Surbhi B

310 karmaJoined


Hi Peter! Thanks for the thoughtful comment :) 

I am only  vaguely familiar with geoengineering and decided to deprioritise looking into such interventions for this piece because I am uncertain about tractability in the short-run (related to the ethical / strategic / governance reasons you laid out). 

However I do think there is high likelihood that there are significantly impactful interventions beyond conventional air conditioning and infrastructure adaptation that we are missing right now (including geoengineering).  I will be curious to see where the research in the space points to in a few years :) 

Updating with another recent podcast: GiveDirectly's Michael Faye and Caroline Teti on Important, Not Important. A really interesting and easy to listen to interview on the value of unconditional cash transfers and their underlying philosophy. 

Ted Chiang's novella / short story "The Lifecycle of Software Objects" essentially deals with the question of according AI moral personhood. It is an incredibly powerful story that brought to life many ideas I had only considered in the abstract earlier.

Thanks for the great discussion on this thread! I noticed that there hasn't been much mention of development consulting firms that fall somewhere between pure management and EA. IDInsight in particular is pretty EA-aligned. Others like Bridgespan and Dalberg also work with social sector clients. There is still a lot of room for development consulting being more "EA-first" and wonder if there an opportunity to orient existing firms to EA principles. 

Similar to @newptcai, I have found that engagement with the world around me is the biggest motivating force for me. I have cultivated a diverse array of global news sources between podcasts, newsletters, and social media and like to keep up with happenings around the world. Though regularly consuming information about war, poverty, and death can get very tiring (and it's important to take mental health breaks from news too!), it helps me retain perspective by forcing me to regularly confront my privilege and ask myself if I am doing the best I can to put that privilege to use in helping others. 

Beyond current affairs, I have also found reading fiction to be a really powerful way to expand the horizons of my empathy (only superseded by actually interacting with other people). This especially includes sci-fi and historical novels--I love looking at an entirely different world through the eyes of characters that are nothing like me.

And lastly, staying engaged with the EA community in whatever capacity works for you is also helpful! Since graduating from college, I have been in a job where people around me aren't necessarily super socially minded all the time. In the midst of this the EA community has been a helpful reminder that they are many people constantly thinking about ways to do good as well and, more importantly, acting upon those instincts in their day-to-day lives. 

[More detail for question]

I am updating GWWC's page on Myths about Aid and Charity and hope to address common questions or misconceptions a newcomer to EA might have. These may be fueled by biased mainstream portrayals of certain cause areas (e.g. "overspending" on foreign aid) or just a different set of priors coming into EA (e.g. people near me need the money more). 

In particular, I am looking to crowdsource ideas on common myths and misconceptions that people may have come across in regards to giving to EA-oriented animal welfare and long-termist organizations. For instance, "the state of the world in 100 years does not affect me so I don't need to give to long-term causes."