Several people have written articles on efficient charity -- throwawayaccount_1 has an excellent article hidden away in a comment, as does waitingforgodel. Multifoliaterose promises to write an article "at some point soon" ..., and louie has actually submitted an article to the main LW page.

What I'd like is for throwawayaccount_1, waitingforgodel and multifoliaterose to submit to the main LW articles page. People will read the articles, and hopefully vote more for better articles. Srticles not submitted to the main LW articles page are not eligible for the prize.

Note that it is hard for me to judge which article(s) will actually have the best effect in terms of causing people to make better decisions, so at least some empiricism is desirable. Yes, it isn't perfect, but if anyone has a better suggestion, I am all ears.

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Better suggestion:

  1. Decide who your audience is (LW front page readers, or smartish but non-rationality focused recent grads)

  2. Pick a depressingly small n (lets say 3)

  3. Gather a group of n * (# of articles submitted + 1 control) people in the target audience, have them answer a questionnaire about their thoughts on philanthropy.

  4. Get n to read each submitted article. Either print it out, or leave it on less wrong, but do it consistently. Follow proper procedures (say the same thing to everyone, don't look at which article you're giving them, leave them be for the same amount of time).

  5. Wait m days (7?), and have them answer a second questionnaire about their thoughts on philanthropy.

  6. The winner is the one with the biggest delta.

In other words: don't look to consensus... use your senses :p

Two more ideas:

  • If you don't know many people in this sample, you could just buy traffic to these articles (from that target audience -- facebook or google would work great, stumbleupon should also do), and then judge by the total amount of time spent reading by 100 visitors.

  • Or hang up the articles as flyers at your local college campus (though this assumes that audience), and see if anyone picks them up to read them (and how long they read if they do).

Sounds good; I've made some progress and will be done by Saturday at latest.

Yes! I'm looking forward to it.

Excellent! Great that you're submiting.

Is it appropriate to spam Less Wrong with at least four articles on the same topic, especially one already well-known to the majority of the readership?

Is it appropriate? I don't see the problem, if people aren't interested, they can not read them or even downvote them.

You're asking a loaded question though. Louie will get a positive karma bias by being the first good optimal philanthropy article in a while. I think your article is probably better than his but might not rank as high, and it is even less likely to rank as high if submitted simultaneously with three other optimal philanthropy articles.

Waitingforgodel's article is good, but isn't written for a LW front page audience so it won't do well in terms of karma. Yours similarly doesn't do the intensive linkback to LW thing popularized by Eliezer.

Of course it doesn't really matter, since it doesn't sound like Roko will be judging based solely on LW karma score.

I hope that my article's promotion doesn't overshadow other articles or prevent yours from finding the readership it deserves. It's a great narrative and I love how the metaphors put things in perspective. I especially like how you build up and then knock down the idea of judging charities by their overhead alone.

I'm not coordinating with Eliezer so we'll have to see what editorial decision he makes in terms of promoting these articles or trying to prevent an "optimal philanthropy overload".

I'm in the process of removing less relevant links from my article, but with your permission, I'd like to cross-link to the final version of your article in some above the fold place once it's been posted. So you'd be front-paged by proxy at the very least.

Can't we just declare it a sequence and be done with it?

I think yours is especially good. Low quality ones might just not get promoted. Unpromoted articles generally only get seen by people with time on their hands.

Did you previously post as User:Roko?