EA Newsletter: January 07, 2016

EA Newsletter header   Hi there,

A Happy New Year to everyone around the world! We’re back with the first edition of what will now be a monthly newsletter.

You’ll get it on the first Thursday of the month.

Rock on! The Team

Articles and Community Posts

80,000 Hours has published a podcast interview with alumnus Ben West who expects to donate tens of millions for charity through tech entrepreneurship (and is currently hiring!).

Ben Todd talks about a way to have a big social impact that’s open to everyone and doesn’t require you to change your career.

Giving What We Can has created astonishing animations based on a recent paper in Nature, which show the incredible impact antimalarial bednets are having across Africa.

Watch the new debate between Giles Fraser and ‘Doing Good Better’ author Will MacAskill at Intelligence Squared, the ‘world’s premier forum for debate and intelligent discussion’.

Why do effective altruists support the causes we do? Michelle Hutchinson explains why and shows how we could find new ones.

Going In-Depth

Rob Wiblin tackles three common objections to working on global catastrophic risks and AI safety: He argues that it’s not too early to act, that the chances of success are not tiny and that computer science majors have, in fact, not convinced themselves that the best way to help the world is doing computer science research.

The Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) gives an accessible justification for their approach to AI alignment research.

80,000 Hours explains why you should evaluate small, non-profit startups just like regular startups – by focusing on their potential for growth rather than their marginal impact.


In the Media

Bloomberg has heard the news: Billionaires like Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Peter Thiel are now maximizing the impact of their donations according to effective altruist principles.

‘Big-name scientists worry that runaway artificial intelligence could pose a threat to humanity. Beyond the speculation is a simple question: Are we fully in control of our technology?’ – The Washington Post profiles Nick Bostrom and the emerging field of AI alignment.

Why you should take the Giving What We Can pledge this January: Akilnathan Logeswaran and Daniel Selwyn published a beautifully written article in the Huffington Post arguing for this lifetime-resolution.

Updates from EA Organizations and Projects

80,000 Hours

80k has released their own giving recommendations, which supplement GiveWell’s, for the advanced donor.

They’ve also finished their annual impact survey and made their end-of-year growth targets. All together, they’ve grown the rate of significant plan changes by 600% over 2015, from 2 per week to 14 per week.


On the blog, Open Philanthropy Project staff made suggestions for individual donors interested in supporting organizations working in the Open Philanthropy Project's cause areas.

Giving What We Can

Giving What We Can is running their annual pledge event – they’ve had 136 new members join so far over December and January. If you haven’t joined their community yet, this is a great time to do so! If you have already, here are some thoughts from Eleanor on how you can increase your impact.

Jacy Reese has interviewed Giving What We Can director Michelle Hutchinson, kicking off a series of interviews with high-impact people from the community.

The Life You Can Save

The Life You Can Save recently released two videos introducing effective giving to new audiences: How far do our charity dollars really go? (featuring Malawian musician and viral sensation Gaspar Nali) and Toddlers Learning to Share.

Other News

Through the effort of a team of individual effective altruists who made videos for Project for Awesome, AMF has become one of the most voted for charities and got 25,000$!

Ozzie Gooen has released the beta version of Guesstimate, a tool for estimating things that are uncertain. He designed it partly to help fellow effective altruists calculate the expected impact of different options.


Timeless Classics

An all-time favorite: Peter Singer’s world-famous essay Famine, Affluence, and Morality asks if helping the poor is not merely good, but a moral duty

What is Effective Altruism?

EA is a growing social movement founded on the desire to make the world as good a place as it can be, the use of evidence and reason to find out how to do so, and the audacity to actually try.

To learn more, watch the recently released Intelligence Squared debate between Will MacAskill and Giles Fraser or this 6-minute TEDx talk by Beth Barnes.

Go forth and do the most good!

Do tell us how you liked this newsletter and how we can improve things further.

See you again on Feb. 4!

Georgie, Michał, Pascal and Sören – The Effective Altruism Newsletter Team

The Effective Altruism Newsletter is a joint project between the Centre for Effective Altruism, the Effective Altruism Hub and .impact.

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This is an archived version of the EA newsletter sent to 6,784 subscribers on January 07, 2016. To see the full archives, click here.