lives take precedence? 

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