What quotes do you find most inspire you to use your resources (effectively) to help others?

Here are some 'EA' related quotes I have collected - not sure if any are useful for your particular case, but figured it was best to share them anyway!


There is no greater satisfaction for a just and well-meaning person than the knowledge that he has devoted his best energies to the service of the good cause.

— Albert Einstein...


He is the most beloved of God who does most good to God’s creatures.

— Muhammad (c. 570-632 A.D.)...


There are no catastrophes that loom before us which cannot be avoided; there is nothing that threatens us with imminent destruction in such a fashion that we are helpless to do something about it. If we behave rationally and humanely; if we concentrate coolly on the problems that face all of humanity, rather than emotionally on such nineteenth century matters as national security and local pride; if we recognize that it is not one’s neighbors who are the enemy, but misery, ignorance, and the cold indifference of natural law—then we can solve all the problems that face us. We can deliberately choose to have no catastrophes at all.

—Isaac Asimov...

The Precipice

Toby Ord


Cicero wrote: "The best Armour of Old Age is a well spent life preceding it; a Life employed in the Pursuit of useful Knowledge, in honourable Actions and the Practice of Virtue; in which he who labours to improve himself from his Youth, will in Age reap the happiest Fruits of them."

Differences in the Intensity of Valenced Experience across Species

Thanks Jason, that's really useful context! I have some related interested in building better networks and processes for crafting mutually beneficial arrangements between people paid to publish (i.e., academics) and those who are paid only to do the research but will gain from getting it published (i.e., practice based researchers).  It is pretty much a scaled up version of what you did with Bob. I am exploring a few options now and I hope to have more to report in the future.

Forecasting Newsletter: October 2020.

Thanks for these! I really enjoy them.

Differences in the Intensity of Valenced Experience across Species

Thank you for this extremely detailed and interesting work! Are you planning to publish some or all of these write ups in academic journals? I think that this sort of work could potentially have a somewhat increased impact on relevant future decisions and behaviours (e.g., what to fund/research/implement as policy) if credibly packaged within a peer reviewed academic publication. It might also add more credibility to RP outside of EA contexts. 

Prioritization in Science - current view

Thanks for writing this up Edo! We are are definitely thinking along similar lines and should talk more about this some time!  

In short, I think that EA should start to actively seek to influence academic research and funding norms as a means to ensuring that this industry produces more socially relevant research and rhetoric that will influence key decision makers. 

I think that EA can do this by creating lots of academic evidence (e.g.,  credible 'published' research) and some of which will just involve amplifying existing work (e.g., converting high quality EA research into academic paper format). 

This will require collaboration and co-design on mutually beneficial projects between academics (who can and want to publish research but often lack good  data collection opportunities) and practitioners (who often have good data and benefit from publishing, but lack the ability or incentives to justify that effort).  Happy to unpack that a bit more in the future when I have more time!

A new strategy for broadening the appeal of effective giving (

Amazing work! Donation bundling is a really great application of temptation bundling and I can see how it could really accelerate the adoption of effective giving. I am also really excited to see you translating your research into practice. Some quick thoughts:

  • It would be interesting to have an post test survey to track who gives and why, for example to see the extent to which different demographic factors (e.g., age and gender) and psychographic factors (e.g., attitude toward effective giving/belief in existential risk/self rated knowledge of effectiveness) correlate with different donation choices. Also: How do people feel that exposure to this service has changed them/their views (e.g., do they think they are more likely to give effectively and recommend it?
  • It would be interested to track changes over time and compare if those exposed to donation bundling differ much from a cohort who haven't been in terms of their future attitudes and behaviour. Then we could see if engaging in EG via donation bundling leads to changes in attitudes and behaviour that sustain (potentially even when the EG donation bundling option is removed) 
  • It will be important to maximise your traffic so have you thought about doing some sort of series of media releases (ideally with partner organisation) to make sure people know about the service?
    • I would also think about partnerships options for co-promotion: Intermediary services like workplace giving services, large and well networked (maybe semi-EA aligned) charities, Effective charities and EA recommendation  services like TLYCS and Givewell. 
  • Have you considered running experiments on the website using simple A/B tests? This seems like a great opportunity if you are getting the traffic.
    • You could  test the effect of different numbers of options . I know, for example, that several EA organisation, like EAA, have wondered what the optimum number of options to show and there  choice overload is often an issue in retail settings.
    • Testing other types of appeals/strategies could be interesting. For instance, normative appeals (e,g, X% choose this option), defaults (changing the initial value), chained/escalating approaches, like seeking a small commitment post donation (e.g., to read something about charitable donation or reflect on their donation approach) then seeing if that commitment/action shifts their identify/values and leads to greater donations relative to those who didn't make the commitment).
    • Testing presentation difference - images v logos, stats v images v arguments, different types of narrative (e.g., opportunity v obligation arguments) 
    • You state that "in some preliminary studies I found no significant differences in amounts given to effective charities depending on whether they focused on global poverty, animal welfare or existential risk" - this could be a chance to test this by pooling different charity types and assessing differences. Personally,  I would be surprised if there aren't some significant differences between demographic or psychographic groups, even if there are no differences on aggregate.

(and then I wrote a short essay - sorry - no need to respond to any/all of that but I hope some of it is useful!) 

We're Lincoln Quirk & Ben Kuhn from Wave, AMA!

Hey Lincoln and Ben, thanks so much for taking the time to share your knowledge. I am on my phone so this is going to be a short question/post.

Based on your interest in remote work I wanted to ask if you have any suggestions for optimising the performance of organisations and teams who are all remote/hybrid workers?

Two reasons: 1- This will probably be more common post covid19. 2- It is already common in EA related collaborations and organisations.

Judging from some of the comments below there may be blog posts from Ben that I missed. If so, I'd be happy with a quick response and links to anything deeper! Thanks!

Local priorities research: what is it, who should consider doing it, and why

Thank you for writing this up. I strongly agree with this basic idea/approach (though that was based on a quick scan so I may not agree on all the details). As an organiser, I experienced a lot of people asking me about local jobs they might do and I didn't have easy answers.

Longer term I would like if there was something like the 80K jobs board (perhaps posted by 80k), but with a filter to focus in on specific regional areas. Perhaps this could be something where the local EA leads would provide the data and 80k would still do the broadcast (best to keep everything centralised, I think).

I like the google sheet you developed.

It might be good to see if you can get a few other group leads to do something similar to your sheet and collectively track the community response.

Anyway, that's all I have time to contribute for now. Keep up the great work!

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