lukefreeman's Shortform

Covid-19 has reversed years of gains in the war on poverty

This coronavirus affects everyone, but not equally. The young often shrug off the virus; the old often die of it. The rich shrug off the economic shock; the poor cannot. Because of covid-19, the number of extremely poor people (ie, those making less than $1.90 a day) will rise by 70m-100m this year, the World Bank predicts. Using a broader measure, including those who lack basic shelter or clean water and children who go hungry, the ranks of the poor will swell by 240m-490m this year, says the un. That could reverse almost a decade of progress (see article). If a vaccine is found, economies will no doubt bounce back. But widespread vaccination will take years and the very poor cannot wait that long. By then, malnutrition will have stunted a tragic number of children’s bodies and minds.

Full article paywalled at The Economist

Why doesn't EA Fund support Paypal?

Looks like CEA is on there, but no ability to segment by specific funds. Probably due to it being a single charity. Each of the EA Funds (along with GWWC and other programs) are programs within CEA (a registered charity in the USA and UK).

Similarly other charities with single programs (like GiveDirectly which has Basic Income, USA etc), it looks like you can't specify what program you want it to go to.

Are we neglecting education? Philosophy in schools as a longtermist area

The experience has been really fantastic. Very rewarding, plus it's helped with training my 'socratic questioning' style with adults 😀

For those working on longtermist projects, how do you stay motivated in the short-term?

Personally, I find this an argument for being more emotionally motivated by near term outcomes (even while being more philosophically motivated by long term outcomes).

Three ways I've seen this done well (often in tandem):

1. Diversity of attention: Working on a longtermist project while paying attention to to how other parts of their lives (e.g. allocating some donations for addressing more immediate problems, changing diet for moral circle expansion, building relationships, hobbies, creative works) bring them joy and motivation. It could be very demotivating if one is purely "all-in" (devoting huge amounts of time/thought/identity) on something that feels incredibly far away.

2. Focus on near-term outcomes of longtermist projects. For example, you're focused on long term political stability and working on changing the voting system of a local government area and the immediate benefit that provides people.

3. Focus on immediate progress towards longtermist projects. Every project has goals that you reach such as getting funding, publishing a paper, hiring a new colleague, running an event. Take the time to celebrate these wins.

Are we neglecting education? Philosophy in schools as a longtermist area

There's Primary Ethics in Australia that is starting to take off in schools. Some of us in the EA Sydney group volunteered to be teachers (mostly telling stories from a script and facilitating discussion to help kids discuss ethical questions).

What is a good answer for people new to EA that request advice on volunteering?

I think a local opportunity is a nice way for people to meet people around them (e.g. be on welcoming duty at a local meetup) and then remote can be valuable if done well.

We're currently taking volunteers at Giving What We Can also 😀

Here's the expression of interest form:

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