My Cause Selection: Thomas Mather

My overall goal is to reduce the suffering of sentient beings. In this article, I describe four of my favorite causes, family planning, global health and cognitive development, farm animals, and software patent reform. For each cause, I list the rationale, programs that I support, and challenges. I’m interested in ...Read More

Is there a hedonistic utilitarian case for Cryonics? (Discuss)

Cryonics is a popular topic among the rationalist community but not the utilitarian community. My impression is that most people who promote Cryonics are generally not utilitarians and most utilitarians do not promote Cryonics. This seems to be one area where the rationalist and EA communities diverge significantly. My take ...Read More

EA risks falling into a "meta trap". But we can avoid it.

If you think a typical EA cause has very high impact, it seems quite plausible that you can have even higher impact by working one level of “meta” up -- working not on that cause directly, but instead working on getting more people to work on that cause . For ...Read More

Effective Altruism is a Big Tent

A few weeks back, we at CEA were very glad to be hosting the first of three conferences on effective altruism this month in San Francisco. Most participants we’ve spoken to found the experience inspiring. The people there were devoted to doing good, with incredible personal stories and exciting projects. ...Read More

12 Awesome Things You Should Do After EA Global

Effective altruism is littered with lowbrow articles. I thought I would contribute something a little more academic to our discourse, so I have written a listicle (sorrynotsorry) of what we can do to get the most out of the conference now that it’s over. Note: RSSers/ Feedliers might want to ...Read More

Why I Became an Effective Altruist

EA Global, the largest ever public gathering of EAs, has left me reflecting on what it means to be an effective altruist. A few weeks ago, 400+ attendees and prominent EA activists, including Will MacAskill and Nick Bostrom (and Elon Musk!), converged on a Google Campus in Mountain View to ...Read More

Charity Redirect - A proposal for a new kind of Effective Altruist organization

UPDATE: Note: This was my first post on this forum and I apparently accidentally published it before finishing writing it, so a few people read it and commented before I got to ask my questions. Also, my title is inaccurate. Such EA organizations already exist (among them, GiveWell itself, Charity ...Read More

Superforecasters [link]

Here are a couple of articles about Phil Tetlock and the Good Judgement Project, which is a search for Superforecasters. Forecasting seems important for averting risks, and the discussion, which includes Kahnemann and other leading researchers, is wide-ranging, with lots of insights about clear-thinking. Office for anticipating surprise A short ...Read More

P-hacking explained through an interactive visualization

The U.S. economy does better under the Republicans. Or under the Democrats. Choose your variables and get either result! This is a fantastic article on recent issues with scientific method, with an interactive visualization that demonstrates p-hacking. I've never seen anything like this before. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/science-isnt-broken/

Rich-country policy changes that could greatly benefit poor countries

In the EA movement, there's a lot of enthusiasm for significantly increasing the number of immigrants able to come to countries like the United States each year. This would help the global poor in two ways: it would directly help immigrants who come to rich countries but wouldn't have been ...Read More

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