Hi there and welcome to this newsletter!
We’re a group of volunteers who would like to update you on the most important and most interesting developments from the international effective altruism community.
The newsletter will come out every two weeks with articles, project updates, job openings, and other useful announcements.
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Happy reading for now! The Effective Altruism Newsletter Team
If you’re not familiar with effective altruism, EA – to use its common abbreviation – 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.
If you want to learn more, start with reading What is effective altruism, watch (and share) this 6-minute video or check out the free EA Handbook.
In this section we’ll be highlighting articles and posts from the community that have been particularly popular.
Michael Dickens published a comprehensive post about his cause selection, weighing arguments for and against different causes with the goal of identifying the one that does the most good.
Will MacAskill’s Quartz article tells you which three factors can help you find a career that’s both satisfying and impactful.
On the Giving What We Can blog, Coralie Oddy published a highly topical piece on the current refugee crisis.
One big question within EA is whether one should work on a cause directly or “go meta”, i.e. getting more people to work on that cause. Read through Peter Hurford’s concerns about EA falling into a “meta trap” and Ben Todd’s reply why we need more meta.
In this section we’ll be sharing updates from EA organizations and EA projects.
While in the Bay Area learning from their Y Combinator mentors, 80k has released a new interactive tool for making career decisions and has been doing a university campus tour for the start of the academic year.
Charity Science has created an easy way to leave money to GiveWell’s top charities in your will. It’s a simple form that takes as little as 5 minutes to complete and leaves you with a ready-made will. They have also extended their peer-to-peer fundraiser pages to let you raise money for any event or pitch, in addition to their birthday and Christmas fundraisers.
GBS Switzerland is rebranding as Effective Altruism Foundation (EAF). You can find more information on their German website. They were recently featured on national TV in Switzerland and are currently setting up a new EA hub in Berlin – EAs who are interested are encouraged to get in touch.
FHI recently received $2.2m from the European Research Council for existential risk research, $1m to run the Alexander Tamas Programme on Artificial Intelligence Safety, and a $1.5m grant from the Future of Life Institute to create a Strategic Centre on the Future of Artificial Intelligence, together with the Cambridge-based Centre for the Study of Existential Risk.
Giving What We Can now has 1,288 members who have donated nearly $10m to effective charities and have pledged almost half a billion dollars over their lifetimes! Take the pledgeas well or consider Try Giving.
GPP just published an update on their activities. In the last few months, they secured grants from the Finnish Foreign Ministry and the Future of Life Institute to expand theirwork on policies to reduce existential risk. Be sure to check out this big flowchart of how to help the world and prioritize between different causes.
The local effective altruism network’s support team has grown recently, and created websites for dozens of groups in the network and helped set up meetups of their leaders at all three EA Global conferences. Work creating new local presences continues, through both recruiting existing EAs and mass-contacting potentially interested people at universities as part of the coordinated chapter push.
The Open Philanthropy Project recently published a comprehensive update on the overall progress and future plans. There has been a lot of progress in many areas.
REG recently released their report about the second quarter of 2015, in which they raised a total of $160,000 for effective charities. They’re also launching new sub-projects in professional gaming and daily fantasy sports.
This section serves to highlight announcements that are of interest to many in the community and aren’t covered elsewhere in the newsletter.
Larissa MacFarquhar’s book “Strangers Drowning” has been released. The book examines people who devote themselves wholly to helping others. The New York Times writes: “This writer does so many things well in “Strangers Drowning” that it’s hard to know where to begin.” If you buy via this link (Amazon US; for Amazon UK click here), 5% of the price will go to effective charities.
In mid-November, CFAR will be running their largest-ever rationality workshop in San Francisco. There are substantial discounts available: The original all-inclusive sticker price is $3900. That's reduced to $2900 for everyone who attended one of the EA Global conferences, and $1950 for full-time students or people working at nonprofits. Additional financial aid is also available on a case-by-case basis.
Are you looking to get more deeply involved with EA while working from home? Join .impact, the community of people working on independent EA projects! Check out the current projects that people have shared on its wiki, add your own idea to it, and work and talk with others during their internet-based Sunday workathons.
The EA movement is growing quickly and whenever EA organizations are looking for people we’ll be posting the jobs here. If you’re an EA organization, you can submit new openings through our form here. 80,000 Hours is looking for a product engineer with full-stack web development experience and an eye for design.
Giving What We Can is hiring a Director of Growth as well as several Research Analysts.
The Global Priorities Project is looking for a Director of Policy and Research Fellows.
Several other positions at Oxford’s Centre for Effective Altruism are open at the moment, including Director of US Operations, Finance Manager or Effective Altruism Strategy Fellow. Applications for these positions – and all the other ones above – close on October 18.
Animal Charity Evaluators is looking for a Program Officer to lead their research on effective animal advocacy.
Sentience Politics is hiring a Project Manager to establish the organization in Germany.
The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk announced new postdoc positions in the field of technological risk and is also looking for an Academic Project Manager.
The Future of Humanity Institute is hiring researchers interested in artificial intelligence safety and strategy, as well as a senior policy fellow and flexible generalists.
GiveWell has already opened their applications for Summer Research Analystsfor 2016. There is no firm deadline but it’s best to apply early.
We hope you liked this first edition of the Effective Altruism Newsletter. Tell us via this form how we can do better and what you would like to see in the future. Now, go forth and do the most good!
See you in two weeks, Georgina, Michał, Pascal and Sören The Effective Altruism Newsletter Team – 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 5,656 subscribers on October 12, 2015. To see the full archives, click here