Thinking about ways to improve cause prioritization research at low-cost the idea of using giving games came up. It would be basically crowdsourcing the kind of research Give Well does. Many (potentially) effective causes already have strong supporters who would be able to provide information and research for free. There might be an effective online model of capitalizing on such supporters (and the general EA public). An online causes contest is an idea. There should be rules to ensure the discussion is evidence-based and high quality. Rules can be played with, there could be teams and the way of engaging the public opens up many opportunities. This could be used to raise awareness about effective altruism, but more importantly, the online system should be designed to advance our knowledge about the value of causes. The big dream is to build a community curated "open evidence" rank* of causes. A simple way of starting is just maintaining an online list of potentially high impact causes with associated expected values, then allowing people to submit evidence (pro or against) each cause. There could be a point system in which evidence influences causes value (there could be a panel of judges or a voting system to each new argument/evidence). Are there similar initiatives in the community? Have you discussed this before? What is the current state of giving games?
.* having only a one-dimensional quantitative rank might not be the best option.
(this occurred me when reading this post http://blog.givewell.org/2014/10/16/expert-philanthropy-vs-broad-philanthropy/#comments)
A meta comment on open-threads. I am new to the forum and trying to figure it out. Open threads have some substantial advantages: they provide a way for newcomers with no Karma to post, they stimulate lighter conversations and promote engagement. But they are basically a not easily searchable pile of text one would have to spend considerable time in just to find out what is being discussed. This makes it hard to tell if something has already been discussed, like this very issue I am raising now, lowering the probability of posting by a newcomer (should I really post this?). Is there a way to make information in open threads more easily accessible? Tagging and grouping open threads by topic (using the title) are quickly thought ideas.
I agree that improving IQ is a good goal and support (at least) the social interventions you propose. But why this IQ fetishism when raising educational levels is probably much more cost effective, easier to measure and already a more widespread idea? I'm skeptic about why a focus on IQ is better than a focus on education. There is evidence educational achievement is better correlated to IQ+EQ, which is more important for all the good outcomes you want than IQ alone. [Please take a look at James Heckman's research on soft skills.]
Anyway, in general I like your idea, but don't like much the way you sell it. Putting IQ as only a subtopic of education seems less elitist and easier to sell (at least to me).