What is Effective Altruism?

Crossover between moral philosophy and economics

The core idea of Effective Altruism

How much more effective are the best life saving charities compared to the average?

Most people: 1.5x Reality: 100x


via Benjamin Todd from this tweet

EA 101: orgs

Effective Altruism successfully created one of the highest quality of community culture. See for example norms of Effective Altrusim Forum

GiveWell is focusing on what is the most amount of good we can do right now. They are evaluating the most effective non-profits. Their annual top-recommended charities are mostly based in the developing world. Each charity is evaluated with a very rigorous, extended research. Here is the report for the Against Malaria Foundation, which is giving out mosquito bed-nets. It is estimated that they save a life every ~$3,299k donated. GiveWell is inspirationally transparent: Here is a list of their mistakes. Read more about their four criteria: 1. Evidence of effectiveness 2. Cost-effectiveness 3. Room for more funding 4. Transparency. Read through their FAQ to quickly understand the core problems they are working on: What are the benefits of deworming? Is there really a need for more mosquito bed-nets?. How they select their top charities?

OpenPhilanthropy – GiveWell's sister organization focusing on what are the projects that can minimize our existential risks or positively impact our future development. See All their focus areas. Or read about example projects: Criminal Justice Reform link, Treatment of Animals in Industrial Agriculture link

Will MacAskill – This is how I stumbled upon effective altruism. Will is one of the founders of the movement. I think one of the best intros to EA’s ideas are his interviews on Sam Harris or Tim Ferriss podcasts

80,000 hours – a guide to using your career to help solve the world's most pressing problems. Lot's of great resources including 2 min summary, Personal fit: one of the most important considerations in choosing a career link, Take care of yourself and your mental health link

EA 101: links

forum.effectivealtruism.org/ – IMO contender for the highest quality internet forum of all time

In-Depth Seminar Programme HT2022 Curriculum – best set of intro materials to Effective Altruism

EA Introductory Fellowship Syllabus – same as above but run from Stanford

Russ Roberts on 80000 Hours Show. On whether it’s more effective to help strangers, or people you know – one of the most interesting critiques to EA's heuristics

Notes on Effective Altruism by Michael Nielsen – this is one of the highest quality critiques of Effective Altruism as it renders its qualities and parts to be actively concerned about. “EA] view illegibility as something to be conquered and minimized; I view it as a fundamental, immovable fact about the way the world works. Indeed, the more illegibility you conquer, the more illegibility springs up, and the greater the need for such work”