All of Surbhi B's Comments + Replies

A list of EA-related podcasts

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. 

What novels, poetry, comics have EA themes, plots or characters?

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.

EA needs consultancies

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. 

How do other EAs keep themselves motivated?

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 t... (read more)

If you think you'd enjoy writing such blog posts to reflect on your EA journey and educate people who are just starting off, consider signing up to be a volunteer with Giving What We Can! Volunteers work on a range of projects from organizing events and curating resources to writing blog posts and creating graphics. It's a great way to stay engaged with a EA community and work with amazing people from around the world.

What myths or misconceptions prevent people from supporting EA organizations that work on animal welfare or long-termist causes?

[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 o... (read more)

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Another one that plausibly applies to aid/charity within the global poverty field is that many donors under-estimate the difference in effectiveness between interventions relative to experts. (Caviola et al, 2020 [])
For animal suffering: 1. we can't say that farm animals live lives that are not worth living; 2. advocating higher welfare standards legitimizes factory farming; 3. corporations are unlikely to adhere to their higher welfare pledges; 4. commercial fishing is okay since fish usually die painfully anyways; 5. bad to transition from animal farming since jobs would be lost; 6. the world will eventually transition to cultivated meat anyways; 7. should end human suffering before addressing animal suffering; 8. advocates ignore how food system affects communities of color;* 9. I can't donate to farm animal advocacy if I haven't gone vegan; and 10. wild animal advocates support radically altering the ecosystem. *There is some truth to this statement, especially regarding the past, and the answer should candidly acknowledge this. (There may also be some truth to some of the other statements, but I thought this one was especially worth highlighting.) I do have a question for you. On GWWC's "Best Charities to Donate to in 2020" page, under the "Give together, as a community" section [] , GWWC omits ACE Movement Grants []. Is this intentional, and if so, can you publicly state GWWC's reasoning?