William_MacAskill2

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The history of the term 'effective altruism'

Hahaha. Another one of mine was "Institute for the Development of Effective Altruism" (IDEA - which came second to CEA... I'm glad it did!) As was "The High Impact NetworK" (THINK), which I was pleased to see got taken on.

What's the best domestic charity?

Thanks for the comment, Carl. I've taken back those examples, which were mistakes. In general am going to have a higher bar for quality before putting up posts, as I've found it's been easier to mislead people than I was expecting. (Maybe I could introducing a new operator? E.g. [Thinking out loud]:[sentence]") I agree that recommending funding GOTV, even non-officially, would be a bad move for the movement, for the reasons you say. I was just trying to give an example of a donation opportunity that could conceivably have high expected value in the eyes of both the "charity begins at home" advocate and the globally-minded effective altruist.

I was basing the mindfulness recommendation on opinions with academics, including someone doing a meta-analysis on the intervention at the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, who reported that it was effective in the short-term (but not in the long-term). The views I heard reported were "I was sceptical at first, because it seems so 'alternative', but the studies show it actually works.". But I hadn't actually looked into the data myself, which I should have done.

What's the best domestic charity?

Thanks for the comment, Peter. I agree that we couldn't get broad popular agreement on which political party is the better one, but I'm pretty sure we could get about 50% agreement! In the UK at least, people who get into EA are usually either on the left or don't have political leanings (though with some notable exceptions, like Ben Hoskin). So I think that if you promoted funding GOTV for the Democrats/Labour, you'd only alienate something like 10% of potential EAs.

And we wouldn't need to put massive amounts of time into it. Even a first-pass guess at a charity that seems particularly good for both the home nation and the world would generate most of the benefits I list above. (I think that many people would also be much happier donating to foreign countries if it also benefited the home country).

Agree on GW labs, though I think that geoengineering research, open science, 80k, xrisk reduction, are even less likely to get taken seriously than political funding.

Also, I should have said I'm not suggesting this as "the most important thing to be doing right now" - just something I think would be worthwhile that I used to think wouldn't have been worthwhile.