Effective altruists use evidence and analysis to determine the best issues to work on, and which interventions have the greatest potential for impact. EA books is a site dedicated to serve as a guide to books about Effective Altruism. For someone in a rich country, the point at which it’s no longer optimal to keep donating is much higher than a poverty threshold of two dollars per day—because if you gave everything above two dollars a day, you simply wouldn’t be able to live in a rich country, and therefore earn money to donate. Therefore, an actualist says that you should give only 10%. We are remarkably early in the story of civilization. You must have a goodreads account to vote. by Derek Parfit Doing Good Better is an excellent introduction to effective altruism, revealing surprising data about the best ways to make a difference. Effective altruism, or EA, is about doing the most good. Our story starts in 1970. Beyond all the research and analysis that’s been written since 80,000 Hours was created, part of its activities consist in directly advising individuals who would like to make their careers more useful, or change path. Effective altruism sometimes involves taking actions that are less intuitive or emotionally salient. LessWrong has an … I would say that Derek Parfit was the most brilliant philosopher of the 20th century. 5 “Effective altruism is about using your time and money as effectively as possible, to do as much good as possible, and working out how to have the biggest possible impact.”. Benjamin Todd and I gave a lecture on the topic of the best career choices to pursue, which turned into several lectures, which turned into a website, and finally an organization of its own, called 80,000 Hours. Some also use targets, pledging to give a certain amount over their lifetime. But also expect to be challenged by the … Any quantitative argument about the chances of war in the 21st century will be very subjective—I certainly wouldn’t want to say that it’s 75% just because of this twelve-out-of-sixteen idea. Of course it wasn’t referred to as an existential risk, but simply as nuclear proliferation. That’s also one of the philosophical pillars of effective altruism and the organizations you co-created: Giving What We Can is trying to solve the world’s most pressing problems, and 80,000 Hours to make sure that young, ethically-minded graduates work on what will most benefit humanity in the long run. A second reason is that it was one of the books that really got me enthusiastic about philosophy. Their research is guided by three questions: 1. list created January 8th, 2017 Towards the end of his career, Parfit became more concerned about the effects of our actions on future generations, and especially the research on existential risks. I had already decided to study philosophy as an undergraduate, but when I read it, I was really compelled by the thought that philosophical reasoning is of huge importance and can really change the world. Bostrom’s book has been very influential in effective altruism, leading lots of people to work on artificial intelligence to ensure that it is developed safely. In terms of why I chose this book, I can think of three reasons. I was so inspired by that. Do you just try to maximize the average well-being? If so, you also get counterintuitive conclusions. Do you just add up the happiness of everyone? “I think of Peter as the ‘grandfather’ of effective altruism.”. The Effective Altruism Handbook Notice: We recently drafted a new collection of introductory material, as an update to the current EA Handbook. But we now seem to be entering a stage where there is at least some chance that all those things could be lost. But one unit of pain is the same whether you’re a chicken or a human being. Your second choice was Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit. Will MacAskill, a leader of the effective altruism movement, and a rising star in philosophy, now displays his talent for telling stories that pack a punch. Can you walk us through the history of your involvement in effective altruism: how did it all start, and how did you come to launch these multiple projects? Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference is a 2015 book by William MacAskill that serves as a primer on the effective altruism movement that seeks to do the most good. In 2018, the American … You’ve co-founded several of the leading organizations in the field of effective altruism: Giving What We Can in 2009, 80,000 Hours in 2011, and finally the Centre for Effective Altruism as an umbrella organization. Read It is this broad evidence-based approach that distinguishes effective altruism from traditional altruism or charity. Join our newsletter to hear from us when we publish new reading lists, book reviews, post tips on how to read more, or when we give away free books: Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page. Allison doesn’t make that claim himself, but what he makes clear is that war is the normal state for humanity. Effective Altruism: How Can We Best Help Others? Read. Opening chapter introduces the effective altruism movement Unifies different perspectives on a rich and far-reaching topic Articulates complex ideas in an accessible and engaging way Part of the series Engaging Philosophy: a new forum for collective philosophical engagement with controversial issues in contemporary society Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes. : Ethics in an Age of Self-Interest, One World Now: The Ethics of Globalization, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist. William MacAskill (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars 192 ratings. If you live in a rich country and pledge to give 10% of your earnings, you’re still living a better life than almost everyone who’s ever lived. Why has effective altruism been met with so much passion and enthusiasm in the last decade or so? About For Books Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Help Others, Do Work that Within the effective altruism community, people have systematically found this set of arguments very compelling. He is the leading philosophical figure of the movement. There are various calls to action on 80,000 Hours’s website; after someone has read a bit, they can apply for coaching, especially if they’re interested in a particular area. to arrive at these conclusions had been available for a long time already. The third is ensuring that the very long future goes as well as possible, including avoiding what Nick Bostrom calls existential risks, which can permanently curtail the long-term potential of humanity. 80,000 Hours: Find a fulfilling career that does good. He never wrote books intended for a general audience, but within academia, he was significantly more influential. The argument is that when you’ve got a ‘hegemon’, a country that has power over an area or the world, and there is a rising power that grows, strengthens and threatens to take over the hegemon, that generally leads to war. One thing we found when looking at charities is that it can be incredibly hard to know even the basics of what a charity actually does—not in the sense of what they focus on, such as malaria, but what is actually their intervention and what is the evidence base for this intervention. You’re one of the leading figures of the effective altruism movement. That’s a huge departure from common sense ethics, and it’s extremely important from a moral standpoint. Can you explain what it does, and what’s in this book? Read Effective altruists consider all causes and actions, and then act in the way that brings about the greatest positive impact. Most of us want to make a difference. As we mentioned earlier, 80,000 Hours is an organization that you co-founded in 2011 with him. The book is a summary of these years of research. Why did you pick it? But Singer’s Practical Ethics also focuses on another issue: animal rights. It's still a work in progress; if you want to read it, we'd love to hear your feedback! It’s up to you to pursue that life or not.’ I doubt that those who decide not to pursue it, even in the face of such opportunities, would get convinced by additional moral arguments. What’s the moral difference? I was always motivated to do good with my own life. It’s a dense work that focuses on artificial intelligence and its possibilities, but also the dangers of an uncontrollable superintelligence surpassing human capacities in a very short span of time. In his recent book on the effective altruism movement, Peter Singer approvingly cites a definition according to which effective altruism is “a philosophy and social movement which applies evidence and reason to working out the most effective ways to improve the world” (2015, 4-5). Living High and Letting Die: Our Illusion of Innocence, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, Ethics in the Real World: 86 Brief Essays on Things that Matter, Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter, The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us about Spreading Social Change, The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part to End World Poverty, Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking, Our Final Hour: A Scientist's warning - How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind's Future in This Century — On Earth and Beyond, Morality, Foresight, and Human Flourishing: An Introduction to Existential Risks, Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases, Utilitarianism: A Very Short Introduction, Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Our Traditional Ethics, A Taste of Irrationality: Sample chapters from Predictably Irrational and Upside of Irrationality, How Bad Are Bananas? As the world went into lockdown early in 2020, many of us without frontline jobs and lucky enough not to fall sick with Covid-19 found more time to read than usual. The conclusions we ought to draw given the many decades of research done since Parfit’s book, mean that we should think that, all else equal, it’s good to have one more person if they’re sufficiently well-off. The last 70 years are a fairly unusual state. Parfit argued that there was no perfect philosophical answer to that question, because it would always be justified for someone living in a rich developed country to keep increasing what they’re giving until they reached 100%. The key issue is really whether you think that people in the future matter as much as people living today. It’s extremely neglected, and probably the most neglected cause among the ones we look at. Next up in your selection, we have 80,000 Hours, by Ben Todd. They donate a large share of their income and engage in detailed technical discussions … Then, you’ve at least acknowledged that most of the value lies in the future. How does this work? Second is trying to mitigate the worst horrors of factory farming, whereby 60 billion animals are killed each year after being kept in horrific conditions their entire life. The world would be a lot better if charities were very honest and open about what they do, including their mistakes. I think it’s possible that people in the future will come to regard animals as being of equal status to humans. Is this an issue that is still neglected today, both financially and in terms of public discourse? As a lurker in effective altruism, I was delighted to see something potentially relevant to my experience show up. The scale and organisation of the effective altruism movement encourage careful dialogue on questions that have perhaps long been there, throwing them into new and sharper relief, and giving rise to previously unnoticed questions. If you’re new to effective altruism, it should give you an overview of the key ideas and problems that have been found so far. In a way that’s not astounding, since animals can’t unionize, they don’t get a vote, they’re completely disenfranchised in society. It would provide people with a self-interested incentive to stop farming animals in order to eat meat, and they’ll gradually realize that the conditions in which factory farming was done were horrible. The third reason is that Peter Singer represents the career and life that I would also like to lead: someone whose ultimate purpose is the pursuit of truth, with the willingness to follow arguments wherever they lead, and actually willing to make changes to their life on the basis of those ideas. So it’s a huge issue, and an incredibly neglected one in relation to the size of the problem. See actions taken by the … But at about the same time, there turned out to be a lot of people—not just us, but also those working at Give Well—who were willing to make this happen, and all this latent interest was actualized. Five Books aims to keep its book recommendations and interviews up to date. That doesn’t mean I would save 2 chickens over 1 human. We’re still in the early days, and some people do think that we should only focus on the more easily measurable and quantifiable bets. Introduction As a materials engineering major with, roughly speaking, a year of full-time experience with molecular dynamics simulations, I have a special place in my heart for high impact materials both literal and figurative. The Effective Altruism Funds website, which lets individuals donate to the Centre for Effective Altruism and distribute their money as effectively as possible, actually includes animal welfare in its priorities. --Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature If we get very low-cost, tasty and healthy lab-grown meat, that might be a solution. To what extent should you focus on what you’re personally passionate about, good at, or excited about? The essay A refugee mother and child from East Bengal during the … Read 466 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. It seems extremely plausible. It has developed a body of research since its creation, and it has coached hundreds of people, giving them tailored advice on how they can use their career to have the biggest impact. One of its leading figures, Will MacAskill, recommends the best books to answer them. If so, you get counterintuitive conclusions. The third reason is that philosophers aren’t necessarily the most action-oriented researchers. Read. Society is starting to do a little better—a few percent of people are vegetarians, but it’s not major news. For the first time, you can now read the best new ideas on LessWrong in a physical book set: A Map that Reflects the Territory: Essays by the LessWrong Community It is available for pre-order here. They’ll be asked to read a lot of background on the research that we’ve done, then they’ll talk to an advisor, to discuss what are their strengths and weaknesses, what they think they could potentially excel in if they worked in a particular area, and what would be their 2 or 3 best potential options. Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom read chance that all those things could be lost someone who that!, to concretely showing that a few tens of millions of dollars spent every year improving... 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