All of EALE's Comments + Replies

Earning to Give vs. Altruistic Career Choice Revisited

I have a fairly strong intuition that “if you don’t fund it, somebody else will” is more true than “if you don’t do it, somebody else will” so that this counter-consideration is outweighed. It’s important to note that many projects of high social value are the first of their kind, and that finding somebody else to execute such a project is highly nontrivial. I think that it’s also relevant that 114 billionaires have signed the Giving Pledge, committing to giving 50+% of their wealth away in their lifetimes.

On the other hand, the vast majority of peopl... (read more)

A critique of effective altruism

"for a community that purports to put stock in rationality and self-improvement, effective altruists have shown surprisingly little interest in self-modification to have more altruistic intentions. This seems obviously worthy of further work." I would love to see more work done on this. However, I understand "wanting to have more altruistic intentions" as part of a broader class of "wanting to act according to my ultimate/rational/long-term desires rather than my immediate desires", and this doesn't seem niche enough for membe... (read more)

A critique of effective altruism

The term "EA" is undoubtedly based on a form of total utilitarianism. Whatever the term means today, and whatever Wikipedia says (which, incidentally, weeatquince helped to write, though I can't remember if he wrote the part he is referring to), the motivation behind the creation of the term was the need for a much more palatable and slightly broader term for total utilitarianism.

Collecting expressions of interest in a rationality conference in August

I'd probably go, especially if people I know are going (went to my first LW meetup in London recently and couldn't shake the feeling that no one wanted to talk to me...)

I might go to the Fringe on Sunday 18th Aug and I'm busy Friday 23rd August, but otherwise free!

Seconding Phil, sorry about that, and also thanks for pointing it out. We're trying out some new formats for the London meetups to make discussion a bit more egalitarian. If you're available, we'd love for you to come back, and hopefully you can get more out of it. (Upcoming meetups in June are then 9th, which is our first practical-emphasis meetup, and the 27th, which is purely social.)
I'm sorry we gave that impression. I'm pretty confident it wasn't deliberate, but I can sort of see how we might come across that way. As a group we're making an effort to be more welcoming, so hopefully we will stop alienating new people soon. :-)
CEA does not seem to be credibly high impact

I think that the question that this article is trying to answer should have been made clearer, because there are very different answers to the questions:

  1. What impact has CEA produced so far?

  2. What impact has CEA produced per dollar invested so far?

  3. What impact has CEA produced per dollar invested, assuming each volunteer hour costs an average of $x, so far?

  4. What impact would CEA produce if I gave them $1000?

  5. What impact would CEA produce if I gave them £1m?

I think that the most useful question to answer is probably #4 or #5, but many of the criticis... (read more)