$100 for the best article on efficient charity: the finalists

by Roko1 min read7th Dec 20109 comments


Personal Blog

Part of the Efficient Charity Article competition. Several people have written articles on efficient charity --



  • Multifoliaterose has an article entitled "Efficient Charity" which scored 23 on the main site despite not being promoted.



Any comments on the finalists? Who do we think should be the winner?

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My ranking (places 1 and 2 are very close, and the other two I really can't pick between)

1) I really like throwaway account's approach, and I think that article is, at core, the best explanatory/introductory tool. But I think it's a lot less polished than it could be.

2)How Greedy Bastards Have Helped More People Than Mother Theresa: Needs a better name IMO. But it starts with a story, and that's good. It makes it's point well, and the story helps it stick. I got interested in optimal philanthropy through reading about Warren Buffet.

3a)How to save the world is a good checklist of things, but as a tool to persuade people they should care about efficient charity, and especially as a tool for the world outside LessWrong, it's really lacking.

3b)efficient charity It's narritive is one of evolutionary biology. On the right site, it would be great. On most sites: the first few paragraphs are a liability. If it got stuck straight into make-a-wish foundation Vs. childrens lives comparison it'd have more impact IMO.

[Note: I'm indifferent to receiving the prize.]

As Kingreaper's comment suggests it seems like the target forum/audience is significant here. Who are we trying to reach and what's the plan for distributing the winning article? We could distribute multiple articles (strategically targeted by venue) independently of which one wins.

And of course, the authors of the existing articles can edit them to optimize for impact.

I am interested in articles I can give to non-rationalist friends and family. I'd expect people who read this and similar sites already hold many of more basic views in these essays. I am biased of course because I came to many of these conclusions more-or-less independently. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Normal people seem to take more work to convince them of these basic ideas.

Toby Ord's recent effort in this area:

"Oxford academic Toby Ord gives salary to charity"


I like Throwawayaccount_1's best.

Efficient Charity could be quite good with some cleanup.

Do not count my vote specially.

Throwawayaccount_1 looks like Yvain to me. I like his attempt best.

If someone wants to be anon, I think we should respect that.